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    #31
    Basic Water Chemistry!!

    What You Need to Know About Water Chemistry, and Why? In Order To Understand The Make Up Of Your Hydroponics System
    What is PH?
    Put simply pH is a measure of acidity. The pH scale goes from 1.0 which is highly acidic, through to 7.0 which is neutral, up to 14.0 which is highly alkaline, but really what does all that mine?

    Water has four measurable properties that are commonly used to characterize its chemistry. They are (pH), buffering capacity, (GH), general hardness, (KH), calcium carbonate, which determines the (dH), degrees of hardness, (KH) and (dH) are counted as one, and (Salinity), the overall density of all of them combined. In addition, there are several nutrients and trace elements. It is a must: therefore that we explore these four properties if we are to ever understand what makes up a successful hydroponics productive system; in our hydroponics systems water/solutions to determine the health or lack thereof. The ultimate determining factor in the success of any hydroponics system must begin with it’s water chemistry, for that is the life force of any hydroponics system. To say that one hydro-system is designed better than the other, is like getting on your bathroom scales, and for me to hand you a feather, that feather is not going to contribute a noticeable deferens compared to the overall volume of the total mass of your body on the scales, and with that being said, any hydroponic system that is not built to build upon it’s self is a lemon!! I believe you know what I am saying, look at it this way; I believe that The hydroponic manufactures, have been manipulating growers from the begging, by designing (lemon) hydro-systems that keep you coming back constantly to buy more and more of there so called super-products!! I am further stating that the store bought or DIY hydro-systems that I see today are built around the same hydro-physics that the big manufactures are using, there is no greater lie than that of a half truth!! Have you ever been to the hospital and see someone with an IV in there arm, and also with a oxygen tub up there nose? They are intervenesly and mechanically supplying this carbon-bio-unit with what it needs to stay alive until it is able to sustain it’s self, all of the hydroponics designs that I see are built around hydro or hospital physics, to keep you or your plants alive until you/they can start over or what we growers call “flushes” or “nutrient change-outs” to restart the life process over again, this type of thinking works great for saving life’s but were not trying to save life, were trying grow life!! And in order to do this we must change our thinking, instead of thinking hydro-hospital-physics, we must think carbon-bio-physics for that is the only way to sustain life on a perpetual level. This is what the Bio-Buckets are all about!! This is a system that is built upon carbon-bio-physics, designed to sustain life and to build upon it’s self, this system is the only one of it’s design that I know of that utilizes all four properties that are the life force of hydroponics. And without further ado let’s get right into it.

    pH
    pH as we know by now refers to the water being either an acid, base, or alkaline base, with neither (neutral). A pH of 7 is said to be neutral, or another word you might want to know is (equilibrium) that means when there is nothing present or influencing your water to go one way or the other, that’s known as (neutral) or at (equilibrium). A pH of 5.5 is 10 times more acidic than water at a pH of 6.5. Thus, changing the pH by a small amount (suddenly) is more of a chemical change than you might think (and more stressful for your plants!!) than might first appear.

    Two aspects of pH are important. First, rapid changes in pH are stressful to plants and should be avoided. Changing the pH by more than .5 units per day is known to stress plants. Thus, you want the pH of your Bio-Systems reservoir to remain constant and stable over the long haul. Second, plants have adapted themselves over time to like a sustain pH rage between (5.5 – 7.0). your job as a grower is to do your best to keep it in-between those numbers for best results.

    Most plants can adjust to a pH somewhat outside of their optimal range. If your water's pH is naturally within the range of 6.5 to 7.5, you will be able to grow strain of mj without any problems. If your pH lies within this range, there is probably no need to adjust it upward or downward.

    Buffering Capacity (KH, Alkalinity)
    Buffering capacity refers to your systems water's ability to keep the pH stable as nutrients or additives are added. pH and buffering capacity are intertwined with one another; if the water has sufficient buffering capacity, the buffering capacity can absorb and neutralize the added acid without significantly changing the pH. Conceptually, a buffer acts somewhat like a large sponge. As more acid is added, the ``sponge'' absorbs the acid without changing the pH much. The ``sponge's'' capacity is limited however; once the buffering capacity is used up in your system water/nutrient, the pH changes more rapidly as acids are added.

