My plaster (Stonescapes Tropics Blue Mini Pebble) might happen as early as next Monday and I need to get myself ready for the Bicarbonate Startup that I want to do, for whenever it does occur. Once I'm scheduled, the pebble will be applied the first day, then acid washed the next day, after which I will begin filling with water while testing and to adjust the PH and TA.
In my build thread I had been given helpful advice on how to do this, but I want to make sure I understand everything properly. These are the numbers for my fill water:
PH = 7.3
TA = 140
CH = 180
Based on what I was told, I plan on predetermining the fill rate using a large container, and then testing and adjusting PH and TA at set intervals. I anticipate the fill taking a very long time. How long can I go between each test/addition? Do I need to stay up all night to keep up these intervals?
Also, and this is basic, but do I use Muriatic Acid to bring PH down and Baking Soda to raise TA? I was told I probably won't need a lot of acid initially because I want to keep the PH high, but I will need to add a lot of baking soda (diluted first in a 5 gallon bucket) which is the point of a bicarbonate startup.
Do I have the gist of this right? Please set me straight if I'm off, and once I get past these questions, I'll keep reading and get ready with some more. Thank you for your help!