Coco/Perlite Hempy Buckets and Jacks 15-12-26

Discussion in 'Coco Coir' started by Ravenboy, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. #1 Ravenboy, Apr 9, 2016
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
    Hi folks

    This would be my first thread on GC -

    my setup is

    2 tents: 1 meter square, 2 meter tall tents, one has a Amare 350 UVB, and the other has 1000 watts (actual draw) of Mars and Mars II lights (a 900W mars II and 4 300W Mars lights)

    I use Jacks Hydro at 1.2EC and 3 gallon hempy buckets with 50/50 coco perlite. The buckets have a single 1/2 inch hole located 2" above the bottom. I fill the bucket to about 3/4 inch above the side hole.

    ill post more about the they way i am doing it as time allows
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  2. #2 Ravenboy, Apr 9, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016

    What i like about jacks is:

    its a dry two part fert. and its ALL you really need from start to finish, and if you doing a recycling system (that is if you recycle to a reservoir, its all you probably should use (PH will remain VERY stable if you don't use additives)

    its unbelievably inexpensive

    its dry so i can smuggle it into my country in larger volumes without the added weight of any water

    It has sufficient magnesium and calcium that i have never added any cal or mag once i am feeding at full strength. Before reaching full stretch i occasionally add a little MG in the form of epsom salt to the mix. Not worrying about CA or MG, or any other deficiency, for the better part of a grow is very liberating to me.

    Jacks is cool with my tap water: I live in buenos aires so you'd think the water might be a bit funky, but no... its about .225 EC, (about 110 PPM on a ,5 scale), and this is well within the range for using straight up with jacks

    I have not had deficiencies of any kind using this product. Maybe thats strain dependent so your experience may vary. There are plenty of other growers who also just don't have issues using jacks unless using RO water.

    whats not to like?

    well some have said that Jacks is too high in potassium and phosphate to be a good fert for coco, yet there are MANY growers using it for coco with excellent results. For me, its not been an issue, i think because i always water to runoff and i know when to flush.

    And in this thread ill be talking about PH, PPM, EC values, and how i use them to advantage. You can still use jacks and coco without any meters, but I just like the ease of an EC meter for mixing the two parts of the Jacks fertilizer, and for knowing when to flush. and I have had better results with coco when i just always set the PH to 5.8.

    I test runoff from time to time so i know when a flush would be a good idea. so far i have only flushed when flipping to 12-12 (though i didn't even need to flush it then) . This is without using any drip clean or other "salt buildup prevention" agent with the feed, and i never use it during a flush either. I use the meters, thats the way i ride, so when flushing i just flush until the runoff is within 100 PPM (.5 conversion) of what i am pouring in (dechlorinated tap water)

    But I hand water, drain to waste, so I don't have to worry about PH stability in a reservoir, hence i can use additives. I want to thank Ironhead here on GC for his excellent threads on coco drain to waste, because through following his thread, I learned about certain additives that have made my grows better. Specifically the root stimulator, enzyme and some of the additives used in Ironheads system.

    I hand water daily (to about 20% runoff) once the plants are about 6 inches tall. My veg mix is standard jacks, mixed at 3-2 ratio and fed at 1200EC until 2 weeks into flower, and then the Calcinit portion is gradually reduced until its not added at all by week 4 of flower. This reduces the N and CA to a value more appropriate to mid to late flower. Many times I end up watering to runoff more than once a day, and the plants love it.

    never have i "overwatered" using this system.
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  3. About so called overwatering

    if a cannabis plant can live in a DWC system, then what does that imply about overwatering? It implies that overwatering is not the issue, but lack of oxygen IS.

    I am one of those that views this issue of root zone as being an issue of under-oxygenation, else how could a plant live totally submerged in water.

    I was convinced by reading H3ad's threads (on another forum).... watering coco to runoff provides sufficient oxygenation, regardless of pot type.


    so i tried this approach and found that feeding one a day or even multiple times a day was totally OK ...

    the plants never even object to being flushing with twice the pot capacity ( so a 6 gallon flush, which in my case is enough to lower the runoff PPM to 100PPM over the water i am flushing with
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  4. Subbed!!! Hempies rule.
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  5. #5 Ravenboy, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
    about preparing the feed

    First let me say that I do everything I can to get my products from places that don't target our growing as part of their business model - I only get a few things from grow websites. Floralicios Plus. I could easily blend my own mix - but I don't - this stuff is so concentrated that a bottle lasts a long time. Roots Accelerator is the other product.... though one could argue that this product isn't aimed squarely at our market.

    Using the system in this thread, you just won't need all the additives, flavor enhancers, expensive sugars, PK boosters, ripening enhancers or ANYTHING else not listed in this thread.... Things are expensive enough as they are. I have grown weed pretty much continuosly since the 1960's, we all did just did fine before this industry started ripping us off.

