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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I could do with raising my ph on my tank. I just have coral sand in tank but have a load of coral gravel i mght be able to stick in one of my externals. Anything else i can do? cheers
 

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Baking soda works, take a look at the article about buffer mixes in the Chemistry section of the Library.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
cheers. I should have mentioned i have some WC hopefully coming in a few weeks, hence the rise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Will i have to mess with salt aswell to add hardness or will baking soda for ph aswell. I dont have a test kit for hardness. Also how often would i be looking at to top it. cheers. I suppose there a correct forum for this. sorry
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
*** read that buddy. So i do need to play with the hardness? Its not just a case of baking soda? cheers
 

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Good idea to get your reading for pH GH and KH from your tap. Baking soda will handle your pH but if your GH and KH are very low from the tap, you may have to worry about buffering as well.

If you go this route you would treat all water-change water the same way to match parameters with tank water. Consistency is critical.

Good idea to get the kits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah ill get the kits on order. Im then gonna fill one of filters with limestone and take it from there. Another question. By raising the ph say with limestone will this have an impact on gh/kh? and vice versa. And to clarify, if i manage to raise the ph through limestone etc, will i still need to maybe buffer with salt if the other readings arent higher enough. Ill also message the stockist to see what he keeps them in. He mentioned earlier his ph is 8.1-2

cheers guys.
 

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Baking soda will raise Ph and Kh. Limestone will raise the gh as well. You still need know your tap water Ph, Kh and gh. If your tap water is soft and has a low Ph you will have buffer the water during water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok. That was something else i didnt consider. I think my tap water is ph 7.0. If im doing 20 percent weekly water changes that will be enough to affect things in the tank?
So will getting the ph right with limestone, will the kh/gh automatically be ok then or could that still be low?

sorry for all the questions. cheers
 

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Limestone or other calcium carbonate substrates are not viable solutions for raising the hardness or buffering of your water. It does not dissolve nearly fast enough to compensate for water changes. You can measure a short-term increase in pH and buffering, but that is from the dust and surface layer dissolution... after a few weeks, that's over with.

Baking soda will raise KH and set your pH at exactly 8.2. It's safe, cheap, and instantaneous. :thumb: Find out your GH and then we can tell you if you need to add salt. I use Epsom salt (MgSO4) to raise GH... again it's cheap, easy, and safe to add imprecisely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Right ill start again lol. *** always thought that when you want to raise the ph and hardness the common response is- Add ocean rock and crushed coral sand? Your theory does make sense though.

So the only option i have is the baking soda route? Baking soda questions then lol.
How does the baking soda keep the water at 8.2? Also will this reading leave the water over time if you get me? or is it a case of getting it to 8.2 and then thats it. Then when i water change ill have to treat that aswell? My tank is 240litres btw. cheers.
 

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Triscuit, DJ and GTZ have done a great job :thumb: of covering this. I will just add that I read the article cited, had been testing my water regularly before deciding on treatment, and then started treating basically for pH.

I make 20% water changes averaging 1 1/2 times a week. My starting pH (tap water) is 7.1 and already hard, being municipally treated river water from the Kankakee River. I also decorate my tanks with river rock which is largely granite and limestone.

I began cautiously (I am paranoid about what I put in my tanks) by using 1/2 tsp of baking soda per 5 gallons of change water (you can surmise correctly that I hand change using 5g pails). I have been doing this almost a year and my water sloooowly came to stabilize at a pH of 8.2. My hardnesses are great and my fish (L. Tanganyikan) seem to love it. :D

Thanks and good fishkeeping, Les
 

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:popcorn:

Well, call it theory if you like but I can show you the math. :lol:

Baking soda is popular because it is cheap and easy to use. And, it buffers at an appropriate pH for African lake cichlids. Most of your commercial buffers are twenty times more expensive and contain mostly sodium bicarbonate. So, sure- you have other choices, but they'll cost a lot more.

How much baking soda you need to add will be determined by what else is in your tap water. For Lestango- his hard, neutral pH water takes more buffer to reach 8.2. For my water (pH ~9, very soft), I add 1 TBS per 20 gallons in a water change. Or so. I don't really measure because I know that the existing tank water is already buffered at 8.2, and even if I add a bit more or less, my water will still be 8.2

Since you don't have fish yet (right?) I'd start by dissolving a cup of baking soda in your full tank, let it mix for a few hours, and then test your pH and KH. Your pH will probably reach 8.2 before you have the desired KH. Shoot for above 12 on the KH, but know that there's nothing wrong with KH at 20.
 

