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Is there a (tomato) doctor in the house?


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Old 11-30-2009, 07:06 PM
txice txice is offline
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Default Is there a (tomato) doctor in the house?

Okay...so I have another question. Mixed among the pepper plants I have in the system I previously posted about in this forum are a couple of tomato plants for the wife (she loves those things!).

Anywho, have noticed lately that the tomato plants look very "droopy". My initial impression would be a lack of water...but I've researched that too much water can do the same thing. As usual, I'm confused and decided to come here to see if any of you more experienced growers have ideas.

Pics included below (sorry if they are too big). Some specifics to go along with the pics. These are currently sitting in my smaller "cloner" aero system I posted about in this forum. The nutrient solution is on the warm side...running around 77F right now. We're looking into getting a portable AC unit to place in the room in hopes that if we can keep the ambient temp down the nutrient solution temp will drop some. Exploring other options for cooling as well. Nutrient pH is pretty stable and hovers right around 6.0 ~ 6.2. TC meter is showing a ppm of around 1100 ~ 1200. I don't have any more sophisticated testing equipment to be able to measure the individual nutrient levels though. I'm using the TechnaFlora "recipie for success" veg cycle recipie. As you can see in the pics, the roots appear alright (at least to me). Heck of a lot longer than they were when we first put them in there. They have a nice whitish color to them (not a pure white, but certainly not brown either). Week before last I was on a constant spray cycle with the pump running for the entire 16 hour light cycle. That seemed to be raising my temp in the nutrient solution up quite a bit so I dropped back to a 15 min spray/45 minute off cycle and have been running on that cycle since last week. Lighting for this system is still the 2 4' dual buld t8 flourescent shop lights with the generic bulbs from local hardware store (not the fancier higher output ones made specific for plants - Will be moving these guys under a 400W MH soon though).

I'm hoping this is just lack of water and that maybe the roots are drying too much during that 45 minute dry cycle. Any other thoughts?

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Last edited by txice; 11-30-2009 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:39 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Anywho, have noticed lately that the tomato plants look very "droopy". My initial impression would be a lack of water...but I've researched that too much water can do the same thing.
I don't know the min on/off times for your timer but that seems a long time to go without water. You might try 15 on 15 off, or 5 on, and 5 to 10 min off. Also the roots are long and look like they might be hanging in the water, you might want to trim them back or tie them up somehow. I would try to get the nutrient temp down. I don't know what the room temp is but most tomatoes like warm weather. I would check the temp at the leaves to make sure the lights are not too hot, but the room temp should be between 80 and 90 degrees with low humidity because they don't like wet foliage. A simple test would be to go back to your old watering cycle and see if it changes anything, you should know in less than 24 hours. If you have the pump continuously running you should know in a couple of hours.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:33 AM
txice txice is offline
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The timer I'm using for the pumps currently can only go as low as 15 minute increments. Which I guess is actually pretty good for the type of timer we have because now all I can find in the stores are similar style timers that only go as low as 30 minute increments.

The roots were indeed getting to the point where they would be touching the water.

I moved the tomato plants (along with a few of the pepper plants) into the new system shortly after making my initial post. In this new system I'm using 3.75" net pots filled with hydroton. The roots were wound up a little bit with only a tiny bit poking through the bottom of the net pot....so roots hanging in the water won't be an issue again for a while yet. When I put the plant in the new system, I left the pump running continuously while the family and I went to go see a movie (2nd trip for the girls to see New Moon...they were geeked...but I digress). When we left one of the stems of the tomato plant was just about 1/4" from actually drooping low enough to touch the top of my container lid. When we got back from the movie and I came up to check on the plants, that same stem was propped back up and hanging a good 3 or so inches from the lid. The leaves look a bit happier as well. So with a continued flow of water again it has appeared to have helped, at least in the short term.

Once I can make a couple of timer swap outs, I was debating either leaving them on for the entire light cycle again...or at least going to a 15 on/15 off cycle and see if they do better that way. The hydroton in the net pots seems to hold moisture a tad better than just the roots hanging in mid air too.

