First hydro grow - questions/issues

Are they drinking water?
How much?
More than normal or less than normal?
How far into flower are you?
When did you first see bud sites?
Are your roots still white-ish?
Do you mix everything up in a separate bucket, pH, and then pour it in?

Mine right now are drinking 2 gal a day and that’s for two plants. My ppm’s are about 1030 and pH 6.0. It will stay that way till the water runs low or needs changing. I can go 5 days without having to do anything. It stays right on the numbers without having to adjust anything.

So if I go in there tomorrow and the pH is low and the nutes have risen, and they are still drinking the same amount of water, that’s telling me that I need to feed more. If the same with nutes and pH but yet they’re not drinking, then I need to lower the nutes.

I work my nute numbers based off the pH. In other words, depending on how they are drinking depends on what to do.
That’s why I said you need to know,
How much they are drinking every day and what are the nutes and pH doing.

If they are drinking like normal, I would raise the tds to about 1100 and the pH to about 6.5 going in.
Bottom line is you may very well continue to fight pH problems as long as your in 5 gal buckets. That’s why so many folks have tried to run hydro buckets, get discouraged, and give up. Just keep plugging along! You got this!

I’ll tag you in some folks grow tomorrow.
BTW, my journal is short compared to some forlks. Sometimes it helps to go through a journal and look for post by the author of that journal. That way you might can skip some of the chit chat. Good luck! :+1:t2::v::sunglasses:


Hey hey. Ty @HappyHydroGrower

This was only a few hours after the full water change. Approx zero water loss but both buckets experienced that rise in tds and drops in pH.

Both plants drink about a gallon of water a day. The smaller one less than the bigger plant. They seem to be drinking slightly less now…

Roots are white.

Plants are about 10 weeks along and 3 weeks into flowering. They were slow to grow but buds growing rapidly now.

I mix my new water separately in the correct orders with a very through mixing.

Yeah. Guess I need more water. Or I might try this dunk technique I’m making up in my head to wash loose root bits away and salts.

Who knows.

I’ll get it…I’m frustrated but hooked and I don’t give up easily haha


Man we’re pulling for ya! :+1:t2::v::sunglasses:


So here is a link to my journal.

If you go to a journal and you want a quicker recap, scroll all the way to the first post

The easiest way to do this is to click on the post counter in the bottoms right
Once you clicked it you can scroll through the full article you are on.

If you make it to the first post there is a summarize button, this will take large journals with over 100 individual post and summarize to the top 100 making it much easier to quickly go through and see the most important stuff quickly.

Hope this helps you with your research here, I know it helped me.

When my girls started flowering they started drinking water and nuets like crazy. You got this! Keeping those water levels in check and keeping that pH and ppm numbers balanced in range.


@Syndrix that’s super helpful! Thank you. That will save a lot of time and effort.


Glad it helps, I think you asked about a couple others journals, I also keep up with

More talented/knowledge than me with hydro so here is their journal as well.

@Jungle are you going to make a new journal? If you do feel free to tag me into it.


Definitely. I’m still preparing for next grow, though. Cleaning, rearranging things, etc.


@Graysin here you go. :wink::grin::+1:t2::v::sunglasses:


You da MVP - I’ll read up.


Hi all! Thank you for the replies and tips and grow journals. Thank you @HappyHydroGrower

I’ve had a busy couple work days but I’m happy to report that I am getting a higher stability on pH readings! After my confusion on the TDS and pH changes after the water change, I adjusted it and things have been pretty steady. I’ve topped off with distilled water like you guys mentioned, been measuring multiple times a day, and things have been good. I’m also seeing trichome improvement in just a couple days on one of my weaker plants.

My conclusion to my problems is that like you all pointed out, 5 gallons isn’t a lot for a grow. That coupled with user error on not topping off water and fixing pH changes well enough at times led to some wonkiness.

So I’ve been a bit worn down and still need to look through grow journals but I really liked the look of the buckets @Jungle sent along and found a place online selling them on sale for $13 a pop and bought 5x 8

gallon buckets. Then bought lids on Amazon for almost the same price. Not sure if I’ll do a 4 plant grow to start or go a little easier on myself and do a 2 plant grow when I build this new system. And need to research your grow journals.

Attached are some pics of the current grow and then of

the new buckets I ordered. I need to put a lot of thought into whether to do a chiller or not.

