Re: Peat in substrate

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> From: Elizabeth Worobel <eworobe at cc_UManitoba.CA>
> Date: Thu, 1 Feb 1996 07:24:04 -0600 (CST)
> Subject: Re: peat as substrate
> Dont add composted manure! The organic matter is way too high ... 
> generally a soil substrate should not have more than 20% organic matter 
> or the macrophyte growth decreases. Peat is not a problem, however, since 
> the organic matter is 'refractive', that is , it is not easily oxidized. 
> One of the main benefits of a soil substrate is that it is anaerobic ... 
> Dr. Dave
> ------------------------------

The statement about peat is not strictly true.  Peat is 'refractive' in a 
bog where the pH is ungodly acidic; that's why it builds up over time.  
However, put it in a spot with a pH conducive to bacterial growth and add 
somoe nitrogen (as in a garden or the bottom of your aquarium) and it 
will rot.  Some people get away with it in the bottom of an aquarium, 
some don't.  I was in the latter group and had to tear my first tank 
down.  I now stick to low organic matter substrates--plenty accumulates 
down there over time.  Note that I do not have heating coils; perhaps you 
can get away with more organic matter if you use them.

Paul Bucciaglia in MN where its probably a lot colder than where you are 
(save for folks in Fargo, ND or the artic)