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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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peat moss

what are some places to get peat cheap and are there anything i should look out for as far as ingredients? looking to drop ph slightly for a more favorable co2 reading...water is kh of 8 with a ph of 7.5
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 12:32 AM
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Most major hardware stores, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.
All garden and supply stores. You can probably get way more than you need for really cheap. Say a giant package for $5-10. Any more and it's probably more than what you need to pay for.


Basically, look for 100% peat moss, or spaghum peat moss. NO additives such as fertilizers of any sort should be listed in the ingredients. It's really simple to find these extra unwanted ingredients, they're usually printed in big letters in the front labelling as marketing to attract buyers.

As well, before using it on the main tank, first test the level that pH, GH, KH will drop by--peat moss varies from region to region, depending on where it was supplied from. Apparently the chemistry behind peat moss is really complicated. So the tannin colour in water is not a good indicator of its pH reducing capacity.

Oh yeah, peat moss tends to be hard to wet initially, it likes to float at the surface. Just pour hot water and everything should settle.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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i have heard you can put some in a bag and either place it in the tank or into the filter....any idea how much it would take to make a difference in ph...only looking for a few tenths reduction in ph
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 01:19 AM
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Second the pure sphagnum peat moss... it comes in large bales. I have tried peat a few times and each time decided it was more trouble than it was worth unless you are looking to have a blackwater tank. You didn't say how large your tank was. I tried it with a 50 gallon and with the hard water I have here it takes a lot of peat to achieve much affect. The best result I had was making a "tea" by stuffing many handfuls of peat into the leg of a pair of pantyhose. I then put that it a 5 gallon container of water and let it sit a few days. Took a while and some weights on top to saturate the peat and it still floated. There is a lot of fine powdered moss in peat so you need to also filter the water (and treat with something like Prime) before putting it in the tank. I filtered it through one of the fine eheim white filters and still ended up with particulate matter floating around in the tank. It settles but hard to avoid. I had to put a couple of gallons of this 'tea" into my tank to bring the ph down 1 point. I kind of like the color from the tannin but at an effective dose it definitely darkened the water enough to cut the light to the plants. If you make a large batch of peat in pantyhose like I did you can re-use it a number of times. I kept it soaking all week. Some people make a tea by boiling peat water and concentrating it, also helps make sure it is sterile. After a few weeks of water changes I got tired of dealing with re-soaking and filtering the peat. After a number of years of different experiments in altering ph (best result I had was with RO water, avoid the chemicals) I came to the conclusion that it is way better to leave it alone unless you intend to raise a species of fish or plant with extremely specific requirements.

Instead of trying to drop your ph to get a more favorable CO2 reading why don't you just up your CO2?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 01:20 AM
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It's hard to say how much affect it'll have. Peat is organic so there's lots of variables.

You can try to put a bit in a bag inside the filter at a time, then test the pH daily until you get the desired pH. Then occasionally add/remove more peat as it is spent.

Put the peat in the bag upstream in the filter, so loose peat bits get caught by other filter media.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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okay if peat is not the "easy" answer than can i get some other options on ph reduction? help me please
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 07:21 PM
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Lowering the pH by using peat or other buffers give you a false CO2 reading.
The only way to get a better CO2 reading is to add more CO2.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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okay so iam running two diy co2 on my 40 breeder guess i should go to three bottles then?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 03:22 PM
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use RO, you can buy it by the gallon just about anywhere.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 10:44 PM
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Yeah, decreasing your pH won't add any CO2 into your system. Just makes your readings off. If you are trying to decrease it for the sake of your fish, then I would go with RO. I am going to do a combination of RO, tap, and peat because I want to achieve that blackwater look.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 02:07 PM
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OK, seems there is a little confusion. Are you trying to lower your pH? Or are you trying to increase the CO2 in your aquarium?

If It's the CO2 (which will decrease your pH):
Is there anything on your system that can be outgassing the CO2 you already put in?
Are you running Bio-wheels, HOB filters with a low water level, airstones, anything that creates a lot of surface turbulence?

Otherwise as said, adding Ro water to your water to your water change will lower your pH.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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must be confused ...i thought i read on the co2 calculator that a lower ph would put me in a more concentrated co2 level....right now my kh is 8 and my ph is about 7.3(but hard to tell with the tetra ph test which goes from blue to green in the 7.5 to 7.0 rating) the accuracy of the ph kit is crucial to co2 amounts....so i thought lowering my ph would give me a higher co2 concentration....help me understand PLEASE
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-13-2007, 12:21 AM
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i wouldnt even mess with it, i tried ro water and peat and just about everything except chemical buffers for my discus. now and for the past two years (after i gave up) the discus have been spawnin with a dkh of 3 a dgh of over 15 and a ph of 7.2.


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