How To Determine Your Plants Preferred Nutrient Strength

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Growing' started by GoldGrower, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Gold grower! Just wanted to say thanks for the straight forward explanations in this post, I'll be starting a 4x4 f and d table here shortly and this made it real easy to understand a way to measure what you need in the res thanks again
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  2. Gold
    Your strategy for determining nute strength sounds logical, but I do have one worry.
    After we determine the reservoir ppm that remains constant as the reservoir level falls, is that really the best ppm?

    It seems conceivable that a hypothetical plant whose reservoir stays at 500 ppm as the level falls, might eat less than if the reservoir had a different ppm.

    Ideally, we'd try various ppm levels, and find out which level allows the plants to feed best, but that's a very difficult experiment.

    Alternatively, some sort of huge survey about which ppms work best for thousands of different growers might be able to figure this out.
  3. I just yielded 941 grams from a 1000 watt cheap bulb using golds method..... my buddys dont get 2 per light with their high ppm style of growing

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  4. Hey gold grower I read on another thread somewhere that you were pretty familiar with ionic grow and bloom, I've been considering ionic or house and garden as referred by a friend that has used them both in a flood and drain. Just wondering if you have any tricks of the trade with either? Thanks in advance
  5. Came over recently from another forum...actually been in a cpl and soon as drama occurs, I bail....Too old for that crap...Anyways, grasscity seems to have some cool cats who appreciate an outlet for sharing methods, ideas, and getting accurate answers to concerns they may have....
    Anyways, nutrient levels and feeding programs were main concerns when I started hydro growing in 1979 (yeah, 38 yrs now).....different systems require different levels...A well tuned DWC uses the least...I ran about a 450 ppm full flower...when water temps and D.O. are optimal, the absorbtion is at its greatest...a few crops ago, I returned to Passive hydro (HEMPY buckets)... doesnt get any easier with a small crop...It requires nutrient levels about 3 times my DWC did during stretch and hard flowering....nature of the beast...Temps different and D.O. different...Hempy has a built in feature where water is used fast enuf in the mini res where any pythium or other undesirables ar kept at bay....the roots are VERY healthy but just dont absorb at the rate a tuned DWC does...regardless of the system being used, experience cannot be beat...find a quality nutrient, learn how to use it and stay with it...shortly, you know how much mix equates to ppm levels...Then after a cpl crops, you see how the plants respond at TDS levels at different growth stages....The most important thing a grow needs to master (IMO) is how to read their plants needs...That is the key to a great nutrient program....too many use the OVERFEED, OVERFEED, FLUSH method...It does work, but feeding every watering (with passive sys) is the way to go as long as the levels are correct.....PPM charts are generic and only put you near the ballpark...start light, work up and learn how to read your plants...
  6. My ppms are always dropping. I'll bring it back up to 600ppms and the next day it's back down to 510-530ppms. I'm hesitant though to bump up the nutes even more because I've gotten burnt leaf tips going over that mark before. I know there's a ton of variables...but I'd love to get to that point of finding the perfect nutrient concentration.
  7. Hey great post! I'd love to pick your brain if you have the time, 38 years is along time , and expierence is the best way to learn:) anyway I'd like to say I can read my plants , but I run mine much much higher than 450 ppms on dwc during flower. I was wondering if you have any knowledge on nutes lockout. I'm currently running 1400 ppms , and I've always ran that during veg. The plants look fine, but almost look abit deficient. Now I doubt they have any deficiencies at 1400 ppms so I'm wondering if I'm looking at nutes lockout . Plants took way too long to mature last time using my same feeding schedule, so I'm wondering if Im doing something wrong. I am not into taking 100 days to mature ha. Took rez readings an hour ago pH 6.1, ppm 1368 Rez temp 70.8( I add frozen water bottles , but don't own a chiller). Any tips?

