Once you get your environment dialed in with a acceptable relative humidity, temperature, and adequate lighting the next step is nutrients and the availability of them. You do not need to blast your plant with high amounts of nutes, unnecessary additives, or PK boosters to grow a healthy plant with big buds. A good base nutrient can grow a healthy plant. Big buds are dependent on the strain, environment, grow techniques, and the availability of nutrients. A healthy plant will have the nutes available at all times, this is mostly dependent on ph not ppm. A good hydroponic ph is from 5.2-6.0. It is good to let the ph drift so access all of the nutrients. Iron and phosphorus can precipitate in a solution of a ph higher then 6. There is a decrease in availability in Phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and calcium at a lower ph, and a decrease in availability in manganese, zinc, copper, and iron and the upper ph range. If you change your solution every 7-14 days with a good base and are keeping your ph in range then your nutrients are constantly available. High ppm does not mean large amounts of food being force feed, and will not result in large buds. Large buds come from a healthy plant of a good strain grown in a good stable environment. High ppm does nothing more then cause reverse osmotic stress on the roots and is not recommended for beginners. The only pro to this is the stress late in flower is said to produce a more tasty fruit, but this will only work with a healthy plant. More often this has adverse effects and ime late stressing techniques are best done with environmental changes, not osmotic stress. A good start for a beginning hydroponic grower is to work up to 500ppm or 1.0ec of nutes on ro water. Monitor your plants uptake via ppm and ph at all times. If the ppm/ec is rising and the ph dropping your nute solution is too hot and you should add water. If your ph is rising and the ppm.ec dropping then your plants are drinking more water then eating food, this is a good starting point for a healthy plant. Force feeding plants will cause the ph to rise up until the point plants actually stop taking up minerals and then the ph will drop. Having a lack of a mineral in the solution can also make the ph drop out of range. A perfectly dialed in setup will have the ppm and ph relatively stable. This can get difficult and a beginner can easily burn a plant trying to bring the ppm up. Root rot can also cause dramatic ph changes and this should be watch for in hydroponics. Often root rot will lower the ph as is decreases dissolved oxygen holding capacity of the water. Having a high enzymatic activity can make the ph rise and ime seems to happen before root rot starts. If your having problems with root rot then your solution is either too strong, too high of a temperature, or too low in oxygen. Roots thrive more and can access nutes easier in a less salty environment. Water holds more dissolved oxygen with less salts, aka a lower ppm/ec. You should never need to go over 900ppm or a 1.8 ec for any cannabis plant at any time. Yes, some strains can take the stress but that does not mean they are using all of those nutes. Most of them are going to get thrown down the drain when you change your solution. Too much nutes will destroy the flavor of your crop and is not the same as osmotic stress for a increased flavor. Again, late stresses are best done with environmental changes. Save your money, nutes, and plants by running a lower ppm. Plants in nature were never exposed to nutrients of such caliber that we use today so be careful with them. Remember less is more. If your seeing root rot, spotting, leaf curl, or leaf tip/edge burn then your solution is most likely to strong. A burn is there forever and can never fix itself; the issue can only be corrected. A deficiency can be easily corrected and the plant will fix its self within a few days. A few good additives are Silica, sea kelp, Humic acid, and food grade h2o2 or root inoculates for root stimulation. Never h2o2 and inoculates at the same time. Extra calmag supplements and epsom salts should not be needed, even when using RO water. I recommend to never use epsom salt on plants as the extra sodium often causes more harm then the supplemental magnesium does good. These ppm's will grow a healthy hydroponic plant. All assuming its started with clean RO water. Seedling 50-150ppm. Young veg 150-300ppm. Late veg can be pushed to where you want your flowering ppm. If you like high nutrient levels then the plants tissue salinity level should be raised before flowering. Flowering anywhere around 500ppm will produce a healthy non deficient plant in dwc. Watch for leaf curl and leaf tip burn, after a overly dark green appearance those are your first two signs of a nutrient overdose. For me and my size plants I never even get close to 500ppm on a .5 scale and this makes healthy plants that produce medicinal quality herb every time. Here is a accurate PH chart for soil and hydro growing. *nice I can edit this thread now, wonder why that disappeared before..?