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Old 09-06-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
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Does Java Moss lower pH?

Hi all, I was reading an article about the Bolivian Ram, and the site said that since they like a lower pH, you could use Java Moss to keep the water more acidic. Is this true? I know that driftwood and peat moss lower pH, but I have never heard that Java Moss does.....Does it?
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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I've never heard that one before. I had a tank with a ton of java moss in it and never noticed the ph in that tank being any lower than the other tanks. Can you post a link to that article, I'd like to read it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:42 PM   #3
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Sorry it took so long, I was doing homework. (Bleah)
Bolivian Ram, Mikrogeophagus altispinosus, Bolivian Butterfly Cichlid Fish Guide
The part about pH is in paragraph 5 of the section 'care and feeding.'
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:20 AM   #4
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I doubt live Java Moss would effect pH at all. Consider this... It's not the driftwood or the Peat Moss, in and of itself, that helps to lower pH, it's the tannins that leach out of them. This is why you must change Peat Moss regularly, and if you have a piece of driftwood that is old and well soaked already it will do nothing to help lower pH as the tannins have already all leached out. As far as a Ram "needing" a low pH, it doesn't. It will adjust just fine to a higher pH so long as it is stable and you have acclimated them properly. The bigger issue with Rams is keeping the nitrate level low and keeping the water clean.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:26 AM   #5
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I agree with blert, good post. The only way I could see a potential pH drop by plants is if they sucked up all of the mg/ca causing a lack of buffer.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:31 AM   #6
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Actually, that is not quite right. While tannins may affect pH most significantly initially, any driftwood or organic plant material will have an overall effect on pH because of natural decomposition. The decomposition process results in the release of carbon dioxide, which mixes with water to form carbonic acid (a weak acid, but an acid non-the-less). Plants that are growing are constantly losing leaves and stems and regrowing new ones. This dead organic matter undergoes the process of decomposition in our aquariums and has an affect on pH, same with driftwood and peatmoss. Driftwood is simply a dead piece of wood that most likely has already started to decompose prior to hitting the aquarium, but most certainly begins to do so once it hits the water. Peat moss by definition is a combination of peat (dead organic matter) with moss growing on/in it. The rare exception to this would perhaps be those few types of driftwood that break down so slowly in water that their effect on pH would be minimal.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:48 AM   #7
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Live plants don't lower ph. Decomposing ones do. Decomposing tree leaves and Peat Moss both reduce ph. Decomposing plant material produces complex organic acids, like Tannic Acid.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wy Renegade
Actually, that is not quite right. While tannins may affect pH most significantly initially, any driftwood or organic plant material will have an overall effect on pH because of natural decomposition. The decomposition process results in the release of carbon dioxide, which mixes with water to form carbonic acid (a weak acid, but an acid non-the-less). Plants that are growing are constantly losing leaves and stems and regrowing new ones. This dead organic matter undergoes the process of decomposition in our aquariums and has an affect on pH, same with driftwood and peatmoss. Driftwood is simply a dead piece of wood that most likely has already started to decompose prior to hitting the aquarium, but most certainly begins to do so once it hits the water. Peat moss by definition is a combination of peat (dead organic matter) with moss growing on/in it. The rare exception to this would perhaps be those few types of driftwood that break down so slowly in water that their effect on pH would be minimal.
This is true, yes. Most of the biological processes that go on in an aquarium will drop the pH. Leave the tank alone long enough without doing a PWC and the pH will crash but this is because of a lack of buffer minerals not an over abundance of CO2. CO2 is gassed of too quickly to have a measurable effect on pH unless you are injecting it (or have way too much dead stuff in the tank). A thoroughly leached out chunk of driftwood is not going to have much of a measurable effect on pH.
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