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Mix Sodium Carbonate & Bicarbonate Alkalinity solution?

Discussion in 'Tank Chemistry' started by rjl45, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. rjl45

    rjl45 Copepod

    Can you mix the two together for dosing solution?

    I know...why? Do one or the other right?
    Background: I have a small 24gal nano (approx 20gal water volume). The tank is 15 months old, and fully stocked with mostly lps corals. Daily consumption of Calc and Alk is about 8ml each (BRS 2 part). I dose this daily to keep somewhat stable numbers in the range 420-440ppm and 7.5-8.5dkh. I manually dose morning and evening. (Not really interested in dosing pumps, don't have space for them and storage containers.) Prior to starting my daily dosing regiment, the PH was very stable at 8.2. I measured morning, night, mid-day, and late night. Always the same. Then I started dosing 2 part and it has been climbing.

    The Problem: I am having trouble keeping my PH below 8.4 (ideally want it 8.2). Dosing sodium carbonate has raised the PH to 8.4, sometimes 8.5 or higher, and my tank holds the high PH.

    Ok, I know 8.4 isn't dangerously high. However, I was thinking that sodium carbonate raises PH, sodium bicarbonate lowers PH. Maybe if I mix the two, I can get a dosing solution that won't raise or lower my PH. Any thoughts, comments or suggestions?
  2. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    Im pretty sure calc and alk cannot be mixed together because one precipitates the other out.
  3. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    Do you have a skimmer
  4. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

  5. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Honestly dosing pumps are the best way to go. You can set them to dose at night (when PH is at its lowest) or over a longer period of time. Ends up being much more stable and less manual.
    But they do take up space and require an investment.
  6. rjl45

    rjl45 Copepod

    Agree, can't mix calcium and alkalinity.

    Was wondering if I could mix the 2 common types of alkalinity solution?

    No skimmer. Tank is too small for one. I do run an upflow algae scrubber that keeps NO4 and PO3 near 0.

    Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk
  7. rjl45

    rjl45 Copepod

    I know... But the space requirement is and issue. Also the dose requirement is so small, not sure if I can get accurate timers that will turn on and off after only 1 minute.

    I don't have a controller. (apex or the like) wish I did, but not in the budget.

    Thanks everyone so far for your comments!
  8. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    Aeration should help bring down ph... Maybe upgrade to co2 bubbler? ;)
  9. crisc

    crisc Cuttle Fish Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Yes you can mix them together no problem. The bulk mix we make at the store is 50-50 mix. You could mix in any proportion you want to get the ph help you want/need.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Dr.DiSilicate likes this.
  10. rjl45

    rjl45 Copepod

    Perfect! Thank you Cris.
    I was fairly sure I could without any adverse affects. Really appreciate the help
  11. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Those are both alk... no calcium there. One just makes a bit of CO2 in the tank for a while before it dissipates.

    You can bake bicarbonate in the oven to make it carbonate.

    Yes, you can mix them.

    Neither will do much to help your PH in the long-term. PH is mostly affected by ambient CO2 in the air.

    Remember this forever: keep alk in line and don't chase PH.
    Balz3352 and Dr.DiSilicate like this.

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