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Understanding Effects Of Water With High Alkalinity

jumpincactus

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Unless Im confused I am thinking you would need elevated levels of C02 in the source water to adequately break down the carbonate build up. Make sense??
 
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While I am in concert with you on this, my question is will flushing with plain water dissolve the build up of carbonates without the use of C02? As carbonates are not very soluble in water. I really wished I had majored in chemistry when I had the chance. Who would have known 40 yrs later I would need this knowledge. LOL
On CO2: the higher the CO2 the more alkaline the water at a given pH. Using plain water, eg Zero EC would be a way of reducing carbonates despite CO2 levels.
@Tobor the 8th Man I am not sure on this as well. I used to be in reef keeping years ago and my knowledge as @Seamaiden mentioned my test kits are all based in Dkh .I do know this that our buddy @Ecompost will be able to answer your question as it is my belief that dude has a firmer grip on the chemistry and science of soil biology than I. ...........Hopefully he will pop in and open our eyes a bit.
Seamaiden got to this right?
The bit about the run off and slurry, not sure I follow. Are you saying you have a high Alk media and water but you always get a run off that's acidic? Its confusing, sorry its late weekend here and I am wasted too.
 

jumpincactus

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On CO2: the higher the CO2 the more alkaline the water at a given pH. Using plain water, eg Zero EC would be a way of reducing carbonates despite CO2 levels.

Seamaiden got to this right?
The bit about the run off and slurry, not sure I follow. Are you saying you have a high Alk media and water but you always get a run off that's acidic? Its confusing, sorry its late weekend here and I am wasted too.
Here is @Tobor the 8th Man original question

Can a soil slurry test show an alkaline ph due to high alkalinity water and the runoff ph be acidic at 5 to 5.5 at the same time?

If you water with water that has a total of 50-60 alkalinity does the soil just stay at that level? Same with 100 alkalinity? I am wondering if it builds up higher than what you put in?

If you had well water with ph 8.2 and ppm of 200 would total alkalinity be predictably high or could it still be in the 50-60 range?
 

Tobor the 8th Man

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People say you should not go by run-off ph. I was wondering why. The only reason I can think of is that run-off can be acidic while the soil is alkaline. Otherwise why not go by run-off?

My other puzzle was if 50-60 is ideal will it stay 50-60 or do you have to worry about build up.

The last question was because if you had well water I mentioned is there any reason to waste time and money on testing total alkalinity because there is no way it won't be high. So if you run into water like that you know to just don't waste time on it and get a different water source.
 
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Here is @Tobor the 8th Man original question

Can a soil slurry test show an alkaline ph due to high alkalinity water and the runoff ph be acidic at 5 to 5.5 at the same time?

If you water with water that has a total of 50-60 alkalinity does the soil just stay at that level? Same with 100 alkalinity? I am wondering if it builds up higher than what you put in?

If you had well water with ph 8.2 and ppm of 200 would total alkalinity be predictably high or could it still be in the 50-60 range?
Soils can accumulate elements that would lead to a higher outcome in a soil test, than is evident from the water supply or vice a versa. This oddity could be due to a loss of biology or humic content. There are lots of bacteria in water, there might be lots of fungus in soils, this might explain the variation, I would be fascinated to see this if it happening near you.
Here is @Tobor the 8th Man original question

Can a soil slurry test show an alkaline ph due to high alkalinity water and the runoff ph be acidic at 5 to 5.5 at the same time?

If you water with water that has a total of 50-60 alkalinity does the soil just stay at that level? Same with 100 alkalinity? I am wondering if it builds up higher than what you put in?

If you had well water with ph 8.2 and ppm of 200 would total alkalinity be predictably high or could it still be in the 50-60 range?
OK, so looking at this question, yes is the short answer, the whys and hows are largely found among the relationships of acids and the varying ranges of power, versus conjugate base, see the Henderson–Hasselbalch equation for more.