Still trying to get the hang of this stuff. At least I'm going on 4 weeks in and haven't just outright killed anything yet...heh. So I guess I'm not totally screwing this up yet .
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:02 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I left the pump running continuously while the family and I went to go see a movie (2nd trip for the girls to see New Moon...they were geeked...but I digress). When we left one of the stems of the tomato plant was just about 1/4" from actually drooping low enough to touch the top of my container lid. When we got back from the movie and I came up to check on the plants, that same stem was propped back up and hanging a good 3 or so inches from the lid. The leaves look a bit happier as well. So with a continued flow of water again it has appeared to have helped, at least in the short term.
I'm not surprised, roots that don't have any growing medium to hold moisture will dry out much faster. For the same reason plants grown in an aeroponic system need to be watered much more frequently, like every 5 to 10 min. I was thinking that the roots above the water level were getting dry with 45 min before water. Also the roots below the water level could be to getting waterlogged.
Quote:
I was debating either leaving them on for the entire light cycle again...or at least going to a 15 on/15 off cycle and see if they do better that way.
With the plants in a growing medium now you should be fine with 15 on/off, you might even be fine with 30 off because the grow rocks will hold moisture so they wont dry out as fast.
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Still trying to get the hang of this stuff. At least I'm going on 4 weeks in and haven't just outright killed anything yet...heh. So I guess I'm not totally screwing this up yet
Your doing just fine, with anything new there's always a learning curve. My experience is, the more you learn the more there is you don't know. But doesn't that always seems to be the case? The way I look at it is, the one who doesn't try is the one that fails.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:23 PM
Luches Luches is offline
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Hi txice,

If your new 45min off cycle would dry out the roots, the plants would bend over and eventually die quickly. But 30 off- or 15/15 is safer anyways and will permit better uptake of nutrients as well. But you most probably have decreased the off-time already I guess.

Your PH is fine but the 1000-1200 ppm for those baby plants seem a bit high to me. But then again it depends on the formula:

Because "veg cycle recipie" sounds like a high nitrogen formula to me and if it comes in relatively high strength, the nitrogen content versus Potassium is likely to be too high. The "droopy" part may indeed be due to too vigorous growth because of high nitrogen content (and a lack of potassium).

From my perspective, tomatoes shouldn't be grown with a "vegetative formula", unless the formula respects the fact that tomatoes shouldn't be overfed with nitrogen at any growing stage. I strongly recommend to switch to a formula that is lower in nitrogen content (and obviously higher in K). In commercial terms, that would probably be a bloom- or flowering formula.
A "real" tomato formula would do the deal as well.

PS: While the concentration of 1000-1200 still MAY be OK for that size of tomatoes, it is too high for the baby peppers - at least for my understanding and experience. And I am growing all kinds of hot and less hot peppers since many years. While peppers can use (and cope with) some more nitrogen, they also need high potassium.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:33 AM
txice txice is offline
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Thanks for the reply Luches. I'm actually pretty clueless on the nutrient "stuff" so far. I've been trying to study up and learn what nutrients to use, when, and what to look for in the plants should there be a shortage and/or abundance of a specific nutrient. I have flash backs of having to cram for botony finals back in college :/...hehe.

I came into this basically not knowing a single thing about any of this stuff and have been trying to learn as I go...but I know I have a long way to go. When my friend and I visited a local hydroponic store to get materials for our first build, the guy at the store simply recommended we get the TechnaFlora "starter kit", which we did. I've simply been following the "recipie" that came with the data sheet in the starter kit. You can see the sheet I got by going here: Technaflora Plant Products - Recipe For Success and clicking on the US Imperial and/or English version of the file....and you can see exactly what I'm mixing up if it might help shed some light on anything.

I have decreased the off cycle for the pumps. All the systems are now running on a 15/15 on/off cycle during the light period. I'm experimenting with the cycle times during the dark period, but currently have it on a longer cycle. Not sure if this is wise or if there is a need to keep the feeding/watering quite as high during the dark cycle. Though I saw some improvement once moving the tomato plants to the new system and keeping the pump on continuously, a few of the leaves on the plants still seem very "droopy" and "saggy".

