Can you solve the mystery? (see photos)

I am not sure what is going on here. I put tap water in a bucket to let it gas off. Then, before using it I made the PH 6.5. It comes out of the tap at 7.5. I used a pretty large, so I didn’t use much of the water. Later, it had a film like the one in the picture. I figured it was something in the container and dumped it. I then switched to a smaller bucket (the one in the pictures). I put water in it and let it gas off. Then just before watering I put in “Down” to get it to 6.5ph and watered my plants (it was clear). When I looked at the water in the bucket today it had the same film. The water in the green bucket was put in at the same time and stored in the same place, but it hasn’t been PH treated. It is clear as can be. What is causing the film? Is it harmful?

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I think you need a PPM meter if you don’t have one. If the PPM is below 80 it’s probably fine unless that is a bucket that had petroleum products in it. If so, it would kill most plants.

If that is a plastic bucket than sometimes, depending on how it was made and what the mix was/is, then it could be reacting to the ph down. Not sure, but non food safe plastics are known to react badly to many types of chemicals and will put out chemicals from the plastic. Would recommend that you get a food safe bucket and use it.


A Homer works great. We stored distilled spirits in them. 170 proof!


What is a homer??? Not a term I am familiar with. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Sorry :blush:. Home Depot bucket.


A air stone and pump will help out a great dill.


Strange i have no idea mate soZ

@skgrower @cyberblast The first bucket was not food grade. It had drywall compound in it. So, I thought the same thing. However, all three of the rest of the buckets I have used are food grade. One Ice cream, one coffee, and one is commercial grade. Even the commercial food grade bucket got the film.

@Medforme you got me stumped then. The only thing I can think of then is that is just a consequence of using the type of ph down you are using. That film looks like an oil film. Check the ingredients of the phdown and see what they use. Only other, are you adding any nutes when you make your mix?
At this point, I am not sure if you are looking at something that would harm your grow. Try it on one plant and see what happens. Only thing I can think of at the moment.
Good luck. Keep us posted. Maybe someone else can think of something.

I second all the “leeching something that was in the bucket before” crowd. Try glass, ceramic, then check again.

Edited to ask - Flint, MI?

What are you using for pH down and is it in its original bottle?

:v: :sunglasses:

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I heard Olive Oil or 87octane works well :wink:

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@peachfuzz General Hydroponics pH Control Kit

I agree that leeching is the most likely answer, but the containers come from such different places. It is hard for me to believe all of them have had something in them that is leeching; especially that looks like the _same _ thing. The one has had nothing but ice cream and water in it.


I was joking based on the sheen, @peachfuzz was right on to question the nutes. But to be honest, you are putting it in dirt. You know if the pieces of the puzzle are contaminated or polluted or whatever, Only so many things it could be.

Put plain water in a glass jar and let it set and check it, then mix nutes and let it set. I’d hate to see you wasting time effort and nutes because your fertilizer has fish-oil in it or something.


Also when filling the buckets , did you use hot water for one and cold water for another?
It looks like oil in your water or containers…
Either way , I have never had this happen to me in 10 year’s worth of growing… and using GH pH up in down , no matter how old it is… :wink:
Something is a miss… :wink:
Wondering if there might be crap in your water heater… might need to flush it… :wink:
:v: :sunglasses:

@peachfuzz Good thought, but used cold water.

City water? Treated biosolids? Sediment filter. Would fix.
Had a toilet that did same thing. Always this nasty film…kept the damn toilet spotless too. Even after replacing toilet years later film still there. Moving solved it.

Water can be nasty.

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How is the municipal water supply (I’m assuming that’s what you’re using)? I saw similar sheen from washing my harvest in peroxide and water. That oily sheen was powdery mildew (see the Cervantes video). It’s also possible that the ph up or down is reacting with something in the nutes to cause that sheen. I will look for it when I water and feed.

@Myfriendis410 I am not feeding any nutes at this point, so that isn’t it. Also, I thought about it being air borne, especially being I am in a basement. However, if that were the case the non-PHd water would have it.

@HighDesertFarmer Interesting point. I too had a toilet were the tank always had a similar film. I tried a number of things to get rid of it, but nothing worked (bleach reduced it maybe). I just ended up living with it since it really didn’t matter since it was just used for flushing the toilet.

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