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TOPIC: Humic Subtances in Freshwater Aquariums

Humic Subtances in Freshwater Aquariums 4 years 1 month ago #20812

  • kmuda
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A few side notes for you there Rush.....

web.archive.org/web/20041225003125/http:.../Scheel/Scheel20.htm
Peat and Peat moss is a mass formed by more or less decomposed and stabilized remains from sphagnum mosses and/or other mosses and bog-vegetation. In this way nature stores rather many valuable nutritious matters that soon or mostly later might be used by plants. Peat contains many plant nutrients which in the free form are only present in limited amounts in nature, such as carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphor (P), sulfur (S), and potassium (K) and also the unlimited nutrients hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O). Normally peat has 55-56% carbon, 33% oxygen, and 3-6% nitrogen. Iron (Fe), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) are found in the peat also. Peat normally also might contain lots of trace elements once taken up by the living plants or later by the peat itself such as silver, gold, beryllium, zinc, cadmium, scandium, thallium, germanium, tin, lead, arsenic, manganese, cobalt, and nickel. The contents of metallic elements vary greatly depending on the conditions under which the peat has been formed and the later contact with the surrounding waters.

- Peat has also captured carbon dioxide during it's formation. This is released as the peat breaks down in water.

- Peat adsorbs copper.

- Peat may help prevent algae breakouts

- Vitamins are also present in peat: A, B, D, F, K,

After watching how energetic and healthy the fish are in this peat and cattapa leaf treated blackwater tank, I am contemplating extending this to the other tanks, which means I would need a few hundred gallons of this pre-treated water each week. I happen to have two unsused 125 tanks in the garage, which would pretty much cover it, combined with 40 breeder and 29 gallon I already have for water aging.

I am convinced a combination of the peat filtration and use of cattapa leaves is having a positive impact on the fish (and plants). There is simply more pep to the step in these fish than I am experiencing in the other tanks. This certainly could have something to do with the daily water changes. One way to find out is to go ahead and adopt the concept on the 40 breeder as well, which at this point is a straight up SA tank (Rams, Neons, Emperor Tetras) where this treatment applies.
120g - Tiger Oscar, Parrot Cichlid, SDs | 55g - 24 Year Old Kissing Gourami
55g - Angelfish/Bolivan Rams | 40g GBRs - 20g Apistos
65g Blackwater Planted Discus Tank
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 Rat Terrier, 1 wife, 1 old lady, 1 sub-adult, 1 rug rat.
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Humic Subtances in Freshwater Aquariums 4 years 1 month ago #20831

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Is it the side benefits of peat? Or is it just a matter of giving south american cichlids what they actually prefer... soft, acidic water.

Once I get this planted tank figured out I'll be adopting this method for my 20g apisto tank.
"My Country is the World, and my Religion is to do good." -Thomas Paine
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Humic Subtances in Freshwater Aquariums 4 years 1 month ago #20851

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Just watching the cories.... they are all over the tank. Even up and down the driftwood. The level of activity, hunger, and just overall vibe surpass everything but possibly the oscar. But from top to bottom, the behavior in this tank is superior. Even the cardinals are getting aggressive at feeding time, diving into the discus fray to snag food.

What ever it is, I'm going to try and replicate it in the 40 breeder Ram tank and go from there. I know where I am in this tank. We'll see how the conversion to peat/cattapa treated water affects them. I think there is more to it then soft acidic water. My source water is already soft with a neutral PH. But it does not contain the elements, nutrients, and chemicals being released by the peat and almond leaves.

I'll also see if it has any effect on algae... Brown or other wise, because I am having a small brown algae issue in the 40 breeder.
120g - Tiger Oscar, Parrot Cichlid, SDs | 55g - 24 Year Old Kissing Gourami
55g - Angelfish/Bolivan Rams | 40g GBRs - 20g Apistos
65g Blackwater Planted Discus Tank
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 Rat Terrier, 1 wife, 1 old lady, 1 sub-adult, 1 rug rat.
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Humic Subtances in Freshwater Aquariums 4 years 1 month ago #20857

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kmuda wrote:
Just watching the cories.... they are all over the tank. Even up and down the driftwood. The level of activity, hunger, and just overall vibe surpass everything but possibly the oscar. But from top to bottom, the behavior in this tank is superior. Even the cardinals are getting aggressive at feeding time, diving into the discus fray to snag food.

