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[Freshwater Aquariums] Re: ph issue

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  • 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 1 of 16 , Dec 1 6:43 PM
      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 2 of 16 , Dec 2 12:46 PM
        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 3 of 16 , Dec 2 7:19 PM
          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 4 of 16 , Dec 2 8:54 PM
            --- 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 5 of 16 , Dec 3 7:36 PM
              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 6 of 16 , Dec 3 8:41 PM
                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 7 of 16 , Dec 6 12:46 PM
                  --- 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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