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RE: Calcium source

Yesterday I wrote:

>The snails need a certain level of Calcium in order to build their
>shells and without adding CaCO3 to your water you might even see the shells
>of snails actually erode in the tank. Calcium Carbonate is available from
>any pharmacy (look in the section carrying nutritional supplements). I
>a tablet using a mortar and pestle and then add it to the aquarium to keep
>my Calcium levels up.

Hoa Nguyen responded:

>Wouldn't baking soda be okay for this purpose also?  You don't have to
>crush it.

Baking Soda is Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3). Adding it to your water will
increase the Alkalinity (KH) safely, and also raise the pH, but it will do
absolutely squat for the Calcium content of the water - which in this
instance is too low.

This is probably an over-simplification, but a lot of people still seem to
confuse Alkalinity and Hardness. The archives are full of detailed technical
arguments over the terms. Run a seach on the archives using "hardness" and
"alkalinity" as search terms and you will find out more than any sane person
needs to know about the topics. George S. and Roger Miller have both
addressed these issues very completely (and very well).

James Purchase