Eyes are blurry. Onwards ho!



13$ each?!? Well now I need to go looking that is a great price for the ez store buckets,
I’m using the same 8 gallon ones, they are great!

Work and life come first!

Every other knowledgeable hydro grower on here says to bite the bullet and get a chiller, everyone agrees it sucks the price sucks but the value and consistency is well worth it. 1/10 or 1/4 hp depending on how many gallons you plan to have in your system.

Glad you are getting it all figured out and heading in the right direction! Girls are looking good great start on those bud formations!


Hah I bought one but can’t use it until add a breaker

I exchange 4 two liter bottles every day . It sounds like a pain but is easier than mixing nutes every day when I was watering coco every day.


@Syndrix I found it at It was a one day sale but currently at $15. But they didn’t have the lids. I really liked the look of the buckets but was struggling with the idea of $38 on Amazon so I jumped when I saw it! Lol

As far as a chiller, I’m not sure I’ll need it. But I won’t know till it’s too late I guess. I have my tent set up in my kitchen and I can close the kitchen off and have an air conditioner in the window in there possibly. I also run the ac in my apt cold non stop all summer.

I’ve had my current water temperature at 75-80 the entire time and I don’t think they’ve had any issues with it. Maybe just not perfection.

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I’ve had my chiller the entire, so my solution stays 66-68f.

I’ve seen others successful not use chillers, and your right it’s grower/situation dependant really.

Basement grower on slab in north won’t need a chiller as bad as someone in Texas without ac :joy::joy::joy: dramatic example, but I specialize in those.

I’ve seen growers use all sorts of solutions instead of chiller as well, frozen bottles of water, copper coils in buckets or routed through a fridge, some of this depends how available you are to address it as well.

It was important to me to be able to be away for x days and my plants not need me, which is a huge bonus to RDWC get it all set up and going smooth you literally can leave it for days/weeks

I’m curious to see what the other way more knowledgeable hydro growers say about 75-80 f water temps, I’ve heard anything over 70 isn’t recommend, but that could have also been a dramatic number


In my reading through the forums now, I’m seeing 68 as the target and a big emphasis on cooling but when I bought my current setup my research online in general said to keep it under 80.

I do need to be able to go away and have some vacations planned. But the chillers are pretty pricey. I have a feeling I can get away without one for early summer but may need one for late summer.

The chiller factor will play into my decision making on whether to create a 4 bucket system or 2. That’s what I’ll wrestle with the most for now bc 4 buckets could be a lot of work on a system I’m unfamiliar where things could go wrong. As well as not knowing if 4 plants will get too big for my 4x4 tent. So far I’ve grown 2-3 at a time and they end up growing so damn big.

But of course I want to go big also and 4 plants would be really cool🤣. Damn decisions.

Why the hell are bulkheads so expensive, it’s ridiculous.


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Hey this is jj and you can buy a stick style transfer pump at menards for 12 bucks


Thanks Jay. I don’t think I have any if those stores near me on the east coast - I haven’t heard of them. But soon after beginning growing in soil I bought one on Amazon. Unfortunately it was a few times that price but has served me well.

Tonight I changed the water on my one fussier plant again. I decided to change water more frequently until I have a firm control of my pH issues. I decided to first put the plant in a separate bucket of clean water and swish it around a bit before putting it into the clean nutrients. The dunk/root-wash bucket is chock full of root bits. I think that’s at the ROOT of my problem! :rofl: Lol.

The pic doesn’t show it that well but the bucket has so much dead root in it. I bet I could do it more times with clean buckets and wash away more dead root.

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yea you should not be getting what you see when rinsing your roots…small bits that break off while moving but that would be all you should see…time for Hydroguard or some other root inoculant…


Yeah Roger that. I have only began using hydroguard for the last 2 weeks or so of the grow. Lesson learned. And I’ll continue the root washes and more frequent water changes for a bit.


@42 your pic is exactly why i purchased a fluval aquarium canister filter. This res is 3 weeks old. A pump bag “a good one” will help tremendously also. Mine flows back to the res in 3" drain pipe, i have a pump bag on thatvas a prefilter, then the fluval cycles the res at 1000 gph through the filter. The recirc and chiller pumps are also im a composting bag to keep stuff from going back to the plants and trapping it in the res and filter.