    Thanks alot happy growing!! IMG_20180521_195735414.jpg IMG_20180521_195749513.jpg IMG_20180521_195712678.jpg

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  8. DWC allow the least amt of nutrients due to the ideal root conditions....Thats assuming you do use a chiller, and they are bubbled well...the nutrients used make a difference too....I ALWAYS used the Dyna-gro single use nute on the market (IMO)....DWC is the most difficult to master too...if anything is off, like not enuf air injection in the buckets, or a nice constant 67°, your root can suffer badly and to remember they are growing under water.....In any other system, too wet of a mix is way bad for the roots and they are in a medium whether soil or soiless....So that alone shows how bad an untuned DWC setup can be....soon as the roots are 'OFF' just a little, uptake started to suffer....Of course, all this is considering that the pH is always in check....when I did water culture, I didnt spare any expense due to the nature of the beast, and used a chiller.....Even then, its possible to get contaminated...I used SM-90 which is an organic disinfectant to treat the water, even though conditions were tuned....It a tough system to work with...I personally stopped because to me it was a novelty system with too many quirks, a lot more work, more equipment, more cleaning, you name it....
    Your plants look good over all, but picture NEVER show Every thing....I cant imagine having TDS levels that high in DWC...are you setting #'s like that because they look MORE deficient at lower #'s?.....Here's a REAL QUIRK about DWC....cannabis absorbs nutrients best with root zone temps btwn 74-76, yet thats too warm for a DWC system....Idea DWC temp is 67/68° degees to ward off pythium and other boogers....So your essentially trading nute uptake for a clean system.....I went back to basics because of the ease, cost and SAME RESULTS, which are better in many cases....Many BIG manufactures want ppl to think they need all the expensive systems to grow decent weed...BIG FAT LIE...same with nutrients that are out...I use 3 product.....Dyna Foliage Pro for veg, Dyna Bloom for flower and aquashield to add beneficials....Thats it.....Some growers look like mad scientist with all the addative crap they mix....NOT necessary....Having your systems water not at constant temps could easily cause uptake issues....Its can be used but not efficiently, so it seems like more is needed....Is your main rez, # going up, down or staying the same...thats a way to see if more nutes or water is used....if your #'s go up before resetting the rez, there are EXCESS nutes not being used and if its going down, they usually need more....There are SO MANY variables, including the strain used....If your hooked on the water culture thing, get a chiller....with IDEAL conditions, the roots are VERY WHITE, VERY ACTIVE and need lower numbers due to that efficiency....If your NEEDING to run your #'s that high or they get worse looking, SOMETHING is off...pH, water temp, aeration...the only advantage of water culture is how fast they veg due to happy root systems...if thats not happening, you need to start ruling out possibilities....AND you cant do that correctly if you cant.control water temp, which IS A BIG part of DWC systems.....personally, I would get away from DWC...not worth the cost, extra work and all the built in issues....YT
  9. What's your view on adding ozone into a reservoir occasionally - mainly killing pathogens but also adding 02 as a bonus?
  10. Many thanks for taking you time on this thread over the years GG to pass us this knowledge and experience.

    I'm having a go at hydro for the first time - a single RWDC bubble bucket.

    2 questions if I may:

    1) Can you recommend a particular TDS/EC meter?

    2) Lets just say my plant is feeding at the right level and the bucket needs topping up with say 5 litres and lets just say (picking random easy numbers here) that I would add 1ml of XYZ nutrients per litre of res water.

    Would I add 5ml of nutes to the 5 litres and add that to my res and THEN PH the res. Or would I PH to the right range what I am adding in?


  11. What a great read. Thanks to all who contributed, especially @GoldGrower

    I feel well armed with knowledge to start my first test run, I will be using a single bubble bucket and using the 3 part GH nutes. Cuttings are currently in my aero cloner waiting to go into the bucket.
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  12. You're welcome man, I'm glad this method is working for so many people. I haven't been on this thread in a while and see several new posts that I'll have a read through in a moment ...

    My ec/ppm meter and pH meter are those cheap £5 digital meters from China. My pH meter is a few years old, I think my ec meter is about 8 years old. I don't know why people buy expensive ones, these cheap ones are plenty accurate for what we need them for

    I fill up the res with water then add nutes to bring it up to whatever I want it to be, then I adjust the pH
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  13. Seriously thank you, taking the time on posts like this is what makes this site so great. I value time more than anything else now, and you have spent a lot of time contributing to others knowledge and I directly benefit from that so if we lived in a legal place and we could share our details etc I would be sending you some, aherm, tomatoes, from the bubbly bucket to sample.

