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Re: Long lived peat tanks


I'm setting up my first plant tank in a 55g and plan it to be a low tech
tank with peat and sandblasting grit as the substrate.  This is mainly
because laterite is not available in my country and my water is very hard
and alkaline. Ph is 7.0, Gh is 24 dh and Kh is 12 dh on cheap test kits. 
Also plan to inject Co2 with Diy Yeast method.  Plan to keep easy plants
and fishes for starters.  Kept successful goldfish tank but never tried
planted tanks before.  

Is there anybody who has successful peat tanks aside from Neil Frank? 
Successful meaning thriving fish and plants in tanks more than 2 or 3 years
old. I read that peat substrates will run out of nutrients after six
months.  Do you fertilized peat tanks or is the decaying peat enough food
for the plants?  I understand that organic matters will go anaerobic very
quickly that is why N. Frank suggested that when using peat you don't use
digging fish or creatures and no gravel vaccuming.  Comment and suggestions
on anything peaty welcome.  :)

I am also planning to setup a 30g with clay and loam soil fertilized by
pond lily tabs for comparison purposes.  Read it from Jim Kelly's article. 
Since there is no vermiculite available,  I wonder if this local golden
clay I found will be a good substitute?  Are all clays rich in iron?  Can I
test for iron by soaking the clay in a jar and use an iron test kit? 
Haven't bought Iron test kit yet.

I like to try the Dupla stuff but it isn't available here and having it
ship all the way to the Philippines would be too much.  Maybe someday when
I get the hang of this plant stuff.  Many thanks.

Jonathan Uy
5js at usc_edu.ph
Cebu, Philippines