Experiments in Blackwater Peat Extract

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Poseidon2.0 created the topic: Experiments in Blackwater Peat Extract

I have been experimenting further with the coffee maker method that Rocksor suggested in an old thread about liquid peat moss. www.oscarfishlover.com/forum/14-tanks-filtration-heating-etc/305428-liquid-peat?limitstart=0

I have found that my water is particularly stubborn and hard to get bellow 7.2-7.0 from 7.6-7.8. I am able to reduce the TDS to 250-290, down from around 350 out of the tap. My KH goes from 4 to 3 and GH from about 9 to 7-8. For those interested in what I am doing to soften my water, here are some new details. I go through the mental process of "is this worth it? yes, yes it is" every week. Ha. Has become a habit at this point.

Keep in mind that you might get better results with your own water, it really depends on what comes out of your tap. Experimenting on your own is key.

Peat Extract Volume:
I have upped my game a bit by getting a 42 cup Hamilton Beach coffee urn (about 30-40 bucks) which produces 3.5 times the volume of a regular coffee maker. One run through the urn when filled to capacity produces about 1.5 gallons of extract.



I put about 5 cups of PM into the basket of the urn (using a paper filter at the bottom so the water is mostly free from excess debris). I run this full through 4 times which creates about 6.5 gallons of extract before discarding the PM.

After four times through the urn, the Ph of the extract remains at 6.0 or below, but raises to about 6.4-6.6 after the fifth filtration. Not really strong enough for an effective extract.



So the ratio I have been using is about 1.25 gallons of extract to every cup of PM. I may reduce this to a 1:1 ratio by tossing the PM after three runs through the urn to try and create an even more effective extract.

Time commitment:
This takes some time. To create the 20 gallons of extract that I use each week in two tanks takes about 9 hours of waiting for the urn to turn over 12 times to produce that volume (about 45 minutes each cycle). Easy enough to put on while you are doing something else, but still a bit of a commitment to do each week.

To this I also ADD the Fluval Peat Moss Pellets. I go through about a box a week or two across three aquariums (the severum tank only gets the pellets).

Cost:
I go through about 5 bucks of Canadian peat moss every week and about 10 bucks of the peat moss pellets each week too. This adds up to about 15$/week, but would be in the neighborhood of 30$/week if I used the pellets exclusively as I would need to use about two boxes of it to get my PH down to a decent level (6.8-7.0).

My water is stubborn!!! :pinch: :pinch: :pinch:

I have contemplated using chemicals like the Seachem Discus Buffer and Discus Trace Elements to try an achieve the same results, but from what I have read these products, while reducing Ph actually contribute to TDS, which is not a really effective Blackwater environment. I will likely not be pursuing a chemical route as appealing for it's apparent ease in application.

More likely I will go the RO filter and denitrator route that Goranothos has used as I believe this will make my water less stubborn for creating a BW environment. The cost is a bit inhibitive, but given the time and money I put into my current method, might be worth it in the end.

If anyone needs to tell me I am completely bonkers for doing all this every week. Please feel free :lol: my family already does.
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Rocksor replied the topic: Experiments in Blackwater Peat Extract

I found that after 3 passes the water starts to follow the same path through the peat. When I stir the peat,, I can actually get more uses out of it.
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UNC-CH replied the topic: Experiments in Blackwater Peat Extract

B) This is one of the more fascinating posts I've seen. No way should this get pushed to 2nd page so quickly. Tannins like those found in peat have antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic properties and are good for the overall health of your oscar. Just be sure you know the GH and KH of your water before using peat, driftwood, oak leaves, etc. in order to lower your pH.

(bump)
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robham7770 replied the topic: Experiments in Blackwater Peat Extract

I must have missed it on a previous thread, but what are you trying to keep in the tank?
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Experiments in Blackwater Peat Extract

My two oscars, three wild severums, and a common pleco in three separate tanks adding up to about 275 gallons of blackwater I am trying to maintain. I realize that many people don't worry about bw for oscars and severums, but I like to try and keep their conditions as natural as possible and now it is just part of my weekly routine. I may try to keep something more sensitive like discus or GBRs at some point in the future, but am happy with my current array of tanks.
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Experiments in Blackwater Peat Extract

UNC-CH wrote: B) This is one of the more fascinating posts I've seen. No way should this get pushed to 2nd page so quickly. Tannins like those found in peat have antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic properties and are good for the overall health of your oscar. Just be sure you know the GH and KH of your water before using peat, driftwood, oak leaves, etc. in order to lower your pH.

(bump)


What is the best gh/kh to use with peat? I actually don't completely understand the relationship. I thought that gh is lowered somewhat by adding peat.
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UNC-CH replied the topic: Experiments in Blackwater Peat Extract

This would be better answered by Rocksor. B) I don't have a good understanding of the relationship either. I do know that if someone has very soft water with a very low KH (less than 2 GH, 2 KH), adding peat can cause a pH crash. If your water is at the other extreme, with a high GH and KH, then adding peat acts like an acid buffer. I'm pretty sure peat has an effect (maybe indirect) on KH, but again, I don't understand the relationship. Complicating this for me further is the fact that my water has a KH and GH both around 2, but the pH is around 8.5 out of the tap and 7.8 - 8.0 after sitting with an airstone for 24 hours. If I could understand how such very soft water could have such a high pH, I doubt I'd find the relationship between the GH, KH and Ph so confusing.
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