I have placed an example of the equation in working practice to help explain. I would still very much like to see this occurrence, since the shift is dramatic imo and worthy of investigation. It does sound counter intuitive, but its like a tug of war that has been unequally loaded on one side. The numbers are the same, but the outcomes will be different if the mass is not equal.

Hope this helps
Eco

If 10 mL of 1M NaOH are added to one liter of a buffer that is 0.3 M acetic acid and 0.2 M sodium acetate (Na+CH3COO–), how much does the pH change? The pKa for acetic acid is 4.76.

Answer:
In the original solution, acetic acid is the weak acid, and acetate is the conjugate base. Thus, [base] = 0.2 M, and [acid] = 0.3 M.

Using the Henderson–Hasselbalch equation,

pH = pKa + log [Base]
[Acid]

pH = 4.72 + log (0.2/0.3)
pH = 4.54
NaOH is a strong base, and dissociates completely. Therefore, adding the strong base results in

(0.01 liter)(1 M) = 0.01 moles of OH– ions into the solution.

All of the OH– ions will react with the acetic acid to form acetate ions:

CH3COOH + OH–
CH3COO– + H2O

Thus, when NaOH is added, the number of acetic acid molecules in the solution will decrease, but the number of acetate molecules in the solution will increase. In this case, 0.01 moles of acetic acid will be used up to neutralize the 0.01 moles of OH–, and this will form 0.01 moles of acetate ion in the solution.

At the end of the reaction:

Moles of acetic acid = moles of acetic acid before the reaction – moles of acetic acid used up in the reaction
= 0.3 moles – 0.01 moles = 0.29 moles

Moles of acetate = moles of acetate before the reaction + moles of acetate made in the reaction
= 0.2 moles + 0.01 moles = 0.21 moles
Now we are almost ready to plug back into the Henderson–Hasselbalch equation to find the new pH of the solution. We just need to remember that the volume has changed slightly, from 1 liter (1000 mL) to 1 liter plus 10 mL (1010 mL). The Henderson–Hasselbalch equation requires that the [Base] and [Acid] be molar (M, or mol/L) quantities. However, notice how that because both the acid and base species are in the same volume, the volume correction cancels out:

pH = pKa + log [Base]
[Acid]

pH = pKa + log (0.29 moles/1.01 liter)
0.21 moles/ 1.01 liter)
pH = 4.72 + log 1.38
pH = 4.86
The pH change is 4.86 – 4.54 = 0.32 units


For sure we can increase salts, this is not in question is it?
 

Seamaiden

Living dead girl
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Unless Im confused I am thinking you would need elevated levels of C02 in the source water to adequately break down the carbonate build up. Make sense??
It does, but how elevated, especially given my own admittedly rough and not-quite-so-scientific-but-perfectly-repeatable experience?
People say you should not go by run-off ph. I was wondering why. The only reason I can think of is that run-off can be acidic while the soil is alkaline. Otherwise why not go by run-off?

My other puzzle was if 50-60 is ideal will it stay 50-60 or do you have to worry about build up.

The last question was because if you had well water I mentioned is there any reason to waste time and money on testing total alkalinity because there is no way it won't be high. So if you run into water like that you know to just don't waste time on it and get a different water source.
For me, the issue is what you're really getting and the results. I also went to the ag world for answers on this, a typical farmer can't measure run-off (just like she can't flush). The other issue is that you're getting only what's running off or out, which may not be the full picture of what's happening in the rhizosphere. Taking various samples from different places can help adjust for that.
The last question was because if you had well water I mentioned is there any reason to waste time and money on testing total alkalinity because there is no way it won't be high. So if you run into water like that you know to just don't waste time on it and get a different water source.
That's not necessarily true. There are many people with wells giving them very soft water that has low to no alkalinity. I don't think they're in California, but I know they exist. :opps:
 
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It does, but how elevated, especially given my own admittedly rough and not-quite-so-scientific-but-perfectly-repeatable experience?

