Buffering the water up

Buffering the water up

Refers to adding a carbonate buffer to the water that will keep the pH from dropping too low or buffer the pH up.

Common buffers include calcium carbonate (lime or shells or chicken grit) or potassium bicarbonate (find it at brew and wine making supply places) The calcium carbonate provides calcium while providing the needed alkalinity to the bacteria and potassium bicarbonate does the same while providing potassium instead of calcium.

There are also pH up methods that are far more alkaline and fast acting and must be treated with caution but it is what the big boys use at the University of the Virgin Islands. That would be Calcium Hydroxide (hydrated lime) and Potassium Hydroxide (old fashion Lye). These are both caustic substances and must be handled with care and proper protective equipment but they still work to keep pH up and provide calcium and potassium.

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