pH stands for “Potential of Hydrogen” and is the symbol for the hydrogen ion (H+) in liquids. pH has a range from 0 (acidic) – 7 (neutral) – 14 (alkaline).
What is pH Up and Down?
Up is potassium hydroxide and pH Down is phosphoric acid (commercial growers will sometimes also use Nitric acid and Sulfuric acid). Customers who use tap water will normally need to use pH down to balance the pH of their nutrient solution. Tap water tends to have a lot of carbonates which tends to buffer tap water at a higher pH. Customers who use RO water will need to use pH Up as the reverse osmosis strips the tap water of all the carbonates, thus leaving the water with no buffering ability. The nutrients the growers use to feed their plants is acidic, and once the grower has applied all the required nutrients and enhancers the reservoir pH can be below 5. This is too low for plants; thus pH Up needs to be used in order to raise the pH to at least 6. Customers using both pH Up and Down should take care when using these products as both are very concentrated. Only small amounts should be used at a time until the customer becomes familiar with the products.