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I've never had a problem with pH and air. It's nutrients without sufficient "pH buffer" that cause pH swings. Google how a chemical pH buffer system works, it's magic, it's like a chemical control system. Phosphoric acid and Carbonates work well to keep pH in a non-linear zone.

"Surface agitation" is what drives gaseous exchange, research "flooming", it's what they use in aquaculture. It's just churning the surface of the liquid that facilitates gaseous exchange. Like a swelling in the centre. Much quieter and not a waterfall per se, but it works as well. The splashing of water also works, but it not necessary except for wetting above-surface roots I find, like the ones growing out net pots. Hence why I'm drifting back from flooming-waterfalls to having a good bubble spray.

Are you sure your temps are in range, and the water is churning inside the root mat and at the bottom of tote? These issues are why I'm going back to taller buckets with smaller plants than scrog totes, so that they can in-actuality have a current flowing all around and the root-mat. Also I ask myself when I build a system that water may be sufficiently oxygenated on the surface but is it really penetrating and swapping out solution right from the middle of a massive root mat every 5min? It's all about how water flows in rdwc that means healthier root growth.

I have had more problems with bulkheads that grommets, weird.

As the bulkheads you was using was pry junk and probably not the current culture spin tight bulkheads as I haven't had a single leak and I have x4 per tote for drain and water pump...Yes I am sure my temps are correct and using cultured solutions nutes right now...Also like I said even current culture took out their matala disc for their epicenter because of pH problems it was causing in the system as I took mine out and my levels stay stable even at 6 weeks since last res. Change and still fine...So works for me...I'm a true believer in both flooming and waterfall for do over air stones but that's just me however airstones has their place that's for sure as they obviously work...Million ways to skin a cat...I was thinking about power heads in each tote instead of waterfall however I may try it in my new cloner and see how I like it and go from there it would be easier than waterfall manifold and lines but will see efficiency is huge for me since I grow for my own personal use and that is it I'm very selfish like that....Plus with how sick I am it's thee only way period.....Also on the bulkheads makes a big difference on if it's a rectangle or circle tote as like a 5gal bucket I could see the groumets working as I've used small 3/4 grommets for some dwc buckets i used to run that's now for males or a mother if I choose to have one lol...
 
I just got a 4 plant UC system set up (I only have one light so far). Man it was a pain getting those 50mm (2inch) grommets in even with lube. I also noticed my smaller veg undercurrent (much smaller system) had roots going into the connecting pipes, which were only like 1 inch.

Got a 30l/hr airpump running, on 1apple-sized ball airstone per bucket incl the epicenter. Running quite hardcore.

Also go a jebao/jecod 5000 return pump DC running at about 60% power, I love this pump, can dial it between 3000-5000l/hr and it uses like half the power of a standard powerhead. It's also a entry level pump, so there are better ones.
 
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So your grommets are they uniseals or actual grommets as they are similar....Also if you soak them in hottish water it makes things go much much smoother....However I use bulkheads only if it's under the waterline period..I don't trust anything else nor will I chance it using some trash that your gna have nothing but issues with in the future... Containers cracking from the stress from the grommet and the piping as well....

If I was you I wouldnt bother using a airstone in your epicenter since your return line is going to it and will have a waterfall which is plenty d.o for a epicenter plus it will give you more stable pH as well....

Which is why even current culture removed their matala diffusion disc from the epicenter as it is not necessary.....

If I was you I would stick that extra airstone from the epicenter and put it in your top off rez which I highly recommend as well your plants will Love you for it too...

As like my 4 site veg setup is a current culture uc4 with 8gal buckets and I have a epicenter that's outside of the tent and I use a 13gal trash can for my top off red and it works wonders as you want a top off res big enough that u can leave it for a week and be okay... I wouldn't get a huge oversized one tho as it will be more work plus wasted water and nutes....As I set my top off for a week ahead of the system so as the plants drink during the week it will slowly release next week's nutes and be silky smooth transition

Ya I could of said your roots would clog up with 1in tubing only...Which I only use 1in for my return line back to the epicenter.....

