If you have chemistry questions....

  • Thread starter squiggly
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DWCgrower

DWCgrower

46
8
Hello all, Squiggly here--resident chemistry asshole here at the farm :)

For the past year or so in my free time I have been compiling some useful chemistry information (and underlying concepts) as it regards cultivation--cannabis in particular (where I'm able to find specifics). I plan to really kick this project into high gear for this year, hoping to have something broad and publishable by the end of 2013.

In the mean time I have a few requests of you guys:

1. If you have a chemistry question--please either post it here. There is no such thing as a stupid question, if its something you want to know and don't, there is a high degree of certainty which says there are many people out there who are in that same situation. I want this guide to help all growers, beginning and expert, so its important for me to get an idea of what people do/don't/want to know.

2. If you know of any great resources which helped you to understand a chemical concept, a link to that in my inbox would be helpful. While I am pretty darn good at chemistry I am not ALWAYS good at teaching (although I like to think I take a piece-wise, one-concept-into-the-next approach). For this reason it will be helpful for me to check out methods that help people learn about chemistry and those which don't.

3. If you have a piece of chemical literature which you would like "translated" I would be happy to facilitate that. The scope and amount of material I can cover will be limited--I still have studies to pursue--so choose wisely.

As a thank you for helping me here, the fruits of my labor will be released for free (in a thread) here at the farm when it is completed. I'd like to offer, also, to answer any and all questions about chemistry here in this thread. I am more than willing to help those of you with more specific questions on an individual basis as well--as many farmers will certainly attest.

If your question is broad, please post it here so that everyone may share in the discussion. If it is a specific question relating only to your situation, please contact me through the message system.

Thanks!!!

P.S.

Topics open for question in which I have expertise:

Chemistry (my specialization is in organic synthesis--but I am knowledgeable elsewhere)
Biochemistry
Molecular Biology (intermediate)
Physics (intermediate)
Genetics (cursory)


This discussion is not limited to only the act of growing. Extractions, assays, other tests, lighting questions, etc, all apply here.

Be assured, if I am not fairly certain of the answer I am providing you--that I will say as much. It is not my intention to pretend I know more than I do, but rather to share that which I do know.

My inbox is ALSO open to submissions to this document--and as it will be in a thread when released, it will be a living document which can be added to and corrected over time if other information is found.

PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CORRECT ME IF I GET SOMETHING WRONG--THIS PROCESS IS ABOUT FINDING REAL TRUTH, AND REAL EXPERIMENTAL/LITERATURE VALUES THAT ALL FARMERS MAY BENEFIT FROM. THERE IS NO "BEING CORRECT" IN THIS THREAD, THERE IS ONLY "PROVING CORRECTNESS."



Thank you for being available to answer questions to us newbies. With that said I have a feeding question.

I am running a UC system 365 gallons 32x13.

I ran into some nutrient problems from the start. Now that I am stuck with about $1000 of nutrients I am trying to make the best of them. So I am using the following nutrients: (Pictures Attached)

Based on the nutrients that I have can you please help me with the correct dosage so that I would stay within my required PPM levels (week 3 of flower - 700, week 4 - 840 week 5 - 980)

* I am NOT using Sweet or Liquid Karma anymore because someone that knows the UC well told me that it is horrible to be use them in the UC system.
 
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squiggly

squiggly

3,280
263
Thank you for being available to answer questions to us newbies. With that said I have a feeding question.

I am running a UC system 365 gallons 32x13.

I ran into some nutrient problems from the start. Now that I am stuck with about $1000 of nutrients I am trying to make the best of them. So I am using the following nutrients: (Pictures Attached)

Based on the nutrients that I have can you please help me with the correct dosage so that I would stay within my required PPM levels (week 3 of flower - 700, week 4 - 840 week 5 - 980)

* I am NOT using Sweet or Liquid Karma anymore because someone that knows the UC well told me that it is horrible to be use them in the UC system.

To be perfectly honest with you, rather than do all the math from the outset, the way I would do this is as follows:

1. Follow bottle instructions to treat a gallon of water.

2. Take PPM reading.

3. Dilute to 980ppm--mark how much liquid you added.

4. Dilute to 840, then 700--again marking how much liquid you added.

5. Back calculate the new application rates (per gallon) based on the dilutions you performed.

This isn't going to be 100% exact, but it doesn't need to be (and wouldn't be anyway if you did all the math, due to measurement errors).

