PH A Basic explanation

  • Thread starter Aqua Man
  • Start date
  • Tagged users None
KingHale

KingHale

61
18
I had to read through this thread twice ... I’m quite certain that the majority of my mistakes can be fixed right here so I wanted to confirm something and ask a couple of questions.

1) I have a soil grow, Fox Farm Happy Frog and I’m using rainwater that runs off of my gutter system and then gets filtered and stored in 5 gallon buckets before it’s filtered a second time and prepped with general hydroponics pH up/ down. You’re saying I probably don’t have to pay balance my nutrients because the soil acts as a buffer? I had a gut feeling about that. So then, what value would there be in pH balancing the non-nutrient water? Wouldn’t the soil buffer non-nutrient water similarly?

2) I see that testing kits for alkalinity of water are quite involved. There doesn’t seem to be a simple meter like my blue labs pH meter. Any suggestions or recommendations? Also, the recommended alkalinity of water for growing in soil would be below 40ppm correct?

3) no matter what happens, if my soil pH meter is reading good, I should be good on alkalinity and pH right?

Thanks again for everyone’s assistance! I had no idea how complex this was going to get. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with it all but I’m taking it one piece of the puzzle at a time. Next I’m going to learn about pest management and then I’d love to learn more about “re-amending the buffering capacity of re-used soil”.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff
Supporter
23,226
638
I had to read through this thread twice ... I’m quite certain that the majority of my mistakes can be fixed right here so I wanted to confirm something and ask a couple of questions.

1) I have a soil grow, Fox Farm Happy Frog and I’m using rainwater that runs off of my gutter system and then gets filtered and stored in 5 gallon buckets before it’s filtered a second time and prepped with general hydroponics pH up/ down. You’re saying I probably don’t have to pay balance my nutrients because the soil acts as a buffer? I had a gut feeling about that. So then, what value would there be in pH balancing the non-nutrient water? Wouldn’t the soil buffer non-nutrient water similarly?

2) I see that testing kits for alkalinity of water are quite involved. There doesn’t seem to be a simple meter like my blue labs pH meter. Any suggestions or recommendations? Also, the recommended alkalinity of water for growing in soil would be below 40ppm correct?

3) no matter what happens, if my soil pH meter is reading good, I should be good on alkalinity and pH right?

Thanks again for everyone’s assistance! I had no idea how complex this was going to get. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with it all but I’m taking it one piece of the puzzle at a time. Next I’m going to learn about pest management and then I’d love to learn more about “re-amending the buffering capacity of re-used soil”.
As long as the ph stays reasonable during mixing nutes imo no need to ph adjust at all. Ph issues during mixing are usually involved when you are using silica other than that mix as directed by the manufacturer and just feed.
 
KingHale

KingHale

61
18
As long as the ph stays reasonable during mixing nutes imo no need to ph adjust at all. Ph issues during mixing are usually involved when you are using silica other than that mix as directed by the manufacturer and just feed.
Following manufacturer instructions is one of my favorite things to do in life. Sometimes the manufacturers instructions aren’t completely clear and I’m a tad OCD. For instance, Fox Farms instructions are thus:

“FOR BEST RESULTS: feed two times per week. Maintain a pH of 5.6 to 6.8 to prevent nutrient lockout and reduce stress on plants”

For me, this meant to pH the water prior to feeding, I never thought to check the pH of the water prior to adding nutrients. You’re saying that if the pH doesn’t change drastically after adding nutrients, that means the alkalinity of my water should be compatible with the buffering quality of my soil medium? I’m probably over-thinking everything. So long as my soil pH meter reading is good, I’ve got nothing to worry about where the alkalinity of my water is concerned, Right? Thanks in advance.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff
Supporter
23,226
638
Following manufacturer instructions is one of my favorite things to do in life. Sometimes the manufacturers instructions aren’t completely clear and I’m a tad OCD. For instance, Fox Farms instructions are thus:

“FOR BEST RESULTS: feed two times per week. Maintain a pH of 5.6 to 6.8 to prevent nutrient lockout and reduce stress on plants”

For me, this meant to pH the water prior to feeding, I never thought to check the pH of the water prior to adding nutrients. You’re saying that if the pH doesn’t change drastically after adding nutrients, that means the alkalinity of my water should be compatible with the buffering quality of my soil medium? I’m probably over-thinking everything. So long as my soil pH meter reading is good, I’ve got nothing to worry about where the alkalinity of my water is concerned, Right? Thanks in advance.
Your nutrients should be fine if thats all your using. Rainwater is like RO water its very low alkalinity and if filtered should be fine.
 
