02-04-2011, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikaila31
yeah GH is a measure of CALCIUM and Mg so adding baking soda should not effect GH, but should raise KH. Baking soda contains zero calcium... If you use a tums tablet or other antiacid tablet it will raise GH AND KH, but it MUST have Calcium Carbonate as its ONLY active ingredient. You need to read the fine print of the box.
I don't quite agree with that though bryon, when ever I add calcium or Mg my fish never seem bothered. I add it for the plants, not for buffering reasons, it will still have that effect however. In a high tech tank pH normally has this wave motion going on.
I think adding amounts suitable for plant nutrient assimilation is different from adding amounts intended to raise hardness. I used to use dolomite for this. Having very soft (< 1 dGH) tap water, dolomite as the gravel substrate in a rift lake cichlid tank gave me a pH over 8 and hardness I don't know, didn't measure it back then. I know a half cup of dolomite in the filter of my 115g raises GH from < 1 to 2-3 dGH, and stabilizes pH at 6.2-6.4 roughly.
As for the effect, this depends upon the amounts and the fish. Plants of course either assimilate or take up some of this, and the amount is likely to be trace. Fluctuating hardness is detrimental to fish, worse even than pH which by itself is enough of a concern not to mess with it. I have an article somewhere by Weitzman and 3 other ichthyologists on this, I'll dig it out later and hopefully remember to post something here. He also recommends against using baking soda as long-term this cause issues. I am hurrying now to check threads as i have to catch a train to town shortly.