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Thread: Adding borates experience... Is this right?

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    Adding borates experience... Is this right?

    Finally got my TA down to 80. Had the Mule Team 20 and acid on hand, so decided it was time to proceed.

    Prior to adding anything my PH was 7.2. Using Jason's calculator, I added corresponding amounts of borax and acid to get me to 29 ppm, a bit over half of my target 50. I let it circulate overnight, and just tested this noon.

    TA has risen to 90, and PH is 7.5. The PH change I can deal with, and didn't fully expect to end up exactly where I was, but the TA change caught me off guard. I thought borax increased PH but didn't increase TA? I have never used it before now, really haven't paid too much attention to posts about it, but that was my general understanding of the BBB thing, Bleach for chlorination, Borax for raising PH without raising TA and Baking Soda to raise both PH and TA.

    Should I work to drop my TA back to 80 before I add the second round of borax, or wait until after the second round then work on TA?

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    In the Industry

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    Re: Adding borates experience... Is this right?

    I don't have a definite answer for you, but I would first point out that TA readings of 80 vs. 90 may actually reflect the same level. That's within the margin of error.

    That said, I *think* borax may raise TA a LITTLE. Baking soda does raise the TA but has very little direct effect on pH. It's washing soda (aka soda ash or sodium carbonate) that raises BOTH pH and TA.

    I'd suggest you go ahead and add the rest of the borax, and I don't think you need to worry about the TA. Levels of 80-100 are usually just fine.
    ~Jules~

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Adding borates experience... Is this right?

    I wouldn't worry about the TA change. The TA probably went up because the PH is higher. If you were to lower the PH back down to 7.2 the TA would go down a little and you would probably be back at 80.
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    Re: Adding borates experience... Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by giulietta1
    I don't have a definite answer for you, but I would first point out that TA readings of 80 vs. 90 may actually reflect the same level. That's within the margin of error.

    That said, I *think* borax may raise TA a LITTLE. Baking soda does raise the TA but has very little direct effect on pH. It's washing soda (aka soda ash or sodium carbonate) that raises BOTH pH and TA.

    I'd suggest you go ahead and add the rest of the borax, and I don't think you need to worry about the TA. Levels of 80-100 are usually just fine.
    Thanks.

    I'm not overly concerned with the TA change, it just took me by suprise. I didn't want to add the borax until I got it down as I have high TA fill water. I'll probably drop it again before I add round two, then again after, and let it go from there and hope I get the PH stability borax promises. If not, at least I should get the water feel, sparkle and algae prevention

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    Re: Adding borates experience... Is this right?

    Borates will cause a small increase in TA but it is NOT carbonate alkalinity. You are probably seeing a combination of both the borates and the higher pH. However, as was pointed out you are well within the precision of that particular test so the numbers are really the same.

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