day two of WEEK TWO: More Growth, High pH

day one of WEEK TWO:

Before Class:
Growth: Plant is now a total of 1 and 5/8″ tall. Plant has grown a little over 3/4″ in two days!
Water Temperature: 75.1 degrees Fahrenheit
pH Level: 7.3

After Class (the changes we made to our system, if any):
Water Temperature: 73 degrees Fahrenheit
pH Level: 5.6

Here are a few pictures of our plant’s growth:










Here is a bit clearer picture of our plant’s growth:







Notes and Other Thoughts:

In the last post I said I would comment on the type of lighting we are using. We are using a special grow lightbulb that is 400 Watts. It runs on a 12 hour cycle, 12 hours on, 12 hours off.

We seem to be getting very high pH levels. I did a quick search on some hydroponic blogs and also checked out a few websites from a simple google search. I had to filter out some of the material myself, but I have come to several possible theories. (1) There is a possibility that the tap water we used to mix our nutrient solution had a high pH. A pH of 7 is neutral and is somewhat ideal for tapwater, so this may be the reason. (2) In the early growing stages, plants will absorb mainly nitrates which will actually raise the pH levels. I think this too makes a lot of sense. We have seen astounding growth in just two days, and I think it is entirely possible that the plant is making use of these nitrates, which is essentially food for plants. (3) Back to the nutrient solution, if we continue to see such a high pH, I am wondering if we shouldn’t just mix a different batch of solution and pay VERY close attention to the pH. If we could dilute the solution, I imagine that we will be more satisfied with our pH level. I would really like to find an answer soon because I know that high pH levels can cause stress on a plant, and this is the last thing I want to happen to our tiny plant. It needs nutrients and comfortable conditions in order to grow big, healthy, and fully.

I’ll look into it more and keep posting!


7 thoughts on “day two of WEEK TWO: More Growth, High pH”

  1. I really like the simplicity of your system. It looks like it is working just fine. The only worry that I seem to be reading from your blog is the pH level. We are having a similar issue with ours. The one day I checked it was at 8.6! Our poor plants! We quickly put in some pH down to correct the issue. You are not alone!

  2. Everything looks great. Looks like your plants are doing well even with the problems regarding the pH. Hopefully you guys can get that figure soon.

  3. Your system and plants look great! Hopefully you can figure out why your ph keeps spiking. If you ph is too low is there a way to bring it back up?

  4. Jules, I have not completely ruled it out just yet. I am trying a little experiment over the weekend. We usually add the pH Down chemicals directly into the coffee container that our plant is growing in. However, it never stays low and always shoots back up. It’s an endless cycle and it’s pretty frustrating. We made a new batch of our nutrient solution and it came out to a pH of 6.9, which makes sense because the tap water we used is around a pH of 7. Instead of adding the nutrient solution with a pH of 6.9 in our system, we brought the entire gallon of solution down to somewhere between a pH of 6.0 and 6.1, and I wouldn’t mind it being somewhat lower, but we can always change that later. I don’t know what you chose to do, but I’m trying to see if it’s the chemicals in the nutrient solution that is the cause to raising the pH or if it is actually the plant. Hopefully when I check the pH of our new solution on Monday, it will still read between a 6.0 and 6.1 pH. That’s the goal, so we’ll see what happens.

    Connor, thanks for the advice. I noticed the growth of your plants and they look great. Check your page, I have a few questions for you. Hopefully you can give me a few pointers on what is and is not working for your plant. Thanks for the input!

    Chris, we do have an air stone in our system and it sits directly beneath the plant itself. If I didn’t add that in my description of our system, I’ll have to go back and update that. Are you using an air stone and do you think the positioning of the air stone will have an effect on pH levels or plant growth?

  5. Everything looks good. The plants have begun to grow very well. As far as the high Ph is concerned perhaps adding an air stone would help to keep the mixture mixed so that when you add more solution you don’t have any of the previous nutrients sitting in the bottom adding to the problem

  6. Your plants are looking good. Our were around where yours are last week and this week they have shot up like crazy. If you get your ph level down your plants will grow a lot faster. I hope you can fix the problem and see them really start to grow.

  7. Would you consider using the pH Down chemicals again? My group has been running into higher pH levels too. If you put in a very small amount of it, less than 1/4 of a teaspoon the solution gets to a good pH level.

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