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Re: [Freshwater Aquariums] ph issue

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  • Martin VanderWal
    Patrick, What would you say is the best form in which to buy peat? I m pretty confident putting in peat from Fluval in my canister filter, but it s
    Message 1 of 16 , Nov 19, 2007
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      Patrick,

      What would you say is the best form in which to buy peat? I'm pretty confident putting in peat from Fluval in my canister filter, but it's frightfully expensive for peat.

      BTW, thanks for your many, many excellent contributions to this forum. It's your work that makes it so outstanding.

      Martin

      "Patrick A. Timlin" <ptimlin@...> wrote:
      --- James <jdc75@...> wrote:
      > I have a 75 gallon freshwater aquarium that I have had set up since
      > July. I have not been able to get the PH to stay at or around 7. It
      > has been at 8+- since I started.

      > I have been using Fritz PH lower now the entire time.
      > It returns to 8+- in 1 hour or so. Then I can add
      > another 15ml to get it back to 7 but it never stays.

      Hi James,

      Welcome to the group. The simple one sentence answer to your question
      is...

      Stop trying to adjust the pH.



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    • Patrick A. Timlin
      ... Well see my comment on the Black-water Extract thread where I mentioned when I used to run my little peat filtered water treatment plant in my basement.
      Message 2 of 16 , Nov 19, 2007
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        --- Martin VanderWal <mrtnvwal@...> wrote:
        > Patrick,
        >
        > What would you say is the best form in which to buy peat? I'm
        > pretty confident putting in peat from Fluval in my canister filter,
        > but it's frightfully expensive for peat.

        Well see my comment on the Black-water Extract thread where I
        mentioned when I used to run my little peat filtered water treatment
        "plant" in my basement. I simply used peat from one of those large
        bags you buy at the garden center. Standard warnings apply like it
        should not contain extra fertilizers or pesticides, but most cheap
        bags of peat are nothing more than plain old peat.

        The stuff I used is the stuff that looks like loose brown dirt. Not
        the bags of the green mossy stuff (which are often sold more for use
        in things like hiding the soil in planters with a layer of green
        moss). Some people will call one Peat (dead/composted) and the other
        Peat Moss (live/green).

        If you do a image search at Google, you will see what I mean by the
        brown dirt vs. green moss. See this link for they stuff I am talking
        about...

        http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/firstgarden/basics/dirt_08.html

        You will probably find this stuff to look just like the stuff you buy
        from Fluval (the fiber version they sell, not the granular version)
        and a LOT cheaper. A quick check shows Lowes selling a 3.8 cubic foot
        bag for $14.57 which is about enough to fill up a 30 gallon tank top
        to bottom.

        The aquarium industry has a lot of highly marked up products like
        this. Other examples include Aquarium Salt (not the marine salt mix
        but just plain old salt) sold for freshwater use and powered forms of
        pH increasers which usually if you look at the label is nothing more
        than baking soda sold at a huge mark up. Both of those can be bought
        at the grocery store for pennies on the dollar vs. the aquarium
        packed versions.


        > BTW, thanks for your many, many excellent contributions to this
        > forum. It's your work that makes it so outstanding.

        Thanks Martin. I enjoy it, so it isn't a chore by any means.




        Patrick Timlin
        http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
      • kstringer1974
        Patrick, I think it s important to point out to avoid Spagnum moss, which is often sold in garden centers as well and in the absence of peat moss or peat can
        Message 3 of 16 , Nov 19, 2007
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          Patrick,

          I think it's important to point out to avoid Spagnum moss, which is
          often sold in garden centers as well and in the absence of peat moss
          or peat can be a tempting substitution. Spagnum moss is not as
          decomposed as peat and can release a larger volume of dissolved
          organics into your water column which a person may or may not be
          prepared to deal with. I actually could not find plain old peat moss
          at my local Home Depot or Lowes. But my local nurseries all carry it.

          Hope that's helpful.