Last edited by txice; 12-02-2009 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:58 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I'm experimenting with the cycle times during the dark period, but currently have it on a longer cycle. Not sure if this is wise or if there is a need to keep the feeding/watering quite as high during the dark cycle. Though I saw some improvement once moving the tomato plants to the new system and keeping the pump on continuously, a few of the leaves on the plants still seem very "droopy" and "saggy".
Generally plants don't need watering during the dark period (but shouldn't hurt) because they don't feed in the dark. Though if the roots are hanging in mid air they will dry out off and that would probably cause problems. I have not done an areoponic system yet, but I would want the roots to get some watering at night to keep them moist.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:40 AM
txice txice is offline
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I had always kept my smaller "cloner" system setup with a 15 minute cycle every 2 hours during the dark period and that seemed to do alright. The first night I moved some of my plants into the larger system, I didn't have a timer on the pumps yet and I simply turned them off for the entire dark period. The next morning when I checked on the plants one of my pepper plants had drooped all the way over and was laying on the lid of the system. About 15 minutes after having the pumps on again the plant was perked back up and standing tall again....so it obviously didn't like not getting any water at all (even though it was in a net cup filled with hydroton and no real root mass extending out of the pot yet). Yesterday I was able to get the pumps back on a timer running the 15/15 cycle during the light period and on a 15 minute cycle every 2 hours durin the dark cycle. Checking on the plants this morning they all seemed alright and (at least somewhat) happy. I think I'll stick with this cycle for a while and see how things go. Luches has got me really curious about the nutrient mix now so I'm going to try to keep researching that and hopefully I can get everyone to be really happy and growing. I do at least see continued development in the plants daily...so that's a little encouraging. Some of the plants (tomato especially) just don't seem to be as healthy as they could be, so I know I'm not "on the money" just yet.

Last edited by txice; 12-02-2009 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:27 PM
txice txice is offline
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So a slow day at work = lots of internet research being done. Luches got me curious on the whole nutrient issue and extended research is certainly indicating that I'm probably running "too rich" so to speak. General consensus seems to be that plants early in the life cycle need lower ppm. Additionally the consensus seems to be that in a recirculating system ppm can be lower too due to the continuous feed of water/nutrient.

I'm thinking what I should do is stick with the Technaflora recipie for success, but simply cut back the overall dosage by X% while keeping the right proportions outlined in the recipie. Figuring out what X should be is the next trick. I've read where alot of people will start out with as little as a 1/4th strength mix and move up from there. That seems awfully low to me though (would reduce to somewhere to around 275ppm following the 1100ppm recipie). Think I should go that low? Or maybe just drop it by half and try out a solution of about 500-600ppm?
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:35 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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The first night I moved some of my plants into the larger system, I didn't have a timer on the pumps yet and I simply turned them off for the entire dark period. The next morning when I checked on the plants one of my pepper plants had drooped all the way over and was laying on the lid of the system. About 15 minutes after having the pumps on again the plant was perked back up and standing tall again....so it obviously didn't like not getting any water at all (even though it was in a net cup filled with hydroton and no real root mass extending out of the pot yet). Yesterday I was able to get the pumps back on a timer running the 15/15 cycle during the light period and on a 15 minute cycle every 2 hours during the dark cycle. Checking on the plants this morning they all seemed alright and (at least somewhat) happy. I think I'll stick with this cycle for a while and see how things go.
Plants that small tend to respond much faster to there environment. So even though they don't feed during the dark, it's wise to keep an eye on them and if you see wilting to increase the watering frequency. With my pepper plants, they got watered 30 on 30 off all day, and until about 1 hr after dark, then started 30 min before first light. During the night I watered them 3 times at 30 min ea with no wilting at night. This was during summer when the night time temps were around 95-100, and day time temps were got up to 115 at that time. I started with store bought plants though, so they were already about 6-8 inches tall and the relative tempuature was a little cooler. I also had them in upside down 2 litter bottles with a mix of grow rocks and coco chips. Coco chips hold moisture better than grow rocks.

(NOTE: You want the watering to continue into the dark (not twilit), and you want it to start at least 30 min before twilit.)

Right now I have 3 systems running. One gets watered twice during the night for 30 min each with no wilting. The other two are on the same timer and only get watered once at night from 11:30 pm to 1:00 am with no wilting. One of these systems is using 3 inch baskets with coco chips and the other one is 5 gallon buckets, also with coco chips as the growing medium. The temp is getting into the upper 40's at night right now, so heat is not an issue. I can probably cut back the watering for all 3 systems at night, but it's not hurting that I can see. With growing plants there are so many variables, the growing conditions, type of system, all the variables of plants growing environment, that observation is your best indicator.

Quote:
Some of the plants (tomato especially) just don't seem to be as healthy as they could be, so I know I'm not "on the money" just yet.
I am learning how fickle tomato plants can be myself. Mine seem to have a virus or something that is stunting their growth as well as curling the leaves. Through some back and forth with the guys at General Hydroponics, as well as some extreme close up pictures I took of some insects that were later identified to be "Winged potato or pea Aphid's," we are narrowing it down. There are also other factors that are probably contributing, like nutrient temp, the variety of tomato plant itself, as well as cold weather. But it might be just easier to start over because they are still small enough to do that. Trial and error, process of elimination, and observation is the key to learning.

