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How do I safely add calcium to my aquariums?


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spacer.pngspacer.pngMy water has a ph of about 7.5, a GH of about 75-150ppm, and a KH that ranges from 0 sometimes all the way to between 40 and 80 ppm. I have come up with the conclusion that my water lacks calcium and the hardness I do have is magnesium because the snails In my tanks have flaky white shells and my java fern seems to stay small and some leaves look oddly white. I am dosing easy green, but it doesn’t have calcium. I am mainly concerned with my stem plants because I rely on liquid dosing only for them and I don’t want to lose them. I also like snails so I would like them to be healthy and I’m sure the fish need calcium too. What would be the safest way for me to add calcium to my aquariums so that the amount is steady and not drastically shifting my water parameters, stressing out fish? I’m not entirely sure crushed coral is good for me because my ph is already a bit high, but I still don’t know how it works completely. I would also try egg shells, but I don’t know how to do it or how safe/effective it is. I’m completely stumped and some help would be greatly appreciated 🙂

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I like the Wonder-Shells for slowing raising my GH and pure baking soda for raising my KH.  Have to be careful will the baking soda, though.  It will raise the water KH & pH quickly.  It is potent and should be used in small increments, to obtain your desired results.

You mentioned that your pH is already 7.5

There are many products to get you there, as mentioned, but it will come down to personal preference.

I don't 'chase the numbers', but rather try to add a bit of supplementation to keep my water in check.  

Often I marvel of what a fine balance aquariums really are; keeping both fish and plants thriving.  

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jessica. said:

Seachem equilibrium, or add crushed coral to your filter or substrate. Equilibrium is the easiest for me to figure out the dosing on. 

Fully agree with Jessica. Crushed coral is better at raising KH, whereas Seachem Equilibrium is easier to measure out and accurately dose for adding primarily calcium and raising GH. I used Wonder Shells but didn't have a great idea of how it increased GH since it dissolves slowly over time. My tap water comes with 3 dGH, and 1/2 tsp of Equilibrium per 10 gallons raises my water by approximately 1-2 dGH. 

Note: Equilibrium doesn't dissolve very well if you add a ton of it all at once, so I only tend to add 1/2 tsp per 10 gallons at a time and gradually build up as needed.

Edited by Irene
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3 hours ago, FishySituation said:

Equilibrium contains a lot of potassium and easy green contains extra potassium. I would use equilibrium since it sounds the easiest, but is it gonna overdose my tank with potassium?

I have not had this issue. I have very soft well water (0gh, 0kh, 25TDS) and I dose equilibrium up to 3-5GH (1 tablespoon per 20 gal) at every water change. I also dose an all in one (not easy green, I use thrive, which has 9.7% K2O vs easy green's 9.2% K2O). I do water changes every week in my tanks, per the Estimative Index (EI) dosing method's instructions. 

Perhaps @Irene can also chime in, as it sounds like she's using easy green and equilibrium. I think I read in another thread that Irene was actually dosing extra potassium in with flourish advance for java ferns – is my memory correct on that?

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Lot's of great information posted.   Here is my $0.02. 

Am by far, no expert, but I'll chime in with some practices that have worked for me.  I have a lot of Java Ferns & noticed a potassium deficiency.  Upped my Seachem Potassium to double dosing & the plants came back to life for me.  Of course, every tank will be different, in many ways.

Also , I double dose all aquariums with Seachem Trace, Phosphorus & Easy Iron, as appropriate & without issues.

My aquariums are heavily planted & stocked & I do monthly 75% water changes.

IMO, where folks may get into a problem, is when they look at I.E. Easy Green fertilizer & single out a specific nutrient they feel their aquarium needs and keep dosing.  Easy Green is 'hot' in nitrogen & from many posts I've read, people are winding up with excessive nitrates in their tanks, just to 'up' another nutrient.  

Of course, are they doing regular maintenance, water changes, etc?  Maybe\maybe not.  

Easy Green is a great fertilizer, but requires reasonably more tank maintenance.  I use this fertilizer, as well, as appropriate, especially after a water change.

Additionally, some people dose fertilizer too lightly and have issues.  So, it's a give & take situation.

Fortunately, I have become pretty good using Wonder-Shells, and know from approximate size, what it will do to my GH readings in various tanks.

Everyone will have their opinion & what works for them & what comfort level\methods they feel is best for their aquariums. 

 

 

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On 10/16/2020 at 9:11 PM, Jessica. said:

Perhaps @Irene can also chime in, as it sounds like she's using easy green and equilibrium. I think I read in another thread that Irene was actually dosing extra potassium in with flourish advance for java ferns – is my memory correct on that?

Yup! I dose Easy Green for my base line, add Equilibrium because I have low GH, and then I had to add Flourish Advance to increase the potassium level because my plants were getting pin holes and my java fern was so potassium hungry. Here is the full explanation, as well as the link to the potassium kit I used:

 

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