As some of you are well aware I'm now doing carnivorous plants as a hobby. And besides the sundews I have two kinds of pitcher plants of the genus Sarracenia.
It seems in natural surroundings pitcher plants capture a fair number of ants, with some like S. purpurea having several clever tricks for getting ants from ground level to their traps. (Don't follow the honeydew trail!)
Anywho, it seems that if you eat a lot of ants, as you digest them you release the formic acid contained in their bodies. Great anteaters of South America have gone as far as being the only mammels that don't produce hydrocloric acid. The consumed ants release the formic acid as digestion occurs AND it turns out, formic acid is more efficient than hydrocloric acid is in breaking down insect tissues. Win/win for the ant eater.
Sarracenia purpurea does the same thing. In areas where they capture a lot of ants the pH of the pitcher fluid can be as low as 2.
Now I have two ideas in mind. I just can't tell which one is the "easy" way.
Use an aspirator, go to a park away from the domain of the tiny but ferocious argentine ants to capture the larger native ants and feed them to the pitchers, post drowning OR
Go to the pharmacy and ask the pharmacist for a solution of formic acid I can eyedropper in periodically.
I just need to know what to ask for. Over the decades I've found out most chemical remedies in the aquarium hobby always seem to fall in the 1.5 to 2.5% solution that you add x drops per gallon for a finished product.
So if I were planning to lower the pH of approximately one and a half ounces, (a shot glass full) of deionized water down to the 3 to 4 range, (assuming 2 was an extreme) with one or two drops, what should I ask for?