What Is The Optimum Ph Level For Hydroponic Water Systems?

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by KENNETH5636, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. KENNETH5636

    KENNETH5636 Active Member

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    Hi Guys,

    The title is self explanatory!

    Any accurate info will be welcomed!


    Best regards to one and all!


    KEN.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    I'd think this would depend on what crop is being grown, different plants have different pH ranges.
     
  3. KENNETH5636

    KENNETH5636 Active Member

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    Hi there Ron B,

    I intend to grow tomatoes on one side, & Chilli peppers the other!

    If you have any info on this I would be grateful!

    The water medium I am intending to use is clean, filtered rainwater.


    Best regards,

    KEN.
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    If my memory serves me right I believe 6.4 is a good region to be in for general purpose growing. If you look at a pH vs nutrient availability chart that seems to be where the most minerals are available.
     
  5. KENNETH5636

    KENNETH5636 Active Member

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    Thanks Jimmyq,

    Looking forward to the spring when I can get started on my hydroponics system.

    PS, How do you deal with the the high PH level of the Rockwool medium?
    Or, is there another inert medium I can use to start seeds off instead of Rockwool?


    Bestest Regards,


    KEN.
     
  6. GrowerJoe

    GrowerJoe Member

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    Hi Ken!

    I agree with Jimmy, that 6.4 is a pretty good PH starting point for most plants, although I would recommend starting 5.6-6.0 for tomatoes and peppers. Thorough soaking and draining of rockwool with PH adjusted water at seeding time is sufficient.
    (For better drainage, you might want to try Oasis blocks)
    Good luck!
    Joe
     
  7. KENNETH5636

    KENNETH5636 Active Member

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    Hi Joe!

    Thanks for the info,............ er, um,........... "What are Oasis Blocks"???

    Don't forget us here Limey's are light years behind the rest of the World when it comes to Hydroponics, so have a little patience with what appears to be a stupid question.

    One othe thing Joe, what would be the PH level of rainwater, I know it depends on all sorts of pollutants in the atmosphere, but, I can't find any info on the Web on rainwater in the uk anywhere, but, is there a rough guide anywhwere?

    I can't even get any info on the PH level for our drinking tap water over here,....it must be on the "Secret need to know list" along with the plans of "How to make a Hydrogen bomb"!!

    Bestest Regards,


    KEN.
     
  8. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    I have tested the tap water here a number of times, it varies. I have found it changed after periods of heavy rainfall and drought periods. I checked it with a Hanna brand pH 'pen' which has a digital readout.
     
  9. GrowerJoe

    GrowerJoe Member

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    Hi Ken.......

    I'm sorry, sometimes I forget that I am conversing with someone on the other side of the world!!! Oasis blocks are a horticultural foam product, used fairly regularly here in the USA. (It is very similar to the green "florist's foam" that you may have seen cut flowers stuck into to make floral arrangements) I am not really sure if there is a comperable product in England. You can go the the website, "smithersoasis.com" and see if there is a distributor near where you are located.

    Also, as far as the PH is concerned, Jimmy is correct, in that the PH of rainwater can vary quite a bit. I would suggest either an electronic meter (such as the Hanna) or even a liquid reagent test kit (bromothymol blue is the chemical), such as those used to test the PH of swimming pools. You should test the PH each time you make up a new batch of solution. The PH of the tap water will probably be fairly high (you must add some acid to bring it down) but it should be fairly consistent. The rainwater will probably vary more.
    Remember, there is NO such thing as a "stupid question".....that is how we learn.
    (we are all "begginers" at somthing or other)
    Good luck to you!
    Joe
     
  10. KENNETH5636

    KENNETH5636 Active Member

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    Aha!!............. Oasis Blocks,.............Now I know of what you speak after your excellent description!

    We do have something similar over here! (They call it something else over here, can't remember what)!


    Now,......The $64 Question Joe,......Will the seedling roots grow through this stuff, as I recall it's a bit rigid, or have I got it all wrong?


    Bestest Regards,

    KEN.
     
