08-28-2005, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
I disagree that plants do not need air. Plants seem to thrive under well oxygenated water, and there has even been some data to suggest that algae is less present in highly oxygenated water, however in a healthy thriving planted tank, the plants are emitting enough oxygen so you should never have to worry about it. Good circulation is much more important than filtration. Circulation helps keep the water oxygenated, carries nutrients across the tank, and helps prevent sedimant from building up on the leaves of the plants. Water changes also bring oxygen to the water.
Mulm is decayed orgaic material from fish waste, fish food and plant leaves. Peat is Peat moss and will provide a source of decaying organic material. It emits an acid that lowers pH and can turn the water a tea or yellow color. People use it in very small amounts buried in the substrate. The acid in the substrate helps break down minerals so plants can better use them, but it does not provide any minerals or nutrients of its own. If you use too much in the substrate it can cause problems. People also use Peat in their filters for the purpose of strictly lowering the pH or making the water softer. It can trigger spawning of some fish that come from a soft water enviornment.
Light is the single most critical issue and the chief reason why plants die off during the first attempt at a plant tank.