          Cheers,
          Kevin R. Stringer

          --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick A. Timlin"
          <ptimlin@...> wrote:
          >
          > --- Martin VanderWal <mrtnvwal@...> wrote:
          > > Patrick,
          > >
          > > What would you say is the best form in which to buy peat? I'm
          > > pretty confident putting in peat from Fluval in my canister
          filter,
          > > but it's frightfully expensive for peat.
          >
          > Well see my comment on the Black-water Extract thread where I
          > mentioned when I used to run my little peat filtered water treatment
          > "plant" in my basement. I simply used peat from one of those large
          > bags you buy at the garden center. Standard warnings apply like it
          > should not contain extra fertilizers or pesticides, but most cheap
          > bags of peat are nothing more than plain old peat.
          >
          > The stuff I used is the stuff that looks like loose brown dirt. Not
          > the bags of the green mossy stuff (which are often sold more for use
          > in things like hiding the soil in planters with a layer of green
          > moss). Some people will call one Peat (dead/composted) and the other
          > Peat Moss (live/green).
          >
          > If you do a image search at Google, you will see what I mean by the
          > brown dirt vs. green moss. See this link for they stuff I am talking
          > about...
          >
          > http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/firstgarden/basics/dirt_08.html
          >
          > You will probably find this stuff to look just like the stuff you
          buy
          > from Fluval (the fiber version they sell, not the granular version)
          > and a LOT cheaper. A quick check shows Lowes selling a 3.8 cubic
          foot
          > bag for $14.57 which is about enough to fill up a 30 gallon tank top
          > to bottom.
          >
          > The aquarium industry has a lot of highly marked up products like
          > this. Other examples include Aquarium Salt (not the marine salt mix
          > but just plain old salt) sold for freshwater use and powered forms
          of
          > pH increasers which usually if you look at the label is nothing more
          > than baking soda sold at a huge mark up. Both of those can be bought
          > at the grocery store for pennies on the dollar vs. the aquarium
          > packed versions.
          >
          >
          > > BTW, thanks for your many, many excellent contributions to this
          > > forum. It's your work that makes it so outstanding.
          >
          > Thanks Martin. I enjoy it, so it isn't a chore by any means.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Patrick Timlin
          > http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
          >
        • Patrick A. Timlin
          Ya peat might be a bit hard to find right now in some places of the USA, at least in the big cubic foot sized bags since the gardening season is essentially
          Message 4 of 16 , Nov 21, 2007
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            Ya peat might be a bit hard to find right now in some places of the
            USA, at least in the big cubic foot sized bags since the gardening
            season is essentially over. Small bags are probably avialable for
            potted plants, but the big bulk packages probably will be rare until
            spring.

            Patrick

            --- kstringer1974 <kstringer1974@...> wrote:

            > Patrick,
            >
            > I think it's important to point out to avoid Spagnum moss, which is
            >
            > often sold in garden centers as well and in the absence of peat
            > moss
            > or peat can be a tempting substitution. Spagnum moss is not as
            > decomposed as peat and can release a larger volume of dissolved
            > organics into your water column which a person may or may not be
            > prepared to deal with. I actually could not find plain old peat
            > moss
            > at my local Home Depot or Lowes. But my local nurseries all carry
            > it.
            >
            > Hope that's helpful.
            >
            > Cheers,
            > Kevin R. Stringer
            >
          • James
            ... before I should see some different in the PH level? James
            Message 5 of 16 , Nov 24, 2007
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              --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick A. Timlin"
              <ptimlin@...> wrote:
              >
              > Ya peat might be a bit hard to find right now in some places of the
              > USA, at least in the big cubic foot sized bags since the gardening
              > season is essentially over. Small bags are probably avialable for
              > potted plants, but the big bulk packages probably will be rare until
              > spring.
              >
              > Patrick
              >
              > --- kstringer1974 <kstringer1974@...> wrote:
              >
              > > Patrick,
              > >
              > > I think it's important to point out to avoid Spagnum moss, which is
              > >
              > > often sold in garden centers as well and in the absence of peat
              > > moss
              > > or peat can be a tempting substitution. Spagnum moss is not as
              > > decomposed as peat and can release a larger volume of dissolved
              > > organics into your water column which a person may or may not be
              > > prepared to deal with. I actually could not find plain old peat
              > > moss
              > > at my local Home Depot or Lowes. But my local nurseries all carry
              > > it.
              > >
              > > Hope that's helpful.
              > >
              > > Cheers,
              > > Kevin R. Stringer
              > >
              >I have some peat in my filter right now. How long should it take
              before I should see some different in the PH level?

