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I see there is interest in making your own peat extract for pirana tanks. I was going to post this information at Pirana Science, but elected to post it here instead which would be more appropriate. If any one here uses this recipe at any other message board or web site, please check with me first. This is a recipe by my friend Dr. Paulo Petry, Bio-Amazonia International. He used this for his S. rhombeus and I make mention of it at the web site under that topic:


To make your own, you must buy peatmoss plates, the kind used as
base for aquatic plants. Brake it into cubs and boil it for an hour or so at
low heat. That should extract quite a bit of tannins. Pour part of it into the
tank after cooling, or remove the peatmoss and reduce juice with heat, just
like making demiglase .... Don't trow away the peatmoss, you can put it in your
filter and it will help to soften the water, although that is not a problem in
Oregon. If you don't find the platers, you can use the bulk stuff that you can
buy at gardening stores, but it is very fine and messy. You need to strain it
and it likes to clog the filters becuase you never get rid of the very fine
Peatmoss has great ionic exchange properties, it will trap calcium and reliased
sodium, thus lowereing the pH a bit, but not too much. In fact i made a
cylinder filter filled with peatmoss chuncks that kept releasing tannins to the
water over a long period of time, and it worked quite well.
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