Coco seedling watering mishap question

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Pippins

Pippins

Hello guys,
I've lurked here for a while, soaking up as much info as possible before starting these seeds. I initially started 4 seeds in solo cups, lots of drainage holes...it was straight botanicare coco with no perlite, but only because of the usps logjam, I had initially planned on perlite. To start, I've read everything there is on this site and others about Coco, and cec, and I think I have a good grip on the reason why we need to keep coco moist at all times, but it has been a challenge for me as a former soil grower. Germination went well, but after a few days things went downhill. I initially saturated the media with 6.0 ph 300 ppm nutrient solution, some of which was calmag. Then I decided to wait for the cups to get at least a little lighter. I fed them again a few days later to runoff. By then I had noticed some slight burning at the tips, and drooping despite the moist media-they looked overwatered. This went on a couple of days, I reduced the amount fed because the cups were heavy, but kept them around 300 ppm-but here is where I think I messed up and I hope you can help me figure this out-My tap is about 150 ppm to start, and looking back, the rest of that PPM up to 300 was mostly calmag-so I think I stopped giving them grow formula the second I saw the burned tips. Meanwhile, the burning did get worse.

So a few days into this I transplanted them into 1 gal smart pots (because my perlite had arrived, I made sure to flush these well with 300 ppm solution.) I figured if I was overwatering, maybe being in a bigger, fabric pot would leach some of moisture out of the overwatered solo cup pure coco. I transplanted them 8 days after they emerged from the solo cups-during this time they never dried out, but I was inconsistent with watering-I thought I was overwatering the underdeveloped roots, so I was giving them like 20 ml every other day and the cups always felt heavy. During the 8 days in the solo cups they grew, but slowly, and they looked worse and worse-crispy edges, some brown spots on the 1st set of true leaves, etc. Once they were in the 1 gal smart pots I thought...I need to do something different, even if it kills them. So I mixed up a full dose of calmag and 5 ml pure blend pro grow (per gal), which was around 420 ppm, ph'd to 6 and watered the pot to runoff. Since then I've watered them twice per day at around 100 ml each time, and to runoff every 3rd feeding-they are constantly moist still, but they are actually growing again. I'm including a pic of them, they are about 2 weeks old-it's not a great pic but you can see the lower leaves look terrible and lime green, but the upper leaves look healthier-growth is also picking up. I have one test plant in a solo cup still which I'm watering twice per day and it actually looks much better than the others did at this stage-it's only a few days old. So what do you guys think happened? Right now, my thoughts are, in trying to let it dry out a bit in the beginning, I burned my plants-I don't think I flushed out my botanicare media enough because I had been using 300 ppm solution and the runoff tested at almost 600 early on-and they say they buffer it to 500 ppm. Should I just continue to feed twice per day now? I feel like I'm grossly overwatering these small seedlings, but this is the first time in their 2 week old lives that they are lifting their leaves up. There is so much differing option about how to water seedlings in Coco...some say to treat it almost like soil and to let it dry out a little to encourage the roots to grow, but I did this and I think it almost killed my plants. Anyway, thanks for the help...I think I might have a handle on it-I'll probably know in a week or so, if they continue to improve.
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Sorry about the photo quality. The plant in the front left looks the worst, and the back left looks the best-the top growth looks almost normal now. Thanks again fellas! Big fan of this site and I hope to contribute one day!
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff member
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Light may be to intense. Download light meter by my mobile tools dev and no more than 10,000 lux for now.

Drop the cal mag. Your tap at 150ppm has plenty of calcium in it. If you see a mag deficiency in the future just add 1 gram per gal of epsom salt. Like I say enough calcium in the nutrients and your tap water. To much can lock out other nutrients.

Try the pbp grow at aboit 300-400ppm. And feed as per the coco thread you read.

Root temps above 70 are favorable.

Room temps of about 75-80f and rh around 60%.
 
Pippins

Pippins

Light may be to intense. Download light meter by my mobile tools dev and no more than 10,000 lux for now.

Drop the cal mag. Your tap at 150ppm has plenty of calcium in it. If you see a mag deficiency in the future just add 1 gram per gal of epsom salt. Like I say enough calcium in the nutrients and your tap water. To much can lock out other nutrients.

Try the pbp grow at aboit 300-400ppm. And feed as per the coco thread you read.

Root temps above 70 are favorable.

Room temps of about 75-80f and rh around 60%.
Thanks Aqua Man, I will try all of those things!
 
Pippins

Pippins

Light may be to intense. Download light meter by my mobile tools dev and no more than 10,000 lux for now.

Drop the cal mag. Your tap at 150ppm has plenty of calcium in it. If you see a mag deficiency in the future just add 1 gram per gal of epsom salt. Like I say enough calcium in the nutrients and your tap water. To much can lock out other nutrients.

Try the pbp grow at aboit 300-400ppm. And feed as per the coco thread you read.

Root temps above 70 are favorable.

Room temps of about 75-80f and rh around 60%.
Okay, so according to that light meter, I was at about 10,500 lux where I had my light before-a 2 ft 4 bulb t5. So I raised it up by 6 inches and it's at 8500. I'll just keep it at that height for now to see if it makes a difference, along with the other changes.
 
Jimster

Jimster

Supporter
Plants are very sensitive to high nutrient levels, especially when just starting off. 300 sounds pretty reasonable but I don't add any nutrients for the first few weeks as it seems to help the roots spread out faster and avoids injuring delicate seedlings. I prefer to start my plants in their own 5 gallon bucket instead of transplanting a few times. I feel that it allows the top soil layers to dry out faster than the lower levels. The roots fill the bucket within a month and because the top layers are a little less damp, I don't have the problems with overwatering. I use Promix, so it drains very well but holds moisture well too. After sprouting in the bucket, I don't normally have to water for at least 3 weeks if the growing medium was well hydrated prior to planting.
 
