Originally Posted by Oldfishlady
It would be safer to use crushed corral or add a piece of cuttle bone (like used for birds) for the snails...but be sure and have the replacement water pre mixed to prevent sudden extreme changes...its also important to know the KH/GH as well as the pH when you want to change the pH and hardness...
I agree and disagree with OFL.
There is more to pH adjustment than making the pH test become nuetral. It is nice to know if the pH is low because of hardness or alkalinity before changing other parameters. So I wouldn't snub proper testing even for small tanks. It's always better to be cautious since changing the pH wrong can have bad effects. The reason why I disagree is because I think coral is safer in bigger, cycled set ups but baking soda is safer in smaller set ups that have frequent water changes as long as the water is mixed in s seperate container. But I haven't read much about using cuttle bone, so I can't comment about that. There are just too many factors that affect pH to suggest one best option. XD I can give my opinion based on research that lead to a dead end. I read a lot about raising pH while trying to figure out how to lower my own. Personally, I've never regretted admitting defeat to my pH. I also don't regret knowing that I never want a salt water set up as long as I live.
If Pitluv's friend doesn't have a cycled set up, then I say use baking soda for each of the small water changes. Baking soda is easy to dose and doesn't work on auto pilot. So you do have to refresh it often since it is used up when it nuetralizes water. If the shrimp are in 1 gallon set ups, the baking soda only has to work for 2-3 days before the next partical water change anyway. So it works best in water that is refresh frequently so by products don't collect over time. Water conditions are designed to remove heavy metals not salts. So you would need a 100% water change to make sure no salts are building up on the sides. Also, by salts I don't neccesarily mean sodium based salts. If there are other ions that can react faster than the Sodium, it can be out competed. That's why salt water tester kits are so massive. K+ and Ca+ can be pretty sneaky sometimes.
If Pitluv's friend does have a cycled set up, then I would go with crushed coral. Unlike the baking soda, the coral isn't used up in the same sense, because it is acting as a buffering agent. Instead of nuetralizing the acid in one shot, it helps the water buffer itself over a period of time. It is hard to dose and shouldn't be added quickly since it needs to be in the tank to work properly. Coral is usually used in larger cycled set ups so the water can take care of itself properly. So, I don't know if results with coral are immediate. Give it 24 hours or so to see results because assuming there isn't enough coral to buffer the water and add more. Coral also has a reputation for going overboard in terms of buffering. So Pitluv's friend's water can go from 6.2pH to 8.0pH over night if the coral is added in too large an amount.
I would suggest an alkalinity test to make sure fresh water isn't turing into salt water after the coral is added. Coral is mainly found in salt water set ups for that reason.
If it's alkalinity that is messing with the pH and not hardness, remove the last thing added to the container. Salt water set ups can wing it because marine set ups can tolerate the salt by products if the levels don't get too high. I also think the water will buffer itself back up over time if the decore just leeched something out that had a limited duration. Like, a fresh water aquatic plant that was floated in salt water because the pet store staff didn't know the difference. That would fix itself over time and with the help of a few water changes. I would continuously remove decore until I found the salt source. If there is no decore in the snail's container, then ignore this chunk of advice.
After that, the only options left are to hope the pH overload of the snail container is a merciful tyrant. My pH overlord is willing to deliver me a pH of 7.6 if I give sacrifices of Indian Almond Leaves when the moon is at it's fullest and smallest.
But if I forget...