Glassdub

Glassdub

972
143
Following manufacturer instructions is one of my favorite things to do in life. Sometimes the manufacturers instructions aren’t completely clear and I’m a tad OCD. For instance, Fox Farms instructions are thus:

“FOR BEST RESULTS: feed two times per week. Maintain a pH of 5.6 to 6.8 to prevent nutrient lockout and reduce stress on plants”

For me, this meant to pH the water prior to feeding, I never thought to check the pH of the water prior to adding nutrients. You’re saying that if the pH doesn’t change drastically after adding nutrients, that means the alkalinity of my water should be compatible with the buffering quality of my soil medium? I’m probably over-thinking everything. So long as my soil pH meter reading is good, I’ve got nothing to worry about where the alkalinity of my water is concerned, Right? Thanks in advance.
At this point I don't worry too much about the pH of the water as much as the runoff pH, as of my last watering in going pH was 10.7 (tap water & amendments) & the run offs were between 5.7-6.2, this is what to watch, I made the mistake of aciding down my in going solution pH prior & it probably did more damage than good.
 
XtreemLee

XtreemLee

13
3
Thanks for everyone’s input:

my list
Verify well water ec. That’s important I need to really understand what my starting point is. I ordered some cal/mag and another drop style ph test system. I use a Hanna pen that does ph and ec, I recalibrate often, but have had issues with it in the past. I have strips I use when I have doubts but paper and color is only so good.
I need to pay attention to ec better. I think I have been adding to much nutrients. I usually pull water and let it warm up as well water is cold.
I will check ph and ec of my well water and verify what I’ve said previously.
I haven’t cleaned my buckets or net pots very well and went through everything today. I can’t clean the net pots that have plants in them but I can clean everything else, and am doing that with hydrogen peroxide and water.
So my plan is as follows:
Verify well water ph and ec, I’m confident my ph is 8 but never really looked at incoming ec.
Once I have that I have to flush these plants with the net pots and gravel that’s already in place. I don’t think the stress of flushing is any worse than my ph being out of control.
Then i am going to let them sit in ph balanced well water. Let that go for day and check again. Again, I’m listening and I’ve read all you’ve posted.

I don’t balance ph until I’ve added all nutes, cause my nutes always change it a bit.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff
Supporter
23,226
638
Thanks for everyone’s input:

my list
Verify well water ec. That’s important I need to really understand what my starting point is. I ordered some cal/mag and another drop style ph test system. I use a Hanna pen that does ph and ec, I recalibrate often, but have had issues with it in the past. I have strips I use when I have doubts but paper and color is only so good.
I need to pay attention to ec better. I think I have been adding to much nutrients. I usually pull water and let it warm up as well water is cold.
I will check ph and ec of my well water and verify what I’ve said previously.
I haven’t cleaned my buckets or net pots very well and went through everything today. I can’t clean the net pots that have plants in them but I can clean everything else, and am doing that with hydrogen peroxide and water.
So my plan is as follows:
Verify well water ph and ec, I’m confident my ph is 8 but never really looked at incoming ec.
Once I have that I have to flush these plants with the net pots and gravel that’s already in place. I don’t think the stress of flushing is any worse than my ph being out of control.
Then i am going to let them sit in ph balanced well water. Let that go for day and check again. Again, I’m listening and I’ve read all you’ve posted.

I don’t balance ph until I’ve added all nutes, cause my nutes always change it a bit.
Imo you always want nutrients in hydro. If flushing flush with the nutrients in ph and teml adjusted water. I top feed from the res once a week just to clear any salt buildup.
 
Pondracer

Pondracer

394
93
Imo you always want nutrients in hydro. If flushing flush with the nutrients in ph and teml adjusted water. I top feed from the res once a week just to clear any salt buildup.

