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Silica vs peat (was Re: BOUNCE killietalk at aka_org: Non-member submission...)
"by way of Barry J. Cooper" wrote:
> Date: Sat, 4 Mar 1978 20:26:32 -0400
> To: Digest <killietalk at aka_org>
> From: whatever <whatever at ipro_net>
> Subject: silica sand
> Where can I find silica sand for spawning Nothos? Is there a better
> substrate? Also can someone give me some spawning tips for guntheri and
> Michael Gray
> 161 SmithBallard #3
> Richmond, Ky 40475
> whatever at iclub_org
You get silica sand at your local building supplies company. Fish stores
don't carry it. It damages eggs and makes them too easy to find and eat,
so it is basically a terrible substrate for spawning, IMHO.
Get Sphagnum Peat moss from your garden shop. A big bale is usually a
few bucks. Boil some in a big pot, and rinse well in a fish net. If it
has lots of sticks and twigs, pick them out by hand if you want.
Squeezing the peat against them later can damage eggs. Jiffy peat
pellets from K-Mart work, too, and have no sticks.
To store wet peat, set up a tank or bucket with a UGF filter, and
aereate, as if the peat was gravel. It stays sweet and clean a long
time, that way. The storage water becomes superb peat-extract water, aka
The boiling does two things. It extracts some excess humic acids to make
the peat a less aggressive acidifier/water-softener, but the most
important thing is that the air is driven out so it will sink right
away. Otherwise it floats for about 3 weeks. :-)
Either use it as the substrate in your Notho tanks, or put some in a
container that they can spawn in. I sometimes cut a 2-3" hole in the lid
of a shallow margarine cup, and add a few marbles for ballast and
something for him to push her against to induce egg release. The lid
edges keep them from scattering the peat out quite so much. [Opaque
works much better than clear, BTW.] Small ceramic soup bowls with a lip
intended for a lid are excellent, too. The lip also turns the scattered
The peat should be 1/2" or more deep to discourage egg eating. Check at
I drain in a net, gently squeezing out most free water. The wad is
placed on a folded paper towel stack (3-4 sheets) and pressed gently to
further dry. I put it in a white bowl and check under sunlight or a
halogen reading lamp for amber eggs.
PS Join the list. It's fun.
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntley1 at home dot com
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