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Old 11-14-2017, 09:16 PM #821
newguy41410
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HELP! my second grow with the PPK system is somewhat of a fail most likely due to my inexperience and i'm hoping you guys can help me fix my issue (pH keeps drifting too high in the system)

My first grow was almost perfect for a first-time grower; my pH and PPM was stable throughout the grow and i was rewarded with a one pound yield off of one plant!

This second go-around though, i experienced high pH which resulted in excessive purpling at the top of the canopy. After harvesting the plant last night i now realize that the top parts of the canopy that was exposed to the most light got the most purpling. Not sure if that indicates a specific toxicity, deficiency, or a combination of things? Here is a picture of the purpling plant right before i chopped it down last night:

https://i.imgur.com/6IeGnrE.jpg

I chopped it down because under a microscope i was at about 15% bright yellow trichomes even though i had a lot of clear ones. Yellow not amber. I have no idea why they are yellow unless they are CBN? Also, the purpling has gotten to the point where the nugs themselves are purple and im not sure if thats a bad thing but it looks abnormal to me. I was afraid if i kept delaying harvest i would end up with too many degraded trichomes and possibly a bad smoke.


I was not able to bring the pH down to a satisfactory range in my attempt about two weeks ago. I had drained MOST the water out the system (except for the one PPK site that was being used because the plant was weaved into a SCROG screen so i couldnt lift the top bucket up). I then cleaned all the buckets using hydrogen peroxide. There was gunk stuck to the walls of my buckets and pump so I cleaned all the gunk off the inside walls and floors of the buckets

After cleaning my buckets, i now find out two weeks later that pH has again drifted up to 7.0 :( So I'm baffled.

pH at elevated reservoir is 5.8
pH at Control bucket is 6.2
pH at PPK buckets range from 6.8 to 7.0

I also noticed this morning that there appears to be some kind of build-up at one of the elbow tees. Here is a picture of that:
https://i.imgur.com/jXYuiUO.jpg

Is it possible there is salt build-up in my plumbing skewing pH? Or some other kind of build-up (like mold, algae, or fungus) in my lines causing pH to spike possibly? FYI, i use to use silica as an additive but have stopped since noticing the pH is drifting up to 7.0 pH and since cleaning the buckets. Is it possible remnants of silica are still in my lines causing pH to spike??

Please help!!!
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:29 PM #822
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From what i have read purple is related to temp not pH. Are you using jacks? Using RO? Doubt if there is salt build up in the lines but possibly build up in media if your watering routine is not flushing media properly. Bacteria in the form of slime is a possibility or some type of root fungus but i dont know what effect either has on pH. Sounds like something is going on in the media if it is higher there than res. But why could you not get pH in the proper range doing such a big water change? Beyond my limited knowledge but more complete info will help others figure it out
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:35 PM #823
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What is ec in res and ec in buckets below plants?
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:56 PM #824
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirdtime View Post
From what i have read purple is related to temp not pH. Are you using jacks? Using RO? Doubt if there is salt build up in the lines but possibly build up in media if your watering routine is not flushing media properly. Bacteria in the form of slime is a possibility or some type of root fungus but i dont know what effect either has on pH. Sounds like something is going on in the media if it is higher there than res. But why could you not get pH in the proper range doing such a big water change? Beyond my limited knowledge but more complete info will help others figure it out
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What is ec in res and ec in buckets below plants?
its definitely not purpling up due to cold temperature (its 77 farenheit in there) it has to do something with pH being at 7.0 and im trying to figure out why

i alreay mentioned ph in res is 5.8 ph in control bucket is 6.2 and pH in the ppk sites is at 7.0

but you are absolutely correct that it could be the medium i forgot to look into that also. I still have the perlite/turface medium intact even though i harvested last night i havent thrown away the medium yet.. Im going to put it over a regular bucket and pour pH'd water through the medium and let it drip out the tailpiece into a 2 gallon bucket. then ill measure the "runoff pH" and see if it is causing pH to spike upward. thanks for the idea. i actually think this is the most likely scenario now that i think about it. hope it is so that means i dont have to do anything too labor intensive to my PPK plumbing. will report back the results after work!

