Would a pH of 6.4 Cause My Seedlings To Look This Funky? Or Something Else Going On?

I Popped 8 seeds 2 weeks ago. Seeds are “Soul Mate” by Bodhi. 3 look funky, 2 are severely stunted, and 3 appear to be normal.

Thought it might be low humidity so I put a dome on for a couple days and that didn’t help so I checked pH yesterday and pH read 7.5 so I calibrated my pH pen, re-measured, and realized pH was really at 6.4… so I ph’d it down to 5.8.

I’m still not sure if pH of 6.4 would do this to seedlings though as I have three other seedlings that seem to be fine (shown in last photo).

This is the second pack of Soul Mate I’ve popped, and I’ve popped several other seed packs by Bodhi in the past several years, using the same methods/cloner… but this is the first time I’ve had problems with seedlings at this early of a stage. I also don’t remember ever starting out with high pH though. Any idea if it’s most certainly the pH being too high or is it definitely something else like russet mites?

(I had russet mites about 6 months ago and threw all plants away and took a break from growing since. Now I’m worried I may still have russet mites even though I don’t see anything under the microscope on these seedlings)

Medium is all perlite with a fabric wick inside the perlite cup that goes down into a nutrient reservoir below to wick up 200ppm nutrient water as the perlite dries. The perlite is definitely not too wet. It is NOT overwatering I am experiencing… I took one of the cups out of the reservoir so the perlite could dry out overnight and the seedling did not respond… so I highly doubt its a case of overwatering. Any ideas? Please help!

Looks like overwatered where the medium( dirt your using ) seems much bigger for the babies so they can easily down its roots with no oxygen in roots wait a day or two without watering anything to find out if they perk up

its in all perlite and it doesnt get top watered. It is a variation of a sub-irrigated planter cloner. There’s no way the perlite is retaining too much moisture especially when the medium aggregate is HUGE compared to finer mediums. There’s no way the plant is drowning in coarse sized perlite that doesn’t even get topwatered

Okay that makes sense now that I clearly see . So either not enough air which I’m sure it has plenty with bubbly . If not that then too much nutrients. If humidity is high then they won’t need water they will just uptake the nutrients instead of water witch will make em dark slight twist or tip burn if leaf looks dark that is .

And if the substraigjt is straight water similar to dwc I would drop the ph to 5.5-5.8 ish

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yes its hydro and I pH down’d to 5.8 yesterday but plants still aren’t perking up so I’m worried that I may have russet mites on my hands again :worried:


i wouldnt worry much the smallest one stunted i have is smallest and most purple shocked stem but the roots oh my world are the best thriving at this moment and the others arent but they are growing more . i think ur ph should be 58 like u said and keep the ppm to 0 -90 only feeding if the lighten up if dark like mine then water every other day until 2-3 weeks hits then start the nutrients around 100-200 depending on how green they might be and watch em fly . mine since they were from seed growing too slow then i relized they are only on day 8-9 first popped up for light on 20th.

Ive found that seeds are best in soil and clones from them in small rock wool cubes are best for thriving in any medium and growing faster from how Ive seen it in my own veg room plus a 4 way splitter with some daylight labeled Walmart 100 watt equivalent low wattage 5500 k bulbs around inch or two from plants make them thrive daily and raise an inch and watch em stack next day another inch . this i had them growing every three weeks before starting bloom it was perfect without any plant symptoms .

i think they will be good post the updated pics

much love !!

U might wanna start to top feed them for a week or 2 til roots hit the bottom better to get to the water. Perlite won’t wick the nutrients up like coco or soil will. Fit will if it is in the mix but has to be in contact with the water to absorb it. It won’t wick that good from piece to piece so unless the most part of all that perlite gets covered in nute mix the plant may not be getting enough water or mix to grow take 1 and feed from the top and see what happens let the runoff go normal but feed where u get good runoff and do this several times a day til it establishes a fair amount of roots.


