Reef Buffer will raise carbonate alkalinity; however, it is intended primarily for use as a buffer in a reef system where the maintenance of a pH of 8.3 is often difficult.
Reef Buffer is specifically designed to meet the needs and requirements of the closed reef environment. The pK of a buffering agent is equivalent to the pH around which that buffer most strongly buffers. One would presume, then, that the pK of a saltwater buffer should be 8.3; however, the multitude of organic acids produced by the inhabitants of a reef system forces pH downward to a much greater degree than in a non-reef, marine system. A buffer with a pK of 8.3 would end up yielding a pH more in the range of 8.0-8.2. Reef Buffer's higher pK (8.6) allows for greater pH stability in a reef system where the bioload is significantly more than in a fish only system. Competing products are not designed specifically for the reef environment; the pK is too low (in most cases, pK 8.3). At this pK, the proper pH can never be reached in saltwater.