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nutrients Phosphorus Deficiency or Nute Burn?

Hello new member here. (Pics are of 2 keepers both in same media and fed the same)

Growing Carolina reapers indoors under LED.

Feeding and info

Botanicare Pure Blend Pro lineup

Nutes per Gallon of RO water
pure blend pro grow 3-2-4 (4ml)
Pure blend tea 0.5-0.5-1 (1ml)
Silica Blast (1ml)
CalMag+ 2-0-0 (1.5 ml)
Liquid Karma 0.1-0.1-0.5 (1ml)

PH - 5.8-6.1. (Early on was at 5.8 but last couple watering been at 6.0-6.1

ppm - ~ 400

Feeding every watering in coco and perlite.

Plants otherwise look healthy but my most mature seedling developed brown margins at the tips and leaf is starting to point tip down. Leaves are turgid so thats good.

Im on the fence between phosphorus deficit or slightly over fert. I have not been measuring the temperature of my water but its an ambient room temp around 73-76f.


Other parameters:

Ambient air temps between 76-81f lights on and 70-72f lights off

PAR: ~ 420 ppfd at tops
Light distance 24 at 150watts from wall
Relative humidity 45-60%. Mostly at 50% ish

Thats about all I can think of.


At this point I backed off the nutes a little to 250ppm but same ratios of additives. This is my first time growing in coco coir / perlite so its a learning experience for me.

Uploading a video to yt. Will edit once I get it
 

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The number one rule: forget everything that MJ growers tell you. You will literally NEVER have a phosphorus deficiency with any commercial fertilizer (if it has any in it already).  It's easily the most over-applied nutrient. (it's also the one that the plant needs the least of)  You don't have a phosphorus deficiency.
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I can understand your zeal for a great grow, but that's a really complicated feeding regimen.  More of a hydro shop owner's premium sales package.  You really only need a balanced nutrient.  And if you continue to feed at every watering, you are soon going to have issues related to overfeeding.  Even in straight coco, you'd want to give the plant a break, once in awhile.
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I have a very distinct preference towards always keeping the EC low.  That is, always feeding on the low end of the dosage.  I do not believe in "flushing" plants.  If you need to flush a pepper plant, you are feeding it very incorrectly. (special caveat, if you do your entire grow in small containers)
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Brown margins and tip down is almost certainly symptomatic of overfeeding.  You gotta chill on the feeds, and maybe think about keeping it simple.  These plants grow so easily, there's almost no need to do rocket science grows.  If you can keep your environment controlled, you'll do way more with that, than with your feeding.  I don't see anything out of whack with that, so if you can just do a good flush, and then neglect for a few weeks, I think you'll be surprised by how they bounce.
 
Thank you! I suspected over feeding. I agree with you on the MJ growers however I gotta admit there is a plethora more of scientific information coming from that community of people. R the hat being said...glad I found this site!

Me backs off nutes a bit until plants are more mature.

There are no other amendments in the media though. Its basically like a hydro setup without drip, so hopefully they dont start suffering.

:)

solid7 said:
The number one rule: forget everything that MJ growers tell you. You will literally NEVER have a phosphorus deficiency with any commercial fertilizer (if it has any in it already).  It's easily the most over-applied nutrient. (it's also the one that the plant needs the least of)  You don't have a phosphorus deficiency.
.
I can understand your zeal for a great grow, but that's a really complicated feeding regimen.  More of a hydro shop owner's premium sales package.  You really only need a balanced nutrient.  And if you continue to feed at every watering, you are soon going to have issues related to overfeeding.  Even in straight coco, you'd want to give the plant a break, once in awhile.
.
I have a very distinct preference towards always keeping the EC low.  That is, always feeding on the low end of the dosage.  I do not believe in "flushing" plants.  If you need to flush a pepper plant, you are feeding it very incorrectly. (special caveat, if you do your entire grow in small containers)
.
Brown margins and tip down is almost certainly symptomatic of overfeeding.  You gotta chill on the feeds, and maybe think about keeping it simple.  These plants grow so easily, there's almost no need to do rocket science grows.  If you can keep your environment controlled, you'll do way more with that, than with your feeding.  I don't see anything out of whack with that, so if you can just do a good flush, and then neglect for a few weeks, I think you'll be surprised by how they bounce.
 