    1. About adding silica:

    if using silica (agsil or Pro-tekt, which is only expensive Agsil) add it to you water first. adding it last, you will see a cloud of precitate when squirting it in with a syringe. Also since it will raise PH, adding it first means you will add less PH down (if required with your water

    2. adding the jacks and calcinit.

    first add the jacks

    then the calcinit.

    add the jacks first or you will precipitate some gypsum, which is insoluble in a hydro situation

    3. How to measure the jacks and calcinit:

    The best way to measure the jacks and calcinit is by using a meter and mixing in the water (reservoir or hand watering ) by EC or PPM. Why? over time the calcinit sill absorb water vapor from the atmosphere and its weight will increase significantly, affecting your final PPM ratios. I am a meter using type of guy, so this is not problem for me. And mixing, for me is faster when done using a meter. And it doesn't matter how much water you are using when mixing the jacks and calcinit ... any additives

    you can easily calculate the 3/2 ratio of jacks and calcinit. Just divide your combined target PPM by five. Then multiply that by 3 to get the PPM value of the jacks, and multiply the value by 2 to obtain the PPM for the calcinit

    example: through veg and until stretch is over (flowers small and are setting nicely at the tops ) i feed at and EC of 1.2 (for the jacks and calcinit). for me thats a PPM of 800 (my meter is a .667 conversion meter)

    so: 800 PPM divided by 5 is 160

    PPM for jacks = 3*160 = 480

    PPM for calcinit is 2 * 160 = 320

    480+ 320 = 800

    its that simple

    4. Making concentrated stock solutions

    You can make stock solutions of concentrated jacks and calcinit that will usually results in adding roughly the same milliliters of both ... the Jacks is a little slow to dissolve so i use two liters of water for each of the calcinit and jacks. You cannot mix these as a stock solution. At high concentrations precipitation of gypsum will occur. at the concentrations we use for feeding, if you add the jacks first, precipitation will not occur.

    I heat the water before mixing - and i get the water fairly hot for the jacks the calcinit dissolves rapidly , probably even at room temperature

    to make two liters of stock solution:

    317.04 grams jacks to a 2 liters of hot water. Even after a lot of shaking there will be about a half teaspoon that is swirling on the bottom. In a few days this will dissolve. I don't worry about it, and don't wait the few days, its really a tiny amount of undissolved crystals.

    211.36 grams calcinit to a 2 liters of water

    if your weights are a little off it doesn't matter when you are mixing by using a PPM meter.
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  6. what concentrations for the various stages of growth?

    pretty much 1.2 EC, from established young plant to finish.

    Many growers, myself included, feed at a EC of 1.2 (600 PPM on a ,5 meter) . for seedlings I start at 1/4 strength after about 10 days from seed. when they have established a good root zone, i increase over a few days to 1.2 EC.

    by week 4 of flower the calcinit should be omitted entirely, and the concentration of Jacks is raised. I have read that a concentration of about 1.0 - 1.2 EC will provide sufficient P and K, and will drop N to a level where you get a decent leaf/calyx ratio . NO BLOOM BOOSTERS REQUIRED.

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  7. #7 Ravenboy, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016

    Here again I do everything I can to get my products from places that don't target our growing as part of their business model

    here is what i use:

    1. General Hydroponics Floralicious Plus (2- .8 - .02) : .25 ml/liter. Has the humid-goodness and a little sugar. Is it required? Probably not. Jacks hydro is complete, and in fact if using it in a reservoir using any additives will make PH less stable. Jacks without additives is REALLY REALLY stable. I use Floralicious Plusl with every watering, and i water every day, sometimes more.

    2. Montmorillonite clay:

    If you search european cannibis forums you will find references to GH Europe's Miner Magic.

    so Google for " Mineral Magic" Read some of the posts if you are interested in what it does.

    if you search long enough you find that GH has registered the product with a European government agency. It is Montmorillonite clay.

    here a link that describes it
    Montmorillonite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Montmorillonite clay is all that a package of General Hydroponics Mineral Magic contains. Thats all it is. I am always impressed at how the plants responded to Mineral Magic. a few hours after i use it, the leaves are really "praying to the lights",

    The problem is that you can't get Mineral Magic in the USA, its a product from GH Europe, and its expensive at the rates at which i use it. You can find montmorillonite clay easily online. I use this :

    ~ Edible Calcium Montmorillonite Living Clay Pelotheraphy For Pets ~

    here is an analysis of it:

    Chemical Composition Percentage

    Silica Dioxide: SIO2 44.00
    Magnesium Oxide: MgO 11.7
    Calcium Oxide: CaO 9.85
    Aluminum Oxide: Al2O3 6.75
    Potassium Oxide: K2O 3.23
    Ferric Oxide: Fe2O2 2.34
    Sodium Oxide: Na2O 1.54
    Titanium Oxide: TiO2 0.25
    Stronium Oxide: SrO 0.21
    Phosphorus Oxide: P2O5 0.10
    Manganese Oxide: MnO2
    0.06 Barium Oxide: BaO2 0.03
    Total Carbon: C 2.16
    Total Sulphur S 0.02
    LossOn Ignition: LOI 19.60

    578.1 PPM trace mineral

    pH Value: 9.7 ( interestingly i don't see much PH rise, if any, when adding this to my feed)

    Note that it has a lot of silica. Unfortunately this silica isn't available in a hydro situation. In soil SIO2 will break down.... but not in hydro. or at least not quickly enough considering the rate at which i pour nutes thru the media.

