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Thread: Amazon theme with peat moss?

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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    Amazon theme with peat moss?

    I'm trying to find out what plants I can get besides the amazon sword. Any suggestions? And to get the nice color and soft water would using peat as a substrate work? I know it would be like mud but it should make the water soft. Maybe it's a bad idea.

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    wmgorum's Avatar
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    if you use peat, your water is going to turn a tea-color brown from the release of tannins... it's not very attractive IMHO. I had a similar issue when I put driftwood into my discus tank... it took it weeks for all the tannins to leach out of the wood and the water to clear up.

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    spdskr's Avatar
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    Peat will soften your water and also turn it tea colored. Creating an Amazon "blackwater" ecosystem with plants may be somewhat difficult as blackwater streams and rivers in the Amazon typically have few true aquatic plants. The pH of these streams can be very acidic (< 5.0) and the substrate is often composed of sand and decomposing tree leaves (hence the tannins and tea colored, acidic water). Other amazon streams are "white" water that lack the acidity and tannis. Aquatic and marginal plants are often present in these later systems.

    If you plan to house various species of tetras, discus, dwarf cichlids, and the like and do not have access to RO water, placing a bag of processed peat in a canister filter can help condition your water. For lower light levels, try various sword plants, vallisneria and saggiteria as these species are either semi-aquatics or true aquatics native to the western hemisphere.

    I would stay away from peat as a substrate if you plan to have larger fish in the tank as things will get messy. I use a thin layer or peat under my substrate in my planted tanks, but it is more for the plants roots than a water conditioner.

    Sorry for the long post. Best of luck with the new setup.

    Duane

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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spdskr View Post
    Peat will soften your water and also turn it tea colored. Creating an Amazon "blackwater" ecosystem with plants may be somewhat difficult as blackwater streams and rivers in the Amazon typically have few true aquatic plants. The pH of these streams can be very acidic (< 5.0) and the substrate is often composed of sand and decomposing tree leaves (hence the tannins and tea colored, acidic water). Other amazon streams are "white" water that lack the acidity and tannis. Aquatic and marginal plants are often present in these later systems.

    If you plan to house various species of tetras, discus, dwarf cichlids, and the like and do not have access to RO water, placing a bag of processed peat in a canister filter can help condition your water. For lower light levels, try various sword plants, vallisneria and saggiteria as these species are either semi-aquatics or true aquatics native to the western hemisphere.

    I would stay away from peat as a substrate if you plan to have larger fish in the tank as things will get messy. I use a thin layer or peat under my substrate in my planted tanks, but it is more for the plants roots than a water conditioner.

    Sorry for the long post. Best of luck with the new setup.

    Duane
    Thanks for the reply. I actually want the tan color with swords and vals. Along with some driftwood that is water logged, and some that is going to be actually floating. I have a mesh bag that I filled with peat that is soaking now so it can go into the filter. My own question is will the carban in the filter pad take out the tannis?

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    spdskr's Avatar
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    Activated carbon when fresh will remove the tannins but this will only last for a couple of weeks until the carbon becomes used up. Soak the peat for a few days before adding it to the filter and this will cut down on the tannins. You may find the driftwood will produce more tannis than the peat, so give it a good soaking also.

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Use Purigen.

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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    What will the Purigen do? What about not using carbon? Once it starts to not take it out then I have to change the pad and then I will lose the color.

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    It's probably going to be pretty dark at first. Darker than you'd like.

    You could always just use extract you can buy at the store. A peat substrate seems like it'll be messy.

    You don't have to use anything if you just like really dark water. Carbon will interfere with any fertilizing you do, anyway.

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