For h2o pumps I have found that I like the eco plus mag drives thee best hands down they are amazing pumps are built very well and leak free and it has all threaded male ends unlike the danner mag drive garbage pumps...As I bought 5 danner pumps diff sizes and places and I got 1/5 that didn't leak and I didn't have to send back...Also not a fan of their housings at all and can't see how their model 2,3,5,7,9 all uses the same housing I don't think so..Anyways got 3 eco plus mag drives and they are wonderful pumps quiet too..m
 
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So your grommets are they uniseals or actual grommets as they are similar....Also if you soak them in hottish water it makes things go much much smoother....However I use bulkheads only if it's under the waterline period..I don't trust anything else nor will I chance it using some trash that your gna have nothing but issues with in the future... Containers cracking from the stress from the grommet and the piping as well....

If I was you I wouldnt bother using a airstone in your epicenter since your return line is going to it and will have a waterfall which is plenty d.o for a epicenter plus it will give you more stable pH as well....

Which is why even current culture removed their matala diffusion disc from the epicenter as it is not necessary.....

If I was you I would stick that extra airstone from the epicenter and put it in your top off rez which I highly recommend as well your plants will Love you for it too...

As like my 4 site veg setup is a current culture uc4 with 8gal buckets and I have a epicenter that's outside of the tent and I use a 13gal trash can for my top off red and it works wonders as you want a top off res big enough that u can leave it for a week and be okay... I wouldn't get a huge oversized one tho as it will be more work plus wasted water and nutes....As I set my top off for a week ahead of the system so as the plants drink during the week it will slowly release next week's nutes and be silky smooth transition

Ya I could of said your roots would clog up with 1in tubing only...Which I only use 1in for my return line back to the epicenter.....

For h2o pumps I have found that I like the eco plus mag drives thee best hands down they are amazing pumps are built very well and leak free and it has all threaded male ends unlike the danner mag drive garbage pumps...As I bought 5 danner pumps diff sizes and places and I got 1/5 that didn't leak and I didn't have to send back...Also not a fan of their housings at all and can't see how their model 2,3,5,7,9 all uses the same housing I don't think so..Anyways got 3 eco plus mag drives and they are wonderful pumps quiet too..m
I hear water fall guys say air stones raise your ph. Can you please explain this to to me because they don't. Good aeration does. Are you saying airstones provide better aeration?

Curious where current culture said they removed them because they were raising ph. I can't see that. I can see... them removing it because they don't feel it's needed.
 
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Which you have already asked that question before aqua......I have a pm from current culture stating that is one of the reasons they took out the matala disc and just use waterfall for the epicenter......
Also I didn't say airstones raises your pH...I said taking the matala disc out or airstone From epicenter will give you a more stable pH in ur system....
However keep in mind I am also using cultured solutions nutrients as well which will effect it too...
 
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Which you have already asked that question before aqua......I have a pm from current culture stating that is one of the reasons they took out the matala disc and just use waterfall for the epicenter......
Also I didn't say airstones raises your pH...I said taking the matala disc out or airstone From epicenter will give you a more stable pH in ur system....
However keep in mind I am also using cultured solutions nutrients as well which will effect it too...
That's what I mean... How does removing an air stones give a more stable ph? I mean waterfalls are great there is no doubt but I really think this ph thing and airstones argument needs to die. It's just soo wrong and if they said that they are blowing smoke up your ass.

Tbh I think this all started with pools, hot tubs and shit. People take info and apply it wrong.

It's nothing personal I just get triggered over some of the info a lot of waterfall guys claim...through no fault of their own. But because of bad info.
 
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I know this from first hand experience with using my uc4 with the matala like c.c used to have..And they said it helps with stabilizing pH with their system and nutrients.....I will try and find the email from them stating so as well...As aqua we have already had this conversation before.....
 
