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Too good to be true: no touch pH adjustment

TallGuyWithTheFood

Well-Known Member
As stated, seems too good to be true. Im a soil outside guy(for now). Not a concern for me. My tap(well h2o) is 8.
This seems a good solution.
However, as an ex aquarium addict, im famiar with similar techniques that apply to fish husbandry.
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PK1

Well-Known Member
interesting, I've got two aquaruims and dnt ph my water, but then i do have a nutral tap water
 

PK1

Well-Known Member

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TysonOG

Well-Known Member
Its good if you're going to be away from your grow for an extended period, but I wouldn't use it on a day to day basis. I'm lucky enough to be able to check my plants twice a day and while slightly adjusting ph here and there is annoying, this auto system doesn't let you adjust the ph. Torus claims it keeps the ph between 5.7-6.5. That's "generally" ok for weed hydro but it would be much nicer to be able to fine tune it more. I have slightly different ranges i like for veg vs flower.
Just my 2 cents as a hydro grower, in your soil situation it might work well. If you're using it to treat your tap water, you'll have to recirculate it for a while first. It won't work as a single pass-through inline system. If you have a barrel or something to store the water, they also sell units that you drop into a reservoir and it adjusts the ph, that way you don't need a pump. Don't know how long it would take though, dependent on reservoir size.
 
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multiVortex

Grow Journal of the Month: Mar 2020
However, as an ex aquarium addict

There shouldn’t be an “ex” in there. Hear me now, listen to me tomorrow, and believe me sometime next week...

It’ll come back, chomp you in the ass, and wreck shop when you least expect it. :19:

Reef? Even worse. :laugh:





Back to the subject at hand, I have been using a 35gal model on a a 20gal res for about the past 8-10 weeks now.

First, and what everyone wants to know, does it work? Yes, it can work. Used properly, it definitely works.


Now, that being said, I wouldn't say everyone running some type of hydro setup should run right out and get one. If you're not having pH issues at all, then don't bother. Not because it doesn't work, it's just going to be a waste of money if you're not having issues.

This device is designed to keep the pH in the hydro range. It's normal operational range is generally 5.8-6.2, but as it ages and nears needing to be re-charged, it may drift between its full range of 5.7-6.4.

It isn't a magic elixir where you just dump your shit in the res and ignore pH. Not whatsoever. Common sense still comes into play. You still must pH your solution initially, and get it to the right range. The closer to 5.8, the better. Now this could (eventually) drop or raise a pH way out of whack, it isn't instantaneous. It could wreck you up pretty good if you used it like that. It will also make for more frequent recharging as well.

Recharging is the on-going maintenance and cost associated with the product. They sell the recharge in 500ml and 1L bottles.

For a 1L bottle, with the capsule style you can get 8 recharges of the 35gal model, 6 for the 70gal, 4 for the 100gal, and 2 for the 250gal model. Cut those in-half for the "inline" style. (The 500ml bottle would obviously only give up half those numbers.)


Where this thing excels is fighting pH swings. For example, there's a strong buffer in my tap water that drive pH to the mid 7's or so. Because of this, I use RO water with hydro stuff. Even then it still isn't completely gone. The EC is 0.06 (40ppm) but at least it's significantly reduced in effect. With tap, I'd be using pH down 3-4x a day to keep it down in range. With RO, I do it once a day for the first 2-3 days after I change the res, then it's fairly stable. (In flower when the pH likes to drop naturally, I'll use 5%-10% tap to counteract, and it works pretty well that way.) I will say that tap or RO, it takes a bit more pH down to get it down than one would expect. Where a few drop works for a lot of people, it can take me up to 3ml/gal to get it down (with straight tap.) The biggest issue with my tap water is it comes from limestone aquifers underground. What's the do? Besides make the tap something stupid like 0.5EC on its own, it drives the pH up. :(

Bad juju, but it is what it is. No way I'm buying 100gal of distilled water a week, nor am I going to make that much. RO works, with a little bit of extra effort.



