Sodium bicarbonate

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Sodium bicarbonate is a chemical compound with the formula [[NaHCO3]]. Because it has long been known and is widely used, the salt has many other names including sodium hydrogen carbonate and "sodium bicarb," as well as baking soda, bread soda, saleratus, and bicarbonate of soda.

It is used in the aquarium hobby for increasing KH and pH without increasing GH though it does add sodium to the water.

It is often used in making CO2 with yeast mixes as it makes the mixture last longer due to the high initial pH value.

Aquarists often use potassium bicarbonate as a substitute as it performs the same function but adds potassium to the water, which is a useful plant nutrient, as opposed to sodium.

  • It prevents pH Shock disease in areas of soft tap water.
  • It can be used to make tank water more alkaline as it will buffer water up to a pH of 8.2.
  • One teaspoon (~5 grams) of sodium bicarbonate per 189 Litres (50 US G.) of water will increase KH by about 1 degree (about 18 ppm).[1]



  1. Tropica on soft water aquariums