Please help me diagnose my plants

1,532
263
Hi again,

Thanks for all the help!

After reading your replies I decided to flush both plants again. My run off for both plants was around 2000 ppm so it seems like I definitely had a salt build up. I found a bit of water in the collector plate from my previous watering 2 days ago and the ppm of that was 4k ppm.

I didn’t think compost could be so harmful to a plant since it’s organic matter but I guess I learnt the hard way… as usual.

Now that I’ve flushed the plants what does this mean in terms of feeding?

Also I’ve read that molasses helps with salt build up. Is it a preventative solution or can I use it to actually break up the salt build up?
@az2000
But, it wasn't funny then.).
Lol! Thanks for the advice.
@Jimster
-Some of the growth looks better, but some doesn't. The top looks very pale compared to a couple spots on the lower level. Is this just an effect from the camera or is it looking like this?
Yes you’re correct the improvement/deficiencies are in random places.

-How much water is your soil holding?
Not sure how to measure this but when I came to flush them, it took about 1.5-2 litres before there was any runoff. My pots are around ~ 30x30 cm (13”x12”).

-I'm not saying this to be smart or abrasive, I just wanted to show that you shouldn't be struggling like this since it was doing well and then went south. Did you feed it any other nutrients at all?
No abrasion felt lol My first grow went much smoother than this (apart from a split main stem from LST :cry: ) and I thought I was going to do a better job second time round but I think the compost messed things up. And no I haven’t given it any nutrients at all.

-How much baking soda is used?
Very little since I was worried of its effects on soil ph. Mainly used cinnamon powder!

-Also, the 250W HPS is good for flowering, but you would do better with a MH bulb during vegetative growth, if you can find one to work with your ballast
In my last grow I switched from MH in veg to HPS in flowering. Both 250W. For some reason when I came to set up the MH again it's ballast was buzzing quite loudly and it’s in my room so I couldn’t stand the noise. Decided to just stick to an HPS this time and ill figure it out for the next grow. (For clarification, I dont have a digital ballast, each bulb has its own specific one)
It sounds like you have turned the corner, hopefully. Regarding feeding, I'm not sure what you are feeding them, but I would go with a 1/4 dose and see how it responds. It should green up pretty quickly but you don't want to flood it with nutrients. Once you find a comfortable level, keep it in mind for the next grow. You could also try foliar feeding, which is simply water soluble fertilizer sprayed onto the leaves in a very dilute concentration. This is safe if done carefully and provides results very quickly. In any event, go easy on the nutrients... lesson learned! :)
The HPS is great for flowering but lousy for vegetative growth. From an article I recently read, it can result in a significantly lower THC value than if grown with some blue in the light. I thought it was bullshit until I read it thru and it made sense. I had a bulb that made a hell of a racket with my magnetic ballast. After about 10 minutes, it stopped buzzing... the only time that I ever had a ballast buzz like that, and it was just from 1 particular bulb. If you have a spare, it might be worth your while to try it. My ballasts are about 35-40 years old, but still work great.
Things are starting to look better, so keep up the good work! Plants need very little nutrients, especially when they are younger. FWIW, I have been following some posts regarding the nutrient levels spiking in indoor grows shortly after switching to 12/12. I'm unsure of why this happens, but it is something to consider if your plants start to struggle shortly after flowering.
 
707
93
My run off for both plants was around 2000 ppm so it seems like I definitely had a salt build up. I found a bit of water in the collector plate from my previous watering 2 days ago and the ppm of that was 4k ppm.
...
Now that I’ve flushed the plants what does this mean in terms of feeding?
When you fed leading up to this unhappiness, how much runoff did you typically get? (Did you pour enough to get a substantial amount? Or, just to see a trickle?). If it was more like the former (10-20% runoff), I'd start feeding 1/2 to 3/4 the strength you were feeding. If it was the latter, I'd continue feeding what you were feeding (maybe a little less, if you're nervous) -- but more volume to continue flushing in small amounts each feeding.

