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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanting to add Aragonite to my tank. This is to improve buffering capability and increase surface area for nitrifying bacteria. Existing substrate is CaribSea Eco Complete African Cichlid sand. Want to add 10 lbs Arogonite into 60 lbs sand. Have read a number of "do's and don't s" about this. Certainly don't want to harm my water babies. Any thoughts or suggestions on how to do it safely?
 

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Is it the same size as your existing substrate? If not, you will see the smaller stuff sink to the bottom of the tank.

You may want to consider adding the Aragonite in a mesh bag to your filter if possible, much easier to remove if you want. Do be aware that Aragonite may cloud the water and make it milky.

Do you need to improve the buffering? Only testing your source water can answer that question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The interesting thing about my tap water is that the pH is rather high (runs about 7.8) but the KH is only at 6. I believe this occurs when municipalities use lime to buffer the water. If I don't add any buffer at all, I do see a pH drop in the tank to about 7.4 in several days so I think that increasing the buffering ability of the water will make things easier for me. Unfortunately, I have stuffed my FX4 with as much bio media as will fit in there. The only potential location for a bag of Aragonite would be under the bottom tray next to the bag of Chemi-Pure Blue. I might try that first to see what happens. Another option might be to place the bag in the back of the tank but that certainly wouldn't look very nice. Have read too many scary things about playing with the substrate in an established tank. Don't really want to unless I have to.
 

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KH of six should be enough to buffer your pH. Organics can make it fall...I would not do anything with substrate until your tank is completely cycled.

Aragonite in the filter, if needed, would be a better addition than anything you have in there now. Swap out something else. No need for chemi-pure blue. It is more effective in the filter since the water is forced through it, dissolving it.
 

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What's the pH and KH of your water from the tap?

I wouldn't use aragonite in my substrate for a number of reasons:

1. Sand is perfect for keep detritus on top and for fish's natural behavior sifting and moving. Argonite grains are two to four times bigger.
2. It's recommended to maximise your bio media for the nitrifying bacteria where the water flow rate is best, and it can be left undisturbed indefinitely. Tank contents are not as suitable since after the walls, substrate, decor become coated with the good bacteria it becomes unsightly and would probably want to be cleaned.
3. Aragonite can increase your water pH but it needs to dissolve in the water first. It dissolves more easily in low pH water and becomes less and less soluble as pH increases. So it can help but it has diminished effect as your water pH climbs above 7.0.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info. Sounds like it's not worth the hassle with my water. I'll focus on getting the tank settled down (essentially recycled) and then maintaining tank with frequent water changes using buffers as needed.
 
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