Peat Filtering

Discussion in 'Discus' started by PeterWest, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. PeterWest
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    PeterWest Algae harvester

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    Hi All

    I went to the Agrimart today and saw that they had some peat (15dm3) there. Is this peat suitable for lowering my pH in my discus tank?They provided no extra information except for the 15dm3.Will this have any negative effects on the inhabitants?

    Regards
    Peter
     
  2. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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    hey peter,

    it depends what else if they have added, and what type of peat it is...

    check what the ingredients say, if it contains nitrogen or phosphates then i would not add this to my tank as it contains added ferts.
     
  3. tyronegenade
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    tyronegenade Specialist

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    DO NOT mess with the pH in your discus tank. If you lower it artificially like this then when you do a water change it will spike up and suddenly safe levels of ammonium will turn into lethal levels of ammonia.

    There is no need to artificially low pH in the Cape. Our water, which is very soft, will naturally suffer a pH drop. The idea is to do water changes to prevent the pH dropping too low (<pH 5), where the bacteria go on strike and the ammonium accumulates dangerously.

    If you are keeping discus, just like if you are keeping Tanganyikans etc..., the goal is to keep the water conditions stable, not perfect. I have happily spawned Discus in fresh tap water in pet shop. The pH was somewhere around 7. A 50% water change had been done the day before with plain old tap water.

    Don't mess with water parameters unless you have lots of time and money to fiddle because one you mess with it you will have to keep messing with it.

    Here in SA what is sold as peat very often isn't. I had to go to great lengths to get real peat for my Nothos. In the nurseries you normally get Knysna Peat which is partially decomposed fern fibres and other rubbish. This stuff is not at all useful for fishtanks. If you want the polyphenols in the water then rather add a cup of tea (1 cup to 40 L).
     
  4. BioLogic
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    BioLogic Algae harvester

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    So many things get sold as "peat" in ZA. I found a bag of so-called peat in a friends garden shed - I think it was Compel or some similar brand-name - it was actually fern fibre - basically hammer-milled Dicksonia antarctica or Osmunda regalis! Very nice for growing plants that require a well-aerated nutrient-poor substrate but most certainly not peat! Also check the country of origin - if it is Canadian then it should be good - quite often there's is a blonde sphagnum peat which is useless for the purposes that you require it for but excellent as an addition to a substrate. Avoid "sedge peat" at all costs - very high in salts! I have found that amongst the best peat is that which is sold as an absorbent for oil or chemical spills! Very good quality Canadian dark peat!

    Personally I wouldn't use peat to make a blackwater extract - its just too expensive and you just don't know what you going to end up with - it all depends on the peat! You are far better off using ceylon/rooibos tea or decomposed oak leaf tea. Or try filtering your water over a large bed of activated carbon - before using it in your tank. The carbon should adsorb almost everything in the water - do it a few times with clean carbon each time and the water should be softer.

    Cheers

    Robin
     

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