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9.9 pH tap water!

Discussion in 'General Indoor Growing' started by Tact, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. Nov 23, 2009 #1

    Tact

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    This is indeed the pH, from tap. Tried several faucets, and more then one meter. This was confirmed by my local water supplier as 'within guidelines', apparently they receive a lot of calls on the issue from aquarium enthusiasts. So I picked up some distilled water and the pH of that was 7.5 (edit: 6.0 after letting it sit out for 2 hours, ppm: 001), but its $1 per gallon in 1 gallon jugs. I haven't had any success yet finding an RO supplier, and am not in the market for a RO system myself.

    My question is:

    Should I use the distilled water and get the pH down to 6.5, or is the 9.9 tap pH forced down to 6.5 fine? I did not know if a 'threshold' of high pH is unhealthy for seedlings/clones due to all the pH down I would have to dump in to lower it to 6.5, and should use distilled water for the first few weeks, then move on to the adjusted tap.

    Thoughts?

    edit: Tap water readings PPM with no nutes/pH down is 242.
     
  2. Nov 23, 2009 #2

    Hamster Lewis

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    My tap is low 9's as well.. I ph it down to 6.5 and hve had no problems...do you know the ppm (tds)?
     
  3. Nov 23, 2009 #3

    Tact

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    The PPM of the tap water is 242, with no nutes or pH down of course.
     
  4. Nov 23, 2009 #4

    Hamster Lewis

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    That's a lil high but not that bad....I read somewhere that 250-300 is the highest you wld want to use but don't remember where I read it...you cld always dilute it a bit with distilled water.
     
  5. Nov 23, 2009 #5

    Tact

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    I don't use my sink, I use an odd faucet that is hooked up to a shower head in my basement. Is the filter more to reduce ppm, or the pH. If people are using 9.0+ pH and lowering it to 6.5 why bother with a filter? Also my water has chlromine, not chlorine, not even R.O. systems remove that, much less a 3-stage filter. It has to be treated with tablets designed for aquariums that break it down into just chlorine, then you have to use a bubbler apparently if you want to eradicate all the chlromine from the water.
     
  6. Nov 23, 2009 #6

    Tact

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    Yo,

    The total ppm is 242, the chlromine ppm is 2.6. Just saying.
     
  7. Nov 23, 2009 #7

    Tact

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    Not in the market for any stage R.O for my home, though I would buy it by the gallon if a place sold it locally, no luck just yet with finding one.

    Just retested the pH of the distilled water after letting it sit out for two hours and its 6.0, ppm of 001.

    I can't see that lasting very long, $1 a gallon, bought 4.
     
  8. Nov 23, 2009 #8

    Tact

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    Cool.

    Interestingly enough I had to go up to my local grocer anyway to get bleach and they had an R.O machine but no one knew thats what it was! They just said there was some other water you can 'fill up' in the organic section.

    So I bought a gallon of that, you can bring your own or they supply you with a jug which is .50, the water itself for one gallon was .43 cents.

    So I do some readings on this water, 9.7 pH, 53 PPM. Basically it is the same pH as my tap water, and I assume their tap water as well, but with 200 less ppm.

    Would this be more ideal to get over the distilled, or my free tap water? My tap water has 242 ppm, pH 9.7-9.9.
     
  9. Nov 23, 2009 #9

    Tact

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    Interestingly enough I had to go up to my local grocer anyway to get bleach and they had an R.O machine but no one knew thats what it was! They just said there was some other water you can 'fill up' in the organic section.

    So I bought a gallon of that, you can bring your own or they supply you with a jug which is .50, the water itself for one gallon was .43 cents.

    So I do some readings on this water, 9.7 pH, 53 PPM. Basically it is the same pH as my tap water, and I assume their tap water as well, but with 200 less ppm.

    How would this be more ideal to get over the distilled, or my free tap water forced down to 6.5? My tap water has 242 ppm, pH 9.7-9.9.
     
  10. Nov 23, 2009 #10

    Tact

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    I am doing a soil grow, I never knew that is why cities adjusted their pH high, to protect the pipes, ahh makes sense. As far as too much contaminants, I think you may be right, and whatever those are could accumulate in my soil I reckon.

    What a pain in the ***. Whats the cheapest R.O. system out thee days?
     
  11. Nov 23, 2009 #11

    fleshstain

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    use your tap water, ph it down, flush every few weeks, and you'll be fine.... the tap water here is 9.6-9.8 year round and reads consistently at 150-155ppm.... i hardly ever flush my soil grows and rarely get a buildup.... either flush every few weeks or, every time you water let 20-25% drain out and you'll flush most buildup out.... since you know what the chlorine level is the water itself is ok to use.... not the best, but not by any means the worse....
     
