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Old 03/26/2011, 10:51 AM   #1
FishboyDave
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Can I use white vinegar to lower my alk?

Is it really safe to use white vinegar to lower my alk? My dKH is 17 now I have no corals. All my snails died like two weeks ago and I was told to use the vinegar to lower the dKh. Info is below for my set up. What Ive done so far to lower it: did a 10 gal wc, 25gal wc, 25gal wc in the last 1.5 weeks.


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Old 03/26/2011, 10:59 AM   #2
Randy Holmes-Farley
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It is safe, but not effective. Vinegar does not lower alkalinity.

Did the alk get that way by overdose of an alk supplement?

Water change is probably the best way. Adding muriatic acid works, but will drop pH a lot and risks overdose very easily.


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Old 03/26/2011, 11:02 AM   #3
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How much muriatic acid do I add to my 150?


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Old 03/26/2011, 11:11 AM   #4
Randy Holmes-Farley
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Be very careful with straight muriatic acid. It can easily burn you, especially your eyes.

The "acidity" (that being essentially negative alkalinity) of muriatic acid straight from the bottle is about 11,000 meq/L.

So adding 1/11,000 of the water volume as this acid will drop alkalinity by 1 meq/l (2.8 dKH).

You might want to drop alk by twice that, so you'd add 1/5500 of the total water volume. That's about 100 mL for a 150 gallon system.

I'd start by adding 25 mL and watch the alk and pH.

Add it slowly and far from anything alive, preferably in a sump.


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Old 03/26/2011, 10:03 PM   #5
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ok thank you


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Old 03/27/2011, 06:29 AM   #6
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Good luck.


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Old 03/27/2011, 10:20 AM   #7
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Hey Randy. The muriatic acid method worked great. I use to use that in swimming pools. It works. I did 20ml to my tank and it lowered 3 dkh just like you said. Then I did a 10% wc (20gal) this morning. My readings now are 13 dkh. Im guessing in a couple of days Ill do 10ml more and see if I can get it to 10 dkh then another 10% wc. BTW do you know If this is going to turn my water milky like the white vinegar does? Will it cause a wierd algea bloom?


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Old 03/27/2011, 10:28 AM   #8
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The muriatic acid addition should not cause any further issues. Glad it worked out!


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Old 03/27/2011, 11:05 AM   #9
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I just checked my ph and my reading is 7.8 it was 8.4. Should I add Marine Buffer to raise my ph back to 8.3 or is that gonna raise my alk again?

I have a hippo tang and a clown and crabs


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Old 03/27/2011, 11:13 AM   #10
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My alk is still 13 dKH will this raise the ph back up?


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Old 03/27/2011, 12:14 PM   #11
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Don't add any alk supplements with the alk that high.

If you want to raise pH, more aeration with fresher air may be the only good choice for now.

But doing nothing is also likely OK.


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Old 03/27/2011, 12:26 PM   #12
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cool thanks a bunch for you help


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Old 03/27/2011, 12:50 PM   #13
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You're welcome.

Good luck.


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Old 03/27/2011, 01:00 PM   #14
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Hey what caused the alk to be that high? Just curious b/c when my tank was only a couple of months old my alk was around that high but came down slowly over time. I did dose with Mg and Cal. Would that have helped it be normal.


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Old 03/27/2011, 01:03 PM   #15
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Deposition of calcium carbonate, either by creatures making skeletons and shells, or abiotic precipitation of calcium carbonate on heaters, pumps, etc. will drop alkalinity over time.


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Old 03/27/2011, 05:43 PM   #16
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it had to be from an overdose of reef builder. Its been so long since ive set up a tank that I really shouldnt have added any. It was stupid on my part. Just another bump in the road. I did half the normal dose and still ended up with this problem, or it could of been from some of the rocks that I bought. Like I said just another set back. One of these days Ill have some coral. This was just a wake up call sayin to slow down, read more, and let the time fly.


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Old 03/28/2011, 07:16 PM   #17
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Randy, today I did another test and my alk is at 13-14 dKH and my ph is back up to 8.8. So I did 12.5ml of the muratic acid again. Should I try the acid buffer this weekend if it doesnt fix it or is this the same as the muratic acid, and keep using the acid?


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Old 03/28/2011, 08:30 PM   #18
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When you say "acid buffer", which product do you mean? There are some products, like pH Down, that have sulfuric acid in them. They will work the same way the muriatic acid does, although they're more dilute (and a lot more expensive, most likely).


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Old 04/05/2011, 06:40 PM   #19
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Just a update my alk is finally stable @ 11dKH Ph 8.4 calcium 420, Phosphates 0.05, Nitrate & nitrite 0. Thank god its fixed. Im still going to wait a little bit longer before I buy and corals. I want to start with blue hornet zoa then zombie eyed fire and ice. Ive gotta find some first. Thanks for all the help.


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Old 04/06/2011, 04:55 AM   #20
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Sounds good.

Good luck.


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Old 04/06/2011, 06:49 PM   #21
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one thing to do is test before you add any buffers or other supplements, and justify the addition before doing one. With your current numbers and no real bio loads, you should be good with just water changes for a while.


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Old 06/28/2019, 04:20 PM   #22
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Is this for 100% muriatic acid?

Thanks


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Old 06/28/2019, 05:05 PM   #23
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The formula is for muriatic acid as delivered by a hardware store, undiluted. It's very dangerous to handle, and will drop the pH quite a bit, so you'll need to aerate the water before using it, if you dose this.


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Old 11/29/2020, 02:14 PM   #24
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This helped me greatly. I think my kh increase was from my calcium reactor flow through being too high. This brought my kh back to within acceptable levels.


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Old 07/25/2021, 08:15 AM   #25
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I am having the identical problem...for some reason my 10 week old reef PH would not go above 7.6 I used a wee bit of PH buffer and now my alk is at 12.2 !!! and rising as the lights just came on... I am very tempted to use just a wee bit of muritatic acid on my 160 gallon reef perhaps 10 ml today and then 10 ml tommorow....testing and watching in between....I do not want the ph to drop again I just got it up to 7.8 frig! What would you do Randy on this? There is only a single fish in the tank and he dug into the sand as soon as I put him in have not seen him since (Wrasse) ... but that is normal for a wrasse the seller told me when he put him in his tank he hid for 3 days.There are no corals in the tank...just a bit of cheato and micro in the fuge in sump. I am damn sorry I used the ph buffer but it would not go above 7.6 ...I am going to drill hole in the house and run skimmer line outside...see if that helps...my tank is extremely well aerated with a ton of surface igitation and skimmer running and good flow etc...NOTE: my calcium is reading 510 and I have not added any calcium since tank set up 10 weeks ago!! How the hell did calcium get so high? Brand new Red Sea Test kit!


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