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General consensus seems to be that plants early in the life cycle need lower ppm. Additionally the consensus seems to be that in a recirculating system ppm can be lower too due to the continuous feed of water/nutrient.
Yes, small plants wont need a full strength nutrient solution. Seedlings probably around 25%, 3-6 inches probably around 50%. But again everything is not exact because of all the variables, and trial and error and observation are the keys to learning. If you had two growing chambers you can do some testing and see what gives you the best results.

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Think I should go that low? Or maybe just drop it by half and try out a solution of about 500-600ppm?
PPM is simply a measurement of nutrient strength, unfortunately a PPM meter can't tell you what elements are in the nutrients and their individual concentrations, just their total amount. For this reason I haven't even gotten a PPM meter. It will however tell you how fast the plant is taking up the nutrients that it is taking up. If you know the type of plants you are growing use more nitrogen this could be helpful, but as I can see only if you can just add back the nitrogen. With pre manufactured nutrients this is not an option.

Just adding more nutrients to the solution to bring it back up to the the desired PPM wont insure the nutrients are in the proper proportions. This is because plants will take up the nutrients they need and leave the rest. One plant might use up more nitrogen, then by adding more nutrients to the solution you would be adding all the elements to it, so the elements that the plant did not take up would be in a higher concentrations, and not in the proper proportions. Most beginners find it easier to just change the nutrient solution regularly, and then get over that initial learning curve first before trying to tackle nutrient composition.
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:09 PM
Luches Luches is offline
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Hi txice,

The good news first: plants not only seem- but actually are very adaptable to their environment and hence to the nutrient strength and composition you feed. In nature they need to adopt to different conditions as well. But that also makes it difficult to optimize hydroponic nutrition at a second level.

Advice for your particular case now: don't cut back the concentration radically, because on the other hand sudden and big changes is what plants take less well. As they (actually mostly) don't occur in nature.

The bad news: understanding formulas and nutrient composition is not easy in the beginning as there is very specific knowledge and understanding required, before it makes sense. Furthermore there are many misconceptions, actually due to the fact that people tend to simplify things for a better understanding. They also tend to do a lot of cherry picking that is linked to their own experiences and personal situation. All of it is quite understandable, but in many cases it's not exactly objective nor good enough for a general role.

The other problem is, that in most cases you can't give real good advice without rather extensive explanations. If you don't attach those, people won't understand the "why" part of it, and simply switch back to their own understanding of things, or go for the often primary information they grab from any website. If you overdo the explanation part, you scare people back in their misconceptions

And the real bad news: with any commercial nutrients, the possibilities of adaptation and balancing are always limited. You have to trust them, without actually knowing what you are doing.

My set of advices keeps the same:
1. for tomato use a tomato formula that is supposed to have low nitrogen and high potassium content, rather rich in magnesium and calcium.

2. Don't cut back nutrient strenght to 1/4 and not even to half. If you cut it back now, just cut back to about 75% of what you have now.

3. On a second level of understanding: the key element of any nutrient formula is not the total concentration, but the content (the amount) of single elements in the formula (as in NPK, Mg, Ca, S, etc.). It's the content of each element that makes the total of the nutrient strength, not the other way round. Using only the concentration as a variable (without knowing the composition) is indeed like tuning an unknown. The specs of any formula are in the composition- and if you change the concentration of your formula to a certain extend, (wether higher or lower) it obviously gets imbalanced and inadequate.

4. Hence diluting any formula (as in any commercial product) to a quarter of their initial strength, means screwing it all up and creating a perfect imbalance. If needed I can give an example of what actually happens to a typical nutrient formula, as soon as you leave the limits of it's initial concentration. In figures it makes a lot more sense.

5. Three main issues come with commercial products: A. The manufacturers need to conceive their product in a way they can keep instructions as simple as possible. Because that way they can sell to a wider range of customers. B. They don't want to reveal any of their professional secrets. C. Hence they won't teach you anything (or as little as possible) as they know that the best customer is an ignorant customer.

Last edited by Luches; 12-02-2009 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:59 AM
txice txice is offline
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Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
PPM is simply a measurement of nutrient strength, unfortunately a PPM meter can't tell you what elements are in the nutrients and their individual concentrations, just their total amount.
Yeah, I'm totally with you on this aspect. I'm not quite ready to dump the money into individual test kits/meters to be able to figure out the individual nutrient concentrations just yet....maybe later. So a TDS meter and a "ball park figure" will have to do for the time being...hehe.

