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Re: [APD] Re: Peat with wetting agent

I have used small amount of peat under several aquaria
along with a substrate of Flourite, Onyx Sand, or
Eco-complete depending on the aquarium. I haven't noticed
any of the problems mentioned.

The peat did seem to help moderate the slight rise in pH
that Onyx Sand intially causes in soft, neutral water. I
haven't measured silicate levels, although I have no reason
to suspect that they are high. 

Scott H.
--- Michi Henning <michi at triodia_com> wrote:
>  > I called the company and they said the wetting agent
> . . . In general, I would advise against combining peat 
> and
> Flourite or
> laterite in the substrate. I made that mistake once
> myself. Initially,
> things went extremely well and the plants were growing
> beautifully.
> But after a few months, I ran into massive problems with
> algae growth,
> especially green water. All the usual tests (pH, KH, GH,
> CO2, O2, PO4,
> NH4, NO2, NO3) were fine. Eventually, I tested for
> silicates and found
> that they were completely through the roof, well above
> the maximum 
> reading of the test kit (at least 100ppm), despite the
> fact that my
> tap water contains almost no silicates.
> The only possible source was the substrate: laterite and
> Flourite
> quite a lot of aluminium silicate. The peat in the
> substrate creates
> a strongly acidic environment, which causes the aluminium
> silicate
> to dissociate, and you end up with tons of silicates in
> the water
> column. In turn, diatoms build their skeleton out of
> silicates, so
> I suspect that the silicates were to blame for my ongoing
> problems.
> In the end, I emptied the tank, replaced the substrate
> with a gravel
> and Fluorite mixture, and haven't had any problems since.
> So, I'd be cautios about mixing peat and Fluorite. Use
> one or the other,
> but not both.
> Cheers,
> Michi.
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> Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
> http://www.actwin.com/mailman/listinfo.cgi/aquatic-plants

S. Hieber

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