Need some advice on PPM readers/ ph pens etc.

Discussion in 'Coco Coir' started by CheebaWeeba, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. So like, how does this work with an autopot setup, like, what do I measure from where?
     
  2. Never fucked up a crop with my cheapy and I’m over 3+ yeArs with it. If you don’t know, I guess you don’t know.

    if you measure PPMs, I guess you don’t know how to read your plants properly?
    Like I said, to each their own. You can spend the money on the equipment when I still achieve the same results :) PH monitoring doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to monitor unless you want it too. Good luck with that 1 year blue lab warranty.
     
  3. #23 old shol4evr, Jul 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
    i will just say,when that slow ass blue lab breaks,good luck with the warranty
     
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  4. #24 old shol4evr, Jul 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
    i havent ever run auto pilot bro,i love coco though,if you were gonna top feed i could help you out
     
  5. Guys,

    Essentially I decided upon the more expensive option because it's something I was able to do without a financial issue is all - I totally get that there's less expensive options that will do the same thing for me...I just want for myself, a beginner and somewhat inept person to have like simplistic as fuck stuff.

    if you measure PPMs, I guess you don’t know how to read your plants properly?
    Well, I mean I'm not sure what the question there really means...like, do I know how to tell if or when a plant needs food? Kind of. But not much more than "If it starts sagging and going yellow you've done something wrong". So yeah I probably am letting technology take some of the weight off my shoulders here, which from what I understand is the autopots, and the PPM metre.

    Unless I'm getting it wrong, I thought what I'd be doing was simply measuring what's in the reservoir on an ongoing basis to determine if there's enough feed in there, and the PH is right.

    In all honesty, I could use some help.
    I had a guy here helping me out from the get-go and him not being here any more has really threw me on my ass with continuity...and I'm worried, I'm worried I won't be able to do this.
    I've got all the equipment I need aside from these two things, but I feel like I'm just sitting on this and it's not going anywhere...I'm very anxious to get started, I'm just very new at this and haven't touched a thing in about 8 years...the set up was totally different then.

    If anyone with some coco experience would be able to volunteer to help me out and bounce questions off, that would be a huge help...I'm feeling kind of lost here...and when everyone has different thoughts in here to everyone else, it's kind of difficult.

    I just don't want this all to turn into nothing...and I'm worried.
    I've never used autopots before.
    I've never used LED lighting before.
    I really, just don't know what I'm doing here...
     

  6. Don’t overthink it man, it’s growing. We all do it our own ways and still find somehow to not fuck it up. Coco is very forgiving and if you give about a 1/4 strength of nutrients per instructions and keep the coco moist; it’s basically dummy proof. Good drainage with a 70/30 mix coco perlite, it’s done. If the plant is light in color, feed it a little more, Much easier to underfeed then over feed. The plant will tell you if it’s lacking something.

    so you have coco, the nutrients, whatever A&B supplement that may be, just needs NPK values with other minerals that are essential like calcium etc. cal/mag supplement may be necessary if you are using RO water like I do in my grows.

    What else would you like to know sir?
     
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  7. Thank you...trying not to, and I know...I'm just not good with change...I'm sure it'll be easy once I get the first one going on, then refer to my own notes kind of thing...just, I dunno, maybe I do overthink it without trying to...I'm just worried. I've been petrified to even get it started.

    Though, I don't have the PH metre/ppm thing yet...I'd like that to be with me even if I don't need it initially.

    Coco is very forgiving and if you give about a 1/4 strength of nutrients per instructions and keep the coco moist; it’s basically dummy proof. Good drainage with a 70/30 mix coco perlite, it’s done. If the plant is light in color, feed it a little more, Much easier to underfeed then over feed. The plant will tell you if it’s lacking something.

    so you have coco, the nutrients, whatever A&B supplement that may be, just needs NPK values with other minerals that are essential like calcium etc. cal/mag supplement may be necessary if you are using RO water like I do in my grows.

    Like honestly...I've got some info about how to sprout seeds...and yeah the last guy said that was the coco/perlite mix he'd go with as well as a couple inches of perlite on the bottom and top, as well as saying the same thing about putting in lower strengths of the nutes...though....
    Things like:
    When to transplant from the little grow cubey things into pots.
    Should I start them under my fluoro or use the HLG thing straight away?
    Do I put them in their final pots right away after transplant? (I keep the cube and bury it right?
    Does this autopot system essentially "water for me" so I just have to check and adjust as I go?
    How do I like make sure the reservoir doesn't get funky?

    Is my old carbon filter still any good? How do I check this?

    I'm also not 100% on even how I should set up my space other than, pots on bottom, lights on top, rotating tower fan in the corner, bug strips and predatory mites at the ready. Inline fan...somewhere...to get the carbon filter happening (see, before it was connected to a cooltube, which isn't gonna be a thing as I'm not on HPS any more...don't even know how the carbon filter is gonna be...).
    Am I...approaching anyplace about right on that?

