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PH problem in new Deep Water Culture system

Speyedr

New Member
My pH drifts considerably daily. I adjust down to 5.5 and the next day it may get as high as 8. I started with RO water but switched to tap to see if that would help. It didn't. My tap water is fairly soft and low in ppm (150s if I recall). I am looking at automation to get this under control since I am not around as much I would like to be.

I did start with pH adjusted water each time I changed the res.

In the Aquarium hobby people use pH controllers to monitor pH and operate a CO2 tank to add CO2 to the aquarium water and thereby reduce the pH. Is there a reason why this would be bad in a Deep Water Culture system? You would be adding Co2 to the res, but aeration would cause any carbonation to gas out fairly quickly and the now atmospheric CO2 could actually be beneficial. Anyone tried this?

Also, I am using House and Garden Aqua Flakes nutes. Has anyone used this in a Deep Water Culture successfully? Could this add to my pH woes?

Any help is much appreciated.:thanks:
 

TheAnswer1776

New Member
My pH drifts considerably daily. I adjust down to 5.5 and the next day it may get as high as 8. I started with RO water but switched to tap to see if that would help. It didn't. My tap water is fairly soft and low in ppm (150s if I recall). I am looking at automation to get this under control since I am not around as much I would like to be.

I did start with pH adjusted water each time I changed the res.

In the Aquarium hobby people use pH controllers to monitor pH and operate a CO2 tank to add CO2 to the aquarium water and thereby reduce the pH. Is there a reason why this would be bad in a Deep Water Culture system? You would be adding Co2 to the res, but aeration would cause any carbonation to gas out fairly quickly and the now atmospheric CO2 could actually be beneficial. Anyone tried this?

Also, I am using House and Garden Aqua Flakes nutes. Has anyone used this in a Deep Water Culture successfully? Could this add to my pH woes?

Any help is much appreciated.:thanks:
It is normal for PH to fluctuate from say 5.8-6.2 in 24 hours, but up to 8 is extreme. Something is off, which leads me to believe it might be the nutes. Invest in some quality nutes like GH, etc...
 

ledtester

On Vacation
My pH drifts considerably daily. I adjust down to 5.5 and the next day it may get as high as 8. I started with RO water but switched to tap to see if that would help. It didn't. My tap water is fairly soft and low in ppm (150s if I recall). I am looking at automation to get this under control since I am not around as much I would like to be.

I did start with pH adjusted water each time I changed the res.

In the Aquarium hobby people use pH controllers to monitor pH and operate a CO2 tank to add CO2 to the aquarium water and thereby reduce the pH. Is there a reason why this would be bad in a Deep Water Culture system? You would be adding Co2 to the res, but aeration would cause any carbonation to gas out fairly quickly and the now atmospheric CO2 could actually be beneficial. Anyone tried this?

Also, I am using House and Garden Aqua Flakes nutes. Has anyone used this in a Deep Water Culture successfully? Could this add to my pH woes?

Any help is much appreciated.:thanks:
Unless you use large rez's the ph tends to fluctuate quite a bit. and needs constant monitoring. I always start at 5.5 and let it drift to 5.8. The water quality and nutes affect your ph. change the nutes. and no co2 in the water,,,you want h202 in there every day though!
 

PurpDaddY

New Member
Ph takes 12 hours to settle.
What i do is have another tank the same size as your rez.pre-mix the nutes in there with ph down(i use 5ml per gal)i use city tap water....ppm of like 250. Let sit overnight and check ph the next day.Usually its about where i want it so i then adjust slowly.1 ml down at a time.Let sit then check again.repeat process until i get to 5.5 or 5.6.
 

mule

New Member
My pH drifts considerably daily. I adjust down to 5.5 and the next day it may get as high as 8. I started with RO water but switched to tap to see if that would help. It didn't. My tap water is fairly soft and low in ppm (150s if I recall). I am looking at automation to get this under control since I am not around as much I would like to be.

I did start with pH adjusted water each time I changed the res.

In the Aquarium hobby people use pH controllers to monitor pH and operate a CO2 tank to add CO2 to the aquarium water and thereby reduce the pH. Is there a reason why this would be bad in a Deep Water Culture system? You would be adding Co2 to the res, but aeration would cause any carbonation to gas out fairly quickly and the now atmospheric CO2 could actually be beneficial. Anyone tried this?

