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[APD] Re: calcium carbonate/sodium bicarbonate and invertebrates

"When it comes to buffering water, sodium 
bicarbonate is suggested.  However, I want to know if this is something that

invertebrates are able to utilize or not?  I add Calcium Cloride but
recently read on 
an invertebrate site that they need calcium carbonate for moulting.  Should
get another product to provide the calcium carbonate?"

Sounds like you're confusing apples and oranges here. Or at least water
hardness (CaCO3 content) with Alkalinity (buffering capacity or bicarbonate
content). The only invertebrates commonly kept in freshwater planted
aquariums are snails and maybe the odd clam, and they do require a certain
amount of Calcium Carbonate in the water to help make their shells. If your
tap water is really soft, it lacks Calcium Carbonate and snails will have a
hard time making strong shells. Common sources for CaCO3 include marble
chips or just go to a drug store and buy some Calcium/Magnesium dietary
supplements designed for human use. Make sure that they don't contain
additives and/or coating material. Just plain, ordinary Ca/Mg CO3, The type
I use is made from Dolomite, but since my tap water is already moderately
hard, I rarely need to use them in my aquariums.

Carbonate and Bicarbonate are NOT the same thing, and you seem to be
confusing the two. Bicarbonate is responsible for the Alkalinity (sometimes
called Carbonate Hardness) - the confusion in terms stems from poor
German/English translations from many years ago. Go visit the KRIB to find
out more than you'll ever need to know about it. Sodium Bicarbonate (plain,
everyday Baking Soda) is by far the favored chemical to use to boost the
Alkalinity of your water (and vital if you are supplementing CO2 in a
planted aquarium). Again, the KRIB contains more info you might find

Most (but not all) moderately hard water supplies contain sufficient
Alkalinity. A call to your water utility will give you the actual tested
numbers, or there are test kits you can use to find out for yourself.

James Purchase

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