From my experience with buildup (and watching the runoff ppms, and then playing with "how much is too much"), it's a balancing act between strength and runoff volume. I.e., I can perfectly dial in the strength with no runoff. Or, I could feed twice that amount if I get 50% runoff each feeding. (Not that I think either are good ideas. 10-20% seems reasonable.). I'm just illustrating how there's a couple ways to manage it. Personally, I err toward stronger nutrients and larger runoff. I feel like my plants do better than trying to conserve. It's like they prefer a "fresh plate" each feeding (push the old, unused stuff out). I've read that excessive runoff is unhelpful to the soil microbes. You can add a pinch of sugar per gallon of nutrient mix to help the microbes bounce back. (More isn't better. Just a pinch.).

It sounds like your runoff ppms might reflect the same thing mine did. I'd be less cautious and resume feeding, but watch that. Stay below 2000ppm. (For me, 2500 is where the plant shows symptoms. It wouldn't be bad for you to test 2500 and see if that's the same for you. Maybe with one plant the next grow.). Also, the 4000 runoff might have been elevated from evaporation over 2 days. It might have been 3000 when it was fresh.
 
147
43
Hope all goes smooth from here!! I'm sorry my last post was not a good answer I wasn't sure what was going on. Does anyone know if you can use an MH ballast for HPS and vice versa? A few times I have forgot to change them and realized afterwards and shut it down to switch.
 
1,532
263
Hope all goes smooth from here!! I'm sorry my last post was not a good answer I wasn't sure what was going on. Does anyone know if you can use an MH ballast for HPS and vice versa? A few times I have forgot to change them and realized afterwards and shut it down to switch.
To use a HPS with a MH ballast, you either need a switchable ballast or a HPS to MH conversion bulb. Both work equally well. The HPS needs an ignitor which the MH doesn't, although I have heard that it's sometimes possible to use a regular HPS on a MH ballast, but not Vice Versa. I have used Mh to HPS conversion bulbs and had excellent results. I thing the MH to HPS bulb is a little harder to find, but they are out there. Here is one I found:
 
147
43
To use a HPS with a MH ballast, you either need a switchable ballast or a HPS to MH conversion bulb. Both work equally well. The HPS needs an ignitor which the MH doesn't, although I have heard that it's sometimes possible to use a regular HPS on a MH ballast, but not Vice Versa. I have used Mh to HPS conversion bulbs and had excellent results. I thing the MH to HPS bulb is a little harder to find, but they are out there. Here is one I found:

Thanks Jimster. I just wanted to know if I caused any damage from forgetting to switch the ballasts with the bulbs. :p Thanks for the link too, worth looking at.
 
It sounds like you have turned the corner, hopefully. Regarding feeding, I'm not sure what you are feeding them, but I would go with a 1/4 dose and see how it responds. It should green up pretty quickly but you don't want to flood it with nutrients. Once you find a comfortable level, keep it in mind for the next grow. You could also try foliar feeding, which is simply water soluble fertilizer sprayed onto the leaves in a very dilute concentration. This is safe if done carefully and provides results very quickly. In any event, go easy on the nutrients... lesson learned! :)
The HPS is great for flowering but lousy for vegetative growth. From an article I recently read, it can result in a significantly lower THC value than if grown with some blue in the light. I thought it was bullshit until I read it thru and it made sense. I had a bulb that made a hell of a racket with my magnetic ballast. After about 10 minutes, it stopped buzzing... the only time that I ever had a ballast buzz like that, and it was just from 1 particular bulb. If you have a spare, it might be worth your while to try it. My ballasts are about 35-40 years old, but still work great.
Things are starting to look better, so keep up the good work! Plants need very little nutrients, especially when they are younger. FWIW, I have been following some posts regarding the nutrient levels spiking in indoor grows shortly after switching to 12/12. I'm unsure of why this happens, but it is something to consider if your plants start to struggle shortly after flowering.
When you fed leading up to this unhappiness, how much runoff did you typically get? (Did you pour enough to get a substantial amount? Or, just to see a trickle?). If it was more like the former (10-20% runoff), I'd start feeding 1/2 to 3/4 the strength you were feeding. If it was the latter, I'd continue feeding what you were feeding (maybe a little less, if you're nervous) -- but more volume to continue flushing in small amounts each feeding.