:point_up_2:agree, hungry​:love_you_gesture:

And while they r small and all I’d mix up a batch of lemon juice and baking soda at quarter cup.of each per gallon of water. Mix up 1 gallon let baking soda dissolve good then add lemon juice. Pour in slow will bubble at first. When all mixed up take some for a spray bottle and keep the rest on bucket. Dip the whole solo cup in the bucket without letting the plant move but make sure all perlite roots all are in the mix for a minute or 2 after set in tub spray under the leaves ontop and all stalks good then rinse everything good with water leaves and perlite and all rinsed well then clean all the tent area well with lemon juice mix. Will prolly leave white streaks from baking soda but follow up with a camp rag or towel. I use 91% rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle after spray walls and wipe clean to make sure to get every crease and crack in the tent then put back and follow with a super good feed I’d top feed to get all perlite covered with the correct PhD mix and see where it goes from there. Make sure to rinse all the plants off good after the lemon juice baking soda bath. That will kill all the bugs and or eggs on or in the perlite mix u can’t see. Make sure no leaves r wet before u put back under the lights as that will burn the leaves.

My first question is why did you choose this grow style? There could be many issues using a wicking system, ph, ppm, amount of water transferred. I used a similar method 30 years ago for long vacations, I found a soil like substrate was essential for holding the root structure otherwise they don’t spread very well beyond the wick. :green_heart::pray::v:


@Stonedrus Because it eliminates a perched water table and gives growth rates that are comparable to aerocloners without the hassle of a need for chillers, airstones, or even hydroguard. Because it has been tried, tested, and tuned extensively to the tee, down to the ppm, ph and nutrients used. Because it has given its users and I consistent results for years. Because all i need to do is keep the reservoir at a certain level to ensure a specific moisture level is met. And because the only maintenance I need to do really is check pH once in a while. No pumps on timers and no hand-watering.


pH, ppm, and amount of water that is transferred via capillary action is consistent. Perlite is never too damp nor ever too dry the way the cloner is set up. I am confident in this grow style/cloner as I’ve had consistent results with it for years and the people in the 81-page thread linked above would tell you the same.

So, you are using this method for ease of use and minimal interaction with the garden. I will be interested to see how they turn out. Please keep us updated. :green_heart::pray::v:


@GrowInTheDark , i’ve noticed at least 70 to 80% of them have algae growing on top that are having this problem. What do you have is a depletion of oxygen to the main roots due to the algae stealing the oxygen/nutrition of the plant. Because even though you have a bubbler in your reservoir, the water becomes stagnant in the perlite. This is also why your pH will pull towards the higher side. If untreated it will rise up to about 7.1-7.4.

The best way to get rid of the algae would be to run a cleanser in your water to kill algae spores/clusters from forming.

Algae in any DWC will go from a small patch to outrageous in matters of hours to days. This happened due to the perlite being white and allowing sunlight to reach down to your water source.

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I’ve run this cloner for years and just about every single cup develops algae on the surface. That’s hundreds of cups/plants. I’ve never had any of the issues you describe. Yes, algae in a nutrient reservoir can affect the pH of the nutrient water. But it’s NOT in my reservoir… And the claim that the algae is depleting the oxygen in the rhizospehere when it’s ONLY on the surface of the medium is completely laffable to me, with all due respect. But the fact that you compare my grow style to DWC when I never mentioned it being DWC nor having algae in my water is indicative to me that you’re probably just echoing sentiments you’ve read on the internet.

It’s one thing to phrase your statements with “Maybe this is happening because…” or “I THINK it could be because…”. But to say with certainty that my oxygen is being depleted because the algae on the surface of my medium is depleting it, you are just spewing misinformation at that point. Thanks for chiming in though

Yeah must be just things I’ve read on the internet…. I have no,none whatsoever, experience in this field. Sorry I called it a DWC, what is it? Kratzsky? High pressure circulation? Low pressure circulation? Fogponics? Or what?

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My first ‘DWC’ grow from 2-3 years ago…

I was just reading this post and learning… just literally wanted to comment and say that’s one hell of a grow! Great job man, it looks amazing!

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Thanks man