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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/t...91994-robs-20-gallon-long-journal-advice.html

My planted 20 gallon long is stocked with tetras, corys, and a couple plecos. The pH is 7.9, and my GH and KH are both over 160 ppm (9 dKH). I bought some Fluval Peat Granules to try to SLOWLY soften the water and get the pH below 7.

Does anyone have any experience with Fluval Peat Granules? I'd like to play and safe to avoid shocking any of the fish.

Also, could i put it in a Tetra Whisper hang-on-back filter?

Any other ideas would also be helpful.
 

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pH isn't really as important as it was thought to be not very long ago. What is important is the dissolved salts in the water such as those responsible for hardness (Ca2+, Mg2+, CO3 2+).

That being said, your water is on the hard side (although about 1/3 the hardness of my tap water). So you could use peat to soften your water but there are 2 problems I have found with my experiences. (note: i havent used peat granules, but only gardening peat moss inside pantyhose etc.)

1. This is the most important problem - the water change dilemma - what do you do when you need to change the water on your peat-softened tank? Adding tap water will increase the alkalinity and hardness dramatically only to slowly be brought back down again by the peat. This would likely be more detrimental to your fish than just leaving them in your tap water. The second option is to run your tap water through a pail filled with peat (hole drilled in the bottom) and have than dripping into another pail. I have done this when I was a kid and its a pretty big PITA. But if money is an issue, its cheaper than RODI or distilled water.

2. Your water will be tea coloured. Some people like it, but most dont. Just tell people its a black water biotope :)

IMHO, I would just stick with what you have got. A lot of people have it a lot worse off than you. I would just take it easy and just not get super soft water species.
 

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I recently filled the bottom tray of my fluval 305 with peat granuals inside filter bags, it lowered my ph from 7.6 to ~7.2 over a few weeks. but I am pretty unhappy with how yellow it turns my water. I do 30% water changes with 50/50 tapwater (~140 ppm) and distilled water. And it looks beautiful for 2-3 days and then it starts getting really yellow. My rams do seem pretty happy though. I plan on taking it out when I get my pressurized co2 set up.
 

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I would invest in an R.O. unit. The P.H. of the water from the R.O. unit is about 6.5. Add about 25% of tap water that should make the P.H about 7. You would not have to use peat to soften your water. It's alot faster and practically adjust the water quality any way you desire.
 

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I live in an area that pours high KH out of the tap, 7.6-8.3 pH depending on the time of year. I did the math, and figured out it would be cheaper to use ADA AAS for its pH/KH lowering potential than paying for RO filters. Besides, I get a little ferts for free through the tap water, and mix my own to adjust for the existing micronutrients.

-Philosophos
 
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