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Similar problem for me in a 55 gallon.
Same tap in all my tanks with an inert substrate.

I attributed it to heavy plant uptake.
Dosing CaCO3 since I already had several pounds, solubility is terrible though.
CaSO4 would be a better choice for a solution.
 

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If I was to place a bit of crushed coral or something similar in my canister filter would that serve the same purpose?
Yes this will work.
People also place crushed coral or a saltwater substrate in a filter sock. Hob or canister.

With a pH of 7 it may take a while to raise the KH though.

Dosing something will provide immediate results.
 
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