Using baking soda and gH booster long term - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Using baking soda and gH booster long term

My tap water has non-existent gH and kH. I realized this after I had a pH crash in my new tank when I added a piece of mopani driftwood. I lost RCS and fish.

Since then, I have been (successfully) using baking soda to raise kH and gH booster/Equilibrium to raise gH.

I just read this article:

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

It points out that:

A final comment on using baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to raise pH. This can be useful in an emergency, but should not be used long-term.

Soooooo ... is my strategy to continue using baking soda and gH booster in the long run (with every water change) doomed? Am I better served doing something else (crushed coral etc.)?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 07:56 PM
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Just read the linked post and understand your concern reading it.
Further, the sodium ions will eventually reach levels that are intolerable for soft water fish (Weitzman et al. 1996).
I can only tell you I add BS after water changes using RO and have for over 3yrs now.
Water changes remove those sodium ions that poster is concerned with (imo),,, if not I'm sure my angelfish would be dead by now. They are happy if breeding non stop indicates health.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 02:02 AM
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I have been using BS and GH booster in my African tanks for quite a while. Because of the water changes I do not think the sodium is building up.

I use BS in some tanks where the substrate removes the carbonates to keep the KH at a low but not zero level. Again, with water changes I do not see a problem.

If you want to try something else...
Coral sand
Oystershell grit (sold for caged birds like Budgies)
... can be placed in a nylon stocking and placed in the filter. The reaction is slow, and I do not depend on this for water changes, but I feel that after a water change where I have used BS and GH booster either of these contribute to a bit more stability in the tank.

There are other sources of carbonates like calcium carbonate. This would give you the Ca (part of GH) and carbonates. Get magnesium from Epsom salt.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 02:33 AM
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potassium carbonate effects TDS and KH but not GH.
triple if not more on the price and harder to find.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 05:32 AM
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Hi RainSong, we share the same water. I had some leftover aragonite sand from my saltwater tank, and put some of that into a fine mesh filter bag, and put it into an empty compartment in my canister filter. Way easier than dosing baking soda after every water change (and sometimes between water changes if you go too long). It's really set-it-and-forget-it.

Hope this helps!
-- Kevin
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