citric acid vs sulphuric, phosphuric, ammonia etc....

ro66October 3, 2007

Hello, I am new to the site.loved reading some of the entries...q's....does anyone have experience using a simple citirc acid for balancing ph levels...rather than the more common forms?? I need a range of 5.8 - 6.2 ph.....I have source h20 at 7.3-7.5........I am looking for histry of citric acid in relation to it's affect on nuits, will citric acid affect tomato plants in a negative way???Oh, I also grow in a perlite/coconut coir mix medium, irrigated 2x each hr...during sunlight......

Thanks RO

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greystoke(South Africa(11))

Welcome ro

Nothing wrong with citric acid as far as I know. I'm using vinegar (5%) mostly. It makes a reasonable buffer with the calcium and magnesium in solution. I use about 1mL (or something like that) per 100L nutrient for every 0.1pH point to go down. Never seen any problems.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 12:50AM
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kea2

Can you also use baking soda to raise pH?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 10:53AM
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greystoke(South Africa(11))

Yes!
½ tps per 100L of nutrient!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 11:34AM
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kea2

Hold on, did you mean millilitres (ml)? Because 100 litres (l) is a lot of water.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 3:06PM
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greystoke(South Africa(11))

I meant what I said, ie: one hundred litres
It would be enough to increase pH by ±0.1 point at the time.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 11:37PM
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greystoke(South Africa(11))

Oh, . . . . and I meant to say that it should be bicarbonate of soda (NaHCO3)
Hope that's what you meant by "baking soda"

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 11:42PM
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kea2

OK, math...
To lower pH from 7.0 to 6.0, I'd have to add 10 ml of 5% vinegar per 100L of water.

= 0.1 ml vinegar per 1L of water.

So I first should dilute the vinegar with 9 parts water, and then add 1 ml of that mixture (less than a quarter teaspoon) to 1 L of water. Does that sound about right?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 2:37AM
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greystoke(South Africa(11))

Perfect!
But remember that this is NOT perfect science. I suggest you add half - just to see what happens - then - based on the result - work out how much more you need, and add that.
Keep notes!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 4:27AM
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kea2

Thanks for all your help. I've learned a lot. I should go get some of those pH test strips from the aquarium shop tomorrow. Now I just need to figure out why the leaves at the bottom of my basil (the one that had the ant problem) are turning yellowish-white. I think I've ruled out over-watering, so it must be some kind of nutritional problem.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 10:46AM
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tclynx

often overfeeding (too strong nutrient) should be the first thing to rule out along with way out of whack pH.

I had a pH situation not too long ago, my pH tester quit working and would only read 7. I was wondering why even after adding lots of pH down the reading was still the same. I went and got some test strips and sure enough, I'd dropped down around 4 and the plants were starting to show signs of stress (keep in mind I was only adding a little acid per day as it is easy to overdo and it can take a while for what you add to mix properly.)

Now if I can collect enough rain water to use in my hydroponics I don't need to adjust the pH down as the nutrients are enough to handle the pH of the rain water. Whenever I have to use my well water, I need to worry more about the pH.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 10:55AM
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