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[APD] Re: Peat in substrate

Hey gang,

Steve Pushak writes:
> I have suggested to use no more than about 5% peat
> to soil by weight or
> about 25% by volume. Thomas suggests using a couple
> of large double hand
> scoops. Either way it should provide enough organic
> material to do the
> job.

I agree. I doesn't take much. Further, if you don't
add it yourself, the tank itself will add it via mulm
over time. Adding peat, or any other other humus, will
only speed along a natural tank maturing process... 

> I haven't read any qualitative descriptions of
> Profile except what Tom
> Barr wrote about it. I believe he described it as a
> highly porous
> material with relatively large grains. Similar
> porous materials like
> vermiculite tend to float and therefore need to be
> soaked in water for a
> week or two before they will sink. Since Profile
> probably sinks
> immediately, I have doubts about its texture &
> bioavailability of
> nutrients.

Again, I agree. IMO, Clay products, including
Flourite, turface, etc,  are woefully inadequate at
delivering nutrients without help of strong humic
substances like peat (etc) at tank set-up. Eventually,
these products will be as good as any other via mulm
and bacterial processes to unleash the goodies

> If somebody in the Vancouver area has
> some Profile, I'd like
> to take a look at it & we could even run some simple
> tests to see how
> much iron it solubalizes. The idea would be to mix
> some with about 5%
> peat by weight in a sealed jar of water & then test
> iron levels after a
> week.

How do you propose to test this? Bioavailable Fe seems
to be difficult to test for botanists and geologists
in solution, so how do you expect to do so? If you
can, why can't we? I'm not trying to be a smart-ass,

> There are good reasons not to use fine materials
> like vermiculite, clay
> or dirt. The mess factor is a big one. If you have
> chelated trace
> nutrients, you really don't need to worry too much
> about iron. On the
> other hand, Tom has said that iron availability in
> the substrate may be
> a growth limiting factor when other nutrient needs
> are taken care of.

When did he say that? 

> You have to ask yourself if you want to deal with
> pruning or harvesting
> a lot of plant material every week. You also have to
> worry about certain
> types of plants colonizing the entire tank.

I'll take that problem any day:) Come up with a
solution and you'll be a hero.

Certain types of plants dominating is baloney. We, as
aquarists, have way more to do with that than the
aquarium conditions themselves....

> Steve in Vancouver where the sun is playing hide and
> go seek with the
> clouds but spring is definitely well under way.

I love Spring, but football is on the way:)

Best wishes,
John Wheeler

> ------------------------------

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