For me, the issue is what you're really getting and the results. I also went to the ag world for answers on this, a typical farmer can't measure run-off (just like she can't flush). The other issue is that you're getting only what's running off or out, which may not be the full picture of what's happening in the rhizosphere. Taking various samples from different places can help adjust for that.

That's not necessarily true. There are many people with wells giving them very soft water that has low to no alkalinity. I don't think they're in California, but I know they exist. :opps:
same here, we have a very soft well water, ec is .2 and if you even show it soap, it froths

Bang on re run off, saying its 5.0, well hows that made up elementally, the data is like one of the stories you get on the news where you think oh F*ck what can I do tho?
 

jumpincactus

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I think we also need to be careful to consider the relative biology of acidic or alkaline soils systems. In soil profiles where organic matter is restricted, eg sandy, early basic soil systems, we would see a proliferation of bacteria, these being capable of living in such habit above say a fungus which would not. Bacteria, specifically Nitrate fixers, have bio film excretions that are in the pH range above 7.0. In order to convert N2 to No3- a pH greater than 7 is required. Hence microbes which have existed for billions of years, have developed conditions that better suit the function. As more plant matter is able to gain a hold, we will find more and more fungi appearing. These fungi release organic acids, and as such tend to exist in profiles of less than 6.5. Now since fungi can ultimately consume a wider diet, it is such that given time, all soils would be fungal dominant and so promote perennial plant life as in the case of forests.
How this manifests for us, short day growers, is still being researched, but we can know as a foundation, short lived plants tend not to form relationships with fungi as they wont be around long enough for this to be mutually beneficial and so bacteria are the key.
So knowing bacteria prefer higher pH condtions, above 7.0, and fungus acidic, what does this mean for growers using biology versus those not?
If I take samples of rhizo pH in any one container, I will get about 7 or so different readings, from pH 5.6 to pH 11.0.
Growers not modulating the environment with biology, must consider pH as a priority, they must also find a way to scavenge free radical ions which accumulate in non biologically active, humate weak media, hence the use of flushing. A most bizzare concept of indoor growing if you ask me.
We can know that soils are typically - in charge and so continued use of Cations will likely impact soil charge. - soil charge is the only thing preventing collapse, we destroy the charge, we usher in collapse, we drive out air, we kill fungus, we make pH swing about 7.0+. Water fails to penetrate, we get hydrophobic compaction and zero growth, we add lime as per university instructions and we add to the cation disaster and put increasing amounts of lime via frequency and quantity. We are idiots, we don't learn very well and we have bad habit that are not founded in science but in the human desire to mask not fix. A university still suggesting lime as an answer to soil acidification should be closed as a dangerous proganda channel and not centre of open learning. Rant over. But awesome post and extremely thought provoking. eco
You know what bro??? I just for whatever reason found myself reviewing your post. I liked it the day I first saw it, however was in a hurry didn't drill it down too deep.

I want you to know this post just frikkn blew me away on the re-read.......... I had a fellow dirt bagger who majored in the soil sciences and your info is spot on. It really has me taking another look at how I manage the soil....... Thank you for sharing that with us all.:D

Trust your well and happily medicated. :smoking: Peace
 
5,137
313
You know what bro??? I just for whatever reason found myself reviewing your post. I liked it the day I first saw it, however was in a hurry didn't drill it down too deep.

I want you to know this post just frikkn blew me away on the re-read.......... I had a fellow dirt bagger who majored in the soil sciences and your info is spot on. It really has me taking another look at how I manage the soil....... Thank you for sharing that with us all.:D

Trust your well and happily medicated. :smoking: Peace
yes, its a bit of a ramble, it comes from my mixed language and bio weed.. I struggle to remember how to write english..LOL
I am glad you found it useful, if nothing more than a leaping off point for yourself to explore a solution that meets your need.
nature has generally already thought of it in my experience and i love how neat and tidy it is.