    Buffering has both positive and negative consequences. On the plus side, the nitrogen cycle produces nitric acid (nitrate). I feel I need interject some here, remember those little things I talk about all the time you know (Beneficial Bacterium) they are responsible for accelerating nitrogen cycle and producing nitric acid that is (nitrate), right about now there’s another one of those little lights going off in a growers mind. Without buffering, your tank's pH would drop over time (a bad thing). With sufficient buffering, the pH stays stable (a good thing), is this all ringing any bell’s or what!! On the negative side, hard tap water often almost always has a large buffering capacity. If the pH of the water is too high for your plants, the buffering capacity makes it difficult to lower the pH to a more appropriate value. Attempts to change the pH of water usually fail because buffering effects are ignored.

    The water that I recommend to use the most in the Bio-Bucket System is simply tap-water, most tap-water has a buffering capacity that is due to carbonates and bicarbonates. Thus, the terms ``carbonate hardness'' (KH), ``alkalinity'' and ``buffering capacity'' are used interchangeably. Although technically not the same things. Note: the term ``alkalinity'' should not be confused with the term ``alkaline''. Alkalinity refers to buffering, while alkaline refers to a solution that is a base (i.e., pH > 7).

    How much buffering does your Bio-System need? The larger the (KH), the more resistant to pH changes your water will be. A Bio-Systems water (KH) should be high enough to prevent large pH swings in your Bio-System over time. If your (KH) is below roughly 5.0, you should pay special attention to your tank's pH (test daily, until you get a feel for how stable the pH is). This is ESPECIALLY important if you neglect to do frequent partial water changes or go long term use such as in the Bio-Buckets. In particular, the nitrogen cycle creates a tendency for an established systems pH to decrease over time. The exact amount of pH change depends on the quantity and rate of nitrates produced, as well as the (KH). If your pH drops more than roughly two tenths of a point over a day or two, you should consider increasing the (KH) or performing partial water changes more frequently. (KH) doesn't affect the plants directly, so there’s no need in immediate action but I would keep an eye on it.

    It Should Be Noted, So Pay Close Attention: BigToke does not recommend any kind of softening water methods, it is not a good idea to even use distilled water in your Bio-System. By definition, distilled water has essentially no (KH). That means that adding even a little bit of acid will change the pH significantly (stressing plants). Because of its instability, distilled (or any essentially other soft-water processing methods) is never used directly. Tap water or other salts must first be added to it in order to increase its (GH) and (KH).

    BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
    BigTokes: Hard-Core Bio-Buckets, First Big Run!!
    BigTokes: Secound Big Run!!
    BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style
    BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
    BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style

    Comment


      #32
      Basic Water Chemistry!!

      General Hardness (GH)
      General hardness (GH) refers to the dissolved concentration of magnesium and calcium ions. When it is said that some plants prefer ``soft'' or ``hard'' water, it is (GH) (not KH) that is being referred to.

      It Should Be Note: That (GH), (KH) and (pH) Although as different as they are all three properties are distinct, they all interact with each other to varying degrees, making it difficult to adjust one without impacting the other. That is just one reasons why that BigToke recommends that beginner hydro-newbie’s are advised NOT to tamper with these parameters unless absolutely necessary, or under the direct supervision of a mentor or a very experienced grower who understands the basic properties of water chemistry. As an example, ``hard'' water frequently often comes from limestone aquifers. Limestone contains calcium carbonate, which when dissolved in water increases both the (GH) (from calcium) and (KH) (from carbonate) components. Increasing the (KH) component also usually increases pH as well. Conceptually, the (KH) acts as a ``sponge'' absorbing the acid present in the water, raising the water's (pH).