GetLost said:
Thank you! I suspected over feeding. I agree with you on the MJ growers however I gotta admit there is a plethora more of scientific information coming from that community of people. R the hat being said...glad I found this site!

Me backs off nutes a bit until plants are more mature.

There are no other amendments in the media though. Its basically like a hydro setup without drip, so hopefully they dont start suffering.

:)
 
 
You'll be OK.  
.
MJ growers you gotta be careful with.  Some of it is deep science, some of it is pseudo science, and some of it is just bullshit.  There is a ton more money involved with every aspect of that industry, so people will throw "science" around quite a bit.  Unless you are an academic researcher, most of the claims will be impossible to verify.  (they say that any good lie is mostly true - you just don't know who paid for it)
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I have grown many many peppers in coco with nothing but CNS17 Grow.  It's built on calcium, so it gives the coco what it needs to pre-charge, and also keeps the plants happy.   I'm very cautious about using multiple products, because you only have so much EC to spare, and you have to be careful about how it gets allotted.  Plants won't just grab "this or that" because it's there.  They have specific requirements that are hard coded into their biology.  On the flip side, you have X ppm of Total Dissolved Solids that you can put into the plant's habitat, and within that, you must also be careful not to create antagonistic relationships with out of whack molecular proportions.  Peppers don't "veg" and "bloom" - they do both, simultaneously, at all stages during their mature life, barring some change in conditions.  For this reason, it's often recommended to just use a single balanced nutrient.
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Back off all feedings for at least 2 weeks, and see how your plant changes.  After that time, start feeding again slowly, using the minimum recommended dose, and adjust gradually as the plant grows.  Try giving your plant a break every 4th feeding.  Maybe more if it's really happy.
 
Ok. Appreciate the insight!

The recommended feeding was 15 ml per gallon so thats why I was using 4ml per gal on the immature plants.

Should I continue the calmag at least since its coco?

solid7 said:
 
You'll be OK.  
.
MJ growers you gotta be careful with.  Some of it is deep science, some of it is pseudo science, and some of it is just bullshit.  There is a ton more money involved with every aspect of that industry, so people will throw "science" around quite a bit.  Unless you are an academic researcher, most of the claims will be impossible to verify.  (they say that any good lie is mostly true - you just don't know who paid for it)
.
I have grown many many peppers in coco with nothing but CNS17 Grow.  It's built on calcium, so it gives the coco what it needs to pre-charge, and also keeps the plants happy.   I'm very cautious about using multiple products, because you only have so much EC to spare, and you have to be careful about how it gets allotted.  Plants won't just grab "this or that" because it's there.  They have specific requirements that are hard coded into their biology.  On the flip side, you have X ppm of Total Dissolved Solids that you can put into the plant's habitat, and within that, you must also be careful not to create antagonistic relationships with out of whack molecular proportions.  Peppers don't "veg" and "bloom" - they do both, simultaneously, at all stages during their mature life, barring some change in conditions.  For this reason, it's often recommended to just use a single balanced nutrient.
.
Back off all feedings for at least 2 weeks, and see how your plant changes.  After that time, start feeding again slowly, using the minimum recommended dose, and adjust gradually as the plant grows.  Try giving your plant a break every 4th feeding.  Maybe more if it's really happy.
 
GetLost said:
Ok. Appreciate the insight!

The recommended feeding was 15 ml per gallon so thats why I was using 4ml per gal on the immature plants.

Should I continue the calmag at least since its coco?
 
 
I like to heavily pre-charge my coco before planting, and then back off, unless it's needed.  Does your main nutrient have any calcium?  If so, is the guaranteed analysis at least 4% calcium?
.
Again, I like using coco specific formulations, but you have what you've already purchased.  I'd do everything to try to talk you into finishing that off, and then downsizing your inventory. (in favor of a more singular product)
.
You will definitely need to watch the coco for that, because when Calcium isn't present in sufficient quantities, the media will lock up potassium and several trace elements. (resulting in multiple nutrient deficiencies)  Similar effect when you have too much, so be careful with application.
 
