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sphagnum peat moss

Discussion about fish health and water chemistry.

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Post Mon May 01, 2017 7:09 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
Level 20 Member

Posts: 12302
Location: apple valley, mn
Four stage RO units will produce 99.9% pure water with pH of 7 and tds of 4 ppm. Add this water to tank with fish and tds will likely increase to 110 ppm and pH will likely stay between 6-7 units.

Some of us would like to bred fish that require a lower pH and lower tds too. Why do the fish require these parameters? Usually the fish originate in black water. That is water that starts relative pure, free of minerals and ions that raise tds and buffer pH of water. Add decaying vegetation to this water and pH falls and tds falls also. This is where some species live in Nature.

The problem then is RO water does not duplicate black water and is therefore not a suitable water for breeding blackwater fish. The difference is decaying vegetation. No one wants decaying vegetation in their tanks. However, maybe sphagnum peat moss maybe acceptable. Down side to adding peat moss is water takes on brown or tea colored tint. The up side is peat moss will drop RO water to pH of 4-5 and reduce tds to 50. In fact, tap water from an aquifer typically has pH of 8 and tds of 450 ppm. Same peat moss added to this tap water will reduce pH to 4-5 units and drop tds to 50 ppm.

Pelvicachromis like this pH and tds and have bred in my fish room, likely as a result of pH and tds values of tank water approaching similar chemistry of the water their ancestors were found in.

I can say that I have spent over $300 on an RO unit and the number of spawns resulting from using RO water has been zero. I also spent $8 on a bag of peat moss and similar bio products and have a handful of successful spawns.
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Post Thu May 25, 2017 11:55 pm
ngkevin2011 Level 3 Member
Level 3 Member

Posts: 95
Which one did you use?! Sphagnum peat moss or peat moss?! I just wanted to clearify because I also want to try using it to lower the pH in my planted tank. Appearantly they are not the same products due to harvesting method. ... -moss.html

Post Fri May 26, 2017 12:34 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
Level 20 Member

Posts: 12302
Location: apple valley, mn
Sphagnum peat moss.

Sphagnum peat moss is peat moss but it is not peat.

Peat is decaying plants in a bog (marsh, swamp, wetland). Peat may or may not be fully decayed. As peat ages in the bog, coal maybe formed from the peat. Peat is also used as a fuel.

Sphagnum moss is a living moss that grows on top of some but not all bogs. As living sphagnum moss dies it forms layers in the bog. These dead layers of sphagnum moss are then called peat moss or sphagnum peat moss. Naturally formed peat moss bogs are thousands of years old and contain various species of dead sphagnum moss. As nautral peat moss bogs are harvested for sphagnum peat moss, they are often replaced with a sphagnum moss to start a new sphagnum peat moss bog. Usually only one species of sphagnum moss is placed on top of the bog to start the process.

It is living sphagnum moss that enviornmentalists are concerned about. Some horticulturists want this living moss to cover their plants soil. If the demand outstrips the supply, some day wild sphagnum moss will no longer exist.
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Post Tue May 30, 2017 9:18 am
d33pVI Level 1 Member
Level 1 Member

Posts: 16
I've seen some folks using Rooibos tea for similar purposes.

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