Adjusting pH in the aquarium can be vital for the health of both the fish and the plants in the aquaponics garden. For most aquaponic grown plants, the ideal pH of the passing water is at 6.8. It is quite rare that pH from the tap will be delivered even close to that range. If it is, you certainly are in luck. In most of the cases I have encountered, the pH is much higher than that, often in the range of 7.4 – 7.8.
Adjusting pH can be accomplished in a number of ways. The video made by Tyne Aquatics is one of the most complete and useful ones in the subject. It is particularly interesting because it focuses on the various ways that water can be softened and acidified naturally.
Adjusting pH can be quite tricky, since you need to deal with buffers in the water as well as dropping the pH. Natural methods, such as the five outlined in the video, of adjusting pH may take a bit longer to accomplish, but they do not harm the fish or put the plants in the aquaponic filter’s grow beds at risk. The plants are not exposed to harsh chemicals, rather they are provided with a number of trace elements and other nutrients that can help them grow strong and rapidly.
The use of chemicals is mentioned as the last resort, but the use of bogwood, peat, alder cones, Indian Almond Leaves, blackwater tonic all are discussed before the common remedies for adjusting pH like Ph Up and pH down are even mentioned. As an owner of an aquaponics filter, I would never use chemicals, so the alternatives for adjusting pH in a natural way are most welcome.
Adjusting pH with Peat
One of the cheapest ways for adjusting pH is to use peat, just be sure you are using peat moss, not sphagnum moss, There is difference between the two and only peat moss in a net or a fine mesh bag is going to improve the tank the way you are planning.