Hard water and hydro, what to do?

Discussion in 'Advanced Growing Techniques' started by ThatNetworkGuy, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. Hey, I'm now at only 4 days till I plan to begin my first DWC hydro grow. I am going to have 5 plants in a 30 gallon reservoir. I'm going to use the lucas formula, I wish I had read more about it before I bought the 'grow' solution, but oh well. Heres the planning thread: http://forum.grasscity.com/advanced-growing-techniques/170698-dwc-closet-grow-planning.html

    I have found out that the water in my area is hard (likely between 150-250 PPM). I am going to get the exact number when my TDS meter gets here.

    I am wondering how I should modify my nute formula (if at all), if using the Lucas formula. I am using 'cutting edge solutions' nutrients, which are just slightly stronger than the General Hydro ones.

    My second question also pertains to the lucas formula, I notice that there are two methods of replenishment in the guide. One uses clean water and flushes the reservoir more often. The other method involves topping up with nutrients and monitoring PPM. Is the 'monitor' method significantly riskier or more likely to present me with issues? If so, what kind of problems?


  2. I don't know from experience, but I hear nutrient imbalances from plants using more of some nutrients than others are the likely result. Monitoring PPM doesn't indicate which nutes or minerals are counted or which ones need to be replentished. Fresh new solution will at least get you balanced every week or two.

  3. You need hard water micro if you aren't using an R/O, and the addback formula requires an R/O as well just to let you know.

    If you aren't using GH nutrients you would need to ask Lucas or use the spreadsheet to calculate what to use. I would recommend you get the GH nutrients instead so you can use the Lucas formula and not something else. You won't be able to use the addback formula with that I don't think.

    The addback formula produces incredible results and you don't have to waste time and water changing the reservoir. I know that the proper ratios equal the best growth, but considering cannabis is a weed and the Lucas formula is proven affective time and time again, I think the Lucas formula gives the plants the proper ratios throughout the life of the plant. I mean I used an entire suppliment program and didn't get the results that the Lucas formula gets.

    So Lucas formula FTW, ESPECIALLY the addback formula. It takes a lot of work out of growing and elliminates a lot of waste. You can dump the reservoir to be safe but after Lucas switched and insists it's not necessary you better believe I'm following suit. :D

    The addback formula is not risky unless you fuck up in math. Even then you can just dilute the stuff or add more. It's so much better than change outs!!! I used to do it every week and now I know for absolutely sure that I don't have to change the res until harvest!
  4. From personal experience :rolleyes:....the replenishment method adds the possibility of human and/or mechanical error into the mix. Always double check your math and make absolutely certain that you have good quality pH and TDS meters and that they're calibrated regularly.

    It may seem as if the change out method is better, but as Mr. Goodstuff mentioned, changing out even a small reservoir is a pain in the ass.
  5. Especially on the weekend when all the parties are going off :(
  6. Ok, so the water is officially at 150 PPM. Is this bad? Will it cause problems with the addback method or should I go and get some 5-gal tubs of RO water? I only have the drops ATM for Ph. Debating the ph meter... get it now or wait? Also, i just checked the Ph again, it drifted up, no plants in it yet just the bubblers. What gives?
  7. I've heard that anything under 300ppm is acceptable. That said, it will play havoc with your TDS readings since the ppm does not increase in a linear fashion when you add the nutes. In other words 300ppm water plus 800ppm worth of nutes could end up giving you a net of 900ppm, instead of the 1100ppm that you'd predict. And I'm guessing that the discrepancy will gradually increase over time as you continue to top off the reservoir.

    My own tap water is about 150ppm also, but just to make my life easier I've been buying distilled water from the store. It also saves the hassle of having to leave the water sitting for 24 hours (to get rid of chlorine) before adding it to my res - I can simply top off whenever I need to.

    As for the pH meter, get it now. And get a good one. In a hydro system pH is your lifeblood. If it's off by more than a little your plants are going to suffer.
  8. 3 ways to fix the hard water problem.

    First, buy an RO filter off ebay. (i've seen them as low as 30 dollars somewhere, but its 2:30am here and i'm not gonna ebay prowl right now sorry :p)

    Second, perform home distillation by boiling the water and catching the vapor. (again google.)

    Third, go to the supermarket and buy 1 or 5 gallon jugs of the cheapest water in the store.
    Cheap water is usually NOT from natural springs (which have their own minerals and shit in them), but often reverse osmosis treated sea water. (more expensive brands like smart water are distilled sea water, WITH MINERALS ADDED. the more expensive RO water has MINERALS ADDED. Minerals raise PPM so get the cheapset water.)

    let us know how ur grow goes!
  9. Damn- hard water sucks. My water is 360 ppm strait from the tap. Luckily I got a commercial reverse osmosis filter system for free a couple days ago. Now I need to get it all hooked up and functional.
  10. don't worry too much about hard water 150 is not vey bad, you just get free calcium etc with it. Buy hw nutes, and change your res regularly, no problem. My water is at about 420 ppm. It makes getting nute levels a bit tricky at low ec, but never stopped me growing good crops. I think it's best to avoid strains that are fussy about nutes. A RO unit will make your life a bit easier though, and if you want to do like some Lucas disciples and eliminate res changes, essential. If you're growing in hw, calcium will build up over time, so you must change the res regularly. I top mine up with nute mix to keep the ec level, change max 2wk interval. I used to top up with water, that worked fine too. I wouldn't bother buying bottled water. 150 ppm. Dam, you lucky sod:mad:
  11. Seriously, I'd be so happy if my water was only 150ppm. I get anywhere from 420-480ppm in my water. God bless reverse osmosis.

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