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Coopers stolen nutrient managment technique for recirc hydro.

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#1
cooper

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Hi everyone. I'v dropped a few comments here and there about myself really hot nutrient solutions eg EC + 2.6 in RO water.  I'ts a bit misleading as I dont maintain a steady EC but rather let it weaken until I consider it "spent" and then chuck it away. Anyways this is a technique that my "guru" showed me many years ago and it's never resulted in horrible deficiencies of extreme fert burn. Also, theres no flushing and I've enjoyed good consistent results for many years. Here we go...

 

Consider this scenario - I make up 100L of nutrient solution at full strength EC = 2.0'ish. Every day I top it up with fresh water (no nutrients) and adjust the pH. The nutrient strength drops a little. I repeat this until I've used 100l of top up water (same volume as the initial solution) and then dump it (all 100L) and start again. I was told that if the EC at the time of dump was less than 1/2 of the inital reading, then increase the strength of the next batch. Keep doing this, unitl the slightest tip burn shows and then back off a toutch. Because this technique discards so much water, there is generally no need to flush, the flush is continual.

 

When I queried this - WTF, I though consistency in ec values were key? he replied - Think about what's happening inside the pots, the nutrient values are just an indicator. You must think about the root zone and insisted that values will be more stable with his technique, he also added that deminishing nutrients encouraged strong root development, which acts as a massive energy reserve for when your plants bloom.

 

He was in Adelaide - The water was absolute turd and has an EC of about 0.7. Most of the reading was due to sodium, and because the plants didnt use it much, it built up in the solution. If you filled a pot with water with ec 0.7 and boiled it down to 1/2 the original volume the ec would be 1.4. It was very similar in the nutrient solutions, if the plants used 1/2 of the nutrients, the sodium content was about double that of at the start and is really getting out of control, time to chuck it.

 

Now my water is great EC =0 (less than my meter will read anyway) There is none of that sodium build up shit, so my nutrient solution drops far below 1/2 of the original value before I chuck it. NOW I make up my nutrient solution at full strength, add fresh water every day and dump it when the EC reaches 1.0. I know my plants will use the entire volume of my res in 3 days (dump time), so if the nutrient value is less than 1.0 after 3 days, Ill make the next batch stronger. During the last run, I maxed out the EC at 2.6 and after three days it was 1.1, so the next batch was mixed weaker.

 

Not many have adopted this technique over the years, most shake their head. The few that have taken it on have had nothing but positive things to say.

 

There are many ways to manage nutrient, this is just one system that remains in the shadows so I thought I'd put it out there. By no means am I claiming that its the best, its just worked for me.

 

Does any of that shit make sense?


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#2
puggle6

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Yes

I work in a similar way but read the plants and work from there.

Nute ratios and additive % are per manufacturers specs but the EC varies based on feedback I get from the plants

Basically I ride the 'claw'

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#3
cooper

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Some have green thumbs, I follow a few basic rules instead lol


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#4
pedro de pacas

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Good job cooper, something not from gooogle at last lol


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#5
Indycar

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So how long does a batch of nutes last on average before you dump it, coops?

 

By the way, Jorge will be along soon.. :D

 

Nah, good work, mate. :good:


Edited by Indycar, 13 August 2019 - 05:57 PM.

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#6
cooper

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So how long does a batch of nutes last on average before you dump it, coops?

 

By the way, Jorge will be along soon.. :D

 

Nah, good work, mate. :good:

It depends on the stage of the plant. My first batch of nutes - 60L lasts for the first 4 weeks, small plants in veg. The bloom space - 100L lasts for 3 days (I need a bigger tub)

 

The plants kind of determine how long it will last. I like the plant driven basis. Rather than dumping once a week (people time frames) you dump once the plans have spent the nutrients, in their time.

 

In Adelaide, I had a 80L pumping box connected to an 80L res. The pumping box got dosed, the res did not. I would dump the second the res was empty (pumping box still full) I'd still use the Volume method to determine when to dump but my dehumidifiers and AC both drain back into my pumping box, so Its a struggle to relate it to my old system. Now, however I can asssume that any water that is missing from my pumping box has been assimilated by the plant or used for photosysnthesis. Everything lost via transpiration ends up back in the plumbing. If you like numbers, it can be interesting.

 

Also, the difference in EC and PH each day is a great indicator of plant health. Large movements means they are pumping, and you can watch it via the meters.


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#7
puggle6

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Nice Coops

I crunch numbers and rationalise all those elements.. not an easy one to 100% equate what went where etc

I find it pretty interesting all the same

I change nutes once per grow but partial changes along the way as needed



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#8
cooper

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Good job cooper, something not from gooogle at last lol

Well Pedro, I do remember trying to bring something original to the table when I rejoined this forum some time back but all I got was calls of BS. I was here to find some answers regarding CO2 but it was fruitless.

 

Anyways, you *#%@^ are alright so I hung around :)

 

Thanks too lol


Edited by cooper, 13 August 2019 - 07:19 PM.

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#9
Indycar

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It depends on the stage of the plant. My first batch of nutes - 60L lasts for the first 4 weeks, small plants in veg. The bloom space - 100L lasts for 3 days (I need a bigger tub)

 

The plants kind of determine how long it will last. I like the plant driven basis. Rather than dumping once a week (people time frames) you dump once the plans have spent the nutrients, in their time.

 

In Adelaide, I had a 80L pumping box connected to an 80L res. The pumping box got dosed, the res did not. I would dump the second the res was empty (pumping box still full) I'd still use the Volume method to determine when to dump but my dehumidifiers and AC both drain back into my pumping box, so Its a struggle to relate it to my old system. Now, however I can asssume that any water that is missing from my pumping box has been assimilated by the plant or used for photosysnthesis. Everything lost via transpiration ends up back in the plumbing. If you like numbers, it can be interesting.

 

Also, the difference in EC and PH each day is a great indicator of plant health. Large movements means they are pumping, and you can watch it via the meters.

 

I've operated similar as yourself. Where my rez was 30L with aerator and aquarium heater (colder months), and I had a 70L plastic rubbish bin with ph balanced water (with aerator) on standby to top the rez up with. Sometimes I could go up to 5 weeks before ditching that batch, on the other end of the scale I'd get 10-14 days before replacing. Though i did top up the rubbish bin once i got to the bottom of it. I didn't use the volume as a gauge when to replace like you do.

 

Fortunately i've always had a good water supply where it was pretty well constantly under 0.2 EC, so I've never had to get my head around the nightmare like folks in Adelaide and Perth do. I'd be like a fish outta water trying to get my head around that one.

 

Good to hear it from your perspective, mate B)


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#10
cooper

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I've thought about topping up the nutrients rather than dumping it but then using it as a batch has worked well enough for me and like most farmers, I find chage a bit frighteneing.

 

I'm also of the opinion that when my nutrient is weak, it is probably unbalanced and seriously lacking one element or another, so better to chuck than fix.

 

I remember the average jo grower in adelaide. They would use a 200L drum as a res and a 40L pumping box. Both would be dosed at full strenght and the grower would walk away for a week, then come back and flush the pots madly. They were happy with 1lb/1000W :) You couldn't tell them either.

 

So what do other recirc folks do? Monitor and top up every couple of days???


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