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Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

Posted by deaddoc (My Page) on
Tue, May 14, 13 at 16:17

First I will start off with my system.

8x8x7 tent
2x4 flood tray with a 20 gal reservoir that only holds about 15 gal. 196gph (I think) pump and 2port air pump pushing into one stone.

400watt mh/hps w/ plantmax bulbs. (2nd light setup on its way)
Average RH 50% and 78-79F day and it seems at night it gets to 80% and low 60'sF.
There is a maxcanfan 6" with 15on/30off. And a small fan blowing air over the tops of the plants.

10 tomato plants
6 Husky Red, 2 Beefsteak, and 2 Indigo Rose. (Purchased from Tomato baby co)

I am on the day 15 or so of my growing cycle and have already swapped over to the HPS bulb as it seems my MH burnt out. pH has been between 5.8-6.3 for most of the time and currently the TDS meter (hm digital) was last reading 1200ppm.

Time was set 18/6 with 5 - 30 min floods when I was using the MH bulb and now 12/12 with 4 - 15 min floods.

Currently most of the bottom leaves have been curling up and shriviling up and flaking off or the limb will just easily fall off when touched. And this is also not with just the lower leaves. The tops of most of them look nice and green. Even with the problems these look better than my outdoor crop which got planted a few days before these guys (from same place).

I am using botonicare pro grow/bloom with cal mag sup as my water has almost no mag and very low cal.

I can post photos when I get home from work.

Any thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

I would try upping your PH level closer to 6.5.

I'm growing a DWC tomato (See post above yours, I have quite a different problem)

I knew my PH was low before even testing because it would stop growing and the leaves would start to curl.

PH test confirmed it was ~5.5, after upping it to ~6.5 within 2 days it looked fine and started growing again.

What's your water source?


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RE: Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

I will try that. Tap water tested at 70 ppm with a surprising neutral pH. Perfect water for brewing beer. :) edit: the water does go through a carbon filter as well.

My 2nd 400 watt light setup arrived in yesterday so I got that setup and should hopefully have enough light for all tomato plants now.

Attached is a photo I took yesterday before the 2nd light source was hooked up.

This post was edited by deaddoc on Wed, May 15, 13 at 9:33


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RE: Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

Those bottom leaves do not look happy. have you examined the leaves under a high magnification magnifying glass or a microscope? My thoughts are bugs or a virus.


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RE: Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

I have not with a magnifying glass, just eye. Can't see any bugs or holes via eye. Makes me sad.

Hope this photo is better to see the leaves.


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RE: Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

My phone double posted so adding another photo.

This post was edited by deaddoc on Wed, May 15, 13 at 12:53


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RE: Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

Just got home and snapped a new picture. Apparently most of the leaves have these little green bumps all over them.

Also there is some algae growth as well.


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RE: Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

I was going to advocate trying RO water for a cycle (its cheap) at Walmart) if the PH adjustment didn't work.

But yeah, it looks like some kind of disease. I don't know how much of a factor water and PH play....


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RE: Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

With looking at it, microscope shows no sign of bugs so I'm limited to viral here. Tobacco mosaic is the best I can figure out. :-(

If that is the case I have learned my lesson and will always make sure to always wash up. I don't smoke cigs but I do have a few humidors full of cigar.


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RE: Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

With looking at it, microscope shows no sign of bugs so I'm limited to viral here. Tobacco mosaic is the best I can figure out. :-(

If that is the case I have learned my lesson and will always make sure to always wash up. I don't smoke cigs but I do have a few humidors full of cigar.


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RE: Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

Yeah, I think it's TMV as well. If so, you have to kill everything and sterilize all surfaces, especially porous surfaces like the hydroton.


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RE: Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

I know I've seen everywhere saying hydrogen peroxide but I have a huge abundance from brewing beer of a product called Star San by Five Star (Sanitizer phosphoric acid as the main ingredient, runs under 3 pH). Perfectly safe, no rinse, low contact time of seconds. Would that work or does it truly have to be sanitized?

I know double strength of that stuff will rip Rogue painted labels right off the bottle in under 30 min.

Also, would adding a uv light in the system be worth it? I have noticed algea growth buidling up by day 5 or 6 typically.

Going to be ordering some seeds here in the next day and start it off from scratch myself this time.


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RE: Hydroponic Tomatoes problem.

The best way to limit algae growth is the prevent light from contacting the nutrient.


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