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This can't get much simpler:

http://www.marksfish.me.uk/index.php/Tips/Peat-Filtering.html

I boiled peat last night and poured it in my 55 gal. tank. Overnight the pH dropped from 7.2 to 6.8. I added only about 2 quarts of the boiled and squeezed damp peat. The water in the tank is 50% tap and 50% RO so TDS should be pretty low. I'm expecting to receive some rare otocinclus and I'm VERY happy that I don't have to use muriatic acid to adjust the pH.

One reason about being excited about the old school peat filtration is that I may find a way to keep chocolate gouramies alive. If you have seen this fish live you will understand my hope and excitement.

--Nikolay
 

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I love chocolate gouramis. I was so close to keeping them, I had the tank and everything, I was just waiting for the LFS to get them in stock again (they're seasonal)... but then I got pregnant and decided to downsize my tanks - I only have one now. But I have a baby.
 

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Hi Niko!

More about peat moss use. Canadian peat moss is very inexpensive in garden centers and available in large quantities and can be easily added into most aquarium filters. The process of removing GH-KH is slow and safe for most fish. Acidic pH may go as low as 3.8 so be careful. Also, once you use peat moss filtration forget about testing CO2 levels from dKH and pH tables. Acid loving fish do well in peat moss conditioned water. The hard part is the unpredictable outcome and long term stability.

Edward
 

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I boiled peat last night and poured it in my 55 gal. tank. Overnight the pH dropped from 7.2 to 6.8. added only about 2 quarts of the boiled and squeezed damp peat. The water in the tank is 50% tap and 50% RO so TDS should be pretty low.

--Nikolay
Didn't this make one helluva mess in your tank? What did you use to scoop all of it out? Are you going to use the filter-bucket method that you linked from now on?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Commodore,

The peat I put in my 55 gal tanks just sank to the bottom right away. It made a mess for about 1 hour - small particles floating everywhere. Then everything settled and the water stayed the color of weak tea.

I changed about 30% of the water in one of the tanks using tap water that is 7.2-7.4. The pH in the tank is 7.0 now. I guess I didn't use a lot of peat (remember - only about 2 quarts). I consider that to be a good thing - I was worried that the peat will "keep on giving" and I'll have trouble limiting the dropping pH.

The bucket peat filtering certainly is easy but it's also true ghetto. I think that I will use a big Otto canister filter I have (just a big volume canister filter) and put the peat in a mesh bag so it doesn't flow out of the canister. I'm not sure about the flow of water through the peat wrapped in mesh, but I don't want the ugly bucket contraption in my back yard.

Also - another bright idea. Fill the canister with AquaSoil instead of peat. I've been doing some emersed HC growing in the last 2 years or so and the water that goes through AquaSoil has a constant pH of 5.5. The AquaSoil will be easier to contain than the peat. But I wonder how long it will last and if it will affect the water's pH as fast as the fresh peat did.

--Nikolay
 
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