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[APD] Re: Peat

Message: 3
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 13:13:23 +0530
From: "drajitathale" <drajitathale at hclinfinet_com>
Subject: [APD] Re: Peat
To: <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>

At my place, peat is available as coconut peat and it is in form of dry

I have read that peat is supposed to be acidic.
But how can dry cakes be acidic?

Or is ususal peat different from cocnut peat?

How is peat made and what is the actual constituent?


Peat is usually decomposed mosses. The US Geological Survey web site defines it thus:

"Peat is a renewable, natural, organic material of botanical origin and commercial significance. Peatlands are situated predominately in shallow wetland areas of the Northern Hemisphere, where large deposits developed from the gradual decomposition of plant matter under anaerobic (low oxygen) conditions. Peat has widespread use as a plant-growth medium in a variety of horticultural and agricultural applications because its fibrous structure and porosity promote a combination of water-retention and drainage. Commercial applications include potting soils, lawn and garden soil amendments, and turf maintenance on golf courses. In industry, peat is used primarily as a filtration medium to remove toxic materials from process waste streams, pathogens from sewage effluents, and deleterious materials suspended in municipal storm-drain water. In its dehydrated form, peat is a highly effective absorbent for fuel and oil spills on land and water."

Since peat bogs are usually in cool temperate to sub-arctic (near-tundra?) flat locales, India is not likely to have many. Properly composted coconut-husk fiber can be a useful replacement for most uses.

The usual peat we use, from anaerobically decomposed Sphagnum Moss, is a good ion-exchange medium and can soften water somewhat. It also has some humic acids that can dissolve and make softer water more acid. It has little effect on harder water except to color it yellowish, and may drop the GH a little if used in a filter.

The US grows some, but most here comes from Canada.



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