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I’m growing in soil with a high perlite content(30-40%) and I have noticed some discrepancies in my input pH(water/nutes), compared to my soil pH (tested with cheap soil meter compared to my runoff pH. My input water pH is right around 7 with ppm of around 330.  When I feed, the pH is adjusted to 6.4 pH with ppm around 1800(currently in flower).  My runoff is coming out with a pH around 5 and a ppm of around 1300.  When I test my soil with the cheap soil tester, if falls around a pH of 7-8(not very accurate).

I’m concerned about my runoff pH numbers compared to the soil tester. I have read that runoff pH is not always the best measure of soil pH, but I’m not sure if I can trust my soil pH tester which says I’m in a good range. Overall my plant looks relatively healthy(the larger one in the photo), except for it being a little lighter green which could be a nutrient lockout. So I guess my question is, how important/accurate is the pH runoff test?  Should I adjust my input water/nutes pH above 7(7.5) to try and bring the pH of the runoff up to a safer range?  I’m confused how my runoff pH is so low when my input pH is always in a safe range.  Should I trust my soil tester for pH or my runoff?

With all of that said, this plant is 1 week into flowering so I don’t really want to flush unless I absolutely have to. I would rather try and bring the runoff pH up slowly by adjusting my water/nute pH in future watering/feedings. Please advise and thank you.