Peat moss in filter for reducing the pH - How frequently should the media be replaced? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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Peat moss in filter for reducing the pH - How frequently should the media be replaced?

Hi,

I am running my filters with small bag of peat moss for reducing the pH. My tap pH is close to 7.8 and I want to bring this down to 6.8-7. I understand that peat moss will initially reduce/stabilize the pH but eventually once the effect wears out the pH will rise. This means that peat moss in the filter bag needs to be replaced in a specific interval. In general what would be this interval?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 08:06 AM
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Peat is organic matter, its constantly being broken down by bacteria. Releases lots of humic acid/tannins which yellows water at 1st but even after that starts to fade it still works pretty good. Id just replace 1/3-1/2 of bag every 2-3months.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Peat is organic matter, its constantly being broken down by bacteria. Releases lots of humic acid/tannins which yellows water at 1st but even after that starts to fade it still works pretty good. Id just replace 1/3-1/2 of bag every 2-3months.
Thanks for the info. Setting my reminders accordingly...
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 06:31 AM
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Hi,

I am running my filters with small bag of peat moss for reducing the pH. My tap pH is close to 7.8 and I want to bring this down to 6.8-7. I understand that peat moss will initially reduce/stabilize the pH but eventually once the effect wears out the pH will rise. This means that peat moss in the filter bag needs to be replaced in a specific interval. In general what would be this interval?
My tap water is 7.6 and my plants and fish are doing just fine. If your tap water is hard there is not much you can do except use RO water. Injecting CO2 will also lower your PH but it depends what your KH is, the higher your KH the harder it will be to lower PH with CO2 or peat moss. Really it often comes down to working with what you have. If your water is hard then select your plants and fish accordingly.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Peat is organic matter, it’s constantly being broken down by bacteria. Releases lots of humic acid/tannins which yellows water at 1st but even after that starts to fade it still works pretty good. I’d just replace 1/3-1/2 of bag every 2-3months.
Thanks for the info. Setting my reminders accordingly...
A reminder is great but I hope you have a ph pen to check the ph at a swim. What if your ph starts rising faster than expected? That's your sign to change.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sudhirr View Post
Hi,

I am running my filters with small bag of peat moss for reducing the pH. My tap pH is close to 7.8 and I want to bring this down to 6.8-7. I understand that peat moss will initially reduce/stabilize the pH but eventually once the effect wears out the pH will rise. This means that peat moss in the filter bag needs to be replaced in a specific interval. In general what would be this interval?
That is your GH and KH? From all the reading I have done those are more important factors then actual PH numbers.

My well water once off gassed and stabilized has a PH of about 8 but a KH-4, GH-1. I use a GH booster to raise it to about 5. Really you want the whole picture before you start trying to attain a certain goal with water parameters which can be a pain at times.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 08:18 AM
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It's never a simple as it seems

Peat strips carbonates, so it will reduce KH which will lower pH. But you can't just watch KH because those humic and fulvic acids also reduce pH since they are weak acids, but this is in addition to the effect of lowering KH.

It makes for a nice blackwater tank, and it's actually very good for livestock. It's just not as clear or clean looking. Nobody can give you a timeline because the rate of depletion will depend on your water.

I'd just monitor for when it stops brining KH down (or pH as a proxy). Make note of how long that was, and then plan to change it a little more frequently than that (like if it was 8 weeks, plan for every 6).

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