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I know this from first hand experience with using my uc4 with the matala like c.c used to have..And they said it helps with stabilizing pH with their system and nutrients.....I will try and find the email from them stating so as well...As aqua we have already had this conversation before.....
Yep... But I think they are telling half truths. It can affect ph but so can any aeration. I get why they are making these claims. People ph water that has not been aerated then add to the system it then becomes aerated and gas exchange is increased and the ph usually rises as the water reaches equalibrium with the air in contact with it.

Now the more aeration no matter the source waterfalls, airstones, venturi's etc. The faster this will happen. It's not an airstone thing is an aeration thing.

So basically they are lowering the gas exchange rate which then affects the ph less while having enough to provide adequate DO replinshment. So I can't understand how waterfall people claim better oxygenation and more stable ph. It's just not true

Ok will drop it still think there is some bad info out there on this unfairly bashing airstones. Both systems are great.
 
Nah they pool pump grommets, not uniseal. Also my smaller 1inch ones are a local irrigation co ones which work. Good thing my buckets are floppy under eminence pressure when pushing a pipe thru it. Tho as the plastic ages we'll see. Bulkheads I have had them snap and leak, they far more finicky imo, well smaller ones i've only used.

I think until we use a DO meter and experiment, we should take most online findings with a pinch of epsom salt. It's on my list, and a chiller. Keeping plants warm and then the solution cool seems to be working, hope I can do it at the same time with a chiller. God they pricey tho
 
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The largest grommet I've used is like 1/2 or 3/4... The rest is bulkheads..Which the company has a lot to do with the quality of bulkheads like anything you get what you pay for well for the most part....
I can't see how bulkheads are finicky by any means either thread the pipe on or glue it and unscrew the nut to remove it done deal...No finnicky B's like with rubber seals as if u bump one of ur pipes or totes and good chance it's gna leak not to mention taking it apart between grows to clean and sterilize just much much more stress on the fittings and everything vs bulkheads...The bulkheads won't crack the tote as easily as a grommets/uniseals putting all that pressure on the totes pipes and seals..... IMO I will only use bulkheads but that's just me and my choice....And using unions or ball valve unions is a must have if you use PVC pipe vs hoses ....

Ya chillers ain't cheap that's for damn sure I did have x5 1/4hp eco plus chillers but sold the last one I was selling so now I just have 2 and well the 2nd one is brand new in box still waiting for a rainy day I guess....As the others I was selling for 200 they are the older models which I've heard they are built a lot better than the new versions are I guess...Try craigslist or let go etc...Someone pry has a used one for ya......

When you do get your chiller if you buy it used u will need to get urself some h202 and u get a pump put it in a 5gal bucket fill it up w hot water and a cup or 2 of h202 and let it circulate thru ur chiller to get all the scale and shit out of it....Keep in mind they say you should clean it like that at least every 2mo so after each harvest I would sterilize it if I was you...I do it with mine and everything stays nice in clean and if u got shit in ur chiller and don't want it in ur plants then keep it clean.....It will make ur life alot easier doing routine maintenance and keep in silky smooth and clean
 
I've actually noticed that my pH is struggling to stay below 6....sits at 7 after a few days. Have to add water and nutes 2x a week in this buckets lol, see why totes is more practical there. Gonna formulate sulfuric acid into my stock solutions. That should add some protons to the MKP buffer system and control the pH. WIll spike my sulfur ppm but my stock is chock full of p and n so cant use those respective acids (nitric/phosphoric)
 