      Water hardness follows the following guidelines. The unit (dH) means ``degree hardness'', while (ppm) means ``parts per million'', which is roughly equivalent to mg/L in water. 1 unit dH equals 17.8 ppm.
      General Hardness

      0 - 4 dH, 0 - 70 ppm : very soft
      4 - 8 dH, 70 - 140 ppm : soft
      8 - 12 dH, 140 - 210 ppm : medium hard
      12 - 18 dH, 210 - 320 ppm : fairly hard
      18 - 30 dH, 320 - 530 ppm : hard
      higher : liquid rock (Lake Malawi and Los Angeles, CA)

      Salinity
      Did you folks know that by measuring the salinity of your hydroponics systems you can get the total amount of dissolved substances. Salinity measurements count both (GH) and (KH) components as well as such other substances as sodium. Salinity is usually expressed in terms of its specific gravity, the ratio of a solution's weight to weight of an equal volume. One component of salinity that neither GH or KH includes is sodium. Is knowing your Bio-Systems water's salinity very important in nutrient management and long term use? Is knowing (pH), (GH) and (KH) suffices important to any hydro-grower? I will discuss this at a latter time but for now I made up something for you, this is a basic 3D representation of what I am trying to say, once you understand the makeup of basic water chemistry you will have a better understanding of what’s happening in your system.
      Photo.


      Nutrients and Trace Elements
      In addition to (GH), (KH), (pH) and salinity, there are a few other substances you may want to know about. Most tap water contains an assortment of nutrients and trace elements in very low concentrations. The presence (or absence) of trace elements can be important in some situations, specifically:
      • nitrates, which are in direct conjunction with the NITROGEN CYCLE
      • phosphates, the second most prominent nutrient. Phosphates have been linked to algae growth. If you have persistent algae problems, high phosphates may be a contributing factor, let me say something here, I do not believe that the lucas formula for the Bio-Buckets use it at your own risk. To control algae, only if not using the Bio-Bucket System, frequent partial water changes are often recommended to reduce nutrient levels. If growing in a Bio-Bucket System that I have laid out, there will be no problems for you because the Beneficial Bacterium will control all algae.
        BB-Photo


      when I have competed imputing the necessary formulas for the Bio-Bucket Nutrient Management Work Sheet program, after that you put in your information it will automatically calibrate it’s self to these four (GH), (KH), (pH) and salinity, which make up the Basic Water Chemistry.
      Photo


      Altering Your Water's Chemistry
      Hardening Your Water (Raising GH and/or KH)
      The following measurements are approximate; Note that if your water is extremely soft to begin with (1 degree KH or less), you may get a drastic change in pH as the buffer is added.
      To raise both (GH) and (KH) simultaneously, add calcium carbonate (CaCO3). 1/2 teaspoon per 100 liters of water will increase both the (KH) and (GH) by about 1-2 (dH) degrees of hardness.

      Did you know….the (KH) calcium carbonate and the (dH) degrees of hardness thereof, are the determining factors of your waters buffering capability’s, in other words let’s say that your (pH) to high, and you have to add LOT’S of ph-up to get it back to normal, that would tell me that your waters degrees of hardness which is calcium carbonate is very low!! But if you only had to add a little amount of ph-up that would mean that you (KH) plus (dH) are not to bad off……whoops I hear another one of those little bells going off!!!

      To raise the (KH) without raising the (GH), add sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), commonly known as baking soda. 1/2 teaspoon per 100 Liters raises the (KH) by about 1 (dH). Sodium bicarbonate drives the pH towards an equilibrium value of 8.2.

      Raising and Lowering pH
      One can raise or lower (pH) by adding chemicals. Because of buffering, however, the process is difficult to get right. Increasing or decreasing the pH (in a stable way) actually involves changing the (KH). The most common approach is to add a buffer whose equilibrium holds the pH at the desired value. This was what I was talking about of the Bio-Buckets earlier when I said: that if a hydro-system that did not build upon it’s self, then it could not sustain life. Did you know….I’ll bet you didn’t know that the Bio-Bucket System is built around these four basic principals and the support thereof, and that is the (GH), (KH), (pH) and (Salinity).

      Note that the exact amount of quantity needed for (pH) up or down depends on the water's buffering capacity. In effect, you add enough acid to use up all the buffering capacity. Once this has been done, decreasing the (pH) is easy. However, it should be noted that the resultant (lower-pH) water has much less (KH) buffering than it did before, making it more susceptible to (pH) swings when (for instance) nitrate levels rise. Warning: It goes without saying that acids are VERY dangerous! Do not use this approach unless you know what you are doing, and you should treat the water BEFORE adding it to your hydro-system, this is just another reason that I recommend tap-water if possible.