With this device I don't have to make those adjustments. It's managing to keep the pH in range and do those adjustments for me. More stable pH, better plants.

The other benefit of this is that if you can keep the pH stable, you may be able to go 2 weeks on a batch of water instead of changing every week. Now that is a possibility, and not a guarantee. To do so you need to be topping off your res with fresh water (manually a time or two a day, or with an auto top-off drip style) and staying on top of it. You don't want your plants drinking more than eating, and increasing the concentration of the feed. (This should be done anyway, whether using this device or not.)

If you're changing your mix ratios, don't try to add to what's there. Change the whole res. If you're on a stretch where it's the same mix strength, then that would lead to possibly being able to go 2 weeks. If your plants are eating and drinking and draining the water in a week, yeah, that isn't going to stretch (and you probably need a bigger res. ;))





Overall impression and thoughts:

In the right situation, used properly, it's a good tool. I moved the one I have now to my smallest res, and picked up another 35gal capsule model for the 20gal res. I also picked up a 100gal model for my RDWC. The 100 was just a little more than the 70, but should give me a solid 4-6 months between recharging instead of 2-3. So that little difference up front will save me in the long run as it should cut the number of recharge cycles, and thus amount of solution purchased, in half.

I will say again, this is not a "magic bean" and will not unfuck someones bad habits, poor skills, or miraculously turn a grow into a superstar. It will not benefit laziness, or make things hassle free, dump whatever in, and who cares.

If you're not having pH issues during the week, save your money for something else. Seriously.


There is a downside to using this product!!!

As it stabilizes your pH, it will absolutely mask issues which would normally be discovered by a big pH swing. Take the goopies, root issues, etc. Things normally first noticed by a pH swing. This means you need to be extra vigilant in watching for other signs of a problem.



With all of this in mind, I first went for the 35gal model to try it out. It took a few days initially, but it got broken in and I never had any big swings out of range from then on.

If you're using silica, it will make for more frequent recharges. (You know, silica... driving pH up in hydro... all that fun stuff.) To help against that, you can add the silica to your water (first thing, of course) like usual. Then pH the water UP to 10. Let it mix for an hour or two. Then pH back down to where you started, and finish mixing your nutes as you normally would. Then pH to around 5.8 and let it run.

That isn't from the Torus site, but something I've been trying with silica on its own (which is why the 20gal doesn't have this device on it right now.) So far it seems to be working, but I've only tried it twice. However, I know what happened without doing it, and what happens now. It isn't perfect, but in 4 days I've only added pH down 1 time (yesterday afternoon), where I would have been adding it sun/mon/tues usually. So this is at least helping that situation. Enough so that I've considered sending back the two I just bought. However, doing this should at least lessen the silica effect on the product if one chose to do so.
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
There shouldn’t be an “ex” in there. Hear me now, listen to me tomorrow, and believe me sometime next week...

It’ll come back, chomp you in the ass, and wreck shop when you least expect it. :19:

Why spend a bunch of money to grow bait when you can simply walk to the nearest creek with your net and seine all you need, lol?

Different strokes, I guess...

you may be able to go 2 weeks on a batch of water instead of changing every week. Now that is a possibility, and not a guarantee. To do so you need to be topping off your res with fresh water (manually a time or two a day, or with an auto top-off drip style) and staying on top of it. You don't want your plants drinking more than eating, and increasing the concentration of the feed. (This should be done anyway, whether using this device or not.)

You can do that anyway. Mix up nutrient solution. Plant feeds from that solution. You, not being one of those omnipotent entities (one assumes, lol), do the best you can - but, nonetheless, plant does not consume an equal ratio of the components making up that nutrient solution. Ergo, the pH of that nutrient solution changes - because it is no longer the same nutrient solution that you mixed up. At which point, instead of adding back water and adjusting the pH of your nutrient solution (which is now, in effect, the third one)... You use your knowledge of pH, your nutrient set, your plants, et cetera, along with your experience. All of which, collectively, tells you, "Hey, the pH shifted because the plant consumed (for example) phosphorous out of the nutrient solution." So you give it a little more of the bloom component when you top off your reservoir, to replace what was consumed.

