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Thread: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

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    New Member Tulip's Avatar
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    Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    If you are using the SH Deep Water Culture System, or a DWC grow, be it a store bought or a do it yourself homemade, this will help you learn more about feeding your babies and plants. Here I am discussing a 8 gallon reservoir using 6 gallons of water.

    When a new born baby comes out of the womb, he comes out hungry! Same thing applies to puppies and most mammals. But you do not give them an 16 ounce T-Bone Steak and a giant baked potato to start.

    You give them a weaker smaller feeding, with no spices, no onions, no large amounts of salt, and not too acidity.

    Well, the same theory applies to your new pot sprouts.

    When your seeds have germinated or sprouted or cracked, or been added to the tank, then about a week later, (much sooner if you pre-soaked the seeds) you will have your first node of leaves. A "node of leaves" means two opposing leaves, one directly across from the other. Do not count those first seen round leaves, called seed leaves or cotyledons.
    When the second node first appears, meaning the 3rd nd 4th leaf, it is time to introduce the GROW and MICRO Nutes, also called the VEGGING and MICR nutes.
    If using the SH premeasured nutes, add 1/4 packet or 1/4 dose of nutes (Grow and Micro nutes) to a gallon of water, pH adjust that one gallon and add it to the tank. As I said, new born babies are born hungry, but not ready for a full meal deal.

    If you are using other brands of nutrients follow thier directions or use 1/4 recommended dose.

    Once a day, every day, you check the water level and pH. It will be 2, maybe 3 weeks before they start drinking a half gallon a day that needs to be replaced.

    As they grow, about every other day to every 2 days during the second week, you add another 1/4 packet, until you have used a full dose or full packet of nutes.

    I use 1/4 dose when I see the 3rd and 4th leaf appear, no matter how small they are. (Again not counting the round seed leaves called cotyledons)

    After the first 14 days, drain out 5 gallons, and add one gallon at a time, that is pH balanced, adding 5 gallons back. In the 5th gallon, add one full packet of GROW and MICRO nutes, shake and stir it good, before adding it.

    After approaching 3 weeks, they will start drinking one half gallon a day. Around the 4th to 5th week, they will be drinking a full gallon a day.

    Every 7 to ten days, you DRAIN AND REPLINISH. I prefer every 7 days to give the roots that much needed air bath that they love. If I find extra time, I do it every 4 days, but I put the drained water back in the tank on that EXTRA Drain.

    FEEDING IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A PPM METER.
    You will daily add one gallon of pH water TO REPLACE THE ONE GALLON MISSING. (Or 1/2 gallon daily earlier in the grow, clsoe to the 3rd or 4th week) If the water in the tank tests a pH of 7.0 (too high for example) and you know you want it lower, make one gallon of 5.0 water, and it will make the tank about 6.0 or in that neighborhood. ALSO, in that one gallon of water added daily, add 1/6 packet or dose of new nutes. One gallon or 1/6 of the tank was drank or absorbed, so you need to replace 1 gallon of water and 1/6 of the nutes.

    Or in other words, if they drank 1/6 of the tank's water, they ate 1/6 of the nutes, so you need to replace that 1/6 that was consumed.
    IF the grow area is VERY HOT, add back a little less than 1/6 nutes, the plant is just drinking and needing lots of water.
    If the grow room is cool, or NOT VERY HOT, use the full 1/6 dose.


    DRAINING AND REPLINISHING

    First two grows I did, I syphoned the water out into a 5 gallon bucket with an Aquarium syphon hose. That was really a chore!

    Then I learned to prop the lid open about three or 4 inches, STILL LEAVING THE LID ON THE TANK, BUT PROPPED UP ON ONE END and I reach in and take the Irrigation Hub off of the pump. I jsut lift it up. Then with a 1/2 or 3/4 inch hose, I use my fist as a coupling, I sit my fist on the upward pump tube with the hose half way in my fist, on top of the pump, and let the pump.....pump the water out into a 5 gallon bucket. It works good for me.

    AFTER I remvoe the pump, I still use it to draint he tank, by removing the filter and filter cover, and lowering the pump back in, from a corner of the tank.

    You can also use a WET-VAC, to drain it.

    Let me add here again, I can not emphasis enough, that Roots love the AIR BATH they get during a Drain and Replinish. This is a very important step. The more often you can do it, the faster the plants will grow.


    Remember what I am telling you here.

    Pot plants sprout with two round leaves, called
    cotyledons . Do NOT count those as leaves, they are really the inside of the seed.
    AFTER 2 full leaves appear and the 3rd nd 4th are starting to be seen, tiny as they are, use 1/4 dose of nutes.