    I add Montmorillonite at pretty high concentrations to my feeding solution once a week until final flush. I don't use a silica additive on the days i use Montmorillonite. I don't know if the Agsil i use would precipitate.

    To make a stock solution of Montmorillonite clay : 50grams of montmorillonite clay per liter of water. Shake... Much will remain in suspension, but shake it before adding to your mix.

    concentration: 13.3 stock solution ml per liter of water. (50 ml of stock solution per gallon of water). Adding it doesn't significantly raise the PPM of your feed. Most of the oxides in the clay are not readily water soluble. You can't add too much of this, really. Its really benign.

    is it required. Probably not. Jacks is a complete fert solution. But i like how the plants respond to it

    3 Good old Molasses. (NOT the kind that has the sulfur removed).

    I have not had a bad reaction from using sulfured molasses when growing in coco . I use a brand that is packaged for the plant additive market, available only in argentina. Plants use sulfur. It makes the buds smell really nice. I am growing Ripper seeds zombie kush right now, which reeks even without the molasses. With the molasses, the 4 weeks of flower ZKs really REEEEEEK. I use VAM (thanks Ironhead) , the bennies love molasses. You could use any of the other sugar additives, i would guess.

    I use molasses once a week, from when the plants are getting full strength nutes, until about 2 weeks before flush. Molasses has magnesium in it. Magnesium in your smoke is probably as bad tasting as nitrogen, and some say its worse, so I stop two weeks before final flush.

    do you need it? Probably not, and maybe especially if you don't use VAM

    4. Total Pond Barley extract pond clarifier. (Thanks Ironhead!)

    Super concentrated. Inexpensive. An alternative to hygrozymme, which wild maybe work even better. .5 ml/gallon of solution.

    .13ml/liter use gallons here, the amount per liter is too hard to measure. so it is: .5 ml/gallon

    do you need it... Probably not. I reuse my coco, and i think it helps get rid of the remaining roots from the previous grow. I have read that using it, you could just replant in the same pot, a hempy no-till. But hempy reservoirs get funky, Coco is pretty inert but does decompose over time. I don't know if the enzymes in the pond clarifier could totally clear up the perlite i the bottom of the reservoir, so i always 'till'

    5. Silica
    I use Agsil. Its inexpensive. Its a dry powder, keeps forever. Consider it instead of pro-tekt, which is a liquid version of the same thing. You can mix up a LOT of agsil for what o bottle of Pro-tekt costs.

    to make a stock solution: 148 grams per liter of deionized water. about 3 tbs per 8 oz. of water.

    Use this when you want to, but not on days you are using montmorillonite clay.

    Do you need it? yes in my opinion. stronger stems, resistance to disease, pests. If you are going to do LST, it does bending branches a challenge.

    6. Roots Acellerator (thanks Ironhead):
    1.1 ml/liter (i just round down to 1 ml). do you need it. Absolutely. or substitute another brand of root stimulator. If you use a better product than Roots let me know. Id be surprised if you know one better...but I am continually surprised by new developments in this 'hobby'

    7. VAM (thanks Ironhead):

    vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae - bennies that live in the root zone. I don't know if they can survive salt based nutes at an EC of 1.2, and actually some experienced growers i know swear its not possible but i doubt if they have ever checked with a micirosopt.

    And i am trying it because Ironhead swears by it. Id like to have l=roots like the folks following his method get so why not suspend disbelief and give it a try. The thing about a collectively held false disbelief ( a false believe held by a group of a LOT of people) is their ridicule stops important breakthrough... Take for example the beliefs held by growers of the 1960s - we've come long way, and i the process tossed MOST of what we thought we knew about growing these plants.

    So Vam it is. I

    mix some with the medium when preparing pots , use as directed during transplanting. I top dress with it, working it about an inch or two into the coco. If salts kills it, maybe refreshing it helps unless it kills on contact.
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  8. Thanks IG! pull up a chair. Yes hempies rock. I am also interested in PPKs, but I have to hand water, don't want to use a recirculation system and a reservoir. I live alone in a rented apartment with a nice floor, so i hand water. A leak would be a security risk (complaints from apartment below me) and would ruin a nice hardwood parquet floor.
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  9. #9 Ravenboy, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
    The Schedule:


    after day ten from seed:

    when coco is starting to dry but BEFORE its dry jacks and calcinit - 1/4 strength (EC = .4)
    i am careful here, too much water can cause damping off. You can start and should watering to runoff pretty soon since it oxygenates the root zone

    After you are able to water DTW and the root zone is getting going:

    jacks and calcinit
    at 1.2 EC every day

    Silica: i sometime use Agsil every day. 5. ML per gallon. don't use it on the days you use montmorillonite clay.

