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Re: [APD] making it more acid

Stuart writes:

>Out of interest, what do people use to make water more acidic?

>I know about Peat and CO2. But this seems rather unwieldy and harder to 
>control than simply adding controlled amounts of a chemical.

>Can you add ordinary clear distilled Vinegar for example?

>I wonder what the commercial products like 'pH down' in a bottle use.

I believe PHdown is highly diluted Phosphoric acid.? You can buy it at higher strengths for less per gallon and expeiment with different concentrations to make your own.? My favorite product is hydrochloric acid (HCl) which is sold at hardware stores as "Muriatic acid" very economically.? Again, this is very concentrated.? I haven't had an active tank in several years, but when I did I mixed one part muriatic to 7 parts DI water.? That's one pint of acid in a gallon milk.?I recommend dishwashing gloves and a plastic face shield when mixing.? Fill the jug with water, measure back out two cups, then top it back up with the Muriatic acid.? Then I experimented to find out how much I wanted to use.

Remember, that if the water is hard, it is probably alkaline as well, and the CO3 ion will buffer it.? You can drop the pH instantly from 8.0 to 6.0?and come back the next day to find it back at, or almost back at, where it was when you started.? It takes a while to pull enough alkalinity out of it to effectively reduce the pH.

Distilling, reverse osmosis, or de-ionization is recommended in order to create water soft enough to actually and consistently control.? But be careful; too soft and the pH will crash too easily.? Miling purified water with a little bit of tap water to get a hardness around 2 is best.? That will help stabilize it.? Then add the acid.? Not as much will be needed, since the pH will start then much closer to neutral(7.0).

Most hobbyists use RO because it is easier and usually less expensive for the equipment than De-ionizing.? However, I live in?southern Idaho,?where water is at a premium.? RO produces waste water, DI does not.? If you want to reduce your environmental footprint, use DI, or find ways to use the RO wastewater.? Some people have routed the waste to their sprinklers, but the added salts and carbonates will slowly change the chemistry of the soil.

Bob Dixon
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