Originally Posted by 1077
Might google .."Diana Walstad's method" or google...miracle grow organic potting soil in planted aquarium's.
Miracle grow Organic potting soil is used by many with planted tank's (myself included).
It does contain peat.(other ingredient's to benefit plant's)
The Miracle grow potting MIX is different than the miracle grow potting SOIL.(the MGO potting soil work's well)
If you choose to use another form of peat, you want pure spaghum peat moss with no pearlite,laterite.(lawn and garden store,walmart)
If you are also going to use flourite (iron enriched clay) .you won't need the red clay you mention.
I use canadian sphagum peat moss from building supply stores. a 1'x1'x3' cube is $11 or so. No ferts added.
1" of that with 1" of play sand on top and
1" of pro choice select red. (which is a baked clay used for baseball infields). I did have to contact the factory and the they replied with a local supplier which ordered a pallet. I got 4 50 pound bags for $7-8 per bag $32 total.
factory link: Pro's Choice Products
So for $20 you get enough for several large aquariums. Anything left over can be used in the garden/flow bed whatever.
I put a layer the wet that layer (not so much water things start floating) then level and clean and add the next layer.
After that and before filling the tank I plant the plants then fill the tank by pouring water over a dish.
I have found that results in an almost totally clear tank right from the start. But even if you are not that careful and the tank is cloudy, it clears in a day or two as long as you don't use a filter or circulate the water.