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Don't cut back nutrient strenght to 1/4 and not even to half. If you cut it back now, just cut back to about 75% of what you have now.
Doh! Did full nutrient changes this evening and already dropped my mixutre by 1/4. I simply took the Technaflora recipie, multiplied the mix by the total number of gallons like I normally did, then divided that amount by 4. The ratio of each nutrient to each other is the same as what I'd used before, just not quite as much of each....though you said it doesn't necessarily work that way? Not the end of the world though because I can always add more nutrients.

This actually led me to another question (and probably a fairly stupid one). When I'm shooting for a certain ppm goal/target, should I exclude the ppm reading from the tap water? I'll expand on that a bit. When I use the TDS meter on my water straight out of the tap, it reads just a shade under 200ppm. So if I want to reach a ppm of say, 700 ppm for example...should I actually target a straight 700 ppm reading on the TDS meter (thinking this would be more like 500ppm of "nutrients" and 200 ppm from the tap water)...or would I actually want to take the reading up to 900ppm so it would be more like a true 700ppm of nutrients? Does that even make sense? I know it's not a straight forward answer because I don't actually know what compounds makes up that 200ppm in the tap water...but that aside, should I pretend like that 200 isn't really there and adjust my meter readings accordingly?

Last edited by txice; 12-03-2009 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:56 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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When I'm shooting for a certain ppm goal/target, should I exclude the ppm reading from the tap water?
That's not a stupid question but one I am not sure I can give the best advice for, especially scene I have never used one. The problem here is that you don't know what elements are in the fresh water that are giving you the reading anyway. Even if you did how would you compensate for it in your nutrients because it's a pre formulated mix? The best advice I have is to mix the nutrients to the manufactures directions (2 tsp per gallon etc.) then take a reading, and use that as your base reading.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:21 AM
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PPM means parts per million and 1ppm = 1milligramm dissolved in 1 Liter. It's a unit that is actually used to determine elemental content in a nutrient solution in the first place.

For example 150 ppm of N (nitrogen).

TDS means total dissolved solids. Any of the commonly used instruments actually measure electric(al) conductivity and either display it millisimens/cm (EC) or converts it to what is supposed to be the solids of the elements in a solution in parts per million (ppm).

Obviously these instruments can only determine the total concentration and are not able to even make a difference between a nutrient solution and dissolved arsenic trioxide. Actually you can't even (directly) accurately measure the total ppm of your formula, because there are some other dissolved solids (molecules, ions) that aren't part of your actual formula. To put it in a simple way, they are provided by impurities or "contaminants" that are part of the chemical compounds which are used to manufacture nutrients.

Note that the final reading is always higher as the actual content in known nutrients. It depends on the composition, but the reading is always around 10-15% higher as it is supposed to be.

Watch out: with manufacturer's instruction, those 10-15% should actually be included. You do not have to add anything here.

About the ppm reading of your tap water and how to deal with it:
Basically you should add it, respectively put it on top of the recommended concentration. Why? Because if you subtract it from what you aim for, as a matter of facts - your actual nutrient concentration will be lower and not sufficient.

But a reading of 200 ppm is quite high and close to the limit to use without analyses. I'd rate tap water with 300 ppm as unsuitable to give you an idea.
But depending on the analyses, it's not so bad actually - because your tap water will most likely contain a lot of calcium, magnesium and iron in the best case scenario. And those elements are actually welcome. High content of chloride(s) on the other hand would not be really of any benefit but rather 'toxic'.

It's not a bad idea to have a look at the analyses of your tap water if available.

Conclusion: As long as you aim for the original concentration or lower, you should always put the ppm of the tap water on top. But in case you aim for a higher concentration, you actually should divide the tap water's ppm by 2. In your case you'd then only add 100 ppm to the ppm of the formula. Because seen from that end of the equation you will already have enough calcium, magnesium, iron or other trace elements as part of your nutrients. The content of macro elements will be "more" than sufficient as well in that case. Hence, no need to have all that "extra" from the tap water on top of it. Remark: I was using reverse logics here! The extra from the tap water will always be included, no matter how. You actually use 100 ppm less of your nutrient mix, when only considering half of the tap water's reading!

Last edited by Luches; 12-03-2009 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:24 AM
txice txice is offline
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And it's all actually dependent on other factors such as temperature right? I thought I had read somewhere that a solution at 65F will give one reading, and the exact same solution at 75F will give a different reading.

