Raising pH

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by Warr7207, 18 Mar 2008.

  1. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    I have been using the BiCarb / Sodium Carbonate method for 4 weeks now and going well.

    I would like to raise my pH by 2/10 permanently.

    Am I correct in saying that using BiCarb & Sodium Carbonate will not raise the pH due to them equalizing each other ?

    If I just added Sodium Carbonate, would this raise my pH ?
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Warr - I use calcium hydroxide if I want to raise my pH. Kalkwasser raises pH more than sodium carbonate / bicarbonate ever would. I think that sodium bicarbonate/carbonate ONLY raises your water's pH to a max of 8.2 or 8.3....
     
  4. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    If I start adding Kalkwasser, won't it raise my Calcium levels.

    Calcuim level is 480 at present.
     
  5. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Warr - yes - it would most likely - my calcium levels are at around 500-510... my pH around 8.6. dKh at between 12-14....
    What's you pH at currently?

    Alternatively, you could use a commercial product. I know that you get something like "pH Up"....
     
  6. Alfie

    Alfie

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    Why are you running such high levels. Should calcium net be 400-450 and PH 8.2-8.3?

    Warr commercial PH buffer will raise pH to 8.3 which is the norm.
     
  7. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    Sounds like a pool product :razz:
     
  8. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    between 8.1 and 8.2

    I want it at 8.4
     
  9. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    Since I started the tank, I made a mistake with the syringe measurement on my calcuim test kit:p

    And hammered the Ca levels to 500. I don't have many creatures consuming it so it is taking a while to come down.
     
  10. LikesFish

    LikesFish

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    Remember no chemical product you throw in your tank will have a long term effect on pH. The only way to get your pH higher is to get rid of the excess CO2 in the water. This you do by better turbulence/aeration, as well as reducing the amount of CO2 in the room by having better ventilation.

    Adding kalkwasser helps because it helps getting rid of CO2, as well as buffering your alkalinity to buffer against low pH. But the best way is as said above.
     
  11. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    Ok, but how high can I let my Calcium levels go ?
     
  12. LikesFish

    LikesFish

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    Well that depends. Obviously you do not want precipitation, but with Ca levels above 500mg/L the Alkalinity might begin to suffer. Not too sure what the exact level is though... I'd just try to keep Ca > 400mg/L and < 450mg/L, Alk > 8dKH and < 12dKH and the pH between 8.2 and 8.4...
     
  13. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    kH - 7
    Ca - 480

    So will get precipitation with Kalkwasser ?
     
  14. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Alfie -

    My calcium was raised at the same time I raised my dkH, pH and magnesium - as to try and eradicate my bryopsis problem (as been suggested to me by some international reefers on the other international marine sites I belong to).....

    So - I am still keeping my parameters at these levels, because, firstly, there's no negative effect on my life-stock (actually - I have just seen increased/improved growth), and secondly, as you could have seen in the pics - I still have bryopsis in my tank....
     
  15. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Warr / Alfie - regarding precipitation - the only time I have EVER seen precipitation in any one of my tanks, was about 6 months after starting my 1st ever marine tank. I saw "white snow" after dozing with SeaChem Calcium Plus, in my 1.2 metre 300 litre. I have NEVER seen precipitation occurring in my 2 metre tank. Even though I keep my calcium levels so high, and even if I keep my pH so high, as well as dkH.... Please take into account it is my dkH that are at the levels of between 12 - 14....

    As I mentioned - I see absolutely NO negative effects on any of my life-stock, actually - I only see postive effects - my corals grow wonderfully!
     
  16. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi LikesFish - just a question - have you experienced the alkalinity dropping when you had your calcium at levels above 500?

    BTW - I have indeed spoken (and seen their tanks) reefers who indeed keep their tanks at these levels without any negative effects.... I would really like to know whether this is a common effect that one's alkalinity WOULD indeed fall drastically, if you keep you calcium levels so high? Thanks.
     
  17. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    I found a VERY interesting article, written by Randy Harley-Folmes:
    I quote:
    "implified Solubility
    Here's a good way for non-chemists to think of the solubility scenario occurring in typical reef tanks. First, let's discuss what happens in pure (fresh) water with dissolved calcium carbonate.
    Each dissolved calcium ion is randomly floating around in the solution. Occasionally, it randomly bumps into a calcium carbonate surface. If it is a clean surface, it has a good chance of sticking. The higher the concentration of calcium, the more likely it is that ions are impinging onto the surface and sticking. This same dynamic holds true for carbonate ions.
    At the same time, each calcium ion on the surface of the calcium carbonate can randomly come off of the crystal surface, and go into solution. Again, the same is true for carbonate ions.
    After a balance has been established, the system has reached the exact level of saturation, with the overall number of ions coming off of the surface equaling the number going down onto it. This process is precisely how the solubility limit of any solid is determined. It is a surprise for many aquarists to learn that solubility is dynamic even at saturation, with ions dissolving off of the surface and precipitating onto it very rapidly, although in equal numbers.
    Now consider a solution that is supersaturated. In pure (fresh) water, there will be more ions precipitating onto the surface than dissolving off of it, and the crystal grows. At the same time the concentration of ions in solution decreases. The crystal growth continues until the solid has taken enough ions from solution so that dissolution and precipitation are again balanced.
    In reef tank water the situation is complicated by the phenomena described above involving magnesium, phosphate, and organics. In a sense, what happens is that the calcium ions (and carbonate ions) are less likely to stick to the surface when magnesium, phosphate, and organics are present. Consequently, the supersaturation can be maintained.
    However, if W is too large, these phenomena can be overcome. Suppose a tiny portion of an aragonite crystal becomes "exposed" with no coating of magnesium, phosphate, or organics. When W is low enough, these covering ions will probably take over before much calcium carbonate can precipitate.
    However, if W is too large, calcium and carbonate will "rain" down on the growing surface faster than the inhibiting molecules, and precipitation can continue until something stops it. In a runaway precipitation event, it may not be stopped until the calcium and alkalinity levels have declined to more normal levels, the "rain" has declined to a "drizzle", and the inhibiting ions can again cover the crystal surface."


    From:

    http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-04/rhf/feature/


    Basically - what I read into this, is that EVERY system has a unique water chemical balance, and this chemical balance is reached at VERY different chemical levels, in different tanks. So - for one to say that you HAVE to have a calcium level of 380-475, would not be 100% true, as NO ONE knows exactly where your system's super-saturation levels are - the levels, which IF your chemical levels go above those levels - you could possibly experience precipitation.
     
  18. LikesFish

    LikesFish

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    No not directly. However I have not really played with it in my reef tank. I do know Tropic Marine Pro Reef salt has a Calcium level of about 540mg/L and Alkalinity of 6dKH, and Tropic Marine reef salt has a Calcium of about 440mg/L and Alkalinity of 8dKH when newly mixed at 35ppt. This is also indicative to me that when Ca is high, it is difficult to maintain high Alk levels. But like I said - I am not sure what the numerical limits are. I know it is highly dependent on pH (low pH = lots of ca + alk, high pH = less Ca + alk before precipitating), and Mg (Magnesium).
     
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