Added bonus is the math is muuuuuuch easier to do.


If that's not good enough for you, and you really want me to dig into this all math style--kindly copy the labels in writing into the thread so I don't have to sift through pictures and copy them into my notebook here before starting.

What makes this so difficult is that you're using so many different products, for that reason I think following the bottle regimen and going for the dilutions is your best bet.

So just to give a small example of what I mean math wise.

Let's say the application rates are 5mL/gallon.

Let's say this gives you 2000PPM. You want to cut your application in half to get near 1000 in that case.

When the number is easy you can just do that simple math 2000/2 = 1000, but if the numbers are weirder it might be easier to note that using bottle application rates gives you 980ppm if you add an extra half gallon of water.

You can work the problem from either angle, but I really recommend not doing all this crazy ass math when you don't need to.
 
DWCgrower

DWCgrower

46
8
To be perfectly honest with you, rather than do all the math from the outset, the way I would do this is as follows:

1. Follow bottle instructions to treat a gallon of water.

2. Take PPM reading.

3. Dilute to 980ppm--mark how much liquid you added.

4. Dilute to 840, then 700--again marking how much liquid you added.

5. Back calculate the new application rates (per gallon) based on the dilutions you performed.

This isn't going to be 100% exact, but it doesn't need to be (and wouldn't be anyway if you did all the math, due to measurement errors).

Added bonus is the math is muuuuuuch easier to do.


If that's not good enough for you, and you really want me to dig into this all math style--kindly copy the labels in writing into the thread so I don't have to sift through pictures and copy them into my notebook here before starting.

What makes this so difficult is that you're using so many different products, for that reason I think following the bottle regimen and going for the dilutions is your best bet.

So just to give a small example of what I mean math wise.

Let's say the application rates are 5mL/gallon.

Let's say this gives you 2000PPM. You want to cut your application in half to get near 1000 in that case.

When the number is easy you can just do that simple math 2000/2 = 1000, but if the numbers are weirder it might be easier to note that using bottle application rates gives you 980ppm if you add an extra half gallon of water.

You can work the problem from either angle, but I really recommend not doing all this crazy ass math when you don't need to.


That makes total sense, Thank you Squiggly!!!

What about the actual nutrients that I posted, based on your experience which once would you use and which one are not good to use in the UC System?
 
aucado54

aucado54

22
3
Mr. Squiggly:
Have you put together an e-book or some such thing?
Your generosity of time and skill is much appreciated by one such as myself who avoided chemistry in college and was to stoned and horny in high-school to care.
 
squiggly

squiggly

3,280
263
Mr. Squiggly:
Have you put together an e-book or some such thing?
Your generosity of time and skill is much appreciated by one such as myself who avoided chemistry in college and was to stoned and horny in high-school to care.

I haven't. I should've done so several years ago, and in fact had plans to, but was a bit too busy at that time.

Now, the reality is that there are just more qualified chemists out there involved with the field to do something like this. When I first became the "resident chemistry nerd" here, there was almost no one doing this in industry. Now we've got a plethora of Ph.Ds with 20 years experience working in industry with various competencies--I think I'll leave the e-books to those guys for now, or write one of my own when I am one of those guys.

You're very welcome for all of my contributions. It feels great not only to be appreciated, but also to know that I'm squeezing some of the knowledge out of my head in a way that helps other people build their own knowledge.

I dropped out of high school three times (never finished technically), so yeah I feel you on that :)
 
aucado54

aucado54

22
3
Need a little help figuring dilutions:
Case in point:
Product says: xxxx ....... 0.025%
Suggested application rate : 85ppm

This isn't an actual problem.... I really want to get a handle this

Another example might be:

I have on hand a store bought fertilizer with an NPK of (say 15 - 10 - 10)
Suggested application is (for example):
N = 80 ppm
P = 40 ppm
k = 100 ppm

If I were to use the product on hand and mixing/diluting in to 2 gal water. How might I calculate / convert the percentages in to ppm
 
C

cctt

318
43
Squig - a question for you regarding concentrates:

When purging the solvent from an extraction, various consistency may be achieved (e.g. oil, sap, shatter, wax) depending on various factors (time, temperature, pressure, the hash itself). Sometimes when aiming for shatter I see certain extracts having a tendency to "wax up". This is, I believe, a stonerism, as wax need not be involved at all (i.e. it can still happen to dewaxed/winterized hash). What is the chemical process by which this happens? How best can it be controlled? Is it reversible?
 
squiggly

squiggly

3,280
263
Squig - a question for you regarding concentrates:

When purging the solvent from an extraction, various consistency may be achieved (e.g. oil, sap, shatter, wax) depending on various factors (time, temperature, pressure, the hash itself). Sometimes when aiming for shatter I see certain extracts having a tendency to "wax up". This is, I believe, a stonerism, as wax need not be involved at all (i.e. it can still happen to dewaxed/winterized hash). What is the chemical process by which this happens? How best can it be controlled? Is it reversible?


