Using ammonia, and modified soil nutes?

hydrotheoreticalFebruary 21, 2009

I'm a complete know-nada when it comes to hydroponics systems. I've got African Basil doing well in soil, with several clones just rooted and transplanted into a window planter. I want to try moving the mother from the soil bucket and attempt deep water culture hydroponics, and I'm wondering a couple of things.

Since ammonia will cause a sharp drop in pH, could that be used for pH control without causing too many problems, assuming ammonia doesn't get absorbed so easily? And can I make a modified solution of my soil nutrients to use for hydroponics systems so I don't have to go out and buy hydro nutrients?

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greystoke(South Africa(11))

Ammonia will bring the pH up, not down.

As for your second question:
I used to soak commercial fertilizer in water for a few days. It worked well on herbs. Unfortubately some of the nutrients (phosphates and sulfates) don't dissolve readily, so now I mix my own recipes from basis chemicals.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 4:29AM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

Here's a link to a fellow's Web site. His name is Daniel and he's a chemist who tinkers with hydroponics. I'm sure he'll be able to help you; he's pretty sharp.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:13PM
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First of all, ammonia would increase your pH, an ammonia salt would reduce your pH. The difference is that an ammonia salt contains the ammonium ion NH4(+) which is acidic while aqueous ammonia is just NH3 (which is a base) dissolved in water.

Anyway, adding ammonia or ammonium to a nutrient solution to change pH levels is a very bad thing to do. Plants absorb nitrogen as ammonium very rapidly and this causes a very severe toxicity. Never add ammonium to your nutrient solution at levels above 30 ppm. I wrote an article about the different forms of nitrogen plants take, so you can check it out and see the effects ammonium has on plants

By the way, thank you for the reference freemangreens !

Here is a link that might be useful: Everything Hydroponics

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 5:37AM
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