    Using it as a PH up won't do you any good here. It will immediately react with the calcinit, and precipitate. It will however raise your PH, so its ok to use this way.

    Roots Excellerator (thats the name on the bottle)
    .5 ml/liter for clones and seedlings
    and then 1.1 ml/liter through end of stretch

    i put this in the required section. You could substitute your favorite root stimulator but consider trying this one.... its super.

    total pond barley extract (.5 ml/gallon) every day
    or substitute another enzyme for dealing with dead roots

    Molasses: 1.25ml/liter every week until two weeks before final stretch
    mine is sulfured. plants use sulfur. makes the buds REEK!

    Montmorillonite clay: 13ml/liter (50 ml/gallon) once a week until two weeks before final flush

    use some when preparing coco and transplanting, top dress and work into soil from time to time. this stuff is benign. too much won't hurt i think.

    add molasses on days you aren't adding the montmorillonite
    add montmorillonite on days you aren't adding molasses or silica
    add silica on days you aren't adding montmorillonite

    once root zone is established. feed at least every day until 25% runoff - the only way I have ever seen what looks like overwatering in coco is when the O2 level of the medium falls too low - which is a direct result of under watering. the only way )2 is going to get into your root zone is by watering.
    Coco doesn't like plain water watering - use nutes every single day for best results. If your plants look wilted, they probably used all the moisture i the medium.... if they wilt - feed them.

    yes - i know that sounds counterintuitive. In a bucket soil "overwatering" can cause the plant to wilt if drainage is not good, and soil does not have enough void space. neither of these two conditions happen with 50-50 coco/perlite. drainage is most often excellent. plenty of space for air.

    This is passive hydro. everything the plant gets is in the fluid you provide. THIS INCLUDES OXYGEN. in a DWC YOU provide the oxygen by adding aeration stones that provide the O2, else the plant would drown in the unoxygenated water.

    in coco/perlite DTW, Ebb and flow, Hempy - YOU provide the oxygen, so give them plenty and feed every single day or even more often if required

    and not watering enough leads to salt buildup.... the bane of every passive hydro system out there.

    • Like Like x 2
    it will cause PH swings in the medium

    evaporation causes salt build up in the medium

    once roots are established no matter how much i water, i have NEVER overwatered using coco

    Coco is passive hydro. At 1.2 EC ( for the jacks and calcinit) the plants LOVE being watered every day or more. some coco growers using a recirculating system water several times a day until runoff. After two times a day i haven't noticed any benefit.

    this regimen is DIRT CFHEAP, don't worry too much about the cost of feeding a lot

    You may have to feed MORE than once a day for large plants. It won't take you long to gauge how dry the pots are, because when you feed, you'll see runoff through the hempy bucket's side hole. Just lift the pots to gauge the weight. If after 12 hours since feeding they are too light, and require a lot of feed , increase the feeding to twice a day, morning and night. You can't overwater, ( see my earlier post about overwatering) and in fact watering only INCREASES the oxygen in the root zone. This is GOOD for passive hydro plants, not bad.
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  11. The Hempy bucket:

    the container
    I use 12 liter (3 gallon) black buckets. The drain hole is about 1/2 inch in diameter and 2" up from the side. No drain holes i the bottom.

    for the hempy reservoir: Washed perlite (chunky is best, provides more water volume in the res easier to re-use) fill bucket to about 3/4 inch above the drain hole to prevent coco from exiting th e spot with the overflow.

    If you feel like you are about to post that having that wet standing water in the bottom of a grow pot is going to cause root issue, please consider googling " hempy buckets - coco style" and do your research.

    If you post it anyway my response will be "please consider googling " hempy buckets - coco style" and do your research."

    Ilf course i am interested in your experiences with Hempies. but I won't be debating on this concern. If you water daily its REALLY uncommon for root rot to get going in a coco/perlite hempy

    the medium

    coco/perlite 50-50. Chunky perlite if you can get it. wash the dust out. I just rinse in a strainer, but i am usually only preparing ten hempies at a time.

    folks say they don't have to rinse coco - but coco is kind of a commodity. Even when preparing the best coco, i have tested initial runoff and found it to be sometimes OK, and sometimes hideous. It depends on whether the doc was washed properly - its purchased in asia. i think the quality control is all over the map for some brands of coco.

    and really rinsing it well breaks it down so it will let its PH move easier.

    how i rinse coco and prepare the hempy for planting.

    once the perlite reservoir is there, i just fill the 12L hempy with 10 liters of coco/perlite. Then i rinse with tap water, PH'd to 5.8. I pour water through until the PPM coming out the side hole is no more than 100PPM higher than the water going in, and the PH coming out is between 5.8 and 6 or less. Usually about 6 gallons of water is sufficient. Boring work. Its less boring the next time you refuse the coco. It has less salt if you have flushed it during the previous grow, and PH is already where you want it. Still you want to get the PPMs and PH inline, so repeat this process when you re-use the coco/perlite.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. #12 Ravenboy, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
    How I flush

    about once a week i check the runoff.

