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Discussion Starter #1
I going to setup a 10 gallon doing a low light (15w), no C02 tank.

So if I want to put some peat on the bottom of the tank. So I boil the peat and then place a very shallow layer down. Basically I want to cover the bottom right? Or do I want to but down more?
And then I top it with Flourite or Eco Complete or whatever say 3 inches?

Just want to make sure I am doing this right and not going to hose things up from the start.

Figure I put in some vals, najas and maybe some hornwort to start things out and fill in the dark areas with crypts and java fern and anubias species.
 

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Hey Mike.

I would certainly boil the peat first. Then use about 1 cup and mix that up with the bottom third of your gravel (flourite, Eco, whatever). Then cover with the remainder of the gravel.

You will see a leaching of tannin over the next few days that will turn your water tea brown. This is similar to what those black water bottles add to your aquarium. Over time that will dissipate via water changes. Alternatively, you can either filter with activated carbon for a day or so or, as I do, sprinkle a thin layer of crushed activated carbon over the peat layer.

Good luck and remember to show us pictures when you're set up.

Thanks for supporting APC!
 

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I searched the APD pretty thoroughly and couldn't find anything about boiling peat when used in a substrate. THe only references that I could find were boiling it to make a "tea" for water changes or when using it in a filter.

I have seen two posts from different people that reccomend boiling the peat before using it in your substrate. Where did this come from??
 

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The use of peat in planted aquariums has a LONG history. Boiling it serves several functions- prevents peat from floating, softens the fibers, sterilizes it, and removes some of the tannins.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I certainly will post pictures. I love messing with my digital camera and updating my website. Keeps me really involved. Thank you for the info on the peat. I just wanted to make sure I did this correctly. Might pickup the tank and what not these week. I'm do this tank based on the Tom Barr talk of low light non CO2 setups he gave a few weeks back on-line.
 

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Art,
Thanks for your reply.
I still have to question the validity of boiling peat before you put it under a substrate of flourite, profile or most anything else.

Could this be aquatic mythinformation?

None of the reasons you give above seem to be valid ones except for sterilization. (I even question the need for doing that)

The substrate placed over the peat will hold it down.
The fibers will soften naturally over time.
Isn't the leaching of tannins to soften and acidify the water the reason for using the peat in the first place? Why would you want remove a majority of the tannins through boiling if this what you seek to introduce in the first place?

Maybe the plantbrain could weigh in on this??
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Reefkeeper -

From what I have read on the net and in a few books peat has a high CEC. The peat provides a slight increase in iron and organic acid which helps make the iron more accessible to the plants. Boiling won't remove all the acid. So it will still be beneficial as a substrate and keep a store of fert. It has a high nutrient-holding capacity that can retain nutrients for plant uptake between applications of fertilizer.

Okay not my own words. I understand it to some point but I picked this off the AB library and paraphrased it.

My next question is not on substrate but figured I would not make new thread. In Tom Barr's web chat talk (which I am basing my tank on to give a non CO2 tank a shot) do you think erect moss would be a good or bad idea? Will it grow? I don't know. Never had it but I have some coming from Singapore in a little trade along with some Xmas moss. I figured I could put some moss in there along with my 2 other tanks. Other then vals, java fern, crpyts, hornwort (which I hate) and Egeria najas is there anything else I might consider to start the tank up? It will be 10 gallon with 15 watts of 6700K. No CO2 (maybe some Excel). Just planning. I have the tank, peat, eco, and all the equipment except the cork for my background.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

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Reeferkeefer,

I think Mike para-phrased it well. The peat is used to get organics into the substrate and foster an acid environment whereby nutrients will be recycled and made available to plant uptake. Some people use peat to reduce the pH of the aquarium or to add the equivalent of black water (humics). I think there's another thread on this.

I agree that it is not necessary to boil peat. Boiling peat fills your home with a very strong odor that will make you (and your spouse) think you are in the British peat bogs. Nevertheless, boiling it makes it easier for me to work with when I'm putting together my substrate mix and does remove some of the tannins that I would otherwise have to remove by some other method.

As for sterilization, ah I'm not that concerned about that. Doubtful any bacteria would be there that would harm the aquarium unless the peat was stored wet for a period of time.

Mike.

As for plants, I would stick with a wonderful Crypt forest if I were you. I think the erect moss will grow nicely in that environment.
 

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Art
Tanks for clarifying this.
I understand the use of peat very well. It was a couple posts stating that peat should be boiled before using it in a substrate that left me scratching my head. I feel it's an uneeded task and as you pointed out may make your sig. other upset by using her cherished Calphalon pots to boil "dirt" in. :roll:


Mike,
Check out some annubias.
Lanceolet, nana, spiralis, barterii all have some interesting aquascaping potential.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay so I should I boil my peat or not? I just glued the corkboard to the back of the tank and figure I will get the it all set up Friday night unless I goto the bar. :p And then I need to add some stuff to my website so I can document this tank too. Woot.
 

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Mike,

Why don't you boil a little bit of it so you can say you've done it. :) Then you can compare it to the non-boiled and see which you like to work with.

Please share your pictures here as well.

Good luck. Oh, and I always set up aquariums with a beer in hand so no need to go to the bar.
 

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does peat have a lot of organics? if so, i'd be worried about it going anaerobic...
 
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