    I just wanna make something beautiful.
     
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  8. There is also that I've never used a ph pen or a PPM meter at all.
     
  9. Bluelab all the way. I’ve tried a lot of other crap and once you go bluelab, you will never go back. Worth the money, it’s paid for itself in extra yield.

    Much love

    Billy


    Sent from my iPhone using Grasscity Forum
     
  10. Haven’t used an auto pot so can’t shed much light on that.

    you can start seedlings in solo cups and slowly move them up from 1 gal to 3 gal as a final home. Precharging your coco with calcium and magnesium is key too so make sure you do that properly before your plant really starts to take off or you’ll get some early deficiencies as coco does not have any nutrients from the start.

    Transplanting them is a decision in coco that usually based on the grower because you can keep a plant in a small pot and grow a good size plant; however, you end up having to feed quite often in a smaller pot. So you have to find your balance and do what works for you. If you water enough, you really don’t have to worry about your PPMs because the constant flushing of agents will continue to replenish. Once you start to build a good foundation of these nutrients in your coco, it’s pretty much cruise control through the grow with constant watering and low PPM feeds. As I mentioned , if you are using RO, it’s easy to mix a nutrient solution and PH it properly without checking PPMs. Based on nutrient calculations you can get a ballpark PPM idea based on your measurements if you are really interested in knowing. I always recommend to overwater than underwater because you keep the salts from building up. Less is more is my strategy because I am a Drain to Waste man and I literally keep my plants watered all day long.


    How old is your carbon filter? People usually replace within 2 years or keep it up to 4 years or so. You’ll have to make the judgement call on that.


    The set up sounds like it’s an efficient one, but I’m sure once you get it set up youll continue to make minor modifications to fit your personal needs as everyone does.
    @JoshuaE & @trojangrower both grow in Small Spaces so they might be a better help with some of your questions. I’m an outdoors whore through and through. :thumbsup:
     
  11. They aren’t very complicated. Dip the tip in the solution then read the numbers off the screen. When I was in college for our soil labs we had a nice Ph pen we would use sometimes but majority of the time, especially when we were out in the field, we used the old fashioned litmus test papers. Both work just as well, one is just a little more accurate (you can get down to the decimal as opposed to a round number).
     
  12. Hey, new here, thought I'd jump in and give my opinion.

    I don't run ebb n flow (I do DWC) but I do buy/use EC meters instead of PPM meters. Both meters measure the same thing "electrical conductivity" but 1 meter goes an extra step further which can be kinda confusing at times.
    There's a few different PPM scales (500, 640, 700), and meters based on different scales will show the same PPM solution to be at different values. PPM meters multiply a constant to the EC measurement (what the probes on both an EC and PPM meter are measuring) to arrive at the PPM value shown. If you use an EC meter, then you won't ever have to worry about remembering which PPM scale your meter is on, or anything. Imo the EC meter is less likely to get you confused.

    I buy pH test strips by the hundreds ($3 - $8 Off Amazon), and I use them to double check my pH pen when I'm curious. I also use calibration solutions to calibrate the pen weekly. Also, when the batteries get low you'll get more eradict measurements. If you start to see large fluctuations or results that don't seem accurate then calibrate and replace the batteries if they are low.

    Water temp also effects the measurements, so you want to measure at the same water temp. That's why most the meters have temperature gauges built in.


    - EC vs Temp
    Water-electrical-conductivity-increases-with-temperature-but-with-a-non-linear-behaviour.png

    - pH vs Temp
    Variation-of-pH-vs-temperature.png

    - EC vs PPM
    EC_PPM_Conversion_chart-526x1024.jpg
     
  13. So when you say the solution, do you mean the water plus the nutrients and any additives etc?
    So I'd be testing what's in the reservoir?
     
  14. I am...going to need to come back to this with a more awake brain.
     
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  15. you can start seedlings in solo cups and slowly move them up from 1 gal to 3 gal as a final home. Precharging your coco with calcium and magnesium is key too so make sure you do that properly before your plant really starts to take off or you’ll get some early deficiencies as coco does not have any nutrients from the start.

    Hm, I'm not sure if I've heard of doing this before.
    What's the best way to add calcium/magnesium?
    See I'd usually just have put a weak nutrient mix through it, and maybe a little bit of clonex to help the roots get busy...though I'm sure there's better ways to do that.

