Ph Imbalance and Nute Lockout

Discussion in 'Coco Coir' started by VeoDigital, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Well folks, here is what happens when your ph meter falls out of calibration and lock outs occur. What you see in these images is what I believe to be, at the beginning, the combination of a phosphorus and potassium lockout, which increased rapidly over the lower thirds of each plant in veg over a 5 day period. Two things accounted for this, my meter was a whopping .7 too low, and heat stress. Too start, when the deficency began to show itself, it seemed to mimic a magnesium deficiency. I checked my pen in some 7.0 buffer I had, and it was slightly high, at 7.2. I wasnt too worried, adjusted the pen, and fed as normal. Over 3 days in since serious signs of deficiency, I checked meter each time, read .2 high each time, so I would adjust. That should have turned a light on, but for some reason it didnt register something could be wrong until yesterday. I hit the dro shop, brought my pen in, they checked and it was .7 too high in 7.0 buffer, but could never be adjusted for 4.0. They took it and gave me a loaner, and I got some new buffer. I have had the previous buffer for a long time, that could have also lead to it.

    To correct, I have just flushed the plants, and fed with 5.8 ph 6/9 with 2ml of cal mg. We will see how she goes. I cant stress to everyone enough, keep up on your meters!

    Attached Files:

  2. Damn bro, sorry to hear that.

    Do you keep your meter in the calibration liquid when you aren't using it? I know mine is supposed to be kept that way to stay in optimal working condition. I just put a little in the cap after each use to make sure the electrode is covered.
  3. Your leaves are glossy. What have you been spraying the plants with?

    They appear to be under lit. Why are they so stretched out?

    When I allow the media to get too dry salts precipitate out of solution causing phosphorus deficiency. Why is your media so dry?

    I will not rule out the chance that high pH solution feedings (up to 6.5pH isn't all that bad for coco, not for short periods of time) but I think there is a lot more going on here then "just" pH resulting in nutrient lock out. Simply spraying your plants with a pesticide to control bugs, failing to water frequently enough, and running high temperatures will cause all these issues without the presence of an actual pH issue in the media.

    Given how forgiving coco has been for my pH (I've run everything from 3.8 to 7.2) I don't want you thinking you got this problem licked now that the meter is properly calibrated. From a distance it would appear that some other issues require your attention as well. Nothing major, I'm sure you'll get it all worked out, and those girls ought to toss some big colas out.

  4. Hello VeoDigital.
    Gotta ask, is your's a Hanna pH pen? I bought a Hanna pHep HI98107 a couple of months ago and have had a constant drama with rising readings, about 0.4 per week. On mine, offset drifts but slope remains constant. (ie Re-calibrate at 7.0 and the 4.0 is right back where it was.)
    Member billgee also got a dud HI98107 and sent it back last week.
  5. You must be tripping.
  6. #6 VeoDigital, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2011
    I keep the meter in 7.0 buffer, and yes it is a hanna.

    The leaves are glossy because I sprayed with neem a day before the pics, always good to stay up on it. These girls are not under lit being they are under 4 4' T5HO 54w fluoros, and have two 42 watt 2700k cfls as well. The media is actually not dry either, those pics were about four hours after feeding. Maybe the light playing tricks with the camera. Temps have been in check for a while now since picking up an A/C unit. I mean, go look at my pics back on the 24th. Heat was an issue at first, I cant deny that, but problems came around days after temps were controled. I feed 4-5 times a week, and the coco is never dried out. In fact, I have had issues in the past with slight mildew on tops of the coco because humidity is always high in these tents, the medium stays moist all the time. To combat that I have been using horticultural grade H2O2.

    I can honestly say I have never heard of anyone feeding from 3.8-7.2 and having any success. I am anal about hitting 5.8 ph, and have been very successful in the past. This certainly isnt my first rodeo. I wasnt really looking for input, it was more of an awareness post, to let everyone know to keep up on their ph meters. This is most certainly a ph lockout issue.

    EDIT: After looking at the first pic SCMC, it does actually look dry.
  7. Here are some pics a little more than 2 days after flush and three good feedings at 5.8. Top growth looks much better, they are definitely responding, and getting greener. Pulled a few bad leaves after the first pics.

    Heres the one SCMC thought was stretched, it is a little lankier than the rest but not too bad. Top growth looks good. It is a PPP


    This is the Super Skunk that tipped me off to the lockout.


