PH A Basic explanation

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KingHale

KingHale

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Testing right after watering?
I’m not sure why I’m just now seeing this, but I test my water after I add nutrients. I don’t have an accurate means of measuring what comes out, as I tend to add just enough water to create a drip but never really accumulates into a puddle.
My tester stays in the soil permanently. I check it every few hours. In all honesty, I’m not completely reliant on the meters readings, but they do encourage me. I have fingers that sense moisture and a nose for excessive moisture. I know that my active and passive air flow is working. Primarily, the plant looks good and I try to just let it do it’s thing.
I will say this: my first two grows were in 100% Fox farm happy frog with no mix, no perlite, no crushed dolomitic limestone, nothing. That may have been why the meter read what it did.

On my most recent attempt, I am copy-catting the idea of mixing 40% happy frog, 40% ocean forest and 20% perlite. I’m also going full blown Fox farm nutrient schedule.
I always pH check my soil prior to watering. Basically, I flip the switch to pH, wiggle the meter and begin getting water ready. By the time I’ve got my water ready, I know the relative oH of the soil. Usually high, just around 7. I collect rainwater, and I add the Fox farms full nutrient schedule as recommended to the T, then pH balanced the water using no more than 2 drops of pH down and no more than 25 drops of pH up after that to a pH balance which always falls right around 5.9 - 6.3. I use a BlueLabs pH meter that i calibrate monthly.
I then put that water into my sprayer and administer the water. When I’m done, ill
Switch the meter back to moisture, wiggle it, and check in 19 minutes. Its usually above 6, which is good. It will eventually create a drip, but won’t create a puddle if I’ve done it correctly. Then I switch the meter back to pH, and check it later. I’ll admit, I’m less diligent in checking the pH after 10 minutes, but even after an hour, the meter is on a solid 6, so whatever I’m doing seems to working. I’m always trying to improve.
 
Glassdub

Glassdub

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So you may and may not depending on the makeup... like I say in my original post PH is not really something you can use on its own.

You can look up your water report or post it here and I can give you the low down on it.

But to answer typically the ratio of calcium to Mg is not adequate in tap water... most times you will find adequate calcium but very much lacking magnesium and as we know the nutrient ratios are extremely important to maintain. So in this case instead of adding cal mag you only need to add Mg to bring the ratio back. Ideally about 100ppm Cal and 50ppm of Mg. In most cases if you ppm from tap is between 100-200ppm simply adding 1 gram per gal of magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) will bring the ratios back into a favorable place.
The PPM checked right now is 128.
 
KingHale

KingHale

61
18
I’m not sure why I’m just now seeing this, but I test my water after I add nutrients. I don’t have an accurate means of measuring what comes out, as I tend to add just enough water to create a drip but never really accumulates into a puddle.
My tester stays in the soil permanently. I check it every few hours. In all honesty, I’m not completely reliant on the meters readings, but they do encourage me. I have fingers that sense moisture and a nose for excessive moisture. I know that my active and passive air flow is working. Primarily, the plant looks good and I try to just let it do it’s thing.
I will say this: my first two grows were in 100% Fox farm happy frog with no mix, no perlite, no crushed dolomitic limestone, nothing. That may have been why the meter read what it did.

On my most recent attempt, I am copy-catting the idea of mixing 40% happy frog, 40% ocean forest and 20% perlite. I’m also going full blown Fox farm nutrient schedule.
I always pH check my soil prior to watering. Basically, I flip the switch to pH, wiggle the meter and begin getting water ready. By the time I’ve got my water ready, I know the relative oH of the soil. Usually high, just around 7. I collect rainwater, and I add the Fox farms full nutrient schedule as recommended to the T, then pH balanced the water using no more than 2 drops of pH down and no more than 25 drops of pH up after that to a pH balance which always falls right around 5.9 - 6.3. I use a BlueLabs pH meter that i calibrate monthly.
I then put that water into my sprayer and administer the water. When I’m done, ill
Switch the meter back to moisture, wiggle it, and check in 19 minutes. Its usually above 6, which is good. It will eventually create a drip, but won’t create a puddle if I’ve done it correctly. Then I switch the meter back to pH, and check it later. I’ll admit, I’m less diligent in checking the pH after 10 minutes, but even after an hour, the meter is on a solid 6, so whatever I’m doing seems to working. I’m always trying to improve.
If you need pH down after adding Fox Farm nutrients, something is probably wrong.
The only time I ever use pH down is when I’m preparing rainwater without nutrients.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Its about 20ppm coming out of RO (That 20ppm is from the alkaline stage (The 5th-9th stages are our Alkaline Filter adding 5 stages of mineralization, antioxidants, and oxygen to your water. )
800ppm when tested after running through entire system
and oddly enough its 800ppm when tested directly from town (outdoor faucet). Its very easy for me to tap into a direct town water line as well if some of that water would be beneficial.

So, what do you think would be my safest path forward to experiment with in my new living soil run? Straight RO water, then add cal/mag or epson salt as plant show deficiency? I think you are correct and it makes total sense about salt being the primary TDS in my (non-RO) water, not cal/mag.
Yeah RO and then add cal mag to reach 150ppm including the 20ppm after and your solid
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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SSgrower

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I've collected "rain water" which Ph'd to 7.9 and my buddy growing near me says he never ph's or anything, old school guy 30 + years growing. I am more science oriented and trained for a Master Gardener's certificate thru Texas A&M.
 
Frankster

Frankster

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I've collected "rain water" which Ph'd to 7.9 and my buddy growing near me says he never ph's or anything, old school guy 30 + years growing. I am more science oriented and trained for a Master Gardener's certificate thru Texas A&M.
rain water could ph out high like that but it will acidify almost instantly on contact with virtually anything, because the elevated ph in the rain water has exceptionally low concentrations. it's just a high ph substance that's causing that curiosity, probably potassium hydroxide or something similar, that's become soluble in the water for some reason.

My water is high coming out of RO, well above 7 but I use it straight most of the time, with no problems. The buffer in your medium should counter those traces. But certainly at 7.9 it should be monitored, or dialed in somehow.
 
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Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Yeah... rainwater has no alkalinity the PH of it makes no difference
 
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