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BubbaGump

Sera Super Peat pellets?

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Hi all,

 

Question regarding Sera Super Peat Pellets. It is a suitable alternative to a buffering substrate? 

 

In the past, I have placed the pellets in my canister filter. It reliably lowers PH (as well as kh) over long periods. 

 

Does the substrate offer other benefits?  

 

I ask because I am interested in moving from neos to Cardinia species, but I’d rather not tear down my tank. So the pellets seem like a good option.

 

Current tank parameters without peat pellets, using Salty Shrimp gh/kh.

PH: 6.7

GH 7

KH: 2

TDS: 210

 

I use tap water because mine is soft-

no KH

very little GH

PH 7.2

TDS 60

 

Not interest in using RO. I also have saty shrimp gh for bees. And I top off with distilled between water changes. 

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What does the Pellets buffer down to?  Remember you need to have enough to make a difference.  You also can get these little glass pots and fill with the pellets.  I did that in my 20 gallon tank that has BDBS as substrate and used 6 of these pots that got my PH down from 7.4 to 6.4 using SL Aqua soil in the pots only.  The pots I got for super cheap like $2.5 each on the bay.

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Just a heads up after reading some reviews on the Sera pellets they do not buffer the PH for that long maybe a few weeks and thats it.  I would not consider this a permanent solution and would instead do what I did with some pots and use something like SL Aqua substrate that will last probably a year or longer.   With Cardinia you do not want to take short cuts.

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Thanks for the reply— I think the strength/duration of the peat pellets is based upon the water one uses it in and how much you add. Since my water is soft to begin with, I’m fairly certain the pellets will last a lot longer. In hard water, they become exhausted more quickly. I used them in the past in a planted tank, and it kept a very low ph (bottom of my liquid test kit chart) for many months. 

 

The pellets also release humics and fulvics, which I understand to be beneficial to shrimp— part of the reason ppl use Alder cones and capata leaves, etc. 

 

so, I guess my question is— what benefits do buffering substrates offer besides ph manipulation? Do they give minerals? Or any that promotes a better environment?

 

if i can maintain ideal parameters without the $$ substrate, do I really need it?

 

 

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11 hours ago, BubbaGump said:

Thanks for the reply— I think the strength/duration of the peat pellets is based upon the water one uses it in and how much you add. Since my water is soft to begin with, I’m fairly certain the pellets will last a lot longer. In hard water, they become exhausted more quickly. I used them in the past in a planted tank, and it kept a very low ph (bottom of my liquid test kit chart) for many months. 

 

The pellets also release humics and fulvics, which I understand to be beneficial to shrimp— part of the reason ppl use Alder cones and capata leaves, etc. 

 

so, I guess my question is— what benefits do buffering substrates offer besides ph manipulation? Do they give minerals? Or any that promotes a better environment?

 

if i can maintain ideal parameters without the $$ substrate, do I really need it?

 

 

 

I think you should try this out and report back, I know many (including myself) would be interested in lowering the pH of our water reliably without buffering substrate.  AFAIK buffering substrates just lower the pH, they do not add many (if any at all) beneficial minerals for shrimp that wouldn't already be added by Salty Shrimp GH+.  

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12 hours ago, ClownPlanted said:

What does the Pellets buffer down to?  Remember you need to have enough to make a difference.  You also can get these little glass pots and fill with the pellets.  I did that in my 20 gallon tank that has BDBS as substrate and used 6 of these pots that got my PH down from 7.4 to 6.4 using SL Aqua soil in the pots only.  The pots I got for super cheap like $2.5 each on the bay.

 

 

2

 

That's a great idea @ClownPlanted !  I'll have to take a look on Ebay for those and keep them in mind for when my current substrates become exhausted.  It may be a very viable alternative to breaking down tanks in the future! 

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3 minutes ago, fireshadow2000 said:

So I saw @ClownPlanted idea with the bowls and I have some fluval stratum. About how much would I need to use to buffer the ph down to 6.4ish for a 10 gallon tank? Or a 20L? I use RO water. Thanks for any help

It is hard to say so you would need about half of what I am doing in my 20 gallon to be safe.  So like 3-4 of the bowls filled with the substrate.  I would add them and test a day later to see what the substrate is then test a couple days later to ensure it stays the same.

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1 minute ago, ClownPlanted said:

It is hard to say so you would need about half of what I am doing in my 20 gallon to be safe.  So like 3-4 of the bowls filled with the substrate.  I would add them and test a day later to see what the substrate is then test a couple days later to ensure it stays the same.

Thank you! And what size are the bowls? I want to make sure I get the right ones

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1 minute ago, fireshadow2000 said:

Thank you! And what size are the bowls? I want to make sure I get the right ones

Size: diameter about 6cm,hight about 7cm

Here is a link to them I got from eBay.  Keep in mind they took about 3 weeks to get delivered as they shipped from China.  You can get them on Amazon I believe as well but more expensive but faster shipping.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Aquarium-Fish-Tank-Clear-Holder-Aquatic-Plant-Glass-Cup-Pot-Plant-Decor-Cup-Hot/292112637952?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

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I have to question the assumption that the peat is cheaper than a buffering substrate. A super quick google search showed that 500g of it goes for just under $20. Sounds more expensive than substrate by weight, even more so if you have to swap it out of your tank once or twice a year.

 

Why not get a buffering substrate and throw a cup or two in the filter? Swap it out when you start to notice pH creep and you should be able to use a single $40 bag of substrate for a loooong time (and multiple tanks). (I just read @ClownPlanted's strategy, basically the same thing)

 

Disclosure: I'm doing this with one of my tanks right now but it hasn't been long enough to say whether it's a viable strategy. Just hoping to avoid having to rip up the entire tank to replace substrate when it runs out.