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bullit said:
Right ill start again lol. I've always thought that when you want to raise the ph and hardness the common response is- Add ocean rock and crushed coral sand? Your theory does make sense though. .
You are right and I did the same. Crushed coral in the filters and aragonite substrate. It has made no difference in my pH GH or KH. So...triscuit is a professional and the explanation makes sense to me as well.

bullit said:
So the only option i have is the baking soda route? Baking soda questions then lol.
How does the baking soda keep the water at 8.2? Also will this reading leave the water over time if you get me? or is it a case of getting it to 8.2 and then thats it. Then when i water change ill have to treat that aswell? My tank is 240litres btw. cheers.
I'm sure there are other options, but baking soda works and is also a main ingredient in chemical solutions sold by suppliers...so why pay more? It will not leave the water although other things (organics) may cause pH to decrease. But you will have to treat water change water as well.

Baking soda works where rocks do not because it is already a powder (sodium bicarbonate) and can dissolve quickly.
 

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Oops! I re-read my post and missed a / betweeb the 1 and 2 on mytreatment dosage. :oops:

So my conservative dosage amount is 1/2 tsp, not 12 tsp per 5g of change water. That is why it took so long to raise my pH to 8.2. This was intentional, since I didn't want to shock my fish with a massive pH change (all my tanks were occupied). Now my claim of being paranoid about what I put into my tanks should make more sense. Thanks for not taking me to task for what appeared to be a huge treatment.

I will have to do a better job of editing my posts in the future. :oops:

PLEASE - NO ONE FOLLOW MY SUGGESTION OF USING 12 TSP PER 5 GALLONS OF CHANGE WATER WITHOUT CONSIDERABLE THOUGHT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
triscuit said:
:popcorn:

Well, call it theory if you like but I can show you the math. :lol:

Baking soda is popular because it is cheap and easy to use. And, it buffers at an appropriate pH for African lake cichlids. Most of your commercial buffers are twenty times more expensive and contain mostly sodium bicarbonate. So, sure- you have other choices, but they'll cost a lot more.

How much baking soda you need to add will be determined by what else is in your tap water. For Lestango- his hard, neutral pH water takes more buffer to reach 8.2. For my water (pH ~9, very soft), I add 1 TBS per 20 gallons in a water change. Or so. I don't really measure because I know that the existing tank water is already buffered at 8.2, and even if I add a bit more or less, my water will still be 8.2

Since you don't have fish yet (right?) I'd start by dissolving a cup of baking soda in your full tank, let it mix for a few hours, and then test your pH and KH. Your pH will probably reach 8.2 before you have the desired KH. Shoot for above 12 on the KH, but know that there's nothing wrong with KH at 20.
Im making more sense now lol, and ill try to get a kh/gh test kit tomoz. In the meantime *** just retested my tap water for ph and its coming out at 7.2. My tank water is 7.6 so the crushed coral sand has risen it? Coral sand will rise it then?

triscuit- i have in the tank a BN and 2 magara shellies so ill have to add less. cheers

edit- *** just come accross some info. Going back to the limestone and how it cant keep up with the water changes. Someone mentioned about keeping limestone in a water butt with an air stone for water changes. Not that i fancy doing this lol, but could this work?
 

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An air stone will make no difference in the dissolution rate for limestone. Coral is also CaCO3, and also will not dissolve quickly enough.

There may have been some dust in your sand, but like I said at first, that effect will be short term.

What we're talking about is the solubility constant- Ksp- a measurable property of minerals. Calcium carbonate dissolves very poorly- thus it has a Ksp of 6 x 10^-9. In contrast- baking soda, (NaHCO3) has a Ksp greater than 1... same with Epsom salt. To demonstrate this- take some crushed coral in a cup of warm water and give it a stir. Take some salt or soda in a cup of warm water and give it a stir- you can predict what is going to happen. You can probably rank several common minerals by their Ksp without knowing a bit of chemistry simply by knowing what dissolves easily and what does not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ahh thanks again. Well today i got my test kit and baking soda.

My results are GH- 200 mg/L KH-200m/L

Going on my results thats pretty hard. As said before triscuit i have a few fish in the tank so what would be the next step? cheers
 

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could try letting your water sit out over night and see if your ph raises mine out of the tap is 8 and over night will come to 8.4 crazy huh just stick it in a cup or somthing and an air stone or somthing to keep the water moving
 
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