My poor snails's shells are dissolving. I recently switched my substrate to safe t sorb b/c of it's great cec value. Of course, it didn't occur to me that it might impact my water params.
Here's where they stand:
pH - 6.6
KH - 4 deg/71.6 ppm
GH - 5 deg/ 89.5 ppm
I added about 3 tbsp of crushed coral to my filter (over the course of 3 days) which raised pH to just under 7.2 and KH to 7 deg (I didn't check GH). But they dropped back down within 4 days.
I know lots of ppl use sodium bicarbonate. What's the best way to do this without shocking fish/snails?
Also, the very first aquarium book I read warned about the deadly dangers of osmotic pressure so I've always been leery of using too many additives (I even worry about the effects of ferts). Any opinions/experiences about osmotic pressure and baking soda? (My most sensitive livestock are snails - olive nerites and Thiara cf. winter)
Does anyone know how long the KH lowering effect of safe t sorb lasts? Should I do more frequent wc than 50% weekly? Or will that just cause more swings in the pH/KH?
Also, since STS lowers KH so much, does that affect the value of its cec? I mean, if it's absorbing a bunch of calcium and other stuff from my water will it still absorb nutrients from the water column due to osmosis or does it have a finite capacity?
Finally, EI and root tabs. Like I mentioned earlier, I switched to STS bc of the cec value. And I think it was a post by Hoppy where I read that root tabs aren't necessary with EI. But I know it will take a while for nutrients to be absorbed into the substrate. Should I use them for a few weeks for my newly planted crypts and pygmy chain sword?
Sorry for so many questions! I keep coming across new info that spurs new thoughts. Trying not to let it become overwhelming. And my husband wonders how I can possibly spend so much time looking up "fish stuff"