Using driftwood to lower pH - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-10-2011, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
Ami
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Using driftwood to lower pH

I saw a video on Youtube telling how to reduce pH using almond leaf, peat, driftwood etc. Does this really work? I have been able to reduce the pH from 8.3 to 7 using distilled water, but don't want to go below 75 ppm hardness.
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-10-2011, 12:22 PM
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Yes, any of those mentioned substances will tend to release tannins, thus acidifying the water and lowering the pH. The amount will be fairly minimal with respect to wood and leaves, unless the tank is really full of wood and leaves. Peat can work faster, depending upon the peat, the quantity, and the initial water parameters. It gives out, the time again depends upon the fore-going. Leaves also exhaust as they decompose, and wood releases fewer tannins as it matures. About the most you might see the pH lower with wood or leaves is a couple of decimal points.

For example, if you only used these methods and not diluting with distilled water, the effect would not be much unless you had a lot of peat. Diluting with pure water is easier and more reliable when the difference is significant as it is here. The addition of wood and leaves to a pH of 7 should result in the pH lowering to the mid to high 6 range.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-10-2011, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, any of those mentioned substances will tend to release tannins, thus acidifying the water and lowering the pH. The amount will be fairly minimal with respect to wood and leaves, unless the tank is really full of wood and leaves. Peat can work faster, depending upon the peat, the quantity, and the initial water parameters. It gives out, the time again depends upon the fore-going. Leaves also exhaust as they decompose, and wood releases fewer tannins as it matures. About the most you might see the pH lower with wood or leaves is a couple of decimal points.

For example, if you only used these methods and not diluting with distilled water, the effect would not be much unless you had a lot of peat. Diluting with pure water is easier and more reliable when the difference is significant as it is here. The addition of wood and leaves to a pH of 7 should result in the pH lowering to the mid to high 6 range.

Byron.
Thanks Byron !
I'll stick in a driftwood, but mostly for decorative purposes =0)
The local Petsmart here sells dry driftwood in the reptiles section. They say its safe for turtles. Would it be possible to use it in my 55G aquarium after having soaked & washing it for a couple of weeks? The reason I ask is that the driftwood they sell from their aquarium are smaller, less fun shapes and not to mention, almost twice the price of the dry ones in the reptile section.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-10-2011, 05:47 PM
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Thanks Byron !
I'll stick in a driftwood, but mostly for decorative purposes =0)
The local Petsmart here sells dry driftwood in the reptiles section. They say its safe for turtles. Would it be possible to use it in my 55G aquarium after having soaked & washing it for a couple of weeks? The reason I ask is that the driftwood they sell from their aquarium are smaller, less fun shapes and not to mention, almost twice the price of the dry ones in the reptile section.
This question gets asked periodically, in fact there is a thread on this form last week or so. I have not tried it, and personally wouldn't. The Malaysian driftwood is widely available, Petsmart carries it, and I like the way it sinks immediately and is not too bad for discolouring the water.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-10-2011, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
This question gets asked periodically, in fact there is a thread on this form last week or so. I have not tried it, and personally wouldn't. The Malaysian driftwood is widely available, Petsmart carries it, and I like the way it sinks immediately and is not too bad for discolouring the water.
Thanks ! I'll look for Malaysian driftwood.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-10-2011, 09:16 PM
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