  12. Nov 23, 2009 #12

    DonJones

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    Tact,

    Go to your water company and tell them you want a copy of the last analysis. At 200ppm in is important that you find out what is in the water. Out of the 200, you could have 190 in calcium or what ever mineral. Probably the worst would be a high level of sodium. My has a little bit of a whole bunch of different minerals. Then find a GOOD horticulturist and have him/her review the water analysis for suitability for raising tomatoes. Get the recommendations on what to do, if anything, for both soil and hydro while you are at it.

    If you are in the States, you can contact your county extension agent. If you can't find them in the phone book try going through the Department of agriculture. Outside of the states I don't know what your equivalent agency would be, but they have to have something.

    Another option is to find an organic growing supply store -- not just a garden supply that may or may not have any knowledge beyond what is one the label, but a store that specializes in organic growing. It may take some doing, but if you live were pot growing is illegal or severely frowned on, the organic store is your next best bet after experienced local growers who have already dealt with your water. Some of the organic people can become fanatics though so they may be a like overly particular about things so kind of listen critically and if it doesn't make sense, then don't listen.

    I think you said you already had your nutes. If so you might send a copy of your water analysis to them and get their recommendations. That's what I did with my report and they said at a PH of 7.0 and 200 ppms with no one or two highly concentrated item I should just adjust the PH and leave it alone. Any reputable nute manufacturer will work with you -- it may take a while because they are probably busy -- because they want you to have good results and keep using their products.

    Personally, I would NOT use nutes manufactured by a company that does NOT have people on staff who are qualified to interpret your water analysis and make recommendation, because without that kind of technical support, their products wil have widely varied results.

    If nothing else, go to xxx.extremegrowing.com and send them an email asking for assistance in determining what if any modifications you need to make to their feeding formulas. That is what I did, but I'm using their FHD line of nutes.

    If you need any more detailed info, PM me because I don't feel comfortable giivng out my contact's name or email address to the public. If he gets swamped with too many requests it will limit his availability for my questions. I also may have some other contacts that will help you, but we need to discuss them first,because some of them live in fascist area where they have to keep a very low profile.

    Good growing and smoking.

    Oh, by the way, Nirvana Seeds recommends using "cheap vinegar" for PH down to avoid building up salts in soil. I'm not sure I agree, but just thought I'd pass it along.
     
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  13. Nov 23, 2009 #13

    pcduck

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    They make RO/DI filters that remove chloramines. Check out hXXp://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store/. Change the XX to tt
     
  14. Nov 23, 2009 #14

    DynaGlideGuy

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    Very informative post, thanks so much

    Would u recommend using a ph down solution for aqauiriums rather than somethin more natural like lemon juice, to lower ph?
     
  15. Nov 23, 2009 #15

    HippyInEngland

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    Hola Guys :)

    Distilled white vinegar works fine for soil as a PH down, it breaks down too quickly to be used for hydro grows.

    :peace:
     
  16. Nov 23, 2009 #16

    Tact

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    Yo, here are those results from my water company, I will give AN a call this morning and see what they think. Makes sense regarding the distilled vinegar, I bought 2 more gallons of distilled so I have 6 out of the gate, should give me some time to let me seedlings get off the soil as I get my tap water under control. It looks like barium, chloramine, fluoride, and nitrates make up the most ppm measurements. A number of other substances make up amounts measured in ppb and ppt (ppb = 1/1000 ppm, ppt = 1/1,000,000 ppm). Whats weird is that even at the highest threshold ranges, I am not sure this even comes close to adding up to 242 ppm! Also their is two measurements it seems, one for the Missouri/Meramec River supply sources, I have no idea which one my tap is sourced from.

    Whats really messed up, under the third table down in substances:

    Other Compounds: TTHMs [Total trihalomethanes] (ppb)
    MCL: 80 (this dictates a safe maximum set by some agency?)
    Range low-high: 8.2-85.9*
    Compliance Achieved: Yes

    *Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their livers, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.


    Question: Would putting a bubbler in my water for an hour reduce the ppm at all, or is this not know this works. I noticed pH dropped in my distilled water by a whole 1.5, but this could be due to the oxygen forming carbolic acid.. nothing to do with ppm sediment that can't further dissolve, regardless of oxygenation?

    I am going to call my water company and tell them I am trying to fill an aquarium for exotic fish with very specific (MJ levels) requirements of pH and low PPM levels, and probe their response to a reading of 242 ppm of water compared to this official water quality result they directed me to from their own website.
     
