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Peat Moss

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I got a packet of Peat Moss on the weekend. Now I know it can be used in a planted tank. My question is, how? Does it need to be boiled and rinsed? Is the actual peat used in the tank or only the "extract"? Can a small layer of it be used under neath the gravel inside a shallow glass pot/dish the way I have my plants planted? If so, how much? If it is possible to overdose with it, can it cause harm to young fry and mature bettas? Can it adversely affect the water quality in a cycled planted tank? My pH is between 6.5 and 7.2. But that might be the ammonia in the cycling tank lowering the pH. I have a small amount of shell grit in this 80 litre tank, but should it be hardening the water/rising the pH? Because it's not. My GH and KH are not much higher than 17.9, so I think it is safe to keep the shell grit in there anyway. Could the addition of peat and ketapang drastically affect the pH of an 80 litre planted cycled fry tank? Thanks in advance :(

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Hi Stefan. What did you buy it for? To use as a substrate? to use as an alternative to IAL? to use as an extract/water conditioner? To make the water softer or to make the plants grow better? Just curious about what you're aiming to accomplish. I have some which I am currently soaking, with a view to using it as a substrate for bettas, the idea being that the tannins it releases will have a similar effect on the water as IAL or tannins from driftwood. Bear in mind that I do not, as a general rule, siphon the bottom of my tanks :(. This will be a bit of an experiment.

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this explains it better than i can.


i'd use about 2-3cm of peat and then 5cm of gravel in a tank. Just change quantity for different things (keep ratio) I have no idea on effecting ph/ect but i assume if you do regualr water changes, and don't dig the peat up, it won't effect the ph that much?

No idea on boiling. If you do it will take the tannins away a bit, but not sure about the stuff that makes it useful. Should be ok if boiled.

I never bother with ph and sometimes use a bit too much IAL extract (i like my water darkish) and havn't noticed the fish minding it.

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Thanks for the info and the link Liam, I found it helpful :)


I bought the peat for the sub-culture of grindal worms that Keith sent me.

But now that I have a whole bag of it (5 kg), I thought I would try it in the tank.

Now that I've thought about it, I don't want it to make the water softer, but to make the plants grow better. I also want it to release tannins and humic acids and nutrients into the water.

I don't want it to replace IAL extract, but to complement it/act with it.

I will add a small amount of shell grit into the peat in the pots to buffer the pH up...I don't want it to reduce my pH to 3.5

I think the purpose of boiling (and rinsing) the peat was to remove excess nutrients and fertilisers that might have been added. I am fairly sure that this batch didn't have any additives in it, so I will only boil it for a few minutes this time, just to be safe.

I found this while researching peat. Could it be put up in the library or made a sticky or whichever seems best? packed with info... :yes:

Edit: would help if I posted the link too *lol*

How to Grow Beautiful Aquarium Plants (cheap)! or How to Build a Soil Substrate


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