EDIT:
Yeah, i am just as baffled as you are why doing a big water change didnt fix my pH! But your hypothesis might be correct because if i did have salt building up in the turface the whole time i obviouly wasnt flushing it out. i used a big horse feed pan as my medium bucket this grow and that was different from my first grow which was only a 2 gallon bucket. maybe the 4 gallon pan wasnt getting enough water to flush the salts out due to me using 2 gallon buckets as my pump buckets..? hmm...
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:11 AM #825
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ec/ppm reads will tell you if there was salt build up.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:29 AM #826
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirdtime View Post
ec/ppm reads will tell you if there was salt build up.
Alright, I'm here to report in with my findings! I think we've got it figured it out but would appreciate if you guys can confirm for me.

First off here's a picture of the Medium

Is that white stuff all over the top layer of my medium salt build-up? If so, we probably got it all figured out?

Anyway, here's what i did:

1) I measured the EC and pH of pump bucket water. Gave me results of 7.0 pH and 830 PPM (PPM in res is about 666)

2) I then took my medium bucket (4-gallon feeder pan) and placed it over an empty 2 gallon bucket with the watering halo still attached. I turned on the pump for 20+ seconds to simulate watering the medium. The 830 PPM nute water entered the medium and then drained through the tailpiece into the empty bottom bucket. Let it drain completely for ten minutes then took measurements. My results were 7.0 pH and 890 PPM.. PPM rose by 60? hmm..

So running 830 PPM water through my medium and letting it drain into a clean empty bucket gave me a reading of 890 PPM. This is with one watering event. I had my cycle timer set to 20 seconds every hour. So the pump was turning on 24 times a day.

Is it safe ffor me to assume the high pH was DEFINITELY coming from salt build up in the medium? a difference of 60 PPM is pretty significant, especially when watering 24 times a day right??

Please help me confirm! If so, I have a very good idea of whhy im getting salt build up. Im using 4 gallon feeder pan as medium bucket but the rest of my ppk system is 2 gallon buckets. Which means im probably not flooding enough water to flush the salts down into the bottom every time right?? So i either need to go back to using 2 gallon bucket as my medium bucket or i need to use bigger pump buckets to get enough water to flood the medium to prevent salt build up?

Please confirm! I feel so close to getting this monkey off my back lol
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:55 AM #827
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Sounds like you found the problem.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:58 AM #828
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A picture of the plant in question prior to chop would be useful.
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:12 AM #829
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algae can spike PH

root issues/ decaying organic material normally lower PH

the roots in the picture look good, how are the ones in the tailpiece?

The gunk, possibly pythium could be partially clogging a line resulting in poor flow to the control.

the control/plant/pump buckets should all read the same ec/ph. if they arent then there could be an issue with delivery or the media.

The plant honestly looks finished, maybe it was shutting down, not uptaking any nutrients and the constant feeds were leeching the media raising the PH.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:23 AM #830
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed of green View Post
algae can spike PH

root issues/ decaying organic material normally lower PH

the roots in the picture look good, how are the ones in the tailpiece?

The gunk, possibly pythium could be partially clogging a line resulting in poor flow to the control.

the control/plant/pump buckets should all read the same ec/ph. if they arent then there could be an issue with delivery or the media.

The plant honestly looks finished, maybe it was shutting down, not uptaking any nutrients and the constant feeds were leeching the media raising the PH.
The control bucket, plant bucket, and pump buckets do not read all the same. I described the readings above. Also each ppm reading of each ppk site is different with the buckets closest to the plant site being the highest. So according to what u say and my findings this all suggests it's a medium issue!

Also, as far as the plant looking finished I'm thinking that is because the pH didn't spike to 6.9 or so until about two months into flower. I have grown this pheno outdoor where temps were colder than my indoor and it did not finish purple at all. If u look at one of the fan leaves in my photo i think you can see how the purple takes over the leaf and is kinda indicative of it being sickly I think?

Also, using a scope to check the trichomes it appears most of my trichomes are transparent and not cloudy. And about 15% are bright yellow yes bright yellow.no not Amber haha not sure why. So I had reason to believe the plant was maybe stunted and not finishing perhaps and just sick? I am pretty certain it is the medium and.my 2 gallon pump bucket not sufficient enough to flood the 4 gallon horse feed pan I was using for plant bucket

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A picture of the plant in question prior to chop would be useful.
Picture of the plant before chop is linked in post 821
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