The carbonate hardness CH is one of the most important water parameters in aquarium keeping and for garden ponds. The CH stabilises the pH-level and therefore prevents any dreaded plunge or sudden steep rise in pH levels, both of which are equally dangerous.
In normal community aquariums and ponds, the CH should never drop below 4° GCH. Even if the initial water contained sufficient CH levels, the CH in the aquarium and pond may decrease. This may be the result of vigorous bacterial activity or a lack of CO2 – with plants and algae extracting the CO2 they require from the CH. Consequently the CH decreases and the pH-level is unstable.