Living Soil and Water Resevoir Q's

This is my first time growing in coco and I also added in Natures Living Soil. I’m using RO that brings the ppm down to about 40. I need some advice regarding to what I should be adding to my water, if anything. Seedlings are a week old. From what I gather, you shouldn’t have to ph your water with the living soil. Mine comes out of the RO machine at around 9, makes me nervous to use it like that. Should I ph it anyway? Should I still be using Calmag? Once I figured it out I’d like to keep a resevoir but also need to figure out how long the water will still be usable after adding in whatever it may need. Any input would be appreciated

Good question! I have grown in coco but never with that type of amendment. Did you mix per the posted instructions for soil? I feel like the frequency of watering coco requires will strip the majority of nutrients fairly quickly, but I don’t know that for sure. You may want to get a complete nutrient package in mind just in case, then monitor your runoff and see how things go.

I would caution not setting ph though if your mix is mostly coco. Maybe @Budbrother has some insight?

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With that mix I probably wouldn’t ph water till I knew what it does to my soil ph after a couple rounds.

Measuring runoff ppm wouldn’t be necessary because you’ll have very high numbers (4-6k) from the organics and wouldn’t get an accurate reading.

Using calmag is up to you and your grow style. You still need calcium and magnesium, but there are other ways to provide both.

Ok so teas are brewed from 22 hrs to 48 hrs depending on bacterial or fungal dominance. They last about 2 hrs after brew finishes and strained. Adding to a reservoir wouldn’t be advised.

If looking to stay fully organic and not work at it, then buy and organic line of nutes that can run in hydro.


I grow in organic amended coco “living coco”. I water when my pots get light and never to run off unless I need to know numbers. I would ph ur water down to 6.2 t0 6.8 with vinegar. I water only in my mix cuz I have everything my plants need in my medium. If u need cal mag they have organic options. I dont mix food/nutes up and store it unless I have bubble stones keeping it fresh and then just a few days. Hope this helps.

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During the grow if you find they are in need of additional nutrients you can always top dress some of the natures living soil to add to it. I believe that’s what they state on their web site.


I haven’t used Natures Living Soil before @Skydiver. How long does it hold up on Ca and P?

If ph’ing becomes necessary, citric acid crystals or a living vinegar (should say with mother) will work. I’d also use enzymes @Handyandy through the grow

I really can’t put a time on it…I was really stoned at the time…haha
I used it in one of the amazon women’s pots and can’t remember when they needed more as they are huge and old so been feeding nutrients for awhile.
Never had any calcium issues but did add oyster shell powder at some point and gypsum.

@Handyandy using RO water by itself you don’t need to PH at all. More than likely the PH reading of 9 your getting ain’t accurate as the TDS / PPM is about 40 so reading for PH may not be accurate. Take some water and add some epsom salt to it and get your PPM up to 300-500 and check that. This is assuming your PH pen is calibrated first. If you feed them using chemical man made nutrients added to that water then you’ll need to. I think if you don’t Veg too long natures living soil is supposed to go till the end with just water. Also depending on how powerful your lights are can cause additional calcium needs. Just keep the soil critters alive and thriving and they will do that heavy lifting.

Water can be stored indefinitely by itself. Depending on what you add to the water will determine its shelf life before going bad. Most simple mix up things at the time they will use them.

And as @Budbrother said brewing some teas will help and can’t hurt unless the tea brews too long.

With healthy living soils that have enough nutrients a good range of temps and humidity and good watering process they will do fine without much else. Toss is some love and she will help feed your cannabinoid system!

Edit to add…I think epsom salt is a neutral option maybe Budbrother can verify or offer another thing to add to RO water to up the ppm

I don’t use RO water, but adding in a knife tip of natural sea salt or Himalayan would add back in trace minerals. Himalaya Salt can provide you with more than 60 different trace elements.

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Solid info here team, by solid members.

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@Budbrother. Does pink Himalayan salt work the same way???

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You guys are awesome. This is only my third grow and so far every one has been different. This one includes a significantly bigger tent, new light, new medium, new strains, and double the plants. May be in over my head but I know my potential matches my passion for Mary Jane and dont like to waste time, so here we are lol. @Nicky was actually the one to get me interested in coco and I feel like I’m in the right lane so any and all info is appreciated. I just retested my water and my RO machine brings it down from 750 ppm to around 20-40 ppm with a ph reading of 9.8. Thats with a calibrated pen and double checking with the droplet test. Was trying to do away with having to adjust ph level every time, thats why I went with Natures Living Soil. But I’m a little gun shy so I was hoping to find a target level for where my water should be. Im a very busy guy so the more self sustaining my garden could be the bettter


In KNF there are many ways to get your trace minerals. One such example is called, fermented sea water. It’s not the same; but rather, more like taking the concept and adapting it to suit your need. I use a knife tip in my own non-RO water weekly. I wouldn’t suggest anything I haven’t done myself.

That all has to do with your microbial and fungal population. They do the adjusting to suit their needs; which in turn is feeding your plants. In a lesser extent, so do the worms. This is why we keep the rhizosphere moist daily. Most of the activity is found in the top 4-5 cm.

Don’t PH your water until you know how the soil reacts. You can measure the soil 20 times a day and come up with 20 different results. From there, if you’re still having high pH (above 7.2), the use of elemental (natural) sulfur could come into play.

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Thanks @Handyandy but we are all a team here.
If you want organics these are the guys to lead you that way.
I stick to autopots this gives me the ability to only touch my garden once a week… Unless I’m able to do more hen ide rather be in there everyday a little bit.

Man that’s about the highest PH I’ve come across from RO water.
What’s your tap water PH?
Add some epsom salt to RO getting the PPM around 300-500 and check that PH.
Give the epsom salt a bit to dissolve or shake it up. You only need a cup or small mason jar of water and add some epsom to it.

If you do end up needing to lower PH I suggest using simple citric acid available at grocery stores for $6 and will last long long time and won’t harm the soil critters. Will need about 1/2 of a 1/4 Tsp measuring spoon to get a gallon at 9.8 down to around 6.5-7
May need more than that but is a starting point…add sparingly

Am I the only one concerned about the pH of Handyandy’s RO water? My RO/DI is right around 6! pH of RO water is typically between 5.0 and 6.0

IMHO there is no way that RO water should be that caustic!

Right on I’m headed to the store lol. I just went and got a sample of tap and RO. Tap was 9.3 this time and 10.4 out of the RO. I have the General Hydroponics pH test indicator droplets as a fail safe and the solution gets way darker than the highest the color chart goes, which stops at 8.5. Tap this time was 750 ppm and RO brought it to 40ppm again. I have well water and I’m more than certain that the pipes are the main culprit here, they are in need of replacing. And another thing I was curious about, the Natures Living Soil says to mix it with some of the medium and to fill the bottom up to 1/3 of the pot size, then the other 2/3 is straight medium (mother earth/ perlite 70/30). This is where I felt conflicted. I felt like giving them straight water wouldn’t be the best option at first since all the good stuff was at the bottom of the pot. And for the record I’m using 3 gal fabric pots

Ok so I got these cheap strips off of Amazon and decided to try them, I did two strips each. First one is tap, second RO. Seems these read ph of around 6 out of the RO. WTH

Your RO pH SHOULD be around a 6! RO can be 5.0 - 6.0, can be up to 7.0 but definitely not what you were getting yesterday