The 200ppm for our tap water was actually rounded up a bit...I like working with even numbers, lol . The pH of the water straight out of the tap is rather on the high end (around 8) and chlorine content in the water out of the tap is very low. We have a RainSoft water purifier on the house. Don't know how that might affect the ppm reading and what not. It's obviously supposed to make the water "better" by human standards, but I can imagine it wouldn't necessarily be quite as good for plants since water is typically "softened" by removing minerals and such from the water that plants would probably enjoy.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:56 PM
Luches Luches is offline
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You are trying to be ironic? That's fine with me - but you know what the real irony from my end is? I was having another discussion around the the same topic, where I had to deal with a real meticulous, even obstinate guy. He ended up in calling me unprofessional and inaccurate!

Precision really seems to be a relative thing

Well, anyways - as long as all is going fine with your culture and setup, no-one is asking questions, and precision and details don't matter that much. But as soon as you run into trouble, you start asking questions and need to know even the smallest detail to make a proper diagnosis.

Not sure at all about the water quality that comes out of the softener. Acceptable Human standards and plant nutritional facts aren't exactly the same thing. The softener is actually installed to avoid build-up of minerals (Ca and Mg) in pipes and heating devices, and for some skin cosmetic reasons too, not at all to improve water quality for human "consumption". Most of the calcium and magnesium is replaced by (less) sodium chloride. And that isn't exactly the stuff plants like best! If you can avoid the softener, and using the original hard water (with the Ca and Mg) instead - I'd use that in any case.

The high PH of 8 isn't a good thing at all. I doubt your nutrient solution to drop down to 6 point something, as described by the manufacturer. It will most probably range between 6.5 and 7. That is too high.

Now, when I tell you that having a correct PH is even more important than the right nutrient composition and concentration - will you believe that?

The actual problem is here, that the stronger your nutrient solution is, the more your PH will drop from the original 8. Stupidly enough, with only using 1/4 of the nutrient strength, it will not go down very much and will stay WAY to high.

Your tap water is problematic in every sense, if you want to accept it or not... it may very well be the cause of your "droppy" tomatoes. With your 1/4 strategy you will most probably run into more trouble. The high PH (which actually wasn't lowered enough) may cause deficiencies of other elements, while the nitrogen is absorbed without a problem. Your plants may grow higher and higher but actually get weaker and weaker.

You don't need to believe or apply any of it - and you can always try to do it your own way and see what happens.

Last edited by Luches; 12-03-2009 at 10:28 PM.
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  #17  
Old 12-03-2009, 11:58 PM
txice txice is offline
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Wow....you know, since I noticed that old "corn thread" got resurrected and read through it I began to have my suspicions about this, but your latest response to this pretty much confirms it for me. I know I'm new to hydroponics in general...and I'm new to this site but after reading alot of responses from you like this I can come to no other conclusion except to say that you are a pompus ass Luches.

I'm here simply asking questions, taking in information and providing what feedback I can. How you could possibly take anything I said in my last response as me being "ironic" is completely beyond me (and I'm actually wondering if you really meant to say "sarcastic"...but I digress). If people coming here asking questions and trying to learn a thing or two are so far beneath you, why do you even bother?

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Acceptable Human standards and plant nutritional facts aren't exactly the same thing
Yes, I know. In fact I pretty much said this exact same thing.

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The softener is actually installed to avoid build-up of minerals (Ca and Mg) in pipes and heating devices, and for some skin cosmetic reasons too, not at all to improve water quality for human "consumption".
While partially accurate, the last part of that statement is utterly incorrect. Softeners/purifiers certainly do improve water quality for human consumption. These types of systems can help remove any number of contaminates, pollutants, bacteria, etc. from a water supply that can not only help improve the waters odor and/or taste, but can also help make the water safer to drink in general. Which by any measure is certainly improvement for human consumption.

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The high PH of 8 isn't a good thing at all.
Again....this I know and don't believe I ever suggested otherwise.

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I doubt your nutrient solution to drop down to 6 point something, as described by the manufacturer.
I doubt it would as well. Point of fact, though, is that the manufacturer, nor I, claim it will....not sure where you got that from.

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Now, when I tell you that having a correct PH is even more important than the right nutrient composition and concentration - will you believe that?
Not sure why I wouldn't...especially as this, too, was something I already knew.

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Stupidly enough, with only using 1/4 of the nutrient strength, it will not go down very much and will stay WAY to high.
The only thing stupid here is that you assume I'm not monitoring my pH and using buffering agents to either raise or lower the pH to an optimum range.