      Products such as ``pH-Down'' are often based on a phosphoric acid buffer. Phosphoric acid tends to keep the (pH) at roughly 6.5, depending on how much you use. Unfortunately, use of phosphoric acid has the BIG side effect of raising the phosphate level in your hydro-system, stimulating algae growth. It is difficult to control algae growth in a hydro-system with elevated phosphate levels.
      Did you know…..that one safe way to lower (pH) WITHOUT adjusting (KH) is to bubble CO2 (carbon dioxide) through your hydro-system. The CO2 dissolves in water, and some of it forms carbonic acid. The formation of acid lowers the (pH). Of course, in order for this approach to be practical, a steady source of CO2 bubbles is needed to hold the (pH) in place. As soon as the CO2 is gone, the (pH) bounces back to its previous value. The high cost of a CO2 injection system makes it non practical for hydro use as a (pH) lowering technique. (for inexpensive do-it-yourself alternatives). CO2 injection systems can be found almost every were on the internet because the additional CO2 stimulates plant growth.

      Softening Your Water (lowering GH)
      Soft Water
      "Soft water" is a relative term, but water to be soft must contain low amounts of dissolved calcium and magnesium, which cause water to be hard.
      Milligrams per Liter Grains per Gallon
      -----------------------------------------------------------------
      Soft 0 to 60 mg/l 0 to 3.5 gpg
      Moderate 61 to 120 mg/l 3.5 to 7 gpg
      Hard 121 to 180 mg/l 7 to 10.5 gpg
      Very Hard over 180 mg/l over 10.5 gpg

      Usually the best home water softeners soften water using a technique known as ``ion exchange''. Your may see this as RO/DI That is, they remove calcium and magnesium ions by replacing them with sodium ions. Although this does technically make water softer, and your plants can tell noticeable difference. That is, plants that prefer soft water don't like sodium either.
      Hard water can also be softened by diluting it with distilled water or R/O water. R/O (reverse-osmosis) water is purified water made by a R/O unit. Unfortunately, R/O units are too expensive ($100-$500) for most hobbyists, but distilled water can also be almost purchased at any stores, but for most folks the expense and hassle are not worth it.

      BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
      BigTokes: Hard-Core Bio-Buckets, First Big Run!!
      BigTokes: Secound Big Run!!
      BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style
      BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
      BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style

      Comment


        #33
        Well I guess it’s about time for a little update, well let me just go ahead and say that these two genetics are the best that BigToke has every worked with………don’t know of any local growers that have these two strains (AK-47 Plus H.D.F) I’ve never seen genetics show there sex under 24/7 lighting but these did!! So what I ended up with was:
        • Four AK-47’s.
        • Five Heavy Duty Fruit’s.

        Well I guess it’s time for me to start getting ready to clone and fire up the big dog Bio-System




        BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
        BigTokes: Hard-Core Bio-Buckets, First Big Run!!
        BigTokes: Secound Big Run!!
        BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style
        BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
        BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style

        Comment


          #34
          Good morning BT, i was getting ready to request an update. Great news on the sexing, good ratio! Is there a big difference or any at all in nute preferences in these two strains? FIRE IT UP!!!!
          Bonzo BoUnCeS back...

          FREEDOM for BONZ

          "When one objectively acknowledges, accepts, and embraces one's weaknesses; they in fact, no longer continue to be that."(PTD)

          Comment


            #35
            Amazing bro.

            Hope you find a good mother in the lot, look for the cherry pheno of AK

            Comment


              #36
              Big Toke... Sign me up bro... very nice show as always.

              Hope your girls are killer.

              Can you use... those bucket lid pots for your bio-buckets? I have a bunch of 10"inch pots that form lids for a 5 gallon bucket.

              Comment


                #37
                Bonzo – I believe that the two will run very close to neck and neck on nutrient differences from what info I could gather.

                Danimal – thanks for the phenol advice bro.

                Maistre – how’s it going bro……..yea looks like I’ll be able to fill all 36 buckets with females this should be exciting for sure.

                BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
                BigTokes: Hard-Core Bio-Buckets, First Big Run!!
                BigTokes: Secound Big Run!!
                BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style
                BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
                BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style

                Comment


                  #38
                  Well I suppose it’s time for another little update so here we go……….in my last update I said I was getting ready to fire up the big dog Bio-Buckets, and I most certainly did, here a little bit of what I did……….in preparing the Bio-Bucket System for it’s first run this year.
                  1. I flushed the Bio-System out twice, all 36 buckets with plain old tap-water first!!
                  2. I filled the Bio-System back up for the third time and added one bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide to the Bio-System and let it run 24 hours!! I also put large fish nets over the 4” drain pip’s to collect all of the muck that the Hydrogen Peroxide brakes up/comes out from cleaning out the system.
                  3. I then flushed that out!!.........refill the Bio-System again with plain old tap-water the fourth time…….let the Bio-System run for 12 hours and then flush that out.
                  4. I then refill for the last time!! With tap-water!! Let run 24/7 for two weeks and then I will put in the AK-47’s and the H.D.F’s, the Bio-System should be well established by then and ready for another successful run…………this should be by far the greatest/beast grow in this Bio-Bucket System ever yet!!!

                  So now let’s bring on the eye-candy!!












                  BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
                  BigTokes: Hard-Core Bio-Buckets, First Big Run!!
                  BigTokes: Secound Big Run!!
                  BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style
                  BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
                  BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Howdy BT, isnt it a nice feeling to have everything flushed and squeaky clean! Lookin' forward to pics, peace, Bonzo
                    Bonzo BoUnCeS back...

                    FREEDOM for BONZ

                    "When one objectively acknowledges, accepts, and embraces one's weaknesses; they in fact, no longer continue to be that."(PTD)

                    Comment


                      #40
                      BT, how does the bud taste and smoke in your system? Potency?

                      Comment


                        #41
                        It just really depends upon what strain I grow in them, bud taste and potency bounces back and forth from strain to strain…………the buds that you see in my gallery come from a very mild strain and would probably be good for someone just starting out but not much for the veteran smokers; but on the other head the AK’s and H.D.F’s that I’ll be growing out this year will be the boom!!

                        BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
                        BigTokes: Hard-Core Bio-Buckets, First Big Run!!
                        BigTokes: Secound Big Run!!
                        BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style
                        BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
                        BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style

                        Comment


                          #42
                          BigToke, why do you have to get rid of the old ones?

                          Loving it all, very juicy thread!

                          Now post those fresh pics!!
                          "Coercive monopolist interests own the banks, the energy companies, producers of mineral fuels for the generation of power, as well as many other essential industries. They also own the mass media, which controls information and disseminates propaganda designed to maintain their status quo of obsolete technology and archaic resources. They are well represented in educational institutions, control endowments and grants, and essentially control the writing and publication of science texts used to train new scientists." from Occult Science Dictatorship, William Lyne

                          Comment


                            #43
                            Supp BCH, well it’s like this……GL told me that I couldn’t have any more space on the sever…..well not in so many words but he did say that if I wanted to post newer pic’s I would have to delete some of the older one’s, sorry but that’s just the way it is?

                            So every one that has been enjoying the Bio-Shot Photos you better look it over because I’ve already deleted a great deal of them and going to be doing more……….I’ll also be removing some of the links in my seg because there’s no more photo’s in them or what is ant much.

                            But the good new is there well be some new one’s to look at or I think any way? It does seem not far that the photo’s in the sticky/threads be counted against you but I guess that’s the way it go to.
                            BigTokes: "How-To" Of The Bio-Buckets 101
                            BigTokes: AK-47 Plus H.D.F Bio-Bucket Style

                            Comment


                              #44
                              BigToke.... Hey man... here's an idea that should solve your storage problems.

                              Create a new IC Mag account... ummm say... BigTokePics...
                              Load your new images to that account... and just reference the same images when you post as your regular nickname.

                              Should solve a problem... your threads are amongst the best here... and the pics help make it that way.

                              Just my two cents...

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Hey, BigToke.

                                sorry to hear about your gallery headache.

                                i have a question about when you transfer your plants from soil to the BioBuckets.

                                how do you properly do this?

                                thanks.
                                Sleepy Test Chemmy Jones

                                Sleepy Tests Jolly Bud from Mountain High Seeds


                                Killer Chem Freebie grow

                                Sleepy Tests OJD...>>>
                                Gangsta Haze


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