Problems with hardening water
I used to harden my goldfish tank with a bag of crushed coral in the filter. I had a great system that took me weeks to perfect, and it worked just how I wanted it to. I went away on vacation a few weeks ago and had someone else do my water changes. They didn't follow directions and emptied my bag of crushed coral to refill it with new coral. Now I haven't been able to get my tank back to where it was. I don't know what I did so right or am doing so wrong, so I'm going to change my methods. I'd like to try a substrate of crushed coral sand.
What sand should I use? I see a bunch of marine sands out there, but I'm not sure which ones will actually raise the GH, KH, and pH. I'd also like to find a soft sand as these are goldfish and spend a lot of time sifting through it.
oolite sand is a soft fine sand made of the same material as your coral- calcium carbonate.
CarribSea make a couple of sands from crushed coral and aragonite (this provides the calcium and magnesium, both are important). Some fish stores sell this type of sand in bulk.
I wouldn't need too much as I'm only going to a put a 2" sand bed. But that's still a lot of sand as my tank is 55 gallons. Maybe it's time to make a trip...
I'm seeing a lot of different sands. I'm guessing that Caribsea's Arag-alive has aragonite and crushed coral.
Are any of these sands what I'm looking for?
Be aware that using any calcareous substrate will raise the GH and pH substantially, which is fine for goldfish, livebearers, etc., but just so you know.
I'm specifically looking to raise my GH and KH and to some degree my pH as my tap water is very soft (3 dGH). Great for cardinal tetra. Not great for goldfish. A bag of crushed coral just isn't cutting it anymore.
I think I'm going to go with the first one. It's a shame aragonite sand doesn't come in black...
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