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Help with water parameters


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I'm trying to figure out how to adjust my water in my office tank.  It's a 10 gallon planted tank with a betta, 2 black skirt tetras, a mystery & a nerite snail.

I have very hard water, low buffer, and low PH.

I'm trying to google around, but I'm still in the newbie phase & I haven't gotten a good hold on the water ins & outs.

Help?

water test.jpg

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Buffering capacity comes from calcium, hardness from all minerals is my understanding I could be wrong. Seachem does make alkaline regulator you use along with neutral regulator so you don’t overshoot. Call them they walk you through use. But a side note I hate messing with chemistry I would try natural means wondershell api liquid calcium etc and add extra air stones 

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1 hour ago, Kimberly P said:

The crushed coral won't make the water harder?

Yes, it will make the water "harder," but GH isn't really important unless you have no mineral content whatsoever. What's important is your buffer to prevent pH crashes. Crushed coral will raise your GH as well, but without it you risk crashing your pH, especially at night when pH tends to drop anyway. I prefer crushed coral over all other methods of buffering because it's by far the most stable. It only dissolves at a rate in which the acidity of the water dissolves the calcium carbonate of the coral. Your water most likely has high levels of magnesium in it, which is what's reading on your GH test. Calcium carbonate is the mineral you really want, which is what coral is made of, but the magnesium and the other mineral content of your water won't hurt anything.

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5 minutes ago, Nirvanaquatics said:

Yes, it will make the water "harder," but GH isn't really important unless you have no mineral content whatsoever. What's important is your buffer to prevent pH crashes. Crushed coral will raise your GH as well, but without it you risk crashing your pH, especially at night when pH tends to drop anyway. I prefer crushed coral over all other methods of buffering because it's by far the most stable. It only dissolves at a rate in which the acidity of the water dissolves the calcium carbonate of the coral. Your water most likely has high levels of magnesium in it, which is what's reading on your GH test. Calcium carbonate is the mineral you really want, which is what coral is made of, but the magnesium and the other mineral content of your water won't hurt anything.

ok - with that & what others have said - and I found an aquarium coop's beginners guide - I think I'm wrapping my head around it all.  

I would rather not mess around with chemicals & the crushed coral sounds good.  I have black substrate and a sponge filter - how would you add it in that situation?  I can't add it to the filter media.  If I mix it with the substrate - won't it be speckled black & white?  Can I just put a bag of it in the corner of the tank?

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9 minutes ago, Kimberly P said:

ok - with that & what others have said - and I found an aquarium coop's beginners guide - I think I'm wrapping my head around it all.  

I would rather not mess around with chemicals & the crushed coral sounds good.  I have black substrate and a sponge filter - how would you add it in that situation?  I can't add it to the filter media.  If I mix it with the substrate - won't it be speckled black & white?  Can I just put a bag of it in the corner of the tank?

You want to put the coral anywhere there is flow, so if you have your sponge filter in the corner, just fill a filter bag with coral and stick it behind your sponge or at least near it. If you don't mind the black and white speckled look, having it in the substrate will be good for your snails - they need the calcium and will munch on the coral pieces. 

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