              James
            • kstringer1974
              James, Any impact on your pH would be dependent on your KH (carbonate hardness). If you have water with a high KH, the peat may not impact it at all. Peat moss
              Message 6 of 16 , Nov 25, 2007
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                James,

                Any impact on your pH would be dependent on your KH (carbonate
                hardness). If you have water with a high KH, the peat may not impact
                it at all. Peat moss releases weak acids (humic and tannic) will
                impact your PH only when your KH is completely depleted.

                Cheers,
                Kevin

                --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "James" <jdc75@...> wrote:
                >
                > --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick A. Timlin"
                > <ptimlin@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Ya peat might be a bit hard to find right now in some places of
                the
                > > USA, at least in the big cubic foot sized bags since the gardening
                > > season is essentially over. Small bags are probably avialable for
                > > potted plants, but the big bulk packages probably will be rare
                until
                > > spring.
                > >
                > > Patrick
                > >
                > > --- kstringer1974 <kstringer1974@> wrote:
                > >
                > > > Patrick,
                > > >
                > > > I think it's important to point out to avoid Spagnum moss,
                which is
                > > >
                > > > often sold in garden centers as well and in the absence of peat
                > > > moss
                > > > or peat can be a tempting substitution. Spagnum moss is not as
                > > > decomposed as peat and can release a larger volume of dissolved
                > > > organics into your water column which a person may or may not
                be
                > > > prepared to deal with. I actually could not find plain old peat
                > > > moss
                > > > at my local Home Depot or Lowes. But my local nurseries all
                carry
                > > > it.
                > > >
                > > > Hope that's helpful.
                > > >
                > > > Cheers,
                > > > Kevin R. Stringer
                > > >
                > >I have some peat in my filter right now. How long should it take
                > before I should see some different in the PH level?
                >
                > James
                >
              • Patrick A. Timlin
                ... Hi James, As Kevin already pointed out, the time it will take and the amount of adjustment will depend on the parameters of your water as well as the
                Message 7 of 16 , Nov 27, 2007
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                  --- James <jdc75@...> wrote:
                  > I have some peat in my filter right now. How long should it take
                  > before I should see some different in the PH level?

                  Hi James,

                  As Kevin already pointed out, the time it will take and the amount of
                  adjustment will depend on the parameters of your water as well as the
                  "strength" (for lack of a better term) of the peat used.

                  So really hard water with a very high alkalinity will take a lot more
                  time and/or peat to adjust where as slightly alkaline water with a
                  lower alkalinity will be much easier and quicker to adjust.

                  Likewise, older peat that has been used for a while will begin to be
                  "weaker" and take longer (more contact time) to work as will small
                  amounts of peat compared to larger amounts. Think of the peat like
                  making tea. The first cup you make with the tea bag is strong and
                  each additional cup you try to make is weaker and weaker but you can
                  still get a stronger cup if you let it steep a lot longer or have
                  additional half used tea bags.

                  It has been a few days now. Have you measured any change in your
                  water yet from the peat?


                  Patrick Timlin
                  http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
                • James
                  Yes I have had some changes take place. First I gave up on the chemicals. Second I did a few experiments and figured out the filtering the water directly
                  Message 8 of 16 , Dec 1, 2007
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                    Yes I have had some changes take place. First I gave up on the
                    chemicals. Second I did a few experiments and figured out the
                    filtering the water directly through peat changed the PH instantly, it
                    went from 8+- to 6 and stayed that way for a couple of days. I took 15
                    gallons out of my tank and added 15 gallons of water filtered directly
                    through peat. The PH balanced out that evening. It creaped up slightly
                    like .5 or so a day later. I added some peat in a pantyhose bag and
                    the PH is stable now two days. I am excited to possibly move past this
                    problem. Next will be landscape and decorations.

