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Calcium and hardness

I work hard to get my hardness down to around 30-40 ppm general hardness,
using either peat or Mardel's TankSoft.  I have the same white-shell symptoms
in my snails as mentioned in  APD#129, but I have attributed it to acid water

If indeed it is a calcium issue, can I improve the useable calcium content
without increasing non-carbonate hardness? Or are my objectives of South
American water parameters (for my Apistos) and great plants at odds with each

Bob Dixon