    Nice one about the cheap meters. I have a cheapo TDS/EC type meter that was part of a job lot I bought. I'm always buying job lots of 2nd hand gear as its so cheap even to strip a few good things out and bin the rest...therefore i collect such things it seems lol. I have a Plant It! Ph meter and it appears to do the job and hold accuracy for a while.
  14. What would cause the ph to rise significanyly in my resevoir? Fresh tap water and after adding nutes and adjusting ph to 6.5...then come back the next day and its up to 8.0+
  15. If your running a hydro system, 6.5 is too high already....BUT, chances are the pH of you 'starting' water is high...Its the nature of it to drift backs toward that number....A person feeding heavy, USUALLY has a pH that drifts lower and those light feeders, such as my self, tend to have it drift higher....Also, if your pH is being set at 6.5 for hydro, there WILL BE some struggle for efficient uptake of elements.....
    I use to use the method mentioned for monitoring nutrient uptake...of course a lightly set nutrient level will get ravaged leaving numbers lower and visa versa...depending on hydro system, there can be significant salt buildup on tables, rockwool, other medium surfaces...This of course IS NOT to be considered in the 'amount used' equation in a reservoir....Feeding levels 'tables' are starting points and need to be tweeked to ones own system....100% effort needs to be going into recognizing the plants needs....THAT is the best way to become the best hydro grower you can be....Start light and ONLY increase when the plant growth shows slower growth and eventually a lighter color....An increase at that time and the plants wont skip a.beat....After a cpl crops is becomes second nature to see how your plants behave to nutrient levels...On the flip side, VERY dark green, tips beginning to burn is to be IMMEDIATELY adjusted....That is BY FAR the side you dont want to be on...BUT, recognizing it right away and adjusting levels, they to wont skip a beat....Once burned tips migrate to the serrated edges and leaves get dark green and kind of 'papery', You've damaged them more...they still can be fixed, but of course breaking that fast growth momentum slows things down...If that happens a cpl weeks into flower, they wont ever reach full potential even though you can still get decent buds...LEARN TO READ the plants needs!!!!!....I use a pH. meter religiously, but have not touched a PPM meter in many years....NO need for it...The plants show me EXACTLY what they want...YT
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  16. Im growing in promix HP and using hydroponic nutrients...but for my resevoir where i have my nutes mixed(i feed each plant by hand) when im not feeding and res is bubbling and has a circulating pump in rises significantly...using 85% phosphoric acid for ph down...dutch nutrients grow a+b and just started using cal-mag. If its normal then i can deal with that easily i just wont ph correct until right before i feed right?
  17. Yes, I personally have no experience with that mix, but even though its peat based, it would still be considered a soilless mix...I like the idea that it comes inoculated with beneficial bacteria...Peat offers that soil-like structure which accommodates bennie colonies....Peat is naturally quite acidic...not sure if that has been pH balanced...Straight peat runs 3.0-3.5 pH....Certainly adjust your solution for hydro use (5.7-5.8)...I would try to understand what your runoff is....As with ANY SYSTEM, Understanding how YOUR system reacts is imperative to success...Even just switching to a different nute can change how you make adjustments.....I have always told ppl to chose a system, a quality nutrient, stick with it, and learn how to use it....Only takes a cpl crops to learn exactly how it behaves for you...the principle behind all hydro systems is the same, which is bringing nutrient rich water to the root system...Your job is to keep the pH, and nutrient levels correct for that system...Meters put you in the ballpark, experience and observations puts you in your seat...Yeah, I just made that up..LOL...But it really is how it all works...YT
  18. Yup makes hella sense...just tested runoff on one of my sativas. Water goin in is PH 6.5 & TDS @ 500...coming out TDS was initially 1100 and PH was @ 6.0.
    Stopped pouring water in when runoff TDS was down to 550...PH only went up to 6.1 and I ran almost 8 gals of water through my 5 gal pot...that make sense
  19. So what tech should I use for organics like bio thrive? Thanks 4 the help

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  20. Depends on a lot of things. We cultivate in rock wool, so we water with nutrients every day. When I first started growing I was in a coco-mix with perlite.

    We generally watered every other day with nutrients, but we would frequently test our run-off to make sure the plants wouldn't get nute-lock.

    If the run-off EC was high then we would just use regular h20 ph'd to 6-6.2 until the run-off EC was back to regular readings. Lots of trial and error!

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