re: raising pH
>Someone else may want to champion different numbers, but I wouldn't
>be surprised to see a pH of 8.0 and a hardness of 150ppm in this tank
>after 6 months. This is appropriate for marine tanks or for African
>lake cichlids, for example. This is not appropriate for a planted
>tank with soft-water fish like tetras.
Sorry, but plants and tetras do just fine at a hardness of 150 ppm
(and higher). The pH at this hardness would be around 7.5. African
cichlids can do well at 150 ppm, but 300-500 ppm is much closer to
their native environment. The amount of dissolved salts in a marine
aquarium is about 36,000 ppm, with a hardness of around 2,000 ppm.
I agree, however, that the aquarium shop yutzes gave bad advice. One
nice thing about this forum is that bad advice can be challenged and