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snail shells and calcium

Due to an ongoing problem maintaining both hardness levels and the pH in one
of my tanks (26 gallon FBH, low-tech, no CO2, plain small gravel, 2
fluorescent strips, TMG and Seachem Potassium) I  introduced a mesh bag of
pulverized coral (approximately 5 cups). It hangs in the tank and is not in
the flow of a filter.  I introduced the coral slowly, 1/2 cup at a time,
until finally I could get enough of a buffer to hold the levels.  I realize
it dissolves slowly so I may not really need that much.

Prior to that, I added Seachem Alkaline Buffer and Seachem Equilibrium with
water changes, as well as, every few days.  It would drop within 24-48 hours
back to 0 hardness and low pH's.  Needless to say, I lost a bunch of snails
due to the fact that their shells disintegrated.

Now, with the coral in place, I only add the AB and Equilibrium with water
changes.  The ph is 7.5, the GH is 2 and KH is 3.  It has been solid at
those levels for at least a month.  The tips of the cones on my MTS's are
still white but the rest (3/4) of the shell is brown.  The pond snails seem
unaffected and all the new ones that appear seem fine.  Therefore, I am
assuming the older MTS's are just taking time to rebuild?  Does the existing
coral in the tank provide ample calcium now that it has been in there a few
months and should have dissolved sufficiently to provide it to the snails?
Is this something that is just going to take a long time to rebuild or
should I add additional calcium?  Everything else, including plants and fish
seem fine.

Or will Tom Barr tell me my snails have a CO2 deficiency he, he, he....

Also, I am preparing to set up  a high tech tank with MH, CO2, flourite,
laterite....  Since the water here is so soft, will adding coral be a
problem with the CO2 since the coral keeps the pH high and the CO2 (I will
have a controller) will lower it?  I plan to have the coral in a canister
for the new tank and get a doser for the Equilibrium and AB to have in my
auto water changer system.  I just thought the coral would be a safety net.

Daphne in Atlanta