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Help Sick Plant

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Howdy fellow Ozstonerz ;) ,


I am currently doing a test grow in my cab the Tuggernaut which I am still fine tuning and I have a Very Berry grown from seed that I'm using as a test pilot before going into a full grow. It has been growing in a small rockwool cube in a small pot of perlite (never grown in this medium before) that I had lying around.


She is about 6 weeks old now and has been under a 400W HPS for approx 2 weeks.


I am using Canna nutes [Vega A & B] and was feeding her 1/4 strength nutes up to 4 weeks while she was under flouros; foliar feeding and misting twice daily. I kept her at these nutes for a few days when she moved under the HID and stopped the foliar feeding as I didn't want her to burn. She has been stressed a little as I repotted before moving to HID. I gradually lowered the light from 3 feet down to 1-1.5 feet over a few days to get her used to the intensity. Initially it was a bit too hot in the cab 30-35 but this is under control now with a min max temp range of 24-30.


After she had adjusted to the new environ, I started feeding at 1.8EC twice a day, hand watered. I was leaving the run off in the saucer under the pot for her to wick during the day but after a few days I started to think she may be suffering overwatering so I have since just watered twice a day and after about 30 mins dumping the contents of the saucer.


After 7-10 days I noticed a slight yellowing / chlorosis of a couple of the older fan leaves and a couple of small ones close to main stem at the bottom of the plant. I figured the smaller ones were yellowing as they were getting increasingly shaded as she grew. The larger ones had me worried.


So I flushed that plant in the kitchen sink until the run off was ec = 0 (same as water flushing with)


Cut back on the nutes for a day or so and have brought her back up to 1.8ec.


The ideal range for these nutes BTW is 1.8 - 2.7ec & pH 5.2-6.4 per the packaging.


My pH of my solution is around 5.7-6.2.


After consulting some pamphlets from Canna the Hydro Store gave me when I bought the nutes it would appear to be a Sulphur deficiency as my problem leaves closely resemble the examples in the pamphlet. The bulk of the leaf stems are a purplish colour too.



The Canna literature I have states:


As with phosphate, it is easier for the plant to take up sulphate at a lower pH level.  Check the pH of the medium and lower it if necessary ...


When there is a deficiency, the best thing to do is add sulphur in an inorganic form with the fertiliser containing magenesium Epsom salts for Hydro ...


Based on this I will be lowering the pH of the solution I am using but I am interested to hear from someone more experienced than I to confirm if my diagnosis is correct before adding anything like Epsom salts.


Also I am wondering if Perlite would end up with salt/nute build up on the surface as it drys between waterings (I've read it doesn't absorb nutrients per se) as this may be causing the pH to rise even though the soltion I am feeding her is at the level I want. Any current or former perlite growers out there?? I won't be uising this medium in future, I'm going DWC for the Tuggernauts maiden voyage but it kills me to see a lady in distress.


I have attached some pics. Please help me help this damsel in distress.


B) Tugboat ;)


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Hey Tug, check out this site and see if it looks like one of the other possible causes, how does the new growth look?


It is unusual to hear of such problems when using Canna brand nutrients, are you giving the concentrated nutrients a really good shake before diluting them as they do settle? Nutrients can settle out in the reservoir too.

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New growth seems OK.


I am going to stop feeding them for a couple of days and have watered with plain pH adjusted water early this morning.


They have perked up over the last 4 hours so I'm now doubtful it's a defiency problem.


The Canna nutes are MJ specific so I think it is more likely a pH / over fert or underwatering issue that may have caused a temporary nute lockout. I'm leaning towards underwatering / over fert.


I'm going to try more frequent waterings at a lower strength starting tomorrow (plain pH adjusted water only today) and see how she fare's.


I think being in perlite she's going to need it.


Thanks for your help TAZ


B) Tugboat ;)

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Hey Tug, here's a discription of a watering system I used to use, I'll see if I can dig up a topic where I posted pictures of it a while back.


I used a 60/40 perlite/vermiculite mixture in waterwell plant pots with a home made drip system. It uses one standard dripper per plant, the dripper is connected via 3mm (1/8") flexible tube to a 12mm (1/2") main feeder pipe which in turn connects to a 2 litre (3 pint?) reservoir, a plastic drink bottle with the bottom cut out. The main feeder pipe is fitted and sealed into the neck of the bottle which is hung upside down by a piece of wire from the tap of a 25 litre plastic drum. I mixed my nutrients in the drum and twice a day opened the tap on the drum to fill the bottle and feed the plants. A simple and cheap (under $10) run-to-waste hydro system that worked so well I stuck with it for over 20 years.


Basically it's the same as the one described in the link from my signature without the pump or a return to the reservoir.

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That's a bloody gem of an idea Taz. I love it B) Simple, low maintenance and cheap. Perfect for this test run as I don't want to invest in pumps etc as I'll be going to DWC for the next grow and have all my equipment already.


I've seen those drums with a tap @ Big W. Guess where I'm heading tomorrow!




;) Tugboat ;)

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Hey Taz,


What's the flow rate of that dripper? I haven't seen any at the local garden shops that shape/design but there are plenty of other types commonly 4ltr p/h. I guess that should be slow enough to better feed my lady's appetite. Rather than two quick floods per day via hand watering - and wicking for the rest of the day.


:D Tugboat :)

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years ago when i had a go at hydro i had the same problem. the minimum flow rate i could get at the time was 5 litres per hour and i wanted between 1 and two. very basic, but it worked. i simply tied a knot in the tubing. the tighter the knot, the less water.


i did find however that the lower the solution level got in the drum, so did the pressure. and had to adjust knot accordingly.

you might be able to get hold of some sort of tap type thing to reduce flow rate. but that's just a guess. you'd probably be able to modify something to suit.


can't you get something that reduces the air pressure in the line of an aquarium pump to raise and lower the amount of bubbles?

maybe you could modify something like that.


here's another idea. try putting a kink in your line if it is too hard to put a knot in it. you could keep the kink in with a piece of wire or string. that way you can adjust.

i do things like that around the farm with poly pipe. fittings are so expensive. about 7 or 8 bucks for a high pressure 1 inch joiner. highway robbery. :angry:

Edited by wade ounce
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Hey Taz,


What's the flow rate of that dripper?  I haven't seen any at the local garden shops that shape/design but there are plenty of other types commonly 4ltr p/h.  I guess that should be slow enough to better feed my lady's appetite.  Rather than two quick floods per day via hand watering - and wicking for the rest of the day.


:D  Tugboat  :)

The flow rate is 4 litres per hour pressure compensated which means that you will get 4 litres per hour using either a high pressure or gravity feed system. You can get them in the garden section at Mitre 10 or Home hardware’s, Chev81 got some at Mitre 10 the other day for 80c each.


This plant was grown using the gravity feed system I described and a 430w Son-T-Agro.


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