Correcting Total Alkalinity

Baking Soda makes a safe cost effective alkalinity booster.

WHY: Total Alkalinity is a measure of the carbonates in the pond.  They are essential to creating an environment where beneficial bacteria flourish and fish stay healthy and grow rapidly.  Many people are blessed with high natural total alkalinity, some are not.  Those who live out on the plains, the desert south west, California, in limestone valleys, or otherwise hard water are generally among the blessed.  Those of us who live in the mountains, or near the top of a ridge, on the east coast, or otherwise have soft water, not so much.

TESTING:  It easy to find out your total Alkalinity using our Microbelift 5 in 1 Test Kit. The goal for Total Alkalinity is 100 mg/l.  If you have more, great.  If you have a little less, it’s not terrible.  If your readings are down in the 20s, 30s, 40s, you really need a fix.

RULE OF THUMB: For backyard ponds, add 1 pond of Arm and Hammer Baking Powder, yes the kind you use for baking, to raise the total alkalinity of 3300 gallons of water by 20 mg/l.  If you need to raise it more than 20mg/l, add this quantity every day until to get to the desired level.

EXAMPLE:  If you have a 3300 gallon pond and it tests at 20 mg/l and you want to take it to 100 mg/l, add 1 pound of baking soda a day for 4 days.

RULE OF THUMB: For farm ponds, add 1 ton of crushed limestone for each surface acre of pond.  For a more exact dosing recommendation, consult your local Agriculture Extension Agent in your County for directions to have the pond water or its sediments tested. For small earthen ponds with a limited flow through, you can also use Arm and Hammer Bulk Sodium Bicarbonate (ag grade baking soda), in the same quantities as you would use crushed limestone.  Unlike crushed limestone, it will dissolve immediately and give an instant boost to your carbonate.  As with backyard pond applications, if you are raising the total alkalinity more than 20 mg/l do not add more than will change the water by 20 mg/l per day so to not to shock the aquatic life.