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Strange area ph

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woodydude

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I am just back from a visit to my hydro store where I had gone to get some cal mag.
I spoke to the owner, showed him a leaf and he told me something interesting. All the growers in this area do not let their ph drop below 6.0, if they do, they get the kind of problems I have had on and off since I started growing.
I spoke to a couple of the other growers in the shop and they confirmed this. "Doesn't matter what the "rules" say, go below 6 and you will have problems" was the concensus.
Aparently this is a hard water area but the hard water additives cause more problems than they solve and it is a wierd localised problem with the water aparently.
Has anyone else come across this kind of isse?
 
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Sorry, but I'm not sure I buy that. I don't see how hard water can change the biology of the plant and I have never heard this from other growers who live in areas of hard water. What are the ppms and pH of your tap water? Have you tried RO or distilled water?
 

4u2sm0ke

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:yeahthat:

theres your Hydro Guru...:aok:


if I was to show a MJ leaf at my garden shop I would be asked to leave:hitchair:...even though we all know what we there for...:rofl:
 
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woodydude

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The guy in there is an old friend. Before he opened the shop, I used to "visit" him regularly for "supplies". Poacher turned game keeper you could say. I have no fears with him lol.
I just calibrated my ec meter and the EC of my tap water is 0.28 (It had been 0.01 until calibration) which is anything between 150 and 225 ppm. I had been told I was in a soft water area a long time ago but it turns out this is a hard water area (by Scotland standards). The Ph is between 6.9 and 7.2 which I measure weekly.

Ok, here are some pics I just took of the problems I am having. These are all from plants vegging and are all different strains, Big Bud, White Widow, Lemon Haze, Northern Lights and Strawberry Cough. They are a variety of sources, some were seeds, some cuttings and ages range from a 2 to 8 weeks old.
They are in separate containers with differing nutrient strengths, the common factors are the water and ph, lighting and air. Air is exchanged around every 30 sec and there is an oscillating fan, lighting is a 4 tube 4ft T5HO.
The ph on all is set to 5.5 and allowed to drift, today they were sitting between 5.6 and 5.8.

P1040262.JPG P1040263.JPG
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P1040266.JPG

I had thought the problem was a cal/mag deficiency but the guy at the store said it was a common problem in these parts and is actually an iron def in the water that causes a calcium def! Solution was, as explained, to keep the ph above 6 and it sorts it out.

I am at a loss now because I have been doing everything "by the book" but am having this problem and nowhere locally sells calmag!!
 
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woodydude

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Sorry, I explained that wrong.
It is the use of phosphoric acid that causes an iron def, which in turn causes the calcium def???? Does that sound right, I'm not a chemist!!!!
 
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woodydude

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Yes, I know I can get calmag through ebay but I would rather solve the problem than pour more chemicals into the soup lol
 

my my

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woody, why dont you let your PH go up some.
the A-6"s i have going in DWC and the PH stays around 6.09 or so... They look Happy and Green this way. Why not give it a shot and keep a eye on them and see how they react.
I'm with ya as far as putting more Cemicals in the system if there is another way around the issue.
My My
 
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woodydude said:
Yes, I know I can get calmag through ebay but I would rather solve the problem than pour more chemicals into the soup lol
Giving them nutrients that they are deficient in is not pouring more chemicals into the soup. If they need cal-mag, they need cal mag--I don't know how you "solve" a deficiency except supply the deficient nutrient. There are going to be lots of other nutrients that your plant will not uptake if you keep your pH over 6.

Your tap water is not exceptionally hard, IMO, but if you believe that is the problem, the solution is an RO or distilled water, not altering your pH.
 
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woodydude

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I hear what you are saying THG and in usual circumstances would totally agree however the nutes I use (AN Sensi) have the full array of nutrients but for some reason my plants do not seem to be taking them. If what the guy in the store said about iron lockout is correct and this is what is causing the Ca deficiency, then resolving the Fe problem is the answer, not adding more Ca.

I am assuming my diagnosis of a deficiency was correct here and accept I could be wrong but I have to recognise that one of the guys I spoke to today moved here from another area and set his ph to 5.5 and allowed it to rise, as I have done, but he suffered the same problems as me. After speaking to a few "locals" via the hydro store, he did what had been suggested and has never looked back.
I do understand the science of it all and that Mary absorbes nutrients within a certain ph range but I cannot ignore what 8 locals told me today, including the shop owner, just a shame I did not get invited to view a grow. Of course, they didnt know me and maybe thought I was a cop or something but the way I phrased my questions led me to believe they were being straight with me.
I was hoping someone here had come across something similar or maybe a different suggestion to resolving the problem.
Unfortunately I cannot afford an RO machine atm and buying r/o water will also be very expensive as I go through around 120l per week which would be around. I will have to look into it though as this is making my head hurt now!
I have 2 totes with 5 plants in each in their second week of veg, I will probably set the ph in one to 5.5 and the other 6 and see what happens over a week or so.

