Peat to lower ph? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
JSA
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Peat to lower ph?

I'd like to set up an Amazonian tank, but as I understand it, this requires acid water. The ph of my water out of the tap is over 8. I don't know how much over because the test kit doesn't go any higher. I don't want to use chemical ph buffers, so I'm exploring other methods.

I have seen where you can add a bag of peat to the filter in a media bag to help lower ph. Has anyone tried this? Is it effective? Is there someplace I can read up on how to do it?

When I recently replaced my substrate, I powdered a thin layer of peat moss on the tank bottom before adding the gravel, but I don't see how it's going to do lot of good.

I also have a 12" chunk of of slowly softening wood in there, but again, not sure how much effect it has.

If the ph remains high, will that affect the health of my fish and plants, or just prevent viable eggs?

Thanks for any insights-

Julia
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 01:10 AM
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How big is the tank? If it isn't too big, you can use RO/DI or distilled water, with just enough GH Booster to get the GH up around 2-3 dGH, and just enough baking soda to get the KH up to about 1-2 dKH. In the long run that isn't a good idea, but some people do that. The problem is that you then need to match those conditions with every water change, which can get old pretty fast.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 01:57 AM
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I'm in the process of using eheim torf pellets which are peat pellets in attempts to lower my pH. I have a 20gal tank, I put about 1/2 the pellets into the included mesh bag and put it as the last thing in my Rena cannister filter on the 20 long.

The first few days it dropped from about 7.6 to 7, gH dropped from 5 to 3. So far it has steady there, but its only been a few days. They don't really tint the water much and are a lot easier to work with then just normal loose peat. From others that I've read, they should drop the pH down to 6.5 or so, and the gH should stay around 3 after they start working and should last a few months at least if not longer. I would assume it will take a week or two to lower to the 6.5 range if its going to get that low, which is fine because a gradual decrease is better for the critters in the tank. I was going to go with regular peat, and maybe once I understand how it works or I have some time to setup a bucket and a HOB filter and test how fast it lowers it but I don't want to experiment with my current tank. I think the pellets are probably made to work more stable than normal peat. Of course if you want the more tannin colored water, you may want to use regular peat. If I was setting up a tank and didn't have anything in it, I would experiment with a bag of spaghum peat moss and my tank param's but not while its full of plants, tetras, dwarf frogs and a bunch of different kinds of shrimp.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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The tank is 55 gallons, and already has plants and fish in it. It has been set up for 5 years, but as I mentioned, I recently replaced the substrate. I also go better lights (coralife T5ho x2 6700 K).

I plan to move my non-south american denizens to my 29 gal tank, keeping the neons, plec and cories, and planning to add ottos, a surface fish (possibly hatchets) and some dwarf cichlids. I would love to have apistos but no idea where to find them around here, so maybe blue rams.

I hadn't heard of peat pellets. I'll look them up. I really don't want to mess with buffering chemicals. I'm just wondering if it is unrealistic to attempt an Amazonian tank with such alkaline water.

Julia
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 03:32 AM
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You say your tap pH is over 8, but what does your tank read?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 04:36 AM
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I have some Miracle-gro sphagnum peat moss laying around and i was wondering if you can use it to lower pH?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinosaurodon View Post
I have some Miracle-gro sphagnum peat moss laying around and i was wondering if you can use it to lower pH?
Doing some research on the internet yielded that is contains: "The total analysis is: Nitrogen (.05%), Available phosphate (.02%), Soluble Potash (.04%). Derived from ammonium nitrate, ammonium phosphate, calcium phosphate, and potassium sulfate." I am not familiar with these products but I can tell you that I would never add this to my tank.
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