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[APD] RE: to add peat or not

> Can any 
>of you tell me whether it is a good idea to add peat to  a substrate like 
>Flourite when you are setting up a tank or whether it is a good  idea not
to do 

Good idea.

> Wouldn't the added peat in the substrate discolor the  water in the tank 
after a while?

No, you don't add a lot and we tend to do large water changes so the color
is removed.

 > And if you were to add peat to your  substrate, how exactly 
>would you mix it in with the substrate? 

Add a pre wetted layer to the bottom, add mulm, cap with 3-4" of substrate.
You could mix perhaps a 1/2" of substrate with it if you wanted. Then cap. 

>you were to set up a new tank with a Flourite substrate and an undergravel 
>cable  heater in the substrate also, that being the case, would you still 
need to 
>add peat to the substrate anyway, seeing as how you already had an  
>undergravel cable heater, and how exactly would you mix the peat into  the
>with an undergravel cable heater in the substrate?   Thanks to all who
Why use a cable in the first place when you are using flourite? I've not
seen a need to use cables to date. 
The added circulation is going to reduce the anaerobic layers and make it
aerobic. This will increase the redox and favor more Fe3+ and less Fe2+.
If you want to take this idea a step further, read some post about RFUG's I
They add even more flow, they also worked very well and over the long term
etc like the cable proponents. 

Still, the best results I've seen to date for substrates is Flourite/Onyx
that are 3-4" deep or so. This is for both CO2 and non CO2 enriched tanks
If you want to get tyour tank off to a good start with no associated start
up problems.................

Add 1/4" of pre wetted peat, the same amount of wet fresh mulm from an
established tank, cap with 3-4" of your fav substrate, eg Flourite, Onyx,
Florabase, Eco Complete etc..........

Other things you can add: Flourish tabs, Leonardite, mixes of the
above(this will not help grow plants any better IME), soil in place of
peat, manures/organic amendments that have been soaked for 2-3 weeks in
shallow trays of water to leech out the NH4/urea, KNO3, clay balls, carbon

But I think most are fine with the peat/mulm stuff, takes little time,
cheap and is easy to find.
The effects are subtle with these other additions. The mulm, some SMALL
amount organic matter and good porous iron rich substrate that has some
density are the main things that make these substrate set up good. 

Ask your self this: what does an established tank's substrate have that a
newly set up tank does not?
Mulm and organic matter(not a lot of organic matter!). Mulm is a key
component(adds bacteria, anaerobic/aerobic, fungi, pieces of root decayed,
microinvertbrates etc that are living).  

Tom Barr

>Leroy C.

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