They may look a little like freshly cooked beetroot at first glance, but these peat balls are great for achieving those acidic conditions preferred by many fish. Nathan Hill tries them out...
I stumbled across these on a PFK shoptour, where the retailer not only sells them, but also uses them to keep acidic conditions in his own sale tanks.
The concept is simple enough, with a bundle of soft, dense peat tied up into small pouches made from a nylon mesh.
Heavier than peat fibre, and still soaking wet, these balls seem to do wonders at slowly lowering pH values, as well as releasing tannins into the water, but not in the overbearing way that some peat products do.
I’m informed they last for about a year, pending existing conditions, but I can’t verify that as I’ve only had mine a week.
From the quality of the acidophile fish I saw housed alongside them, there’s plenty of reason to suspect they’re doing a good job.
Hide them in a filter, or have them floating loose in the aquarium and they’ll get to work.
At a scant £1 a time, and each one rated to about 50 litres, they’re well worth a try if you fancy some acidic conditions in your South American set up and cheaper than you could make.
£1.00 a ball, available from Tyne Valley Aquatics.
Why not take out a subscription to Practical Fishkeeping magazine? See