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What levels should I maintain for my hydroponic nutrient, temperature, pH and TDS/EC?

bignugz420

Well-Known Member
Re: What levels should I maintain for my hydroponic nutrient, temperature, pH and TDS

You can use baking soda and lemon instead of pH up and down google it and it will explain personally I trust GH products so I get up and down from them. I own a pH meter and TDS and I still have a eye dropper set up Incase my pH meter takes a shit on me. They are infamous for not lasting unless you go expensive route for blue lab or something along those lines of quality

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Annabanana

Well-Known Member
In my experience; whenever I feed my Veg plants over ~ 750ppm, I get the nute burn indication of yellow leaf tips. And anything over 1000ppm during bloom - same thing. I don’t mind seeing the very tips of leaves yellow because it tells me the maximum strength of nutrients to use. I NEVER use the strength the instructions on the bottles tell me to use because the one time I did, as a nube, it cooked my plants. But I agree that it all depends on the strength of lights, CO2 levels, strains and mediums.
 

Fartoblue

Member
Re: What levels should I maintain for my hydroponic nutrient, temperature, pH and TDS

This advice, while well and clearly written, is definitely bullshit. I've been growing cannabis hydroponically since the mid-1980's and have found the following to be true in EVERY case. I largely use General Hydroponics Flora series, though I have also used Fox Farm and Advanced Nutrients

Ph Sweetspot
Rockwool media - Ph 5.6 to 5.8

Coir - Ph 5.8 to 6.0

Hydrotron - Ph 5.8 to 6.2

Anything lower than 5.6 results in nutrient lock-out in any medium.

Nutrient Temperature sweetspot has always been 68 degrees F (given a 72 to 78 degree lights-on room temp and a 65 degree lights-off temp)

TDS Sweetspot
This varies according to where in the cycle you are. Suffice to say I follow this regimen:

Clones: 200-400ppm AFTER roots appear (nothing before that)
Veggie: 800 or so, although can go aggressive and boost to 1000 once the plant is well established.
Bloom: 1000 or so for the first couple weeks, then boost up to 1200 for almost any strain. Some strains (old NL#5, etc.) can take up to 1800 if you've got enough light intensity (over 55W per square foot) and CO2 (1100-1500ppm) to ensure the plant can uptake the nutrients.

If I had the space to setup separate systems for research into this issue, I would do so, but on the surface, this is bullshit unless there are other factors involved that would raise the actual nutrient Ph at the rootzone.

OldGrower

I know this is an old thread but does anyone know what PPM scale Old Grower would be using? I use EC and find all of the different ppm scales just confuse things. 1200 ppm on the Hannah scale is 2.4 EC which seems very high even in full bloom.
 

Boed styles420

Well-Known Member
@Fartoblue I'm in the same boat I have a question about ppm aswell. have seen this question get asked alot but never seen it answerd properly or i fail to understand this is the one thing i cant get my head around so to lower the ppm you just add more phed water to dilute the mix and it lowers but to rais the ppm If you add more neuts to make the ppm higher won't you be going over the recommended amount? Also i use flora trio + calimagic thats 4 difrant bottles do you just add a bit of each sepratly or all together or?? all together will give neut lockout would it not?? Any ones help would be great thanks
 

Boed styles420

Well-Known Member
@Fartoblue I'm in the same boat I have a question about ppm aswell. have seen this question get asked alot but never seen it answerd properly or i fail to understand this is the one thing i cant get my head around so to lower the ppm you just add more phed water to dilute the mix and it lowers but to rais the ppm If you add more neuts to make the ppm higher won't you be going over the recommended amount? Also i use flora trio + calimagic thats 4 difrant bottles do you just add a bit of each sepratly or all together or?? all together will give neut lockout would it not?? Any ones help would be great thanks
Ah haha replyed to the wrong post woops haha
 

inumer

New Member
A plants roots and substrate is the ecosystem that keeps the plant alive and thriving. There is no need to change the PH, or nutrient solution if using dwc only to top up with half to 1/4 strength nutes the entire grow. Nutrient solution on day 1 is 1 tsp per gallon of whatever kind of nutes you like. I use Flora Nova all the way thru. Green plants all the way thru and no wasted water or nutrients. Once a gain keeping the roots ecosystem in place is vital to green plants more than the constant monitoring of specs. But to each is own.
 

sosincere

New Member
Believe it or not, no one on here is 100% right or wrong. We all have completely different styles and setups, all requiring different methods and set points. I personally do much better at 5.3 PH than when I kept things at 5.8PH. You cannot compare ppm and PH with someone else unless they are using the same exact lights, setup, method, and nutrients you are. End of story. I can say for certain that whenever my hydro hits 6.0 PH it starts to go really bad, yet when it hits 5.0 or even as low as 4.7 the plants are still doing great. I have no reason to lie about my experience and neither does the OP...
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
What does everyone do about tap water ppm, include in your ppm figures or not? For example my tap is about 190 ppm.

