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Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Tue 06 Dec 2011, 9:56 pm

I don't think this was my problem, or maybe I'm not understanding. Hang with me here while I try to figure this out.

So this is saying that the LOW carbonate alk is causing burnt tips? I've never seen that problem before and I have had low alk. When I first kept sps the low alk caused STN but not burned tips. When I had high alk the tips burned and the problem I ran into recently looked exactly the same.

Here's some more stuff I dug up. Nearly everything I found about borate problems was from the Red Sea Salt or the Seachem salt which would explain how an alkalinity of 13+dkh does not cause alk burn because a lot of the alk is borate alk. The Seachem salt seems to have lowered the boron in the salt mix since some problems arose but I couldn't find anything about the Red Sea.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2098372&highlight=borate

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1964177&highlight=borate

Sounds to me from the quote posted that the carbonate alkalinity was low and the baking soda dose was not enough to maintain acceptable levels. When a water change was done with a high alkalinity salt then the alk would spike which could cause burnt tips. Then over time the tank usage would lower the alk to normal levels again.

Even if a high level of borate was in the tank, doing a water change shouldn't increase the borate over time since it is not used up in the tank. If your salt mix has "x" amount of borate and you do a water change the borate should remain the same since you remove borate with the disposed water and add new borate with new saltwater.

Whatever my problem was has stopped since removing the kalk and going back to baking soda which is what I was doing before. My alk is actually slightly lower since going back to the baking soda since my growth has increased because the corals are healing and I'm running GFO again which increases my sps growth so the alk should be used up faster.

Forgive me if I totally read that wrong or if what I posted doesn't make a bit of sense.



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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Wed 07 Dec 2011, 12:37 pm

Well, I am officially back on reef crystals as of this morning. I wonder if there will be any ill effects with changing 100% of the red sea coral pro out of the pico and going back with reef crystals, heck of a time to be thinking about it huh? Anyway, the reef crystals checked out perfect this morning after mixing all night.
SG--1025
PH--8.3
Alk--12 DKH surprising
Calcium--460
mag----1350
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by matt_longview on Wed 07 Dec 2011, 6:55 pm

You should have mixed your lsat batch with this batch! Lol
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Wed 07 Dec 2011, 8:26 pm

matt_longview wrote:You should have mixed your lsat batch with this batch! Lol

I know I should have but oh well, everything looks fine so I guess no harm done.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Sat 21 Jan 2012, 8:36 pm

Hey Gabe
I found this about baking soda that you might be interested in! It has some pretty good points that might explain some things.
Alk and PH adjuster
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Sun 22 Jan 2012, 1:15 pm

Man, that guy really hates baking soda. Seems some people aren't too fond of that guy and his findings,

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1734984&highlight=aquacraft

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqcrftsaltmix.htm

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2049643


If baking soda is impure because they add anti-caking agents then what are they adding to that product to make it a "true buffer"? Borate? That's what most products add to buffers to make it appear to increase ph. It may give ph a quick boost but there's really nothing else to increase ph except kalk. Baking the baking soda will increase the ph a bit too. I'm not baking mine right now to see if there is a noticeable difference in ph but I don't worry about ph too much.

Same company that is pushing not using baking soda because of Aluminum Silicate makes a salt that tests higher than most other salts in Aluminum,

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2005/11/aafeature1

The only problems I've had with baking soda was when I didn't test for a long time and my alk rose too high. I test alk everytime I make a new jug of top off water now.


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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Sun 22 Jan 2012, 2:14 pm

Well, I have found this statement
Baking sodium bicarbonate (baking soda, Na HCo3) will turn it into sodium carbonate (Na Co3).

Sodium carbonate has a pH significantly higher than NSW. Adding sodium carbonate to a marine aquarium will drive pH up. Sodium carbonate does nothing to maintain let alone regulate pH.


