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Old 08-09-2003, 03:32 AM
Akvaristen
 
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Default Experiments with Peat Moss

In an attempt to lower the pH (and make fish and plants happy) in my 50 gl
planted tank with Cardinal and Red-eye tetra's, I am going to experiment
with my change-water. At the moment I have a pH of 8.2 and KH of 8 in the
tank. I am using a commercial "natural" Co2 system based on fermentation.
Clearly it is not doing as good as it should. I have been using it for a
while, but neglected to refill. I may swith to "pure" Co2, but have some
space limitations. I also recently increased the lighting to 110W 7500K. I
am using tap water. I have now setup a 32 gl Rubbermaid with 8 qts of
Sphagnum Peat Moss (100%), no fertilizers (I certainly hope) in a
pillowcase. The water is stirred by a powerhead and has already turned dark.
I plan to let it sit there for a week, then use it for waterchanges. I will
be tracking the pH along the way.

My question to the group is, have anyone tried similar thing? Are there any
pitfalls?

Any comments are appreciated.

Peter.



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Old 08-09-2003, 10:45 PM
Iain Miller
 
Posts: n/a
Default Experiments with Peat Moss


"Akvaristen" wrote in message
et...
In an attempt to lower the pH (and make fish and plants happy) in my 50 gl
planted tank with Cardinal and Red-eye tetra's, I am going to experiment
with my change-water. At the moment I have a pH of 8.2 and KH of 8 in the
tank. I am using a commercial "natural" Co2 system based on fermentation.
Clearly it is not doing as good as it should. I have been using it for a
while, but neglected to refill. I may swith to "pure" Co2, but have some
space limitations. I also recently increased the lighting to 110W 7500K. I
am using tap water. I have now setup a 32 gl Rubbermaid with 8 qts of
Sphagnum Peat Moss (100%), no fertilizers (I certainly hope) in a
pillowcase. The water is stirred by a powerhead and has already turned

dark.
I plan to let it sit there for a week, then use it for waterchanges. I

will
be tracking the pH along the way.

My question to the group is, have anyone tried similar thing? Are there

any
pitfalls?


Lots of people use peat filtered water. The thing you need to be measuring
is the Kh. You will find that the Ph will drop quite a lot initially but
will then come back up. This is because the peat seems to give off a lot of
CO2 into the water . You can restore this to more normal levels by agitating
the water. Measuring Kh will give you a much better idea of where you are.
At the end of the day the whole reason the Ph falls is because the Kh falls.
SUggest you don't take it too far !

I.


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Old 08-09-2003, 10:49 PM
Iain Miller
 
Posts: n/a
Default Experiments with Peat Moss


"Akvaristen" wrote in message
et...
In an attempt to lower the pH (and make fish and plants happy) in my 50 gl
planted tank with Cardinal and Red-eye tetra's, I am going to experiment
with my change-water. At the moment I have a pH of 8.2 and KH of 8 in the
tank. I am using a commercial "natural" Co2 system based on fermentation.
Clearly it is not doing as good as it should. I have been using it for a
while, but neglected to refill. I may swith to "pure" Co2, but have some
space limitations. I also recently increased the lighting to 110W 7500K. I
am using tap water. I have now setup a 32 gl Rubbermaid with 8 qts of
Sphagnum Peat Moss (100%), no fertilizers (I certainly hope) in a
pillowcase. The water is stirred by a powerhead and has already turned

dark.
I plan to let it sit there for a week, then use it for waterchanges. I

will
be tracking the pH along the way.

My question to the group is, have anyone tried similar thing? Are there

any
pitfalls?


Lots of people use peat filtered water. The thing you need to be measuring
is the Kh. You will find that the Ph will drop quite a lot initially but
will then come back up. This is because the peat seems to give off a lot of
CO2 into the water . You can restore this to more normal levels by agitating
the water. Measuring Kh will give you a much better idea of where you are.
At the end of the day the whole reason the Ph falls is because the Kh falls.
SUggest you don't take it too far !

I.


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Old 09-09-2003, 07:42 PM
RedForeman
 
Posts: n/a
Default Experiments with Peat Moss

a pillow case is an interesting idea.. why not the floss?
"Akvaristen" wrote in message
et...
In an attempt to lower the pH (and make fish and plants happy) in my 50 gl
planted tank with Cardinal and Red-eye tetra's, I am going to experiment
with my change-water. At the moment I have a pH of 8.2 and KH of 8 in the
tank. I am using a commercial "natural" Co2 system based on fermentation.
Clearly it is not doing as good as it should. I have been using it for a
while, but neglected to refill. I may swith to "pure" Co2, but have some
space limitations. I also recently increased the lighting to 110W 7500K. I
am using tap water. I have now setup a 32 gl Rubbermaid with 8 qts of
Sphagnum Peat Moss (100%), no fertilizers (I certainly hope) in a
pillowcase. The water is stirred by a powerhead and has already turned

dark.
I plan to let it sit there for a week, then use it for waterchanges. I

will
be tracking the pH along the way.

