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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1420

>Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 09:24:20 -0500 (EST)
>From: busko at stsci_edu (Ivo Busko)
>Subject: Re: C02 Measurements
>There has been a number of posts lately about peat wreaking havoc with
>the pH/kH/CO2 relationship. I saw a *huge* effect when adding a small bag 
>with about 200 ml of fine ground gardening sphagnum peat to my aquarium. 
>With everything else kept the same, including kH and the CO2 bubbling rate, 
>in less than two days the pH dropped from 6.4 - 6.6 to below 6.0 (the lower 
>limit of my test kit). The pH had been stable for several months before, only 
>occasionaly raising to the 6.8 - 7.0 range when the CO2 yeast is near 
>exhaustion (tap water has pH = 7.4). So in this case in particular the 
>introduction of peat in the water *did* break up the relationship.

How big is the aquarium first off? Concentrations, age of the peat moss and
quality, water changes and frequency, bacterial explosions from a new
nutrient being introduced that lend themselves to producing chemicals that
lower the ph(?)(not the peat by itself), quality of of the test kit/probe
problems, yeast/CO2 production based on temperature reduction/increases
would cause fluctuations, Kh levels changing from source tap water during
seasonal fluctuations yada yada yada........

I've had similar experiences as this myself. I'm not 100% certain so I like
Roger's comment on MAY cause things to be thrown off. In small amounts with
regular water changes, I think it doesn't throw it off very much, more CO2
generally is present when it's used.
     Since it removes/binds some of the buffers/softens water also, the CO2
added will have more effect of lowering ph also. This can, by itself, cause
ph to drop dramatically. Add RO water to your tank to find out for example
instead of your normal tap water. Very soft water can be horrid to stabilize
using yeast CO2. So is it the drop in alkalinty or the addition of the humic
acids that throw off the Ph/Kh/CO2 table? Do the humic acids by themselves
cause this table to be thrown off? There's not much around to test this one
for the hobbyist<g>! You can test the alkalinty,KH and Ca levels, ph etc but
what about humic acids levels? How does one maintain a stable readable humic
acids level as a comparison? What concentration is it at using  x  amount of
peat?  Yuck!
May throw it off sounds good to me. I can live with that.
Tom Barr