Where should my pH and alkalinity be?
pH - 7.2 to 8.2 This is where the enzymes work best.
Alkalinity - 80 to 120 ppm. Alkalinity is the waters ability to resist change in pH. pH will change easily below 80 ppm and will be hard to change over 120. High alkalinity can cause water quality issues like cloudy water.
What should I use to adjust my pH and alkalinity?
If your alkalinity is low and your pH is low use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to raise both.
If your alkalinity is high use sodium bisulfate to lower the total alkalinity. Acid Magic is a another alternative. Add small amounts and adjust over time rather than trying to do it all at once. Adjust pH once alkalinity is in range.
Use sodium carbonate to raise pH without changing the alkalinity. Adjust the water pH a little at a time; checking as you go until you get the pH between 7.2 and 8.2. Apple vinegar can be used to lower the pH. Store brand pH Up / Down are fine to use.