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  1. #21

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    1 Not allowed!
    Peat, alder, driftwood and leafs release tannins. Big moleculs but only a relatively mild acid. If you got soft water they will quickly lower ph, if you got hard water you get a lot of colour.

    I'd suggest you read up a bit on the basics of freshwater chemistry.
    http://www.cs.duke.edu/~narten/faq/chemistry.html

  2. #22

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    0 Not allowed!
    ^^^^ I just read that link. I learned a lot, thanks for posting it!
    Tanks: 30 gal community and 10 gal shrimp/community
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  3. #23

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    Peat, alder, driftwood and leafs release tannins. Big moleculs but only a relatively mild acid. If you got soft water they will quickly lower ph, if you got hard water you get a lot of colour.

    I'd suggest you read up a bit on the basics of freshwater chemistry.
    http://www.cs.duke.edu/~narten/faq/chemistry.html
    i read the article, and in the article it suggest to soften the water to use peat moss, i assume the peat moss absorbs the calcium and magnesium or there is some sort of exchange, just like adding RO water to regular water doesnt get rid of clacium and magnesium just dilutes it.

  4. #24

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    0 Not allowed!
    or maybe it doesnt do anything to the calcium and magnesium just lowers the ph and makes water more acidic with still same level of GH, article doesnt really explain much and cant find anything that explains how the peat moss functions.

    im not questioning you or your knowledge, i just like to have things thoroughly explained so i can have the full story, im anal like that, and the article doesnt really explain how peat moss functions, it says makes the water more acidic and talks about aging water with peat but doesnt talk about dissolved minerals and how they are effected.

    more clarification if you had any would be appreciated, at least from me.
    Last edited by birdman1275; 11-25-2013 at 04:15 PM.

  5. #25

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    0 Not allowed!
    Ok. Let's take this step by step and give others a chance to participate. First of all.. how much did you understand about buffers in the context of ph?

  6. #26

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    0 Not allowed!
    i understand buffering capacity is the waters ability to exchange ions or gasses correct? and buffering capacity is expressed as KH, correct?

    then PH is alkalinity or acidity of water, 7.0 being nuetral, anything above 7.0 alkaline sometimes expressed as hard water, and anything below 7.0 being acidic or soft.

    this is where it gets confusing because hard and soft water also refer to GH or general hardness which measures the amount of calcium and magnesium in ones water column.

    so when one says peat will make water softer if peat doesnt take out clacium and magnesium like you say and makes sense than the softening of the water would refer to the peat lowering the PH of the water making it more acidic or "softer" ?

    which in that case you would be correct that adding peat would do nothing to change hardness in water, or does it?

  7. #27

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    0 Not allowed!
    I suddenly suspect your school days are not as long ago as mine. Good answer!

    For our practical purposes we're going to stick with a base buffer since that's the most common in water Base buffers can be any number of minerals but KH or mg/l CaCO3 is an interesting one. if we know this we could even calculate how much of a known acid to add to get the Ph to swing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffer_...ting_buffer_pH

    PRoblem is with the traditional aquarium methods, you don't know what's exactly leaking out of your oak leafs or peat. You just know it's an organic mild acid from the tannin family of acids. And with hard water it can take an awful lot of tannins for something to happen. Taking hard water and then throwing so much acid into it that you actually cause the Ph to drop is guaranteed to make fish feel very unhappy which is why products like PH down so often cause a 50% fish loss.

    Now.... minerals, and CaCO3 is no exception, can be removed from water to make water soft in a few ways
    - ion exchange. You take an ion of Ca and replace it with Na (for example) Common for residential water softening since Na has less taste and doesn't form limescale as easily. PRetty useless for aquariums though
    - You can have things in the aquarium use them up. In this example CaCO3 will be disassembled over time into Ca and CO2 for the plants and O2 for the fish. Goes slow and unevenly though.
    - You can "catch" them by running the water past a chelating agent. Temporary measure again.
    - You can add pure water like rainwater or reverse osmosis

    Fish can sense the hardness of the water and a lot of species care more about that then the actual Ph of the water (as long as that's reasonably stable), Adding some peat to stain the water will cheer up a wild caught jungle species but not to the extend that providing soft water will. T
    Last edited by talldutchie; 11-26-2013 at 06:38 AM.

  8. #28

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    I suddenly suspect your school days are not as long ago as mine. Good answer!

    For our practical purposes we're going to stick with a base buffer since that's the most common in water Base buffers can be any number of minerals but KH or mg/l CaCO3 is an interesting one. if we know this we could even calculate how much of a known acid to add to get the Ph to swing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffer_...ting_buffer_pH

    PRoblem is with the traditional aquarium methods, you don't know what's exactly leaking out of your oak leafs or peat. You just know it's an organic mild acid from the tannin family of acids. And with hard water it can take an awful lot of tannins for something to happen. Taking hard water and then throwing so much acid into it that you actually cause the Ph to drop is guaranteed to make fish feel very unhappy which is why products like PH down so often cause a 50% fish loss.

    Now.... minerals, and CaCO3 is no exception, can be removed from water to make water soft in a few ways
    - ion exchange. You take an ion of Ca and replace it with Na (for example) Common for residential water softening since Na has less taste and doesn't form limescale as easily. PRetty useless for aquariums though
    - You can have things in the aquarium use them up. In this example CaCO3 will be disassembled over time into Ca and CO2 for the plants and O2 for the fish. Goes slow and unevenly though.
    - You can "catch" them by running the water past a chelating agent. Temporary measure again.
    - You can add pure water like rainwater or reverse osmosis

    Fish can sense the hardness of the water and a lot of species care more about that then the actual Ph of the water (as long as that's reasonably stable), Adding some peat to stain the water will cheer up a wild caught jungle species but not to the extend that providing soft water will. T

    Lol yeah i have a bit of time on my hand, thanks for this info, very interesting and makes my brain turn a bit, the whole ion exchange can be a bit confusing but it makes sense.

    thank you.

  9. #29

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    0 Not allowed!
    I use a 3/4 RO to 1/4 tap for softer water that still buffers out to 7.0-7.2. I ended up losing all the new cardinals. It was just so weird because they'd be fine all day, eating, showing good color, then the next morning one would be dead at the bottom of the aquarium. I ended up with three out of ten. The hatchets are actually doing well this time, only lost one out of this last batch. So one last time until spring I picked up six more cardinals. I did a drip acclimation this time in a covered black bucket with airstone. I waited until the water level in the bucket had tripled before netting them and adding to the aquarium. They were really light in color, but started gaining color when they grouped up with the previous three.

    But here's a pic of some of the ones that unfortunately passed. Is there anything Iat be missing that might be a symptom of something other than stress?
    image.jpg
    70 Gal Planted Rio Negro Angelfish Biotope with:
    1 Whip Tail Pleco
    7 Hatchet fish
    11 Glo Light tetras, 6 Black Skirted Tetras
    6 Bronze Corys
    3 Wild Type Angelfish
    Current Plants:
    Giant Amazon Sword, Narrow Leaf Java, Val, moss on driftwood


  10. #30

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    0 Not allowed!
    So healthy, previously active and feeding fish die without symptoms in the night only, and only new fish do so.
    how much aeration does your tank receive, especially after lights out?

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