04-10-2004, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Mpls, MN
Have you considered using Laterite mixed with regular small-grain gravel?
For my 75, it cost me about $60 to get a 3" layer of 2-3 mm gravel and enough laterite for the substrate, plus a year or two's worth extra for substrate supplementation. Wet it, roll it into little balls, bake it - nice cheap iron replenishment for the substrate.
IME, peat becomes pretty messy and always wants to float up when you are planting/replanting. I have read a number of sources stating a layer of peat will turn anaerobic, which is no good for your plants' roots (or your tank for that matter). I used it once and was not happy with the results - I've never had a plant tank with so many algae problems...peat is loaded with organics and once it's down in the substrate, there's no getting it out without a complete teardown.
Just something to think about...