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PostPosted: Dec 26th, '18, 22:28 
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Hi Bridgie
That's curious about the rainwater changing pH to base. I'm also unclear why and how you are getting first wash rainwater? What is the roof which collects the water made from? Also I've never heard of an AP guru suggesting using pH Down before. I had been advised here in the beginning of my AP adventure not to use it, especially for the reason you mention, it will constantly need it until you figure out what is causing you rainwater to go base like that. Is there perhaps a polluter in the area which could be contaminating the rain? Is there something on the roof collection system that is affecting the pH? More often we see APers who use well water have this issue as the water was sequestered underground and away from oxygen then when it is exposed to the air it shifts to base by by a few points. What method of pH testing are you using? Have you tried another method?
I believe we can help you get to the bottom of this with a bit more information.
Brian

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PostPosted: Dec 26th, '18, 23:16 
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Sorry to create so many questions, but appreciate you helping me, boss!

I am using an API test kit - regular pH and High Range pH tests.

My rainwater is slightly acidic, right (pH 6.4)? With all of the limestone in the area, I thought the rainwater would be basic.

boss wrote:
I'm also unclear why and how you are getting first wash rainwater? What is the roof which collects the water made from?


First flush (a 200 gallon tank) is supposed to remove majority of pollen, dust, bird poop, that collects on our metal roof during the first few minutes of a rainfall. After the first flush fills, rainwater collects in a 20,000 gallon tank. That water is pumped through a sediment, carbon, and UV filter when there is any internal house need. Between rains, I pump the first flush to a 305 gallon tank located near my AP system. I started using the first flush water nearly a year ago because 1) it's free of chlorine, 2) it has some inherent nutrients (though perhaps some pollutants!), and 3) I hate to throw out water (like in your area, it's a commodity).

Household water (filtered rainwater) is 6.0. Water in my top off tank (from the first flush) is 6.4. Water in FT is 7.8 to 8 (in the range of nutrient lock out). Any polluters OUTSIDE the system should be reflected in the top off tank. With the ongoing construction in the nearby area, including cutting of limestone, it wouldn't have surprised me if the top off tank pH was basic. The numbers, however, don't reflect that.

So, I'm left with a polluter INSIDE the greenhouse. I have some dutch buckets with soil, but the largest potential pH adjuster is the granite in the GB. That seems to be echoed by the water test - pH increasing from 6.4 to 7.8 in 24 hours with only the addition of GB granite.

I will try testing pH with a pool test strip later today. For the moment, I'm stuck believing that my GB media (granite) is increasing the pH to it's own equilibrium (which must be about pH 8).


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PostPosted: Dec 27th, '18, 00:02 
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Hey thanks for the answers Bridgie
Have you tested the granite using the vinegar test? Here is an example of testing for limestone in vinegar


What you are looking for is a chemical reaction to the acid in the vinegar to the rock in question. Perhaps that isn't granite after all?
Brian

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Dec 27th, '18, 01:18 
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No immediate fizz with the vinegar test.

I’ll rerun tests with pool test strips. It’s strange that pH rapidly increased in my top off tank and granite test. I will retest all water - in system and top off tank. My API test equipment (and everything in system except hydroton) is second-hand, so could be considered suspect. Are digital pH meters reasonably accurate?


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PostPosted: Dec 27th, '18, 01:37 
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One additional note on vinegar test, agitating the granite does create some short mild effervescence and appears to lightly degrade the rock. If it’s local rock, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t at least a bit of limestone in a binder.

I’ll try my top off water with granite test again with different measurement equipment.


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PostPosted: Dec 27th, '18, 12:40 
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Hi Bridgie
The pH meter I have I don't trust, but I think it is a matter of you get what you pay for and the one I bought I believe was ~$25
Does your meter have a calibrating liquid?
"Household water (filtered rainwater) is 6.0. Water in my top off tank (from the first flush) is 6.4. Water in FT is 7.8 to 8 (in the range of nutrient lock out). Any polluters OUTSIDE the system should be reflected in the top off tank. With the ongoing construction in the nearby area, including cutting of limestone, it wouldn't have surprised me if the top off tank pH was basic. The numbers, however, don't reflect that."
Yes that is odd. What water turnover rate are you using throughout the AP? How, I would wonder is there such a difference between those tanks with the water circulating throughout? Also I keep thinking the wash out water is adding some uncertainty to the stability of the AP.
You are probably correct about the stone media adversely affecting the pH. That seems a good place to start.
I hope this helps.
Brian

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:wave1: Brian's AP
:dontknow: I don't understand all I know about this :dontknow:
Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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