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Old 05-04-2005, 05:01 PM   #1
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peat - filter media

I am going to set up a 55 gal tank with some peaceful SA cichlids (one of the reasons is I already have 2 juvenile angels in a smaller tank). They need soft, acidic water, however my tap water is the opposite. Peat extract has been recomened to me to acidify the water. Can I mix carbon and peat pellects in the same media container in my filter?

Also how do I soften my water (would ro be going to far and would it complicate things - having to harden the water slightly because it is too soft ?)
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Old 05-05-2005, 03:32 AM   #2
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Firstly, I would suggest matching fish to what your water is. But since you want certain fish - peat will only slightly lower the hardness. To make any significant difference you would want an RO system. There are additives you can buy to put some of the good minerals back in. Personally, I just mix 50/50 tap and RO. Driftwood will also help a little.

Carbon and peat should mix fine. Most people here don't use any carbon anyway.
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:04 AM   #3
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Moden tnk bred angel fish will successfully breed in alkaline and hard water. How hard and how alkaline is you water. I wouldn't worry about it, just go with your tap water. Only worry about water if you are breeding delicate or wild caught species which need it.

It is fine to keep them in your water. Just make sure the pH is less than eight point something.

Peat will help lower pH and you can use it if you think it helps. It will make your water a bit yellow though.
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Old 05-05-2005, 09:47 AM   #4
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Ditto to what's been said. Especially the part about the fish not actually needing the "right" PH as long as it isn't wild caught. Even more sensitive fish such as rams can tolerate higher PH levels with in reason.

If you want the peat to be effective, you do have to remove any carbon in your filter. The carbon will remove the tanic acids, and that is what actually lowers your PH.

But personally I find that if your KH is up there peat has little effect at all, unless it finally gets so dark in your tank that it's not so pretty anymore.

An example would be when I wanted to see just how much it took to lower my tank to 6.8 from 7.8. I boiled 4 cups of peat in a gallon of water for half an hr, adding water to the pot to keep it at 1 gal.

Strained it out and over a weeks time pored it in every night and tested. it took almost the entire gallon to drop it that low. But the tank looked like I needed to get some lemons and sugar and invite some friends over.
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Old 05-05-2005, 03:27 PM   #5
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would peat extract pellects in the filter colour the water? I might be getting some more delicate dwarf cichlids to go with my angels so i think I might need an ro system (i like the 50/50 with tap water suggestion). How expensive are the they and does anyone have any ideas about the cheapest?
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Old 05-06-2005, 03:37 AM   #6
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If you are patient you can get one on ebay for around $70 (keep bidding on them until you get lucky). That is with US shipping. UK shipping might be a little more. Mine is an Aqua-Safe brand from Canada.

I did have problems with it leaking. But I bought some epoxy that fixed it quite well.
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Old 05-06-2005, 05:39 PM   #7
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Will German Ram Cichlids be able to live in a ph of 7.4 if they are acclimated slowly? It is steady and I would really like to avoid trying to alter the ph (as I heard I should avoid it). I added one piece of driftwood but didnt get any effect in my 55 gal. So would adding peat be beneficial?
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Old 05-06-2005, 05:46 PM   #8
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At 7.4 adding peat is not needed to keep rams healthy. You might need to if/when you want them to breed. But they will do fine in that PH granted they are not wild. Most aren't. So ask your LFS.
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Old 05-06-2005, 09:48 PM   #9
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I have rams that are spawning every 3 weeks at pH 7.2-7.4.

But back to the other peat question. Yes, to lower pH the acids that are in peat go along with the colour you will get stained water. In mild cases it might just be yellowish and to me that is no big problem.

I have seen pics of wild discus tanks where you can barely see the fish. The aquarist was trying to replicate the natural environment. I suppose for breeding purposes.
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Old 05-07-2005, 03:19 PM   #10
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So am I right to assume: Lower ph from peat=stained water. No stained water= no significant lowering of the ph?
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