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raising alk with baking soda


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  1. #1
    jolson10450 - Reefkeeper
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    Default raising alk with baking soda

    my alk has been a little low lately, everything else is fine:

    ammonia - 0
    nitrites - 0
    nitrates - 0
    phosphates - 0
    mag - 1350
    calcium - 430
    alk - 7

    i would like to bump my alk up to 9 and i have been reading about using baking soda to do so, anyone have any experience with this? i used the reef tools calculator and it says to add 1.4tsp of baking soda to raise my mag in my 30g tank from 7 to 9. i am assuming i will have to do this daily but not sure? also i know i will have to mix it in water first.

    would i be better off getting something like seachem reef builder and just adding it to my ATO, can i add the baking soda to my ATO?

    i see a little bit of my sps polyps not extending fully now back from when it used to be roughly 10 and i believe this is the issue.

    Thanks for the help!
    Last edited by jolson10450; 03-04-2011 at 12:45 PM.

  2. #2
    BK's Reef - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Default

    I Have never used baking soda but I use bionic 2 part with calcium and alkaline but to be honest I dont have a test for alk but my coral look healthier.
    "reefing sure takes up your money...but it is the best money ive ever spent!"

    http://www.captivereefs.com/forum/marine-fish/bks-90-fowlr-8632/
    ^^^90 Fowlr thread

  3. #3
    BeakerBob - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by jolson10450 View Post
    i would like to bump my alk up to 9 and i have been reading about using baking soda to do so, anyone have any experience with this? i used the reef tools calculator and it says to add 1.4tsp of baking soda to raise my mag in my 30g tank from 7 to 9. i am assuming i will have to do this daily but not sure? also i know i will have to mix it in water first.

    would i be better off getting something like seachem reef builder and just adding it to my ATO, can i add the baking soda to my ATO?

    Thanks for the help!
    You can do it a variety of ways....just don't add it in all at once, take a couple days to do it.

    1) Add 1.4 tsp baking soda to 8 ounces of water and add about 2 ounces per day until gone.

    or 2) Mix in your top-off and add it in over a period of days.

    or 3) buy some commercial product and add it over a period of several days.
    BeakerBob - Past MMMC Club President, current Board Member
    imagephp?u1&amptypesigpic&ampdateline1261894023 - raising alk with baking soda

  4. #4
    jolson10450 - Reefkeeper
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BeakerBob View Post
    You can do it a variety of ways....just don't add it in all at once, take a couple days to do it.

    1) Add 1.4 tsp baking soda to 8 ounces of water and add about 2 ounces per day until gone.

    or 2) Mix in your top-off and add it in over a period of days.

    or 3) buy some commercial product and add it over a period of several days.
    Thanks bob! i top off about 1 gallon per day in my ATO, usually fill it 3-4 gallons only at a time because if it malfunctions i dont want to overflow my sump. i will add it to my ato water, now my question is does this stuff dissolve good enough to where over three days it wont just settle to the bottom?

  5. #5
    BeakerBob - Reefkeeper
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    1.4 tsp of baking soda will dissolve in 1 gallon of water very easily unless it is very cold. If so, just warm up a cup and dissolve the baking soda in it, then pour into the rest of the top-off water.
    BeakerBob - Past MMMC Club President, current Board Member
    imagephp?u1&amptypesigpic&ampdateline1261894023 - raising alk with baking soda

  6. #6
    cephalotus - Reefkeeper
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    Is there any draw backs with using baking soda? And I thought I read someware you should bake it first.

  7. #7
    BeakerBob - Reefkeeper
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    There are two ways to prepare baking soda for tank addition/supplementation based on the pH of your tank. Baking soda has carbon dioxide (CO2) in it and when dissolved in the water, the CO2 becomes H2CO3-, a carbonic acid that will lower the tank pH.

    1. If your tank has a consistent low pH (<8.3)

    Bake the baking soda to drive off the CO2. Spread it out thinly and and bake for 30 minutes @ 300 degrees. The heat drives off the water and CO2, leaving sodium carbonate for use to alkalinity. Adding the
    Sodium carbonate to the tank will not cause the already low pH to decrease any further.

    (Sodium bicarbonate) 2 NaHCO3 >heat> (Sodium carbonate) Na2CO3 + H2O + CO2


    2. If your tank has a consistently high pH (>8.3)

    Use the baking soda right out of the box. The CO2 in the Sodium bicarbonate will initially lower the pH a little, but it will come back up as it is buffered.

    In this case, 1.4 tsp in a 30 gallon tank is not going to cause any problems that would be considered significant.
    BeakerBob - Past MMMC Club President, current Board Member
    imagephp?u1&amptypesigpic&ampdateline1261894023 - raising alk with baking soda

  8. #8
    CR Member
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    Thanks for the post BeakerBob! I have added baking soda to raise my alk...but my pH is usually right at 8.3 or a tad lower. I'll bake it from now on.

    What's the ideal alk? I always though between 7 and 8, but then I saw jolson wanted it at 10 so maybe I'm shooting way low...

  9. #9
    jolson10450 - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by weimers75 View Post
    Thanks for the post BeakerBob! I have added baking soda to raise my alk...but my pH is usually right at 8.3 or a tad lower. I'll bake it from now on.

    What's the ideal alk? I always though between 7 and 8, but then I saw jolson wanted it at 10 so maybe I'm shooting way low...
    ive read numerous areas that optimum for sps is 9, the range i believe is 7-11 that is why i wanted to bump mine up some, in the summer with the house windows open i am at 11 and i think this is due to oxygen exchange in the room my tanks are in but in the winter time with no fresh air getting in it lowers, i cant run an air line out my window because the draw from the stock pump would have to be higher otherwise i would do that so i have to resort to something else. i might give the baking soda a shot.

  10. #10
    cephalotus - Reefkeeper
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    Thanks for the response Bob seems like an easy way to save money.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeakerBob View Post
    There are two ways to prepare baking soda for tank addition/supplementation based on the pH of your tank. Baking soda has carbon dioxide (CO2) in it and when dissolved in the water, the CO2 becomes H2CO3-, a carbonic acid that will lower the tank pH.

    1. If your tank has a consistent low pH (<8.3)

    Bake the baking soda to drive off the CO2. Spread it out thinly and and bake for 30 minutes @ 300 degrees. The heat drives off the water and CO2, leaving sodium carbonate for use to alkalinity. Adding the
    Sodium carbonate to the tank will not cause the already low pH to decrease any further.

    (Sodium bicarbonate) 2 NaHCO3 >heat> (Sodium carbonate) Na2CO3 + H2O + CO2


    2. If your tank has a consistently high pH (>8.3)

    Use the baking soda right out of the box. The CO2 in the Sodium bicarbonate will initially lower the pH a little, but it will come back up as it is buffered.

    In this case, 1.4 tsp in a 30 gallon tank is not going to cause any problems that would be considered significant.

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