[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: Plant Problems Issue#448

> Date: Sat, 23 Nov 2002 04:33:20 -0500
> From: "Michael Pizzi" <Michael.Pizzi2 at Verizon_net>
> Subject: Plant Problems Issue#448


> A reply to response why peat? i used the natural ph lowering properties of
> peat moss to help me control the ph issues my tank runs a ph of 7.0-7.2 Currently
> My town water comes out from the tap around 8.0-8.2.

Why do you want to control the pH? What do you imagine your "pH issues" are? 
All the peat does is make the pH/KH chart inaccurate for measuring the 
injected amount of CO2, IMHO. I use a lot of peat for breeding fish, as it 
has some wonderful properties. Those uses don't usually apply to my planted 
tanks, though.

> But when the water leaves the town treatment plant it has a reported ph of
> 9.2-9.4 That is quoted from the town EPA report it sends out monthly.

So what? That is true most everywhere, now that the folks at the EPA have 
mandated the high pH water.

The actual measurement is probably updated about every three years. :-) I 
have learned that making your own measurements is far superior to relying on 
the local water reports. They are a rough guideline that means little for 
actual day-to-day local circumstances.

> Now a Question on Pressurized CO2 usage, can someone explain to me
> why i need a ph controller, why i just couldnt shut off the co2 at night?

You don't need one. Most here don't use a controller, and many don't turn 
the CO2 off at night. Fish and plants don't react at all badly to the small 
pH swings involved with constant CO2 injection.

> Question to Tom Barr: You say just use co2 to regulate the PH, just look on
> a chart for the correct amount, could you please explain this to me, im still trying to
> learn. 

If you don't mess up the chemistry by adding other stuff (e.g., humic acids 
from peat), the KH of the tank is a measure of how pH resists being lowered 
by weak acids (like H2CO3 = H2O + CO2). If the primary buffer (source of KH) 
in the tank is carbonates/bicarbonates (it often is in normal tap water), 
the chart shows how much CO2 will give what pH at any given KH. [You can use 
baking soda to get the KH up to 4 degrees or more, without changing GH or 
anything else. Below that KH the chart is dicey and your tank can go 
unstable fast.]

> Can someone out there suggest to me a good test kit that is a little more
> accurate than the drops i use. I currently have the Aqua. Pharm. Master Test Kit.

If you are using CO2 and measuring pH frequently, your time is worth enough 
to make it a good idea to buy a regular pH pen. They are under $50 and 
measure to an accuracy of about +/-0.2. It takes remarkably few refills at 
LFS prices to make the pen cheaper than the dye. [Get some calibration 
buffers, too, as pH pens can drift if they get dirty. Check it once in a while.]

> If anyone has helpful advice or suggestions please let me know :)

I suggest you ignore the chemically-handicapped authors who have ignorantly 
overemphasized the role of pH in aquaria. The fish and plants feel the pH 
about as much as you feel the pH of the water when you jump into a swimming 
pool. That is, they really don't care. Secondary effects like ammonium --> 
ammonia conversion at high pH are real, but rarely a concern in a 
well-planted tank.  pH "shock" is 100% mythology.


Wright Huntley -- 209 521-0557 -- 731 Loletta Ave, Modesto CA 95351

        Liberty is the prevention of control by others.
         This requires self-control... Lord Acton