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  1. #1
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    Raising Alk with Baking Soda....

    Hey guys...

    So stupid us, we've been testing our alk in mg/L right? So we're thinking that the DKH value would stanf for deca, as in moving a decimal place lol. our mg/L count was 110 (thinking it was 11DKH lol) Come to find out eventually that actually 110mg/L is 6.5DKH.

    Well we want to try and raise it. Using this calculator.... http://home.comcast.net/~jdieck1/chemcalc.html ..... It says to raise our ALK from 6.5DKH to 9DKH we would need to add 18.4 grams of baking soda (mixed with r/o, and in intervals).

    Do you have any adivce/suggestions for us before we attempt this????

    It's much appreciated!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kenzy's Avatar
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    Baking Soda works very well for raising alk. I would suggest that you add to your baking soda(sodium bicarbonate) sodium carbonate, which is just baked baking soda.

    Baking soda will slighly lower your ph for a short while, but sodium carbonate will slightly raise your ph again for a short while. So mixing them together at a ratio of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part sodium carbonate will offset this out. (edit: I've seen recomondations of anywhere between 1:1 to 6:1 sodium bicarbonate:sodium carbonate. So I've stuck with 3:1)

    To make sodium carbonate you simply bake the baking soda in your oven at 400F for 30-45 minutes. I usually buy a 2kg box and bake a third of it to make the sodium carbonate part them mix both together and then store it in a tupperware tub large enough to hold it all, then add as needed.

    I've been doing this for quite a few years now and it works great.

  3. #3
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    interesting info kenzy, i have always just used the baked baking soda mixed with RO/DI water. i dose a measured amount everyday and keep records of the effects over long time periods. i slowly add it to a high flow are of my sump and try to keep it away from the intake of any pumps, while it is in high concentration.

    for the amount you need to add and the effect it will have on your params, i would go slow at first just adding a little bit each day to prevent any drastic changes. then test every couple of days to see what effect you are having.

    i too have been using baking soda for a couple of years with no problems at all.
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

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  4. #4
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    we read that adding baked baking soda is less forgiving (for making mistakes)
    then just regular baking soda, is this true?

    what effects will we notice as we dose this? clacium should drop, as well as PH? while ALK rises?

    and how much do you think we should dose at first, would a teaspoon be to much?

  5. #5
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megznsteve View Post
    we read that adding baked baking soda is less forgiving (for making mistakes)
    then just regular baking soda, is this true?

    what effects will we notice as we dose this? clacium should drop, as well as PH? while ALK rises?

    and how much do you think we should dose at first, would a teaspoon be to much?
    i'm not sure which is "safer" but i find it is best to change things slowly, even if they are out of whack.

    i would mix the BS required with a litre of water and slowly add a little bit ( ~1/4 cup or 2 or 3 tablespoons ) to the sump in a high flow area. the water may cloud a bit but it should disappear quickly. then do the same for the next few mornings, you should test every few days to see what results you're having. while it may be fine to add a lot more faster i like to make changes slowly to not shock anything. if after a few days the Alk hasn't started going up, start adding a little more of the solution each day.

    as for what effects you should see, ideally none except and increase in Alk.
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
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  6. #6
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    i would mix the BS required with a litre of water and slowly add a little bit ( ~1/4 cup or 2 or 3 tablespoons ) to the sump in a high flow area

    we didn't think we could add that much at one time.

    in our sump we cane ither throw it in on the side that has the cheato and return pump, or we can put it in the side with the skimmer and inlet from the display, which would be better?

    and what are the benefits to raising our ALK? will it eventually stay steady or will we have to dose all the time? if its steady now why change it?

  7. #7
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megznsteve View Post
    we didn't think we could add that much at one time.
    19g into a litre of RODI shouldn't be to potent, if you're concerned start with 1 tablespoon a day and test to see the results.

    Quote Originally Posted by megznsteve View Post
    in our sump we cane ither throw it in on the side that has the cheato and return pump, or we can put it in the side with the skimmer and inlet from the display, which would be better?
    do you have a bubble trap between the skimmer and return, that would be a good place, lots of flow to dilute it quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by megznsteve View Post
    and what are the benefits to raising our ALK? will it eventually stay steady or will we have to dose all the time? if its steady now why change it?
    Ca / Alk / Mg / pH are all closely related and need to be in balance to be properly maintained. Ca and Alk are what hard coral build their skeleton from as well as clams and coralline. you can maintain proper levels by doing large water changes or by supplementing Ca and Alk by either a two part / kalk reactor / Ca reactor depending on your requirements. so yes you will have to do something to maintain them, i currently dose a two part ( one for Ca and one for Alk ) once a day but am thinking about switching to a DIY kalk reactor.
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
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  8. #8
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    sorry, wasn't thinking there, I htought you meant add a 1/4 cup of baking soda to the ro/di and throw it in.

    Ok well we'll mix up the 19G of baking soda into 1L of r/o and add it slowly, say every 3 days? how does this sound?

    yes we do have a bubble trap, our cheato is right against it though (on the return side) will the BS kill it?

  9. #9
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    sorry just read through the thread again, and you already mentioned to dose a little each day, then check every few days

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    sorry for the confusion, what i mean is to mix the 19g with 1l and dose 2 or 3 tablespoons of the solution each day, then test to see whats happening. if the Alk is coming up just continue dosing, if nothing is really happening ( or its coming up really slowly ) then increase the amount you are adding daily. go to 4 or 5 tablespoons a day or better yet 2 or 3 tablespoons in the morning and 2 or 3 at night.

    this may be over cautious but i like to make any changes very gradually, even if they are in the right direction. :b15:

    i would try to keep it away from the chaeto ( or anything else living ) when you add it to the sump, just add it slowly in an area with flow but not directly into a pump.
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


    My Gallery

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