What comprises that "190 ppm?" And is that an actual 190 parts per million of dissolved solids, or just a wild-add guess calculated number arrived at by a "TDS" meter that actually just measures the EC of the sample and then multiplies it by a "conversion factor" to give you an answer that its manufacturer thinks you will understand better than if you were given the actual EC (electrical conductivity) amount - which is the only thing that is actually measured?

Example: Device measures actual EC to be .6 ms/cm. Milwaukee, Hanna, and some other "TDS" meters will display 300 PPM. Eutech (and some other) "TDS" meters will display 384 PPM. Truncheon (and some other) TDS meters will display 420 PPM. Which ones are showing you the correct reading?

None of them. Unless, that is, you happen to be measuring water that has only ONE solid dissolved in it, and that one happens to have an EC value that matches that particular meter's conversion factor. Otherwise, well... It can tell you that, when you put more stuff in the water... that you end up with more stuff in the water :rolleyes: .

A friend worked at a municipal wastewater treatment plant. As part of his job, he had to record actual TDS amounts a few times each shift. I used to go over there when he was working by himself to borrow the use of the lab for... various things, and I was impressed by the amount of money tied up in the equipment there. Among many other things, there were several different continuous duty pH measuring devices. I got curious and looked up the price to one of them, thinking that it was undoubtedly a good one, and that I'd like to have one that I could just set up with its probe in my reservoir and be able to read/log the numbers at will. I forget the exact dollar amount, but it was in the neighborhood of $3,800 - and I checked the price on that one because my buddy mentioned that they'd wanted yet another backup, so ordered "a cheaper one" (meaning it), lol. So, anyway, you'd kind of expect them to have the best tool for the job and all that, right? That, when they had to measure the amount of total dissolved solids in a sample, they'd be able to use some fancy, expensive device, take a sample and stick its probe in it...

Nope. Oh, they took a sample. But then they put it into a pre-weighed container, flash-boiled all the water out, and weighed what was left on a very accurate (one ten-thousandth of a gram or one hundred-thousandth of a gram, I forget which) scale. Thing was so accurate, in fact, that it had to be placed on a very solid/heavy table, on a solid floor, and inside a glass case. The table was marble, granite, something like that. The glass case was so that the air currents in the room wouldn't cause the reading to change.

They knew exactly how much stuff was in their sample that way. But they didn't know exactly what was in it. They did know that it was a combination of things - and that's why they couldn't simply use some kind of meter.

All those "TDS" meters can do that common sense cannot (see above), is give you a rough idea of how much stuff your plant consumes. Rough, because a high consumption of one element might change your meter reading by exactly the same amount that a lower consumption of a different element might. (And we all know that plants do not consume only one element at a time.) Also, because the things only measure EC, anything that does not cause the EC of the solution to change cannot be measured with one in the first place.

BtW, you can measure EC with a DVOM ;) . See:

Take a look at your water supplier's annual water analysis / water "health" report. That will give you an idea as to what's likely to be in your water (although there will be some seasonal/etc. changes, and your pipes may contribute some small amount).
 

Greenthumbs42019

Well-Known Member
What comprises that "190 ppm?" And is that an actual 190 parts per million of dissolved solids, or just a wild-add guess calculated number arrived at by a "TDS" meter that actually just measures the EC of the sample and then multiplies it by a "conversion factor" to give you an answer that its manufacturer thinks you will understand better than if you were given the actual EC (electrical conductivity) amount - which is the only thing that is actually measured?

Example: Device measures actual EC to be .6 ms/cm. Milwaukee, Hanna, and some other "TDS" meters will display 300 PPM. Eutech (and some other) "TDS" meters will display 384 PPM. Truncheon (and some other) TDS meters will display 420 PPM. Which ones are showing you the correct reading?

None of them. Unless, that is, you happen to be measuring water that has only ONE solid dissolved in it, and that one happens to have an EC value that matches that particular meter's conversion factor. Otherwise, well... It can tell you that, when you put more stuff in the water... that you end up with more stuff in the water :rolleyes: .

