Re:Calcium supplement

>From: Thomas Price <tprice at u_washington.edu>
>Date: Sun, 2 Feb 1997 13:08:15 -0800 (PST)
>Subject: Calcium supplement
>Does anyone add calcium to their tanks?  I think my tank might have a
>calcium deficiency, since the local water is very soft, and my amazon
>sword is putting out leaves that are somewhat stunted and mishshapen,
>but otherwise normal.  I want to add a little calcium, but really don't
>want to increase the KH using carbonate.  I have thought about
>adding some calcium chloride that I have, or maybe some eggshells.  Does
>anyone know what calcium chloride would do, or what form the calcium is in
Calcium chloride will increase your general hardness,(GH) but should have
little effect on your carbonate hardness (KH).  Egg shells should be soaked
in water for two days with several water changes to soak away all the
albumen before adding to tank.  They dissolve very slowly, but should add
to GH and KH a bit.  They are mostly calcium carbonate.  There may be a
little magnesium in them, but not much.  Another way to add calcium is to
put in some ground limestone.  I recently got a 50 lb bag, the smallest
size available at my local garden store, for less than $2.00.  A somewhat
quicker way to add calcium is to add lime, (Ca(OH)2).  I have made cautious
additions of lime, such as 1/4 teaspoon in a 15 gallon tank, and have not
seen any effect on the pH, and it all seems to dissolve in 4 or 5 days.

My tapwater at school comes out of the tap with a pH of 8.5 and it has 9
german degrees of KH, but only 0 or 1 degree of GH, according to my Tetra
hardness test kit.  Why 0 or 1?  The very first drop gives the green end
point color, and so there could be anywhere from no calcium/magnesium to
only enough to be titrated up by the first drop.  Anyway, it is odd
tapwater, and I often wonder if the College is putting sodium bicarbonate
in it or whether it comes out of the ground that way.

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174
In warm, humid Jackson, Mississippi where the plants are beginning to think
that winter is over.