To be true.
Since the addition of the reefkeeper and ability to watch PH rise and fall I have baked baking soda and added it to my tank in an effort to raise the PH. My alkalinity was ok at 7 DKH but upon adding the baked baking soda my PH did rise but only lasted for a couple of hours after which it slowly fell back to its prior level and this was during the daylight cycle. This leads me to the conclusion above that the baking soda while it might work for a short period does nothing to control PH. I need to check alkalinity in the same way and see if the baking soda raises it temporarily and then lets it fall back. It just appears to me that baking soda and baked baking soda are just a temporary fix like an addict getting a fix or an alcoholic getting another drink.
I too was convinced that the articles I was reading on the net about adding baking soda and this and that would work, sounded logical but by being able to watch what happened in real time, I have my reservations. Its true that I need to do more experiments and tests to see what is what but for now my baked baking soda is out the door. I have never had a nuisance algae problem in my current tank and never had cyano bacteria growing but then I have only used baking soda on occasion. I have buffers ordered, not the ones from the guy above but I'm trying Kent super buffer + DKH, Kent turbo calcium, Kent Strontium and Molybendum, Kent Magnesium. I have an extreme bioload in my tank and the addition of kalwasser is not enough to make up for my alk and calcium loss so I'm going to try this route and see what happens. After all thats the fun of it right? To see if we can make it all work out.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Sun 22 Jan 2012, 2:32 pm

DonnieP wrote:After all thats the fun of it right? To see if we can make it all work out.

Agreed! That's why I read here. These forums help me a lot! Very Happy

From what I've read, commercial buffers are nothing but a mixture of baking soda, baked baking soda or borate in some combo. The high purity stuff from BRS is nothing but pure baking soda. Maybe it's more pure than Arm and Hammer and maybe I'll try that. I don't dose anything to change ph, I just let it be what it is. I dose baking soda for alkalinity alone which will drop dramatically in my tank if I don't maintain it in some way (weekly 20 gallon water changes aren't even enough). After posting I checked my ph before the lights came on and had a ph of 8.0 and that's using unbaked baking soda. I'm happy with that so I probably won't be baking the baking soda anymore but it's working so I'm going to stick with it for now.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by J.Davis on Sun 22 Jan 2012, 2:37 pm

Great thread guys. I will continue to do nothing until y'all get all the leg work done! LOL Seriously though, because of the volume of water in my big tank vs. SPS and other "Uptake" items, I believe I'm still a ways out on doseing anything. I'm losing 20ppm calcium & 1 dKh between 2 week WCs. Will continue to follow you guys progress as eventually your knowledge will come in handy.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Sun 22 Jan 2012, 3:04 pm

Here is a post from another user on that forum that was interesting to me also.

Some time ago MDP told me that baking soda was not a good idea because of the anti caking agents in it. I am one of those people who will test the things I hear to make sure it is true (or else I am like the mom and dad in the movie "Time Bandits"). I promptly read the ingrdients on a box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda. It listed Sodium BiCarbonate only. So I added it into my 20 gallon quarantine tank with a power head and a couple of pieces of base rock. The "Q" tank has been in operation for about a year and gets no light and regular changes of NSW. The ph rose slightly (the buffering capacity of the water was low since it was NSW) but the kicker was this: Within a week, the outbreak of cyanobacteria was jaw dropping. In 20 years of maintaining reef tanks, I had never experienced cyano. I had never used baking soda either. It appears that the FDA does not require Aluminum Silicate to be listed as an anti caking ingredient either because it is not considered an ingredient in food or it is chemically inert or not reactive. After doing a large water change with NSW, the pH went back to normal and the cyano went away. I have not seen it since. I realize this is anecdotal but it is also demonstrative.

I still use Baking Soda extensively though......as a nasty tasting antacid.

This concerns me as to wheather baking soda could cause algae and cyano problems and since I have not had either in my tank, I don't think I want to roll the dice on this one. This whole thing came up because my PH was running much lower than I wanted and I was looking at baked baking soda as a remedy to raise the PH, but after seeing how the PH fell back almost immediately I started researching and just came across this thread. I don't know this guy and have never used his products but the claims he makes seem to be accurate so far as the baking soda and PH go.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Sun 22 Jan 2012, 3:28 pm

Baking powder is what contains other chemicals which could certainly cause algae.

Baking soda is 100% Sodium Bicarbonate.

http://www.armandhammer.com/FAQ/BakingSoda.aspx

http://www.stancoe.org/scoe/busserv/safety/msds/uploaded/baking%20powder.pdf

I think a lot of problems arise when people use buffers to increase ph when all it's actually doing is driving up the alk with only a temporary bump in ph.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Sun 22 Jan 2012, 4:49 pm

Baking soda is 100% Sodium Bicarbonate.

I personally don't believe this to be true, I believe there is an anti caking agent added to the baking soda to keep it loose and keep it from becoming a solid block. The anti caking agent is probably aluminum silicate. Just because the FDA does not require it to be listed on the ingredients because it is harmless to us does not mean it is not there. Bottled water is H20 but hydrogen is not listed on the ingredients but it is there.