  11. GrowerJoe

    GrowerJoe Member

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    Hi Ken!

    Yes, the roots will penetrate very nicely, providing you are using the foam that is manufactured for this purpose. The pore space in the foam provides an excellent water/air ratio and it drains very well. They do make different grades of this foam, so be sure that it is made specifically for growing plants.
    Also, depending on your system, you might want to try seedlings in small pots filled with various soiless mixes, such as coconut fiber (coir), perlite, vermiculite, etc. I have had good luck raising tomato seedlings in peat pots ("Jiffy-type" pots) filled with 30% peat, 30% coir, 20%perlite, and 20% vermiculite. (all proportions are approximate)
    Give it a try!
    Joe
     
  12. KENNETH5636

    KENNETH5636 Active Member

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    Hi Joe,

    O.K.....I'm hooked,.......... now,.....do you have an address on the Web where I can obtain this special type of foam?

    I,ve looked for it over here, but, knowing my luck, I am probably looking for the wrong thing, possibly because I don't know by what name they call it over here!

    So, a Web address from you where I can get my mitts on the stuff would be greatly appreciated Joe!
    I'll throw in a "Free Dual timer Circuit" for a Flood & Drain System I use!

    I design and build them myself, so I can get the timings I want!

    You can get all the bits in one of your "Radio Shack"(Or equivalent)? shops over there for a few Dollars!

    Either that, or you can give the circuit to any of your friends etc.

    Bestest Regards,

    KEN.
     
  13. GrowerJoe

    GrowerJoe Member

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    Hi Ken!

    www.Smithersoasis.com should have info (either a toll free phone #, adress, or both) for the parent company, which is located in Ohio, USA) They should be able to direct you to a distributor in the UK (if they have one, which I would imagine that they do)

    They do not sell directly to growers, but rather through suppliers. They should be able to give you a complete list. If you contact any local hydro suppliers in your area, and tell them that you want "Oasis Horticubes" they should at least know what you are talking about. I will do alittle research myself and see if I can't help you out more, but for now, that should be a good place to start. I can get you more info if need be.
    Let me know how you make you. Good luck!
    Joe
     
  14. KENNETH5636

    KENNETH5636 Active Member

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    I will definitely keep you posted Joe!

    Once again,

    Thanks for all your help & info!

    Have attached, (I hope I "dunnit" right) schematic of Dual timer for flood and adrain!

    Bestest Regards,

    KEN.

    PS Any probs with the Schematic, lemme know, I'll answer any problems!
    My two Circuits based on this schematic have been "Ackling" for 9 months with no problems!
     

    Attached Files:

  15. KENNETH5636

    KENNETH5636 Active Member

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    Hi Joe!

    Used the contact details you gave me, they forwarded the address below!

    They stock it, and at a very reasonable price too!

    Warmadam, Crewes Hill, Enfield, EN2 9DX, tel 02083631928.
    The name of the OASIS® foam you require is called IDEAL.

    Ta muchly Joe!
     
  16. GrowerJoe

    GrowerJoe Member

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    Hey Ken!

    Glad to hear that you got good info, and that the Oasis cubes (or a very similar facimile) are available to you. I use them alot and am very happy with them. Just be sure that after seeding raw seed into them, soak them HEAVILY with water, and then tip up on edge to let them drain somewhat. The idea is to soak all the way through, but then drain so you have a good water/air ratio. Then, if you are germinating tomatoes or peppers, I have had great luck germinating them at 85-90F. Keep the seedlings warm (especially using bottom heat if possible) and well drained. After germination, lower temp to 70F.
    Also don't forget to try the various coir/peat/perlite/vermiculite mixes in pots as well, and see which works best for you. Let me know if you have any more questions.
    Good luck!
    Joe
     
  17. KENNETH5636

    KENNETH5636 Active Member

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    Hi Joe!

    Thanks for all your good advice!

    Keep in touch, I'll try try and send some piccies whan I get started, to let you know whats going down!


    Bestest Regards,


    KEN.
     

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