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Re: [AGA Member] Raising GH

Yes, Frank. Some folks coral (skeletons) for carbonate. A
slight "problem" with coral as a form of carbonate is that
you can get more abrupt changes every time you do a big
water change until the enough enugh of the coral "melts" to
bring the pH back to the target zone -- until the next
water change. With baking soda you can contro the pH as you
add water. Not to mention coral is not as easy to control
if it's not in a nice granular or powder form. The less
finely ground it is the slower it dissolves. So the pH
drops when you do the water change and then the pH is
brought up very slowy as the coral "melts."

With powder you just measure and you know exactly what will
happen to the water. If you're concerned about just adding
water and powder directly to the aquarium, you can add the
water to buckets, add powder, and then put it in the tank.
Or, as the water is being added, add a little bit of pwder,
then a bit more -- paced out over the time it takes to
refill the aquarium. This works really well with baking
soda because it dissolves readily and you're immediately
controlling the pH as the water enters rather than waiting
for the powder, or granules, or coral pieces to dissolve.
Any form of calcium carbonate "melts" much slower than
baking soda, so you have less short term control of the pH.
Although you're fish and plants probably won't give a darn
either way.

I've never seen any adverse reaction from just adding the
soda when adding the water and I've done it on 15 gallonand
30 gallon tanks as well as much larger ones -- even with
cardinals and other so-called pH-delicate fish.

Baking soda won't raise the GH. It only raises the KH.
Calcium carbonate raises both.

Crushed coral, if ground finely, will dissolve faster than
coarsely crushed, crunched or whole piece/chips coral.
Corals (technically the dried skeletal structures
thereof)*are*  calcium carbonate and you can buy raw
calcium carbonate from a number of sources cheaper as a
plain chem than in the form of crushed coral in lfss. 
Coral Calcium is sometimes known by the less respectiful
term, overpriced calcium carbonate ;-)

You can pick up Potassiumm (K2SO4), Nitrate (KNO3) and
phosphate (KH2PO4) while you're ordering from litemanu.com
and have everything but the trace nutrients for plants all
taken care of for years. But I take back that you can get
calcium carbonate from Liteman.com. I just checked. But you
can get it here:


a pound for $3 plus shipping. And yes, a pound lasts a long
long time.

And, as I said, you can get baking soda from just about any
store that sells grocery type goods. Even 7-11 :-)


--- WB4CIW@aol.com wrote:
> While you can raise the KH & GH by using Baking Soda, I'm
> concerned
> about the abruptness of the change that could result, and
> the possible 
> "yo-yoing" of the water's chemistries.  
> In my 30 gallon tank, to raise my KH & GH, I simply went
> to the local 
> fish store and purchased a 2 pound bag of crushed coral. 
> I have, literally, two pinches of the coral in my filter
> on the return side
> so the returning water passes through it.
> It raised my GH & KH slowly to where I want it, and as
> the coral 
> dissolves, I replace it a pinch at a time.  In over 5
> years, I still have
> over a pound and a half remaining.

S. Hieber
-  -   -   -   -   -   -   -
Aquascaping by Takashi Amano and more at
the AGA 2004 Annual Convention
Nov 12, 13 & 14; Marriott Crystal Gateway, Arlington, Virginia, USA
Aquatic Gardeners Association www.aquatic-gardeners.org

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