New grower needing help identifying problem

Hello all and thank you in advance.
I started my first grow November 28th from seed purchased from a company in Amsterdam.
White widow extreme, Pineapple Express and Waikiki.
Clay 5 gallon pots 12” size with saucers.
Seed sprouted about 11-29-18 and was directly planted into 5 gallon pot.
Soil is my mix (I’ve learned a lot since then) with coco coir, perlite, worm casting and miracle grow potting mix. I layered the bottom with about an inch of just coco coir and than put a thin layer of worm compost and the remaining was mixed up to fill the container. I now know better about soil mixing. I am wanting to keep my grows as organic as possible.
I have struggled with the soil ph since the beginning of the grow and found out later after checking my components used in the soil that nothing was below ph7 and some at ph7.5 or so.
I water when the top couple inches become dry and also check with probe meter (3 function $10 meter) which isn’t very easy to distinguish the reading on the scale for ph anyway. Soil PH reading has been over 7.0 closer to 7.5. After watering usually with compost tea mix from boogie brew the ph lowers into the soil PH and it varies by depth of probe in soil between 6.0 to 6.8. 1 day ago I used Alaskan fish fert (5-1-1) diluted into water 1 TBS per 2 liters (double that on pineapple as I thought it was N deficient) and runoff was between 5.3 (pineapple) with EC 5700 and other 2 strains We’re 5.4 EC 3600 ( white widow) and 5.8 ph and EC 3600 (Waikiki). The pineapple has had issues since early on but was fastest growing and I also noticed dark spots on several leaves in middle of plant yesterday (see pics)
Also some same spots now on other 2 as well.
This is a tent grow with temps ranging between 78 to 70 degrees and RH between 40 and 55. My tap water is ran through charcoal filter to remove chlorine but is essentially same as tap other than removing chlorine. My city doesn’t use Chloramine. Tap Ph 7.8 to 8.0 and I use citric acid powder to lower to 6.0 before watering straight water but do not adjust PH if using compost tea as I have read not to adjust that the tea will do its thing for PH.
I also use a test kit with the capsules and test tubes to test soil PH,N,P,K and as pineapple has been the problem child I have only tested that one and reading Monday 1-14-19 before fish fert application was PH 7.2 N very low, P low and K medium levels based on color chart that came with test kit.
BTW I followed the 2 liter fish/water mix with another 2 liters plain PH 6.0 until runoff so I could test the PH/EC after feeding which the numbers are shown earlier in my post. Today 1-15-19 soil Ph on pineapple is about 7.1 other 2 about 6.5 (depending on probe depth)
White widow 17” , pineapple is 16” and Waikiki is 15” tall.
Current lighting is LED 2 Hypargero HG800 fixtures using both veg and bloom switches (4 COB and 16 3W leds) for about 2 weeks now at about 20-22 incehes above plant tops on 18/6 cycle still in veg mode. before was using T5 HO since beginning of grow. CO2 ranges between 700 and 900 ppm (basement grow) no CO2 tank or burner just a couple home made mushroom bags and my visits in tent to bump up ppm. :grinning:
4 inch in line fan / carbon filter at top with passive intake at opposite side of bottom of tent creates slight negative pressure. Run a humidifier and heater. About 2 weeks ago I flushed the pineapple with 12 liters of 6.0 plain water because of the leaves showing yellowing (see pics) on edges and intowards leaf veins thinking it was high PH problem with soil and nuts uptake.
If there is any additional info that might help identify my issue/s please let me know.
image image image image image image image image

First pic from bottom is white widow then pineapple and then Waikiki and following pics are the same order but closer single plants. Also there are several leaves that started showing small holes in several leaves (my finger in pic shows one)

Thanks again in advance to any help you may offer.


Let me rally the troops for ya. @raustin @garrigan62 @peachfuzz that should about do it. Good luck! Hell the more stoners the merrier. @Covertgrower @Countryboyjvd1971 @dbrn32 @boardsbird. Now I’m done lol.


We started about the same time, check my post. Basement as well, 8 plants; 2 Bruce Banner appear to be struggling with some deficiency I have. I’m ordering CO2 bag :briefcase:. I also have not pruned my plants yet. All LST. Under regular lighting plants look okay but the blurples point out issues. A flush was good. Looking good. Don’t overshoot the repair expecting a rapid recovery. You’re fine. I’m going into flower next week to make mine a 420 harvest. Green thumb up!:+1:t2:

1 Like

The holes in leaves are usually from bugs, and then can throw your whole grow out of whack. Look over your plants closely, especially under leaves. The discoloration of leaves can be from that, but is likely ph related.

You can get away from traditional ph adjusters growing organic, but you have to be pretty well planned to do so. I don’t think your soil mixture is there. You may have to look at transplanting or doing a little more with your ph. Most importantly, grabbing a digital ph tester would help a bunch.


