Re: Acid buffer & peat

> From: nfrank at parsifal_nando.net (Neil Frank)
> Date: Thu, 18 May 95 19:55:03 EDT
> Subject: Re: Muriatic acid to lower KH :-(
> George, 
> A tiny bit of Cl is not the most harmful side-effect of using hydrochloric
> acid. It could also cause some nasty burns and not feel too good if any
> splashes into one's eye. :-(
> Although Cloride ions are not desireable in excess, my feeling is that the
> tiny amount needed to lower the pH and KH is not going to be enough to
> introduce an unreasonable amount of Cl. Small amounts of Cl are needed by
> plants anyway.
> Using the atomic weights for Na (=11), H (=1) and Cl (=17), 3 gms of NaCl
> will provide approximately the same Cl concentration as 2 gms (~2ml) of HCl.
> Based on what I remember from my college chemistry, and as you and I both
> know, that was a long, long time ago :-), extremely small amounts of HCl
> (i.e drops) should be needed to make big change in pH, even in gallons of
> water. I further note that one gm of salt is only about 0.1 teaspoon. I
> don't think that is worth worrying about, unless we are talking about daily
> treatment.
> Or did I miss something?
> - --Neil
Well, I guess the stuff I used was either a very diluted form of muriatic
acid or not muriatic acid at all (Seachem's Phosphate-Free Acid Buffer)
because I used about 5 tablespoons per day for about a week in my 125 gal
tank before I saw any effect - but the effect was to lower pH from 7.2
to 6.8 and decrease KH from 6 to 0.75.

On a related subject, I posted this message to the aquarium listserver &
got no responses & I was wondering if anyone here would give me their 
2 cents worth:

Subject: Peat Moss - how does it work?

Hi everyone,

I just dumped a whole lot (approx. 1/4 of a 350 cubic inches bag) of
peat into a large bucket of hot tap water this morning.  The tap water
has pH 8.2 and approx. 20 dGh & dKH (350 ppm CaCO3).  This evening the
water in the bucket (nicely tea-colored) had a pH of 6.6, GH < 1, KH = 8.
What happened to the hardness?  I expected it to decrease pH but not
hardness.  If you add the peat to your tank then is there a chance of
the CaCO3 going back into the water at some point (I'm assuming it's
bound [reacted?] to the humic acids some how).  Does anyone out there
know exactly what's happening?


P.S  I have stopped using the Acid Buffer stuff.  I am considering putting
something in to try to remove any NaCl that may be in my tank now.  Do you
think that a Polyfilter will work or will it also remove some of the 
beneficial peat substances (though I can easily add more peat water - peat
is cheap from the garden supply store here).

RE: Undergravel heating

Also, while I think about it, I just read in the latest Aquarium Fish Magazine
about an undergravel plumbing system for use as undergravel heating.  I have
seen the heating cable DIY stuff but it seems a bit beyond my capabilities.
The plumbing system I think I could do - anyone (particularly George Booth
please) care to give their opinion of this system?  I will be moving to a
new apartment soon & thought it was a good opportunity to redo my substrate
with laterite and/or an UG heating system for my 25 gal tank, though the
plants grow pretty well in it right now except for hygrophilia diformis
which I cannot get to grow.