It takes a little bit of practice to get quick at doing it.
-Balance elements other than Hydrogen and Oxygen first
-Balance polyatomic ions as a group if they appear on both sides of the reaction
-Balance seperatly the elements that appear by themselves
-Use smallest whole-number coefficients
Thank you for your help, but I am investigating how to do it by a systhem of equations. I will try to remember your tips. More tips are accepted.
Mm, I don't know about using a more mathmatical approach but the way I do it is relatively easy. I make a simple chart...first, I write down all of the elements I'll be dealing with, then I make two columns. The first one is for how many atoms each element has on the left side of the equation (the reactants) and the second is for how many the right side of the equation (the product) has. That gives me an idea of what I'm dealing with...don't know if it'll help you or not though. ^_^
mrjeffy321 thank you, this was just what I was looking for. Thank you too, AngelShare, your chart seems very good.