What about Pool Spa/Water Ph products in a pinch? Use

Hi Forum Friends.

I started all my seeds on 4/6. 2 of each and I have the Juicy MixPack. My soil wasn’t the best, but after purchasing the 5x5x6.5’ tent, VS 4000 Light, the big fan, 2 smaller fans, nutrients, testers, gauges, and bags I really was too low on funds to get great soil. So I went cheap. It was awful soil and hardened up quickly and my Ph has been high from the start.

I was hoping when I repotted that it would straighten out as I did go for better Soil and also mixed in the Perlite into each bag, about 20/80 Perlite to Soil. I used 1 gallon of nutrients across 6-3gal bags of Soil and mixed it all in. The soil was between 4-5 on my meter in wetness when that was done. I repotted on 4/20, as the roots in all 6 small, 5"pots were showing at the sides and bottom. Beautiful white roots, so that part is great. But almost 48hrs later my Ph is still way too high. Nearly to the 8 on the meter and exactly where it’s been every single time I’ve tested Soil or Water from jump. I’m using Purified bottled water and Bases A and B Nutrients.

So… My question is this: Since the Ph is still way high, can I, just once, use the Ph UP SPA chems to aid them until I have some available cash for a regular Ph Balancer the 1st part of May? Or possibly you guys can suggest some way to bring that down naturally? Or a cheaper brand than $70 a bottle? I tried Lemon Peels like the Grow Bible said, but didn’t know much to use and there has been no change.

While I have you all here, I’m also curious because the inside of my tent is too hot, 84.6° right now with a humidity if 31%. Can I open the flaps for better and a more natural air flow during the hours my lights are on.

Mayaswell throw in a Part 3… Seems I also have either a Nitrogen or a Potassium Deficientcy as they look just like either the examples givin in the Grow Bible. What can I do about that?

Thanks, and sorry for asking so much. I just been trying to do this on my own, but my questions are becoming too many and now that they are in their permanent home pots I need to be on my toes and fixing this stuff, but online the information is hard to find without asking these specific questions to other human beings.

Thanks do much! - Karen

You can use Baking Soda as PH up which is safe for consumption: I would not use any product that isn’t food safe.

You are showing a nutrient excess currently.

What meter are you using to measure PH and when did you calibrate it last?


Well, I have these 3, none of which came with directions, so the one circled, having the ability to go down into either Soil or the jug of water as well as having the Ph, wetness and light gauges(although I’m not quite sure what that one is), is the one I’ve been using. Also, my bad on the Ph up Spa, I meant Ph down

Thanks for your time- Karen

Hi Karen,

You can use citric acid to lower the pH of your feed water. Just a pinch would drop a gallon of water to the normal range for soil (that is four our city water which runs around 7.5). A jar is about $4 in the baking section of your grocery store.

The meter you circled, I found through experience, is not reliable for pH. I only use it for measuring moisture.

To measure the pH of the soil you will need to make a slurry of your soil with distilled water. If you Google “ ph soil slurry” you should find directions.

I have used those pH pens before and they seem to drift a lot and don’t hold a calibration. I invested in an Apera 20. It is 2 years old and doing great.

Hope this information helps. Good grows to you!


Awesome. Thanks. What about the other 2 meters there? Any idea how to use them? I will look into your meter for my next grow. I gotta get something out of this one to be able to upgrade some things that probably aren’t the best. I’ve read about a Slurry somewhere else so will definitely try that again this evening when my lights come back on. They go off at 430, and dark til 1230. Did you see my last 2 questions? Lol! Push. Nudge. What about that stuff.

Thanks for responding- Karen

I see the cal button. You would need a pH 7 calibration standard. Sometimes these brands require some special powder that is actually some weird pH like 7.03 (that way you are stuck buying powder as needed).

Does the yellow pen have a manufacturer name or model number? Google that. A lot of companies have directions available for download.

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Ok. Cool. Thanks. Yes, everything but my seeds are ViVoSun. The one thing has some stuff in it to use to calibrate but idek how to use it because it’s not like you can stick it into anything with the plastic around it. The other is the same way. I been in touch with some guy at Vivosun and they are useless. You’d think when you spend over a grand with a company that they’d have better CS. Smh. It is what it is. I will Google it. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I forget all about Googling for simple things like manuals. Ooops! Thanks again- Karen

There is no need to calibrate the EC/TDS pen.

