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> Melting points and density of aragonite matter little, the fact that it
> has a Ksp about a factor of two lower than calcite means that it
> dissolves more readily in aquarium situations than calcite.
> I'm at a loss to understand what the originator of this question meant by
> cost of aragonite outweighing benefits. Last time I looked, it was
> available for about 10^-1 dollar per pound at just about every pet store in
> the US as "crushed coral" or "aragonite."
As the "originator of this qusetion" <g>, let me explain: The
aragonite I've seen being marketed is in tiny little beads and has all
sorts of wonderful advertising hype written on the bag: "increases
buffering capacity," "lowers nitrates," "source of beneficial trace
elements" blah, blah, blah. My impression at the time was that it was a
"hot item" in the reef keepers world (or at least in the world of those
marketing to reef keepers <g>), being used as a "de-nitrating"
sybstrate and supposedly having all sorts of other wonderful benefits. I
presumed it was expensive. What I've seen marketed as crushed coral looks
like, well, crushed coral! Seriously, the crushed coral I've seen is much
coarser, may have small intact shell halves in it, etc., and is indeed
> As far as using it in a planted tank... the main caveat is that it will
> dissolve relatively slowly, and there is a ton of buffering capacity
> there. If you put in too much, it will increase both the GH and KH of
> the water (I've been reading this list too long.) How high might it
> drive those values? Drop a pound or two into your tank, and move from
> the freshwater planted world towards the rift lake world.
Well maybe I need a little Kh and GH booster <g> (he says, ducking
to avoid Craigs vomit) in my tanks! Besides, at the time I posted the
question, I was more interested in the "trace elements" angle. It was, as
I said, really just intellectual curiousity.