Indian Almond Leaves and Peat Moss

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Poseidon2.0 created the topic: Indian Almond Leaves and Peat Moss

I have been experimenting with using peat moss and recently with IAL, with not a lot of success. Initially I used Fluval peat pellets which worked great, but as I realized how much these were going to cost me (about 17 bucks a month) I looked for some alternatives. I bought a bag of Canadian peat moss for about 11 bucks and had limited success. It will last for a few months so much better cost-wise than the Fluval stuff. I am filling up two media bags that I put in a HOB and I also soak about a half bag in a ten gallon bucket under my tank. Every water change on the 75 I add the bucket water which is really acidic (maybe 6.2) along with the tap water and the bags in the HOB which I have been changing every two or three weeks. This really doesn't work and the water typically stays about 7.2-7.4, maybe dipping down to 6.8 once in a while.

So I decided to supplement this process with Indian Almond leaves. I have almost double the recommended about in the tank, but still the PH is remaining relatively high. Safe enough for the oscar, but not what I want.

I may just suck up the price of the Fluval peat pellets as those seemed to work. Wondered if anyone sees anything wrong with my system or suggestions as to why the Ph remains high.

I read mixed things about the IALs. Some say they don't really affect PH others swear by them (beta breeders mostly).

I have also read that KH levels affect the Ph or at least how easily it can be manipulated, but I am a bit lost as to how one can manipulate the KH readings (one site said to use peat, but that takes me right back to square one).

Anyone have a good source of info on all of this? The internet is a bit wild and varied on this topic so not easy to navigate as a relative beginner with this aspect of fish keeping.
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UNC-CH replied the topic: Indian Almond Leaves and Peat Moss

I've had trouble finding an article explaining the relationship between KH, GH and pH beyond what I already understand. The KH in your water is a measure of its ability to buffer acidity. The peat lowers your water's KH and pH. When the peat filtered water is mixed with the other water, the buffering capacity (KH) of the other water absorbs the acidity of the peat water like a sponge. GH also has similar buffering capacity. At least that's how I understand it. :dry:

I've also bought peat in the bag like that. It's a lot cheaper than the fluval I'd think. It seems to me that if you add more peat to your filter the pH should drop.
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re:Indian Almond Leaves and Peat Moss

The way your using the peat will never work the way you want it to because once a week your are doing a water change from the tap which is counter productive. The minute you add that new tap water it instantly raises the GH and KH and rebuffers you water back to where it was then for the next week the peat tries to lower it only to be rest again in a week.

The concept of using peat is to try to replicate the soft blackwater of the amazon head waters so to have the most success you need to replicate the process as well. The Canadian peat moss is the replacement for all the leaves and decomposing plant matter on the jungle floor then the rainfall drains down from the jungle canopy and slowly through this compost where the water exchanges ions with the compost creating a water that is very soft and acidic having next to no hardness, In some places this water is in the mid 3's for pH. Now it is next to impossible to replicate the process exactly but with the correct aging and filter system you can make a water that sensitive blackwater species are able to not only survive but reproduce successfully without the need for RO water. Check out the links below then if you have any questions ill try to answer them


My system build thread
www.oscarfishlover.com/index.php/forum?view=topic&catid=49&id=301973

Some more good info
www.oscarfishlover.com/index.php/forum?view=topic&catid=53&id=304228

My old blackwater apisto biotope
www.oscarfishlover.com/index.php/forum?view=topic&catid=63&id=302235


Also dont worry about the IAL you will need a tremendous amount to really affect anything and good old oak leaves work just as well they just break down faster
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  • Darth Nandopsis
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Darth Nandopsis replied the topic: Indian Almond Leaves and Peat Moss

Me. I just replace the peat pellets every time I do a WC, use a old Whisper 60 & just change 1 side every time.WC is 75% 1X per week now. I use the Fluval stuff because the peat in a bag is a freaking mess....& I get a box of it for $11 from Hidden Reef, lasts for several WC's. I find this to be effective at keeping the water....but yeah, anybody looking to keep BW species, go see BK. B)

THOSE WHO REFUSE KNOWLEDGE ARE DOOMED TO FAIL.

WATER CHANGES ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THIS HOBBY. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE SO OR SIMPLY DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING THEM, RE-HOME YOUR FISH, SELL YOUR AQUARIUM & FIND ANOTHER HOBBY, AS YOU WILL FAIL UTTERLY, COMPLETELY, & MISERABLY.
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re:Indian Almond Leaves and Peat Moss

Maybe i should clarify my system above is the best way to use the Canadian peat moss, while being cheaper its defiantly a PITA to use. If you would use an aging basin system like mine i would make enough peat water for 1/2 a water change and then mix it 50/50 with tap but you will to mix it before doing the water change or there might be a significant ph swing

Honestly for your use i would follow jacks lead and use the pellets
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  • Poseidon2.0
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Re:Indian Almond Leaves and Peat Moss

Thanks guys. Seems as if the leaves and/or Canadian peat route requires a lot more material and longer soaking times than I realized. The Flual stuff is probably easier for my purposes.

That said, I kind of like the idea of making my own peat filtration system like BK did, seems like it might be fun (though may change my mind after I set it up, lol). Seems that my 10 gallon bucket system lacked the volume of water needed to make any significant change.

@BK: Where did you get your 30 gallon basins? I am not having much luck finding something similar. I already have a sub. pump, so could probably set something up pretty easily.

Not sure I will do it, but just want to know, in case I decide to go that route.
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re:Indian Almond Leaves and Peat Moss

I work in the residential sewage supply industry so thats where mine come from but i believe home depot and lowes sells something similar in there plumbing section by the sump pumps
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Re:Indian Almond Leaves and Peat Moss

Thanks. I saw some sewage containers that looked similar to yours, but wasn't sure if those were usable or not. They were about the right size.
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re:Indian Almond Leaves and Peat Moss

If i remember correctly they are exactly like mine except mine are a little heavier duty and the ones you saw are prolly the slightly shorter 22 gallon sump basin mine are specialized larger sewage basins i doubt HD or lowes carries
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