Thanks for the advice as usual guys, it is appreciated, especially you THG.
Peace W
 

stevetberry

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Is there any tubing in your set up? I had some 1/2 inch tubing in my set up that I think was giving me the same results. I replaced the tubing and eveything has been great.
 

Hushpuppy

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I'm no chemist but it sounds almost like there is some other element in yer water that is binding with yer chemicals. My partner had a very similar problem with his grow. he tested his water and found that it was being softened at the water treatment place with a considerable amount of salt. This was throwing his water chemistry off just enough to cause lockout. He got a good water filter system that wasn't as thorough as RO but eliminated the extra chemicals, and that corrected his problem. I agree with THG, try some bottled water on one setup and do the other setup with higher ph and see what happens. Check out Discount_hydro.com and look at their water filter section. they have some decent filters that aren't as expensive as RO but still remove enough contaminates to make a difference, if nothing else it could give yu some ideas. good luck with that. Please share yer findings with us
 
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woodydude

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Interesting HP, you may be onto something there.
What I found strange is that since I started this thread, I have sort of hung around the grow shop a few times and spoke to several growers who were buying hydro stuff. They all said the same, fix the ph at 5.5 and youw ill have deficiencies.
I set up one tote with plain tap water, no ph- and let the nutrient buffers fix the ph, the plants seem to be doing better than the ones where I set the ph to 5.5. It has only been 2 days so it needs longer to be a viable test.
I think what you and THG said about an RO filter may be the answer. I was hoping not but I will give what you said a try, some bottled water just in one setup to see how it goes. I can get an RO filter for around £100 (I am in the UK so Disc Hydro.com is not much use for me) so I may have to have a word with the people I grow for.
Thanks for the interest and I will post an update.
Peace W
 

oneshot

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One word is the ph should be around 5,8-6.0.that will work.I had same problem..
My 2 cents
Oneshot
 
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woodydude

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I forgot all about this thread and since I said I would post an update, here goes!
As I mentioned, I use AN Sensi and on the bottle it says 4ml/l however, that is if you just use one of the bottles (which you can do) so I have basically been double strength feeding my plants! No wonder I was getting deficiencies and goodness knows what else. For the last few weeks, I have been mixing at 2ml/l, giving me an EC of 1.75 and the plants have responded superbly. They all look better than they ever have and low and behold the ph perfect formula is working meaning I ph immediately after mixing, then leave alone.
The biggest difference now is having to add lots of water every day, meaning I have to change the solution more often but I am still using less nutes than before.
I have also changed my growroom around a little so now my veg section has a temp of 79, RH of 40% lights on, 75, RH 45% lights off. Constant fresh air from an open window. My plants look veeery happy and so am I :D
Peace all W
 

maineharvest

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Are you saying that was nute burn or too much nutes in your water was causing a lockout?
 

Metrop

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F*ck the BOOKS !!!! it is so clear as water !!!

You overdialute the nudes.... you simple give to much !!

Because there are to much salts (nutrients in your medium) the salt is sucking up water out of your leaves !! that is why they look so dryed up !

And as long as the water is sucked up by the medium.. the plant cant grow..

Please check the Ec in the rootzone... and see i am right !

How to solve ?

Flush, and dont give fertilizers until the Ec in the medium is down to 0.8 mS

Also... do you change the water compleet each week ? because plants are eating ferts.. but giving back oxaal acid.. And oxaal acid gives a Ec too..
 

Metrop

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i forgot..

seurch for foliar fertilizer.. and only give that (to the leaves)
 
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woodydude

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Wow, a bump on this thread. I had forgotten all about it.

The problem was more or less as you suggest Metrop. Not sure about the science behind it that you describe but the problem was the 2 part nute states 4ml per l on the bottle, which I was doing FOR EACH PART. On the website, it states 4ml TOTAL, not each and in my enthusiasm I made a right mess of it.
The plants have been doing excellent since I made the discovery and are now growing very well with a veg EC of around 1.5 max.
W
 

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