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Brown tips?


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Old 07-24-2016, 11:21 AM
Rye Rye is offline
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Default Brown tips?

Could someone offer some advice into what caused this? I'm using a DWR with chard, romaine, and seberrian kale on the table. Has been as low as 660 and up to 170x10 ppm based on my pen. I read lettuce likes 660 ppm but it seems to respond better at 120-140x10 ppm.

The browning did stop when I changed the two week old water in the tanks. I am looking for a more solid answer than " bad water". I'm trying to document everything so it is repeatable if desirable and a list of don't do's.




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Old 07-25-2016, 02:03 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello Rye,
First what is DWR??? Second I cant rule out your water supply until I know what water supply your using. Third often times problems are a combination of combined issues rather than just from a single cause. So it's better to look at and understand how things are related and affect others.

1. What type of system are you growing your plants in?
2. What are you using for the water supply?
3. What are you using for nutrients, and are you using any additives?
4. How are you mixing the nutrients? I don't mean the ppm, I mean compared with the manufactures instructions. What is the manufactures recommendation per gallon of water, and how much are you using?
5. What is the pH, and does it fluctuate?
6. You mentioned growing three types of plants, do all of them have the same condition?
7. What is the water and air temperatures?
8. How many actual plants are you growing total, and how big are they?
9. What is the total water volume in the system?
10. What is the humidity?
11. is the color of the foliage nice and green?
12. What do the roots look like?


I'm leaning towards saying it's a calcium deficiency in the plant, but not necessarily in the nutrient solution. So first I've got to rule out other possibilities. Then figure out if there are contributing factors before saying the nutrient solution is lacking calcium. If the problem is environmental, it wont mater how much calcium is in the nutrient solution. If it is a calcium deficiency, even when it's fixed, the damage is already done. Only the new foliage will be healthy.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 07-25-2016 at 02:09 AM.
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2016, 09:30 AM
Rye Rye is offline
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What is a DWR -- Deep Water Reservoir, aka Kratky.

1. What type of system are you growing your plants in?
See the attached photo. they are flat bins with 9 plants in each. 6 gallons of water is what it takes to fill, each has an aerator in it.
2. What are you using for the water supply?
Water comes from a Kinetico Softener. PH is neutral coming out of the tap. Might be a bit high in iron, but the way the system works, it strips most minerals out.
3. What are you using for nutrients, and are you using any additives?
MaxiGrow
4. How are you mixing the nutrients? I don't mean the ppm, I mean compared with the manufactures instructions. What is the manufactures recommendation per gallon of water, and how much are you using?
Recommended at 1-2 tsp per gallon. I started with 1 tsp, and noted that the plants didn't seem to like the low concentration as opposed to the Siberian Kale that I'm growing, in the past preferring 2 tsp per gallon. I have a 3 gallon bucket that gets 2 tbspn mixed, poured in, then repeat for a total of six gallons per reservoir.
5. What is the pH, and does it fluctuate?
Honestly, didn't check the pH to see if it fluctuated during the two week intervals of water change.
6. You mentioned growing three types of plants, do all of them have the same condition?
Kale is growing a bit slower, not as green. Chard was curling leaf at the same time the lettuce was browning out. Increasing Nut. Concentration seemed to help the chard.
7. What is the water and air temperatures?
Inside grow table, hous stays around 72-75 degrees all day.
8. How many actual plants are you growing total, and how big are they?
See attached photo 18' wide I think. 24-26 long.
9. What is the total water volume in the system?
6 gallons each tank.
10. What is the humidity?
Low, but not sure what exactly.. open air in an air conditioned house
11. is the color of the foliage nice and green?
color is pretty green.
12. What do the roots look like?
Lettuce and kale are whitish for the most part. slight ting of brown, but not looking unhealthy. Chard is red/pink roots.


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Old 07-25-2016, 09:25 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello Rye,
First, just so you know "DWR" isn't a real term, that's why I didn't understand it. I'm not up on all the different slang terms people use. Your referring to DWC (Deep Water Culture). But the designation of "deep Water" doesn't apply here since the water isn't 10 inches or more deep. The term "Kratky" isn't officially recognized either, it's a common slang term referring to a water culture system withough't an air pump. If you use the term "Kratky system" your referring to growing in a water culture system but not using an air pump. However since you are using an air pump, the slang term "Kratky" doesn't apply to your system either. What your actually growing in is a standard Water Culture system. Just so you know.

Your latest picture is dramatically worse than the original two you posted, so I think there's more going on than a minor nutrient uptake issue. I need to clarify some of your replays and ask some more questions.


