How to use peat moss for your aquarium

Written by kimberly johnson
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How to use peat moss for your aquarium
Peat moss softens hard water in aquariums. (aquarium image by Henryk Olszewski from

Peat moss is used in aquarium water to soften the hard minerals contained in tap water. Although the use of peat moss in aquariums has dwindled in favour of commercial water softening chemicals, it is still an effective treatment. Instead of adding peat moss directly to the water, which can cloud the tank and clog the filter, treat the water with moss before putting it into the tank. Peat moss is available at garden centres and home improvement stores.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Stove
  • Stockpot
  • Water
  • Peat moss
  • Spoon
  • Pillowcase
  • Rubber band
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Aquarium aerator

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  1. 1

    Fill a large stockpot with 2 to 3 gallons of water and place the pot on a stove burner set on high.

  2. 2

    Wait until the water boils and add 1 gallon of dried peat moss to the water. Stir the moss with a spoon until it starts to sink to the bottom of the pot--no more than five minutes.

  3. 3

    Turn off the stove burner and pour the contents of the pot into a pillowcase positioned over a 5-gallon bucket.

  4. 4

    Twist the top of the pillowcase and secure it with a rubber band. Drop the pillowcase into the bottom of the bucket and fill the remainder of the bucket with tap water until the water level is approximately 3 to 4 inches from the top of the bucket.

  5. 5

    Plug the cord for an aquarium aerator into an electrical socket and insert the plastic air tube into the bucket.

  6. 6

    Allow the bucket to sit and aerate for one to two weeks. Turn off the aerator and discard the pillowcase and moss.

  7. 7

    Use the peat moss water the next time you partially change the water in the aquarium.

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