Soilmaster Select pH drop - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Soilmaster Select pH drop

I recently converted my 20H to a planted tank. I put in about 2 cups of peat moss and a small container of laterite, (I learned this from the forum, a sticky maybe) as substrate conditioners, then covered both with about 3 plus inches of charcoal colored SMS Pro.

Using Flourish Excel for CO2, which doesnt affect pH, I've noticed a significant drop in pH, from about 7.0 to 6.0.

I was under the impression the peat moss buried in the substrate would not affect the pH as would peat put in a filter for that exact reason, to lower the pH.

I'm thinking I should add carbonate or bicarbonate to up the alkalinity and pH a little.

Any one else run into this? I'm thinking now I shouldn't have added the peat.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 01:44 AM
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It was probably the soilmaster, it dropped the kh in one of my tanks by about 8 degrees. It eventually went away with water changes, my fish and plants didn't seem to mind.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Soilmaster Select pH drop

I will leave it alone for now and just do my weekly PWCs. I will monitor the pH more closely when I introduce DIY CO2. Since that will cause a pH drop as well. Some buffering may be needed.

Waiting on a diffuser, and thinking about getting a drop checker too.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:01 AM
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I have NO experience with Soilmaster.

That being said, I kind of think 2 cups of peat is a lot of peat. Usually just a fine layer, almost like a dusting, is used.

I don't doubt the experience of a hobbyist who knows his stuff like Yoink, but I think the pH drop may be more about the peat than the Soilmaster.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 06:55 PM
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 08:56 PM
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Soilmaster dumped my KH, and therefore PH, for a while in every tank I used it in.

Plants and fish were always happy - I got in the habit of adding a bit of baking soda every week with the water change to keep it a little higher, and it balanced out on its own after a couple months.
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