Why NOT to use borax / baking soda

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by wildreef, Jun 30, 2008.

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  1. baugherb

    baugherb Giant Squid

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    I can smell a fire brewing..... Its only going down hill from here....
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
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  3. wildreef

    wildreef Stylophora

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    I concur with your thoughts on this Chad .
    To those whom thought this to be "personal" ( it was NOT ).

    It was our goal to shed some light on this proplexed suject of all the methods.

    And with Dr. Howell and his experiance in chemical analisis could help
    all of us on 3reef. and maybe provide a "deeper more chemicaly insight" to all this.

    I'm sorry to say i'm some what ashamed of some of the childish things that other people have done and posted.
    It was for ALL of our benifit.. NOT just one.

    We me/wareagle were reminded to keep our post "on subject" / and not ridicule any one.
    It was our passion to seek definitive ansewers , how ever all that has been said and how certain people reacted to this thread , I will reluctantly have to say IM DONE.

    I and wareagle saught ansewers "chemicaly" and did NOT intend nor did we want to damage anyones "credibility", we saught truth, nothing more.
     
  4. Bogie

    Bogie Snowflake Eel

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    WR,
    Almost anyone can do the online research your chemist dr. said he could do.
    I'm sorry to hear that someone upset the Dr./friend by a personal call, but it wasn't me.
    I also don't think he'd take it personally towards Beth/Marybeth if he has any professionalism, since she had nothing to do with provoking someone else to allegedly call him up.

    I'll help out by posting what I've found for everyone, and just post FACTS, no OPINIONS.

    Here's the MSDS for Seachem Reef Buffer

    http://www.seachem.com/support/MSDS/ReefBuffer.doc.pdf

    Which contains a "proprietary blend of carbonate and bicarbonate salts" which "should be used to raise alkalinity when pH is not a problem."
    The chemist dr. said "baking soda in its pure form is sodium bicarbonate" which is a bicarbonate salt. And he continues after opinions and ramblings that "Baking sodium bicarbonate (baking soda, Na Co3) will turn it into sodium carbonate (Na Co3)."

    *-*And no to get personal, but what school teaches that Oxygen uses lowercase "o" as the symbol in carbonate? It should be Na CO3, which I even know after only 2 college semesters of Chemistry 120 and 121. Also, science is FACTS. Your chemist dr. has 10x more OPINIONS listed in that paper you posted than FACTS, not much unlike you most of the time.*-*

    FACT - So this Reef Buffer is in most respects chemically similar to Arm & Hammer Baking Soda.

    I use Seachem Phosguard to absorb any phospahes and silicates, so any algae that might be thinking of growing in my tank hasn't had a chance in over 3 months now. I may use that "Pool Store" stuff to do the same job when my Phosguard runs out.



    Here's the MSDS for Seachem Reef Builder

    http://www.seachem.com/support/MSDS/ReefBuilder.doc.pdf

    made with "proprietary blend of powdered carbonate, bicarbonate, chloride and sulfate salts of sodium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, and potassium"
    and it "raises carbonate alkalinity without immediately impacting pH"

    FACT - So this Reef Buffer is in most respects chemically similar to Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, with some magnesium, calcium, strontium, and potassium added.

    (Read sarcastically) But why would you use this since you are afraid to use Epsom salt (magnesium sufate), since magnesium sulfate salts are in it?

    I (and many others here) use Epsom Salt for raising my magnesium level, as required to balance the calcium, magnesium and alkalinity. We can also dose calcium, strontium, and potassium without needing a proprietary blend, although there is probably sufficient potassium and strontium in our salt mixes for most of us that do regular water changes.


    Here is the MSDS for Seachem Marine Buffer:

    http://www.seachem.com/support/MSDS/MarineBuffer.doc.pdf

    Which contains "Proprietary blend of sodium, magnesium, calcuim, potasium and strontium salts of carbonate, bicarbonate, chloride, sulfate, and borate"
    Here, the brand name also includes borate in their blend designed to "safely raise marine pH to 8.3".

    FACT - The only element not listed in Marine Buffer that is in Reef Builder is borate.

    Some people here choose to use Borax 20 Mule Team as a borate source to buffer their tanks to a pH of 8.3- 8.4. As for the rest of the ingredients in this product, I already stated they are supplemented seperately: Calcium, Magnesium, etc.. and the rest are usually of sufficient supply in the salt mixes we use.

    All of these products strongly recommend dosing with the use of a Marine pH & Alkalinity to test parameters. No matter what brand or home-made remedies are used, I think we all can agree that testing is mandatory for achieving good water quality.

    I can get to other MSDS sheets from other brands of buffers later. Anyone should be able to find them. It would take a chemistry lab technitian/student to hack their "proprietary blends" of elements and compounds, and I'm sure that anyone now would refuse to post the results of a lab analysis along with their name, for fear of lawsuit and professional reputation. Besides, reefing isn't rocket science.
     
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  5. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Wareagle, you have GOT TO BE KIDDING. Right? Nobody engaged in any real scientific research for the love of knowledge would discontinue their research because of the doubt cast by others, be it peers or otherwise.


    LOL. I could just see the letter to poor Beth, Mary Elizabeth's matriculatory walking papers:

    Dear Beth, Mary Elizabeth,

    While it has been nice having you in the program; notwithstanding your superior cranial prowess, I must unfortunately discontinue your education here at the university. While the right to an education is precisely that, a right--and while the hurt feelings of this PhD should have no bearing on your ability to pursue a degree in the field of your choice, I must pull this rug out from under your feet, and make you suffer for my bruised ego.

    Since your comrades at 3Reef doubt my word, I will cease and desist from this particular endeavor, as I have lost interest in light of the recent doubt cast by the aqua idiots at 3Reef. I shall no longer be of service to you, your henchmen, or the scientific community. Consider this matter closed. I was ready to share knowledge of all sorts, until I read this thread. Now I'm done!!

    Your Friend In Education,

    Doctor Howell.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
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  6. cuttingras

    cuttingras Starving Artist :)

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    sad, very sad........
     
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  7. ShrimpSkin

    ShrimpSkin Bristle Worm

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    Contacting the man at his place of work over a board debate is way over the line. Let's keep this on 3reef and not bother folks in their peronal lives.
     
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  9. Bogie

    Bogie Snowflake Eel

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    I seriously doubt that anyone here besides WarEagle or Wildreef who were "working" with the dr. on this subject has ever contacted the dr. by a phone call. I say it's rubbish.
     
  10. aquaboy

    aquaboy Panda Puffer

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    Who called him?
     
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  11. aquaboy

    aquaboy Panda Puffer

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    CALM DOWN AND REMEMBER THAT THIS SITE IS INTENDED TO HELP EACH OTHER. PLZ EDIT POSTS AND REMOVE ANY VULGAR/INAPPROPRIATE POSTS. OR, MATT WILL CLOSE THIS THREAD. I smelt the fire a while ago. Why is this such a heated topic? Use what works for you and be done with it. I use Arm and hammer, but not borate. Water changes add what i need. ONCE AGAIN, CALM DOWN!
     
  12. Bogie

    Bogie Snowflake Eel

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    Why? Is it because it makes you and wildreef look foolish for trying to disprove that the same basic elements/compounds/ionic compounds that are in the name brand stuff can't work as well or at all if they are bought in pure forms for less than 10% of the cost?
    It's all the same basic ingredients. These certain elements/compounds/ionic compounds perform certain basic functions in chemical/ionic reactions. Just use the right amounts and test the parameters. That's Chemistry, so just accept that scientific FACT.
     
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