Main Nute has 1% ca and 0.5% magnesium

Ok. Sounds good. I will at least keep calmag in the watering. I did not pre buffer my media. Im just following the Botanicare recommended in coco media only at much lower concentration than the label suggests. Thats why I leaned towards deficiencies rather than burn but my ppm was 400 on last 2 watering so even at lower concentration the tds was still up there for seedlings. I ordered an EC meter so I will check my solutions EC too and update once it arrives.

I thought I was being very light on nutes already so Im glad I didnt just dump 15mls into a gallon or is have probably fried them lol

solid7 said:
I like to heavily pre-charge my coco before planting, and then back off, unless it's needed.  Does your main nutrient have any calcium?  If so, is the guaranteed analysis at least 4% calcium?
.
Again, I like using coco specific formulations, but you have what you've already purchased.  I'd do everything to try to talk you into finishing that off, and then downsizing your inventory. (in favor of a more singular product)
.
You will definitely need to watch the coco for that, because when Calcium isn't present in sufficient quantities, the media will lock up potassium and several trace elements. (resulting in multiple nutrient deficiencies)  Similar effect when you have too much, so be careful with application.
 
GetLost said:
Main Nute has 1% ca and 0.5% magnesium

Ok. Sounds good. I will at least keep calmag in the watering. I did not pre buffer my media. Im just following the Botanicare recommended in coco media only at much lower concentration than the label suggests. Thats why I leaned towards deficiencies rather than burn but my ppm was 400 on last 2 watering so even at lower concentration the tds was still up there for seedlings. I ordered an EC meter so I will check my solutions EC too and update once it arrives.

I thought I was being very light on nutes already so Im glad I didnt just dump 15mls into a gallon or is have probably fried them lol
 
 
The problem in this case, is much more likely to be accumulation.  I'm trusting you here, because I don't really see the brown margins and tips, but if that's what you're seeing, you want to course correct right now, before it becomes a problem.  That's your classic overfeed symptom.  Next thing, it spreads, and large portions of the leaf become necrotic. 
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Also, the guidelines in your instructions, are just that.  They are also, more often than not, geared towards one specific crop.  Especially if you're dealing with Botanicare.  I can't say it enough...  ALWAYS aim for the low end of the range - and even more so, when you are dealing with a new system.  You will learn over time what works.  And when you want to try to see what works better than other methods, you'll have to do side-by-side testing.  Like I said before, conditions are way more important to the plant's growth, than the actual nutrients (never believe the marketing hype).  As long as they nutrients are present, they're good.  But it's the environment that dictates what nutrients get used, how, and when.  Things like pH, temp, humidity, etc, have way more impact on your plant growth, than the Ns, Ps, and Ks...
 
Maybe this pic will show it better.

Its the bottom most nature set of leaves exhibiting the burn.

Rest of the plants leaves are relatively light green but healthy. Tomorrow lights on I will get a photo on natural light for a better idea.
 

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After doing a ton more research I will just monitor plant growth.

Lots of growers say treat coco like hydro as its a soulless media and doesnt build up salts like soil. It is recommended to feed every watering. Feed daily and water daily with drain to waste.

Lights on today they looked great! So beautiful and greener so while yes I think I did slight Nute burn on only one plant, the rest of the same plant and the other plant look great and the new growth is healthy so I will back off the extra amendments and just stick with the grow and calmag daily watering and feeding at 300-400ppm. Ph5.8

In fact I just cut off the burned portion of the leaf, and this is the pic under 10x magnification. Just ever so slight Nute burn. I honestly think that sudden increase in concentration probably did it so I will increase in smaller increments as I progress.

I backed down to 250ppm ph 5.8 yesterday and today I hit me with 300ppm ph 5.8. Whatever it was I feel is not critical as the other plant being fed the same thing didnt show any burn.