                    Thanks
                    James














                    --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick A. Timlin"
                    <ptimlin@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > --- James <jdc75@...> wrote:
                    > > I have some peat in my filter right now. How long should it take
                    > > before I should see some different in the PH level?
                    >
                    > Hi James,
                    >
                    > As Kevin already pointed out, the time it will take and the amount of
                    > adjustment will depend on the parameters of your water as well as the
                    > "strength" (for lack of a better term) of the peat used.
                    >
                    > So really hard water with a very high alkalinity will take a lot more
                    > time and/or peat to adjust where as slightly alkaline water with a
                    > lower alkalinity will be much easier and quicker to adjust.
                    >
                    > Likewise, older peat that has been used for a while will begin to be
                    > "weaker" and take longer (more contact time) to work as will small
                    > amounts of peat compared to larger amounts. Think of the peat like
                    > making tea. The first cup you make with the tea bag is strong and
                    > each additional cup you try to make is weaker and weaker but you can
                    > still get a stronger cup if you let it steep a lot longer or have
                    > additional half used tea bags.
                    >
                    > It has been a few days now. Have you measured any change in your
                    > water yet from the peat?
                    >
                    >
                    > Patrick Timlin
                    > http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
                    >
                  • Patrick A. Timlin
                    Excellent news James. I am glad to hear you were able to both bring the pH down, and keep it down long term and stable. Peat is an excellent way to lower pH
                    Message 9 of 16 , Dec 2, 2007
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                      Excellent news James. I am glad to hear you were able to both bring
                      the pH down, and keep it down long term and stable. Peat is an
                      excellent way to lower pH and slightly soften water and since it
                      stays in the filter, you don't get the pH bounce you get when you add
                      chemicals out of a bottle.

                      Best of luck!
                      Patrick

                      --- James <jdc75@...> wrote:
                      > Yes I have had some changes take place. First I gave up on the
                      > chemicals. Second I did a few experiments and figured out the
                      > filtering the water directly through peat changed the PH instantly,
                      > it
                      > went from 8+- to 6 and stayed that way for a couple of days. I took
                      > 15
                      > gallons out of my tank and added 15 gallons of water filtered
                      > directly
                      > through peat. The PH balanced out that evening. It creaped up
                      > slightly
                      > like .5 or so a day later. I added some peat in a pantyhose bag and
                      > the PH is stable now two days. I am excited to possibly move past
                      > this
                      > problem. Next will be landscape and decorations.


                      Patrick Timlin
                      http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
                    • kstringer1974
                      James, Congratulations! That s awesome news! Patrick, this leads me to wonder about the understandings I have of water chemistry. Peat and off the shelf
                      Message 10 of 16 , Dec 2, 2007
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                        James,

                        Congratulations! That's awesome news!

                        Patrick, this leads me to wonder about the understandings I have of
                        water chemistry. Peat and off the shelf chemicals work in similar
                        fashion by introducing acids that erode the KH of the water (buffer)
                        until it is gone, and then begin to lower the PH. There's also the
                        use of Phosphorous, but I don't quite understand how that process
                        works yet. So if James was able to filter his water through peat and
                        lower it by 2 degrees would that mean that his water has little to no
                        KH out of the tap? My follow up question to that would be if you are
                        able to lower your PH with peat, how do you then add more KH without
                        raising the PH of the water since once you start adding CO2 injection
                        (for high light/rapid growth tanks) the carbonic acid released by the
                        CO2 will erode the buffer as well. If there is no buffer then I would
                        be concerned that the PH of the tank would crash significantly.
                        Though the question is to you, it's open to the entire group of
                        course. I'm still trying to get a grip on water chemistry and I want
                        to make sure my understanding is sound.

