Baking soda & the reef aquarium

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by dallasg, 4 Dec 2013.

  1. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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  3. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    Great read thanks Dallas...
     
  4. Hammerhead

    Hammerhead

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    Is it necessary to bake in an oven or can it be used as is?
     
  5. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Not a nececity... But can be a good thing if your struggling with low ph.
    I used to bake the bicarb soda & mix 50/50 with normal baking soda to regulate my ph... But I stopped that process as it caused calcium like precipitation on my glass when I dosed it...
    Since using only normal baking soda, my ph is a lot more stable (no spikes after dosing) & ph is always at 8.1-8.2 any time of the day...

    I think it would differ from tank to tank & personal preference... Some guys use only baked baking soda... Others normal baking soda...
     
  6. zak

    zak

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    Nice read. Is there a way to increase calcium levels without increasing Alkalinity? My Alkalinity is sitting at about 10dKH, Calcium at 320, Mg at 1290..
     
  7. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    A normal calcium supplement will only raise calcium.
     
  8. zak

    zak

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    Any recommendations?
     
  9. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Brightwell Calcion
     
  10. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Yes one has a choice in raising Alk.
    If pH is below 8.3 use Sodium carbonate (washing soda)
    If pH is above 8.3 use Sodium bicarbonate (Baking soda)

    Washing soda will lift your pH whereas baking soda will not raise pH as mutch
     
  11. Hails

    Hails

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    I'll definitely start sharing my banana loaves and malva puddings with the fish :lol:
     
  12. Andre@ReefAquatics

    Andre@ReefAquatics Sponsor

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    Please correct me if you think im wrong.

    Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Baking it removes hydrogen and o2 forming sodium carbonate. I use the baked bicarb (sodium carbonate) when I want least change in ph, this method especially when on a doser.

    So its kinda the opposite to what @Nemos Janitoris saying but I could very well have it wrong?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  13. Hammerhead

    Hammerhead

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    I wonder if space cakes will make those tangs more chilled out.:lol:
     
  14. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Yes wrong I am afraid.....

    "If alkalinity were less than 4 meq/L (11 dKH; the most common situation in zone 4; shown in Figure 5), I would advise correcting this problem by adding an alkalinity supplement until you have moved into the target zone (or zone 1). For systems with a pH of 8.2 or above, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a good choice. For systems with a pH below 8.2, washing soda (sodium carbonate) is a good choice (though use some baking soda too if the correction is a large one and the pH gets too high; that is, above pH 8.5 or so).
    In gauging how much to add, here are some rough guidelines:"

    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/11/chemistry
     
  15. Andre@ReefAquatics

    Andre@ReefAquatics Sponsor

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    Thanks Keith, I think we getting conflicting info from the web. Let me check and revert
     
  16. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    No problems. :thumbup:
     
  17. Midnight Reefer

    Midnight Reefer

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    A equal mix of both powders is best in my opinion and 2 cents but please dont grill me :D

    I get my pH tested daily, before carb and bicarb it would roller-coaster from 8.54 to 8.11 daily with calcium hydroxide dosing (I don't have a controller!! :( ).

    Now dosing carb and bi-carb powders in aqueous solution(RO water), 50:50 powder mix, which seems to present pH of 8.30 daily, exactly. Tested between 8-9AM with a "YSI" multi parameter tester and not by me :) it's all documented.

    Maintaining Alk measured as CaCO3 @ 160 ppm or mg/L on a Palintest 7100 photometer. I hope it's accurate :whistling:

    If low pH is an issue, more carb in the mix is needed, try a mix 70:30?

    Carbonate needs the extra H+ proton when disassociating from sodium in aqueous solution (water), shifting the pH up ever so slightly.

    It's a funny powder though sodium carbonate, Na2CO3....low density so a 50:50 mix is difficult to measure by eye, rather by weight on a wee little scale.

    Of course you cannot replicate the perfection and geochemical stability of coral reefs, but simple pH control is a start I guess?

    Mg, Ca and the rest of the "ocean soup" is another discussion :D That includes boron :(
     
    Last edited: 4 Dec 2013
  18. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Yup if you are having issues with Ca precipitation it is normally a deficiency in Mg. I have used the RHF method of correcting Ca and Alk issues for many years.
     
  19. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    The main cause of precipitation is pouring too much kh into an area of tank with not enough flow. This results in calcium being pulled from water to combine with bicarbonate/carbonate to form a precipitate of calcium carbonate.
     
  20. Andre@ReefAquatics

    Andre@ReefAquatics Sponsor

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    @Nemos Janitor , just to confirm you 100% correct. I never really cared to much about pH as the affordable test kits are a bit of a color guessing game.
    I normally just assume that with a constant Alk level your pH should normally level around the acceptable range.

    To conclude:

    Recipe 1: pH is Normal to Low
    Bake the Sodium Bicarbonate to form Sodium Carbonate
    Has a raising effect on pH

    "In practice, more reef aquarists end up choosing this recipe"

    ----------------------------------

    Recipe 2: pH Normal to High
    No baking just use Sodium Bicarbonate
    Very slightly reduces the pH
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  21. Rabbit

    Rabbit

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    Hi Guys, I need some help. I've just measured my Alk @ 2.4 , Ca and Mg seems fine. What is an acceptable amount to dose per day to not cause any harm ? I've followed the link provided and it does not make any mention of this. My total water volume is 400L
     
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