organic nutrient questions

tampahydroJuly 20, 2008

Hi, I am new to hydroponics, and I have unanswered questions that I have researched for days all over the net.

I recently constructed an outdoor flood table using perlite along with a nute tank aerator.

I used the organic formula stated in growing-edge magazine using low pH rain water. I experimented with two solutions, one with high phosphorous guano, and the other with seabird guano. Both batches have been at least 7.6 pH after adding the nutrient (only have aquarium pH liquid drop test kit). I have added vinegar to lower pH, but the high pH returns by the next day. My plants also dont look too happy.

One question I cant find- Is it ok to have a higher pH when using homemade organic mixes? (ranges vary wildly on the net and books, and most dont mention organics).

Another question- Has anyone tried these formulas and had success? Could I possibly dilute the nute solution more? Should I just purchase some sulfuric acid?

One more!- Utilizing EWC, guano, superthrive, and seaweed, does anyone know alternative mixes I could use to grow peppers, tomatoes, and herbs?

*please note I own no hydro metering equipment, and from most of what I have read, they are unreliable with organics. Besides, this was supposed to be the simple approach, though I am appreciative of any knowledge someone can help me with.

Thanks!

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hinzy(z5 PA)

tampahydro,
I've been looking for organic nuts mixes.
Would you post the formula from GE.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 8:46PM
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hooked_on_ponics

7.6 is much too high for most plants. You've got to get it down at least a full point or most anything is going to die. Tomatoes and other acidic plants will need even lower.

My advice would be to get a real hydroponic pH down, like the one from Advanced Nutrients. It'll have the power to really punch the number down and the buffering agents to help hold it there. But it's possible your organic blend is just going to keep overpowering all your efforts to the contrary and keep killing your plants.

It's easy to use organics in soil because the soil already has strong buffering capacity in it.

What I'd do is to mix up the ingredients separately and test each one to see where your crazy alkaline pH is coming from. Then don't use that, or find a better alternative.

Testing equipment doesn't have to be complicated, but you do need some way of reading values between say 5.5 and 7.5 with reasonable accuracy.

If you want to save yourself the trouble you might want to look into some pre-mix organic nutrients that are specially formulated to produce stable pH numbers and perform in hydroponics. (A common problem with organic hydroponics is clogging and stinking.) I've got a link below to the product page at AN's website - they've got great organics and the pH down is there too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Advance Nutrients Stuff

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 5:03PM
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