From my experience with buildup (and watching the runoff ppms, and then playing with "how much is too much"), it's a balancing act between strength and runoff volume. I.e., I can perfectly dial in the strength with no runoff. Or, I could feed twice that amount if I get 50% runoff each feeding. (Not that I think either are good ideas. 10-20% seems reasonable.). I'm just illustrating how there's a couple ways to manage it. Personally, I err toward stronger nutrients and larger runoff. I feel like my plants do better than trying to conserve. It's like they prefer a "fresh plate" each feeding (push the old, unused stuff out). I've read that excessive runoff is unhelpful to the soil microbes. You can add a pinch of sugar per gallon of nutrient mix to help the microbes bounce back. (More isn't better. Just a pinch.).

It sounds like your runoff ppms might reflect the same thing mine did. I'd be less cautious and resume feeding, but watch that. Stay below 2000ppm. (For me, 2500 is where the plant shows symptoms. It wouldn't be bad for you to test 2500 and see if that's the same for you. Maybe with one plant the next grow.). Also, the 4000 runoff might have been elevated from evaporation over 2 days. It might have been 3000 when it was fresh.

@Jimster
-Regarding feeding, I'm not sure what you are feeding them, but I would go with a 1/4 dose and see how it responds.

I haven’t fed them anything yet but I only have access to general fertilizers available in my country. I’m going to wait a bit and hopefully see some improvements before I feed them. I don’t really trust the fertilizers available here so I was hoping that the compost would do the job, and some molasses.

- You could also try foliar feeding, which is simply water soluble fertilizer sprayed onto the leaves in a very dilute concentration.

Thanks, Ill check it out!

- After about 10 minutes, it stopped buzzing... the only time that I ever had a ballast buzz like that, and it was just from 1 particular bulb. If you have a spare, it might be worth your while to try it

Hmm I gave mine the benefit of the doubt for hours and I aslo tried to see if something was loose inside but I couldn’t get the noise to stop. Once I tried switching to the HPS bulb and ballast and found that it was silent I did some research and read that using HPS the whole is fine. If only I had known about the blue light effecting the THC levels, then I definitely would’ve put up with it until I got another spare!

@az2000

- When you fed leading up to this unhappiness, how much runoff did you typically get?

I haven’t fed the plants anything yet. I had two different potting soils, one with compost and the other without. I was using the non-composted soil for the nurseries and the plants were doing great. For their final pots I decided to fill the bottom half with the composted soil and the top half with the non-composted soil. My reasoning was that when the plant matures the roots will dig deeper and reach the compost.
Alas, this seems to have backfired. I didn’t know compost could be so harmful.

- It's like they prefer a "fresh plate" each feeding (push the old, unused stuff out). I've read that excessive runoff is unhelpful to the soil microbes. You can add a pinch of sugar per gallon of nutrient mix to help the microbes bounce back.

Very interesting, I preferred not to get a lot of runoff just because I didn’t want a lot of water collecting and causing bacteria or mold issues. But when I come to start feeding them I’ll give it a try! Ill definitely give it some molasses soon!

- Also, the 4000 runoff might have been elevated from evaporation over 2 days. It might have been 3000 when it was fresh.

Yes I definitely agree. It was worrying seeing that as a first measurement though lol
 

Latest Cannabis Seeds

Strawberry Sorbet
Sold out

Strawberry Sorbet

DNA Genetics
Heirloom Swiss Sativa x Sorbet
6
Feminized
Limited
$85.00
Sorbet Stash

Sorbet Stash

DNA Genetics
Headstash x Sorbet
6
Feminized
Limited
$85.00
Strawberries & Cream

Strawberries & Cream

Connoisseur Genetics
Strawberry Cough x The White
5
Feminized
Limited
$80.00
El Chapo
Sold out

El Chapo

The Plug Seedbank
Sour Diesel IBL (ECSD) x Headbanger
6
Feminized
Limited
$90.00
Top