                        Cheers,
                        Kevin R. Stringer

                        --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick A. Timlin"
                        <ptimlin@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Excellent news James. I am glad to hear you were able to both bring
                        > the pH down, and keep it down long term and stable. Peat is an
                        > excellent way to lower pH and slightly soften water and since it
                        > stays in the filter, you don't get the pH bounce you get when you
                        add
                        > chemicals out of a bottle.
                        >
                        > Best of luck!
                        > Patrick
                        >
                        > --- James <jdc75@...> wrote:
                        > > Yes I have had some changes take place. First I gave up on the
                        > > chemicals. Second I did a few experiments and figured out the
                        > > filtering the water directly through peat changed the PH
                        instantly,
                        > > it
                        > > went from 8+- to 6 and stayed that way for a couple of days. I
                        took
                        > > 15
                        > > gallons out of my tank and added 15 gallons of water filtered
                        > > directly
                        > > through peat. The PH balanced out that evening. It creaped up
                        > > slightly
                        > > like .5 or so a day later. I added some peat in a pantyhose bag
                        and
                        > > the PH is stable now two days. I am excited to possibly move past
                        > > this
                        > > problem. Next will be landscape and decorations.
                        >
                        >
                        > Patrick Timlin
                        > http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
                        >
                      • Patrick A. Timlin
                        ... Yes, but peat works a bit differently than those chemicals. Those chemicals are simply acids you add to the water which help use up the buffering of the
                        Message 11 of 16 , Dec 2, 2007
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                          --- kstringer1974 <kstringer1974@...> wrote:
                          > Patrick, this leads me to wonder about the understandings I have of
                          > water chemistry. Peat and off the shelf chemicals work in similar
                          > fashion by introducing acids that erode the KH of the water
                          > (buffer) until it is gone, and then begin to lower the PH.

                          Yes, but peat works a bit differently than those chemicals. Those
                          chemicals are simply acids you add to the water which help use up the
                          buffering of the water. Peat does bind with a little bit of the
                          calcium and magnesium and actually removes it from the water, so in
                          addition to lowering the pH, you will find the water gets a bit
                          softer as well, although I am not really sure by how much.


                          > There's also the use of Phosphorous, but I don't quite
                          > understand how that process works yet.

                          Ya, a lot of those liquid "pH Down" type products use phosphoric acid
                          which can lower the pH but the byproduct is a big increase in
                          phosphorous in your tank which can result in algae problems.


                          > So if James was able to filter his water through peat and
                          > lower it by 2 degrees would that mean that his water has
                          > little to no KH out of the tap?

                          Hard to say unless he measures the alkalinity of the tap and tells us
                          what it is. The amount dropped could also have a lot to do with the
                          "quality" of the peat where in our application, the "quality" is how
                          effective it is in dropping the pH.


                          > My follow up question to that would be if you are able to
                          > lower your PH with peat, how do you then add more KH
                          > without raising the PH of the water since once you start
                          > adding CO2 injection (for high light/rapid growth tanks)
                          > the carbonic acid released by the
                          > CO2 will erode the buffer as well.

                          Sure, but I don't think using a lot of peat filters *and* CO2
                          injection should be used together. I don't recall if James said he
                          was going to use CO2 injection. If he does, then he may find that
                          that peat is no longer needed since the carbonic acid produced by CO2
                          mixing with water would be enough to lower the pH.

                          Carbonic acid is a bit different in that your pH can go down while
                          you have CO2 dissolved in the water, but when the CO2 comes out of
                          the water again (the dissolved CO2 levels drop) your pH will begin to
                          rise again. I think if you look over at the Krib web site, they have
                          charts somewhere showing the relationship so that you can determine
                          the amount of CO2 dissolved in the water by measuring the alkalinity
                          and the pH and using those two number find the amount of CO2 in the
                          water. Those two kits are common where as measuring the CO2 directly
                          would be very difficult for hobbists.


                          > If there is no buffer then I would be concerned that
                          > the PH of the tank would crash significantly.