My question to the group is, have anyone tried similar thing? Are there

any
pitfalls?

Any comments are appreciated.

Peter.




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Old 10-09-2003, 01:32 AM
 
Posts: n/a
Default Experiments with Peat Moss

"Akvaristen" wrote in message . net...
In an attempt to lower the pH (and make fish and plants happy)


The reason why you sometimes find plants in low pH water is from
springs, decomposition etc where the water has lots of CO2.
So rather than softening the water in attempts to lower pH, simply add
what the plants want, CO2. Don't monkey with the KH or GH if it's
above 3 degrees.
It is myth that plants prefer soft water.
Both myself and Claus have shown a number of places with excellent
submersed plants growth in hard waters.
This also extends into planted aquariums.

A _few_ fish like softer waters, but even they are fine in the 3-5KH
range.

in my 50 gl
planted tank with Cardinal and Red-eye tetra's, I am going to experiment
with my change-water. At the moment I have a pH of 8.2 and KH of 8 in the
tank.


I kept these fish at higher KH's, 10, Gh 24. They did well, they did
not breed, but they did pretty well.
But softening with peat is not going to improve plant growth nor is
using peat going to add any significant amount of CO2 for this set
up.
The only way peat gives off CO2 is from decomposition(rotting slowly).
It lowers pH through humic acids, and exchange of buffers, not from
CO2 evolution.

I am using a commercial "natural" Co2 system based on fermentation.
Clearly it is not doing as good as it should. I have been using it for a
while, but neglected to refill. I may swith to "pure" Co2, but have some
space limitations.


Well if you forget often, the Gas tank CO2 is much better.

I also recently increased the lighting to 110W 7500K. I
am using tap water. I have now setup a 32 gl Rubbermaid with 8 qts of
Sphagnum Peat Moss (100%), no fertilizers (I certainly hope) in a
pillowcase. The water is stirred by a powerhead and has already turned dark.
I plan to let it sit there for a week, then use it for waterchanges. I will
be tracking the pH along the way.


Well, recall that other acids will influence your pH readings if you
use something other than CO2 gas.

My question to the group is, have anyone tried similar thing? Are there any
pitfalls?


Yes, and yes.
Try CO2 gas.
If you want softer water for the fish, use RO, also you'll get good
drinking water from the RO.

The peat thing is good for breeding but the fish should do fine w/o.
You can try both since it's not $$$. See what you are willing to deal
with. If you like the results, go for it. But realize with more light,
you'll need more CO2, no amount of peat will make up for
this.................

The general premise I use is take care of the plants, then the fish
are fine.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Any comments are appreciated.

Peter.



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Old 10-09-2003, 01:39 AM
 
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Default Experiments with Peat Moss

"Akvaristen" wrote in message . net...
In an attempt to lower the pH (and make fish and plants happy)


The reason why you sometimes find plants in low pH water is from
springs, decomposition etc where the water has lots of CO2.
So rather than softening the water in attempts to lower pH, simply add
what the plants want, CO2. Don't monkey with the KH or GH if it's
above 3 degrees.
It is myth that plants prefer soft water.
Both myself and Claus have shown a number of places with excellent
submersed plants growth in hard waters.
This also extends into planted aquariums.

A _few_ fish like softer waters, but even they are fine in the 3-5KH
range.

in my 50 gl
planted tank with Cardinal and Red-eye tetra's, I am going to experiment
with my change-water. At the moment I have a pH of 8.2 and KH of 8 in the
tank.


I kept these fish at higher KH's, 10, Gh 24. They did well, they did
not breed, but they did pretty well.
But softening with peat is not going to improve plant growth nor is
using peat going to add any significant amount of CO2 for this set
up.
The only way peat gives off CO2 is from decomposition(rotting slowly).
It lowers pH through humic acids, and exchange of buffers, not from
CO2 evolution.

I am using a commercial "natural" Co2 system based on fermentation.
Clearly it is not doing as good as it should. I have been using it for a
while, but neglected to refill. I may swith to "pure" Co2, but have some
space limitations.


Well if you forget often, the Gas tank CO2 is much better.

