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Thread: Unusual question

  1. #9
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Explain how vinegar would purify the water and make it more suitable please.

    I really doubt this would have any impact on water quality. Particularly with dissolved solids which is the primary concern.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  2. #10
    BobZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Sszvein @ Dec. 20 2004,10:15)]Actually, even rain water has minerals in it, and vinegar does a terrific job of dissolving them.
    So it would be an easy way to make "purer" water without an RO unit.
    And its cleaning the tank at the same time.
    Vinegar is made by two distinct biochemical processes. First, yeasts change sugars to alcohol. Second, bacteria (“Acetobacter”) convert the alcohol to acetic acid. Vinegar is about 4 to 8% acetic acid. Because vinegar is acidic, it can dissolve mineral deposits left when hard water evaporates.

    Rain water has extremely minute amounts of dissolved minerals and is close to distilled or RO water in purity (unless you collect it as runoff from a dirty roof). If your water contains a lot of carbonate, perhaps adding vinegar would dissolve it, but such water would hardly be "purer" and would also contain the added contaminants in the vinegar.

  3. #11

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    Right, acetic acid (CH3COOH) can dissolve carbonate minerals and turn them to carbon dioxide (the little bubble that can be seem if you shake a solution of tap water/vinegar).

    I have however heard that vinegar can be used to kill some weeds, I assume this is because of the acidity?
    If the dragon is bigger than his treasure, it's not worth the effort.

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  4. #12
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Problem is that you still have the calcium plus the unused vinegar mixed in the water after the carbonate has been coverted to CO2 and gassed off.
    ---Steve Allinger---

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  5. #13
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Acetic acid doesn't dissolve minerals in tap water. The minerals are already dissolved in solution. If you have undissolved calcium carbonate it will fizzle as some CO2 is given off.

    The only ways I know of to remove dissolved minerals is, precipitate them out, distill the water away, mechanically filter them, chemically absorb them.

    My opinion adding acetic acid won't impact the water quality except perhaps make it worse as who knows what is in the vinegar jar besides the acetic acid. Plus you potentially risk damaging/killing your plants from the acid.
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  6. #14

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    OK, we've recently tried to use coconut vinegar to reduce the pH of our media a little. On the advice of a local horticulturist who grows acid loving plants, we used it at a concentration of about 0.25% acetic acid and drenched the plants. In 4 days the pH of the media came down from about 6.0 to just over 5.0 which is what we wanted in order to inhibit growth of a certain bacteria. Great! Only problem is that the 40 plants in the trial batch went from hero to zero in a week, it just burned the roots to death.

    We've had better results in the past by lowering the pH of the media very gradually using small amounts of nitric acid in the water over several months. Same would be probably possible with vinegar, just do whatever you do.... slowly....

    We occasionally use table vinegar in our tissue culture media to correct pH imbalance with no problems.

    I've never heard of vinegar being used to purify water in any way.
    Rob Cantley
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  7. #15

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    I see, thanks borneo!
    Guess that wasn't such a good idea after all. Though I'll still use vinegar to clean my tank when it needs to.

    Thanks everyone for you input, I really love when I get many different opinions, it makes me see things I hadn't thought of.
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