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My system has a high ph of 7.8 to 7.6. This makes nutrient absorption very difficult on certain crops. Has any aquapon made a spray that works to help with the off color or weak plants. The plant look like they are in chlorosis but actually suffer from nutrient lock out due to the high ph. What works for you guys. I am experimenting with seaweed extract and a little muratic acid to no avail.

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If your plants are suffering from say Iron lock out.  You can use a liquid iron spray on the plants (iron sulfate) diluted according to directions.  Just be careful as this stuff usually stains and can burn plants if used while it's too hot.  It is what I did back before I found a source of chelated iron for my big system.

 

Seaweed extract can provide potassium and trace elements but may not have enough iron to help much unless it is the maxicrop plus iron.  I would not be spraying acid on the plants though you don't need it in a foliar spray.

 

Biggest problem with foliar spraying is you need to make sure it's dilute enough not to leave dark spots on the plants which will burn the plants and you need to make sure whatever you spray has time to dry while it is cool before the heat of the day sets in.  This always made spraying anything from April through October very problematic for me here in FL since they always say not to spray in the evening or you invite fungus problems but you have to get up before dawn to spray anything before it gets too hot, ugh.

 

You high pH?  Is that because of your media?  Or your top up water?  I find that during the dry season here my top up water is quite able to keep my system pH fairly high so it might be worth while for you to have a tank for adjusting your top up water with the muratic acid before adding it to your system.  Or get a good quantity of chelated iron and use it regularly, I'm probably doomed to that until all the shells in my big system dissolve.

 

Luckily, over time my big system has managed to grow plants far better than in the beginning even with the high pH.  I do still need to add chelated iron when the oregano starts growing green veined yellow new leaves but most of my plants seem to be doing much better each season.

How old is your system David?

TCLynx said:

If your plants are suffering from say Iron lock out.  You can use a liquid iron spray on the plants (iron sulfate) diluted according to directions.  Just be careful as this stuff usually stains and can burn plants if used while it's too hot.  It is what I did back before I found a source of chelated iron for my big system.

 

Seaweed extract can provide potassium and trace elements but may not have enough iron to help much unless it is the maxicrop plus iron.  I would not be spraying acid on the plants though you don't need it in a foliar spray.

 

Biggest problem with foliar spraying is you need to make sure it's dilute enough not to leave dark spots on the plants which will burn the plants and you need to make sure whatever you spray has time to dry while it is cool before the heat of the day sets in.  This always made spraying anything from April through October very problematic for me here in FL since they always say not to spray in the evening or you invite fungus problems but you have to get up before dawn to spray anything before it gets too hot, ugh.

 

You high pH?  Is that because of your media?  Or your top up water?  I find that during the dry season here my top up water is quite able to keep my system pH fairly high so it might be worth while for you to have a tank for adjusting your top up water with the muratic acid before adding it to your system.  Or get a good quantity of chelated iron and use it regularly, I'm probably doomed to that until all the shells in my big system dissolve.

 

Luckily, over time my big system has managed to grow plants far better than in the beginning even with the high pH.  I do still need to add chelated iron when the oregano starts growing green veined yellow new leaves but most of my plants seem to be doing much better each season.

6 weeks old Ryan.
TC I was hoping it was my water but after 6 weeks and rookie mistake 458 I tested my media and it tests at 8.0. So I have a source of limestone in my gravel and I am going to live with it this season only because a majority of my plants like tomatoes and lettuce crops are going nucking futs. Was hoping to find a spray to help with pepper and squash plants. I think or know that strawberries are out this season. Corn also struggling a bit.

I still got chillies off some of my first season plants even through they were suffering from Iron deficiency.  I think the only plants that really didn't manage well at all in my first season system were the cucumbers, squash and strawberries.  I expect you can improve things for the plants that are struggling by getting some chelated iron to add to the system and while you search for a source of that, mix up some diluted iron sulfate spray (perhaps a compost, worm tea, or maxicrop with it) and give the plants some foliar feeding which they will appreciate.

 

I know some people have found that through the first season some limestone dust or something that tagged along in with their media keeps the pH high but there is a chance it will still come down as the calcium carbonate gets used up.  (unless your media is actually limestone in which case you have to wait for it all to dissolve.)

 

Seeing as your pH is below 8, I think there may be hope.

TC I really hope you are right on that. I dread shoveling 6000 lbs out of them beds . haha. I did have alot of dust so lets hope that burns off over the year. I know my media is not pure lime stone as it is river gravel  of basalt origin. There is definitely different types so something is high. Ill hope for the best.
I found that my system pH came down the most during periods of heavy feeding (as long as the bio-filter was up to the task of handling the water quality) when there was rain water topping up instead of my well water and if I was dosing with chelated iron that also seemed to bring the pH down a little.  Still the lowest my big system has ever seen is 7.0 but I know I screwed up on my media in that system since it is about 40% seashells.
I wish we had rain here. I would really like a lower ph water source than the 8.0 that I have. I am dropping the water to 6.0 in 5 gal pails to offset the 8.0 rock I have. I add about a capfull to each pail before it hits the system. This keeps me under 8.

What happens if you soak some of your media in distilled water for a week then check the pH?

 

What happens if you put a hand full of your media in a cup full of vinegar?

 

My well water here is around 8.2 this time of year and will easily raise the pH of a system that isn't feeding heavily (as in the bio-filter isn't working very hard.)

soaked it for three days and it went up to 8.0. I am heading out to the greenhouse back in a minute.
I dumped some gravel in the distilled white and nothing fizzled so maybe I dont have a limestone issue hmmmmmmmmm.

might be interesting to see what happens when you leave some of the media soak in vinegar for a bit then rinse it off and put it in a container of distilled water again and see if the pH stays put.

 

If so, it just means you will likely need more time and keep adjusting your source water pH down as much as you can.

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