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.

http://allhydroponics.blogspot.com/

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:13PM
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danielfp

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 http://allhydroponics.blogspot.com/2009/02/nitrogen-fertilization-in-hydroponics.html

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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