What ever it is, I'm going to try and replicate it in the 40 breeder Ram tank and go from there. I know where I am in this tank. We'll see how the conversion to peat/cattapa treated water affects them. I think there is more to it then soft acidic water. My source water is already soft with a neutral PH. But it does not contain the elements, nutrients, and chemicals being released by the peat and almond leaves.

I'll also see if it has any effect on algae... Brown or other wise, because I am having a small brown algae issue in the 40 breeder.

Water is everything. I can especially see how the water your treating with all of the natural goodness would make fish happier and more energetic.

Check out this video. good stuff. from my tree huger side. lol



-55 gallon with Red Lutino Oscar
-29 gallon community South American
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Humic Subtances in Freshwater Aquariums 4 years 1 month ago #20885

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It's amazing how little data exists on this subject. I have yet to find any peer reviewed articles detailing the phyisological effects of peat on any type of fish. I have, so far, found some information about the effects of humic substances on plants:
The physiological effects of humic substances (HS) on some aspects of plant growth and metabolism are examined. Evidence has been presented on that the effect of HS on plant growth depends on the source, concentration and molecular weight humic fraction. While a low molecular size (LMS<3500 Da) fraction easily reaches the plasmalemma of higher plant cells and, in part, is taken up into them, a high molecular size fraction (HMS>3500 Da) is not absorbed and can interact only with the cell wall. Therefore, a LMS fraction is the major candidate for determining the positive effects of HS on plant growth. The latter effects are in part exerted at the level of the plasma membrane by positively influencing the uptake of some nutrients, and in particular that of nitrate. The effects on the intermediary metabolism are less understood, albeit it seems that HS may influence both respiration and photosynthesis. Humic matter appears also to display an hormone-like activity. It is not clear if this activity is strictly linked to the chemical structure of HS or whether it depends on hormones of microbial origin entrapped into them. In any case, HS exhibit stimulatory effects on plant cell growth and developmen

I sure would like the see the entire article, but it's $35. Any college students out there who happen to swing by their library, if you have access to it please email me a copy.
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0038071702001748

Another one I would like to get my hands on:
web.b.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true...wn41XjlQ%3d%3d&crl=c
DISSOLVED HUMIC SUBSTANCES FACILITATE FISH LIFE IN EXTREME AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS AND HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO EXTEND THE LIFESPAN OF CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS.
Source: Annals of Environmental Science . Feb2007, p81-90. 10p. 2 Charts, 4 Graphs.
Author(s): Steinberg, Christian E. W.; Saul, Nadine; Pietsch, Kerstin; Meinelt, Thomas; Rienau, Stefanie; Menzel, Ralph
Abstract:
Dissolved humic substances (HSs) are taken up by organisms and interact on various molecular and biochemical levels. With two examples, we show that HSs facilitate fish life in low pH and low calcium waters and promote longevity by mild chemical stress. We re-visit recent papers on fish adaptation in the Amazonian Rio Negro and re-interpret the results on the basis of the recent finding of gene control in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In the nematode, several genes are up-regulated. This may also account for the maintenance of fish life in the Rio Negro. Exposure to HSs exerts mild chemical stress on the exposed organisms and deprives them of energy; however, the nematode C. elegans actively looks for such environments. With life-table and DNA gene filter studies we show that HSs may cause longevity and multiple stress resistance. Furthermore, we propose likely structures of the HSs responsible for these effects.
.

This one is also interesting. Identifies that fish (swordtails) exposed to humic substances recovered better after multiple weeks of stressful handling than the control group, which were not exposed to humic substances. They also identified increased growth rates in the fish exposed to humic substances.

link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00027-004-0706-9#page-1

One of the interesting sentences in the above is:
We assume that the growth promoting effect of HS1500 was due to an overall stimulation of metabolism

An increase in metabolism is what I am describing as an over increase in the "vibe" of the tank.
120g - Tiger Oscar, Parrot Cichlid, SDs | 55g - 24 Year Old Kissing Gourami
55g - Angelfish/Bolivan Rams | 40g GBRs - 20g Apistos
65g Blackwater Planted Discus Tank
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 Rat Terrier, 1 wife, 1 old lady, 1 sub-adult, 1 rug rat.
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Humic Subtances in Freshwater Aquariums 4 years 1 month ago #20915

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Two of the three articles has been provided to me by a member who shall remain anonymous (unless they want to reveal themselves). It's very nice having site members in the world of academia. :mrgreen:

Very good reading. Much more than I anticipated, especially the article on the effects of Humic Substances on swordtails. An excellent study that has linked me to others.

