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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Diy blackwater

Is there a standard solution I can mix myself to maintain low pH?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 01:56 AM
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Tetra Blackwater Extract

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 03:41 AM
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It will mainly depend on what your starting Ph is.

High Ph above 7.5 will probably need RO water to get down to below 7.0.
If all you need to do is take it down a couple points like from 7.2-7.0 Tetra will work fine or even just boil 15 large oak leaves for 15 minutes then put the liquid into bottles/jugs for use later.(leaves after boiling can still have some tannins and can be placed directly into the tank)

Peat can also be used but again it will take a good boiling in order to work and only takes the Ph down a little.

The coloration of your tank water will get murky or at the very least lightly tanned (with leaves or peat). If this bothers you don't use them.

Also you should strain the peat or leaves from the water if you don't want anything floating around.

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Last edited by Imi Statue; 01-11-2013 at 03:44 AM. Reason: added info.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 04:03 AM
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With peat you can boil it for a while to get it going then just let it steep for a few days. This becomes your concentrate. You'll have to mix it with tap or RO to get your working solution. Then just keep a bit on hand for your WCs

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 05:41 AM
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You could also get one of those mesh bags, I think they used to sell them for aqua clear filters, or use old nylons, or something similar, stuff it with peat, and stick it in your filter (or sump or something).

It will get exhausted and need changing periodically, and need some experimentation to determine what amount you need to get the results you desire, but it's pretty low-effort, and inexpensive as well.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Could I get away with using the seed starter kit peat moss or a palm sized amount of MGOPS stuffed in a water filter sack?

Will this reduce pH slowly, which I prefer, anything I should look out for?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AirstoND View Post
Could I get away with using the seed starter kit peat moss or a palm sized amount of MGOPS stuffed in a water filter sack?

Will this reduce pH slowly, which I prefer, anything I should look out for?

Just hoping for some feeback on this before I carry on with it?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 12:05 AM
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I used sphagnum moss for a substrate under a sand cap and it dropped my ph almost a point. Went from 7.6 out of the tap to 6.8 in the aquarium.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirstoND View Post
Could I get away with using the seed starter kit peat moss or a palm sized amount of MGOPS stuffed in a water filter sack?

Will this reduce pH slowly, which I prefer, anything I should look out for?

I didn't say anything because I'm really not sure. I think a lot of the Miracle-Gro stuff contains fertilizers, and I'd be worried about additives in seed starters. They may both be just straight peat moss, but I don't know. I'd read the packaging carefully and see if anyone has any experience.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 10:02 PM
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DIY blackwater extract is actually very easy to make... i have been making my own since i was 12. find hardwood trees that form thick bark, like oak trees. the denser the bark, the better. find some of the bark that is easy to collect(the bark on rotting logs works great) and collect enough to fill about half a large coffee can. take them home, soak the bark in a pot of water on the stove, on low, for about half a day, then grind them up in a coffee grinder.
if you can find half rotten logs, you may be able to skip the soaking step and go straight for grinding it.

pour the ground up bark in a pot and boil it in water for a couple hours. strain the bark out, and you have blackwater extract. i like to go a step farther and take the gallon or so of blackwater and concentrate it by letting it simmer down. i like it to be as thick as motor oil.

ground up oak bark in a pan:


what it looks like in a glass, after it concentrated to the point of beginning to crystallize:


what a tablespoon does to a 40B. this pick was taken with a smartphone shoved right up against the glass:
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auban View Post
DIY blackwater extract is actually very easy to make... i have been making my own since i was 12. find hardwood trees that form thick bark, like oak trees. the denser the bark, the better. find some of the bark that is easy to collect(the bark on rotting logs works great) and collect enough to fill about half a large coffee can. take them home, soak the bark in a pot of water on the stove, on low, for about half a day, then grind them up in a coffee grinder.
if you can find half rotten logs, you may be able to skip the soaking step and go straight for grinding it.

pour the ground up bark in a pot and boil it in water for a couple hours. strain the bark out, and you have blackwater extract. i like to go a step farther and take the gallon or so of blackwater and concentrate it by letting it simmer down. i like it to be as thick as motor oil.

ground up oak bark in a pan:


what it looks like in a glass, after it concentrated to the point of beginning to crystallize:


what a tablespoon does to a 40B. this pick was taken with a smartphone shoved right up against the glass:
And how many points did you get your ph down?

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 10:27 PM
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i cant really answer that. for me, less than half a point. for you, maybe a full point or maybe not at all. its not easy to predict how well blackwater extract/peat/driftwood will lower your ph.

i have had peat lower my ph quite a bit in one city but not at all in another. a lot has to do with how your water is buffered.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 10:27 PM
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double post
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Does the pan also double to make a tastier omellette or souffle afterwards?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 12:46 PM
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Thanks, Does the pan also double to make a tastier omellette or souffle afterwards?
it can make an omelette. souffle, well, that i dont know.
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