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Super Low PH in FFOF!?

Inthewind

New Member
I posted this in the veg forum and have gotten almost no advice and I'm trying to get a diagnosis. I'm having a major issue with crazy low PH in FFOF/FFHF/Perlite:

Strain - Bubblelicious, Cheese, Papaya (Germ 9 Nov, transplanted 22 Nov)
# of Plants - 9 (3 each)
Grow Type - Soil
Grow Stage - Vegetative
Bucket Size - 3 Gallon
Lights - (2) 1 - 600 MH 1 400 MH
Nutrients - None
Medium - 60% Ocean Forrest 30% Happy Frog 10% Perlite
Runoff PH - 4.6
Water used - RO, PH adjusted from 7.8 to 6.8 using PH down
RH - 55% to 65%
Room Temperature -65 - 78
Room Square Footage - 5 X 8
Pests - None
PH Meter - Oakton PH2

I transplanted all of them into the 3 gallon pots on 22 Nov. I recognized slow growth but thought it may just have been due to the transplant. I also know that when I transplanted from sprout to the larger pots and put them under the Metal Halides I picked up a little leaf tip burn because I had the lights a little too close, or so I thought. Its a closed tube system with minimal heat, so maybe over exposure?

When I transplanted I used some "Quick Start" Vitamin B planting and transplanting solution, which I've used before and had zero issues with.

So, the 4.6 runoff is the issue. I tested the FFOF before I transplanted into it and it sat at 6.8, and the Happy Frog was about the same. I even have some of the mix left over that I used for the transplant and when I tested the runoff from that it was 6.4.

I'm baffled.

I tried to do a "PH UP of RO to 9" feed on two of the smaller ones to try to get the runoff PH up, but no luck.

Again, I'm lost. This will be my 4th soil and I have 3 hydros behind me and I've never had these issues.

I did 3 tablespoons each of Dolomite Lime. They were ready for some water so I scratched in 2 and then watered in 1.

Since then I've done one watering with 7.0 RO and the runoff was 4.5.

These are just after transplant:



























These are current, today:



























I was just looking at a couple of the pics and was wondering if one or two of them arent Nitrogen deficient? But they're in FF Ocean Forrest, so.....?

Thanks in advance for ANY help.
 

The303Stoner

New Member
Does any of the products you add to the soil contain humic acid or Leoandrite. Baking soda to raise PH fast lime stays on top of the soil.
 

Inthewind

New Member
Ok. I called Fox Farms today to try to get some ideas and ask them if this is something they've experienced before. I talked to Justin, who was really helpful and really gave me a warm fuzzy that he knew what he was talking about.

First he told me testing runoff isn't really the best way to get an accurate soil PH. He said that a slurry would give me a better read. He said to do it twice: Once at a 5:1 soil to RO water and once at 1:1, then average them for an accurate read.

After describing my issues he also said that my issues are more than likely due to Calcium/Magnesium deficiency as the RO water draws it out of the soil. Something about RO water having a memory and thats what sucks the nutrients out of the soil?

I haven't had time to do a slurry, but will tomorrow and I'll post the results. They needed a watering anyway so I did a 1/3 strength feed.

I'm cautiously optimistic.
 

Inthewind

New Member
The303Stoner:

I'm going to say that more than likely there would be humid acid due to the Ocean Forrest properties. As for the baking soda, whats the application process? Dissolve and water in? Whats the dose/amount?

Thanks for the comments so far!
 

Schnitzel419

New Member
The303Stoner:

I'm going to say that more than likely there would be humid acid due to the Ocean Forrest properties. As for the baking soda, whats the application process? Dissolve and water in? Whats the dose/amount?

Thanks for the comments so far!
I would love to see an answer to the baking soda question, have the same problem, already lost a plant (newbie grower) and another one is swirling the drain.
 

The303Stoner

New Member
you can also use calcium carbonate. You can do it like a flush with a table spoon the first gal. and than a tea spoon per gal. until you hit PH 6.5. than you will need to a a tea to add micro biology to the soil which and be made from one or more of the following Big bloom/ compost/ Worm Cast/ Ancient Forest / cultured microbes.
 

CascadianDank

New Member
They needed a watering anyway so I did a 1/3 strength feed.

I'm cautiously optimistic.
Im willing to bet that is your problem. I had the same problem a year ago and the cause was feeding nutes too soon. FFOF has plenty of food in it to get you thru a month or more depending on plant size and pot size. once you transplant you are adding more food so you still wont need to feed right away. Also in my year of organic growing experience Ive learned that for me using bubbled tap water works better than RO water. I got a 10 gal. Aquarium pump, roll of hose and 2 small air stones for under 20 bucks at Wallys and that keeps 2 5gal buckets of water bubblin and waiting for me whenever I need it.

Another thing I wanna add is that since I stopped checking/worrying about PH I havent had an issue like this with my plants.
 
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