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Thread: Using Peat Moss to lower PH

  1. #1

    Default Using Peat Moss to lower PH

    I want to use peat moss to lower the PH in my Bolivian Ram tank. If it is possible to fit a piece of peat in my AC30 filter in place of the carbon filter I would like to do that and keep it clean and neat.

    Does anyone have advice on the best way to do this and where I can find peat moss?

  2. #2

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    any garden center and i believe you can get peat tabs for the aquarium too. i would just put some in a fine bag so it didnt get messy. it will turn the water color quite dark i hope you understand that. i also wouldnt expect it to lower the PH to much, maybe .2?

  3. #3
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    I've used peat before in a cannister filter and I believe it was pretty effective at lowering PH. I don't recall by how much but I'm pretty sure in my case it was .5 or more. It may depend partly on the starting characteristics of your tapwater. In an AC30 I would definitely use a filter bag. It will turn the water to a light tea colour, which may not bother you if you're going for a South American 'black water' look.

    I've used resin pillows to soften water (without peat) - I didn't measure what their effect on PH was - it might indirectly cause it to 'lower' just by making it less stable (ie: de-buffering the water).

  4. #4

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    Depends on the hardness and the amount of peat. reduce your surface movement a little if you as that will help some. Go with Jcushing's fine bag idea and start with a half cup and see where that gets you after a week. Be ver7y careful and move slowly lowering pH is a much trickier deal than raising it. It is much more volatile a situation.
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  5. #5

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    Is there a more effective way to lower PH that doesn't deeply stain the water? I can handle a little staining but we prefer a clearer color water.

  6. #6

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    reverse osmosis water filters

  7. #7
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    What is your water like out of the tap? My water is close to neutral out of the tap, but very soft...so I don't have to do much to get it soft enough for successful spawns of blackwater species. I usually use "knee highs" (nylons) for the peat, rinsing thoroughly, but it will give a nice tint to the water...which is very natural-looking, in my opinion. Oak leaves, almond leaves, etc., will have similar effects.

    RO filters will soften water, if you need that....at a higher cost than peat.
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  8. #8
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    Reverse Osmosis does not lower pH, it lowers hardness. However, because it removes much of the buffering capacity of the water, it is easier to bring the pH down artificially, i.e., with peat or other substances.

    Lowering the pH is not necessary for breeding Bolivians, softening the water is.
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  9. #9

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    RO water is typically slightly acidic. As is pure water.
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  10. #10
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    No, it's not. The pH is hard to read due to the minimal minerals in it, but if you use an electronic meter rather than trusting the cheap chemical junk, you will find that the pH is dependent on the source water, which is almost always alkaline. R/O does not remove everything; if it did, the pH would invariably be 7.0. And "pure" water is an oxymoron, as it is immediately contaminated upon exposure to the air.
    Happiness may be the door to Heaven,
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  11. #11

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    Okay pure water is 7.0, however there really is no such thing as pure water. Once the water encounters the atmosphere it absorbs carbon dioxide and goes a little acidic if one has a good enough RO system. The one I test with is good enough, perhaps others are not. My tap is 8.4 and my RO is acidic.
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  12. #12
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    Chemical tests are crude and not at all accurate at very low GH. The only way to get true pH readings on purified water is with an electronic meter. There isn't enough in the water for the chemicals to pick up the actual pH, and the chemicals react as if it were acidic.

    This information comes from a friend who was a chemist and quality engineer at Upjohn Pharmaceutical. I used to get de-ionized water from him, which he got from work, before R/O became commonplace.

    When new, my R/O reduced hardness to about 2 ppm, and I tested with both chemical and an electronic which was carefully calibrated. I threw the chemicals in the trash after that. Electronic meters aren't that expensive any more; if you have 70+ tanks to test you really can't afford to use chemicals all the time.
    Happiness may be the door to Heaven,
    But Pleasure is not the Key.

  13. #13

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    Chemical tests come down to the indicators and the pipet, yes our little kits we buy are crude in comparison to a decent digital meter. But don't make me draw pipets and go chemical shopping, accuracy is all dependent on the method. No one should be concerned with any thing beyond tenths for a fish tank.

    I will concede cost easily as even a vigilant hobbyist with only one tank will easily pay off a meter quickly. Heck I don't know why I am arguing it I don't really use more than smell and touch any more. ;)
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  14. #14

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    Uh... Okay... I have wet water and I put it in the tank...

    I only have one of those Tetra test strip kits and I think the ph reads around 7.4.

    Is there a reason water from a home softener system is not acceptable?

  15. #15

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    One issue with softened water is that most systems use salt to soften by exchanging magnesium and calcium ions for sodium ions. I am honestly not sure how sodium affects our fish over the long term.

    If you wanted to use peat to further soften the water I would replace your carbon with a small bag of peat and see what it does over a week.
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