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Old 01-27-2008, 10:21 AM   #1
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Baking soda - alkalinity

I used the baking soda method recommended on the Reefkeeping magazine website. It seemed to work like a charm yesterday when I did it. But this morning I wake up and everything in the tank is coated white. All the parameters in the tank check fine: Ammonia - 0 Alk - 2.8 PH - 8.0 Nit - 0. Should I worry or is this sometimes normal with this method? The snails, crab, and the only fish (lawnmower blenny) are doing fine.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:59 AM   #2
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Did you just dump the baking soda in the tank? It should be mixed with RO water 1st. Baking soda doesn't really dissolve very well in saltwater.
I dose with baked baking soda. I mix about 1 1/8 cup of baked baking soda with 1/2 gallon of RO/DI water and add about 3/4 cup of that every day, but I have a pretty high ca/alk/mag demand tank.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:26 AM   #3
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I mixed it with 1 gallon of RO water then put it in the tank.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:36 AM   #4
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How much did you put in the water and how much of that gallon in your tank?
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:05 PM   #5
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I mixed 1 cup of baking soda into the gallon and the entire gallon into the tank. Did I add to much?
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:11 PM   #6
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I must have added to much to quick. My snails are acting funny now. Not wanting to move and seem to almost come all the way out of their shell. They look as if they are almost swelling up. O well I guess I live and learn (-
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:34 PM   #7
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How big is your tank? Adding that much baking soda can be disasterous. It will drop your pH drastically and raise your alk way too high. Something is wrong either with your test kit or the way you are testing. Adding 1 cup of baking soda to 50 gallons of sw will raise alk by about 15 meg/l. You tested at 2.8?
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:41 AM   #8
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While I'm no chemisty major, I'd say the drastic increase in alkalinity (by adding the baking soda) caused the calcium to precipitate out of your salt water. Basically... you had a calcium snow storm, and that's what all the white is. Either that, or all the baking soda didn't dissolve, and it's baking soda that you're seeing on your rocks. Either way, I'd say if you don't have salt water mixed up already, start mixing and storing. Do some major 20% water changes every other day or so for a week. That should help bring your water parameters back in shape. Agree with cccapt... with that much baking soda at once, your alkalinity and pH shouldn't be "normal", as your snails are letting you know.

Keep an eye on your ph/alkalinity/calcium levels and give this a read...

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/chem.htm

... it'll probably help you out in the next several weeks as you try to get your water parameters back in shape. "Live and learn" is so true... many of have been there already!
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:38 PM   #9
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I thought I read one time that it was better if you baked the baking soda first. Dont know why but that`s what I read once. Anybody else read that?
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58 View Post
I thought I read one time that it was better if you baked the baking soda first. Dont know why but that`s what I read once. Anybody else read that?
If you just mix plain baking soda with RO water and dose that, it will slightly drop your pH. If you bake the baking soda, mix with RO and dose, it will slightly raise pH. If your pH tends to be on the low to average side(8.0 - 8.3), it's better to dose the baked baking soda and if your pH is on the high side (8.4 or higher), it's better to dose plain the baking soda.
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