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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #621

> The bottom line is not to have too much organic matter in the aquarium
>substrate.  As many people have mentioned previously we
>do not want to duplicate the marshes and wetlands found in nature where
>organic matter can be up to 40 percent or more of the soil substrate.  May
>be Neil Frank and Karen Randall can shed light on
>the amount of organic matter in the substrate in their aquaria. 

When I use soil, I prefer to use the loamey/clayey soil I have in my
backyard. It is in the woods - pine trees and various decidious ones. I like
to use this soil because it works pretty good, settles down quickly
underwater... it is rich in iron, not contaminated by chemicals, etc.... but
most importantly,   I have a reasonably constant and unlimited supply.
There is a small amount of OM, but this is difficult to quantify.

I have also used peat moss as a substrate. Now this is HIGH in OM and I
think provided me with a sufficient source of CO2 in one tank for over five
years. I did not have any problems from day one ... except for all the
crypts dying and tanking a few years to reappear.

Neil Frank      Aquatic Gardeners Association         Raleigh, NC
      The Aquatic Gardener - journal of the AGA -  now in its seventh year!!