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Peatmoss

This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Colin 6 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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  • #301250

    Don
    Participant

    hello everyone just wondering im thinking about starting my 10 gallon as a planted shrimp tank i was thinking about used peatmoss and silicasand as a substrate and i’ve heard of dry starting my plants any one else heard of this ??

    #342118

    Bully
    Participant

    Depending on your source water, the peat may reduce your pH to unacceptable levels (unless that is your intention). If you’re going for a planted tank then I would recommend using a dedicated planting substrate (of which there are loads these days). The Dry Start Method is pretty well documented now, and plant guru Tom Barr probably has the most information regarding it. Here’s a post that he made about it on the PFK website:

    Dry start method(DSM), an example using a 180 gal tank

    If you really wish to research it in depth then I recommend joining the The Barr Report Forum.

    #342119

    Colin
    Participant

    You should try and avoid using peat moss at all. Peat is extracted from bogs and is totally unsustainable.

    Peat has some beneficial properties in that is can adsorb contaminants, lower pH and GH, introduce humic substances and a few others but there is nothing there that we can’t do by using other methods that dont destroy important habitats.

    Peat makes a lousy substrate, especially for planted tanks…

    For eight years I have been using garden top soil and a thin layer of fine children’s play sand. Dont use silica sand as you will introduce silicates which will encourage diatom algae blooms.

    I actually use soil straight out of the garden, but you may need to go elsewhere if your garden has had herbicides and fertilisers etc used in it. A garden centre will sell top soil.

    I use about 2-3inches depth and about an inch of washed sand. My longest setup tank with this method was about three years but i had to move house and strip it down. I now have another similar tank on a windowsill which is getting on for a year old. These are the only tanks I have ever had that have zero nitrate and zero phosphate.

    This last tank has a mix of plants. Most of them grow out of the surface of the tank which is an 18″ cube and stand about 36″ tall during the summer before dying back.

    I added fish after about two weeks of filling it up – no dry start. I’ll need to read the links above to see what the reported benefits are to be honest.

    #342121

    Colin
    Participant

    PS – I have just had a read at some of the methods from Tom’s site and I have to mention that my technique is a seriously lazy way of doing it compared to what’s on his site!!! Maybe not what you are after? Works for me though and no hassles.

    He does mention garden soil but recommends mixing the soil with sand first…

    “You can DIY a sediement and use some earthworm castings, or some soil and boil, bake, or soak for 3-4 weeks in a shallow pan, mix this with 66% sand and then add about 6-8cm of that on the bottom, followed but another 3-4cm cap.”

    #342152

    Matt
    Keymaster

    QUOTE (Colin @ Apr 7 2011, 06:59 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    You should try and avoid using peat moss at all. Peat is extracted from bogs and is totally unsustainable.

    Peat has some beneficial properties in that is can adsorb contaminants, lower pH and GH, introduce humic substances and a few others but there is nothing there that we can’t do by using other methods that dont destroy important habitats.

    You know Colin, you’ve just made me think about a bunch of our species profiles in which we recommend using small amounts of peat for black water fish species. I may need to do some editing…

    #342159

    Colin
    Participant

    sounds good to me – I can do some info on a more sustainable approach if you like?

    #342162

    Matt
    Keymaster

    That would be amazing, yes please.

    #342190

    JazzBora150
    Participant

    you suggest the use of peat as part of a biotope setup for Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi is this just for staining the water and not needed??

    #342212

    Matt
    Keymaster

    That’ll be changed shortly. Don’t want to be recommending non-sustainable practices.

    In answer to your question though no peat isn’t just used to stain the water but to simulate natural conditions via a cocktail of chemicals it releases.

    #342244

    Senor Bastardo
    Participant

    Nothing wrong with using peat. I use it in several tanks and have had no ill effect on neither fish nor very low pH. The thing is to boil it first and rinse it will leach tannins and stain the water but not as much as “raw” peat which by the way take forever to sink to the bottom.

    #342253

    Bluedave
    Participant

    It’s not that there’s anything wrong with peat for the fish Senor Bastardo, in fact some will love it as it gives them the water conditions they thrive in.

    The argument is that it’s not sustainable and boglands full of wildlife are drained in order to obtain it etc etc.

    #342261

    Senor Bastardo
    Participant

    It wasn´t the point that I opposed rather the dropping pH levels and so forth.

    Being a serious fish nut isn´t really sustainable either, correct me if I´m wrong. I know you shouldn´t think that way and all persons should do their bit etc etc but the minute amounts used in the hobby should pale when compared to the amounts used in gardening.

    #342264

    Bluedave
    Participant

    peat free compost……. or even better – make your own compost – i’ve got 3 No. 250 litre compost bins, pmsl

    #342279

    Senor Bastardo
    Participant

    There are alternatives in gardening absolutely. On our allotment cottage we never use peat but make our own compost.

    #342280

    Colin
    Participant

    Everyone has to do their own wee bit. I suggest that if there is a less-destructive alternative that we should use that instead.

    With regards to gardening it is actually very difficult to buy peat these days in the large DIY stores or even garden centres now and quite a large proportion of the compost mixtures now boast that they are peat-free

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