Sad, not Happy Frog ! Need advice

I started a new grow using happy frog soil growing two feminized photoperiod indica strains. I’m using RO water and now in the beginning 3rd week of Veg. I have not fed the plants other than with phd water to 6.5 and one feeding of recharge during watering and 1 feeding of Fishshit.during watering.

The thing I cannot understand is since I have not fed nutirents like Jacks or fox farms, why would the PH be dropping into the low 5’s?

First few weeks after the seedlings, I had potted in 1 gallon fabric pots. and only watered at 6.5 ph, with fishshit and did not water to runoff as I didn’t want to overwater. In the beginning of week 3 I started watering to runoff and found that the ph of the runoff was 5.0. I was also seeing what I expected was deficiencies which appeared to be calcium def. I realized that I have been watering with RO water but did not add calmag so I thought the deficiency was due to the lack of watering. In synopsis,

  • brown spotted leafs, only on large fan leaves from bottom to top

  • PH of runoff at 5.0-5.2 with water in at 6.5

  • thought leave issue was due to lack of calcium but when seeing 5.0 ph, concerned with PH lockout

  • The problem seems to have affected only 1 of the genetics at this point, not both.

  • Why would I be seeing such a low PH if I’m watering with 6.5 and haven’t fed any nutrients…. Could happy frog be very acidic??

Not sure if I should just water till the ph comes down with a high ph (7.0) or if I need to do a flush already :cry:

Any help for a better understanding is greatly appreciated!


Are you adjusting the pH of the plain RO water?


I usually grow hydroponics but when I do soil I use Happy Frog, I only add ph’d water until going into flower.

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We see a bag of Happy Frog with pH problems a couple of times a year. Try a flush down to a runoff PPM of ~300. It should correct to ~6.5.

Not associated with the pH problem, as microbe products are alkaline and not acidic, but this isn’t helping. Recharge and Fishshit are both microbe products. Choose one, stick with that, and don’t exceed the recommended amount. The use of microbe products can dramatically increase nutrient uptake and cause problems.


Was the run off that low from both/all pots?
What is your tap water PH?

OP is using RO water.

Since I got no answer yet i will say why I asked that question. I caught that in the original post he says he has only fed with pH’d Reverse Osmosis water. RO water is neutral and it wont read accurately on any meter. If it was being adjusted to a pH of 6.5 then pH down was probably being used and that may have lowered the balance in the soil. The lime in Happy Frog will eventually balance out the acidity but not fast enough for the run off to be back to normal.


Good catch. I missed this.

Ions must be present for a pH to exist, and RO water contains no ions; therefore RO has no pH. It will take on the pH of the medium into which it is introduced. The problem with trying to pH RO water is that when you add pH Up or pH Down, you are introducing ions into the water.

Waterings with RO should only be pHed if additives (fertilizers, microbes, silica, and so on) are put in the RO.

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If I check the Ph of my RO water, it is typically quite low (5.2 ph,) so I always have been ph’ing to 6.5 with ph up……

I do typically put a 1/2 dose of Fishshit in with each watering……for the first few weeks when I was watering with RO water and no Calmag, the problems started to show with the brown spots and I then thought , sh$& I should have been using Calmag with my watering so I started the Calmag, and when seeing the runoff numbers was also worried about ph lockout, not Calmag causing the brown spot dying leaves.

I am currently watering only with PH between 6.8-7.0 to possibly increase the PH, and a few days ago I put some fine dolomite lime scratched into the top of the soil with the hope it will bring the PH back up.

I would prefer not to, but if suggested, I could flush with PH water till ppms are low, and ph is back to 6.5

I was ph’ing the RO water with PH up as ph was showing 5.2 ( ph’d after adding the fishshit

It’s not necessary (or even possible) to pH RO. RO water has no pH.

So PH water has no ph, then based on that, my meter will show erroneous results. I.e. 5.2 ph?

I would think if I was increasing the PH with PH up, and I didn’t need to because my RO water was neutral, wouldn’t I have the opposite problem with a high ph?

Correct. Pure RO has no pH and any reading you see is erroneous.

That said, once you introduce pH Up, then you have added ions and the water may then have a pH, but only if you have driven the PPM up to > 100 with pH Up. Both pH and PPM readings with a PPM <100 have no meaning.

Was asking to see if using tap instead of RO would help if the PH out is really that low as tap is usually above 7


You could have old product/damaged packaging/wet during storage. In which case Midwest advised well, flush to low ppm.
I like to add water more slowly and thouroughly

Ultimately the run off after flowing through the pot was way low at 5.2. So was that reading that low for the other pot/s too?
Also check your tap water for both PPM and PH as that’s always a good thing to know as you can bring that into the mix. Either using just dechlorinated tap as main water for awhile or even mixing it 50/50 with RO water. Tap usually has a higher than 7PH and it will have more than enough PPM to accurately read the PH but check the PPM first to verify your tap.

Are all pots run off that low?

Unfortunately, my tap PPM’s were 650 so that the reason I bought a RO system… I agree tap water was about 6.9 ph

All pots running that low

PH of tap is close to 7, but PPMs of tap are high around 650 ppm out of the tap

If I need to flush, should I use 1/2 tap, 1/2 RO ? Most likely PH will be around 300-400

I would also recalibrate your PH meter just to verify things are correct.
Many add CalMag to their RO water to get PPM at 100 or above.
Using straight RO will not raise nor lower the soil PH it will essentially take the PH of the soil whatever that is.

Go to the supplier of the water ie the municipal web site and find the tested content of the water and its calcium content and alkalinity etc.
will also have info on contaminate etc usually not on same page.


Using Well water with higher PPm, so thus the reason I moved to RO

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