A Fishkeeping forum. FishKeepingBanter.com

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » FishKeepingBanter.com forum » rec.aquaria.freshwater » Plants
Site Map Home Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Experience with SeaChem Acid Buffer & Alkaline Buffer



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old January 21st 04, 09:13 PM
Nemo
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Experience with SeaChem Acid Buffer & Alkaline Buffer

Does anyone have experience with SeaChem Acid Buffer and Alkaline Buffer?

I know this goes against the established wisdom in this hobby, but I
maintain my swimming pool water chemistry using chemical additives (ph, kH,
gH, and sanitizer). Why is it difficult to achieve a stable chemistry in a
FW tank with additives as well?

So, I went ahead and purchased a 300g bottle of Seachem Acid Buffer (came up
to $16 with taxes). I then filled up a 22L bucket with tap water (kH=2,
gH=3, pH=8.0), added the conditioner and a tiny amount (1.0 gram) of Acid
Buffer. I could measure this exact amount using a laboratory grade
electronic scale I have. With this, the pH dropped to less than 6.0 and the
kH to about 1 dkH.

I threw in a heater and let the water sit in the bucket till the next
morning then measured the pH and kH. The pH was at 7.4 and hK at about
1.0-1.5 dkH.

In the evening that day, I started over again with fresh tab water (warm
water this time). I then threw in (same old 22L bucket) a 50W heater and
maxijet 1200. I figured this should speed up equilibrium by vigorous mixing
and aeration that gets rid of the CO2 produced by the addition of Seachem
Acid Buffer. Subsequently, I added baking soda very gradually until the kH
reached 6 dkH. I figured this is high enough buffer to stabilize the pH,
right? Only then did I add the Acid Buffer - a lot more this time - to bring
the pH to 6.0.

I let the bucket mix for 10 minutes, then measured the parameters again: kH
= 5.5 dkH, pH = 7.0! I thought to myself, ok, this is a dynamic reaction and
will require time to stabilize. So I added more Acid Buffer to bring the pH
back down to 6.0, and let the power head and heater running overnight.

When I tested the water in the morning the pH was 7.6 and the kH = 3.5!

That same evening, I started over again. This time I did not use baking
soda, but an AlkalinityUp product I used for my swimming pool. Luckily with
this stuff, I could calculate the exact dose needed to set the kH to the
desired level - no trial and error necessary. I set the kH to 4.5, and added
enough Acid Buffer using a
1:1.3 ration as recommended on the bottle to produce a pH in the range of
6.5 as per charts on the bottle.

Next morning, the pH was 7.6, kH was 3 dkH! What did I miss?! I figured
that when adjusting the pool waters, we usually have to adjust all three
parameters, pH, kH and gH. So I dug up the old bucket of CaCO3 Up and read
the label. As it turns out, we aim for and gH of 200-300 ppm (11-16 dH) in
the pool. This is too high for my purposes since I would like to keep soft
water species. I figured, I should try a 6 dH instead.

I dosed for 6 dkH, 6dH, and a pH of 6.0. Within 15 minutes, the pH was back
up to 7.2!

Arghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

Reading the label on Seachem's Acid Buffer bottle, it says that the product
lowers the pH and produces CO2. Hmmmm, is this * HOW * it reduces the pH? Is
aeration driving the CO2 out thus causing the pH increase?

I don't know. But the label says that the product should be used in
conjunction with Alkalinity Buffer to produce the desired (stable) pH. But
it mumbles something about adding it directly to the tank for best results .
I DON'T THINK SO !! At least not until I get stable water parameters in a
bucket for a couple of days.

At this stage, I am very skeptical about Seachem claims regarding the
combined use of Acid Buffer / Alkalinity Buffer. The best way to verify,
obviously, would be spend another $20 and try it. But again, the company's
literature mumbles about having to "trial and error" the correct combined
dose. Well, that does not make me comfortable.

So .. does anyone have any success / experience with SeaChem Acid Buffer /
Alkaline Buffer or other similar products? Why is it that pool water can be
balanced but not aquarium water?


