newbie with some problems

kashew201December 17, 2010

Hi i am using DWC system with fox farms nutrients.

my problem is my thyme leaves are turning yellow on older leaves and purple on the undersides. I dont want to loose them or my newly planted basil and greek oregano.

I was just adding my fox farm nutrients to distilled water.

thinking that the ph 7.0 from using distilled water was ok

just found out how important the ph level is i needed to adjust it to aprox 6.2 so today i did that.

i am using a 3gal container and all the light is blocked out from using foil tape on the exterior.

using 4 4ft ho t5 6500k bulbs few inches away from the plants.

will fixing the ph to the correct level solve my problem or should i just start from scratch again with the correct ph level. just hate to loose a few weeks of growth on my first hydro DWC try.

ANy hints tips and suggestions are welcome and thanks in advance for your help.

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here is a link to a photo

Here is a link that might be useful: english Thyme

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 9:49PM
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Hi Kashew201,
It sounds to me like you are on the right track. The purple leaves may come back, but the yellow ones might not . It's best to adjust Ph before adding nutrients,6.0-6.5 to prevent nutrient lockout, which is when an element falls out of solution making that element unavailable to the plant. Other concerns might be temperature, and nutrient strength, are you mixing it according to directions and/or checking & adjusting with an ec/tds/ppm meter? A bit weak is better than too strong. I would recommend giving your thyme some time. You should see an improvement in about 3 days or less. Keep an eye on the new growth because as I said, The damaged leaves may not come back. In the future adjust Ph before adding nutes, check and adjust after adding nutes and if you have to adjust Ph during a run, do it in small increments to prevent ph shock. Plants can adjust to out of range ph levels slowly over time, but they don't like surprises.
Keep us posted on the results.
Good luck

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 10:59PM
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Hi Kashuba,
I just took a closer look at your photo. Are those stems collapsed down near just above where the soil line would be?
I hope not. If so you may have the dreaded Damping -off disease, which is caused by a fungus and is usually deadly. I have experienced it many times while starting seedlings in non-sterile soil, But never in hydro. Are your Fox farm nutrients of the organic variety? To my knowledge this rarely happens using sterile non organic nutrients.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 12:05AM
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well these were started in supposed Sterile Soil but then moved to hydro. I will adjust the water before i add the Nutes. during next water change. I am not to worried if they die off i have seeds and will grow them again purely hydro. when i moved them from the soil i made sure i put them down far enough in the basket so they would be stable so it might give a false look Ill post a photo later on how they look in the dwc hydro. and yes Fox farms is organic and non organic.
Thanks for your quick response. by the way how did you guess Kashuba????

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 1:07AM
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sounds like nutrient deficiency. How close to recommended are you mixing it?
At pH of 7, lockout shouldn't be a problem. usually, the nutrients bring the pH down a bit. Even at 7 though, you don't get anything completely locked out.
Also, be sure to check the pH. I don't believe distilled waters pH is 7. I believe it's lower than that. it was discussed some time ago on this forum. If memory serves me its closer to 5. Also why you shouldn't use it as drinking water.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 4:53PM
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Name tag next to photo on Flickr.
Looking at the four stems at the top of the photo. Stems #1 and #2 look collapsed, Stem #3 looks healthy, Stem #4 looks collapsed also. Does anyone else see what I'm talking about?
Grizzman; your memory serves you well, My A/C evaporator water reads 5.3 at 50ppm and seems much more difficult to stabilize at 6.0 than my tap water which is at 7.0 & 125ppm. With my tap water I just add 10ml white vinegar and it's "Good to go at six point owe" I don't even need to check it although sometimes I do when I have time to kill. It's just that consistent. It may contain some kind of natural buffering or beneficial trace elements but who knows. It works. Besides, right now I have a cast iron kettle on top of the wood stove putting moisture into the air. The air conditioner is hibernating for the winter.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 9:06PM
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I was little light on the recommended dose of nutr. i am using big bloom 2 tbsp with grow big 1 tsp per gallon. and now i have the Ph set at 6.0 keeping a close eye on this as new distilled water i noticed was not 7.0 but aprox 5.5 each gallon tested different. thank God for the ph test kit most valuable tool i bought besides my lights ...

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 9:38PM
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here is some more close up of English thyme and its Roots these were pulled out of the bunch today. I also noticed some Green alge growth on the oasis block on my basil seedling

Here is a link that might be useful: English Tyme roots

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 10:00PM
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I see what you mean regarding the previous photo being deceptive in the stem area Lee, the stems look better in the new pic. The roots look brown, but that's normal if they just came from a starting soil. I would recommend not using the Big Bloom, it has higher levels of Phosphorus & potassium and is formulated for flowering, seed, and fruit production. It's not necessary or of any benefit at this point. Save the Big bloom for latter on. If and when you want flowers add the Big Bloom and swap out a couple of those 6500k tubes for a couple of the 3000k type. but wait until the roots have grown and the plants are more mature. Bloom isn't normally used on plants being grown for leaf production such as lettuce, spinach, parsley, mint, and many other herbs. The little bit of fox farm literature I have suggests 1-2 Tablespoons per gallon of the Grow Big. That's a lot of leeway, I round off my water soluble nutrient measurements to the closest 1/10 of a gram on a +/-.01 gram scale! But that's something different. I'd go with 1&1/2 Tbs. of just the Grow Big until I had an accurate EC/TDS/PPM meter to see exactly whats going on.
Good Luck,

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 2:52AM
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My guess is that they don't like DWC, they are both mediterranean herbs and don't like wet feet, thyme grows wild in my country and it doesn't rain much at all.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 4:11AM
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Thanks Ken. I also have some Botanicare product given to me CNS17 grow formula 3-2-4 which suggests for seedlings 15ml/4l h2o and for mid size 20ml/4l should i just use this instead for now? also what is a good brand meter for the EC/TDS/PPM and know a place to get it at a fair price?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 8:38PM
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Having done a little Thyme specific research, bbrush has a valid point. Thyme should do better in a NFT with timer type system or a flood & drain system. The roots don't appreciate constant moisture and they prefer very weak concentrations of nutrients. You may be better off planting them in Perlite in containers with drains and feeding them periodically with small amounts of low concentration nutrient solution. It would be necessary to flush the perlite occasionally to eliminate built up nutrients. Yes, I think thyme would appreciate the lower dose of nitrogen in the CNS17 and it's looks to me to be more economical. I researched the meters quite a while before purchasing, because It was quite some time before I could squeeze one into my budget. I went with the HM digital COM-100, It has more capabilities & features than other units costing twice as much. It's easy to use and dead accurate. It's also available under the Sunleaves Brand name sold through Wormsway as the TDS Expert Plus for about the same price. I have learned through experience that anything sold through the hydroponics retailers has a "Wacky Tobaccie" Hidden surcharge attached so I ordered it through a commercial water filtration outfit in N. Carolina. [] Saved about 15 Bucks if I recall.
Good Luck,

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 11:28PM
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