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peat pre-treatment for tap water?
Hi everyone! I have been subscribing to this list for a few weeks now,
and I would like to post my first question.
I don't have an aquarium set up yet, but in the next two months, I should
be getting a 55 gal. started. I would like to be able to make large
water changes, maybe 15 gal. per week or more, and I would like to
keep soft water fish species and a variety of plants. The emphasis
will be on the plants, and the tank will be lightly stocked.
The water here in Champaign, Illinois, has a pH of around 8.3 and is
"very hard," according to a good local aquarium store. Perfect
Lake Tanganyika water, in other words, except with chloramine and
(it seems) some nitrates from crop runoff.
I will only have one tank, and my budget will need to stay small, so
I don't think that an RO system will work for me. DI cartriges live
a very short time in our water, I've been told, and buying RO water
at the store will get expensive and bothersome fast.
Here's the question: What if I filtered about 15 gallons of water
for a few days (maybe a week) with garden-store organic peat before
adding it to the tank?
By how much can it change the pH and hardness?
Can I filter it with activated carbon for a day or so before adding it
to the tank without undoing what the peat has accomplished, just to
make the water clearer?
Is this all just unnecessary, or, can plants still thrive in my
decidedly non-optimum tap water?
If neither peat filtering nor straight tap will yield suitable water,
how much could I "push the envelope" to make RO water more affordable?
I am thinking of running an AquaClear filter loaded with as much peat
as possible, on a Rubbermaid plastic container.
Thanks for your input.
John Pitney pitney at uiuc_edu