    If the PPM coming out is more than 200 PPM higher than what i am putting in, I flush. Don't ever worry about the PH coming out the side hole, its meaningless. the only way to test PH of coco is to take a sample and do a slurry test. This is something i have never had to do because growing the way i grow i never am correcting any deficiencies.

    I haven't needed to flush during this grow, But i did flush anyway at flip.

    Except for final flush I always flush with 1/4 strength base solution, PHd to 5.8. This actually serves as a flushing agent, helping to dissolve the salts in the medium, and it prevents washing all the cations out of the coco. I believe that flushing with plain water (other than for final flush) is a bad thing. You want to preserve the cations in the coco when flushing. The same for watering. The way i do things i NEVER alternate feedings with plain PH's water, and I never miss a day of feeding, unless I an not able to do that days feeding. Its ok to skip a day, i just don't it very often. The reservoir in the hempy bucket mitigate against excessive evaporation and resultant salt buildup.

    final flush for me is a week to ten days, PHd tap water with a flushing agent. Do you have to PH the final flush water? I don't know, after all the plant is no longer feeding, so PH has no bearing on nutrient uptake, the plant is in the process of getting ready for the big sleep (death) at this point after all....

    You might consider using drip clean, maybe you'd never see a PPM increase that would indicate buildup.

    during the grow i don't use a flushing agent. During final flush i use a flushing agent
    • Like Like x 2
  13. #13 Ravenboy, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
    My Tents and lights

    2 tents - 1 meter square, 2 meters high. (39"x39")

    In one i run a Amare 350-UVB (350w actual draw) . Its my first grow using this light - i am using this light start to finish. Its got cree LEDs, these guys are bright.

    In the other, during veg, I use a custom ordered Mars II 700w (about 400w actual draw). All the Epistar diodes are 6500K. this produces REALLY tight internode growth, ion my opinion, tighter than the Amare in the other tent. During flower is where it gets interesting.

    IN the second tent, during flower, I use a standard Mars II 900w full spectrum, actual draw about 450w. AND along side this for peripheral coverage, I use 4 of the older 300W Mars LED lights. Now thats a decent amount of light for 1m square, it works out to about 100w (actual) per square foot. SO how do I control the heat... it gets hot here in Buenos Aires, so that 5 individual rights produce enough heat that it would be way to hot to use in a closed tent... So what i do is this: i have it set up so the peripheral lighting only comes on when the temperature is below 84 degrees F.

    So how is that done? On Ebay i bought a temp/humidity controlled relay. You can configure it as a controller for heater or AC controller PLUS a Humidifier or dehumidifier controller. These things are affordable. I am not using the humidity relay in this usage.

    its i the following link

    85V-265V Digital Temperature Controller and Humidity Control Controller & Sensor


    the input is actually AC 85V~265V / DC 100~260V, and it can handle 10 amps

    these are about 50 bucks and can do interesting things. I use 2 as humidity controllers when i dry buds in a tent. One kicks in if the humidity drops to 55% and raises it to 62%. The other kicks in if the humidity gets to 67% and drops it to 62%... resulting in a pretty much rock solid steady humidity ( it swings from 60% to 63%) no more over-dried bud AND less chance of mold.

    SO this controller only outputs power to the 4 peripheral lights IF and when the temp is below 84, day and night. It doesn't care about light cycle. It needs to be powered on all the time to do its job. The temperature relay's output runs into a standard timer that controls the light cycle. So during daytime in the tent, if the temperature gets too high, the peripheral lights turn off... when the temp gets down to acceptable levels the lights come on again.

    The temp/humidity controller is pretty smart, you can configure it so once it turns the lights out, the temperature has to fall a certain number of degrees BELOW the shut off temperature before it kicks on again. This prevents the lights from bouncing on and off if temperature wanders slightly above and below the shut off temp.

    when the weather is REALLY hot i run two light timers. that way i can alternate the pairs of lights, the lights alternate every hour ( one pair is off while the other pair is on) controlled by the temp controller. I found that using all 4 lights when battling extreme heat spells just heated up so fast that the controller could not put them off in time, causing temp max swings 5 or so degrees above the target cut off temp.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. I've been editing the first few posts to ensure they are complete. There is new info in some of the posts before this one. just a heads up.
    • Like Like x 2
  15. About Calcium and Magnesium deficiencies

    JAcks has enough Ca and Mg that in coco/perlite you probably won't see any deficiencies one feeding at full strength. I have seen (only twice) a MG deficiency in seedlings when feeding at 1/4 strength. I just add about 20 PPM more MG

    why not use CalMag? Aside from the cost, why add more calcium when you are fighting a magnesium deficiency? that just makes no sense. More calcium could actually make your problems worse.


