Will peat moss soften my water? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-11-2008, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Will peat moss soften my water?

Hi there,

for those who don't know Australia is in the middle of the biggest drought since records have been kept, where we are our water storages are at 13% of capacity so the council have tapped a bore (information I only found out last night) to supplement the town now thats all good and well but was talking to a friend last night and that will kill my fish quick smart, will peat moss in the filter soften it? will it stay soft and how much will i need I have 130lt tank

Regards Darren
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 01:40 AM
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Just wondering, what is wrong with "bore" water and why will it kill your fish?

What kind of fish do you keep?

Yes peat moss will soften water and lower pH, possibly make it tea-colour. Its effects are hard to control, and not all peat moss is the same.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 03:18 AM
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I used peat moss three times and it did not lower my PH. I think you have to use LOTS of it to have that effect...like pounds of it! It did color my water but my charcoal filter made it clear again. I used handfuls but not pounds.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 04:23 AM
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You'd need a filter that is dedicated to just peat moss. Depends what you mean by soften. It will not remove anything, hence will not decrease TDS. It will lower your pH.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyGal View Post
I used peat moss three times and it did not lower my PH. I think you have to use LOTS of it to have that effect...like pounds of it! It did color my water but my charcoal filter made it clear again. I used handfuls but not pounds.
You can't use peat w/ carbon at the same time...

It is 100% counter-productive.

Carbon will adsorb the tannins and organics from the peat, so you are basically wasting the peat, and wasting the carbon.

You can only use one or the other at one time.

I'm surprised you didn't know, but now you do!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 04:34 AM
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Also, I think almost ALL hobbyists don't need to mess with their pH. Unless it is on the extreme ends, you are better not adjusting unless you are very experienced.

I am a beginner too, and from what I know, keeping pH stable much more important than finding an "ideal" pH. More often than not, you will end up with fluctuating pH as you try to fiddle it. Bad for fish, bad for plants, bad for your time and efforts.

pH is just one factor out of many that affects fish and plants. It's easier to find fish that are naturally suited for your local water (unless you are doing RO). You will be happier and the fish will be happier.

pH is on a logarithmic scale, pH of 6 is ten times more acidic than ph of 7. Peat not only changes the pH. The mechanics of peat filtration is incredibly complex. pH reduction is just one of its effects. Also, the colour of water from peat is not a good measure of its effect. A tea-coloured tank does not mean the peat is effective.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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our bore water is extremely hard, and we have/will be keeping angels and rummy nose tetras.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 03:36 PM
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My tap water is very hard too and I messed around with my water chemistry a lot when I first set up my tank thinking that I had to have soft water to raise South American dwarf Cichlids. Tried peat and the various Seachem buffers and learned the hard way that it simply wasn't necessary or worth the hassle and expense. I ended up getting an RO unit which is a great way to soften hard water. Stopped using it though as it simply isn't necessary to adjust pH unless you are keeping an ultra sensitive species. Fish and plants are very adaptable but as stated you have to give them a stable environment to adapt to.
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