Healthy hydroponics ppm & ph

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Growing' started by bizie, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. #1 bizie, Dec 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2014
    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 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..?

    Attached Files:

  2. fishing for rep?
  3. I'm just new to the forum and would like to share knowledge. The things I post are all problems that I have and many new growers will encounter. If more people would read informational posts to avoid problems instead of just asking how to fix the problem when it arrives then they would probably have a more successful grow.
  4. Bizie, Thank you. This is very informative. After reading this I think Ill eliminate the EC probe from use and just rely on my TDS and pH probe. Thank you!

  5. you have seperate probes for EC and TDS?
  6. Yes. Two separate probes.

  7. I never messed with an EC meter as I always read that theyre the same as a TDS meter but just give a different scale to measure on than PPM
  8. #8 bizie, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2012
    Just pushing to the top. I keep finding myself referring others to this thread and often see questions asked which this thread would be most helpful for. One love
  9. I like it Bizie. Thank you.
  10. If your growing large plants you can run a little higher ppm then these seemingly low numbers of a 900ppm max. A increase to around 1200ppm in peak flower or 800ppm in veg for growing large plants may be okay but more does not always equal to larger. You must watch your plants feed and adjust the feed to their needs. Nutrient requirements are different for every strain, environment, plant size, stage of growth, and even the brand of nutrient makes a difference on the hotness or acceptable ppm a plant will tolerate. Organic nutes are more tolerable by a plant then synthetic nutes and soil growing is more forgiving then hydro growing. If your not monitoring your feeding and blasting away with nutes trying to get big buds your just going to fry everything. Day to day monitoring of ppm and ph will get you dialed in.
  11. Thanks guys. Your kind words are much appreciated.
    One for everyone!
  12. I love this thread it is exactly the info that I have been looking for thanks heaps!!

  13. #16 titangoddess, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2012
    Good post Bizie, should help a lot of new growers out and into the hydro area. Very good info posted, especially the PH / Nutrient availability... lots of people think it's the same no matter where you grow.. far from the same. As far as TDS/PPM levels, I use around 7-800 in veg, 7-800 first phase flower, up to 1K in later stages, then lower at end back to 800'ish.... Love hydro...
  14. Thanks titangoddess. I have had good luck growing certain strains with such numbers as you mentioned. I have also fried strains with 300ppm. I have grown around 15 different strains so far and some can get very touchy.

    Do you use the same numbers for every strain you grow? What is your current strain(s)?
  15. No, def not. That is just an average kind of thing. Have had to run lower a little for some that were more sensitive to nutes, and have been able to push high on others. Normally I can stay pretty close to that as a start point when I start a new strain, and adjust the TDS from there. Haven't run anything that would burn at 300 though (would like to know that strain, for a heads up, just in case I come across) Currently have a Purple strain cross (gifted from an experienced grower/breeder), a Lemon Sour D x Vortex cross, and a Headband.
    The LSDxvortex is a lot more sensitive that my previous runs, and had some issues when I pushed up to 1K on first run, but this run with it, looks a lot better but keeping numbers down in the 8's, and will drop down to 650-7 at end before flush.
    Only been growing for about 3-4 years now in hydro, and have just started really branching out trying new strains. Have grown out about 5 strains (not counting the 2 new ones starting), but have grown them out more than once. I use a 'common' reservoir, so try to do the same strain unless the can handle the same nutes, so I don't have a conglomerate of different plants (although I have a smorgie board of seeds :D )
    Also, have a legal med grow, and stay way within the allowed numbers, am not in it for quantity, just to be able to produce high quality for pers use.
  16. LOL me too on the seed stash... I have a bad problem with promotions lol.

    I have burned Vanilla kush with 300 ppm at starting veg before and small v.k's that just initiated bloom at like 380 ppm. Id have to double check my log but I'm pretty sure that's what is was. I have had the best success with starting blooming with tap water. Or if ro, a nute value equivalent to normal tap water.

    It is mostly sativa strains that seem to be more sensitive to nutrients or in general, smaller plants are most sensitive.

    Then there is organic, organic and synthetic blends, and chemical blends of nutes. And in the order I listed them it goes from pretty hard to burn to very easy to burn. So there is a lot of variables.

    Then there is always the added in environment variable.... ieieie it'll get your head spinning!
  17. Same here.. seems that the more Sativa dominant, the more sensitive to the nutes... Indicas seem to tolerate higher ppm's in my experience too...

Share This Page