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Your tap water is problematic in every sense, if you want to accept it or not...
You caught me. I am in denial and simply cannot accept the fact that my tap water is horrible. (Now see, while that isn't irony...it certainly is sarcasm).

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With your 1/4 strategy you will most probably run into more trouble.
Perhaps so. I may not be the master self-nutrient mixer extraordinaire with all earthly knowledge of hydroponics but hey, guess what...I'm trying and learning little bits here and there. If I fail and kill a plant....I'll try to grow another one. If you are in some way hurt by the fact that I actually did the nutrient swap and went with a 1/4 strength solution prior to reading your response suggesting it wasn't a good idea, sorry. A lot of other folks out there have posted other information indicating it worked perfectly well for them and well....it just might work perfectly well for me too. All I can do is try and see what happens.

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The high PH (which actually wasn't lowered enough)
Again...incorrect assumption. My pH was lowered quite enough thank you very much.

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You don't need to believe or apply any of it - and you can always try to do it your own way and see what happens.
You know what...this is EXACTLY what I intend to do. I will also continue to visit here and post and research other sources as I can find them. I was willing to take your advice to heart and try to apply it to my situation, but the more I get into reading your posts, the more I realize you aren't really here to try to help people learn....you're here to try and dictate your own philosophies and berate anyone that might have a differing opinion or an inability/unwillingness to implement your "suggestions" to the letter. I'm not here to profess I know all about gardening be it in the ground or a homemade hydroponics system...in fact I'll readily admit to just the opposite. You sir or madam, do indeed come off with a "holier than thou" attitude however (as I believe has also been commented on elsewhere) and quite frankly it's unappealing. It honestly would not hurt my feelings in the least if you decided to never reply to another one of my posts (and feel free to take this more as a request than a generalized statement).

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right back at 'cha. Have a nice day....and good luck with that corn.
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  #18  
Old 12-04-2009, 01:18 AM
Luches Luches is offline
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Default Don't become the thing you are afraid of!

Why wasting all that time and energy with blaming me for the issues you've got there? I am just telling the blunt facts and giving best advice I can. You tell us that you are new and not experienced and I have to assume that I have to be basic in some way or the other.

Either you take things too personally (which I really wasn't aiming for), or you have a problem with coping with some facts I brought up.

This is not about my philosophy or revolutionary theories, personal attitude of mine or anything of the sort - those are actual basics that can be confirmed and recognized eventually with your future research and investigations. All I was telling in this context is just informational and can easily be confirmed (assuming that the input you gave was correct and honest). Well, some of it at least may need a second level of understanding - but the fact that it isn't widely spread, doesn't render it questionable or invalid. Unless you simply and principally don't want to accept it, you may always find a way to make it questionable and push it away.

I don't see how delivering simple facts (and at least trying to be funny, actually ironic) could possibly make me "holier" or look smarter, arrogant, snobbish - or whatever behavior may be classified selfish or arrogant in this context. I guess it must be the other way round - some people seem to feel not holy enough when getting faced too bluntly with some facts they didn't consider in the first place. Especially U.S people seem to have a serious problem with accepting expertise and authority that is neither coming from a fellow countryman, nor "invented here" nor labeled U.S. patent, signed Berkley or Cambridge. In case I am wrong here, tell me what hidden switch I possibly may have triggered then!?

I honestly thought you were a nice chap that needs a helping hand - but as it seems I was really naive about that. I truly can't understand why you are that offended, reacting that grossly and becoming that offending to me all of a sudden.

You aren't "somebody else" and haven't been plotting it all along and trying to frame me, right?!

Just kidding Mate - but please understand that the helping part I was providing to you, has come to an abrupt end here anyway, will you?

Last edited by Luches; 12-04-2009 at 01:36 AM.
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  #19  
Old 12-04-2009, 02:10 AM
txice txice is offline
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Posts: 88
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Why wasting all that time and energy with blaming me for the issues you've got there?
Actually no....I don't have any issues but thanks for asking.

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I am just telling the blunt facts and giving best advice I can. You tell us that you are new and not experienced and I have to assume that I have to be basic in some way or the other.
No, actually you really appear to be making up a whole bunch of stuff that nobody else ever mentioned. And, just because I'm "new" to a hobby, doesn't in fact mean I'm dense. So your assumption that you have to be "basic" is incorrect.