I also recently increased the lighting to 110W 7500K. I
am using tap water. I have now setup a 32 gl Rubbermaid with 8 qts of
Sphagnum Peat Moss (100%), no fertilizers (I certainly hope) in a
pillowcase. The water is stirred by a powerhead and has already turned dark.
I plan to let it sit there for a week, then use it for waterchanges. I will
be tracking the pH along the way.


Well, recall that other acids will influence your pH readings if you
use something other than CO2 gas.

My question to the group is, have anyone tried similar thing? Are there any
pitfalls?


Yes, and yes.
Try CO2 gas.
If you want softer water for the fish, use RO, also you'll get good
drinking water from the RO.

The peat thing is good for breeding but the fish should do fine w/o.
You can try both since it's not $$$. See what you are willing to deal
with. If you like the results, go for it. But realize with more light,
you'll need more CO2, no amount of peat will make up for
this.................

The general premise I use is take care of the plants, then the fish
are fine.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Any comments are appreciated.

Peter.

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Old 10-09-2003, 07:44 AM
Akvaristen
 
Posts: n/a
Default Experiments with Peat Moss

Three days after, the mixing tank with 32 gl tap water and peat moss has
pH=6.4 and KH=6 or 71 mg/l of CO2 according to Chuck's table
(http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm). The water is quite
dark.
How big/small a water change should I attempt next weekend without stressing
the inhabitants of my tank - I wonder? Or should I forget about it and go
buy a CO2 system?

Peter.

"Akvaristen" wrote in message
et...
In an attempt to lower the pH (and make fish and plants happy) in my 50 gl
planted tank with Cardinal and Red-eye tetra's, I am going to experiment
with my change-water. At the moment I have a pH of 8.2 and KH of 8 in the
tank. I am using a commercial "natural" Co2 system based on fermentation.
Clearly it is not doing as good as it should. I have been using it for a
while, but neglected to refill. I may swith to "pure" Co2, but have some
space limitations. I also recently increased the lighting to 110W 7500K. I
am using tap water. I have now setup a 32 gl Rubbermaid with 8 qts of
Sphagnum Peat Moss (100%), no fertilizers (I certainly hope) in a
pillowcase. The water is stirred by a powerhead and has already turned

dark.
I plan to let it sit there for a week, then use it for waterchanges. I

will
be tracking the pH along the way.

My question to the group is, have anyone tried similar thing? Are there

any
pitfalls?

Any comments are appreciated.

Peter.




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Old 11-09-2003, 03:07 AM
 
Posts: n/a
Default Experiments with Peat Moss

"Akvaristen" wrote in message et...
Three days after, the mixing tank with 32 gl tap water and peat moss has
pH=6.4 and KH=6 or 71 mg/l of CO2 according to Chuck's table
(http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm). The water is quite
dark.
How big/small a water change should I attempt next weekend without stressing
the inhabitants of my tank - I wonder? Or should I forget about it and go
buy a CO2 system?

Peter.


What's your goal? Plants? Or fish? Or a little of both?
The plants by themselves take good care of the fish, the lowered pH
from using the CO2 will perhaps help some. Not much IME.
Your CO2 levels are not 71ppm. The humic acids are keeping the pH
depressed and you are adding something _other_ than CO2 to lower your
pH. Then the KH/pH/CO2 table does not work well.

If you want to find the real CO2 content of this water let it sit out
for 12-24 hrs and measure the pH/KH.
Get some tap water and do the same thing.

Subtracted the peat water from the tap water.
Both waters will have exactly the SAME CO2 at equibrium. Equilibrium
= two glasses of water sitting out for 24 hrs.

Hard and soft water have the same CO2 levels at ambient room temps
equilibrium. So if you add/treat the water, you should be able to see
the difference from the tap.

The result from the subtraction is the effect of the humic acids on pH
and also gives you the error of your CO2 reading when using something
other than KH(HCO3) and CO2.

Sneaky ain't it?

In this manner you can use peat etc and still estimate your CO2
levels.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 11-09-2003, 04:27 AM
Chuck Gadd
 
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Default Experiments with Peat Moss

On Wed, 10 Sep 2003 05:38:08 GMT, "Akvaristen"
wrote:

Three days after, the mixing tank with 32 gl tap water and peat moss has
pH=6.4 and KH=6 or 71 mg/l of CO2 according to Chuck's table
(http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm). The water is quite


You need to read the webpage that the chart/calculator is on.

Somewhere in there it says "IF YOU AREN'T INJECTING CO2, then you will
not have more than 3-4ppm CO2".

Mixing peat into the water does not magically create CO2. It just
messes with the pH/KH/CO2 relationship.



Chuck Gadd
http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua
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