How would I use Baking Soda to raise Alkalinity?

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Kathylee

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After treating my tank inhabitants for a fungal infection, My PH & Alkalinity dropped. I can't find the reasoning behind this. I used herbal remedies, (Herbtana) removed Carbon from my filter, then put it back & added a sponge to help. I called my LFS & they said it was either my source water or prolonged use of Prime as a water conditioner (hmm okay?) My PH dropped from 7.6 to 6.8. My Akalinity was moderate & is now at 0. This happened after the recommended 10 day treatment. They told me to use 1/8th tsp of Baking soda & to do it very slowly. Anyone have Step-by-step instructions on how to do this safely? (My ammonia 0. Nitrites 0. Nitrates 20-30. Very hard water.)
 
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AvalancheDave

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Nitrification consumes alkalinity so kH and pH always decline. You probably won't notice this if you had hard water but you probably have soft water.

1/4 teaspoon per 10 gal every 2 hours is slow enough. Re-test pH after a few doses.
 
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Kathylee

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AvalancheDave said:
Nitrification consumes alkalinity so kH and pH always decline. You probably won't notice this if you had hard water but you probably have soft water.

1/4 teaspoon per 10 gal every 2 hours is slow enough. Re-test pH after a few doses.
Thank you, hmm but I do have very hard water, on my strip test, it's the darkest color shade of brown that it reads. So does that mean it's a different problem?
 
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AvalancheDave

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Kathylee said:
Thank you, hmm but I do have very hard water, on my strip test, it's the darkest color shade of brown that it reads. So does that mean it's a different problem?
Is that kH or gH?

kH is the natural buffer in water (carbonate or bicarbonate) that raises and stabilizes pH. It's possible to have low kH and high gH although a bit unusual.
 
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Kathylee

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It's my PH & Alkalinity that tanked.
I'll do a test strip to show you real quick.
GH is Hard
KH dropped considerably
 

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BigBeardDaHuZi

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If you are done medicating, then doing a couple water changes should get you back to normal.
How big is your tank?

Be very careful if you use baking soda. Too much can raise the pH too fast. A little dab will do ya.
Another option you could do is crushed coral. It is slow, but steady. No wild swings.

I would still try water changes first
 
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Kathylee

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BigBeardDaHuZi said:
If you are done medicating, then doing a couple water changes should get you back to normal.
How big is your tank?

Be very careful if you use baking soda. Too much can raise the pH too fast. A little dab will do ya.
Another option you could do is crushed coral. It is slow, but steady. No wild swings.

I would still try water changes first
Thank you, it's a 20 gallon tank. There's 4 mollies, 3 corys & 1 pleco in there. I've been reading up on it & the instructions weren't very specific. I was wondering; when to add, how much to add, every couple hours or days? The store said to do 1/8th teaspoon once per day for a couple days. Some say to leave fish in the tank others say to take them out while adjusting with baking soda. If a few Water Changes will Level it back out then that sounds like a much easier plan lol. I have a 10 gallon nursery tank & it's parameters are perfectly stable, I don't do anything different to either tank, same tap water, same conditioners, but the main tank I medicated & skipped a water change during the 10 day treatment, and things seemed to be crashing. & my snails died off too while medicating even though the bottle said it was safe.
 
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AvalancheDave

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Taking the fish out is a bad idea. It's a lot of unnecessary stress and then you have to acclimate the fish to the higher pH which you could have avoided if you left them in the tank while you adjusted pH slowly.

Nitrification proceeds at different rates in different tanks. I have one tank that's barely stocked and its pH today was 8 with no bicarbonate additions. My main tank was at 5.9 and I add 4 grams of bicarbonate a day (I skipped a few days which is why it's at 5.9 and now I have to add 8 g per day to raise it).
 
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Kathylee

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AvalancheDave said:
Taking the fish out is a bad idea. It's a lot of unnecessary stress and then you have to acclimate the fish to the higher pH which you could have avoided if you left them in the tank while you adjusted pH slowly.

Nitrification proceeds at different rates in different tanks. I have one tank that's barely stocked and its pH today was 8 with no bicarbonate additions. My main tank was at 5.9 and I add 4 grams of bicarbonate a day (I skipped a few days which is why it's at 5.9 and now I have to add 8 g per day to raise it).
Thanks! You guys on Fishlore are so Great. So I guess I will do a couple of Water Changes over the next few days ... & then if the tank is still not adjusting I can use the baking soda as a next step. Also, what are you using on your tanks as a bicarbonate additive? I think the only product I have come across was SeaChem Alkaline Buffer.
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

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Regular baking soda will work. I use crushed coral to buffer my water.
 
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AvalancheDave

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I use potassium bicarbonate because I have a ton of it as a potassium supplement. I've also used sodium bicarbonate (Arm and Hammer Pure Baking Soda). Plants would prefer the potassium version.
 
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Kathylee

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AvalancheDave said:
I use potassium bicarbonate because I have a ton of it as a potassium supplement. I've also used sodium bicarbonate (Arm and Hammer Pure Baking Soda). Plants would prefer the potassium version.
Ty that is very good information to know, I have been adding plants as I go & have collected quite a few.
 

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