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[APD] Chemistry Questions

Hello all,

I am coming out of lurking mode for a while, during Christmas break and such, and I have a some chemistry questions for someone out there who specializes in this sort of thing. The tap water in my area is virtually zero in general hardness and carbonate hardness, and I find I must add a few things to help plants grow. I add MgSO4 and CaCl (1 to 4) to increase the Gh, and I add K2CO3 (Potassium Carbonate) to increase the carbonate hardness.

I would like to increase the amount of calcium in the water for my snails, as I find that their shells are in need of more. The amount of calcium from the CaCl doesn't seem to be enough for them. I have added Calcium Nitrate, but that tends to increase the nitrates more than I would like. Consequently I am looking for other sources of calcium for the snails.

What do the chemists out there think of substituting Calcium Carbonate, instead of Potassium Carbonate to increase the carbonate hardness? Or, what do the chemists out there think of substituting Calcium Sulphate instead of Calcium Nitrate to add calcium? Is there a risk/limit to adding sulphates to the water.

Finally, when I was in a hydroponics store today to ask information on what was available, I came across a product called Cal-Ox, which seems to be some combination of Calcium and Oxygen. Does anyone know what the specific chemical makeup of this item might be, and is it safe to add to an aquarium as a source of calcium?

Thanks for any and all help.

Ed Dumas

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