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Old 04-18-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
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Baking Soda to boost ALK?

I went to my LFS a couple months back and was talking with a guy about BRS 2-part dosing system. He said this would help my tank flourish since my ALK has been down a bit, and I shouldn't just raise 1 (ALK/Cal/Mag) without having the other supplements.

So I've been testing with Salifert kits frequently (past several weeks), before a PWC, 48hrs after PWC to see the fluctuation in parameters. Here's the average test results:

Phos: 0
Cal: 420ppm
Mag: 1310-1320
Alk: 4.9 - 5.1 dKH


Since it's only Alk that's significantly lower, could I just dose baking soda to raise it? Or will adding baking soda throw off another parameter... making the 2-part doser the most effective option.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:11 PM   #2
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You can use baking soda for the alkalinity part of a two part solution. It is advised you bake the baking soda at 350F for an hour to drive out C02. I mix 500 grams of baking soda in a gallon of RO/DI water. Your calcium is high enough. I would just slowly dose the alk solution until you got KH where you wanted it. It really doesn't affect PH that much, it just buffers the water like a shock absorber to reduce PH swings.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:15 PM   #3
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By alk solution do you mean the baking soda? I don't have the 2-part solution. I was just going to use Arm & Hammer baking soda.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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Yes, the alk solution I was referring to was using baking soda. Anything that has pure baking soda for human consumption is fine. BRS sells it real cheap in large containers. I have been using this as part of my home made two part solution for over 10 years now. Don't just throw raw baking soda in the tank, make up a solution and slowly trickle it in in small quantities while you monitor with your test kit. Move really slowly with this, do it over a couple of weeks.

I use a three part solution I add with medical dosing pumps, calcium solution, alk solution and magnesium solution. All are cheap to make and useful if you have a heavily populated coral tank. Water exchanges are all that's needed for anything not heavily loaded, but if you are wanting wall to wall coral, you need to supplement.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:28 PM   #5
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Great! I wanted to get the kit from BRS, but I figured if my other parameters are where they should be, why waste the other supplements?
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:30 PM   #6
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The kit is composed of the same stuff we were discussing.
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