Thanks for the replies
I do have a digital PH meter for testing the liquids but for soil testing I use the test kit with the capsules. I have been on the lookout for any bugs and have seen what could be either fruit flies (have a worm compost bin next to the tent passive intake for future worm compost and they breath out CO2!) or could be the pest flies that eat weed. Not sure yet but ordered the yellow sticky cards to help find out which they are. Seem smaller than fruit flies but have only seen a few and I spend quite a bit of time in the tent as I am healing from UC and am mostly house bound and growing will provide me medicine and a great hobby and possibly a future income to boot! Have had fresh and salt water tanks over the past 45+ years and am familiar with testing water etc.
Yea my first attempt making soil pretty much sucked…lol have read and learned much since then! Sphagnum peat moss etc for lower soil PH. Also have on hand Kind Soil for 5 future pots etc…will get through my initial grow and build from there

If you have the digital meter when you water or feed collect runoff and test that. Compare what you put in to what comes out and you can get an idea of which way your root zone is trending.

Your compost probably isn’t putting off enough co2 to justify bugs, if that’s the case. The larvae will keep hatching and they’ll be nearly impossible to get rid of. You can find a few products to layer on top of your pots to help keep them from hatching there too.

I have used food grade diotomaceous earth as a top coat a few weeks back (had it from a previous flea infestation a couple years ago from my dog or dam mice in winter) but when watering it defeats the effectiveness of killing the bugs. I also have Neem Cake and Neem oilI can use but haven’t made that move as of yet. I’m pretty sure most of my issues with the leaves are either soil PH or nutrient lock or deficiency of major or minor nutes…no markings at bottom of leaves when spots appear just on top…although I guess the larvae from them can be messing with the roots? IDK? Could be bugs?
Yes I do use the PH and TDS meters to check source and run off water as numbers shown in my original post. Thinking the EC readings from pineapple are way to high from yesterday

1 Like

I didn’t see any runoff ph data posted. Just that the ph numbers you posted varied on probe depth.

Let’s back up…

You’re running ppm through the roof trying to treat a suspected deficiency and it’s not going away. That should be a giant red flag that something else is the issue. This is almost always ph, but could be toxic levels of nutrient buildup as well. And you just happen to have bugs too. Both need to be addressed.

For the bugs, first step is figuring out exactly what you’re dealing with and handling them accordingly. If you indeed have Keats there are several successful treatments for them. You just need to address the bugs and the larvae. If there’s other bugs, may require different treatment.

I didn’t see any clear indication of what your runoff ph was at first. Knowing that will help. But you should probably run a flush to get your nutrient levels more manageable anyways. So you can correct any ph issues at same time.


I was going to say the same thing @dbrn32
Ph of run off needs to be 6.3-6.8 anything higher or lower can cause issues @Skydiver
I suspect your soil ph is out of range
A digital meter is best way to measure ph
You mention having capsuls that check ph ?

1 Like

I know what’s going on here but that pic with your finger can you just post that by it’s self .I hope that isn’t what I think it is.
I’ll be waiting. other wise i’m going to do another post on what’s gong on with your other plants

1 Like


Here are a couple of pic’s that tell me it’s a " MAGNESIUM PROBLEM "


Magnesium (Mg) - Micronutrient and Mobile Element

Magnesium helps supports healthy veins while keeping a healthy
leaf production and its
structure. Magnesium is significant for chlorophyll-production
and enzyme break downs.
Magnesium which must be present in relatively large quantities
for the plant to survive,
but yet not to much to where it will cause the plant to show a toxicity.

Magnesium is one of the easiest deficiencies to tell… the green veins
along with the
yellowness of the entire surrounding leave is a dead giveaway, but
sometimes that’s not
always the case here. In case you have one of those where it doesn’t
show the green veins,
sometimes leaf tips and edges may discolor and curl upward. The growing
tips can turn lime
green when the deficiency progresses to the top of the plant. The edges
will feel like dry
and crispy and usually affects the lower leaves in younger plants, then
will affect the
middle to upper half when it gets older, but It can also happen on older
leaves as well.
The deficiency will start at the tip then will take over the entire outer
left and right
sides of the leaves. The inner part will be yellow and or brownish in color,
followed by
leaves falling without withering. The tips can also twist and turn as well
as curving
upwards as if you curl your tongues.

Excessive levels of magnesium in your plants will exhibit a buildup of toxic
salts that
will kill the leaves and lock out other nutrients like Calcium (Ca). Mg can
get locked
out by having too much Calcium, Chlorine or ammonium in your soil/water.
One of the worst problems a person can have is a magnesium def caused by
a ph lockout.
By giving it more magnesium to cure the problem when you are thinking you
are doing good,
but actually you are doing more harm then good. When the plants can’t
take in a nutrient
because of the ph being off for that element, the plant will not absorb
it but it will be
in the soil… therefore causing a buildup. A buildup will be noticed by
the outer parts of
the plant becoming whitish and or a yellowish color. The tips and part
way in on the inner
leaves will die and feel like glass. Parts affected by Magnesium deficiency
are: space
between the veins (Interveinal) of older leaves; may begin around interior perimeter of leaf.