Also, I am using House and Garden Aqua Flakes nutes. Has anyone used this in a Deep Water Culture successfully? Could this add to my pH woes?

Any help is much appreciated.:thanks:
I read on here somewhere House and Garden Aqua Flakes nutes can not be used with bubbles... It makes the nutes fall out of suspension or something to that effect...
 

Speyedr

New Member
:peace2:Thanks for all of the replies. House & Garden Nutes are quite good according to reputation and they are certainly not cheap. I would hate to waste my investment.

I've e-mailed the company for more info and will post their reply here, but I suspect that you are right Mule. It does look like the nutes 'separated' from the water a bit.

I'm going to do a res change for now and probably stick with SH nutes until I figure this out.

Thanks and + rep to you all for the help!

I'll be a Deep Water Culture if it kills me!!:smokin2:
 

Speyedr

New Member
I did a res change and cleaned everything. It seems I had an algae bloom starting as well. Added h2o2 as recommended.

I also got a reply from H&G regarding their products compatibility w/ bubbles...

'H&G Roots Excelurator's bacteria thrives in a low oxygen zone. The rest of the H&G line is fine with heavy amounts of oxygen.*I believe*when running a airstone in*most reservoirs it can slowly change the composition of the nutrients. You should be fine just don't expect the Roots Excelurator bacteria to be as aggressive.'

They also asked that I keep them posted on my system. Seems they don't know much about bubbles. Then again, neither do I... Yet.
 

Chkn915

New Member
It has to be something with your nutes because r,o water shouldnt fluctuate like that I found that when I was having thatproblem I had slime in my water pump filter. I would also recommend switching to better nutes and also clean everything in the system. How far along are you? are the roots in the water yet?
 

SanibelGreen

New Member
I did a res change and cleaned everything. It seems I had an algae bloom starting as well. Added h2o2 as recommended.

I also got a reply from H&G regarding their products compatibility w/ bubbles...

'H&G Roots Excelurator's bacteria thrives in a low oxygen zone. The rest of the H&G line is fine with heavy amounts of oxygen.*I believe*when running a airstone in*most reservoirs it can slowly change the composition of the nutrients. You should be fine just don't expect the Roots Excelurator bacteria to be as aggressive.'

They also asked that I keep them posted on my system. Seems they don't know much about bubbles. Then again, neither do I... Yet.
Honestly man I tried to stay with SH nutes but then I backed up and looked at what Iam trying to do. Grow amazing stuff , so I wen out and dumped about 150 on Nutes. Averaged around 30$ a bottle. I got GH FloraNova Bloom and Grow,GH Cal-Mag, Liquid Karma, and this amazing stuff called Dark Energy to keep the plants in tip top shape. I was having all kinds of problems before now they are flourishing. If you have the time take a trip to my grow in my sig and see the evolution through the pics. In the end your plants are gonna be as good as your nutes are! (I use city tap water btw)

SG
 

Speyedr

New Member
Honestly man I tried to stay with SH nutes but then I backed up and looked at what Iam trying to do. Grow amazing stuff , so I wen out and dumped about 150 on Nutes. Averaged around 30$ a bottle. I got GH FloraNova Bloom and Grow,GH Cal-Mag, Liquid Karma, and this amazing stuff called Dark Energy to keep the plants in tip top shape. I was having all kinds of problems before now they are flourishing. If you have the time take a trip to my grow in my sig and see the evolution through the pics. In the end your plants are gonna be as good as your nutes are! (I use city tap water btw)

SG
Thanks SG! I started your thread. Hope to catch up soon. +rep for your help.
 

Speyedr

New Member
It has to be something with your nutes because r,o water shouldnt fluctuate like that I found that when I was having thatproblem I had slime in my water pump filter. I would also recommend switching to better nutes and also clean everything in the system. How far along are you? are the roots in the water yet?
I think I need to clarify here. I am a newb but as I understand it and as my local shopkeeper told me, House & Garden are VERY high quality nutes.
Turns out I had a pretty (in)decent algae problem which may have compounded the pH problem.
I have cleaned the res and added fresh tap only. My local water is very good and I have brewed award winning pilsners with it. I also added H2O2 and that seems to be helping as well. Once the babies recover a bit more I will be adding nutes according to the H&G schedule.
I'll keep posting w/ updates as much as possible. Maybe some pics too, but I am a bit paranoid.
 

