How to Lower pH Levels in Aquaponics

Lowering pH levels when they become high is important. pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. The level is measured on a scale of 0 to 14. In principle, it is the measure of the activity of the hydrogen ion (H+).

The nitrification process causes the system to become more acidic over time. However, with time their level goes down. In contrast, if the pH goes low, it means it has become more acidic. This can be made normal by increasing the alkaline level by adding Calcium Hydroxide (Ca[OH]2), or Potassium Hydroxide. Add some of the chemical to a bucket of water and slowly over the period of day transfer it into the system. The chemical should not be dumped in all at once, as it is very alkaline and can cause harm.

In addition to this, use specific chemicals that help change the pH level of the water. It is common to add a buffer to the system that helps in holding the equilibrium at the desired pH level. Hydrochloric or muriatic acid is also commonly used to reduce pH levels. The right quantity of acid to be used is dependent on the buffering capacity of the water. Many products that say ‘pH-Down’ are used to lower pH levels. These products contain phosphoric acid that keeps the pH level low but stimulates the growth of algae in the water tank. It is very important to know the content and the accurate levels before using these acids, as they are very dangerous. Check and treat the water before adding it to the aquaponic system.

A safe way to lower the pH level is to add distilled or rain water to the aquarium. If that is not possible, bubble carbon dioxide through the water tank. As the carbon dioxide dissolves in the water and partly turns into carbonic acid, the pH level also decreases. In addition to lowering pH levels, carbon dioxide also stimulates plant growth in the aquaponic system.