                          I would be as well, which is why I suggest that peat *and* co2
                          injection is probably overkill unless you had REALLY hard & high
                          alkalinity water to begin with.


                          > Though the question is to you, it's open to the entire group of
                          > course. I'm still trying to get a grip on water chemistry and I
                          > want to make sure my understanding is sound.

                          Well I am no chemist, so my "water chemistry" knowledge tends to be
                          what I have learned over the years with respect to aquariums (ok and
                          at one time when I used to brew my own beer), so I tend to have the
                          big picture but have to look up details and of course anything I say
                          on the matter is up for correction and debate. ;)


                          Patrick Timlin
                          http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
                        • James
                          I do not use CO2 injection. I am not sure what that is. I did check my tap water for KH and its was at a 3-4 which is normal for the fish I have. The PH level
                          Message 12 of 16 , Dec 3, 2007
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                            I do not use CO2 injection. I am not sure what that is. I did check my tap water for KH and
                            its was at a 3-4 which is normal for the fish I have. The PH level though was almost to
                            high to measure on the color charts provided with the kit. I am amazed that simply
                            pouring water through peat once accomplishes the same thing that PH lower did. I bought
                            a bottle large enough to treat 1,475 gallons (supposedly), and I had used 3/4 of the bottle
                            and did not see any results that would last over an hour or so. After five days, the peat has
                            kept my water at a 7. I bought a discounted bag from China-Mart... I mean Wal-Mart for a
                            couple of dollars because it was torn open.

                            James


                            --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick A. Timlin" <ptimlin@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > --- kstringer1974 <kstringer1974@...> wrote:
                            > > Patrick, this leads me to wonder about the understandings I have of
                            > > water chemistry. Peat and off the shelf chemicals work in similar
                            > > fashion by introducing acids that erode the KH of the water
                            > > (buffer) until it is gone, and then begin to lower the PH.
                            >
                            > Yes, but peat works a bit differently than those chemicals. Those
                            > chemicals are simply acids you add to the water which help use up the
                            > buffering of the water. Peat does bind with a little bit of the
                            > calcium and magnesium and actually removes it from the water, so in
                            > addition to lowering the pH, you will find the water gets a bit
                            > softer as well, although I am not really sure by how much.
                            >
                            >
                            > > There's also the use of Phosphorous, but I don't quite
                            > > understand how that process works yet.
                            >
                            > Ya, a lot of those liquid "pH Down" type products use phosphoric acid
                            > which can lower the pH but the byproduct is a big increase in
                            > phosphorous in your tank which can result in algae problems.
                            >
                            >
                            > > So if James was able to filter his water through peat and
                            > > lower it by 2 degrees would that mean that his water has
                            > > little to no KH out of the tap?
                            >
                            > Hard to say unless he measures the alkalinity of the tap and tells us
                            > what it is. The amount dropped could also have a lot to do with the
                            > "quality" of the peat where in our application, the "quality" is how
                            > effective it is in dropping the pH.
                            >
                            >
                            > > My follow up question to that would be if you are able to
                            > > lower your PH with peat, how do you then add more KH
                            > > without raising the PH of the water since once you start
                            > > adding CO2 injection (for high light/rapid growth tanks)
                            > > the carbonic acid released by the
                            > > CO2 will erode the buffer as well.
                            >
                            > Sure, but I don't think using a lot of peat filters *and* CO2
                            > injection should be used together. I don't recall if James said he
                            > was going to use CO2 injection. If he does, then he may find that
                            > that peat is no longer needed since the carbonic acid produced by CO2
                            > mixing with water would be enough to lower the pH.
                            >
                            > Carbonic acid is a bit different in that your pH can go down while
                            > you have CO2 dissolved in the water, but when the CO2 comes out of
                            > the water again (the dissolved CO2 levels drop) your pH will begin to
                            > rise again. I think if you look over at the Krib web site, they have
                            > charts somewhere showing the relationship so that you can determine
                            > the amount of CO2 dissolved in the water by measuring the alkalinity
                            > and the pH and using those two number find the amount of CO2 in the
                            > water. Those two kits are common where as measuring the CO2 directly
                            > would be very difficult for hobbists.
                            >
                            >
                            > > If there is no buffer then I would be concerned that
                            > > the PH of the tank would crash significantly.
                            >
                            > I would be as well, which is why I suggest that peat *and* co2
                            > injection is probably overkill unless you had REALLY hard & high
                            > alkalinity water to begin with.
                            >
                            >
                            > > Though the question is to you, it's open to the entire group of
                            > > course. I'm still trying to get a grip on water chemistry and I
                            > > want to make sure my understanding is sound.
                            >
                            > Well I am no chemist, so my "water chemistry" knowledge tends to be
                            > what I have learned over the years with respect to aquariums (ok and
                            > at one time when I used to brew my own beer), so I tend to have the
                            > big picture but have to look up details and of course anything I say
                            > on the matter is up for correction and debate. ;)
                            >
                            >
                            > Patrick Timlin
                            > http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
                            >
                          • Kevin Stringer
                            James, CO2 injection is for planted tanks (fish tanks with aquatic plants). It means injecting bubbles of carbon dioxide into the water since plants require
                            Message 13 of 16 , Dec 3, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment
                              James,