Speyedr

New Member
How far along are you? are the roots in the water yet?
The roots are not yet in the water. I started fem 2 White Widow Fem seeds (Nirvana) on 2/23. Since then I have made several newb mistakes and stunted their growth. On the plus side, this gives me time to get my shit straight before they get too big to manage :)

I'm going to chronicle my grow so far in a new thread. Hopefully it'll help me and other newbs in my position.
:rasta:
 

Speyedr

New Member
another point i forgot to mention is when checking the pH of your res be sure to turn off the o2 before dipping the meter in. this can play with the readings a little...

do you have an aquarium pH meter or just a standard one that you need to dip in? An aquarium one sits constantly in the res.
I have a Hanna Grow Check with probes that I leave in the res. I also have a Milwaukee handheld that I use to validate the Grow Check, but the point of the Grow Check is that I can monitor without opening the space up.

I also know from Aquarium and Hot Tub knowledge that high levels of aeration can raise pH by lowering Alaklinity. I would suspect that this is going on, but others do not have this problem. I am sure other Deep Water Culture are aerating more than I am.
 

Speyedr

New Member
Is it that the bubbles mess with pH or that the meter readings get messed up by the bubbles?

o2 shouldn't raise alkalinity on it's own...
Alkalinity is not the same as pH. Alkalinity is a measure of the buffering capacity of a liquid making it harder to change the pH.

In the pool industry, if you have high alkalinity you add acid to reduce pH and then aerate vigorously. This raises the pH and lowers alkalinity.

I assume therefore, and possibly incorrectly, that aerating any liquid will result in increased pH and reduced alkalinity.
 

Tulip

New Member
Its your water temperature. Didn't I read it is at 77 degrees?

And I have had to adjust my pH at 7:30 in the morning and again at 7:30 the same evening. But the fact is, SOMETHING is causing it to swing too wide. Like Trash in the water pump, slim on the air stones, dead roots or debris in the water, the beginning of root rot or algae growth does it. The old 8 Step Recovery is the best procedure until you can resolve it.
http://www.420magazine.com/forums/Deep Water Culture/109429-rosemans-tips-tricks-troubleshooting-guide-revised-10-1-09-a.html
 

Tulip

New Member
Not checking your pH so much is the answer to seeing less pH swings lol... that may not actually be as strange advice as it may seem. The reason is that plants are constantly exchanging things with the medium, which in this case is water. This will constantly change pH one way or the other and without any real buffers, aside from the ones naturally within the hydroponic nutrients themselves, this is why pH will veer in different directions at different times. Unavoidable... so long as the pH stays within 4.5-6.5 you're golden.

Also if it was temperature then this would lower pH not raise it. As water warms up the pH goes down. The ideal, or believed ideal at present, res temps for DWC are 67-69f. so 77 would be slightly too warm which would lower pH.
Thats all true, but if his 77 degree water is staring root rot...............


and I think 5.5 is rock bottom allowable pH in Hydro. I've never seen below 5.5 recommended.
 

VapedOutJoe

Nug of the Month: Jan 2011
Dude, mine does the same thing. The PH goes from 5.5 to 8 everyday, even when I do a complete res drain and clean. The only time it doesn't swing so bad is when I use straight water, with no nutes. I have Algae that doesn't want to die. It keeps coming back no matter what. I just can't get it to go away. I have the res blacked out, with covers over the mesh baskets with the hydroton and plant. THe lid has also been blacked out. My res temps are from 70-75. 75 is max, usually 74 if the high each day. I have tried the 8 step program a few times, but everytime i think I can go 3 days without a res change, algae starts back up, and the PH is swinging like a SOB. My plants are just miserable from the problems. Maybe I'm screwing things up on this, but I have decided to try some new grow nutes, that should be in by the end of next week. I also got some new PH down coming in.
When using h2o2, should you keep it in the res and add more each day? Should you use it for a couple hours after a drain and fill, then drain and fill again? Should you Add it in, and 2 days later add more? Is it bad to PH down your res from 8 to 5.5 everyday? I think so, anyone else able to help with these questions? Thanks all!
 
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