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KH trouble

Alfred Heng wrote:

>Thanks for the response.  I accidentally mixed up a bag of gravel from a 
>different source when I setup a new tank, and the bag contained some sea 
>shells, all crushed up into little bits.  As a result, my normally soft 
>water now has a KH of 8 and PH of 7 and this is with a constant flow of 
>bottled co2 being pumped in.  I guess if I stopped the co2 the KH would go 
>even higher.  

No, I believe that the CO2 actually helps to dissolve the calcium
carbonate.  I believe this is how "Kalkwasser" is made for reef tanks.
Water changes will keep the KH in check, and eventually, it will slow down,
although we are talking a long time, here.

>Would you do anything else to lower the KH?  The plants are 
>just starting to kick in and seem to be growing well except for the Bacopa 
>Longifolia, which has put out new leaves, but they seem to be stunted.  The 
>tank is about 3-4 weeks old.

No, if you have only one species that is not doing well, I'd replace it
with something that is not over-sensitive to the harder water... many
plants will do just fine.  Again, I am a strong believer in working with
the plants that like the conditions you have available.  If you really feel
that you _must_ solve the "problem", the only real answer is to replace the
whole substrate, not something _I'd_ do in a hurry!<g>  Just remember that
there are also many plants that don't do well in very soft water, so as
with everything, it's a trade off.