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hard water / peat substrates

What possible methods are there to reduce water hardness?
I know two; deionization and reverse osmosis. are there
any other ways of reducing hardness? I'm still very
confused on the subject of water hardness -- the scales,
the types of hardness -- despite my efforts to understand

I recently read that the addition of peat would render
the chart many people use to determine CO2 concentration
by measuring water hardness and pH to be inaccurate. This
makes sense, because peat moss only lowers pH and not
water hardness... doesn't it? 

Today, I found myself lost in thought... it was
unfamiliar grounds.
-Toan Tran