    I use anhydrous MgS04, which in dry form is more concentrated than Epsom Salts since it lacks the 7 water molecules - does it matter.? Not at all if using a meter to measure when adding Mg.

    I recommend you don't just toss in Epsom by dry weight, or if you do be advised that if you accidentally procured anhydrous MgS04 you are going to WAY overdo it whether measuring by volume or weight.

    Other think i have noticed over the years is a WIDELY varying range of recommendations ( on weights and volumes) on how much epsom salt to use ...

    The commercial providers (excluding Jacks 15-12-26) really can't provide sufficient MG in their mixes for our girls unless its a dry mix.

    Here is an example i found here on GC: for most nutrient lines, every 1ml of 1% of your nutrients will add at least 2.654ppm. So, if you're running 10ml of a 0.5% Mg nutrient then that will be adding only 12ppm of Magnesium.
    Usually this is way low for hydro.

    jacks has enough Mg, and here is a way to find out if your base nute blend has enough Mg

    [ also found this here on GC]
    Take the % of Calcium listed on your bottle. Multiply that by the number of ml per gallon you will use of the Calcium containing product. Then, multiply that number by 2.654. If your final number is between 70 and 110 then you're plants should be in okay shape.

    A "typical" healthy level for Magnesium is somewhere around 20 to 30ppm in veg and somewhere around 40 to 60ppm for flowering. AND coco binds magnesium, so thats why we have troubles with MG in coco.

    1/4 teaspoon of Epsom Salt in 1 gallon of water will provide 30ppm to 35ppm of Magnesium. If you are treating a magnesium deficiency and not using a PPM meter - I'd start by adding 1/4 tsp per gallon and wait for the reaction. In hydro it isn't going to take long. I have seen recommendations all the way up to a tablespoon per gallon (perhaps it was unintentional, maybe he meant tsp, but thats still enough to be adding 120 PPM Mg. Not good.

    If you are using a meter, to make a stock solution of Mg, add your epsom to de-ionized water until no more will dissolve. Add the concentrated solution until you raise the PPM by 20 PPM. A healthy plant should not require more than 30 PPM in veg and 60 in flower. Overdoing this can easily lead to locking out something else. If you still have Mg deficiencies, most likely yo have a PH issue in your medium. Dint bother checking the runoff PH. Its always meaningless when using hempies with coco. Do a slurry test... which is a drag, so maybe do what i do. Flush the hempy, and while doing so, check the early runoff PPM .. I bet the PPM in the reservoir has risen too high (more than 200 PPM above what your been pouring in, indicating salt buildup.

    Jacks, even in coco, doesn't usually need additional Mg... though this is strain dependent. If i ever saw an Mg deficiency, i'd flush first and ask questions after, especially if runoff PPM was in range (less than 200 PPM more than what i have been during in.

    The calcinit in Jacks seems to provide sufficient CA, at least in veg ( more on this in a future post) . I haven't seen a deficiency of any kind with the strains I have grown in Jacks, which are: Zombie Kush, Grandaddy Purple, Critical, Dream Machine, Sweet tooth autofem, Blueberry autofem, White Cheese autofem, Burmese Kush, black domina. Once the plants get to full feed, never an issue..... for me at least. On the net you see many posts making the same claim.

    With the high K level in jacks (which could build up as a salt in the coco) Its all about knowing when to flush, so check the runoff weekly, flush when the runoff is 200 PPM higher than what you've been pouring in. Worst case you might be flushing a couple of times during the grow, unless you are feeding at concentrations WAY higher than your plant needs (more on this in a future post)

    ON my current grow, i haven't NEEDED to flush, probably because i often feed until signifantly more than 20% runoff. sometimes more like 50%. Jacks is cheap, and I use the runoff to feed my balcony plants - no need to put it down the drain, its good enough for other plants.

    I haven't tried it on a sativa dominant plant since i don't like to grow them.
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  16. #16 Ravenboy, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
    Base Nutes Guaranteed Analysis:

    just the numbers.

