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Peat Bottom Thickness

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Philosophos, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    So Mrs. Philo has an 80 gal planted going up here. It's going to be for apistos (maybe discus some day) and other soft water fish. The idea is to throw down a thick enough layer of peat to get some nice acidity, rather than just the usual fine dusting.

    As much as I've looked, I can't find anything on the upper bounds of how thick peat can go down. There's definitely not much on how necessary it is to mineralize the finely cut stuff either.

    The peat will be capped off with turface.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    This might not be of much help. I added about 1/4 inch to a ten gallon tank right from the bag. I didn't know to keep a close eye on KH, but remember a slight drop, maybe 2 degrees.
     
  3. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    maybe not what you have in mind, but i had a 70 gallon tank that had 1.5-2" of peat moss mixed 50/50 with coarse sand that was capped with 1.5" of coarse sand. I initially set it up for crypts, but most did not survive (substrate was too young or not rich enough to support them) and it ended up becoming a tank of Rotala macrandra, Echinodorus tenellus and Cryptocoryne cristpatula vars. There are some nice pictures in Gombergs PLANTED AQUARIA magazine. From 1990-95 or so i didnt even use CO2 to support some really nice plants using very little light. Then the peat no longer provided enough C and i added pressurized CO2 to keep the tank going until 2008 when i had to tear it down when i moved. It was as really nice low tech tank for at least the first 5 years.
     
  4. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    I've never tried any sand substrates except for Onyx Sand. By coarse sand, that would be something like pool filter sand wouldn't it?
     
  5. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    1.5 - 2 inches? Not bad.

    Why are people mixing sand in anyhow? I've never been able to add that one up.
     
  6. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    the sand was coarse river sand. The recommendation came to me directly from Robert Gasser. I figured that the source was good.
     
  7. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    Thank you for the reply.
     
  8. Brian20

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    I mix peat from the bag with my home made substrate, there not is munch, only like 1/2 inch of peat. It lowers the pH but with time the pH increase again if the water of w/c have high pH. Like 1 1/2 or 2 inch of peat can low pH a lot in first months maybe pH 7.8 to 6.5 or 6.
     
  9. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Got Worm Poop?

    Hi Dan,

    I use a lot of peat. For just about every tank, I cover the bottom with peat, so I cannot see the bottom.:)

    For soft water tanks I then like two maybe two-and-a-half inches, fifty-fifty silt (my favorite), clay (kitty litter works for me) or sand (I don’t care for the sand myself), capped with pretty much anything you like.

    These days I would put a nice layer of Osmocote Plus and I would definitely add a bunch of worm poop. :cool:

    Biollante
     
  10. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Worm castings I don't have; mineralizing it is too much stink and mess for an apartment. The Osmocote Plus is already on hand; we got it precisely for this occasion (and my emersed growth tray; aquasoil is far too expensive for the job).

    Brian, is that 1.5-2 inches of peat you're mentioning a 50/50 mix or just on its own?
     
  11. Brian20

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    2 inches of peat and then 2 inches of SMS. The peat have a lot of air so with pressure of water and SMS it going down from 1" 1/2 to 1" or less. Its very difficult to have the results before making it because variables: water initial parameters, peat quantity, peat-air mix (unless you wet it first) also time, so to know final pH is dificult, my results says that it can down well the pH but I not know how munch. Maybe it down to pH7.0 or to pH5.0. I dont recomend to use a lot of peat or other home made substrate, I always use 50% top gravel or SMS and 50% home made substrate.
     
  12. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hey, neutral is good enough; I just want to know how it's working for people in practice.

    In breeding terms, this tank is a holding and grow-out tank; some spawns may happen, but it's not the focus. Neutral or lower pH is the goal, and not much else. It seems none of you are having troubles with anoxia in the 1.5-2in range, which is what I was hoping to do. The only troubles I've read so far involve capping with play sand.
     
  13. cryptichmind

    cryptichmind Lifetime Charter Member
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    Why would you not consider making your own blackwater extract where you have better control over Ph and tannins? At least using it this way will not require a reset if you have problems with a deep bed, not to mention the mess of all those fibers every time you move anything rooted..... Coarse, seasoned peat in your canister would be another possibility. Jaap always collected his own rainwater for breeding Ph sensitive fish and he seemed to have outstanding results.


    Cryptichmind
     
  14. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I live in an apartment, and I started out in aquariums doing blackwater extracts for my fish. These two things will not work well together.

    Besides, water changes will be 50/50 RO/tap.

    Fibers aren't a big deal; egg crate is going down over this first layer. Mrs. philo and I are to the point with our aquascaping where we can do a relatively simple, low light, compressed CO2 tank without much moving around; some of our 10 gals have sat for months at a time without even needing a trim.

    Peat in the canister is something we may do on top of it; we've got a nice filter bag around for doing just that.
     
  15. Brian20

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    if you want to and have the materials, make a mix of peat, red clay (Here it have pH4) and mineralized soil. clay is the less messy in my case that is with I mix them all to make a "paste". I dont use nothing between it and gravel, when I going to move a plant, I cut the root before they going to make a mess. Nothing wrong in all my setups.
     
  16. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Akadama

    Hi Brian All,

    I think the mix of clay and peat works the best. :)


    Usually I use just cheap kitty litter but the [FONT=&quot]Akadama clay (fired) has a nice look and I have heard it is excellent for planting HC.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Just a thought. :cool:[/FONT]

    Biollante

     
  17. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Akadama is a bit more expensive than Turface, but I've been calling around about it recently. Hopefully the pres of the local bonsai society will get back to me. It'd be really nice if I could find some Kanuma locally.
     
  18. Brian20

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    Akadama is a lot more expensive than cheap SMS. I look for it in Internet 2 years ago, $30 a bag.

    Still it looks so nice!.
     
  19. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    All the acronyms flying around. I thought SMS was Spent mushroom substrate until I found James' Planted Tank article "Substrate On The Cheap".
     
  20. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    There are sources online for Akadama that aren't so bad until you get into shipping.

    What I really want to play with now is the Kanuma, though it seems like it might be fairly hard stuff. Either way, it has a pH around 5-6 from what I've been reading; it'd make a great filler for peat.
     
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