A friend worked at a municipal wastewater treatment plant. As part of his job, he had to record actual TDS amounts a few times each shift. I used to go over there when he was working by himself to borrow the use of the lab for... various things, and I was impressed by the amount of money tied up in the equipment there. Among many other things, there were several different continuous duty pH measuring devices. I got curious and looked up the price to one of them, thinking that it was undoubtedly a good one, and that I'd like to have one that I could just set up with its probe in my reservoir and be able to read/log the numbers at will. I forget the exact dollar amount, but it was in the neighborhood of $3,800 - and I checked the price on that one because my buddy mentioned that they'd wanted yet another backup, so ordered "a cheaper one" (meaning it), lol. So, anyway, you'd kind of expect them to have the best tool for the job and all that, right? That, when they had to measure the amount of total dissolved solids in a sample, they'd be able to use some fancy, expensive device, take a sample and stick its probe in it...

Nope. Oh, they took a sample. But then they put it into a pre-weighed container, flash-boiled all the water out, and weighed what was left on a very accurate (one ten-thousandth of a gram or one hundred-thousandth of a gram, I forget which) scale. Thing was so accurate, in fact, that it had to be placed on a very solid/heavy table, on a solid floor, and inside a glass case. The table was marble, granite, something like that. The glass case was so that the air currents in the room wouldn't cause the reading to change.

They knew exactly how much stuff was in their sample that way. But they didn't know exactly what was in it. They did know that it was a combination of things - and that's why they couldn't simply use some kind of meter.

All those "TDS" meters can do that common sense cannot (see above), is give you a rough idea of how much stuff your plant consumes. Rough, because a high consumption of one element might change your meter reading by exactly the same amount that a lower consumption of a different element might. (And we all know that plants do not consume only one element at a time.) Also, because the things only measure EC, anything that does not cause the EC of the solution to change cannot be measured with one in the first place.

BtW, you can measure EC with a DVOM ;) . See:

Take a look at your water supplier's annual water analysis / water "health" report. That will give you an idea as to what's likely to be in your water (although there will be some seasonal/etc. changes, and your pipes may contribute some small amount).
Totally agree, I have a 30$ unit or something, so yes the 190 is a rough estimate. It does have Ec values but it’s not in decimal format it’s like 2-3 times what the ppm shows. I have town supplied water which is drinkable, and I do drink it, so figured it’s good enough for my plants.
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
A lot of what's in (most) tap water will be calcium, I expect. If so, I would definitely "count it," but rather than add it to my total "ppm," I'd start thinking about the actual calcium. In other words, is this calcium content in a form that my plants can use? If so, should I be adding Epsom salt for magnesium (and a little sulfur) to keep a good calcium:magnesium ratio, instead of adding a "Ca/Mg" product?

I guess an EC/TDS/PPM meter can give a person a [clue], in a general (and "guesstimate" ;) ) sort of way. It's just... Most folks look at the labels of their plant nutrients to see exactly what's in them, sooner or later, And most municipal water departments (and, I'd assume, many if not most private suppliers) publish water quality reports on an annual basis. Might as well look at those, too. Our plants tend to give us clues, too. Both by showing their general state of health and by exhibiting symptoms that can be read about in various nutrient toxicity/deficiency charts, threads, and articles. Then, if/when the gardener tries a different set of nutrient products, he/she is better able to plan a feeding program.
 

SEO Parasite

Fake Spam Account from SEO Articles
I follow and highly recommend the following parameters for hydroponic nutrient solutions for aeroponic, “bubblers”, drip, ebb and flow, NFT, passive, rockwool and wick systems.

PH 5.1-5.9 (5.2 optimal)
TDS 500-1000ppm, EC .75-1.5
Temperature 68-78f, 20-25c (75f, 24c optimal)

The pH of the nutrient solution is a major determinant of nutrient uptake by the plant. If the pH wanders outside the optimum range of between pH 5.1 and pH 5.9, then nutritional deficiency and/or toxicity problems can occur. For hydroponic nutrient solutions used with inert media, keep the pH at 5.2 for optimal elemental uptake. It is at this point that roots most readily assimilate nutrients. These pH and TDS/EC recommendations may seem low relative to the normally suggested range, but are based upon information garnered from "Hydroponic Nutrients" by M. Edward Muckle and Practical Hydroponics and Greenhouses. They both document the low pH resulting in increased nutrient uptake and my experience has shown discernible health and yield improvements at a ph of 5.2 over higher levels.

