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Filtering with Peat

I have a 29-gallon tank, with a full complement of fish, and moderately 
planted.  I inject fermented CO2.

I recently began filtering with peat because my tank tends to run at high 
pH.  The fish seem happy, the plants seem happy, and I could swear that 
the whole tank looks cleaner every time I put fresh peat in, though I 
have no idea why this would be the case.

I notice that bubbles tend to collect at the surface, which I assume is 
due to organic compounds in the water, coming from the peat.  

My question is, do I have to put in the expensive aquarium peat, at $3.50 
for a few ounces?  Or can I buy a cheaper bag of peat at the garden shop? 
 Does anyone have experience with this?


David Corner                  **      dcorner at csus_edu
dcorner at innercite_com         **      dcorner at tlc_crc.losrios.cc.ca.us