    Here is the S.A.G.E


    My personal strain, Jack White


    Last but not least, the Kushage

  8. Cutting Edge Solutions entire system regularly runs around 4.4pH for me. Sometimes it is as low as 3.8pH. This is due to organic acids in the solutions which provide a "misleading" pH reading. As the weakly bonded organic acids break apart the pH rises. Simply running the solution through the media was generally all it would take.

    Trust me. I was on the horn with CES the moment I saw those pH readings too. I thought it was insane, just like anyone would. But, I gave them a shot and time and again the pH coming out of the coco wouldn't drop. I did 2 months of about 4.0pH feedings twice per day and never once had a pH issue. This is somewhat specific to solutions which are balanced using organic acids like CES Plant Amp, GO CaMg+, or Fulvic Acids. When in combination with coco, which is for the most part pH stable, it was a non-issue.

    And when I say 7.2 I mean that is the pH of my tap water when I use it without treating it. Like I have been for the last 7 days of rinsing/flushing before harvest. No pH issues arise during this period either.

    So, yeah, 5.8pH is definitely the ideal range for uptake on most solutions but not for all. There are other factors which must be considered and accounted for.

    As far as lighting goes... I would consider your lighting to be adequate for the width of the canopy but definitely not for the depth. You lose too many lumens to the inverse square law at that wattage to push enough energy to the lower branches. This may help explain the minimal internode branching on those plants which look to have at least a little indica heritage and should be much bushier. With fluoro lighting I always keep my plants within 1 foot tall and encourage lateral branching with methods like LST, Topping, or Super-Cropping.

    Different strokes for different folks though. Sounds like you have the feeding frequency proper enough for those plants. Here's a picture of one of my plants after a transplant and I'd let her go a little too long between feedings. I thought what you were seeing was this... But I've been wrong before.

    Attached Files:

  9. Great post and explanation SCMC, very informative. You are right, I do need to get the lamps lower. The reason I increased the distance was due to some straps I had that broke, had to rob peter to pay Paul, and haven't since picked up new ones to lower the bay.
  10. good shiz yea I've been noticing the same that coco is very ph forgiving, my buddy never ph'd and always got great yields and when I started coco I used his lineup and in some instances the ph would drop to 3.9 and up until now I ph'd up to 5.8 but since the cap fell off my probe without me noticing its fuked and I have to contact milwakee. and I don't trust pens unless u get one that the probe can be replaced. and the guy at milwakee told me unless ur either dipping the probe from the nute solution into the cal solution without rinsing off probe first or you let the cal solution evaporate, you don't need to buy new cal solution same goes with ppm cal solution but the ppm cal is more prone to evap.
  11. i always keep my milwaukee mw100 in milwaukee storage solution. i just pour some out into an empty water bottle, just enough to keep the tip of the probe in the solution. i calibrate it probably once a month if that.
  12. I like this PH meter it has always worked well and stays calibrated even thought I check it frequently it almost never needs calibration[ like 1 every 2 or so months] it doesnt need to be kept in any storage solution [been there with my milwaukee PH56 hated that POS

    pH Meter : Featured Oakton Waterproof pHTester Basic

    I would definitely recomend this meter

    lets talk about meters sense this post is about PH and its importance what kind of meter do you use and why do you use it ??????
  13. this would not happen with self buffering nutes, no meters needed. viva the revolution

  14. like????????

    I use AN there PH perfect system
  15. I'll stick to my genhydro nutes, cheap, effective, easy.
  16. AN...Cheap, effective, does the job

  17. are your saying that you use advanced nutrients its cheap effective and does the job???

    I found when looking at nutes. that they were 1 of the most expensive over all but I like the effectiveness of them and get better yields than a friend that uses general hydroponics and I dislike GH because I have seen him open a brand new bottle and have chunks of nasty shit in there and watched him pull a whole leaf out of new bottle of there brown micro

    Ive not seen that with AN...
    I would love to hear what ppl use and why??????/
  18. I have run the numbers myself and I know that when Advanced Nutrients Micro+Bloom in a similar way to the Lucas formula a grower can hit about the same NPK concentration with AN for a slightly lower cost per gallon then they could with GH. The issue is that though AN Micro+Bloom has a stronger concentration of some elements it doesn't carry as much Calcium or Magnesium as GH and as a result it could require additional supplementation.

    With regards to any system the real money is in the supplements and as a stand alone system AN doesn't hold up to anyone else without their complete line, which can be prohibitively expensive.
  19. as far a the price of AN, its effectiveness is worth it. I saved money on ph testers, calibration solutions, ppm meters, and buffer solutions, calmag is a must for any hydroponic fertilizer, my opinion.

  20. I use there sensi cal mg grow and bloom so it works well for me so far

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