Bicarbonate

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by Alan, 7 Jul 2007.

  1. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Question for the chemical Guru's. Are there different grades of bicarb as i use one in the pool by clear water solutions and was wondering if it would be good for KH buffer?
     
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  3. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Yes, there ARE different grades of bicarb.

    I don't know for sure, but suspect that "pool grade" bicarb will not be very pure (just gut feeling, as it does not have to comply with any specifications...)

    I have been using "fit for human consumption" "Food grade" bicarb bought at any supermarket (currently using "Buffalo Brand") for many years. A purer grade would be "chemically pure" (CP), and the purest would be "analytical reagent" (AR), both grades only being obtainable from a chemical supplier.

    I do believe that the "food grade" products are much purer (and cheaper) than the "pet grade" aquarium products sold by our petshops at hugely inflated prices. The AR grade is obviously *much* purer still, but also more expensive, costing nearly as much as the "petshop grade" products.

    I do buy large quantities (5kg - 20kg) of CP and AR grade chemicals, such as magnesium chloride, calcium acetate and sodium carbonate, from an industrial supplier from time to time. If anyone would be interested, I could place a "bulk buy" order for these, and other, chemicals for our members... let me know if anyone would be interested.

    Hennie
     
  4. Alan

    Alan Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    Thanks Hennie, i run a CArx but switched it off about 3 weeks ago and decided to run on manual dosing for a month just as a comparison and i must say that running a manual dosing system on a fairly large system works out very expensive. I have realised that if i had to use synthetic salt and a manual dosing system, there is no way i could afford to run the size system i run. So now trying to find cheaper additives for KH, CA and Mag. When using the food grade bicarb, what would be the general dosing per 100L volume?
     
  5. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    I'm in the same boat - I used to run a calcium reactor filled with coral "rubble", but stopped this some time ago due to pollutants in the coral media. I'm currently looking for some good quality reactor media, but until then will continue to use DIY chemical additives.

    I would suggest the following (using it myself...):

    Drip limewater (Kalkwasser), using "BP grade" (human medical grade) slaked lime, available at any chemist

    Boost calcium as needed, using calcium chloride (CP grade, or better but more expensive AR grade, obtainable from a chemical supplier)

    Balance the added calcium chloride by adding either normal or baked "food grade" sodium bicarbonate (koeksoda), obtainable from any supermarket. Bake, or use normally unbaked, depending on the pH of your water.

    Further balance the ionic ratios by adding a mix of magnesium chloride CP grade or better, obtainable from a chemical supplier, and "BP grade" Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate).

    A full recipe and details on mixing, etc. can be found here:

    http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php

    Well, that would depend on your system's calcification rate. My corals use about 3dKH of alkalinity per week. With a total water volume of around 1000 litres, this results in approximately 12 teaspoons of baked bicarb and 130 grams of calcium chloride per week.

    Hennie
     
  6. Alan

    Alan Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    Hennie have you tried the carribsea range, I have been running my reactor on carribsea [cant remember the exact name] over the last few months and have been really happy with it so far. Only problem is it dissolves really quickly so have to keep topping up but is relativly cheap compared to other media. I mix the media with 10% of the Korroline magnesium and that maintains my mag levels very nicely at 3x calcium levels.
     
  7. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Thanks for the info, Alan. No, I have not tried the Carribsea media. Where can I get this product? Also, how large are the particles?

    Hennie
     
  8. DragonReef

    DragonReef

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    Hennie the media is Called CarribSea " Florida Crushed Coral "
    Particle size ranges from 2-5mm.
    I have been using it for the past 6 months and have been very happy.
    As Alan has stated it dissolves fairly quickly, but with minimal impurities and quite a high strontium count. I'm also running the ZEO Mag in my reactor and keep Mag at 1250ppm without additional supplementation.
     
  9. DragonReef

    DragonReef

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    Oh Yes Aquality stocks it, speak to Liaquat.
     
  10. SIMS

    SIMS

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    Alan this my be a stupid question but why would you prefer to go through all the effort to do the dosing when you already have a Carx?
     
  11. Alan

    Alan Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    Sorry Sims missed this one, i have never dosed my tank manually and wanted to see what the consumption was like and what the main differences were. Well to be honest i am shocked no wonder my poor CArx struggels at times i am dosing 42 tea spoons of bicarb a week to maintain 8dkh, i dose 6 spoons a day.
     
  12. chelmon

    chelmon

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    Hi, Guys

    I am new to this hobby. Have tried it a couple of years ago in a 2ft tank fish only.
    Know I have a 270L 10 weeks old, but already running into trouble. I have read this thread and looks like you guys know what you are talking about. What about some tips for a knew guy.

    Jaco
     
  13. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Hi chelmon

    Welcome to the forum, can I suggest you please start your own thread in the Beginners Section

    Give us some details and some photo's if possible and the guys will help you from there :)
     
  14. chelmon

    chelmon

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    Tx wil do so.
     
  15. Alan

    Alan Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    Hey Chelmon welcome, as Viper stated get a thread going and tell us a bit about your system so we can have a starting point. Size, type of live stock, filtration system etc.
     
  16. George

    George Sponsor

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    Hello Alan

    For years now I have only been using Laboratory AR grade of any chemical I have used. The AR grade has very minimal contamination of impurities which are always listed on the bottle.

    I find it very difficult to understand the amount of bi carb you use to maintain a dkh of +- 8. Do you use a calcium reactor?

    I do a monthly dkh test and only have to dose 1-2 t/s per month for a dkh of + 9 I also use a calcium reactor which keeps thing up there even my carbonate hardness.

    Perhaps you should try and use a laboratory grade bicarb it might make a differance or change your calcium reactor which should maintain calcium and dkh to a certain extent.

    George
     
  17. Alan

    Alan Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    Thanks George, at the moment i have turned of the reactor.
     
  18. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    I agree, AR grade is guaranteed to contain certain tested limits of impurities. That is not to say that the CP grade is less pure, it's just not proven to be as pure...

    Raising the dkh of a 1000 liters of water from 7.0 to 8.0 would require about 5 teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate, or 3 teaspoons of sodium carbonate. A healthy tank containing lots of growing hard corals could easily have a demand of 2 dkh per week, so an addition of 10-12 teaspoons of bicarb is not out of the ordinary.

    I don't think the purity grade would make much differance to the "strength" of the bicarbonate - the water contained within the crystalline structure would - not sure if bicarb has crystalline water, though (CaCL2 has, and can be obtained as either anhidrous, di-hydrate or hepta-hydrate, if memory serves)... Chemical Gurus, HELP...

    Hennie
     
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  19. SIMS

    SIMS

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    Man you boys know your stuff - I got lots and lots to learn!

    I have a 500l tank and battle to keep a DKH of 8-9 I have been using reefbuilder but seem to have to add alot and it never seems to get higher than 7.....
     
  20. George

    George Sponsor

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    Hello Hennie

    The Grade would most definitely not make any difference to the kh outcome, but the accumulation of impurities would affect the tank as a whole ( naturally this takes time)
    so by using the best possible grade you actually help the tank.

    George
     
  21. palmerc

    palmerc

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    The lab I used to work at packed all the chemcials for Saarchem (and later MErck as well).

    Both CP and AR grades came out of the same bag. The only difference was that the AR grade was tested to ensure it met all the specs before being packed.

    It was extremely rare that one of their chemcials did not meet the AR spec and could only be used for CP.

    So if you are buying lab chemicals, you can with a high degree of confidence purchase a CP grade from a reputable supplier like Merck instead of spending the extra on AR grade.
     
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