    When you start a new grow, and AFTER the seeds have sprouted, and you have done one feeding, you do a Drain and Replinish at 10 to 14 days, then every 7 to 10 days.

    AFTER the first week, the water is still fresh, and you may have only added 1/4 packet of nutes or 1/4 dose of nutes to the tank at the end of the first week IF you saw two full leaves, besides those FIRST two round ones, the cotyledons .

    During the 2nd week, you probably added 1/4 DOSE OF NUTES 2 more times 3 or 4 days apart.

    AFTER 14 days from germination, you do the first DRAIN AND REPLINISH. Then, again, every 7 to ten days you DRAIN AND REPLINISH. I do a complete DRAIN AND REPLINISH weekly, every Saturday afternoon.
    BUT, every Wednesday, half way through the week and if I have the extra time, I drain the tank into a bucket, pH test the bucket and adjust it, and then, after ten minutes of having an empty tank AND LETTING THE ROOTS GET AN AIR BATH, I add it right back to the tank. That way I did not use ANY EXTRA NUTES or too many nutes, but I did give the roots an air bath.
    You will see a RAPID GROWTH SPURT the very next day.

    Let me say this again.
    IF you do not have a ppm meter...........
    and you do a DRAIN and REPLINISH........Try to think in term of SIXTHS. You got 6 plants, and 6 gallons of water in the tank. AFTER ABOUT the first two weeks, you are going to come home from work one day and find the plants drank half a gallon of water, and need to add half a gallon of water back. Half a gallon is half a SIXTH, so add back half a sixth of a packet of nutes back and half gallon of pH adjusted water.

    Later, AFTER about three or 4 weeks, you will check the plants and they will have drank one whole gallon of water in one day. ONE gallon is 1/6 of the tank's water, and if 1/6 of the water is gone, then 1/6 of the nutes are gone, so add back one gallon of pH adjusted water and 1/6 does of nutes.
    AFTER 3 or 4 weeks, you will find they drank two gallons in one day. Then add two gallons of water, (1/3 of the tank's water) so also add 1/3 packet of nutes.


    IF you got the drain plugs, (little black faucets for the tank) make sure you use some plumbers glue or teflon tape or they will leak. The problem with using the DRAIN PLUGS is most of us have to sit our tanks on the floor, making it very difficult to drain the tank that way.

    I'm often asked do I drain it out 100%? NO, I don't everytime, IF they are healthy, I always leave about 1 inch of water or half a gallon. I'm too lazy to get it all, and it doesn't seem to matter.

    IF THEY ARE SICK, THEN I DO DRAIN IT 100%.

    I'm often asked do I clean the tank when I drain it?
    No, I don't let it get dirty to start with. I do not use nutes that color the water or roots, until about the last few weeks, I do use some Liquid Karma the last 2 or 3 weeks as a catalyst IN VEG. But I still do not let trash or any thing foreign into the tank to have to clean it out.

    The airstones can become slimey or snotty. The Water Pump can harbor trash. Either can cause pH problems, and if I am having a pH problem, I do clean the airstones and water pump, or remove or replace them.
    jwb87 and mark4mmj like this.

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    New Member Tulip's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    Why do I get different advice from different Deep Water Culture Growers?

    Because feeding babies is a difficult question to answer because Strains vary, the system you grow in makes a big difference, (Plain DWC, or Feeder Tubes, or DRIP or Aeropinic) ) and there are 3 inch tall CLONEs with three roots like hairs, and there are clones ten inches tall with roots like a mop. Also sprouts are often different sizes.
    And the nutrients you use make a big difference.
    I always try to give very safe advise that will not harm or kill your plants. If I told you to start clones on full nutes, and you have clones only two inches tall, with two hairs for roots, it wouLD kill them, and you'd be upset with me.
    If I tell you to start 1/4 dose and increase it every two days, (to be safe) and you have clones 18 inches tall with roots like mops, then you're going to be starving them, and again, be upset with me.
    You have to play it safe, expecially when giving advice or when money is involved for expensive seeds or expensive bought clones.
    And you alone can determine whether to play it safe or whether to feed them the full meal deal.

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    420 Member ol hippy's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    Or maybe a happy meal ? Nicely said ------- .
    Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm
    If it ain't broke ..break it

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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    If you use a ppm (TDS - EC) meter, you should first read and follow the instructions on your nutrients.