And your pH is right back where you want it to be. If you have some experience, that might have happened without you ever having had to use a "pH adjuster" product. And, of course, without having to dump gallons of solution that still had lots of usable nutrients in it.

I don't recommend that you do this from day one all the way to harvest. Assuming that you aren't able and willing to measure the amount of each element in the nutrient solution, there's always going to be some degree of guesswork involved (although, with experience, it becomes more educated guesswork than the wild-arsed variety). That means that, the longer you go between reservoir changes, the less optimum your nutrient solution is going to be. Plants are pretty good at "pulling" what they need - but it's not a perfect thing. Unless you're sourcing bulk dry elements/nutrients and mixing up your own nutrients... Well, even then, actually, but that would help. And a plant's root system is very much a "two-way street." It's used as a mechanism for getting rid of waste products, too. In the natural environment - outdoors, in the ground - there are microorganisms that use that stuff for food. But not in a hydroponic reservoir. Anyway, as time passes, you'll get more and more of a build-up, so to speak, of things that the plant isn't consuming at a high rate. I messed around with this kind of thing back in '96-'97 when I lived in a house that had well water. IDK why they call it that, lol, because mine was downright sick :rolleyes: . It was so bad that I didn't even want to take a shower in the stuff. So we hauled a lot of water in from town, and I hated the thought of wasting any of it. I hadn't learned of Mulder's chart, yet - but I was receiving a practical course in how an excess of one element can and will cause issues with another element. I did take two plants all the way to harvest, but both plant health and yield suffered. I also ended up with some pretty significant salt buildup. So don't do that, LMAO - but you can go longer than a week, or even two.

IF, that is, you are able to track pH. If you've got some sort of device that is constantly adjusting it... not so much. It's not going to be impossible - blind people can get around town okay, too. But it'd undoubtedly be easier if they had the use of all five senses instead of just the four. pH is not "a problem to be dealt with." Or not solely that. It's also a way for the gardener to understand what's going on. Don't blind yourself.

As it stabilizes your pH, it will absolutely mask issues which would normally be discovered by a big pH swing. Take the goopies, root issues, etc. Things normally first noticed by a pH swing.

This, this, THIS! There is a chart that has been reposted many times here and elsewhere, that lists water consumption, EC (rising/falling/static), and pH (rising/falling/static), and what the various combinations mean. Like Mulder's chart, that thing should be printed up and placed in a prominent location so that the gardener can learn/memorize the thing. Want to make people think you've been growing cannabis for decades, lol? Get a decent set of meters, good reference material - and make good use of both.

I can see some benefit to having a product of this general nature. If your work takes you on the road (or if you find yourself with the ability to go on vacation). Yeah, you can probably find at least one person who is trustworthy enough to not only know you grow cannabis, but to also have access to your garden when you're not there. But they might not be the world's best gardener, lol. It's better to have a good set of tools than to simply hand someone a key and say, "The plants are upstairs. I'll be back next month."

But I'd want something different (than this device). I'd want a setup that had a datalogging option, like what is available from BlueLab, Intellidose, Milwaukee Instruments, etc. Some of that stuff allows you to set up remote access to that data. That way, if your garden is located somewhere in Nebraska, and you are in East Bumfuck, Arkansas, You've got a chance to notice that the pH is in a constant state of tanking and getting corrected - and to have some idea of what you need to have your helper do. Et cetera.

I'm just rambling.

By the way, does anyone know whether Advanced Nutrients owns this company? I sort of "get the same impression" from each website, but that doesn't mean anything. Also, they both use Google as their ISP/host. But that doesn't mean anything, either, because Google has a great many customers. Plus, the browser add-on that gives me information about a website's server (and that is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate and up to date) shows Advanced Nutrient's website as being hosted on a server located in Mountain View, California... and the Torus Hydro website as being hosted on a server located in Gangu County, Tianshui, Gansu, China. So it's not like they're both running on the same computer or anything. Still and all... I wonder.
 

