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Peat for absorbing/ neutrelising cement ph

suztor

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So i'm in the final stages of my cement rock wall build and am soaking my tank with daily water changes.

I know cement leaches lime. Which is alkaline and i know peat is acidic.

Now if i were to put peat in my leaching tank would it dissolve/absorb/get rid of the lime? And give me my 'natural' tapwater ph?

Also heard about using white vinegar but it makes me nervouse for some reason.

Lastly how long should i expect this process to last? I've read 3 days, 2 weeks and several months.. Which is it?

I'm currently aiming at 2 weekish+
 

SludgeMunkey

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Use of any sort of acid will break down and destroy the surface causing your project to fail early.

It is better to seal the concrete with a paint or resin rated for aquaculture use. Personally, i use mate finish clear urethane or aquaculture DTM mastic.
 

Jennewt

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That's what I was thinking too - sealing the concrete might be the way to go.

In theory, peat and cement would neutralize each other, but it's hard to predict the actual outcome. One could produce more ions and overpower the pH, despite the other.

Have you measured the effect of the cement on the water pH? It's also possible that it's not having a big effect.
 

suztor

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Its not having a huge effect and i can see it slowly balancing out

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suztor

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The ph does seem to be leveling out slowly, would you still strongly suggest sealing it. It'll just be a bit of a pain to actually get it all evenly covered and get all the nooks and crannies dry.

This project has been really time consuming and is driving me nuts as i have a bunch of otherstuff i'd like to get done before winter arrives.

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SludgeMunkey

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I know the aquarium folks, especially cichlid and salt water types obsess over this supposed issue, but as of yet I have been unable to find any proof.

I mentioned how it would tear up the surface- I have witnessed this both in one of my own bog projects, and in quite a few improperly maintained ponds.

In my own experience, use of acrylic fortifier during construction makes it inert, but sealing it doesn't hurt at all.
 

suztor

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I did use the acrylic fortifier (as per your okinawa build) But in the end I cheated with a little water but still mainly fortifier because i wanted to get a smoother finish on the small island.

Although that makes me feel confident I did pretty good since my pH is very close to my tap water (stupid high out of the tap IMO). Either way I wont be doing the acid treatment to move anything along faster, I rather force myself to be more patient than ruin this epic(for me) build!

Thanks so much for the advice!
 

penthea

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Hi ! I have a similar problem living in the East of England with the PH of the water .

I use peat pellets, Just drop them into a large bucket of water and leave to brake down , it takes some time to do this, you can help by crushing the pellets, then simply add a small amount of this water to the water you are adding to the terrarium, the only set back is that your water will have a slight brown (almost like tea) colour to it !
BUT ......one strange thing about using pellets that they dont tell you about is.......you sometimes get insects in them , i had a load of large flies appear much to my amphibians delight !

Hope this helps ! :happy:
 

suztor

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That's a good idea, I've been tempted to use blackwater extract which essentially is peat extract (it's by tetra i think...) a few drops per gallon when doing water changes, i'm thinking if I have a consistent formula, (ie 2 drops per gallon) things should stay rather reasonable.

Another thing i thought of doing is to put one of those water softer pillows in my filter, has anyone had any luck with that?

I know that water hardness is not the same as pH but i have read somewhere that it can influence it.

I know for a fact that we have really really really REALLY hard water. Its near impossible to boil water, the toilets no matter how much I scrub them have hard water rings around them the water faucet all have crust from the hard water on them, it's really rather frustrating since I try pretty hard to have the house be rather presentable ( within a 10 min clean up period :p )
 

SludgeMunkey

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I suggest sealing it either way.

Truthfully though, I would bet that you will see the pH stabilize during the wetting in period and even more so during the tank cycling period.


The trick with these sorts of builds is patience. It can take months to get things ready for live animals. Sealing the concrete speeds up the process considerably.
 

Justyn

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Curing it by spraying it with vinegar works quite well.
 
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  • SamAxolotl:
    @FragileCorpse, the chat room is a good way to get some basic answers. if you're looking for more detailed answers, go to caudata.org home page and then scroll down to newt and salamander help. I think you might be able to get some more answers from there from people with experience with newts/ salamanders specifically. you could probably also contact a breeder and see if they have advice for you. Some vets also have info on exotic animals as well. local wildlife centers/ rehab facilities/ rescues may also be a good resource to look into. hope your little guy feels better soon!
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  • SamAxolotl:
    @FragileCorpse, I think a plastic tub would be fine along with a spray bottle to keep it humid (I've seen a lot of people keep reptiles etc in plastic tubs their whole lives happily) Not sure about the fear/ shock aspect, but maybe bring a towel or blanket to put over the tote (if it's a clear tote, that is) as well to keep it dark for him so he doesn't get spooked by so much movement that will be going on. I've used that for other animals and it seems to be effective for keeping them calm. See if you can get your hands on some earthworms for food. they're nutritionally dense and it looks like that's one of the main things your salamander would be fed in captivity. Crickets were another suggestion for food as well. praying you all stay safe!
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    SamAxolotl: @FragileCorpse, I think a plastic tub would be fine along with a spray bottle to keep it humid... +1
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