Preparing germination water! about ec levels.

Mar 28, 2021
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Hi there!
Four months ago I planted my first autoflower seeds (Hindukush). My conditions very relatively poor but somehow I managed to get a good harvest and it motivated me for a second one, a better one. In the first grow I experienced a very slow growth and nitrogen toxicity with shiny green leaves and claws. I used tap water with the pH of 8 to 8.5 (didn't know back then) and god knows my EC levels. So, for the second grow I upgraded my lighting to a 240W bavagreen quantum board. I got a nice humidifier and some other improvements for air circulation. I got a ph meter and ec meter. I used Aptus nutrients and added enzymes, micromix bacteria and mycor mix, foliar spray etc. And I read countless of articles about maintaining ec - pH levels and preparing nutrient solutions due to prevent lockouts, excesses or deficiencies.
The first time I planted 3 of 10 liter pots in a 80x80 area. This time im gonna put only two of them with air pots using biobizz lightmix added extra perlite, some vermiculite micromix and mycor mix. On the biobizz website it says the ec of the substrate is 1.2 and pH 6.2. My tap water pH is 8.5 and ec is 0.8 to 1.2. Because of the articles I read I decided to use 0.6 ec and 5.8 pH for germination. So I decided to use packaged drinking water for the entire process or at least for the first month because it has an ec of 0.3 which is very suitable. So my question is should I just use 0.3 ec packaged water for germination or should I increase it by adding something? to the water and what could that something be? CalMag? Epsom Salt? or should I use the tap water with higher ec and lower it to 0.6 by using aptus enzymes (which stabilizes ec around 0.6)
pH is not the problem I got a Plagron Lemon Kick to decrease pH and it works well.
Having a better equipment now brought me more responsibilities. I want to keep a nice track of EC especially and even measure the run off. To prevent salt build-up in the soil I will prefer frequent watering with gradually increasing ec levels according to plant needs.

my other question is again related to ec. people say start with low ec and increase eventually. It means that plant needs different ec levels in different stages of her life. If you feed her with less ppm than it needs it will have some deficiencies. If you feed more than she wants, deficiencies again or even nutrient excess. You what I get from what I read is following the nutrient companies ppm recommendations. And there is this osmosis thing that occurs in the roots. The water goes from less concentrated solution to more concentrated solution. In this case first one is the water in the soil, and the second one is the water inside the roots. The plant produces sugars to raise the concentration of itself to gain some nutrient water from the pot. If the feeding water ppm is higher than the plant's sugar production capability, osmosis doesn't occur and deficiencies happen. So how do I know what to do? im confused.

thank you for your help.


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@King's Indican :welcome:Welcome to AFN:welcome:Being confused is a normal state of mind for me.:haha:

Don't loose sight of the goal - let the plant grow. Provide the proper environment. Feed balanced nutrients. Listen to the plant.

You are correct about the minimum EC. It is probably quite variable base on input water and nutrient vendor. I am using Green Leaf MC 2 Part. It has issues I have been working on. I find that about 500 PPM is the minimum with 550 a maximum for autos.

For germination I mix up a gallon of full strength nutrients PH to 6.0. I add Kelp to the gallon mix well and poor into a fresh gallon of distilled water to 125 PPM and that is what I use in rock wool. I accidentally used 10x the kelp this last batch; I had 100% germination.