Baking powder is not even of interest here, baking powder contains acidifying agents and I don't know of anyone using baking powder in their tanks.

Thing is, I' am going to use marine buffers made for use in a reef tank that contain borat alkalinity buffers, carbonate alkalinity buffers as well as other elements like Strontium and Molybendum intended for aquarium use instead of cooking and see how it works out, I have tried everything else, might as well try the right way. Sometimes we forget that carbonate alkalinity is not the only alkalinity that has to be kept up with. Borat is just as important along with Magnesium levels.

I will keep you guys posted on my results because as of now even with the addition of kalkwasser my PH is staying low 7.5 night, 8.0 day if I'm lucky, alk is 7 and calcium 400 with the addition of two part buffers daily so I'm going to see if it improves with products made for the aquarium.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Fri 27 Jan 2012, 4:52 pm

I did a little experiment today. I took a cup of water from my tank and tested the PH and it was 7.9, I took it outside and aerated the cup of water for one hour after which I checked the PH again and this time the PH was 8.3! This tells me that there is to much C02 carbon dioxide in my house. Using the gas furnace in the winter with our houses all closed up increases the carbon dioxide in the house, its not just the heater but us breathing in and out puts C02 in the air.

This C02 causes the PH in the tank to drop so this is the cause of my low PH. I have been adding buffers to the tank and very quickly got alk up to 10 and calcium up to 460, the supperbuffer + DKH from Kent worked great and it only took a little. I used Kent turbo calcium to raise the calcium which was 320 very low but one application a day for two days raised it to 460, I was adding the two part liquid along with kalkwasser but it was not keeping up. All I gotta do now is monitor it for a couple of weeks and determine how much I need to use. As for the PH, I don't know what to do about that. If I were using a skimmer, I could run an airline outside to bring in fresh air to the skimmer but I don't use a skimmer so any ideas?
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by J.Davis on Fri 27 Jan 2012, 10:30 pm

Can you continue to use an air stone placed outside? Long tubing?
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Sat 28 Jan 2012, 12:18 am

I'm thinking about running an airline up through the wall and into the attic, but I will need to search for a pump that has an inlet and outlet like the aqualifter does, I wonder if the aqualifter will work with air as it does water?
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by matt_longview on Sat 28 Jan 2012, 2:25 am

Yep. They'll do either. :-)
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Mon 30 Jan 2012, 3:05 pm

DonnieP wrote:
I' am going to use marine buffers made for use in a reef tank that contain borat alkalinity buffers, carbonate alkalinity buffers as well as other elements like Strontium and Molybendum

My question is how are you going to test for all that stuff? I think there's one company (Seachem) that makes a Borate test and last I heard it was horribly inaccurate. I've never tested for Strontium but I've also heard it's a pain to test for. It's only in saltwater in trace amounts and isn't really used up by corals. I've never heard of a test for Molybendum.


DonnieP wrote:alkalinity is not the only alkalinity that has to be kept up with. Borat is just as important along with Magnesium levels.

I'd think the only reason to monitor Borate is if you are dosing a buffer with it included. I don't think it's anything that needs to be dosed or used by corals. It's in the salt already so why add more? I've never seen a "Tank of the Month" that claimed success from Boron dosing.

Last I looked at your tank it didn't appear deficient in Boron, Strontium or Molybendum. Smile


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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Mon 30 Jan 2012, 7:40 pm

Yeah, you are probably right Gabe! I am mainly concerned with the low PH but I'm beginning to wonder if thats a big deal either. I will say though that I have added some of the supperbuffer + DKH and my Duncans have been expanding like crazy. It only took a little though, now my DKH is 12 and calcium is up to 460 from adding the Turbo calcium. If you need a calcium substitute you should try the turbo calcium, if you want to try it stop by and I will give you some to try. I know now that the low PH is coming from C02, just gotta get some fresh air in the tank.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Mon 30 Jan 2012, 8:06 pm

DonnieP wrote:if you want to try it stop by and I will give you some to try.

Thanks for the offer. I used the regular Kent Calcium but not the Turbo Calcium. I just bought a big jug of the BRS calcium to make my own mix. I'm going to try it out. I have a bottle of the Strontium and Molybendum if you decide you like it you can have it. Then again if it works good for you I'll keep it and start dosing that too. Very Happy

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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

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