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4 hours ago, ClownPlanted said:

Size: diameter about 6cm,hight about 7cm

Here is a link to them I got from eBay.  Keep in mind they took about 3 weeks to get delivered as they shipped from China.  You can get them on Amazon I believe as well but more expensive but faster shipping.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Aquarium-Fish-Tank-Clear-Holder-Aquatic-Plant-Glass-Cup-Pot-Plant-Decor-Cup-Hot/292112637952?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 

Oh snap, those pots are sweet, I was considering getting/making something like that for growing plants partly emersed. 

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Not a bad idea to put buffering substrate in the filter as media; probably in a mesh bag for easy changes. 

 

I already have the peat. So I’ll use it til it’s gone. It does provide other benfits- releases humic and fulvic acids (like alder cones and almond leaves) and lowers KH and gH if you have a enough pellets. It aldo removed heavy metals from the water (or sonthe box says). My LFS guy swears by it. 

 

I did put a small bag back in my filter yesterday. Lowered ph from 6.8 to 6.6 and kh from 3ish to 1ish. All is stable now. 

 

 

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Considering this tank is at 6.7 using GH/KH+, it might dip/stabilize to lower pH (suitable for some cards) with just a conversion to GH+.  (not including peat)

 

I'm only speculating this because my RO plus SS GH+ comes out to pH near 6.0..........I don't know what your water remin'd with SS GH+ would correspond to.

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Good point!! I’ll do some experiments out of the tank to figure out the ph with only SS gh added. 

 

I will likely try to shoot for a KH of 1 to provide some buffering capacity. May even mix a little gh/Kh into the SS gh to get there if I need. 

 

I was running co2 for a while, and had the peat. KH was 0, and the ph swings were wild. I imagine that was a due to the lack of a buffer with co2 turning on and off. Not going back there!

 

 

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1 hour ago, BubbaGump said:

Not a bad idea to put buffering substrate in the filter as media; probably in a mesh bag for easy changes. 

 

I already have the peat. So I’ll use it til it’s gone. It does provide other benfits- releases humic and fulvic acids (like alder cones and almond leaves) and lowers KH and gH if you have a enough pellets. It aldo removed heavy metals from the water (or sonthe box says). My LFS guy swears by it. 

 

I did put a small bag back in my filter yesterday. Lowered ph from 6.8 to 6.6 and kh from 3ish to 1ish. All is stable now. 

 

 


It's my impression that a lot of the buffering substrates use peat in their formulation (in addition to clays and other stabilizers).
Definitely use what you have but it's worth pointing out that peat's effects on its own are... weak. Like you said, a .2 pH point drop.
I put a cup or two of Controsoil in my canister last week and it dropped the kH from 2 to 0 and the pH from 7.6 to 6.4 in a couple hours.

 

Also, I think you're going to do it anyway but I wouldn't try adding kH boosters to a tank that actively pulls the kH to 0. Carbonates buffer the water up but they are not the only form of buffering available (like buffering substrates for the pH 6.4 range). I'm no chemistry expert but the shrimp community sort of treats kH like the holy grail of pH stabilizers. I suspect that's only true/useful when you're trying to stabilize around pH 7+. My guess is that by adding kH boosters, you'll exhaust your peat's ability to keep the pH low and then you'll just get pH creep until you add more peat.... and the kH drops again. I wish I had more concrete information about how buffers work, unfortunately all I have are weak guesses. :P

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Hmm. I think you are right.

 

1. I only added a small amount of pellets, hence the small drop. I may add more, but I wanted to go slow and steady. I’ve used a fair amount peat pellets without co2 in my tap water (7.2 ph) and gotten to around 6.0. As far as I can tell, my tap has basically 0 kh.

 

2. So active substrates stop the ph from dropping too low? The keep it at a specific number? That is really helpful to know if true.

 

3. Regarding adding kh- you are definitely right that adding kh will cause the peat to exhaust faster, because the two are working against each other. So I’m not sure. I will definitely try with only SS gh and see if i can avoid a ph crash. 

 

Basically, just trying to find a stable balance!

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Some of the articles I've read on this topic (using inert substrates with Caridina) referenced using small amounts of aragonite (crushed coral) to add buffering and prevent pH swing when used with Sera peat and inert substrates.  Never tried it myself, but flirted with the idea.  

 

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7 hours ago, fxninja said:

The purpose of the substrate is more than to just buffer the water. It for sure creates a really stable environment, but with a proper thick layer, it holds a lot of the beneficial bacteria as well as fauna needed for a healthy tank. 

 

While I agree with that, I think that can be accomplished with any substrate.  I also fully believe that you can keep shrimp in bare bottom tanks if you have enough surface area (plants, driftwood, filters, etc...) to keep beneficial bacteria on/in.

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I'm diggin everything except for the peat.  That's organic right? Gonna break down into little clouds of ammonia, which may or may not be a problem if there is good filtration.  I think I'm going to try to stick with non-plant matter, which is why I use Controsoil (Brightwell in USA i found out) I like that sea shell idea. This is great stuff in this thread.

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So when I was first starting I used prodibio and crushed coral in my media chamber to keep neos.  I have had nothing but problems with shrimplet survival.  I think it's from the pH being lower at the substrate and I places of little water movent.  Combine that with how little new born shrimp move and it is a bad combo.  I wonder if having peat or active substrate in only a few places could cause a simmilar issue?   Now however the only thing I use peat for is dropping the pH of tap water in my aging bin for my non shrimp tanks.  

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