Blessings Eco
 
I think we also need to be careful to consider the relative biology of acidic or alkaline soils systems. In soil profiles where organic matter is restricted, eg sandy, early basic soil systems, we would see a proliferation of bacteria, these being capable of living in such habit above say a fungus which would not. Bacteria, specifically Nitrate fixers, have bio film excretions that are in the pH range above 7.0. In order to convert N2 to No3- a pH greater than 7 is required. Hence microbes which have existed for billions of years, have developed conditions that better suit the function. As more plant matter is able to gain a hold, we will find more and more fungi appearing. These fungi release organic acids, and as such tend to exist in profiles of less than 6.5. Now since fungi can ultimately consume a wider diet, it is such that given time, all soils would be fungal dominant and so promote perennial plant life as in the case of forests.
How this manifests for us, short day growers, is still being researched, but we can know as a foundation, short lived plants tend not to form relationships with fungi as they wont be around long enough for this to be mutually beneficial and so bacteria are the key.
So knowing bacteria prefer higher pH condtions, above 7.0, and fungus acidic, what does this mean for growers using biology versus those not?
If I take samples of rhizo pH in any one container, I will get about 7 or so different readings, from pH 5.6 to pH 11.0.
Growers not modulating the environment with biology, must consider pH as a priority, they must also find a way to scavenge free radical ions which accumulate in non biologically active, humate weak media, hence the use of flushing. A most bizzare concept of indoor growing if you ask me.
We can know that soils are typically - in charge and so continued use of Cations will likely impact soil charge. - soil charge is the only thing preventing collapse, we destroy the charge, we usher in collapse, we drive out air, we kill fungus, we make pH swing about 7.0+. Water fails to penetrate, we get hydrophobic compaction and zero growth, we add lime as per university instructions and we add to the cation disaster and put increasing amounts of lime via frequency and quantity. We are idiots, we don't learn very well and we have bad habit that are not founded in science but in the human desire to mask not fix. A university still suggesting lime as an answer to soil acidification should be closed as a dangerous proganda channel and not centre of open learning. Rant over. But awesome post and extremely thought provoking. eco
normal PH of rain water is 5
 
is it, I didnt know that, here it is about 6.8 but has been as high as 7.2 and as low as 6.4. 5 is very low and would likely cause many issues
5 isnt low, its normal per EPA, acid rain is 4. One reason I also ph down my follier. I believe the range for normal is 5-5.5 ill find the reference.
 

rmoltis

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5 isnt low, its normal per EPA, acid rain is 4. One reason I also ph down my follier. I believe the range for normal is 5-5.5 ill find the reference.
5-5.5ph rain is average based on how pollution interacts with rain nowadays.
I'm sure it would be higher if we weren't so polluting as a species.

Just because it's measured at 5-5.5ph average (average being the key word)

Doesn't mean that's where it should be.
 

rmoltis

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When I looked up how much NO3 can be delivered via rainfall, I learned that your location is KEY. Probably the same for pH parameters.
Where I live we have the most acidic rain in the country. It's due to the high pollution.

"RAIN at a monitoring station in central Pennsylvania registered the highest acid content of 131 sites in 46 states, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The nonprofit group, which is based in Washington, has lobbied for sharp reductions in pollutants that cause acid rain, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. In the new report, which was based on Federal monitoring data from 1987, Pennsylvania held the No. 1 ranking for acidic rainfall.

The council said the rain that was the most acidic was recorded at the Leading Ridge in Huntingdon County, in central Pennsylvania.

Rain there had an average pH of 4.08, which is 33 times more acidic than unpolluted rain, the council said.

The pH scale measures acidity, with 7 being neutral. The lower the number, the more acidic the rain. Unpolluted rain is slightly acidic, with a pH of 5.6.

Many pollutants are emitted by coal-fired power plants, factories and cars. The materials are thought to undergo changes in the atmosphere and fall to Earth as acid rain, snow, sleet, fog and dry particles."
 

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