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Thread: FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

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    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

    I just used this stuff for the first time after reading numerous recommendations for it here. I added a cup of perlite and a very very small amount of hydrated lime (1 tablespoon, wasn't sure if I realled needed it after reading some posts here and elsewhere)...not sure exactly how much soil I mixed, maybe ~10 quarts (a good 80% or so of a 12 quart bag I had)? Anyway, performed a transplant and when I flushed the soil with water I checked the pH of the run-off with a liquid tester (the ones with the drops) and it showed a pH of 9!?!?!

    I am a bit puzzled as I used distilled water and had checked its pH prior to use and it came in right about 7, maybe a couple tenths lower at most. I have not added any nutes, just the perlite and lime. I know run-off water is not the most accurate method but its all I have for now, hope to remedy that eventually. Is this normal? Is it because it is the first flush with the lime (doubting it as it should have a pH of 7, right?)?

    I had read one thread in which someone said that had issues with FFOF and nute lock-out when running hot with fertilizers (that's what I recall it saying...kinda atm):
    http://www.420magazine.com/forums/gr...-need-add.html

    Anyway, four hours after being introduced to this soil mix there are no signs of stress on the transplants...hopefully that's a good sign.

    Ton of great info on these forums, have been lurking for a few weeks digging through old posts and checking out the search engine results!

  2. #2
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

    Just wanted to update and say that 15 hours later and they look healthy as can be, no signs of shock or stress, so I'm not too worried any more but still curious. For now I am going to wait until the soil dries out and then check the pH of the run-off next time they are watered...if I don't have a soil tester by then.

    I was worried that the change in pH would shock the little plants. They are only 6-7 days old, had to transplant them due to too small of a cup...wasn't expecting anything to germinate as the seeds were up to five years old and only kept in a desk drawer, no refrigeration, so I half-assed the germination setup with too little dirt.

    Anyway, hopefully someone will chime in today about why the pH could be showing so high...if not I'll blame it on the holiday haha

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    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

    Dang, two days and nobody has any idea? :( Would it help if I said I was going to start a grow journal? :D

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    420 Member inferno420's Avatar
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    Re: FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

    if they look healthy then they should be fine but i would keep a eye on the ph the lime will raise it wont it? your water may have rinsed most the lime out and the run off water could had higher ph then your soil

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    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

    Yeah, that's why I am confused...from what I understand this FFOF soil is pH balanced to no more than 6.8, I used distilled water which I verified the pH to be neutral prior to watering, and added a tiny amount of lime vs volume of soil. IOW, all the ingredients should have had a pH no higher than 7; I did not think that adding that small amount of lime would raise the pH THAT much! Is it possible for two substances similar in pH to be combined and come out with a higher pH? I guess that's really my main question...just not worded too well the first two times.

    Thanks for the reply inferno!

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    Cannabis Connoisseur - Nug of the Month Winner - November 2012 Be Irie's Avatar
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    Re: FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

    You have to be careful with hydrated lime. It can and will burn and is much faster acting and stronger then dolomite lime which will not burn and is slower acting.. I have seen people add the lime but I thought that was with their own mixes and not FFOF. I usually have to add lime when I go into flowering. It seems about the time that all the moss starts to break down. You should start a journal, there are a lot of helpful members here willing and able to help you out if you run into any problems..

  7. #7
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

    I thought the hydrated version was preferred due to faster acting but I can see where that could be a bad thing...ah well, live and learn Even today the plants look healthy although I am battling a heat problem (confined space)...

    I'll see about starting that journal, need permission from the gf first as this is supposed to be very much on the dl (are IP's anonymized here or anything?)...I have read through many other journals and it's great to have the help available. I am inexperienced at growing these kinds of plants although I do dabble with cooking herbs and hot peppers (the hotter the better!) so I'm not a complete newb when it comes to plants but still a novice.

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    Re: FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

    ph should be in the 6.2--6.8 range. they shouldnt be any higher than 7 at most to prevent a lock out. good luck man!

  9. #9
    420 Member of the Month October 2010 & September 2017 TorturedSoul's Avatar
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    Re: FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lil Neutrino View Post
    Yeah, that's why I am confused...from what I understand this FFOF soil is pH balanced to no more than 6.8
    I have read the same thing. Assuming that this is true, why did you feel the need to add any lime (which would raise the pH) right away?

    Quote Originally Posted by Be IRIE View Post
    You have to be careful with hydrated lime. It can and will burn and is much faster acting and stronger then dolomite lime which will not burn and is slower acting.. I have seen people add the lime but I thought that was with their own mixes and not FFOF. I usually have to add lime when I go into flowering. It seems about the time that all the moss starts to break down. You should start a journal, there are a lot of helpful members here willing and able to help you out if you run into any problems..
    Hopefully it will mostly self-repair if/as you water to the point of runoff.
    Respectfully,
    Tortured Soul

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  10. #10
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

    Quote Originally Posted by TorturedSoul View Post
    I have read the same thing. Assuming that this is true, why did you feel the need to add any lime (which would raise the pH) right away?
    Brain fart I believe... That and I was not aware that adding lime would act as a synergist and raise the pH. I was under the impression that it was a pH stabilizer meaning that it would work to keep the pH AT 7.0 and reduce any potential for pH destabilization. Chemistry was not my strong point in college (never took it in high school) lol.

    Hopefully it will mostly self-repair if/as you water to the point of runoff.
    It did...the second time I watered I tested the pH and it was around 7.5 and has since seemed to stabilize at ~7.0. Can't get a perfectly accurate reading right now so run-off water testing is the best I can do. I have some happy little plants right now

  11. #11
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

    Edit: Helps to put the correct address for the pics...doh!

    I should take some side view pics...the runt is about 2-2.5" across and 1.5" tallish. The other two are ~2.5" tall (I haven't measured, just memory guess) and ~7" across...germinated on May 19th so 17 days old They look pretty healthy to me.

    I think the runt and one of the larger ones (first and third pic) are the same "species" due to the leaf shape/scent and that they came from the same bag...thinking they're an indica/sativa hybrid. The other large one (second pic) looks to hopefully be an indica, again because of the broad leaf shape. No way of knowing for sure at this point I suppose. Interestingly enough the two large ones are growing at almost identical rates both vertically and horizontally. Hoping they're all ladies of course but they're still too young to see any preflowers, maybe by next weekend there will be some indication.





    Last edited by Lil Neutrino; 06-05-2009 at 05:30 PM. Reason: I'm an idiot...

  12. #12
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: FFOF run-off water (distilled) has a high pH?

    Got my run-off water at 6.8 right now...the hydrated lime was a big mistake, albeit an innocent one. One day I'd love to have a saltwater aquarium, maybe when the economy turns around and I can get a good paying job again. I now know to leave the hydrated lime on the shelf...but I have a bunch of it in my closet, no clue wth I'll ever use it for at this point.