Using Baking Soda?

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by MarlinMan11, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. MarlinMan11

    MarlinMan11 Member

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    Hello everyone!

    I'm just about ready to order a small CUC for my 10 gal tank (thanks to you guys I know what to buy) but I have one last concern before I purchase. My alkalinity is about 80ppm and I don't think that's good enough. My pH is also ~7.8 and I'd like to get it to 8.1-8.4. I've heard that baking soda will help do this, but the forums I've read were not very helpful to me. How much should I add? I have no sump btw. Thanks for answers in advance.
     

  2. crabs_mcjones

    crabs_mcjones I was a drab little crab once. R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I do 1/4 tablespoon of baking soda in my 40 breeder 20 sump with every water change, and with every refill of my ATO.
    BRS has a calculator that you can use to calculate how much to use.
    https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/reef-calculator/
    Choose Alkalinity Calculator
    Enter your water volume
    Enter your current Alk
    Enter what you want your Alk to be at
    And choose Dry Sodium Bicarbonate
    And it'll tell you how much to add to raise your alk up, and MAKE SURE to do it slowly. A raise in alk over a short period of time will shock the system.
     
  3. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Flipping it since 93 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    It’s best to make it into a gallon solution and dose it into sump slowly.

    Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) aka:”arm and hammer”, 1 1/8 cup dissolved into a gallon jug of RO/DI water.

    Using this calculator: http://reef.diesyst.com/chemcalc/chemcalc.html

    Go slow when adding and to a high flow area, best in sump. Adjust no more than 1 dkh per day.

    This will not raise ph, but lower it temporarily.
     
  4. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Flipping it since 93 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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  5. theMeat

    theMeat Well-Known Member

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    Adding something like baking soda to adjust alk and ph can work, but not a good long term solution. If you continually have to add, get at the root of the problem
     
  6. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Flipping it since 93 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Adjusting alkalinity is common in hard coral tanks, especially SPS dominated systems.
     
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  7. theMeat

    theMeat Well-Known Member

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    Yup, don't know why I said alk, meant to say ph. Althou worth mentioning alk and ph work hand in hand. Meaning when one goes up or down, so does the other, usually.

    Unlike cal and alk, which are opposite. Meaning when one goes up or down the other does the opposite.

    And when magnesium is out of range on the low side, both alk and cal become hard to keep steady, and corals are less able to absorb
     
  8. madweazl

    madweazl Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    If your alkalinity is that low, other parameters (e.g. calcium) are likely very low as well. In this case, you may be better off performing a series of water changes to bring everything back up to more appropriate levels (I'm just guessing at your other levels so double check to make sure this is applicable). Dont use the soda ash to chase pH.
     
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  9. madweazl

    madweazl Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Alkalinity and calcium are consumed together so if one goes down, so does the other. The pH would be influenced by CO2 levels, not alkalinity.
     
  10. theMeat

    theMeat Well-Known Member

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    Yes c02 will effect ph as well, which is why I said get to the root of the problem

    And yes both alk and cal can/will go down together on a longer term time scale. On a shorter time scale, the opposite

    With op at 80ppm /5dkh alk you may be right because/and it is way low. A simple calcium check by op will confirm
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  11. madweazl

    madweazl Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Not as well, solely.
    Why would Ca levels rise if alkalinity dropped?
     
  12. theMeat

    theMeat Well-Known Member

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  13. madweazl

    madweazl Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    He is describing an aquarist bringing things out of balance, not the inhabitants of said tank consuming the elements (though we don't know what the condition is in the original post) to lower than intended levels.
     
  14. beaslbob

    beaslbob Well-Known Member

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    FWIW low pH and low Alk are signs of high co2 levels.

    One very effective method is to balance out the tank with macro algae or use an algae turf scrubber.

    my .02
     
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  15. theMeat

    theMeat Well-Known Member

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    He also comments on how raising alk will make cal go down, and vise verse. In pretty much the beginning of the read if memory serves me.

    It's a very good read if you'v never, and I do not wish to argue. Just trying to help/guide a fellow reefer.
     
  16. madweazl

    madweazl Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    CO2 levels shouldn't have any effect on alkalinity.
     
  17. theMeat

    theMeat Well-Known Member

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    Yup. And a refugium might be better at doing this because an ats is pretty much all water to air surface. So if the c02 level is high where the ats is functioning to start with, the exchange is not too beneficial
     
  18. madweazl

    madweazl Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Are you referring to precipitation?
     
  19. theMeat

    theMeat Well-Known Member

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    Of course precipitation plays a role. On one hand you say ph going up or down doesn't usually or generally effect alk in the same way, and on the other you say that alk and cal does. So I'm trying to be kind, and you clearly have some understanding, but clearly not a broad one. While I'm not stating that i do have an almighty understanding, I'm smart enough to listen to people who do so I can learn something
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  20. madweazl

    madweazl Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    What I stated: "The pH would be influenced by CO2 levels, not alkalinity."
    What I stated: "Alkalinity and calcium are consumed together so if one goes down, so does the other." Raising alkalinity wont decrease calcium levels unless alkalinity is consumed.
     
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