    Jacks 15-12-16 (the part you always mix into the water before the Calcinit)


    thats hard to read- so its

    Manufacturer JR Peters
    Product Name Jacks 15-26-12

    Nitrate N (NO3) 5.00%
    Ammoniacal N (NH4)
    Urea N (NH2)
    Phosphorus (as P2O5) 12.000%
    Potassium (as K2O) 26.000%
    Magnesium (Mg) 6.320%
    Sulfur (S) 8.210%
    Calcium (Ca)
    Iron (Fe) 0.3000000%
    Boron (B) 0.0500000%
    Manganese (Mn) 0.0500000%
    Zinc (Zn) 0.0150000%
    Molybdenum (Mo) 0.0100000%
    Sodium (Na)
    Copper (Cu) 0.0150000%
    Chlorine (Cl)
    Cobalt (Co)
    Silicon (Si)
    Selenium (Se)

    Jacks 15..5-0-0 Calcinit

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  17. Use a meter or eyeball ignore concentrations of feed solution, ignore PH, and as you go along, read the plants?

    warning "on soapbox flag" is aised.

    I can read plants pretty well, actually, even though its been a year since i have anything that needed diagnosing. Jacks and Hempies and Meters have rescued saved me from a host of lockout related issues.

    that said, I am a meter kind of guy for several reasons

    easier to make concentrated stock solutions : don't have to be exact about measuring weighing, close enough is good enough, if you mix the stock solution to make your feed solution using a EC or PPM meter.

    can detect salt buildup before it strikes (hard to figure out these symptoms without a meter) - hard because when two or three things are out of whack the plant is hard to read because it has 2 or 3 or 4 deficiencies. The reason calmag is marketed at all is so many times the symptoms occur together. ( thats not a plug for you to go get calmag, if you have a CA deficiency alone, why would you ever add magnesium as a result of boosting the CA?)

    can detect when you have poured enough 1/4 strength base nute solution the put during a flush

    can know of you need to flush your new coco to get rid of seawater salt. and you can also detect when you' ve flushed salty coco enough - I can't tell you how many time a new (to coco) grower has had problems getting started with coco, only to find out his coco had an EC or say 1.6 when he started. don't trust that because you have gotten a good batch of coco properly washed that it will happen with that brand every single time. Coco is a commodity... do you really think Gebral Hydro is packaging its own coco, harvested by them, washed by them? its far more likely that they import bulk blocks from a supplier who has a list of their quality requirements... do you really think that he gives a rats patootie if he fries your plants by cheesing on the requirement once in a while - he's probably in singapore - just a broker... the people collecting and processing the coco are on a beach in sri lanka and the week the fresh water system broke down, believe me they rinsed it in sea water. for a lot of coco brands the quality of the coco fibers might be consistent. less so the salt content - -so if you find a good brand - trust but verify. its a simple process, lost your hempy bucket and run a gallon of water through it. and repeat until you are wishing 100PPM (.5 scale) of what you pour in.

    and here is the biggest reason for using the meters

    one of the GREAT things about passive hydro (all hydro actually) is that the plant shows symptoms almost right away when its unhappy. Not using a meter mans you can't rule out the most common causes of lockout... If you can check the runoff and the PPMs are high, your finished. just flush the plant

    and another really great reason to use a meter is you can tell if your feeding too much or too little. Too much and you'll get salt build up. too little and you are missing out on getting more weedier your efforts. If you check runoff and the runoff PPM is dropping below what you've been pouring to in. Add 50PPM per day until its not dropping any more. If your PPM of the runoff is too High, you are GOING to get salt build up, cut it back until its closer to your input PPM and you avoid PH swing, and lockout, and maybe can even avoid a flush for a while longer.

    this is hydro. The plants react fast to problems in the feed, and in the media.... Use a meter you can prevent a lot of problems from occurring. Use a meter when there IS a problem, and usually you can fix the problem fast.

    If you don't use meters,

    if plants react to a problem, they react quickly - you dawdle around trying to deduce the problem... you apply a fix maybe its the correct fix any plant reacts fast... if you don't react fast with the correct solution this might go on a couple days...

    most problems in coco/perlite are caused by PH swings. why would you want to slow down the recover process by being the slow link in the chain.
    PH swings are usually caused by
    grower error - not setting PH of the feed correctly, or not even using a meter to check it
    salt buildup - solution too strong
    salt buildup - not watering enough.

    two of these three can be easily dealt with by using a meter. If the PPM coming out is two high, you have salt buildup.... so flush, and start watching the runoff PPM more closely, maybe your been feeding too strong. m,meanwhile be sure to water every day with nutes. if you weren't beefing too strong, you probably have been letting the coco/perlite dry out too much, so water more.


    know the water you are using - if tap water know the PPM. it might before high to consider hydro. i might be so low you KNOW you'll have CA and MG issues. you might find out that your water is NO WAY suitable for hydro and you should get an RO system. why wait until into the grow to discover your water is not good. So you need meters......

    a proven method for achieving consistent results grow to grow and to get the best results in hydro is to always provide for the plants needs using themes reliable and consistent methods possible. yo9un want consistent results from your grows? provide consistent care for your plants. give them what they need. not what you guess they need. Use a PPM (or EC) and PH meter

    going forward if you need any help diagnosing problems, i will ask what the quality of your water is (it sits EC?), the EC you are feeding at, and whats the EC of the runoff - otherwise i'm guessing. once you proved these numbers i will be more than happy to assist.

