Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Mid-Hudson Valley, New York
Yes, acid, by definition, lowers pH.
Yes, acid, by definition, lowers pH. But like Sean said, it has to leach into the water column to do it.
I have no acid leaching into the water column that I have been able to detect in my 20. But I didn't use a large amount of peat, and it is capped by a good 3" of substrate above the peat- including Onyx sand, which would neutralize it anyway.
I got a little sloppy on the 10, only capped about 2", and it was so wet when I mixed it that the peat layer (which had several magnitudes of order more peat and leonardite than the 20), just sort of migrated upward as I built things up. There are a lot of tannins in the water in this tank now. Another 10, that I started fresh with, has identically the same amount of peat and leonardite, but it is mixed into the bottom inch, and was capped with 3" dry substrate. There is zero leaching of tannins in this tank. The water is crystal clear. You have to be careful to contain the peat(y) part. That, of course, is easy, right up to the first major rescaping/replanting.