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if aqa soil can do it then can peat granules/peat balls and black extract do the same?

Aqua Hero

8 May 2015
hi i purchased aqa soil a while ago to re cycle my tank. it lowered my ph all the way down from 7.6 to 6.2.

my water hardness is 258 gh according to thames water. since my aqa soil was able to lower the ph and soften the water and keep it down for 3 months can i the combination of peat and black water extract do the same. i have been reaserching numerous ways to lower ph and keep it stable. i dont want an ro unit because i hate the fact that im wasting so much water and i have to replenish minerals. i like the sound of peat better. alot people say it doesnt work but when i look at the reviews on amazon.co.uk people with water harder than diamonds were able to soften it and lower the ph. just want to know if it would work for me since the aqua soil worked.

i want to lower the ph because the stocking of fish are all south American (rams, tetra, hatchet, maybe otos) and i want to breed my rams.

Hi all,
i want to lower the ph because the stocking of fish are all south American (rams, tetra, hatchet, maybe otos) and i want to breed my rams.
I keep soft water fish and have a hard tap water. I've used rain-water without any problem since the 1970's. You can use Indian Almond Leaves or (PYO Alder cones or dead Oak leaves) to produce tannins.

Rams are a bit of a tricky one to breed, because they need soft warm water, and they can't defend their fry from tank-mates very well.

All the methods of water softening you mention work via ion exchange, have a look here: <"Asian cube">.
i dont want an ro unit because i hate the fact that im wasting so much water and i have to replenish minerals. i like the sound of peat better.
It has to be "white" sphagnum peat to work and this is considered a non-renewable resource which is being exploited at an unsustainable rate. Have a look at <"Gardening without peat">.

cheers Darrel
yeah i know about it being a non renewable resource but you see i dont want to create a big water bill for my mum. the way i have stocked the tank is so that the rams have the bottom level free to themselves most of the time. i will raise the fry in another tank but i will leave some in the main tank to help train the rams to be better parents. i dont even know where to get white sphagnum peat. the options i found where peat granules such as jbl tormec, fluval peat granules, super peat pellets etc peat balls that pondguru sales ( he digs them himself, i saw it one of his videos) or 100% organic Irish peat moss.
i have spent a a few months researching the different ways of softening water from ,RO, Peat, buffers, almond leavers, blackwater extract, rainwater, peat bombs, driftwood, aqa soil etc but peat seems to be the most suited for more
darrel my jbl tormec activ peat pellets came. straight away i tested it. i put roughly a teaspoon in a cup of my aquarium water. after a few minutes my ph when from 7.5 to approximately 6.5. im very happy it worked. what i will now is conduct an experiment on what is the best peat based substance for softening water. i will test different brand peat pellets. eheim, fluval, sera and superfish etc. i will also test pondguru's peat balls and lastely i will test 100% organic Irish peat moss. i will test the products according to Value for money, Lifespan in aquarium, Quantity needed and how long the product will last you until you have to buy a new one. Rainwater and almond leaves are good but im pretty impatient lol and i cant water for rain. but i might by almond leaves to create my own blackwater extract. An RO unit is good but there are some people who cant afford it. So i guess with this experiment i can make a good recommendation for the best peat to buy for people with hard water espicially Londons rock hard thames water.

cheers for the help though
Soft water means low mineral content water with low conductivity and tds, low gh, kh, etc...
Using peat on hard water means acidic water with high mineral content. Besides the ph and kh, the rest of the stats will remain the same, thus it's not soft water.
So using RO water vastly differs from using peat. The latter is just altering the ph and kh of the water. The first is providing naturally soft water void of minerals.
However, maybe acidifying the water for "soft" water fish may help to an extent but is in no way mimicking any natural water conditions.
But I think what Darrel suggests is best, using ro water or rain water.
okay i understand. i think i will try collecting rainwater as im not wasting water. also its free. but what are the cons of rainwater other than the fact that it takes a while to fill a bucket.
The content and quality of rainwater is never consistent from one rainy season to the next. That's the only downside I can think of, but even that is not a major deal.
alright then. i have another question. in the chance i do switch and buy an RO unit, do i have to buy a really expensive £100 one or can just buy a cheap portable one for £40 - £70. people always recommend these high priced ones cause it works for them but they never say why the cheaper ones arent good. Are they bad, okay or good and why?
Chances are if its cheaper its producing less usable water and more waste water, which is less efficient. You want to work out the most usable gallons/litres against the least waste.

Typically, the more expensive ones produce a higher volume of usable water per day, in that they may be the same ratio of waste to usable, but are more capacity overall.

That said, its a bit of hardware you need to buy once. If you maintain it well and replace parts when necessary, it should be the only unit you'll ever buy. If you can afford an expensive one, buy it. If not, go with a lesser capacity unit from a reputable manufacturer.

Good luck!
with an ro unit i read that "Once an RO unit has been run for the first time never let the membrane dry out, as this will render it useless." does that mean i must be connected to the taps a all times? or can i still remove it from the taps when im dont using it and store it away for later use? sorry the noob questions