After reading this thread I have a couple lingering questions. From the original post, which suggests phosphoric acid for lowering alkalinity:
Acid is always injected prior to the addition of fertilizer or other chemicals.
Maybe this only refers to big ag productions? Or maybe I'm missing something.
Meanwhile, can anyone appraise my alkalinity situation? I've struggled with high pH water during all my grows. So far I've always adjusted pH down (with phosphoric acid, post nutes), but I've always had suspicions of lingering pH problems.
I would love to trust soil buffering instead of adjusting, so this post got me Googling my city's recent tap water data, which confirms my own pH readings of around 9.5. But do some of the other data possibly mitigate the high readings?
Total alkalinity averages a respectable 63 (CaCO3). Total hardness is 87. Phenol alkalinity is 17. Total solids is 154 (mg/L). Calcium is 12. Magnesium is 13. Conductivity is 291 (umhos/cm). Etc. I'm not ready for expensive tests because I'm not ready to seek perfection -- just hoping someone with a scientific brain can dumb this stuff down for me enough to point me generally in the right direction.
BTW, this will be my first attempt at using homegrown compost. (Past grows have centered around FFOF
.) So I just tested my compost (as soil) and found, even after months of adding sulfur and cal-po-mag, its pH is still stubbornly hovering just above 7. As I'm gearing up for my fourth indoor session, this makes me lean toward peat as a base (instead of ProMix
or coir). Agreed? The compost (now cold) feels and smells real nice -- testing high in nitrogen, adequate in potassium, and a bit deficient in phosphorus. Could I succeed with, say, 1/3 peat, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 aeration? What other crucial amendments should I focus on? (Besides, like, neem, tea, and EWC.)
And, of course, I'll need to make a final decision on whether to adjust the water pH. My filter takes care of chloramines, but it leaves the pH high. I'm not ready for RO, but I am planning to double container capacity this time -- from 5 gallons to 10.
Thanks for any tips!