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Old 08-24-2014, 07:12 PM   #51
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I will. Thanks.


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Old 08-24-2014, 10:10 PM   #52
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Constant cyano-- please help

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate (the "bi" means it has an extra C02 atom).

Soda ash is sodium carbonate. You can make baking soda into soda ash by baking it in a oven, that drives off that extra C02 atom.

The general rule is that baking soda drives the ph down temporarily as that C02 goes into solution. Soda ash doesn't change the ph much at all. Both work fine and provide carbonate. That's how I remember it.

I also have used reef crystals for years.

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Old 08-24-2014, 10:17 PM   #53
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Thanks, Gregcoyote, I appreciate the explanation. At least I understand why I'm supposed to bake the soda to make ash and why it may or may not slightly affect the pH. I'm going to concentrate on ammonia, nitrate and nitrite first and if my readings were correct, I'm gonna be doing some water changes. Alk might change with the water changes. If not, I'm baking the soda.


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Old 08-24-2014, 10:18 PM   #54
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I experienced a slight increase in pH when using the soda ash, but nothing drastic..maybe it went from like 8.0 to 8.2. But it goes down pretty quick back to normal. I just bought the soda ash cause i am lazy and didnt wanna mess up the baking process. lol Plus I could use the calculator on BRS's page.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:50 PM   #55
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How large was the amount you bought? Too much to make it worthwhile for my 28?


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Old 08-24-2014, 11:03 PM   #56
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What I was trying to say is baking soda and pH buffer or alkalinity booster (under any brand name) is essentially the same. Sodium carbonate plus an amount of borate. The only difference is the amount of borate added which determines the endpoint pH. Yes, some have a few added chemicals that are considered essential, but are also included in your salts so not entirely required.

In the end there is very little difference between baking soda and Alk buffers. The effect they will have on pH and calc/mag are the same.
What that effect is comes down to the coral stocking you have, not what buffer you use.


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Old 08-24-2014, 11:30 PM   #57
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Ok, thanks, Ingy. Makes it easier on me. I will test everything, including alk, tomorrow and go from there. I appreciate the further explanation.


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Old 08-25-2014, 01:16 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by mr_X View Post
Detectable ammonia and nitrite would be my first concern. Definitely raise the alk for the sake of the corals, but I don't think that's going to do the job for the cyano. I would sort out the nutrient level.
Alk that is below 7.0 is acidic and algae thrive on acidic water. It is not the only cause of algae but higher alk will help slow it down. Although there is a ton that the OP has to correct. One important thing to note is that algae started flourishing when the new LED light was installed. Algae loves phosphates, acid and specific light.
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Old 08-25-2014, 12:19 PM   #59
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Actually, the cyano started 4 months ago, new lighting one month ago. I am testing today, and if alk is still too low, I will treat it with baking soda. But that will be after I change a boatload of water if my ammonia, nitrates and nitrites are still high. Admittedly, using kits are more difficult than my Hannas, but they haven't released one for nitrates, ammonia or mag. And I don't like the ammonia kit I bought. It's a Seachem. Other than Hannas, the other two are Salifert. Get a bad ammonia reading today, I'm ordering a Salifert. Just to be sure. By the way, cyano is back this morning, but I'll not worry about that 'til I get my params corrected.


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Old 08-25-2014, 06:00 PM   #60
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Ok, I'm pretty depressed. Params appear to be worse and I have questions but I'll hold off on them until I give you the latest numbers.
PH 8.11
Salinity 1.025
Temp 79.0
Mag 1470 went down
Nitrite 10ppm
Phosphate 0
Calcium 384 went down
Ammonia 1.0 ppm (I think I'm dying here )
Alk 8.064 whoopee!
Nitrite 29 ppb

Questions: the Hanna Nitrate test I use is ultra low reading. Does that matter? Explain please any translation in numbers. Ammonia...why? I changed 19 gallons on Friday. No critters missing except maybe one Nass snail. I found the other two. Fish not fed since before water change Friday. After testing today, I gave them a few pellets. That's when my Nass snails came out.
I don't know what's going on, and I'm worried and frustrated. Will do another 10 gallon change tonight before sunset. Husband has ordered a flush kit for my ro/di unit. TDS is 2. I'm trying anything.
Before I started this forum, I read all that Randy Holmes-Farley had written. One thing to raise alk was 2.7 tsp of baking soda in a gallon of top off. I had to use 1/4 gallon last night. I assume that's the reason for the mag, calc, pH and alk changes. I'm leaving on a trip in 2 weeks and will be gone the rest of September. My husband is babysitting my tank, but he only knows what I tell him and he won't test. He will check salinity, top off and feed. That's it. I need to leave him a healthy tank. HELP!


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