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Calcium carb vs crushed coral sand mix

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Ok so I have searched the forum and can't find anything on this so I shall ask........

What is better for keeping ph up calcium carbonate or a crushed coral sand mix?

Need to do the following tanks:

3x 6ft

5x 4ft

15x 2ft

Thanks for all the help


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Crushed coral = calcium carbonate

They are the same thing. There different forms of calcium carbonate that have slightly different dissolution rates (although solubility for all forms is very low) but for a long-term substrate the difference is negligible.

Just don't get a powder as that will cause problems, everything else should work fine.

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Shells and coral build up in a pile.

Under their own weight they turn into limestone (like texas holey rock).

A big pile of limestone

under pressure and exposed to heat from the earth

compresses into marble (or what we call in the aquarium hobby "calcium carbonate")

I prefer to use natural coral sand, as it has been rounded by wave action and therefor is nicer for my peacocks to search through and filter through their gills.

I find marble/calc carb to be a lot sharper.

But shell grit, coral sand, limestone and marble........ ALL of them are calcium carbonate.

And all will buffer your water nicely.


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I run cal carb in my breeding rack of 3500ltrs and it keeps all 9 tanks at 8.0-8.2 but i'm considering changing to coral sand for the reasons donny said maybe just adding 10-20mm across the top of the cal carb i already have.

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