Coffee grounds for pH??
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Coffee grounds for pH??

This is a discussion on Coffee grounds for pH?? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I was wondering if it would be possible to use decaffeinated coffee grounds to lower the pH in an aquarium? I've looked all over ...

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Coffee grounds for pH??
Old 11-14-2011, 10:46 PM   #1
 
Coffee grounds for pH??

I was wondering if it would be possible to use decaffeinated coffee grounds to lower the pH in an aquarium? I've looked all over and can not find any information on the subject. I did find one article talking about the impact of caffine in rivers and lakes and it concluded that caffine spikes harmful bacteria creating excess nitrate so I would want to use decaf. I'm ok with any discoluration like tannins but is there anything wrong with using coffee in a similar way as peat??
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:03 PM   #2
 
why would u use coffee? i doubt there will be any difference from decaffeinated or caffeinated.. because caffein is a hormone, its just another nutrient that would be broken down. sure decaffeinated would not pose this problem. yet you can't know a 100% if there not any additives to the coffee to make it better tasting or decaffeinated. it could be used but for what purpose? to make water look murky? you can achieve the same with backwater extract or peat. coffee wouldn't contribute anything to the ecosystem and its another liability for the system since there are no articles and there are many brands of coffee all with different blends/additive that would prove to be harmful to fish.
my opinion is i wouldn't take the risk and throw off the delicate balance of water chemistry in the tank with an unknown substance that you don't know the effect on fish or its effect chemically towards other chemicals in the tank (would it react with ammonia, kill beneficial bacteria, add a buildup of unnecessary nutrients and harmful metals or left over chemicals from processing? )
i personally wouldn't use it. use peat. proven through ages by aquarists including me. plus fish respond to things they know from their natural environment. unless you have found a coffee river in amazon (example) were fish respond to coffee in the water, there will not be any benefit to this. Add peat, something fish DO know in their natural environment and are programmed genetically to respond, breed and thrive in.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:08 PM   #3
 
I was hoping to use this coffee because it would be a simple way to recycle my grounds without having to go out of my way to buy peat or blackwater extract.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:16 PM   #4
 
well you could compost the ground if you want to make a good dead to earth. i know peat is kinda expensive at times, yet there are recipes to make it yourself using leaves and good quality earth. be sure it doesn't have any trace elements, heavy metals or additives including fertilizers since it CAN kill your aquarium (nitrate is used as a fertilizer as well as ammonia) its the best way, or you could also gather rainwater, mix it with tap water and lower pH slowly that way. you could also add wood and allow the tennis to leach, but beware, tannis is a weak acid, yet wood has toons of it which could crash the pH. i would try on of this at a time, then mix em when you have an idea and are a bit more used to pH. but remember rainwater has No buffer an tap water depends were u live. so if u have a low buffer and wood with a lot of tennis your pH will crash DRAMATICALLY (personal experience from many years).

there are many other options to peat. tennis will also add that color ur looking for. rainwater won't. but please, don't add anything that doesn't naturally belong in an aquarium to the aquarium. unless you have vast knowledge on chemistry and have all the facts, you can never be too sure, and the risks vs benefits in this situation lean more to a risk with fewer benefits than wood or rainwater. evaluate your other options and research..

remember we are trying to re create the fish environment, if you subject fish into other environments, even if it can live, ill be in great stress and it will be detrimental on the long run.

Last edited by fjsedajr; 11-14-2011 at 11:18 PM..
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:19 PM   #5
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Peats cheap, agreed with the above its not something anyone has really tried and probably a good reason its not safe. And also the article is probably referring to caffeine in extremely trace amounts even with decaffeinated coffee you will still have way more more caffeine in your water than is even close to the amount they measure in these bodies of water since decaffeinated is not completely caffeine free Decaffeination - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:22 PM   #6
 
plus caffein has been found it can absorb trace elements and heavy metals. what if it absorbed water through decaffeination or when you brewed it. and when adding it in water it leaches all those contaminants back into the system? you can kill any invertebrates and eventually fish.

even if its completely safe, will fish react positively? they will probably be in stress all the time, which will lead to disease and eventually death or a plain unhappy life. thats isn't the goal of fish keeping..
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:31 PM   #7
 
I'm currently trying to find the page I found regarding the enviornmental impact but I did cross reference the tests with measured levels of caffine in average decafinated coffee and the amount of caffine would be so small in comparison. If I can find the test i'll post it but the basics of the tests where where several fish were placed in designated aquariums with measured levels of caffine for about two weeks. No fish died but the levels of caffine skyrocketed unwanted bacterial growth. I also researched that caffine is released at higher temperatures so if I were to use "used" organic decaffeinated grounds the majority of caffine would be gone by that point. I want to use the coffee grounds because it would be an easy way to reuse them. I was just wondering if anyone has tried this route in their aquarium or knew of any truly harmful aspects to the coffee idea.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:41 PM   #8
 
Ok I just found the article about caffine affecting water systems :)http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/cgi/vie...35&context=sss
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:42 PM   #9
zof
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGPoling View Post
knew of any truly harmful aspects to the coffee idea.
Wired fish? lol
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:46 PM   #10
 
Lol well the the amount of caffeine in the water would be so minute if I used the coffee described above (organic decaff and used) that hopefully it wouldn't even affect them. Of course if it did I would immediately do some water changes and disregard the whole thing lol
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