Thats interesting. I haven't flushed this time at all other than when I moved them into flower, though one plant could have used it. Really fun run this time with two plants in 2 gallon fabric and I had two in plastic containers less than one gallon. I did transplant those into 2 gallon fabric. All four were roughly 3' tall and about 30 inches wide. Its been really cool to see the difference between these plants and the first two. So much comes down to experience making things easier.
 
Madmax

Madmax

4,962
263
Yeah silica will. You need to mix it in order. Silica first then ph down to 6.2-6.4 ish then add the rest. If you add silica first check the ph after it will be pretty high and can cause things like iron and calcium to precipitate out of the nutrient solution.
Great thread...this is interesting as i havnt been phing after using si first.so does can cause mean it may or may not precipitate out.if it was i would b seeing deficiencies right.been using it for 30 days in flower so far.im not using ph up down most times as when i mix its pretty much bang on but over a day it can climb .1 etc..i dont want to use all that ph down to get it right then mix a+b in then have to ph up quite abit to get it to 5.9-6.0 etc..my tank water is 6.1 -6.3... i was told to use the silica last as itz an additive but ive read it can precipitate out..
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff
Supporter
23,226
638
Great thread...this is interesting as i havnt been phing after using si first.so does can cause mean it may or may not precipitate out.if it was i would b seeing deficiencies right.been using it for 30 days in flower so far.im not using ph up down most times as when i mix its pretty much bang on but over a day it can climb .1 etc..i dont want to use all that ph down to get it right then mix a+b in then have to ph up quite abit to get it to 5.9-6.0 etc..my tank water is 6.1 -6.3... i was told to use the silica last as itz an additive but ive read it can precipitate out..
You will see if it is... will be white particles like a snow globe or settled on the bottom.
 
Madmax

Madmax

4,962
263
Is that for silicon your answer...What about the cal and iron bro..spose there is some form of test or even a meter to test if cal and iron is gone?..
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff
Supporter
23,226
638
Is that for silicon your answer...What about the cal and iron bro..spose there is some form of test or even a meter to test if cal and iron is gone?..
Iron will look like rust. If its flowable silicone no issue but if its something like potassium silicate I would mix properly. I think both should be given time though and added first but I could be wrong on the flowable stuff.
 
Madmax

Madmax

4,962
263
But i dont want to use all that ph down 😭..dont ask me why 😃.. maybe i should ask haha..can using too much ph down have an effect on media ph.im one of those guys when things are looking good im reluctant to change lol..
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff
Supporter
23,226
638
But i dont want to use all that ph down 😭..dont ask me why 😃.. maybe i should ask haha..can using too much ph down have an effect on media ph.im one of those guys when things are looking good im reluctant to change lol..
What media are you in? There are other options like rice hulls and vermiculite also can foliar spray it which is more effective.
 
Madmax

Madmax

4,962
263
Coco coir.when i dont use the silica i have to ph up quite abit and the way i think is that using too much over a period can raise the media ph but im only just guessing that..
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff
Supporter
23,226
638
Coco coir.when i dont use the silica i have to ph up quite abit and the way i think is that using too much over a period can raise the media ph but im only just guessing that..
Should be fine if watering properly.
 
Madmax

Madmax

4,962
263
Ok i mixed it up how you said to.Aqua 3ml si to 16 litres = 9.2 ph .used 1ml of ph down to 5.8....gave that a good rest then added flores a&b 30ml ea ,20ml boost and 3ml go roots =600ppm im feeding them.its ph then was 4.9 ..added 3/4 ml to get it to 5.9 ..checked ppm and was 6-700 ppm so had to reduce feed by a litre to bring it back..its actually reduced the feed i was giving it not by much and added say 50ppm of up &down to total..so when i reduced it to 600ppm .there wouldnt b 600ppm of feed it there now would there..im still not keen to do it like this lol..
 
Madmax

Madmax

4,962
263
I tossed it out 😃..is there anything on the subject you have read aqua that iron and cal precipiate out of solution when they are added after si ..see how i dont listen even when your right..lol..
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

N
Replies
22
Views
332
NewGrower42069
N
AndyBoi
Replies
9
Views
174
AndyBoi
AndyBoi
CannabisCultivator
Replies
24
Views
520
CannabisCultivator
CannabisCultivator
W
Replies
16
Views
405
Madmax
Madmax
detroitjoe
Replies
1
Views
259
Brotofsky
Brotofsky
Top Bottom