I am pleased to report that after a week with the coral in both tanks, the gh in each is up to 5 and the kh is up to 3...ph has slowly crept up to 7.2 (same as out of the tap). What I have noticed most is how active the males and the pygmy corys have become...schooling around together constantly at midwater. They seem like happy little campers. I was at one of the lfs picking the staff member's brains about our water and they said that "everyone around here has to buffer or add coral because our water is so terribly soft". They also recommend a product line call aquavitro by seachem...they said it is plant friendly and does not possess excessive additives, only potash for the potassium carbonate in their kh formula and I believe calcium and a few other minerals in their gh formula. Has anyone used these products? Success? Failure? I am going to see how things go with the coral for now (why mess with a good natural solution that appears to be working) but in case it doesn't work out in the long run, are these products viable options versus buffers and regulators (or going brackish)?
Thanks again for all the feedback! (Now, if I could just find a lfs that sold najas grass I would be a happy camper).