Pippins

Pippins

Well, it turned out Aqua was spot on about my light, I had stunted my seedlings by keeping it too close. I didn't think you could keep T5s too close to a seedling, but you can. Since moving it about 5 inches away, the seedlings are quickly recovering and the new growth looks healthy. I think that might have been my main problem. I'm feeding twice per day at 400 ppm with no calmag for now since my tap is very high in calcium, but I think I'll try adding a small amount back in at some point soon. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who replied, esp Aqua for helping me get my first coco grow back on the rails! I'll be back to update this thread with pics in a few days if my plants continue to improve.
 
Pippins

Pippins

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Here is an update on my plants, they are doing much better now thanks to Aqua's advice! They're growing noticeably now each time I check on them, so I think they've fully recovered and are on track. The biggest one was started at the same time as the others (the solo cup is 4 or 5 days later), it's funny how some plants can power through the abuse! I'm going to keep a clone of that one.
 
Pippins

Pippins

You know, it's interesting to watch how plants adjust to a new light, and to more/less time with lights out. I took out the t5s and put in a Mars ts 600 I had lying around and kept it 24 inches away to start, and the plants quickly showed signs of light saturation, but no stunting/burning...they were still growing well. So I put them on 18/6 from 20/4 and they are loving it and adjusted quickly. I now have the leds 18 inches away and will leave them like that-the lux meter shows 20kish lux and the plants look saturated about 3 hours before lights out, so I know it's still on the strong side, but their roots have kicked into gear and they're growing normally now. Cool to see the roots growing out of the pot of the largest plant that I started mainline training on! Just want to give an update for those who helped me and those having problems with their first coco grow to show you how you can turn things around!
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Pippins

Pippins

Hi guys! I'm back for another update and for some advice from the coco pros. I had been watering my plants at between 6-6.3 ph twice per day to runoff for the last few weeks, at 500-600 ppm. During that time, I saw various symptoms come and go, calmag symptoms especially, and also nitrogen toxicity and general nute burn. Lowering my ppms is hard because I'm trying to give them 5 ml calmag, but I heard it's bad to go below an equal amount of regular veg formula, so I've been giving 5 ml pure blend pro as well. I've even had more calmag def symptoms crop up since I've increased the dosage, so I'm honestly a bit confused about what to do right now. The last piece of the puzzle that may explain things is, I tested my runoff and the PPMs are pretty much the same as what goes in, but the PH is HIGH-it's at 7.4. So last night I flushed everything with the usual solution ph'd to 5.5 and this morning I just fed twice as much as usual to try to get the PH down. My water starts out pretty alkaline, at 120 ppm, but not terrible, and I have no desire to go to RO water. Overall, my plants are much improved from when I started this thread and they are growing extremely fast now. I'm going to transplant them and start them under my 630 CMH bulb in a couple of days. Okay, so here are the pics. I'm growing 4 strains FYI and it's funny to see the different symptoms on each one. The plant on the bottom left is the only one with no real issues, it's been a good girl, back left is a sativa with calmag def on leaves (pick of single leaf included) and some taco leaves, back right has a couple of reverse taco leaves (pic of leaf included), and bottom right has these massive dark green leaves that are sagging down a bit and curling under (this is the nitro toxicity plant). Growing 4 strains has been fun but I can see how it's much easier to fix problems with a tent full of identical plants.
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Any help is appreciated! Thanks guys
 
Pippins

Pippins

Just in case anyone comes across this thread and has similar issues, I figured out my deficiency problems. My Coco PH was WAY too high, probably due to the alkalinity of my water-it was 7.4 and I think that contributed to locking out my mg. The other problem was, as I saw more and more mag deficiency, I just upped my Calmag to 5 ml per gallon, which seems a pretty common dosage-well, that only made the problem worse. What finally fixed the issue was lowering the Calmag to 2 ml per gallon, and adding 1/4 t epsom salts per gallon. Also, foliar sprayed with 1/4 t epsom salts 3 times for a week. I also started PHing my nutrient solution to 5.5 to try to lower my runoff into the 6s. A week after starting all of this, the plants were all thriving, no more weird leaves or mutations, so I transplanted to 3 gal smart pots and moved them to my 4x4 under a 630 watt DE cmh. The growth rate for the first few days under this light has been amazing. You can see from the pic they are looking much better. I see tons of threads about mag deficiencies, so if you're having one, don't just dump calmag into your nutes-check your media's PH first and consider adding a small amount of Epsom salt. Going to take some cuttings and then flip soon, otherwise that one plant is going to take over.
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Pippins

Pippins

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Plants doing great, switched to 12/12, zero watering mishaps to report. Big TY to Aqua Man and his watering thread for helping set me straight on the path of coco. If you see a few little burned spots, it's because I mixed some Potassium Bicarb + Neem with a bit too much dishsoap, just doing my best to prevent any fungal issues during flower. I have flashbacks to a bad PM infestation I had 15 years ago and I never want to let that stuff get a foothold ever again.
 
Pippins

Pippins

I grow in Coco and keep PH going in between 5.8 and 6.1
Sounds good. I go a little lower just because the alkalinity of my tap water means my media will end up much higher PH, so by starting my nutes at 5.5-5.6, it stay's within a good range for longer. Now my Coco ph is around 6.8 in slurry tests, much better than 7.4 which it was before. If I increased the number of feeds from 2 per day, I know it would improve even more, but 2 per day is easy for me right now.
 
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