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Advice? Alkalinity dosing question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jeffmr4, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    178
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0
    I've seen sodium carbonate (soda ash) and sodium bicarbonate used to raise alkalinity. From what I've read at the BRS website, soda ash is good for use as two part and when dosing kalkwasser, adjustments should be made with sodium bicarbonate.

    Can someone explain the difference between the two and what their uses are? Thank you.
     
  2. blackx-runner Administrator Website Team Leadership Team GIRS Member

    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +724 / 5 / -0
    Two-part dosing article
    Randy holmes-Farley is the go to for reef chemistry questions. His recipe 1 alk part and recipe 2 alk part are what you are questioning. He explains the science behind things very well.
     
  3. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    178
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0
  4. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    178
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0
    Oops, I thought I was in another thread.
     
  5. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    178
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0
    I don't see him explaining it in those two sections specifically but a representative from bulk reef supply said that sodium carbonate raises pH in addition to raising alkalinity and sodium bicarbonate doesn't. So, for use with kalkwasser he recommended sodium bicarbonate as the kalkwasser will have already raised the pH.
     
  6. blackx-runner Administrator Website Team Leadership Team GIRS Member

    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +724 / 5 / -0
    Somewhere in there he explains when to choose a recipe 1 vs. recipe 2 and it's pretty much what you got from BRS.
    When I was 2 part dosing and running kalk I believe I was doing the sodium bicarbonate.
     
  7. Actuary Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    662
    Adel, IA
    Ratings:
    +133 / 1 / -0
    I've used both. Lately I've been using sodium bicarbonate and have no issues with pH. The only reason I switched is BRS recently raised prices and I ran out of soda ash. Decided to just grab some Arm & Hammer baking soda from the kitchen cabinet instead. Note that a 4 lb box of baking soda is only $3.19 at Hy-Vee vs 7 lbs for $23 on BRS.

    You can also make your own soda ash by baking sodium bicarbonate in the oven. Soda ash is good if you have low pH issues (for example if you're running a calcium reactor or have poor ventilation). Baking soda is pretty neutral on pH so that's why people recommend it if you're also dosing kalk (which raises pH).

    Also note that the recipes and dosing amounts differ between the two. You mix roughly twice as much soda ash in your solution compared to baking soda. However, you then dose at about half the rate you would have with the baking soda solution. I've always assumed the solution difference is due to solubility but I'm not 100% sure on that.
     
  8. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    178
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0
    Thanks. Good to know.
     

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