Clarification
  1. How much air are the roots getting, does the water look like boiling water? What air pump are you using? Are the rising air bubbles evenly distributed throughout the container, or n one spot?
  2. Does your Kinetico Softener take salt?
  3. Your using 1 1/2 tsp of MaxiGro per gallon of water (2 tsp per 3 gallons)?
  4. pH is important it will directly affect nutrient uptake, as well as other nutrient problems. You need to know what the pH is or it doesn't mater what nutrients your using or how strong they are or mixing them. If your plants are having problems you should be checking pH regularly, like every day or you will never know if your nutrient uptake problems are pH related or not. Not to mention if there is something changing your pH that would be a problem and needs to be fixed as well. Also when your pants are having problems, you need to check pH using pH drops to eliminate false readings that electronic meters can give.
  5. Your reply to my question about the air and water temps was that it was 72-75 degrees. But I'm not clear if your saying the overall room temp is normally 72-75 or if you actually checked the water temp and checked the air temps right at the plants foliage. The room temp can be 72-75 but the actual temp at the plants foliage and in the water can be higher because of the close proximity of the lights. The lights can even burn the plants, especially in low humidity. So Im not looking for the room temperature, I'm looking for the temp at the plants foliage, and the actual water temperature.

New questions
  1. What are you using as a growing media?
  2. What is the water level in relation to the baskets in the containers?
  3. Does the water have a moldy or musty smell?
  4. Is the water cloudy?
  5. Do you see any fuzzy or powdery substance on the leaves before the leaves die?
  6. So you see any small bugs (spider mites, white fly's, nats, fungus gnats etc.), on or flying around the plants?
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 07-25-2016 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:14 PM
Rye Rye is offline
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Thanks for the clarification.
1). The the photo you said was worse was taken when the leaves were going bad. The first two posted are actually newer. I'll post a new photo taken tonight.

Root exposure starts at 1/2 inch when tanks are full. Then increases as the plants draw. I change water every 14 days. No mildew and the water smells normal.

Yes the kinetico softener takes salt. But it's not in the water.

The growing medium is Rock wool.

One air stone per tank bubbling strongly. Placed in the middle.

There are no bugs, no powdery stuff.

In don't know the air temp under the light, I'm not equipped to check it directly.

I just changed the tanks again. I will check it periodically for pH.

Two things have changed since the brown tips. 1) changed the tanks and 2) I raised the light up 9 inches.

Last edited by Rye; 07-25-2016 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:19 PM
Rye Rye is offline
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Taken tonight, I trimmed the Kale before dinner.






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Old 07-26-2016, 02:16 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello Rye,
Water softeners that use salt still leave residual amounts of salt in the water. That salt is toxic to plants. Also I forgot to ask, by your reply it sounds like you think your water source may still be high in iron even after going through the water softener? Or do you mean high in iron before going through the water softener?

All you need to check both the water temperature and air temperature at the plants foliage is a simple $2 glass aquarium thermometer. The new pictures don't look any better, most of the plant's look like nothing but stems. Honestly it looks like something ate them, perhaps even grasshoppers that can sometimes get in the house.

Are you saying the water level is 1/2 inch below the the baskets? Why does the rockwool look so wet/saturated if it's not touching the water? I attached three images of what I was specifically looking at.
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:29 AM
Rye Rye is offline
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I'm sorry, I meant high in iron before the filter.

The plants look like they are all stems because that's the kale and I cut it two to 3 times a week and have been since mid May. I cut about 16 cups a week of it. Honestly the kale is doing fairly well. It's the Romaine that started with curling tips and brown rot at the ends

The tanks you see now are a second adaptation. The first was a board with a long shallow tank under it. The rock wool got really wet there and stayed wet which is partly why I moved to these tanks. Yes the water is 1/4-1/2 inch under the baskets.


I'll locate a thermometer next shopping trip to Wally World.
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:23 PM
Rye Rye is offline
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I did do some additional reading in the traditional gardner forums..first, I think you are right, the brown tips were from Calcium defficnety as that has cleared since changing the thanks, though, the damage is done.

second, curled leaves meaning too high a nitrogen. So my mix was too strong. I'll need to make notes that 5 tsp for 3 gallons is the next try.

Last, my lettuce never grew hearts. They bolted so you are again, correct. The temperature is too high on the grow table for Romaine. The chard and Kale are fine, esp after raising the light up 10 inches. However it's still above 70 degrees and thus the romaine is going to bolt.

Is this why hydro growers typically grow bunch lettuce like butter crisp?
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:05 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello Rye,
I'm glad your plants are getting better. I was waiting to hear about your pH levels and if it was fluctuating, as well as about the actual water and air temperatures before making final conclusions and recommendations. I don't like making conclusions about the specific cause of a problem without having the important information first because unknown factors can make a big difference. So I like to have all the pieces of the puzzle first.

Most lettuce plants are light feeders. I cant say for sure but I would assume kale is a heavier feeder than common lettuce because of the darker green color of the leaves and stems. When growing plants in the same system there are compromises and trade offs, so one or more plant may suffer more than others if their needs are different. I prefer butter crunch lettuce, but you can grow anything hydroponically if you provide the right conditions (both nutritional ans well as environmental).

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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 07-27-2016 at 08:14 PM.
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