  17. Nov 23, 2009 #17

    RiskyPack

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    I use cheap lime stone remover to bring the PH down.. The water here is very hard as well, so using hydro PH down is much too expensive. I have had absolutely no problem with the lime stone remover.
     
  18. Nov 23, 2009 #18

    Tact

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    Ok just got off the phone, here is the break down.

    Both rivers are used to source all of STL County/City, they combine into one treatment facility that branches out. Missouri river makes up 80% the water used, Meramec makes up 20%, therefore the sediment deposit is a 80/20 split roughly, favoring Missouri. The guy was extremely helpful and saying you are using exotic sensitive fish in an aquarium is the way to go, he took out a much more detailed breakdown and was rattling things off.

    This is what I was able to gather from his information, though he said he would have them snail-mail me, if not able to e-mail me a more detailed breakdown due to my unique circumstance with expensive fish.

    Total Minerals (calcium/magnesium): 110 ppm, rated at Very Hard water
    Total Sodium: 25ppm, this is not included in total minerals, I asked
    Total Fluoride: 30 ppm
    Total Chloramine: 3 ppm


    This brings the big ppm substances in my water to only 170 ppm, absent a whole 70 ppm. A laundry list of other substances are measured in ppb/ppt, which are minute compared to ppm. If cumulatively these make up another 70 ppm, remains to be seen.

    Is anything able to be deciphered from these calcium/sodium levels?

    I will call Advanced Nutrients and repeat this info to get their input, and check you that extreme website DJ.

    Also I am going to let some water sit out for an hour and remeasure my ppm.

    Edit: I found this product designed for hard water over 200 ppm:

    http://www.planetnatural.com/site/floramicro-hardwater.html

    Anyone have an experience with it? I am not sure if it is just treating the water, or if it is also adding nutrients. It looks like Mindeyez may be right with just getting an under sink filtration system for my basement faucet (no sink lol, just a faucet on the wall straight out o the pipe), this may get the ppm down a bit.
     
  19. Nov 23, 2009 #19

    DonJones

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    DynaGlideGuy,

    IF you don't want to use "chemicals" then I would use vinegar -- probably distilled vinegar because supposedly it has the least "contaminates in it -- simply because it is probably the cheapest "natural/organic" acid readily available.

    Personally, I use dilute sulfuric acid (battery fill fluid NEW never used because used battery acid will most likely be contaminated with heavy metals, especially lead and the heavy metals might either harm the plants or be transfered to the bud and no one wants to smoke lead) further diluted 1 to 4 in water. At that strength I use 1.3 ml/gallon to pull the PH from 7.0 to 6.0. I've been told that even at that strength it is hazardous to handle, but I've never had any problem with.

    The hydro shop PH down is usually phosphoric acid based. I've also heard a lot about using nitric aka muratic acid which is nitrogen based. It is available through home improvement centers like Home Depot and Lowes. There is also a potassium based acid but I don't remember what it is called. I don't necessarily recommend anyone who is the least bit uneasy about their chemistry and acid handling skills to try making their own PH down, but there is an extensive thread in the DIY section on making your own PH down.

    WHAT EVER YOU USE OTHER THAN VINEGAR OR CITRIC JUICES ALWAYS ADD THE ACID/PH DOWN TO WATER -- NEVER ADD WATER TO THE ACID/PH DOWN! If you add water to acid, you risk violent reactions that can boil over,splash up into your face and even cause the container to "explode".

    As to the aquarium PH down, compare the price with the PH down that you can buy through the hydro or organic supply places. Because I do NOT know what the active ingredient is or how strong it is, I can't really say one way or the other. If it is okay for exotic fish, then it probably won't hurt your plants, but that is just a guess.

    Good smoking!
     
  20. Nov 23, 2009 #20

    DonJones

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    Tact,

    Don't be too surprised if the total ppms on the analysis doesn't match your total adding them up. I don't know why but mine is at least as far off as you got on your report. Maybe there are other unspecified dissolved sold too?

    Also don't be too surprised if their total listed is somewhat lower than what your meter says, because the results of that test is the average of several samples taken on that particular day and they can vary widely day to day or even from house to house.

    Are you going to post any more pictures of your grow room since you got it set up? Maybe a post in the Grow Room section with a little (or big for that matter) explanation of what you did and why you chose to do it that particular way so others can learn from your experience -- tell us what is wrong or what you would change, if anything, so we can avoid similar situations.

    Good smoking.
     

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