    Transplanting them is a decision in coco that usually based on the grower because you can keep a plant in a small pot and grow a good size plant; however, you end up having to feed quite often in a smaller pot. So you have to find your balance and do what works for you. If you water enough, you really don’t have to worry about your PPMs because the constant flushing of agents will continue to replenish. Once you start to build a good foundation of these nutrients in your coco, it’s pretty much cruise control through the grow with constant watering and low PPM feeds. As I mentioned , if you are using RO, it’s easy to mix a nutrient solution and PH it properly without checking PPMs. Based on nutrient calculations you can get a ballpark PPM idea based on your measurements if you are really interested in knowing. I always recommend to overwater than underwater because you keep the salts from building up. Less is more is my strategy because I am a Drain to Waste man and I literally keep my plants watered all day long.

    I think this strategy may need some adjustments with the autopots...is there any major differences you can see in terms of...like...if water is constantly recycling/recirculating...would there be much issue with salt buildup?
    I'm not sure what RO is.
    So PPM is to...stupid question...check how much food/nutrients are left in the water?
    Cos yeah I can get at it daily...is daily enough?

    How old is your carbon filter? People usually replace within 2 years or keep it up to 4 years or so. You’ll have to make the judgement call on that.

    Well in terms of manufacture, about 9 years.
    Though it's only been used on two runs, and other than that...we've smoked some joints with it on...

    Thanks for the help so far...just yeah...I am realising how little I ever knew...
     

  16. Give this a read
    Coco Coir Bricks - How to Prepare and Buffer Coco Coir - Coco For Cannabis

    There’s plenty other resources online on how people properly charge their coco. I recommend this to avoid any early deficiencies.

    RO = reverse osmosis water or purified water. Usually is less than 10 PPM and is stripped of everything , calcium and magnesium most importantly. Your local tap water has high trace amounts of calcium and magnesium typically, so some coco growers that use tap won’t have to supplement with CA and Mg. I’d get a water report for your city to determine if it’s worth giving it a try. Some tap water is perfect, some not.

    Salt build up I think is the reason behind the autopot and it aims to prevent that. Might be wrong but I thought that’s what I got out of the description.


    Measuring PPMs will help you determine on the daily how much your plant is taking in. You’ll start at a certain number, say for example; 250 PPMs, and tomorrow you come check it , it’s at 85 PPM. You can kinda gauge from that timeframe how much your plants are eating at that point in time. Every strain has a certain sweet spot so that number is usually arbitrary but I’d start low and build it up. Usually 200-600 PPMs can be good through veg. You’ll just have to observe and adjust.


    And the carbon filter is probably good for another run; set it up and give it a whirl.
     
  17. Thanks for the link, man. I will check this out.

    I just want to see if this is the right thinking on what you said with the PPM thing.
    So if I were to put in 250 ppm...
    That would mean I've like made a solution of my nutrients in the water
    (I recall not mixing them directly was a thing?)
    Until this thing reads 250, which you're saying is a good baseline of sorts?
    That's 250ppm.
    I come back say, 24 hours later.
    It says 20 - means that this is presently using us 230ppm of the feed per 24 hours (or per whatever time)
    If it said 50 - It's using 200
    If it said 0 - Try 300?
     
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  18. Exactly. You always want to start low and feed up because it’s easier to adjust instead of over feeding and trying to get it down back to normal. As I mentioned, the plant will tell you with its new growth color what it’s needing if anything more at all. The PPMs def give an idea of which strains will be your eaters vs your not so hungry ones. However, with the autopot system I know you use the same res for like 3 plants right? So keeping a good balance will be key cause some could prefer more PPMs than others. And if you are checking PPMs every 24 hours, I don’t think you’ll run into an issue where your you’ll have your PPMs severely low. However , maybe in the beginning check every 12 hours to get a better rhythm with your feeding. The first few weeks you really don’t have to feed much anything so you probably can keep the PPMs very low to start and work from
    there.
     
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  19. And just so you have an idea of where my nutrient strength is.

    for example; my 5 gallon res I’ll add around .5 ML of A&B per gallon
    3-5 ML of Cal/Mag per gallon
    1 ml per gallon Silica
    1 ml per gallon enzymes
    1 ml per gallon microbes

    and I’ll feed that way from the start. And every day I’ll feed the same. Keeping the coco moist and run off to around 10-20%. I get faster growth with multiple waterings so I usually try to aim for 3-4 waterings per day. Keeps the salt from building up and keeps replenishing the coco with fresh nutes. I have some monsters in the back right now and everyone gets the same feed and I’m still at .5 ml - 1 ML of A&B per gallon. Cal/mag shoots up pretty high to around 8-10 ML per gallon but it’s no problem cause there really isn’t any I’ll effects to the smaller plants from higher doses of calcium and magnesium. Keeping the calcium and magnesium up in the coco coir is kinda the key besides constantly watering. The autopot system seems to be able to achieve this without having to break your back to get things done. You’ll have to share your results with it as I’m interested in getting the 3 in 1 auto pot system potentially in the future.
     
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