Calcium alone cannot form the skeletal material of corals and allow calcareous algae to grow. Some other substances are needed as well. A few other constituents are carbonate and bicarbonate. These two substances also have a major impact on the stabilization of the pH in the proper range of 8.1 â 8.4. Such stabilization is also called buffering.
The total carbonate and bicarbonate concentration is also called carbonate alkalinity or carbonate hardness. The only difference between alkalinity and carbonate hardness is a conversion factor.
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