Does Ph up effect tds/Ec

I just started using fox farm trio. I noticed that the tiger bloom is lowering my ph in my water. To combat that im forced to add general hydroponics ph up to adjust to an acceptable level for my soil. My tds/ec before using ph up is around 1.5 ppt after adding the ph up im getting a tds/ec reading in the 300 ppm range so im losing over 1000 pm some how. Is it a false positive or is it truly decreasing my nutrients level in my feeding? Thanks.


These are the questions I am here for. Im new and this is a great question. There are so many details that most videos and text miss.


TDS is Total Dissolved Solids. EC is electrical conductivity, and anything you add to water increases both.

GH pH up is potassium carbonate, it’s roughly 50 EC per ml/gallon from my rudimentary testing. That’s pretty ballpark, but it’s close enough to make the point.

Nutrients do alter pH, sometimes quite significantly. Some manufacturers use buffers in their mixes to help keep pH in check, sometimes things like alkaline Potassium and acidic Phosphate just regulate each other. This is why pH is adjusted after all nutes are mixed (with some exceptions, silica comes to mind).

As far as your soil runoff concerns, you’ll have to wait for a soil person to stop by, as I’m a hydro grower, sorry. At least my reply will bump your thread. @OGIncognito has a pretty broad knowledge base, maybe we can get him to swing by this morning.

It kinda sounds more like your meter is wonky though, as adding pH up would increase your EC as mentioned, but we’ll wait on a soil guy for clarification.

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Thanks for the tag @Bubbala, I’ve had a few successful grows with soil and learned a few things along the way.

:point_up_2: is this 150 PPMs of your water source? Salt based fertilizer will lower the PH and needs adjusting after all the nutrients are mixed. My water source PH is 7.1 and 5.8-5.9 after mixing and great for my hydro and coco. I add PH up to 6.5 for soil.

:point_up_2: confused on this statement. Start with mixing the nutrients per the manufacturers schedule, for fox farm nutrients I would recommend 1/2-3/4 strength and check the PPMs. This should be somewhere around the 1000 PPM mark, check and adjust the PH and feed or water each time to liberal run off, best practice is a drench to drought routine :love_you_gesture:

Thanks for the reply, im using rain water that has a ph of around 6.3 and 20 something ppms after adding my fix farm nutrients its putting me around 5.0 ph and 1500 ppm according to my apera pc60 pen. Forcing me to use ph up to get me back around 6.3 which has been the sweet spot for my soil. Im guessing my pen is off because its showing my ppms at 300 after adding it.

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That Apera PC60 is a good meter. How ling have you had it? Did something happen to it?
You can buy new probe caps for cheaper than a whole new unit…

Over a year debating if i should just buy a new probe cap. Was going to buy a blue lab conductivity pen to compare

Only thing i can think of is it dried out sitting in my garage during the summer heat

pH probes need to be kept in KCL solution, but EC probes are (can be) stored dry.

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Its the apera pc60 5-1 meter so essentially it would have to stay in storage solution its all together in the same general area of the probe. Im guessing the heat dried out and cooked my pen maybe.

Yes, the pH probe part of the cap. If the cap was dry then it probably needs to be soaked in KCL solution for a few hours before using it again. But the EC probe part of the cap “should” be unaffected, and I thought your PPM’s were what was in question.
But anyway, I’d try soaking the probe in KCL before buying a new cap. (and be sure to keep the cap full too)… unless it’s the EC probes that are bad, but I’m confused on which you think is bad now… well, anyhow :smile:

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So the ec aspect doesnt need storage solution you say? If so then I guess i need to be more concerned with my ph being accurate then. Maybe I need to recalibrate for EC

Whats folks using these days for ph and EC meters? Still new to the game 2 grows in. Thanks

If this always happens try and add the pH up in the water then do ur base nutes. Yes the pH of water will raise but the nutrients should drop it back down. Just rough it ay about the amount u use every time u mix this way u add minimal if any after nutes r mixed in this way not killing off anything as the pH adjusters r basically diluted down. I’ve never really.much check the poms and do just great with out them reading I just make sure to pH everything correctly. I do however run coco and jacks with additives

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