On page 100, Hydroponic Nutrients displays both the assimilation chart for organic soil applications and another for inert medium hydroponics, which depicts the vastly different scenarios (see below). The widely accepted soil based chart is frequently misapplied to water culture applications. His research and that done by others, documented in Practical Hydroponics and Greenhouses, indicate that iron and phosphorous precipitate in nutrient solutions at pH levels above 6. Stay below a pH of 6 by all means to avoid this problem and benefit.

The nutrient assimilation rate is further enhanced by the reduction in solution TDS/EC, which reduces osmotic pressure and allows the roots to draw the nutrients "easier". Young, established seedlings or rooted cuttings are started at 500-600ppm. The TDS is increased to 800-900ppm during peak vegetative growth. During the transition from early to heavy flowering, TDS is further raised to 1000ppm. It is then reduced to 400-500ppm during the final 2 weeks of flushing. The plants demonstrate their preference for a lower TDS/EC when running a lower pH by clearly sustaining higher growth rates.

The optimum temperature for hydroponic solutions to be is 24c/75f. At this point, most elements are assimilated highest and atmospheric oxygen is most readily dissolved. Although increases in temperature increase the rate of photosynthesis, avoid exceeding the maximum listed of 25c/78f. Elevated temperatures make some elements more available, but reduce the solution's dissolved oxygen capacity, increasing root disease likelihood.

Hydroponics and aquaponics is 6.5

That's what the hydro shop told me

When using the PH tester YELLOW is what you want, green is to high and red is to low.
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
They lied. But Moose was off, too. Aim for 5.8 to 6.0, or 5.8 and let it rise on its own to 6.0, then adjust (preferably, by adding back what portion of the nutrients got consumed) back to 5.8. Rinse/lather/repeat.
 

Victorytoker

Active Member
I follow and highly recommend the following parameters for hydroponic nutrient solutions for aeroponic, “bubblers”, drip, ebb and flow, NFT, passive, rockwool and wick systems.

PH 5.1-5.9 (5.2 optimal)
TDS 500-1000ppm, EC .75-1.5
Temperature 68-78f, 20-25c (75f, 24c optimal)

The pH of the nutrient solution is a major determinant of nutrient uptake by the plant. If the pH wanders outside the optimum range of between pH 5.1 and pH 5.9, then nutritional deficiency and/or toxicity problems can occur. For hydroponic nutrient solutions used with inert media, keep the pH at 5.2 for optimal elemental uptake. It is at this point that roots most readily assimilate nutrients. These pH and TDS/EC recommendations may seem low relative to the normally suggested range, but are based upon information garnered from "Hydroponic Nutrients" by M. Edward Muckle and Practical Hydroponics and Greenhouses. They both document the low pH resulting in increased nutrient uptake and my experience has shown discernible health and yield improvements at a ph of 5.2 over higher levels.

On page 100, Hydroponic Nutrients displays both the assimilation chart for organic soil applications and another for inert medium hydroponics, which depicts the vastly different scenarios (see below). The widely accepted soil based chart is frequently misapplied to water culture applications. His research and that done by others, documented in Practical Hydroponics and Greenhouses, indicate that iron and phosphorous precipitate in nutrient solutions at pH levels above 6. Stay below a pH of 6 by all means to avoid this problem and benefit.

The nutrient assimilation rate is further enhanced by the reduction in solution TDS/EC, which reduces osmotic pressure and allows the roots to draw the nutrients "easier". Young, established seedlings or rooted cuttings are started at 500-600ppm. The TDS is increased to 800-900ppm during peak vegetative growth. During the transition from early to heavy flowering, TDS is further raised to 1000ppm. It is then reduced to 400-500ppm during the final 2 weeks of flushing. The plants demonstrate their preference for a lower TDS/EC when running a lower pH by clearly sustaining higher growth rates.

The optimum temperature for hydroponic solutions to be is 24c/75f. At this point, most elements are assimilated highest and atmospheric oxygen is most readily dissolved. Although increases in temperature increase the rate of photosynthesis, avoid exceeding the maximum listed of 25c/78f. Elevated temperatures make some elements more available, but reduce the solution's dissolved oxygen capacity, increasing root disease likelihood.
A ph of 5.2 means that cal, mag, magnese, iron, z8nc among other are locked out. Calcium cannot be used under 5.5 ph, this is a primary consideration and the most important mineral. Calcium and mg are both best absorbed at 6.2 pH
 
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