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Cheap alternatives to pH up and down

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Growing' started by Gcleveland, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. This is my first posting but I've been at it a while. My question is are there any cheap and SAFE alternatives to store bought pH up and pH down. I'm thinking like white distilled vinegar for pH down and baking soda for pH up. Any clarification/thoughts would be great. Thanks to all and what a great site !!
  2. I use a gallon of distilled. Pour out a cup and add a cup of battery acid. Buy a box from auto store about 15.00 dollars. Lasts forever!! I use a turkey
    Baster to add to my 100 liter res. takes 1-2 full Squirts to change the ph from 6.3 and bring it down to a 5.8
  3. interesting. What does the battery acid do other than add acidity? Never knew there was such a thing as a" box of battery acid". Cool! Thanks
  4. Battery acid from the auto stores is just pure sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is used in millions of farms world wide as a pH down:

    Sulfuric Acid
  5. Thanks private. I guess what i'm asking is why use such a
    strong acid? Is there a benefit when vinegar is not only less
    expensive and easier to handle? Side note love your Easy Hydro
    Private. I use ebb-flow but seeing yours might have to try it out.
  6. The acid is diluted with water to make pH down in this practice. It is much better than vinegar as it lasts a lot longer and works as a buffer much better. Vinegar is also asking for problems with pests as it attracts flies like nobody's business. There are other reasons why vinegar is not good in general and really only recommended as a quick in a pinch around the house fix, and not as a full time pH down.

    BTW... most people don't need nearly the amount of down as they do up because nutrients themselves are acidic.

    If you don't want to mess with sulfuric acid, I'd just order up some legit pH down and be done with it. Overall if you have an issue with your pH rising you will use more vinegar than down and hence not saving money as it's simply not as effective. Also if you have an constant rising pH then that is the issue that needs addressing rather than continuing to dump more down into it.
  7. "BTW... most people don't need nearly the amount of down as they do up"

    I find the exact opposite, but that's probably because I never really use ph up; just add more water!
  8. My RO water does not have any pH buffers in it so does not work as a pH up... and I'll never use tap water.
  9. I would use phosphoric acid instead of sulfuric acid because phosphoric acid is used in soda and foods and a lot safer...the sulfuric acid has hazardous sulfur fumes... here is a post from a guy on grasscity


    I'm about done with my first hydro grow but next time around to save on money i'm going to buy the 85% phosphoric acid and dilute it with distilled water (makes gallons of ph down)... something the hydro companies don't tell you but they are making a killing off of it!
  10. Thanks for the advice. I do use tap water , ph about 7.5, though most folks
    don't. I like the phosphoric acid approach seems much more practical.
    I'm just the kind of fella that would rather do it for myself than buy pre-mixed.
    I still buy straight anti-freeze and mix it myself.
    Skiddy6 where do you get your phosphoric acid ?
    Many thanks !!
  11. #12 skiddy6, Feb 1, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2013
    i'm going to use it on my next grow so as far as the cheapest place and where to get it i will have to do a little research, but a quick google about Food grade phosphoric acid gave me this real quick

    950 ml Bottle of Phosphoric Acid, Food Grade 85% Concentration: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

    the main thing i would focus on is that is it food grade unless that doesn't matter but like i said a little more research i could tell ya a little later

    dudadiesel seems popular and 85% but there was another guy that was brewing mash for alcohol and picked up some 75% up at the local brew store

    looks like duda diesel mainly and you can find that online on amazon or ebay etc...then dilute it with distilled water....13 bucks on ebay for a whole Liter of 85% but yeah try to find duda diesel for cheap

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