Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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x2fast4everyone 12-27-2009 10:50 PM

Peat Moss?
Im planning on keeping a southamerican tank. My tap water is hard and high ph. I am looking for instructions on how to start the peat moss cycle and how to continue it. All post are welcomed!

Angel079 12-28-2009 11:13 AM

It really depends on what kinda water your starting with (hardness) and what to do you want to bring it down to?
Peat does help yes and I used it over yrs for the Killi's. But it can only do so much. So if your source water is superst hard and you want to achieve soft acidic water, you're better up mixing it EACH w/c with R/O water.
But you HAVE TO ensure the mixture is ALWAYS the same. If you expose your fish to constant swings up & down in pH & KH that's a positive killer for them over time.

Test your water exactly what it is (with liquid test kit) and tell us what fish you wanna house in it. You may be far better up leaving it as it is then tempering with it :-)

x2fast4everyone 12-28-2009 02:46 PM

My ph is 7.6 and about 250 hardness. Im looking at dropping the ph and hardness as much as peat moss will drop it

Byron 12-28-2009 04:21 PM

Hardness at 250 ppm is fairly hard water. It will take a good quantity of peat to lower that sufficient to allow the pH to become slightly acidic, which I assume is your goal, and as peat wears out (just like carbon though for a different reason) it will need frequent replacement. I don't know if Angel has used the peat method, I know Fishin Pole has so he would know what's facing you.

Personally, if I were in this situation, I would go with a RO unit. High initial cost, but as Angel mentioned it is more stable with respect to water parameters. It is also more certain. Another option is to use rainwater in combination with tap water. Rain water is acidic and soft, though you have to be careful if you live near industry as it can pick up toxins, and collect it away from runoffs from a roof for the same reason.


Fishin Pole 12-28-2009 05:00 PM

Byron is correct, i did use peat moss for the initial setup of my tetra tank and it was rather stable for me, to an extent........After about 6 months the Ph did start to rise back up, but at a very slow climb.......Using peat for me wasnt that difficult.....I found a moutntain bog near my house, and harvested some and brought it home........added to my water change garbage can and left it sit....It took my water down to 6.0 to 6.2.....(out of the tap, its 7.0 to 7.2) can be done, but alot of people, just dont want the hassle.....Another measure you can take is oak and beech leaves........They are known to soften water, but to what extent is hard to say........Everyones water is a little different and will react differently to different amounts of the leaves..............Alder Cones are also another route you could go, but their again its hard to say how much.......Considering all the variables, it probably would be wise to experiment a little with peat (or the other options) to find out how much will lower it to your desired level..........
Byron is probably correct, it would be a much easier fix for you if you went with an R/O unit, but using peat is a possible venture for you.....Good Luck on whichever way you go!

Angel079 12-28-2009 05:30 PM

Yea like I said up top, used the peat for the Killi, however my water wasn't THAT hard. And like fishin pole i replaced it about 2x year. It worked for what I needed it to do, but some folks are just shy cause of the 'extra hassle'.
In your case - assuming you wanna house Tetra's- i'd go the R/O route the peat alone will not drop it this far and/ or wear out very quickly on you. The advantage IMO RO vs Peat - You can exactly measure it and mix it with each water exchange.

x2fast4everyone 12-28-2009 05:33 PM

thanks for all the post. where can i get one of these r/o units and how do they work?

molliefan09 12-28-2009 09:55 PM

i dont know where you can get an r/o unit...but....i do know that most LFS sell r/o water. not sure of cost or what not but it is an option untill you can get your own r/o unit

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