Peat as a Substrate
With all the talk about differing substrate additives, has anyone considered
using a Peat / Vermiculite mixture? These two substances, along with
composted manure, are the "black gold" of dry land gardening. From all my
readings of postings and reference books, its seems the purpose of substrate
amendments is to contain, in a usable form, those nutrients needed by the
plant roots. Since gravel doesn't do this very well, almost any kind of
amendment (laterite, clay, soil, vermiculite, etc) is an improvement over
plain gravel. The addition of undergravel cable heating encourages the
continuous transfer of nutrients from the water into the soil. Thus you
feed the leaves as well as the roots.
I have a 42 gal, Discus community tank, that is heavily planted in plain
gravel. I'm setting up a 125 gal in March (b'day present from hubby who
doesn't like aquaria) and want to use some type of substrate additive.
After seeing the cost of laterite (!!!), I'm looking for alternatives. And
since it will be a soft, acid water environment and peat is a type of filter
medium, I'm wondering how it would work as a substrate.