Originally Posted by redchigh
Beaslbob, a lot of the ph observations have to with gh and kh.
If you were to add water with an extremely low kh to peat, the ph absolutely would drop lower than your "observations". If you post your water quality report from your source water, then I would concede that identical water, with peat from your local store, and sand from your store, would behave the same every time. Peat and sand can have variations from the region it's collected and proccessed in.
No offense, but I'm going to trust people like Tom Barr and Diane Walstead on this.
my current water is http://www.hmwater.org/pdf/2012WaterReport.pdf
previous water was at
Ellsworth AFB, SD
In case you want to check those out.
My current water started out at 4 dkh and 9 degrees gh.
With a sand substrate kh rose to 30 degress and gh to over 40 over a few years.
With peat moss in the substrate initially pH was 7 and in one case 6.5 or so. Kh and gh stayed to 4 and 9 respectively.
In all cases pH planted with no mechanicals rose to 8.4-8.8 over a few months.
All tanks used no water changes and just replaced the evaporative water and no chemicals of any kind were used.
Over the years some examples of the bioloads
-10g stable population of 30 guppies for 9 years of various sizes and 1/2 dozen or so reproducing adults.-9 years
-20g 30 or so platies plus 5 silver hachetfish.--3-4 years
(kh and gh not relevant) 55g saltwater 2 3-4 tangs, a 6" coral catfish, 3" yellow watchman gobie, couple of clownfish, couple of psuedochromis. and a bunch of soft corals. nitrates/phosphates unmeasureable. again no water changes, straight untreaded tap water. 8 years
30g marine couple of clownfish. 3 years
10g planted with 5 glo fish and 5 neon tetras (not recommended but added immediately with water conditioners). 3 years
a 15g with three angelfish. 4 years
betta bowl with 1 betta. 3 years
So I have observed low pH vaules as you suggest. But the plant action sucking out the co2 caused the pH to rise to high values in a few weeks. What the peat moss did was prevent the rise in kh and gh and in those tanks neon tetras did much better than in the tank(s) where the kh and gh did rise.
All I can do is report my findings, experiences, and measurements. If these disagree with "experts" then perhaps we should look to the differences in the methods to explain things. Not just echo other's statements without investigating what any differences are.
interesting link here: Goldfish and Aquarium Board Article-Setting up a Walstad Natural Planted Tank