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High/Low EC + Nutrient Availability

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Hello hello,

As I have mentioned in the past, my first grow has been free of any EC measuring.

But, I now got myself an EC Pen (yay). My personal understanding is as follows:

  • EC is the % of nutrient/mineral particles in the water. The "density" I guess.
  • EC too high, means the plant can't absorb enough or gets locked.
  • EC too low, means the plant has to absorb more water to achieve their nutrient requirements.

For flowering and ripening stages, the GHE TriPart Flora Micro recommends an EC of 1.4 - 2.2/2.6. The Bloom on the other hand recommends 1.3 - 1.7.

My EC after completing my feed, ready to water, is 0.9. As per the below chart I found here on the EC article I was reading, I should be fine. This seems to ring true with me, as my plants haven't had nutrient issues besides that tiny CalMag issue at the start.


I also realize that my EC is probably lower because I am feeding half/three quarters of the recommended nutrient dose on the bottle, because I'm growing autos. I'm sure that in my next photo grow, I can logically expect a higher EC as I'm using more nutrients in the feed. Should the EC become too high, then I obviously need to de-chlorinate the water with an air pump for a few hours to reduce the starting EC before adding feed.

Now, my question for the more experienced growmies is as follows:

How am I supposed to know what exact EC to aim for when mixing my feed. As every separate nutrient has a different recommended range. But I suppose I am answering my own question here? Its a range, and as long as its within there then it should be fine.  

Have any of you experienced growers encountered any EC issues, and how did you rectify it? Are my above observations accurate?

Thanks in advance for your responses and insight! :-flyinghi



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Posted (edited)

I use TA Tripart with my grow and in all honesty I have stuck mostly to the exact quantity it specifies on the bottles.

But first a disclaimer, I don't grow autos because they cost more in electricity to grow than photoperiods do, so I don't see the point to it, plus I prefer the control I have over photoperiods and I prefer the hardiness of a photoperiod over an auto.

In saying that, once I have mixes the nutrient solution and added Orthosilicic Acid, Amino Acids (and sometimes a little extra calmag because I grow in coco coir), I come out at about 2.2EC during veg and 2.8EC during flower. I've even fed upwards of 3.2 EC to my plants and they been fine and healthy, I haven't encountered nutrient burn yet with the TA nutrients. I even feed my new clones I buy at 2.4EC right from the start, you really do have a lot of a breathing room with TA nutrients.

How strong or how weak you feed your plants is going depend on the genetics of the plant you growing. Some genetics are happy to grown and produce decent bud on 1.4EC all the way through growth, other genetics you can literally throw the TA bottles at them and they just take it like car wash girls on a hot day. 


Don't get to caught up on the EC values though, rather look at the plant and see how its responding to your nutrients:

 - Is the leaves the right kind of healthy green or are they too light or to dark green (too little or too nitrogen)?

 - Are the tips of the leaves healthy or are they crisping up at all (healthy vs to much nutrients)?

 - Are the leaves praying or dropping?

 - Is the plant growing at a steady growth rate or has it slowed? (healthy roots vs a root problem)

 - Are there any spots or strange colours on the leaves ( nutrient deficiencies or toxicities)


 The leaves of the plant will tell you whether or not to increase your EC, decrease it, or leave it alone because the plants are happy.




Edited by DesignatedDave
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