The Phantom

Well-Known Member
By the way, does anyone know whether Advanced Nutrients owns this company? I sort of "get the same impression" from each website, but that doesn't mean anything. Also, they both use Google as their ISP/host. But that doesn't mean anything, either, because Google has a great many customers. Plus, the browser add-on that gives me information about a website's server (and that is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate and up to date) shows Advanced Nutrient's website as being hosted on a server located in Mountain View, California... and the Torus Hydro website as being hosted on a server located in Gangu County, Tianshui, Gansu, China. So it's not like they're both running on the same computer or anything. Still and all... I wonder.
TS, I love how you live "inside the Matrix" but somedays I do worry you may have hacked my phone and are watching me through my camera and microphone (I just said Hi and waved for you :laugh2:). If that's the case just ping the GPS location and swing on over for a joint, I'd like to pick your brain but not in a Hannibal Lecter way.
 

multiVortex

Grow Journal of the Month: Mar 2020
Why spend a bunch of money to grow bait when you can simply walk to the nearest creek with your net and seine all you need, lol?

Different strokes, I guess...

You're not seining a reef tank out of a creek. :19:




I don't recommend that you do this from day one all the way to harvest.

I didn't either. In fact, I specifically said this isn't something to use for gen purpose, but only if needed in certain circumstances.

Take mine for example. I'm fighting a buffer in my water, that even RO isn't removing completely. (Granted it gets a good portion of it, but there's just so much it isn't getting it all. I could perhaps correct this with a bigger RO rig, but haven't been willing to do that quite yet. One of those you can run at "half speed" that really, really gets it scrubbed good.)

So instead of the pH swinging out of range every 12 hours (or less, at times) for the first half of the week, I went with this.

However, I did explicitly state it wasn't to use just "cuz". :19:

I would much, much, rather not need it at all. Believe dat! But until I find another way to deal with the buffe in the water already, this will have to do for now.
 

sativuhhh

Well-Known Member
Multi is the first I've found using one. I did a lot of searching and asking and couldn't find any complete grow journals of anyone using one on any site. There was a thread on another forum where they were giving one away and they abandoned it. I made a few unanswered calls and emails to them as well as the inline seemed pretty cool to add into the rwdc to have some extra peace of mind. But nothing, the few who have used them seemed to use them for a partial grow or never really used it fully.

Multi, on the 100gallon you got for the rwdc, did you get the inline? There was a good bit about root growth being needed before it takes effect, but using it with the inline model avoids some of those issues you get with the plain submerged one. Makes sense since ALL the water would be constantly passing thru it as it circulates. Did you get into any of that with them?
 

multiVortex

Grow Journal of the Month: Mar 2020
RDWC doesn’t need the inline. Drip, flood/drain, ebb/flow, etc, styles would benefit from the inline models.

I have a 4-site, 50gal (capacity) rdwc. I‘ve got it down right now for the summer, but will be filling it back up in a few weeks as soon as I possibly can. For that, I have the 100gal standard model. Should last a couple grows before a recharge since it’s for twice the volume I have.

I’m running 35gal models on my other setups, 5 and 20 gal reservoirs with recirculating dutch buckets. They would probably be better with the inline models, however I’ll most likely be swapping things around, and my 3x3 will be a single site rdwc. My other 4x4 is still up in the air for now. Just put seedlings in it last week, so got a bit of time to think on that one.


I’m only using them since my tap water, even after I run it through my RO, still has some buffering left in it that drives up the pH for a couple days after a res change.

I did pick up a better unit (4-stage instead of 2), and I’m hoping the extra filtering capacity will knock it down even further, if not out completely.


If my water was more stable, I wouldn’t use one of these at all.
 
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