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My pH is too High


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  #1  
Old 03-19-2011, 08:53 PM
biloyp biloyp is offline
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Default My pH is too High

I am growing lettuce and spinach in a DWC. I transplanted my seedlings to the DWC 3 days ago. They (6 plants) all seem to be doing good, about 1-2" tall. I took TDC and pH readings when I started and the pH was 7 and the TDC was about 1200 ppm. Today I just checked and my TDC is about 1170 and pH is 8.6. I know I can add white vinegar to lower my pH but I think I should wait until tomorrow and take another reading.

Any suggestions?

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  #2  
Old 03-19-2011, 09:28 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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1. What are you using for your water source?
2. What type of nutrients are you using? (post link if you can)
3. What pH adjusters are you using? (post link if you can)
4. What pH tester/s are you using? (drops and/or electric meter)
5. What growing medium are you using?
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2011, 09:40 PM
biloyp biloyp is offline
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My water source is well water. I pH tested it prior to using it and it was 7.0. My pH tested is a Milwaukee PH600 digital meter. I calibrated it using 7.0pH buffer solution. My nutrients are General Hydroponics FloraDuo A, Not using any pH adjuster yet. My growing medium is Hydrotron ClayPebbles.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:11 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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First I'm not really familiar with General Hydroponics FloraDuo series nutrients, but I am sure they have pH buffers. Although from what I just read about it, its a 2 part nutrient that needs both A & B parts to work well, just mixed in what ratios are best for the particular plant.

I can't say for sure, but the well water could be a potential source of a problem. As for the pH meter, unfortunately it could also be a source of a problem. Even when properly calibrated, and cared for, they can still give false readings. I have even herd of claims of false readings in relation to the proximity of certain light sources, though I don't member if that was referring to pH, EC, TDS and/or PPM meters. I would suggest to always have some pH drops on hand to verify odd or strange pH readings. If you don't have pH adjusters yet (pH up/pH down), you really need to get some. Don't rely on home remedies like white vinegar to adjust pH. Their not stable, and wont provide the desired change long. And the more of anything you add to the nutrient solution, the more problems your likely to encounter.

Starting with a water pH of 7.0 is also a potential problem. pH above 6.5 can result in precipitates. That is some mineral elements tend to want to bond with others, and thus become unavailable to the plants. That's the reason that most nutrients come in a 2 or 3 part mix, to keep the minerals that want to bond separated before there diluted in the water.

Start with getting some pH adjusters (for hydroponics), add some pH down to get the pH in the range of 6.0, and go from there. I would e-mail general hydroponics tech support at tech@genhydro.com and find out for sure if you need to use both parts (A & B) in your nutrient solution. Let them know what type of plants your growing, and ask the best mixing combination for the type of plants your growing. Though they probably wont reply until Monday, I don't think they work on weekends. The pH meter might be working just fine, but there's not really any way to tell unless you have something to compare it to. The pH drops wont give false readings, are cheep, easy to read, no calibration necessary, and fast. There's not really much point in changing the pH, if your not sure your pH test is accurate in the first place.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 03-20-2011 at 12:18 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2011, 08:09 PM
biloyp biloyp is offline
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I am wondering if I should have started with filterd or purified water like the kind you buy at the grocery store (the 5 gallonn container). But that would seem to get kind of expensive.

I checked the pH of my DWC water with a pH strip tested and the drops (I have a pool so I have this stuff around), Both of these test methods verified that my pH meter is working correctly.

I did email GH tech support and will check tomorrow if they replied. Thanks for the info aaand help.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:18 PM
biloyp biloyp is offline
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I am wondering if I should have started with filterd or purified water like the kind you buy at the grocery store (the 5 gallonn container). But that would seem to get kind of expensive.

I checked the pH of my DWC water with a pH strip tested and the drops (I have a pool so I have this stuff around), Both of these test methods verified that my pH meter is working correctly.

I did email GH tech support and will check tomorrow if they replied. Thanks for the info aaand help.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:28 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I forget what the range the pool pH drops covers, but I don't remember ever seeing any that cover a 5-7 range. Most plants are right in the middle at about 6.0. But if it covers the range that your meter said that it's reading, that should at least corroborate the reading. What comes out of one persons well isn't always the same as someones else. When it comes to using well water, there can be many minerals and/or micro-organisms in it. And some people don't even filter their well water sufficiently. Those are my main concerns with it, and pretty much hard for me to assess from here.

Some Articles on Water Quality
Hydroponic H2O: Water Quality and Treatment
The Dynamic Nature of Water- Part I
The Dynamic Nature of Water- Part II

But I would use a UV light to kill pathogens and fungi, then run it through a good filtration system (1 micron). A 1 micron filter should be small enough to even catch spores. In the long run a filtration system will be much more cost effective than buying bottled water. The machines that sell water that's dispensed into your own container/s are OK, but they don't usually keep up with filter changes. so the water quality will vary from one machine to another. But regardless of water quality, you'll need some hydroponic pH adjusters.
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  #8  
Old 03-28-2011, 08:50 PM
biloyp biloyp is offline
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I ordered some Flora Duo B (the nutrient I am using is Part A &B). I also ordered some pH down. I took a pH reading prior to adding and my reading was around 8.0. I added some "B" in small quantities and it alone dropped my pH. I then added some pH Down and got my pH down to around 6.0. I had to add about 2 gallons of water as well. In about 1 1/2 weks I had to add water.

Here is the email reply from General Hydroponics " There are several contributing factors to your ph wanting to rise. One is obviously the alkalinity of your well water. The other is the lack of the B because it contains additional buffers and more phosphoric acid which will help to lower the ph. The third is that you are probably not using very much nutrient so the the lower concentration lacks the ability to lower the alkalinity of the water. I would get some B and use equal parts of the two. About 7.5ml/gallon of each. You will still have to use some ph down but it should be more stable when using both A and B."

My lettuce seems like it is struggling but my spinach seems to be holding up. I will post some pics soon. Not enuff time inthe day to get everything done. Anyways, hope some of this info helps.
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2011, 11:56 AM
Hanna Hanna is offline
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Default pH Adjustment for biloyp

Based on our experience with other growers, some will add small amounts of sulfuric or phosphoric acid to bring their pH down. Vinegar might work but it is not a strong acid.

When using your pH meter, make sure you calibrate it and store the electrode in some electrode storage solution. It will maintain it's integrity over a longer period.

Regards

Hanna Instruments.
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  #10  
Old 04-13-2011, 08:19 PM
biloyp biloyp is offline
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I am using General Hydroponics pH Down product and it is working really well. I do kep my pH meter in a solution as u sugested. Thanks for the advice , really appreciate it. Since I have brought my pH down, my lettuce is thriving, seems like lettuce likes the pH between 5-6. But my spinach seems to like pH around 6. I have learned so much doing this.

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