- Get a tall vase,
- Fill it half full with dry peat moss bought from garden centres (make sure you get fertilizer-free type).
- pour boiling water enough so all peat are soaked (may need to stir since some will float, if you pour slowly then most will be soaked)
- wait until water is cold to the touch.
- Cut a piece of NEW panty hose, then "put it on" the vase's opening.
- Pour the water out and peat will end up in the panty hose.
- Compact the peat in the panty hose a bit and tie a knot on the open end. This should form a ball shape. I make mine the size of a softball.
- Get a bucket filled with aged tap water or whatever water you will use for water change, gently squeeze the "ball" in the water until the water gets completely dark (shouldn't take more than 20 seconds).
- Put a lid on the bucket, and give it a day.
- After a day or two, put a small HOB with just filter floss and filter the water until you're happy with the clarity.
I use 1 ball to treat 2 gallon tank and it should last 5 to 10 buckets of water.
My tap water from sink:
PH 7.8, GH 8, KH 5, TDS 170
After the peat treatement
PH 6.2 - 6.5, GH 4, KH 2, TDS 100
(stop telling me peat does nothing to TDS, GH or KH, try it yourself)
You can do a second squeeze or age it in bucket longer or use more than 1 ball to further lower the PH/GH/KH.
I call this Poor men's RO (well, RO isn't that expensive), you don't even need to add as much mineral back comparing to RO. The downside is it take some time and a bit of work, not a problem if you only need a few gallons a week and a great way for people who can't get a RO system. I've been using this method for all my shrimp tank WCs. Now I have a RO system, I add 10% to 20% of this water to RO to adjust PH and somewhat TDS, then do the WCs.
Yes, the water is a bit coloured but all my tanks have UGF and it clears up after 20 minutes, what colours the water (tannin/humic etc) is good for shrimp anyway.