Botanicals/Leaf Litter Effect On gH, TDS and Conductivity.

JTW

So I know that driftwood, botanicals, leaf litter etc, can all introduce various acids to the water. I also know that these acids can react with the minerals that make up your kH, lowering it, and in turn possibly lowering the pH.

But what affect, if any, is there for the gH, TDS and/or conductivity?

I've read that when an acid reacts with your kH minerals, the products of that reaction can raise those other values. But I don't know which ones are affected, or why.

As a hypothetical, what would you expect to happen to gH, TDS, and conductivity in a hard water aquarium with a large source of organic material like a deep leaf litter bed?
 

MasterPython

You need to know the exact composition of everything in the system to answer that question.
 

MacZ

No effect on GH, slightly raised TDS, slightly higher EC accordingly.

That's all.

Botanicals have almost no effect on KH and pH when KH is higher than 1-2°.
You would have to add A LOT of botanicals if you want to change anything with higher KH.
 

GlennO

No effect on GH, slightly raised TDS, slightly higher EC accordingly.

That's all.

Botanicals have almost no effect on KH and pH when KH is higher than 1-2°.
You would have to add A LOT of botanicals if you want to change anything with higher KH.
Does botanicals include peat moss? I thought that was supposed to lower pH and soften water, though I have no experience with it myself.
 

MacZ

Peat (the brown stuff you can also use to enrich potting soil) yes. Peat moss (sphagnum) first has to rot and turn to said brown stuff.

Peat is basically concentrated botanicals. The KH can be as high as 5-6 and it still has effect. But as with botanicals in general it's depleted quickly like a teabag with every waterchange. The higher the KH the faster this happens. That's why at higher KH the stuff had no effect.
 

GlennO

Peat (the brown stuff you can also use to enrich potting soil) yes. Peat moss (sphagnum) first has to rot and turn to said brown stuff.

Peat is basically concentrated botanicals. The KH can be as high as 5-6 and it still has effect. But as with botanicals in general it's depleted quickly like a teabag with every waterchange. The higher the KH the faster this happens. That's why at higher KH the stuff had no effect.
Thanks. Sorry yes I meant peat not sphagnum moss.
 

PAcanis

Here are some readings I took today. Seeing as how I got a TDS meter today :)

This is of my Blackwater than I'm setting up. I filled it with water 11/1. It has a decent amount of Manzanita, some dry palm, sand over organic potting mix and leaf litter, sticks, seed pods... you've probably seen the pics. And a few small insignificant plants. Seeing as how BW typically cannot support plants.

It's a 38g. One water change it's second day, 11/2. When the Nitrites shot up from 2 to 5. Other than that, after adding Fritz Zyme 7 on 11/6, the parameters have stabilized, with readings of ammonia and nitrites at 0 the past several days. And nitrates going between 5 and 0. All with six Neon Tetras in it.

TDS 226
EC 480
dGH 9
dKH 6
pH 7.4

And I'm finally seeing mulm. I noticed it when I poured in some water a little too quickly yesterday.

I also tested my well water at the tap today. And the results surprised me.

TDS 135
EC 287
dGH 8
dKH 1
pH 6.4

The low tap pH would explain why when I did a 75% WC my tank's pH was actually 6.8. But 6.4 surprised me.
 

JTW

No effect on GH, slightly raised TDS, slightly higher EC accordingly.

That's all.

Botanicals have almost no effect on KH and pH when KH is higher than 1-2°.
You would have to add A LOT of botanicals if you want to change anything with higher KH.
Is the TDS increasing as a result of the interaction between the botanicals and the carbonates? Or is something separate causing that?
 

MacZ

The low tap pH would explain why when I did a 75% WC my tank's pH was actually 6.8. But 6.4 surprised me.
The low tap KH had likely much more impact. The pH is just indirect. Due to it being a logarithmic scale adding lightly acidic water does usually not change the pH much. 6.8 is still 0.4 higher than 6.4 and can be counted as neutral (6.8-7.2).

Is the TDS increasing as a result of the interaction between the botanicals and the carbonates? Or is something separate causing that?
TDS measures everything (TOTAL dissolved solids). You add a dissolced solid (e.g. humic substances or other leaching organic compounds) and the TDS go up. But usually the effect is marginal. Like 5-10 mg/l TDS and accordingly 10-20µSI/cm EC.
 

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