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Either you take things too personally (which I really wasn't aiming for), or you have a problem with coping with some facts I brought up.
What I don't take well to is people pulling random statements I never made (i.e. facts to you) out of their rear end and then berating me for either believing or not believing them.

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Especially U.S people seem to have a serious problem with accepting expertise and authority that is neither coming from a fellow countryman, nor "invented here" nor labeled U.S. patent, signed Berkley or Cambridge.
Aha...so here it is. You play the hidden "You're a racist" card eh? This has absolutely nothing to do with the color of your skin or what country you're from and it's actually quite pathetic you have to stoop to this level to defend your position. I have no problem accepting expertise and authority. Fact is, short of spamming out a few dozen posts on a (not so highly visited) web hydroponics forum, you have provided no actual proof you have either. I don't know you from Adam. You could be the world foremost expert on hydroponics for all I know, but all I know about you is what I read here and what I've seen thus far is not flattering. I'm sorry, but once you just ourtight jump on someone without provocation, make up statements that person never said and call that person stupid....you've lost any respect of mine and I won't hesitate calling you on it.

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I honestly thought you were a nice chap that needs a helping hand - but as it seems I was really naive about that. I truly can't understand why you are that offended, reacting that grossly and becoming that offending to me all of a sudden.
Oh I am a nice "chap" thanks. And I did indeed come here looking for a helping hand and to maybe get to a point where I could contribute to a community that shared my new found passion for wanting to learn to grow plants in hydroponic systems. If you are truly that confused about the way I reacted to your post, even after pointing out the various reasons in my response, all I can suggest is that you a) might need to work on your communication skills a little more and b) you don't interject "facts" that people never mentioned and then berate them for it.

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You aren't "somebody else" and haven't been plotting it all along and trying to frame me, right?!
Ummmmm.....got me again?? I'm not really me....I'm Mr. Jeebes the high school janitor, and I'd have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids and that confounded dog!!

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Just kidding Mate - but you must understand that the helping part I was providing to you, has come to an abrupt end here anyway, don't you?
LOL...."helping part". I like that. Well, let me see then.....yeah, I'm cool with that.

Oh yeah....
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  #20  
Old 12-04-2009, 03:43 AM
Luches Luches is offline
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Posts: 177
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Were you looking for advice or actually for a fine debate?

Anyway - I am afraid, but your thing is all home made!
Read my post again: I wasn't quoting you a single time, nor assuming anything you'd know or don't know (yet), didn't mention what you were doing or leaving out. I wasn't actually referring to anything you said or did, - while explaining a few things. Obviously always in the context of your situation - but nothing more and nothing less! In one particular case I was (implicitly) referring to the manufacturers instructions of your product - you aren't the manufacturer, or are you? Hence not pulling anything related to your person! Not even one single point was meant in any personal way!

If you don't like something it is ONE THING and actually YOUR problem - but do not falsely assume or blame me for doing it! As I was NOT!!!!

Honestly, you can't be asking for advice, call for a doctor - and 5 minutes later blame him for treating you like an idiot. Only because he is telling you a few things you haven't ever heard of nor couldn't find during your last google search! You can't call him incompetent either, just because he's revealing you a few rather unpleasant things you weren't expecting and won't believe for some reason or another!

I am confused - wether you aren't an expert or you are! You can't switch from one status to another, or can you actually? Strange....

If you were truly wondering about that bunch of things, that weren't mentioned anywhere else, - welcome to the world of fine parts and secrets of hydroponics! Or, in case you are just "buying" things that are told and thought everywhere on the net and in forums, fine also. Just stay that way and better ignore and forget everything I was saying.

Goodness, no racist card played here either, just teasing the nationalist part out of you. Playing the racist card would indeed look and sound much differently. I have not even a reason to pull such card, as I am from the same race as you are (most probably). Wrong anticipation here again, I am just saying that some americans like YOU really seem to have a HUGE ego that is offended easily. In this case even for rather wrongly anticipated reasons. National related or not, I even don't care. Just spare me with yours - I am good with mine!

Still, my personal impression actually is that in French-, Australian-, Italian-, Brazilian-, .... (I was about to add German, but giving it a second thought, I can't include them...) -forums, I rarely run into trouble. More than ten years of forum activity is a long time and yes shit happens, but I have never ever encountered such kind of disrespect and gross behavior, as you and some of your fine compatriots have come along with. No, let's be honest: if Germans get really mad at you, they're actually the worst. They beat anyone and are able to come up with the meanest crap you've ever read (if ever you can read German).

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