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Thread: Buffers

  1. #1
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Buffers

    Anyone know of a good buffer that will raise your pH more than your alkalinity. I've been having fun with my calcium reactor lately and occasionally would like to be able to raise the pH without the alk going through the roof. I've been using Kent Super Buffer but it seems to have the opposite effect - more alk than pH.
    Susan

  2. #2
    Senior Member MalHavoc's Avatar
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    have you tried dosing Kalkwasser? Kalkwasser is a relatively weak source of calcium (800 ppm), and contains no direct carbonate so it only affects alkalinity indirectly through things like reaction with carbon dioxide. however, the pH of kalkwasser is 12.5. If you used it for evaporative topoff, you might see the desired effect.
    Jason Nugent
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    180 gallon Oceanic with Lifereef Sump, 33 gallon with VHO, 20 gallon frag tank with MH

  3. #3
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    I don't understand the question ... PH is a “measurement” of acidity or alkalinity. It is recorded to be from 1 to 14 with 7 being neutral. PH of 8.2 is slightly alkali because it is a result that is above 7. What is your PH at now? Do you mean that your PH is dropping
    Rob

  4. #4
    Senior Member MalHavoc's Avatar
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    Robert, in this case, alkalinity refers to the concentration of carbonate/bicarbonate buffer in the water. Marine tanks generally have a concentration of speciated carbonate ranging from 150-200 ppm. It sounds like Susan wants to raise the concentration of hydroxide ion (your type of alkalinity) without affecting the carbonate buffer.
    Jason Nugent
    http://malhavoc.homeunix.com/
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    180 gallon Oceanic with Lifereef Sump, 33 gallon with VHO, 20 gallon frag tank with MH

  5. #5
    AC Partner MomRules's Avatar
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    Calfo's "coral Propagation " book has a simple way of dosing kalkwasser, pg 185. I was going to try that. And, Jason, which carbonate was better for raising pH- baking soda or washing soda? I remember reading that on RC too. I have been using them instead of the store bought buffers.
    Gail in Nova Scotia

  6. #6
    Senior Member MalHavoc's Avatar
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    washing soda has more carbonate than bi-carbonate, so it will affect pH more. Baking soda is just sodium bicarbonate, which is on the "acid" side of the alkalinity buffer. Just be careful with brand you use. I think that there are some brands here in Canada that have scents added to them.
    Jason Nugent
    http://malhavoc.homeunix.com/
    ReefCentral Admin

    180 gallon Oceanic with Lifereef Sump, 33 gallon with VHO, 20 gallon frag tank with MH

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by MomRules
    baking soda or washing soda?
    Hey Mom,

    This link uses both washing and baking with other links to the RC threads.

  8. #8
    AC Partner MomRules's Avatar
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    I find it hard to find the washing soda so I make my own by cooking the baking soda in the oven, which turns it into washing soda. :-) However, my alk is fine right now (12) and my calcium is 460, but I want to bring up my pH. So I will try the kalkwasser route. Thanks guys! Glad you asked this Flame!
    Gail in Nova Scotia

  9. #9
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I think I'll try the kalkwasser in the top off water. I have a 30g vat I keep full of fresh RO/DI for top off anyway, maybe I can just drip Kalkwasser into that somehow. I check around for instructions.

    With a calcium reactor is possible to have pH below 8, alkalinity above 14 and calcium at 460 at the same time. This isn't the norm for my tank but my pH monitor was out of whack a while ago and I'd been adjusting my CO2 up when I shouldn't have been. Nothing too serious but it would be nice to be able to increase the pH without further increasing the alk. Sounds like kalk might be do the trick.
    Susan

  10. #10
    Senior Member MalHavoc's Avatar
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    Susan,

    Are you aerating the effluent that comes out of your reactor? I don't know if you have the effluent running right into your sump, or if you let it drip and fall a few inches into it or not. It might help drive off some of the excess cabon dioxide.

    Also, I know you've got one of Jeff's reactors, which rock. I can't tell from the photo on your site if it's a two stage reactor or not. A two stage reactor will consume more CO2 since water has to pass through a second media chamber.
    Jason Nugent
    http://malhavoc.homeunix.com/
    ReefCentral Admin

    180 gallon Oceanic with Lifereef Sump, 33 gallon with VHO, 20 gallon frag tank with MH

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