    When I first start a new grow I start with 1/4 dose nutes to be safe. A day or two after I see the second node or 4th leaf, (two sets of two leaves, not counting those first two round leaves), I introduce 1/4 strenght nutes. I increased them to half strenght, or a 2nd dose of 1/4 strenght nutes two days later when I see the 3rd node. I could safely do this with the Stealth Hydro Nutes. They are not too strong to cause damage at that strenght becuase they ae designed for CFL grows. HID light users can and should use higher NPK nutes, or stronger strenght nutes.
    A day or two later, I see a 4th node, and increase the strenght of the nutes again by adding another 1/4 dose, bringing me to FULL-Strenght nutes.
    That is when I measure my ppm, but by then, the plants are eating the nutes too. My ppm is only 200 to 300 then, and 75 to 100 of that is my well water. (I am still in the Feeding Sprouts Stage) In no way am I saying that is what your ppm should be too. I am just telling you what mine normally is. I try for a weaker strenght feeding to make sure I do not burn them up and get nute burn. In past grows, I did use more nutes, strongers doses, more often. And consequently, I always get some nute burn.

    After the first two weeks pass, I do a Drain and Replinish. I add back a full dose of nutes and my ppm is 280 to 350, telling me my target ppm to stay at the same level during the late Sprout Stage or Early VEG or GROW cycle.
    As I daily added a half of gallon of water, and a 1/12 packet of nutes, my ppm grows to 350 to 400, or bounces between 250 and 350 as they eat. (Before the feeding, it is 220 ppm, after the feeding it is up to 350)

    By the time I am in my 3rd week, and they are drinking a full gallon of water a day, and I am adding back 1/6 dose of nutes, my ppm is between 360 to 440 daily. But that number is not important to me or you. What is important is tracking it, writing it down daily, to determine how much more nutes I should add or not add.

    Let me rephrase this.
    Do not worry about the exact ppm number, or any number from a chart or from me and my grow. Instead watch, record, and track how it rises or falls from day to day. The differences between what you have in there on one day, and the readings you get the next day will tell you how much your plants are eating. Of course, you do this daily, at the same time of day.

    And remember, just because a gallon of water is gone, does not mean they also ate 1/6 of the nutes. Maybe you had HIGH HEAT and they were very thirsty but not as hungry.

    First, determine the ppm of your water sourse. Say it is 100 ppm. Then fill the tank with the proper amount of water and a complete dose of nutes and read the ppm. Say it is 350 for example. If tomorrow a gallon of water is gone, and the ppm says higher than 350, or is still close to 350, then they did not eat and they do not need more nutes, they only need more water. Your reservoir's water and nute solution is more concentrated, telling you to add more water only to dilute the concentration.

    If the ppm went down to say 250 from 350, and a gallon of water is gone, they need a gallon of water, plus enough additonal nutes to bring the ppm back up to 350. And that is the real purpose and use of a ppm meter, to determine that need and how much.

    No one can tell you what your ppm should be PRECISELY OR EXACTLY. It will vary from garden to garden, to Different Sources of WATER, and vary from different nutrients too.

    If your plants are very happy, and drinking and eating at the same level, then the ppm will remain the same daily.
    If for example, 1/8 of the water is gone, and 1/8 the nutes are gone, then the concentration remains the same and the ppm will remain the same.

    I would like to offer a ppm chart as a rule of thumb or ball park target ppm, but each grow or garden is going to be different.

    These numbers are based on EC readings, .500 readings, TDS readings converted from EC or the common Hannah Chart:

    Seedlings, Early Sprouts 100 to 250

    Early Vegging 300 to 400

    Full Vegetation 450 to 700

    Early Blooming 750 to 950

    Full Mature Blooms 1000 to 1600


    (this excludes the ppm of your water)



    According to the chart, I am under feeding them in my examples, and my grow could handle a stronger dose of nutes. But I am playing it safe because I get tried of getting Nute Burn.

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    New Member Tulip's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    Tell me more about Feeding IF I do not have a ppm meter.

    Feeding Without a PPM Meter

    I did half a dozen grows without a ppm ppm meter, enough that I do not rely on it now that I do have one. You have to just use common sense.
    I often read "you need a 1200 ppm nutritonal solution
    during VEG". Well, how does that 1200 ppm take into consideration what the ppm of my plain water is? If I have 7.6 pH water out of the faucet, and it is 100 ppm out of the faucet, and I add a half a teaspoon of pH Down and now it is 200 ppm, do I just add 1000 ppm of nutes to get to 1200 ppm? What if I use Distilled water that is 6.0 pH and 20 ppm, do I add 1180 ppm of nutes to get to the suggested 1200 ppm? And the person, book or chart that recommended the 1200 ppm has no idea what nutrients I am using to start with, whether they are high ppm chemical solids or low ppm liquid organics.
    Again, you have to just use common sense.