                              CO2 injection is for planted tanks (fish tanks with aquatic plants). It means injecting bubbles of carbon dioxide into the water since plants require carbon in large quantities for proper growth. If you don't have living plants in your tank don't worry about it. However, being a big fan of planted tanks, I can tell you that they are every bit as beautiful as a reef tank in my opinion.

                              BTW, in my experience, most fish can adapt to just about any PH. Some fish, such as Discus will do much better in soft water but most fish are pretty adaptable. Try to stay away from chemicals to alter the water chemistry as in the vast majority of cases, you don't need them and they only much things up. Even when they work, you have to continue to use them in order to avoid drastic changes in the water chemistry which may stress or even kill your fish.

                              Best wishes on your tank! Don't mind me, I'm a big fish nerd. :-)

                              Cheers,
                              Kevin R. Stringer


                              ----- Original Message ----
                              From: James <jdc75@...>
                              To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Monday, December 3, 2007 9:36:22 PM
                              Subject: [Freshwater Aquariums] Re: ph issue

                              I do not use CO2 injection. I am not sure what that is. I did check my tap water for KH and
                              its was at a 3-4 which is normal for the fish I have. The PH level though was almost to
                              high to measure on the color charts provided with the kit. I am amazed that simply
                              pouring water through peat once accomplishes the same thing that PH lower did. I bought
                              a bottle large enough to treat 1,475 gallons (supposedly) , and I had used 3/4 of the bottle
                              and did not see any results that would last over an hour or so. After five days, the peat has
                              kept my water at a 7. I bought a discounted bag from China-Mart.. . I mean Wal-Mart for a
                              couple of dollars because it was torn open.

