Lowering Ph With Peat Moss

jennikz

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Hi all, I'm trying to regulate the pH in my goldfish tank. All other parameters (ammonia, nitrite and nitrates) are zero but pH is about 8.4. I purchased some peat moss to help naturally regulate the pH.

Currently, my filter has activated carbon. Will that defeat the purpose of the moss in reducing the pH?

My understanding has always been that if the pH is stable, it's fine; the fish will adapt. My oldest Goldie is almost a year old and he's been doing well aside from the occasional swim bladder problems which I fix with some fasting and peas and he bounces right back

What got me started on the pH is ... I visited a local privately owned fish store yesterday (as opposed to Petco) and they made me seem like I am the absolute worst fish owner because of my pH being so high .They said my tank will give me nothing but issues with such a high pH. My fish won't survive and I'll have green algae everywhere in no time.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
 

Mr. Kgnao

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I would forget about the peat moss altogether. You were right to begin with, a stable pH is generally more important than attaining any particular magic number, and goldfish will be fine with an alkaline pH.
 

A201

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Sounds like the manger at the LFS was trying to sell you something. Peat moss placed in the filter media box will lower the PH. To what degree depends on what buffers are present in the water source. Peat will also stain the water a strong tea color.
Note: toss the activated carbon. It's really not needed.
Goldfish are essentially Carp. They can adapt to just about any water parameter nature can throw at it; including your 8.4 PH.
 
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jennikz

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Just for laughs, I tested both the regular pH and high range ph of both my tap water (well water that sat out well over an hour) and the tank water. The tank is filled with water from my tap ... So something is making it go high. I've attached a photo... Left two cylinders (bluish) are pH with tap being on the left, tank being on the right; the right two (gold and purple) are the high range pH with the tap being on the left and tank on the right.

I guess it doesn't matter much for goldfish, but I was told snails will never live in that high of a pH and I'd really like some snails to survive.
 

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jennikz

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I guess the other reason I'm concerned is because ...
at some point before I die, I'd love to have a large tropical tank as well. And, well, if I can't get goldfish the right parameters, how will I ever have my tropical tank?!
 

Mr. Kgnao

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Strange that your pH climbs like that once it's in your tank, is there something in there you suspect might be causing it? In any event, the pH out of my tap is around 8.2, and I keep plenty of tropical fish.
 
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jennikz

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Strange that your pH climbs like that once it's in your tank, is there something in there you suspect might be causing it? In any event, the pH out of my tap is around 8.2, and I keep plenty of tropical fish.
I have no idea why it climbs once in the tank... I have gravel substrate that was purchased at Petco and rinsed thoroughly before added to the tank, a couple plastic plants and some resin decor. Everything is made for aquarium use, and I also have an air stone throwing some bubbles around, that's it, other than the 3 goldies and a snail. So far, the snail is still sucking on rocks, so I guess he's ok.
 

Mr. Kgnao

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In my experience with snails, hardness is more operative than pH, and if anything they prefer water on the alkaline side.
 

toosie

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Hi jennikz! These guys are right, you are doing just fine for your goldfish. I just wanted to say that it takes more than an hour for the gases trapped in the well water to stabilize with the environment in your home. Try taking a sample of your tap water and running an airstone in it for 24 hours to let the gases equalize. If at that point there is a large difference between it and your tank water then I would suspect your substrate is adding carbonated to your tank water. Some substrate is designed to increase ph, as it's not totally inert. For your goldies it does not matter. Your snails should do fine too.
When you decide to venture into creatures that may prefer a lesser pH there are definitely options for that, but many tropicals can also be kept in harder water with higher pH values. There are also many cichlids who also prefer the higher pH levels and there are some very beautiful cichlids to choose from. It's much easier to keep fish that are suited to the water source you have, but take heart in knowing that there are things you will be able to do if you ever really need to.
 
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