    I don't want to be guessing.... i want plants to thrive and recovery from problems quickly. guessing isn't part of the equation

    can you do the system in this thread without using meters? sure! but honestly if you want to wing it like that why would you do hydro? why not soil? its wayyyy more forgiving.

    on soap box flag lowered
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  18. Why Hempy buckets?

    the nice things about coco is that provided you treat it like passive hydro , it doesn't care what style of grow your do. IMO doc doesn't like being treated like soil very much, but many do treat it like soil. Sure you can grow organically using coco and worm castings and teas, why not? But this thread is about passive hydro using coco/perlite, i don't know zip about using it any other way.

    active hydro? something other than you delivers the nutes, most often a pump.
    passive hydro: wick systems, hand watering..... you or a wick are the pump. I have had almost zero success with wicks, regardless of medium, i these days i hand water, but only because an active recirculating systems might leak in my rented apartment. Security risk when down=stairs neighbors complain about a leak. Potential floor damage, etc.... hand watering is ok for me, I use a small cart to steel plants from the tents to the kitchen so i can splash water everywhere if i want to.

    DTW, ebb and flow, PPK, hempy, top feed hand watering, recirculating top feed? the guidelines for coco are pretty much the same.

    I use Hempies because the reservoir prevents the medium from drying out too much when i miss a feeding. And when the roots hit the reservoir, growth explodes. When i did coco DTW i had to stay on top of things. If i stayed on top of it i think the yields were not much lower than a hempy. But for me it is too much work to stay on top of DTW.

    Let coco get too dry = problems with salt buildup and PH swings, resulting in note lockout. same for any hydro setup using coco.

    the method here will work regardless what bucket style you use . I said "the method' because its not "My method"

    If you want to use any of these other methods with coco/ perlite, or have a new one of your own, its all good, you are welcome here... I am using Jacks, but i'd rather use something with less K... are you using Lucas or 6/9 its ok... you are welcome here.

    its only growing in coco. I haven't discovered anything. i only did a ton of research and started growing. Problem is that info i learned spread all over the internet, and this thread is an attempt to leverage previous knowledge, and put that knowledge in an easily assessable space.

    You want to participate and you are using other nutes, and other media? All good. but remember that this is a hydro thread. If you not doing hydro, well... you get my point.

    active verses passive coco/perlite hydro?

    I often notice that for some reason people have a problem calling a coco grow a hydro grow . What IS hydro anyway.

    from Wikipedia:

    1. Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral solution only, or in an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel.

    passive vs active? for coco doesn't matter much : n active hydro coco/ perlite setup, pumps deliver nutrients to the plants or medium. In passive hydro your arms muscles are the pump. SOMETHING has to deliver the feed, be it you, or a machine.

    recirculating top feed, ebb and flow? go for it, though in this thread
    awe won't be debating top offs verses reservoir changes much and all the active recirculating stuff. You are still welcome here

    Everyones input is
    absolutely welcome, PARTICULARLY when you have info on which you detect my knowledge to be out of date, uninformed, incorrect etc... how else will i learn that i need to learn more?

    i want to
    learn form you! Bring it on!!!

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  19. I haven't talked at all about transition to flower

    Once stretch is over I start reducing the Calcinit, and over a two week period i omit it entirely. this gets the N down so you have a better leaf/calyx ratio. And it reduces the Ca at a time that it should be reduced. I keep an eye on the plants, looking for CA deficiencies. and I add some CaO if i think i need to

    In veg i feed at EC 1.2 - 600PPM on a .5 meter. 360PPM jacks, 240 PPM calcinit. here is the schedule i use to get the calcinit to zero

    at the end of stretch - (flowers distinctly formed at the tops)
    day 1 calcinit = 223 PPM jacks = 377 PPM
    day 2 calcinit = 206 jacks = 394
    day 3 calcinit = 189 jacks = 411
    day 4 calcinit = 171 jacks = 429
    day 5 calcinit = 154 jacks = 446
    day 6 calcinit = 137 jacks = 463
    day 7 calcinit = 120 jacks = 480
    day 8 calcinit = 103 jacks = 497
    day 9 calcinit = 86 jacks = 514
    day 10 calcinit = 69 jacks = 531
    day 11 calcinit = 51 jacks = 549
    day 12 calcinit = 34 jacks = 566
    day 13 calcinit = 17 jacks = 583
    day 14 calcinit = 0 PPM jacks = 600 PPM

    you won't need the N from the calcinit at all in flower

    i don't use any P-K boosters
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  20. time for the picts

    heavyweight Dream Machine

    heavyweight Dream Machine

    Zombie Kush 1

    Zombie Kush 1

    Zombie Kush 6

    Zombie Kush 6

    Dinafem Critical 2

    Dinafem Critical 2
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