Im proceeding with daily watering as well as I think watering every other day when media gets dry is not for coco as I measured the TDS of the run off and it was nearly the same as the feeding. Meaning theres not buildup in the media.

I will update progress. Hope Im not making a mistake here lol since Ive never done coco or hydro for that matter.

Once the plants mature I will gradually add in the other amendments and find out what they like and dont like. Theyll let me know Im sure.
 

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GetLost said:
Lots of growers say treat coco like hydro as its a soulless media and doesnt build up salts like soil. It is recommended to feed every watering. Feed daily and water daily with drain to waste.
 
Lots of people say lots of things.  You're in a pepper forum now, though. ;)
 
EC is 0.78 at 360ppm so I suspect it is deficiencies from under feeding. Or is .78 EC high for immature plants?

Im going to slowly increase nutrients to 1.0 over the next week
 
You may want to dial back your phosphorus, and up your nitrogen.  If you're using so much phosphorus, you're denying other required nutrients their place, and using all of your TDS on stuff that won't get used, anyway.
 
Did you do a slurry test also on the coco media?  That's where you want to be doing the EC testing, when you have nutrient doubts.
 
I have not but I will do that.

The reason Im leaning towards under feeding is because if I was over feeding my leaves would be darker green. They are pretty light green compared to photos Ive seen of others . Here they are in natural daylight.




solid7 said:
You may want to dial back your phosphorus, and up your nitrogen.  If you're using so much phosphorus, you're denying other required nutrients their place, and using all of your TDS on stuff that won't get used, anyway.
 
Did you do a slurry test also on the coco media?  That's where you want to be doing the EC testing, when you have nutrient doubts.
 

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GetLost said:
I have not but I will do that.

The reason Im leaning towards under feeding is because if I was over feeding my leaves would be darker green. They are pretty light green compared to photos Ive seen of others . Here they are in natural daylight.
 
That is not necessarily true, at all.  It assigns a logical equivalency to the notion that more of something is better, until the point that it isn't.  Piping more food into a plant won't just instantly make it better.  Conditions are a bigger player in the equation than NPK, so long as you have enough present to support basic plant needs. Even the minimum recommendations for hydro is more than sufficient for basic plant needs.  
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I've had overfed plants that were exactly the same color as yours, but went to utter shit. 
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If they were underfed, there would not be a single symptom present.  One deficiency leads to systemic multi-failures.
 
And don't believe the tripe about salts not building up in coco.  I've seen it on multiple occasions here in this very forum.  It's much easier to deal with the mind trick that more food = better plants, than it is to correct the actual problem.
 
I’m sure it can build up when treated as soil but watering with 20% run off drain to waste and having very similar tds and EC readings as the nutrient solution that was watered with should be an indication that there’s nothing in the soil.

To test this one could easily run tds 0 water through and the runoff would be really close to 0.

I don’t feel that buildup is the issue. 200ppm is very low concentration nutrients in hydro even for seedlings and clones. I don’t see how 200ppm solution. On a plant that is in its 5th set of adult leaves should still be on a seedling regimen.

With my experience in growing Bhuts outside, when the leaves went pale yellow and started to curve downwards was always remedied by feeding.

I’ve already been more than conservative on the low end of feeding. There is absolutely no amendment in the coco aside from minute amount of worm casting and leonardite.

my tap water is 180ppm straight from the faucet. I know it’s not npk but still it’s a low concentration of dissolved solids.

Typically burning with nutes shows necrotic tissues quickly and in my experience is
Not accompanied by gradual yellowing from the bottom up. That’s typical of deficiency in my experience.

I’ll get it sorted out. It’s just part of the learning curve in coco I suppose.





solid7 said:
And don't believe the tripe about salts not building up in coco.  I've seen it on multiple occasions here in this very forum.  It's much easier to deal with the mind trick that more food = better plants, than it is to correct the actual problem.
 
Regardless of whatever it is, that is not a phosphorus deficiency.  I've never seen an actual P deficiency.  And hydro stores are nuts about it.  Just know that more of it, doesn't mean more/better roots.  You just need enough.  Use your TDS wisely.
 
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