  #2  
Old January 23rd 04, 03:31 AM
Dan Drake
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Experience with SeaChem Acid Buffer & Alkaline Buffer

On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 20:13:52 UTC, "Nemo" wrote:

Does anyone have experience with SeaChem Acid Buffer and Alkaline Buffer?

I know this goes against the established wisdom in this hobby, but I
maintain my swimming pool water chemistry using chemical additives (ph, kH,
gH, and sanitizer). Why is it difficult to achieve a stable chemistry in a
FW tank with additives as well?


Do you really check both pH and KH in the pool? And what values do you get
a few days after you add the proper additives to the pool?


...[snip many frustrating experiments!]
I dosed for 6 dkH, 6dH, and a pH of 6.0. Within 15 minutes, the pH was back
up to 7.2!

Arghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

Reading the label on Seachem's Acid Buffer bottle, it says that the product
lowers the pH and produces CO2. Hmmmm, is this * HOW * it reduces the pH? Is
aeration driving the CO2 out thus causing the pH increase?


That's the essentially right answer. The acid buffer doesn't lower pH *by*
producing CO2; it acidifies the water, and that forces more of the total
carbonate (KH) to be carbonic acid -- which, practically, means CO2. Since
you now have a higher concentration of CO2 in the water than in the air,
the CO2 starts escaping -- faster, if you're aerating, but it will escape
anyway. The pH goes back up, and the KH goes down, just as you observed.


I don't know. But the label says that the product should be used in
conjunction with Alkalinity Buffer to produce the desired (stable) pH. But
it mumbles something about adding it directly to the tank for best results .
I DON'T THINK SO !! At least not until I get stable water parameters in a
bucket for a couple of days.

At this stage, I am very skeptical about Seachem claims regarding the
combined use of Acid Buffer / Alkalinity Buffer. The best way to verify,
obviously, would be spend another $20 and try it. But again, the company's
literature mumbles about having to "trial and error" the correct combined
dose. Well, that does not make me comfortable.

So .. does anyone have any success / experience with SeaChem Acid Buffer /
Alkaline Buffer or other similar products? Why is it that pool water can be
balanced but not aquarium water?


Though I've given up on them, buffers will probably work so long as you
forget KH! The theory is that you mix the buffers in the right amounts,
and this holds the pH in place, and then you don't need KH to hold the pH
steady, so you don't care that at pH 7 your KH will be about 1. (Unless
you're raising plants, which care about CO2 levels.)

As charts such as http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm
show, pH and KH and CO2 have a fixed 3-way relation, and when you hold CO2
to 3-4 ppm (the atmosphere does this for you), the KH and pH have a fixed
relation. Try to force them out of that simple relation, and you're
fighting the atmosphere. We plant-growing, CO2-injection types are
continuously fighting the atmosphere.

As to pool water, I can only guess that it takes a couple of days to lose
excess CO2, and the chemicals get added often enough to counteract that
effect.

--
Dan Drake

http://www.dandrake.com

  #3  
Old January 23rd 04, 05:23 PM
C-FYMP
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Experience with SeaChem Acid Buffer & Alkaline Buffer

"Dan Drake" wrote in message
news:[email protected]

snip

Do you really check both pH and KH in the pool? And what values do you get
a few days after you add the proper additives to the pool?


Putting things together now from what I've been told and what I know or
ought to know I can clarify and summarise:

While we do measure pH, kH and gH (as well as other parameters) in pool
waters, we do not aim for acidic water in our smimming pools. In fact,
swimming pools have a recommended pH range of 7.4-7.8, alkalinity in the
range of 100-120 ppm (6 - 7 dkH) and hardness in the range of 200-350 ppm
(10-20 dH). I guess this is not impossible to achieve.

My problem (and fault) was that I was trying to achieve acidic conditions
while wanting a buffer. Your comments refreshed my memory quite nicely.

Thanks a million Dan.


 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cycle sped up by heat? RedForeman General 31 February 23rd 04 06:49 PM
alkalinity Dinky Reefs 86 February 13th 04 11:36 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2017 FishKeepingBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.