should I switch from CaCl2 to crushed coral?
My tap water comes with less than one degree of hardness with both KH and GH, has a pH of 6.5 and a TDS of 15. Yes, I do feel lucky. While I have a handle on remineralizing when it comes to shrimp, snails are another story.
With my main tank I have been raising the pH, KH and GH as well as adding Calcium Chloride for years. I have never had problems with my Ramshorns or MTS. Last year I purchased some Mystery Snails and their shells eroded and they died.
Recently I tried again from someone local, this time making sure my pH was at 7.5 and that they had a diet high in Ca. The snails I received had beautiful shells and when I tested their water he only had their pH at 5 and had a fairly low KH and GH. But he did mention he added crushed coral. Even so, I couldnít believe their nice shells with these stats, but I felt a bit more confident this time. I tested to make sure my pH stayed the same with lights on and off (pressurized CO2), which it did.
Well they are eroding again and I am at a loss. I can only imagine that somehow the water is still low in Ca. The only test kits I can find are labeled for saltwater. Iím sick of taking pains to raise all these levels when it seems to have really worked with someone who didnít. Iím sick of adding a bunch of Calcium Chloride in every week and would love to just add crushed coral to the filter.
I know this is a long backstory, but I wanted to see if anyone has any ideas as to what else could be wrong. All this to ask: Shall I assume there will be no change with the plants if I stop the weekly CaCl2 and add crushed coral to the filter instead? Do I need to change my Mg dosing? How much crushed coral per gallon should I add and does it matter whether the tank is heavily planted or not? I wouldnít mind adding some to the filters of other tanks, but they have varying amts of plants.