Friggin duh. Why is this not common practice in the hobby?

This is explaining the physiological effects that I am witnessing the outward manifestation of in my Discus tank. I got to export this to the other tanks.

I found a partial answer to the Algae question....
Instead we show with some macrophyte and algal species that HS adversely interfere with photosynthesis and growth, whereby closely related algal species show different response patterns. In addition to this, HS suppress cyanobacteria more than eukaryotic algae. Quinones in the HS appear to be the effective structure.
120g - Tiger Oscar, Parrot Cichlid, SDs | 55g - 24 Year Old Kissing Gourami
55g - Angelfish/Bolivan Rams | 40g GBRs - 20g Apistos
65g Blackwater Planted Discus Tank
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 Rat Terrier, 1 wife, 1 old lady, 1 sub-adult, 1 rug rat.
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Humic Subtances in Freshwater Aquariums 4 years 1 month ago #21009

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I'll cover this subject in some detail when I get in front of a keyboard.... and I am continuing my research, but let me summarize what I am finding.

Our tanks are too damn clean.

I don't mean nitrate, poo, and goo. We are doing that part right. This does not affect our water changes, that does not change. What we are missing is dead organic matter that is releasing humic substances into the water. Decaying leaves. Decaying wood, peat, etc....

Our tanks are too damn clean.

I've learned that humic substances improve growth rates, increases immune system function, increases metabolism, combats algae, acts as a bacterial and fungal surprescent, aids recovery from stress, improves physiological condition, and impairs pathogens.

We are denying all of these benefits to our fish by insisting on our tanks being too damn clean.

The question is what to do about it? That is what I am working on now.
120g - Tiger Oscar, Parrot Cichlid, SDs | 55g - 24 Year Old Kissing Gourami
55g - Angelfish/Bolivan Rams | 40g GBRs - 20g Apistos
65g Blackwater Planted Discus Tank
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 Rat Terrier, 1 wife, 1 old lady, 1 sub-adult, 1 rug rat.
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Humic Subtances in Freshwater Aquariums 4 years 1 month ago #21010

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I am very much going to be watching and waiting for what you say to do on this subject. I must admit that when it comes to my hobbies I am a perfectionist and you just said that there is a way to make my tank more perfect...I must know! :silly:
125g 2 Red Tiger Severum F1, 1 Spotted Severum F1, Silver dollars, and Sterbai Corys
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Humic Subtances in Freshwater Aquariums 4 years 1 month ago #21017

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+1 shinneh

I am very interested to read your findings. I would be interested to see a video of the 40 breeder behaviors prior to introducing the new water.
210g,1-lutino tiger O, 1- red long fin lutino O, 1 red O,7 SD
120g,3 Discus various dither fish
60g reef,1 sand sifting gobie,1black&white wrasse, various cleanup crew and lots of corals:)
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Humic Subtances in Freshwater Aquariums 4 years 1 month ago #21020

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Let me give you some background as to why I think this is significant.

At least 50% of the dissolved organics in lakes, rivers, and streams is comprised of humic substances.

Humic substances interact with water disinfectant treatments creating unwanted and harmful byproducts. So water companies do their best to remove humic substances from our drinking water.

This means the water we use for water changes is practically void of substances that our fish have evolved to utilize.

Drinking water is not the best water for fish to live in. Just like the water fish live in is not the best drinking water... at least not straight from the river.

Our water is too damn clean.

Our tank water should more closely resemble river or lake water, which is heavily laden with humic substances. Unfortunately, this does not involve the crystal clear swimming in air type water that exists in my tanks.

That is what I am working on. Trying to determine how to provide the humic substances without influencing water chemistry and/or requiring the water aging and pre treatment process I am using on the Discus Blackwater tank.

I am investigating making tank tea..... Also known commercially as blackwater extract. I should be able to make a tea that provides the humic substances without significantly impacting water chemistry. Problem is..... it's the wrong time of year for this. I need a bunch of dried oak leaves and everyone has cleaned the leaves from their yard. So my first go-round will use what I have on hand, which is peat and cattapa leaves.
120g - Tiger Oscar, Parrot Cichlid, SDs | 55g - 24 Year Old Kissing Gourami
55g - Angelfish/Bolivan Rams | 40g GBRs - 20g Apistos
65g Blackwater Planted Discus Tank
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 Rat Terrier, 1 wife, 1 old lady, 1 sub-adult, 1 rug rat.
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