    When it is time to start the first feeding, you will see the seed germinate and show you the first two round leaves. Disregard them, and after you see 4 new leaves, start 1/4 dose of recommended nutes, for 6 small sprouts in the tank. After I see a total of 8 new leaves, I add 1/4 dose again. I want to be cautious not to get nute burn by over feeding. I wait two days and add a 3rd 1/4 dose, and wait two more day, (usually the 7th to 9th day, and add the last 1/4 dose, looking at plants that are little bushes about 4 inches tall.
    AFTer 7 to ten days later, I Drain and Replinish with a full packet or full dose of nutes.
    By then, they are drinking half a gallon a day, and EVERY OTHER DAY, I add 1/6 packet when I add a half gallon of water. Then, after two weeks, into the 4th week, I am seeing them drink a full gallon daily, and when I add a gallon back, I add 1/6 packet. I watch the tips and if I see any yellow tips on the upper 1/3 of the plant's leaves, (not the lower ones) I skip two days of nutes. I stay on the schedule of adding 1/6 every day to every other day, depending on if the six plants drink a full gallon. After about 5 weeks of VEG, I am adding 1/6 daily almost every day, but ocasionally skipping a day.

    Then I start 12/12, the Flowering Cycle. I stay on VEG nutes for two days and start replacing them as they are eaten and drank with the BLOOM nutes, adding 1/6 packet daily. I strongly believe in a gradual change.

    WHEN I remove 3 males, and only have 3 female plants remaining, I back off and reduce feedings. It is just common sense. 3 plants eat less and need less than 6 plants.
    If and when I have 3 large plants, say over 18 inches tall, I can still feed a full packet. I adjust the nutes to the number of plants and size. After I have some larger plants, say over 24 to 26 inches tall, I might add a packet and 1/6 extra, and watch them closely. If I see yellow tips, I remove a gallon and replace it with plain water AND skip two days of feeding.
    UNDERFEEDING is much better than OVER FEEDING.

    AFTER A WHILE, YOU JUST GET A FEEL FOR IT, watching for those yellow tips. Again, it is better to under feed, than over feed.
    IF you have some giants, like 3 Flowering, add a little extra and watch them closely. If you only have two plants, do not use a full packet. It is just common sense and getting a feel for it.
    raidr likes this.

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    New Member Tulip's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    AC Grower, you asked for this in a PM to me.

    There you go!

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    420 Member ACGrow-Brain's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    Invaluable information as always -------, and I am soo glad that we have a new home like this that will not take you for granted!!!!
    Want to harvest a pound every three weeks? check out the sig!!!!



    http://www.420magazine.com/forums/hy...nkbud-way.html

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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    Wonderful work, -------. Simple and to the point while covering all the bases in plain english.

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    New Member Tulip's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    Thank you, I hope this will really help the new growers.

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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    Nice write up

    So how often and how much water do you flush the 3" netpot with? Do you flush with water and dilute you bath a bit, or do you flush with plain water?

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    New Member Tulip's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    Quote Originally Posted by Soniq420 View Post
    Nice write up

    So how often and how much water do you flush the 3" netpot with? Do you flush with water and dilute you bath a bit, or do you flush with plain water?

    In and with this Deep Water Culture system, there is a constant flow of water, air and nutrient mix being fed to each grow cup, 24/7 via feeder tubes and submersive water pump. The 1/4 inch tube butts into the rockwool cube, feeding and flushing at the same time.

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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    great info -------!!!

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    420 Member Love1Fear's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    Miss you bro glad I can learn from you again!!

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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    hey ------- am i reading this right

    my tap is 500 ppm do i just add enough nutes 2 get the ppm 1200 the plants r 5 weeks old i just got the ppm meter and have not bn checkn ppm only ph


    or

    do i had the 1200 nutes on top of the 500 ppm water

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    New Member Tulip's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding in Deep Water Culture, Getting Started & PPM

    Quote Originally Posted by Love1Fear View Post
    Miss you bro glad I can learn from you again!!
    I KILL YOU! LOL,,,love that old Avatar!

    BrotherMan, I was scanning the old place last week, and I realized you was the only real Deep Water Culture left behind! Looked like the ole Ostrich Brain was trying to help you too! LOL

    I am so glad you foud us and came over. It is very different here, very different. The MODs are HELPFUL here !!! Really! They don't put up with bashers and trolls and stalkers here either. Its a peaceful place.

    Sure am glad you are here. Oth than postig pics is different, much eveything else is easy to adjsut to, here.

    PEACE, bro.

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