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Well what I use ppm wise is from seed I do 200-250ppm.clones 350-400.veg is 400-450 bloom 650-700ppm is about the max but as you know every strain is diff including the same strain but diff phenos will have diff nute needs keep that in mind so they can vary a lil... however for rdwc setup I have not had issues with those ppms...also I haven't had issues with pH after I took out the air stones in the control bucket and just use the waterfall return and it's much more stable...the way your saying it sounds like your in dwc buckets not rdwc?....also I check my pH every other day and change when need be if say the 2nd day is fine I'll check it daily until I need to adj...and as your plant is drinking nutes your pH will raise as well...if you are running rdwc I would suggest a top off reservoir it will do wonders for your system and the plants are much happier with a constant level ...
I use r/o water and I'm using cultured solutions for nutes however when I am out I will be moving onto my dry nutes only and dry only for everything and I mean everything pH, all the nutes no more liquid bs unless I make the stock solution myself those days of paying for 98% water like screw that those days are loooong gone sooooo much cheaper and easier to dial in..I am a true believer that silica is a great thing for hydro..if you plant train and scrog mainly super cropping even lst I believe it is a must have plus the other benefits it has with a deterrent to pests as it also makes the plant stronger on the outside and harder to penetrate to eat ...and helps with drought as well which in rdwc shouldn't ever be a issue lol
 
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Sounds like your plants are going well. My 4plants will drink 5 gal a day a bigger res helps make it easier. Another option is an auto top off system. Sounds to me like your just a bit shy on carbonate/ bicarbonate are you using RO water?

At flip I can run as high 1000-1100 ppm each system will be different but after 1 run you will have a good idea. A lot depends on lighting and of course your nutrients.
 
My tap water is very clean, only like 50ppm. It's also very alkali so I use acids mainly to keep the pH in check.

Do you guys know the NPK Ca Mg S ratios your're using? Because I make my own, setting the ppm targets for individual nutrients is important, and takes much trial and error.
 
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Hydrobuddy is a must have ya my water is about 50-100ppm but use r/o but the waste line is closed as it only adds 10ppm and saves 1/2ur wasted water I got my ro300 for 20 only and came w all new filters to however when I need to change the membranes I'm gna hold off and see how it does with just the filters it would be more efficient but will c
 
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My tap water is very clean, only like 50ppm. It's also very alkali so I use acids mainly to keep the pH in check.

Do you guys know the NPK Ca Mg S ratios your're using? Because I make my own, setting the ppm targets for individual nutrients is important, and takes much trial and error.
NPK 9-6-17 cal mag at about 3-1 and 2-1 ish last few weeks.

With RO you need to reconstitute it or ph will likely have bigger swings. Preferably potassium bicarbonate but if you don't have start with 1/2tsp baking soda per 5 gal then add nutrients and then ph down. You should see an improvement of the stability of your ph. If it's still raising more than 0.1-0.2 a day then increase the potassium bicarbonate or baking soda you add to the RO before nutrients and ph down
 
Phosphoric acid works well and is cheap and widely availible, but I already added like 30ppm P from MKP and an extra 0.05 mili-molar units of phosphoric acid will bring it up to 34ppm actual P. So I don't want to go further into "the luxury range" as too much P causes problems. I have 60ppm of N so so that is about as high as I think I should go and nitric acid is not a potent acid in hydro imo, so will try sulfuric for the flowering stage. Also I only got like 15.5ppm actual P for the veg ratio of my stock, so I dont mind using phosphoric acid for veg pH balancing. I prefer to have all the acids together with my fert as then I never have a problem with pH. Gonna check pH now again since bringing it down yesterday.
 
Here's my ratios for veg mix:

NH4 = 2.8ppm
NO3 = 30.8 + 5.6 + 10.5 = 46.9 = 50totN (5.6%NH4)
P = 15.5 + 1.55 = 17ppm
K = 19.5 + 29.25 = 49ppm
Ca = 40ppm
Mg = 12 + 4.8 = 16ppm
S = 16ppm

Total: 188 ppm
N—P—K = 3—1—3
K—Ca—Mg = 3—3—1

My flower mix:

NH4 = 2.8
NO3 = 30.8 + 5.6 + 21 = 57.4 = 60totN (4.6%NH4)
P = 31 + 3.1 = 34
K = 39 + 58.5 = 98
Ca = 40
Mg = 24 + 4.8 = 28
S = 32

Total: 292 ppm
N—P—K = 2—1—3
K—Ca—Mg = 4—2—1
Ca-N = 0.91


After 2 years of messing around I've settled on these ratios
 

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