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As anyone who has ever had to tend to a pool painfully discovered, aerating water causes the oxygen to react with something and raise the pH. From what I have read it converts contents of the water that are considered micro nutrients for some plants, like manganese and iron. Now when watering plants, it may be necessary to raise the pH of the nutrient solution. Can aeration be a tool for this or will it deprive the water of some nutrients?

On the other hand, in good soil the water will be in contact with air anyway, so aerating the water could more accurately reflect the final pH of the solution in the soil. Is that an accurate assumption?

  • Interesting question, I think the biggest thing aerating does is get rid of CO2. – J. Musser Aug 29 '14 at 6:58
  • I'm intrigued as to how you would aerate a nutrient solution, that is, what you would use to do it. – Bamboo Aug 29 '14 at 12:32
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    @Bamboo Probably with something like this. – J. Musser Aug 29 '14 at 21:24
  • @J.Musser Really - Thats meant for aquaria, not temporarily for a nutrient solution, surely. – Bamboo Aug 30 '14 at 11:38
  • Actually, yes, I was using a bubble stone. Yes, they probably were invented for fish tanks, but are good for many things, like hydroponics, or cloning. – Someone Aug 30 '14 at 15:15
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Carbon dioxide easily dissolves in water, creating carbonic acid: H2O + CO2 <===> H2CO3. This will soon reverse the effect of aeration, relowering the pH. So it's best to wait until the water pH is stabilized in the particular environment. After the mixture is ready, test the pH and let it sit for ten minutes. If it stays the same, there is no necessary action. If it drops, wait another 10-15 minutes, and test again. Repeat until the mixture has stabilized. If the mixture has dropped in pH to a level below where you need it for highest efficiency, you should treat it with a soluble alkali.

Most mixtures are not this sensitive; nutrient solutions are usually stabilized before being sold, to keep that from happening, so that you don't have to worry about it. Another thing to realize is that the pH will vary depending on how compacted and wet the soil is. The more loose and the drier the soil, the higher the natural H2O pH will be.

So, basically, water aeration isn't as stable, so raising the pH with an alkali will work better. I rarely have trouble with nutrient solution inefficacy from a low pH, under normal conditions. I wouldn't worry about it, unless you are actually seeing problems coming up with this. Another thing you can do is treat the soil, rather than the solution, because the soil will affect the mixture greatly when it's applied. Alter the pH only if necessary, to fit with the needs of the plants growing therein. The nutrient solution for the plants you are fertilizing should be compatible with the pH of the soil the plants are adapted to.

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