This is merely a guess, but I think the waxy consistency comes from bound water.

There are ways to remove water from an extract. Say you had some oil.

We're you to dissolve it in a dry solvent (hexanes) and dry it over MgSO4 or another drying agent and then evaporate/purge, you would exclude most water from your extract.

Other potential issues are bound oxygen or other impurities. Furthermore, it may simply be a function of the concentrations and types of cannabinoids, terpenes, waxes, and other compounds present. Look at candy making with sugar for an example of how concentration can effect properties of an amorphous solid.

A final possibility is it has to do with crystal structure, much the same way as chocolate acts (heat it to one temperature you get one type of crystal, another temp another crystal.

My guess has always been water, oxygen, or both--but I have no evidence to back that up.

Call it an educated guess.
 
C

cctt

318
43
A final possibility is it has to do with crystal structure, much the same way as chocolate acts (heat it to one temperature you get one type of crystal, another temp another crystal.

I find this idea interesting because I notice as oil waxes up during the purge it does seem to start somewhere - then build off that section, like a nucleation point.
 
squiggly

squiggly

3,280
263
I find this idea interesting because I notice as oil waxes up during the purge it does seem to start somewhere - then build off that section, like a nucleation point.

Exactly the same thing happens in candy making. I'm impressed you used the correct terminology!

Nucleation site to be technical but fucking close enough for me.

It very well could be a crystal structure issue.
 
plumbum

plumbum

6
3
squiggly, i have a question for you - hopefully you will be able to help out.. i am playing with idea of making fertilizer from scratch and trying to figure out how to add extra Calcium in addition to CalNit with limited amount of Nitrogen late in flower, to keep Calcium high and Nitrogen low. i hit the wall - it seems that there is not many choices for hydro and i'd like to stay away from Calcium Chloride.. now GH has a relatively new calcium product called calimagic. it has much lower Nitrogen to Calcium ratio..

Total Nitrogen (N).....................................1.0%

1.0% Nitrate Nitrogen

Calcium (Ca).............................................5.0%

Magnesium (Mg)......................................1.5%

1.5% Water Soluble Magnesium

Iron (Fe)....................................................0.1%

0.1% Chelated Iron (Fe)

Derived from:

Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Nitrate, Iron DTPA

i am trying to figure out how did they do it? i understand that Calcium Carbonate has low water solubility.. probably some kind of acid?

do you have any idea how to be able to dissolve Calcium Carbonate so it could be used in hydroponic solution?

thank you very much!
 
squiggly

squiggly

3,280
263
You can do it in water saturated with CO2 (#1) or as you suggest you can use strong acids to dissolve it (#2). Functionally this ends up being the same as CuCl2 though as HCl is your only real option you'd have access to. You could use nitric but then you'll end up at a 1:1 Ca/N ratio.

1. CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O → Ca(HCO3)2

2. CaCO3(s) + 2 HCl(aq) → CaCl2(aq) + CO2(g) + H2O(l)
 
plumbum

plumbum

6
3
That said, why avoid CuCl2?
my understanding is that 75ppm of chloride is max for hydroponic solution and i probably should stay even lower if sodium is present.. but that gives me only 43 ppm Ca
 
plumbum

plumbum

6
3
You can do it in water saturated with CO2 (#1) or as you suggest you can use strong acids to dissolve it (#2). Functionally this ends up being the same as CuCl2 though as HCl is your only real option you'd have access to. You could use nitric but then you'll end up at a 1:1 Ca/N ratio.

1. CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O → Ca(HCO3)2

2. CaCO3(s) + 2 HCl(aq) → CaCl2(aq) + CO2(g) + H2O(l)

i'd like to learn more about calcium bicarbonate, and if it could be an option..
 

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