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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I know dosing bicarb and alum is standard practice in salt tanks to maintain pH levels, and I know the formula for bicarb is (tank gallons)x(0.15)x(number of 0.10's intended pH raise). For instance raising a 5000g tank by 0.10 units would be 5000x0.15x1=750g bicarb. And half amount for alum.

Does anyone dose freshwater? I have a tank that is dropping pH and i've heard FW is more sensitive. Anyone have a formula?

-windelov
 

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The GH in my water is okay, but it has nothing for a pH buffer. I have recently added crushed coral to my filters and it has worked wonders.

For the 10 gallon I added one teaspoon, waited for 24 hours, tested then added another teaspoon for a pH of 6.8. In my 29, I added a tablespoon, waited, tested, then added another tablespoon. The pH is about the same as the 10 gallon, it's about 6.9 if there was such a thing.

I know people like to use baking soda, but it shocks the tank. The crushed coral when added slowly gives the fish time to adjust with no swings. I've spent far too much money on pH adjusters only to have my pH hit rock bottom a few days later. The $12.00 bag of Top Fin Crushed Coral will last me for years. I did a water change on the 10 gallon yesterday and didn't get as much of a blip on the pH scale. I just did a water change on the 29 and that one isn't showing a swing either. I'll test it again in about a hour, but I don't expect any surprises.

This doesn't really answer your question, but crushed coral is the way to go in my humble opinion.
 

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Hi All,

I know dosing bicarb and alum is standard practice in salt tanks to maintain pH levels, and I know the formula for bicarb is (tank gallons)x(0.15)x(number of 0.10's intended pH raise). For instance raising a 5000g tank by 0.10 units would be 5000x0.15x1=750g bicarb. And half amount for alum.

Does anyone dose freshwater? I have a tank that is dropping pH and i've heard FW is more sensitive. Anyone have a formula?

-windelov
Could you point me to a reference for using alum in a SW system? I have not previously heard of the practice, and aluminum compounds are usually considered toxic to inverts in SW.

Usually people dosing in FW systems are dosing fertilizers. Dosing to maintain pH or calcium/alkaliniy isn't usually needed in FW.

Also consider that some methods of using ferts, such as the EI method, do 50% water changes weekly, so your going to replace anything the livestock removed from the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DaveK, unfortunately I do not have a reference for dosing alum in saltwater systems. However, I should have previously stated that I know "alum" and "soda ash" as the same thing. The 55lb bags of soda ash I used to have said alum on them, and that's where I got that. My limited understanding was the that sodium bicarbonate served as the pH buffer and the sodium carbonate (soda ash) served as an alkalinity buffer to help stabilize and maintain the pH, which was supposed to prolong intervals between the need to dose bicarb again. I buffered my pH on my salt tanks for years like that, and the aquarists I knew at the time all did as well.

And unfortunately this system is too large to do weekly 50% water changes, the best i can do is 17% changes. It's also not being EI dosed. I prefer PPS pro, but I don't know if this system will dosed or not. Might just end up being swords and heavy root feeders, for which osmocote DIY root tabs would be utilized.

I've never had a problem maintaining pH in my own personal tanks, but this one drops pH like nobody's business. It's nuts

-windelov
 

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... However, I should have previously stated that I know "alum" and "soda ash" as the same thing. ...
Not trying to give you a hard time, but they are not the same thing.

Alum is usually potassium aluminum sulfate. It's not something you want to use in your aquarium. See this article (offsite) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_alum There is also Ammonium aluminium sulfate and it is sometimes called alum. You don't want that around the aquarium either.

You are using soda ash or Sodium carbonate. That's the good stuff as far as aquarium use goes. See this article (offsite) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_carbonate
 
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