Problems with Magnesium being locked out by PH troubles

Light Acid Soils, soils with excessive potassium, calcium and or phosphorus


Magnesium gets locked out of soil growing at ph levels of 2.0-6.4
Magnesium is absorbed best in soil at a ph level of 6.5-9.1 . (Wouldn’t
recommend having a
ph of over 7.0 in soil) anything out of the ranges listed will contribute
to a Magnesium

Hydro and Soil less Mediums

Magnesium gets locked out of Hydro and Soil less Mediums at ph levels
of 2.0-5.7
Magnesium is absorbed best in Hydro and Soil less Mediums at ph levels
of 5.8-9.1
(Wouldn’t recommend having a ph over 6.5 in hydro and soil less mediums.)
Best range for
hydro and soil less mediums is 5.0 to 6.0. Anything out of the ranges
listed will contribute
to a Magnesium deficiency.

Solution to fixing a Magnesium deficiency
Any Chemical/Organic nutrients that have Magnesium in them will fix a
Magnesium deficiency.
(Only mixing at ½ strength when using chemical nutrients or it will c
ause nutrient burn!)
Other nutrients that have magnesium in them are: Epsom salts, which is
fast absorption.
Dolomite lime and or garden lime (same thing just called different)
which is slow absorption.
Sulfate of Potash, Magnesia which is medium absorption. Worm Castings,
which is slow absorption.
Crabshell which is slow absorption. Earth Juice Mircoblast, which is
fast acting. (a must buy!!
Has lots of 2ndary nutrients).
Now if you added to much chemical nutrients and or organics,( which is
hard to burn your plants
when using organics) You need to Flush the soil with plain water.
You need to use 2 times as
much water as the size of the pot, for example: If you have a 5 gallon
pot and need to flush
it, you need to use 10 gallons of water to rinse out the soil good enough
to get rid of excessive


These were my numbers (quoted above) yesterday from the runoff water in saucer…
I used a digital liquid ph meter and TDS meter to measure the runoff water.

The capsule tester I also used before using the Alaskan fish fertilizer to see where my soil PH and NPK was before applying additional feed uses soil sample from 4-5 inches down and mixing that soil with distilled water and then taking water from the slurry after it settles and placing in test tubes and adding appropriate capsule (3 different colored capsules) to test tubes (3 test tubes) for NPK amounts based on color of reaction and comparing with color chart showed my nitrogen level to be very low. The chart ranges from very low, low, medium and high for each. My N showed very low.
Test kit was purchased from Lowe’s for about $12.

Some of my other readings of soil PH was using the 2 probe 3 way meter which is difficult to accurately read the needle on the scale.
Hope this clarifies things.

1 Like

Yes it does and good morning my friend.

Your P H needs to be at 6.5 if in soil. Try p h ing your water at 7.0 going in and then test your p h at the run off until you get 6.5 or very close to it…
But the Epson Salt will being your plant back to normal as a mater of fact add Epson salt to your p h water of 7 it to will help break down the salts that have built up and the plant up take the nutrients it needs.This way your killing two birds with one stone.

Yes that’s what I had on several leaves on pineapple in various locations starting about 2 weeks ago and treated using epsom salt foliar spray onto top and bottom of leaves as well as top dressing some into soil before watering them. Your picture shows exactly what those leaves looked like.
My soil PH in pineapple has been over 7 since the beginning and still remains there while the other 2 have come down below 7
Sounds like I need to again flush the pineapple with PH adjusted water using 10 gallons. Should this be water with nutes or just water?


1 Like

Ok the soil is 7 I thought it was lower but any way then just reverse what I told you. ok ?

The soil ph in pineapple is over 7 and under 7.5. The runoff ph was showing 5.3 using the digital ph pen. This was after watering Monday using the fish fert solution which by the way measured 4.3 ph before applying it. I used PH adjusted water of 6.0 when mixing it using 2 TBS with 2 quarts water and then using another 2 quarts of just 6.0 water to get my runoff to test.

So would I still flush with the added epsom salt and if so how much epsom salt per gallon/liter of water and should I also PH adjust the water and to what PH?

Thank you and good morning

1 Like

OK, no more fish ok that’s part of your problem. Your still adding to the problem using it.
Use one table spoon of EPSON SALE to a gal of water, then p h your water to 7.0 it may take a few times but wait a while in between flushing this will help in the Epson salt to do it’s work in other words it give the Epson salt time to break down the salts that keep your plant from taking up nutrients it needs


I am curious as to what you think is going on in the pic with the finger. Do you think it’s an ingrown nail??? Lol, jk. but are you thinking a pest besides the mag. issue?

1 Like

No not the finger … lmao

The leaf, I know I left myself wide open didn’t I …lmao
any way I thought I saw a leaf Miners on that dark green leaf. See where your finger is about 7:00 am or pm lol See that mark there ? is that something just on the leaf or does it feel weird ?




You can always count on the G-Man to come through with the KNOWLEDGE! Haha

1 Like