Baking Soda

Haru
Member
My ph level and alkalinity is low and I heard baking soda helps. I have Pure baking soda with me. There's a label that says "not for antacid use: Use Arms and hammer baking soda in familiar orange box...for antacid use"
Does that affect anything or should I just disregard that and use it?
 
MacZ
Member
Before you change anything about your water parameters, what are your readings and what fish do you keep? Often you don't have to do anything.

Baking soda also only raises pH not hardness readings.
 
  • Thread Starter
Haru
Member
MacZ said:
Before you change anything about your water parameters, what are your readings and what fish do you keep? Often you don't have to do anything.

Baking soda also only raises pH not hardness readings.
I have 2 orandas and 2 ryukins in a 40-gallon tank.
Ph is around 6.2
Alkalinity is below 6.8
The rest of the readings are fine, I just noticed those two were low and three of my fishes just stay still from time to time the whole day today when they're normally swimming around before. Maybe they're sleeping but I wanted to do this just in case.
 
MacZ
Member
Haru said:
Ph is around 6.2
Alkalinity is below 6.8
You mean the usual KH by alkalinity, right? Just to make sure.

It would be easiest to add crushed coral to your filter and some limestones (like holey rock) in the tank. That should balance out at suitable readings.

Baking soda has so many downsides and can be dangerous to the fish if handled wrong.
 
  • Thread Starter
Haru
Member
MacZ said:
It would be easiest to add crushed coral to your filter and some limestones (like holey rock) in the tank. That should balance out at suitable readings.

Baking soda has so many downsides and can be dangerous to the fish if handled wrong.
Glad I asked here before using it. I only started this 2 months ago so I think I'd most likely handle it wrong. Thank you!
 
MacZ
Member
Your welcome and just a little advise:
Chemicals don't belong in a fish tank. Period.

For any questions in that direction consult the forum. :)
 
StarGirl
Member
I agree with MacZ There almost is always a natural way to fix things without dumping in chemicals.
 
angelfish220
Member
Is your pH and kH low out of the tap too? If your tank is significantly more acidic than your tap it may indicate other stuff is going on...
 
alven
Member
StarGirl said:
I agree with MacZ There almost is always a natural way to fix things without dumping in chemicals.
StarGirl, PREACHHHH. All the time people will be saying, "my fish is sick." "There's something wrong with him." Then people would say add this medication, add that medication. TransQix Velvix (Not real lol.) Honestly in the wild, the livelihood of your fish depend on their water conditions; they don't have anyone that adds medications for them. It's either they have clean water or not, and if they don't, they DIE. Simple. Not all of these artificial stuff.
 
Mindelo
Member
if the water you use on your tanks is acidic. Maybe you should stop trying to "chase" that perfect ph and get fishes that live on that ph range you already have.
Changing and maintain ph might not be that simple. and you might end up doing more harm than good.
 
MacZ
Member
Mindelo said:
if the water you use on your tanks is acidic. Maybe you should stop trying to "chase" that perfect ph and get fishes that live on that ph range you already have.
Changing and maintain ph might not be that simple. and you might end up doing more harm than good.
Good point, and if the OP wasn't a beginner I would say something similar.
Though it's safe to say, that raising hardness and pH with coral and limestone is as safe as lowering pH with botanicals. This is not pH-chasing, as here it's not about a certain number.
pH-chasing is when you want to get to exactly a certain number like 6.5 or 7.3 with a lot of mixing and matching of acids and bases, short: dumping chemicals in the water. Adding coral only hardens until the water is saturated and stabilizes by itself at a certain point.
Changing to fish that like the present readings would involve a lot of extra work, especially research and that at a fast pace to be able to care immediately for these fish. That's how you make beginners quit, when they can't learn at their own pace.
 
CidProQuo
Member
i am a beginner. I've got a similar problem (my tap water is super soft). The lack of minerals in my tap water causes the pH to be unstable . Since I did not do a full nitrogen cycle before adding fish, I have been doing water changes every 3 days (4 gallons of my 20gallon tank) to keep the ammonio below 1.0. right now i have mollies and a guppie. i had tetras but my initial water quality killed them.

i found myself in this 'chasing pH' mode because what was happening was my pH would be up around 7.0-7.2 and would suddenly (in under 24hrs) drop to as low as 6.0. I was told on this forum to use crushed coral in my filter to increase KH/GH which should help stabilize my pH. Unfortunately, the crushed coral has now been in my filter for a week and a half and the GH/KH is literally unchanged. I'm assuming it takes longer because it is "naturally occurring" and not "dumping chemicals" as mentioned above.

After reading this thread, and many others here, I agree that "dumping chemicals into a fish tank" is not the magical solution to problems. So my comments are not meant to suggest that is the better alternative. I also don't like the idea of backing into what fish I should be able to keep. Instead, what I plan to do, is let the 3 fish I have live along with me as I slowly learn how to manage my pH. I'm assuming that eventually my KH/GH will change so I'm not "chasing by dumping" baking soda, replenish, etc. But I am sticking with my goal of the fish I want that do prefer not to have very low pH values.

I may be stuck with that option as my last resort but in the meantime I'm still trying to achieve a balanced environment where I can have the fish that me and my daughter want. we'll see :) it is frustrating because I am now over 2 weeks in and while I am somewhat getting the pH managed and somewhat getting the ammonia managed, I have yet to detect NO2 or NO3 even once when testing every day. hopefully I'll get some bacteria going in the next two weeks and be able to get to a weekly water change instead of every other day :(
 
pagoda
Member
I don't use my tap water for my aquariums. I will not drink it so am not about to force my fish to swim in it. Bouncy pH, foul taste and all sorts of stuff added by the water company.

So I have a standing order with a spring water firm to supply me with bottled water, always same source, stable pH....and even the recycling binmen are happy....the fish absolutely thrive in it.

I won't use chemicals to get tap water just right when I can pay less and buy bottled water that I know I won't have to meddle with.
 

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