Having trouble with Kh in fresh water snail tank??

Flowerhorn1and1red1devil

I have a 15Gallon tank with about 10 apple snails in it. I believe the calcium levels in the tank are to low because the shells of the snails have holes. I read online that you can use anti acid tablets to raise the calcium levels in the tank because they are made of calcium carbonate. I added 2 750mg tablets to the tank. My KH plummeted to 2 degrees from around 6. I am not sure why this is happening? I thought Kh was how much calcium is in the water so why would the Kh Drop if I added more calcium?
 

MacZ

GH is Calcium and Magnesium, KH is carbonates. So what you should have been looking for is the GH.

Calcium carbonates are only involved in total hardness and also barely soluble, but involved in the development of scale on the rim. But it is also involved in the equilibrium of KH, CO2 and pH. It is possible that it reacted with the Carbonates and CO2 in the water tipping the balance, reducing actual carbonates measured in KH.

Other KH normally drops only slowly over time as microorganisms and plants use it up.
 
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Flowerhorn1and1red1devil

Thank you, What would be the best way to raise the calcium in the tank without disrupting the KH?
 
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MacZ

I'd starting with testing GH. Maybe the calcium doesn't even need raising. Test your tap and the tank water.
And abstain from adding anything to your tank when you don't know what exactly it actually does. You could have caused the water chemistry to go completely haywire.
You very likely raised KH a lot, which will have caused pH to rise as well, and as a byproduct there should be some calcium as well.

So maybe not just test GH, but KH and pH as well. For comparison and a useful overview test tank and tap. Only then you will know what these tablets really did and what course of action to take (if even necessary.)

And no, this is not an attack on you, but I have to make clear: Please never add anything to your tank if you don't know what it does and how it works. Snails are luckily quite hardy, fish likely would not have survived this.
 
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