Home

Descriptions

Fish (by common or latin name)

Barbs

Cyprinoidae
Catfish Siluroidei
Cichlids Cichlidae
Killifish Cyprinodontidae
Labyrinth fish Anabantoidei
Livebearer Poeciliidae
American Characins Characoidae
African Characins Characoidae

Other Fish

Diseases

Invertebrates

Aquarium Plants

Biotopes

Food

Marine fish

Algae
Products

 
Web aquaworld

General

General

Books

Fish pictures

Image section

Articles

Great Names
My tanks

Site history

Forums

Labyrinth fish

Dwarf cichlids

Links

Links

Labyrinth fish

Linksites

Other

This site

Map

FAQ

Site policies
Acknowledgements
References
Awards
E-mail

 


Peat

Picture of Peat fiber


Peat can be quite usefull to create a suitable environment for many fish.
On this page you will find some information on what peat is, how it can be used and why peat does what it does.

What is peat

Peat are the remains of swamp plants, leaves, trees, braches, and other plant material. To get these materials to decompose completely, oxygen is required. In swamps, oxygen is limited, and decomposition halts at a certain stage, leaving partly decomposed materials lying on the bottom of the swamp. Over the years this layer grows constantly, and this is what we call peat.

Why is peat usefull for aquariums?

Peat can be usefull for the hobby in many different ways. Peat has a few characteristics that enable us to mimic circumstances that occur in the natural habitat of some of our aquarium fish. If peat is brought in contact with water it will start leeching tannins and H+ ions into the water. Tannins are beneficial since they inhibit bacteria growth, and the H+ ions will turn our mostly alkaline tap water slowly into slightly acidic water. The GH is reduced, since the KH will be broken down first, and peat also has a limited ability to extract dissolved solids from the water, reducing the DH by a degree or two. In English, hard alkaline tap water will be changed into suitable aquariumwater by using peat. If you plan on keeping Lake Malawi cichlids, or livebearers, the sentence above may cause you to frown, since it's complete non-sense from your point of view. But for most fish neutral to slighly acidic water, low to medium hard, is the best way to keep them.

What kind of peat can I use?

Most aquariumbooks, if they have a section about peat, will tell you that not every kind of peat is suitable to use. Usually, the information halts there, and you're just left with questions about peat. The first peat that shouldn't be used is the kind you can find in garden centers, since often fertilizers have been added to it, to benefit plant growth. Other stuff that may have been added are fungicides and pH buffers. All very suitable for the plants in the garden, but completely wrong for use in our tanks. You should look for natural peat, without additions of any kind. Often you can find these in the pond section in large packages, but they can also be found next to the other bags with garden soil. Then there is the confusion between Spagnum peat moss, and spagnum peat. The moss is still the plant, not or hardly decomposed, the second is peat from a swamp,

If you have any comments please mail to aquaworld

 

All images, information, text, and other information/items in this site © Aquaworld website as described in the Berne convention.