Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
I have SMS and the older Turface.
Yes, they remove KH. In a Rift Lake tank I added coral sand to the substrate (roughly 50/50) and this tank does not have the problem of low KH.
In other tanks a little coral sand in the filter seems to do the trick, or adding baking soda to the water, but gotta keep doing this, the substrate keeps on removing the KH.
Do not need to wash it first.
1) Dampen it, so you are not breathing the dust.
2) Put it in the tank. Arrange hills and valleys, rocks, driftwood...
3) Plant, misting to keep them wet.
4) Put a plate or plastic bag over the substrate and allow the water to flow in slowly (1 gallon per minute) and seep over the edge of the plastic.