The probe meters are worthless unfortunately.

The PH meter requires calibration and storage solution as the glass bulb on the probe tip needs to remain hydrated with the correct PH: usually 4.01 solution. You can buy pre made calibration solution which is what I do. I’ve used those and had trouble with them and would suggest investing in a good meter like the Apera. I have worn out two of those and finally made the switch to a Bluelab combo meter: not cheap but very reliable.

So; first thing I’d do is verify what your current PH is before doing anything.


Yep, second that. Especially on seedlings. If the ph is high the nutrients are locked chemically. Not missing or lacking. The correct ph “dissolves” them so plants can feed. If you put nutrients on seedlings that don’t need them it could be fatal. It’s like freeway driving without a speedometer and your eyes closed. Must know your ph.

If the pens are not your bag (calibration, storing in solution) then try a liquid ph tester. If the probes are treated correctly they are not giving you good data. This one is the best in my opinion. I use it in my work and is way more accurate than most other brands. It’s cheap too. But you would still need to do a slurry test, or test the run off after watering. Also a baseline test on your water ahead of time.

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Ok. I am making notes and tonight I will calibrate the one and see what I have. Thanks again. - Karen

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Which one is the best and cheap too? Thanks to you too fir responding to me. - Karen

Weird it did not post. I will try again, sorry.

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Ok. So I was all ready to do the Slurry Test and realized everything says Distilled Water. Can I use Purified for the tests? Or the filtered water from my refridgerator? I guess I already know the answer, smh. So then, I ask, if I already pulled the soil samples from the bags, will that soil still be good enough to use for the tests tomorrow when I would have distilled water? If I seal each up tightly with plastic wrap? Thanks and sorry to keep going on and on. - Karen

Ok y’all who were helping me. I have finally completed the Soil Slurry Tests. I have 6 Plants so I did 12 cups of dirt between 5-11gms each. I did 12 because I pulled from each both before and after I watered.

On my Super Lemon Haze, the lowest pH was 6.64 and the highest 6.72. The pre feeding numbers were about .10 higher than the post feed. I used Smart Water and it was @6.84 by itself.

On my Orange Bud, the lowest was 6.63. The highest 6.99. This time the pre feeds were about .25 higher than the post feed. Idk if this type of info is pertinent or not, but seems like it would matter. For these I used FiJi Water @7.40 by itself.

Finally, on my Agent Orange, the lowest was 5.96. The highest, 6.27. These numbers didn’t follow the others with regard to pre and post feeding. I also used the FiJi Water here. Again at 7.40 by itself.

So, if I did everything right, and I THINK I did, my pH Levels are spot on near perfect. So what’s wrong with my plants??? Here are todays photos. I did not water because the meter is just passed halfway on all. But it looks dry. Guess it’s not though.


Glad you were able to straighten out the pH problem with a calibrated meter.

What kind of soil did you use?

Have you picked a nutrient line?

Best to you!

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Hi JaneQP, originally I went cheap and thought all was the same. Unfortunately it isn’t and it got really hard really fast. When I bought it I checked to see how it did when balled and released and it was fine, but once exposed it was awful. The plants grew though, enough for the roots to expose at the sides and bottom of their little pots. When I repotted, I used a brand that is apparently pretty popular at Walmart and the guy there that it was good. It was still cheap, but not THAT cheap. I also added Perlite at about a 10/3 mix. It’s been about a week now since I repotted and thanks to you guys we know my pH levels are good. When we decided to do this I purchased everything I thought I’d need from ViVoSun, including their Bases A and B and those are the Nutrients I’ve been using. Today they isn’t any change from the last photos I added to this thread. Do definitely something amiss, I just have no clue what is wrong and how to fix it. - Karen

Looks like a slight nutrient excess. If in soil you do not want to be adding supplements until salt levels have gone down in your medium. Usually 6 to 8 weeks.

Hey Sir. Salt level=pH level? So I should only use plain water for a bit? Like Purified, Distilled, or Tap? Heck, before this idek there were so many types if water lol! -Karen

Salt level = TDS measurement of you runoff.

I grow organic now to never measure pH or TDS.