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PamAndJim 12-24-2012 05:50 PM

How long does STS effect on ph last?
I set up my new dirted 125 with Saf T Sorb a little over two weeks ago. Everything is fine so far and the fish are all doing well. But, as expected the pH is much lower than what comes out of the tap. I have done a couple small water changes, so don't cause a huge pH swing. I am also waiting to add new fish until the pH stabalizes and gets back up to normal (or at least close to normal). For those of you who have experience with STS, how long does that process take? Also, will I be OK doing 25% weekly water changes?

Diana 12-24-2012 06:03 PM

I added baking soda while cycling a new tank with STS. It kept removing the carbonates the whole time.
So 3 weeks with lots of baking soda did not 'fill it up' with carbonates.

When I had the same problem with Soil Master Select I would add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a 29 gallon tank and this would raise the KH by 2 German degrees and bring up the pH from 'below the test chart' to 6.2.
The fish were fine with this much change.
The math holds good no matter how you multiply or divide it.
To raise the KH by 2 degrees in a tank of 125 gallons use 4 teaspoons of baking soda. You can dissolve it in a jar of water or you can sprinkle it in dry. I would dose right into the HOB or into the path from the outlet of canister filters. But even if a blob of baking soda landed on the substrate it dissolved pretty quickly and did its job.
25% water changes are fine, if that is the correct amount as indicated by other parameters.
I would do even larger water changes, then dose baking soda mid-week between water changes.

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