                              James

                              --- In freshwateraquariums @yahoogroups. com, "Patrick A. Timlin" <ptimlin@... > wrote:
                              >
                              > --- kstringer1974 <kstringer1974@ ...> wrote:
                              > > Patrick, this leads me to wonder about the understandings I have of
                              > > water chemistry. Peat and off the shelf chemicals work in similar
                              > > fashion by introducing acids that erode the KH of the water
                              > > (buffer) until it is gone, and then begin to lower the PH.
                              >
                              > Yes, but peat works a bit differently than those chemicals. Those
                              > chemicals are simply acids you add to the water which help use up the
                              > buffering of the water. Peat does bind with a little bit of the
                              > calcium and magnesium and actually removes it from the water, so in
                              > addition to lowering the pH, you will find the water gets a bit
                              > softer as well, although I am not really sure by how much.
                              >
                              >
                              > > There's also the use of Phosphorous, but I don't quite
                              > > understand how that process works yet.
                              >
                              > Ya, a lot of those liquid "pH Down" type products use phosphoric acid
                              > which can lower the pH but the byproduct is a big increase in
                              > phosphorous in your tank which can result in algae problems.
                              >
                              >
                              > > So if James was able to filter his water through peat and
                              > > lower it by 2 degrees would that mean that his water has
                              > > little to no KH out of the tap?
                              >
                              > Hard to say unless he measures the alkalinity of the tap and tells us
                              > what it is. The amount dropped could also have a lot to do with the
                              > "quality" of the peat where in our application, the "quality" is how
                              > effective it is in dropping the pH.
                              >
                              >
                              > > My follow up question to that would be if you are able to
                              > > lower your PH with peat, how do you then add more KH
                              > > without raising the PH of the water since once you start
                              > > adding CO2 injection (for high light/rapid growth tanks)
                              > > the carbonic acid released by the
                              > > CO2 will erode the buffer as well.
                              >
                              > Sure, but I don't think using a lot of peat filters *and* CO2
                              > injection should be used together. I don't recall if James said he
                              > was going to use CO2 injection. If he does, then he may find that
                              > that peat is no longer needed since the carbonic acid produced by CO2
                              > mixing with water would be enough to lower the pH.
                              >
                              > Carbonic acid is a bit different in that your pH can go down while
                              > you have CO2 dissolved in the water, but when the CO2 comes out of
                              > the water again (the dissolved CO2 levels drop) your pH will begin to
                              > rise again. I think if you look over at the Krib web site, they have
                              > charts somewhere showing the relationship so that you can determine
                              > the amount of CO2 dissolved in the water by measuring the alkalinity
                              > and the pH and using those two number find the amount of CO2 in the
                              > water. Those two kits are common where as measuring the CO2 directly
                              > would be very difficult for hobbists.
                              >
                              >
                              > > If there is no buffer then I would be concerned that
                              > > the PH of the tank would crash significantly.
                              >
                              > I would be as well, which is why I suggest that peat *and* co2
                              > injection is probably overkill unless you had REALLY hard & high
                              > alkalinity water to begin with.
                              >
                              >
                              > > Though the question is to you, it's open to the entire group of
                              > > course. I'm still trying to get a grip on water chemistry and I
                              > > want to make sure my understanding is sound.
                              >
                              > Well I am no chemist, so my "water chemistry" knowledge tends to be
                              > what I have learned over the years with respect to aquariums (ok and
                              > at one time when I used to brew my own beer), so I tend to have the
                              > big picture but have to look up details and of course anything I say
                              > on the matter is up for correction and debate. ;)
                              >
                              >
                              > Patrick Timlin
                              > http://www.geocitie s.com/ptimlin/
                              >





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                            • Patrick A. Timlin
                              ... Hi ya James, As someone already pointed out CO2 injection is used in heavily planted tanks. For basic tanks you can often grow basic plants in basic
                              Message 14 of 16 , Dec 6, 2007
                              • 0 Attachment
                                --- James <jdc75@...> wrote:
                                > I do not use CO2 injection. I am not sure what that is.

                                Hi ya James,

                                As someone already pointed out CO2 injection is used in heavily
                                planted tanks. For basic tanks you can often grow basic plants in
                                basic conditions (gravel substrate etc.) with basic lights. Then as
                                you want to grow more types and better plants, the first thing that
                                is normally suggested is more light. But there is a point where you
                                can add more light, special plant growing substrates, daily
                                fertilizer drops, etc. and the limiting factor becomes the amount of
                                dissolved CO2 in the water. So CO2 injection is something you only
                                need to worry about if you are a hard core planted tank keeper, and
                                have already invest hundreds of dollars in good lighting, special
                                substrates, fertilize regularly etc.

                                For the rest of us, we can get by with out it. I keep plants in all
                                my tanks but I wouldn't refer to any of my tanks as "plant tanks" if
                                you know what I mean. No special substrates, only occasional
                                supplemental liquid fertilizers, and about the only extras I add is
                                sometimes upgraded lighting. But on other tanks, for example my ten
                                gallon on my bedroom dresser, I use the standard 15W strip light and
                                plant with low light tolerant plants.


                                Patrick Timlin
                                http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
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