Could Air Stones Be Doing More Harm Than Good?

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Whew

Yesterday I cobbled together an open frame (using wood I had on hand) for the totes to sit on. This allowed me to move the feed/drains to the bottom. Alas, I had to put the feed/drain bulkheads in the center as that is the only flat spot in the bottom. This means some nutes will stay trapped between feeds

Today I put it back together


These totes are larger, which means the water level inside each tote is a good 1.5" lower. I have to fix that ASAP. Thinking to add 1 paver brick. Just not sure whether they will change the pH. I am soaking them in 40% H2O2 to kill any organics before inserting them. Test run perfect. Now just need to monitor pH, which I do daily anyway

The roots look good, but dryer than they should be. Yesterday, I mixed some NPK RAW kelp and veg microbes and poured them directly into the net pots of each, so the pics look like the dreaded RR, but it's not


The pic of the small net pot inside the larger is not actual, as the small net pot fits in the lid, probably 4" between them
 
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I decided to make this thread since I see a lot of people over think hydro. A lot of times "adding more" or "going bigger" is a solution to hopes of achieving those big tree dreams. In reality , could everything they are doing be setting them further back?

Halfway thru my last run I was doing some cleaning and/or general maintenance around my air pumps (still same size that came with my UC Double barrel 16) when I accidentally knocked off the hose that connected to the air stones. Now , I've felt this air before and knew it was hot. That was why Last year I replaced my metal air Manifolds that came from current culture with white plastic ones from the grow store. The plastic didn't heat up like the metal ones. I also replaced all the airline with blue aquatic airline to keep heat away.

This time I really thought about this super hot air. What good could air that is hot enough to be uncomfortable on my skin be for my roots . Skin is a protective layer that has been weathered by dirt, oxygen, sunlight, etc. If this air could do that to my thick skin l, what would it do to gentle sensitive sterile roots that have lived in water their entire lives which are more like our veins or organs rather than our skin.

I unplugged the air pump and left it off the rest of the entire run. Plants still thrived and produced the most fire flowers I've ever been able to accomplish. I feel the quality increase is mostly due to my switching to 600s from 1000s however not having any air stones roaring didn't hinder my success.

After every harvest I always toss my baskets, grow rocks, and airstones and replace them with new ones. Since I switched to 600s and lost yield I decided to cut costs and reuse my baskets and grow rocks and simply wash them. As for the air stones, i tossed them and decided to not replace them. I went ahead and removed all the airlines, air manifolds, and put the pump away into storage.

I made an educated hypothesis that the hot air blowing into my root mass was not only physically damaging from the force of the bubbles but also from the temperature. I also guessed that the hot air that comes up thru the water on its way to the surface is also exchanging heat with the water its directly in contact with this heating the system and being counter productive to a water chiller.

We know air bubbles don't oxygenate water unlike what most of us believed when we first got into hydro . Water takes in air from its surface area. The bubbles simply break up the waters surface exposing more of it to the air allowing more oxygen to be absorbed. So a standing calm glass of water will still take in oxygen just fine, and if you stir the water up it'll increase the surface area and take in more. You don't need roaring bubbles.

I figured with the AL15 still going in the Epi center and the waterfall effect in the epicenter from recirculating, id have plenty of DO.

So I took a batch of clones from my ez cloner and threw them into the system with no airstones.

View attachment 657059

I did water thru the top for first 3 days which also had me thinking that I plan to turn the rerun pvc into a feed and recirculate each bucket individually the way the epi center does. I'll just put the pump into the epi center and suck from the epi center and push thru the small pvc feed line and create a waterfall effect in each site.

Here they are 5 days into veg

View attachment 657060

Lights went out and here's a size comparison for you. 15 inches tall after only 5 days in the UC with no air stones.

View attachment 657061

And here are the roots after 5 days. Healthy and white. Lots of those little finger side growth where the bubbles would normally damage or rip those off. However, as you'll be able to notice there is a film starting to form at the top of the water from lack of agitation .

View attachment 657062

I only use RO and A+B so the water doesn't smell and it's not hurting my roots. I plan to change the system out every week until I can modify it for next run to waterfall in every bucket.

Hopefully this can help people cut costs and grow bigger , healthier plants.
I would hope water still has plenty of oxygen in it without air stones! Lol

Thats why its H2(O)<---- other wise it would just be H2 and we would be basically living on the sun!

This is why methods of Hydroponics like the KRATKY method work.

Good job on proving the advertisement companies wrong! 👍
 
I have come to some of the same conclusions about air pumps, grow tents, air stones and RDWC systems. Keep the air pump outside of the grow tent to bring in cooler air than tent temp otherwise you are heating the nutrient solution and raising it above the 65 degree sweet spot for dissolved oxygen saturation. Also recirculating tent air will raise your tent humidity level and cause disease and insect issues.

Another reason for doing this is why do you want to be injecting your root zone with CO2 recirculating from the tent? This can cause growth in anaerobic bacteria and root diseases from my experience.

An air pump outside of the tent will also run cooler because of the lower ambient air temp cooling the fins. If you cannot position the air pump outside the tent then use a ½ inch vinyl tubing from the air pump intake (on Active Air brand Pumps) as a snorkel to the outside of the tent to get cooler air and not be putting CO2 in your root zone.

If you can afford it, invest in an O2Grow system. It eliminates the heat issue, saves tons on electricity, reduces the noise level, super saturates the nutrient solution with nano-sized oxygen atoms and reduces amount of nutrients used by almost half.
 
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BTW, these clones already had buds when I took them > a month ago . I was hoping I might get them to revert to veg, even though they were under the same light, which was in flower hours, but it's not looking good: when I moved them outside to replace the old set up I saw a lot of trichs on small buds, so not likely 😪

The new table takes up 15" of tent height. I need to find out how tall the OxygenPot system buckets are. I may need to cut them down for my hydro method. I already put 8" risers under the tent legs
 
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Just when I was dialing my F & D in, I noticed the plant on the left wilting, so I lifted both lids, ran a cycle and did a comparison of flood levels into both totes. Even though the tubes are virtually identical the tote on the right was getting TWICE the nutes. Consequently, the plant on the left was suffering

I corrected this by adding in line adjustable shut off valves. But before I could fine tune the valves I rolled my ankle big time (Tuesday night past) and haven't been able to walk let alone attend to my girls. Yes alcohol was involved.

Although I will likely be on crutches for a couple more days, or longer, I was able to slightly close the valve on the right. Now the left one is 'perking' up, but... And the one on the right is plumping up

This was more to set the stage for my next grow, which will be Hindu Kush seeds

Pictures in a couple days
 
I'd be interested to see how it goes if you send me a message. I think you'll definitely want some kind of agitation in the water around the roots.



I would imagine they're probably stainless steel and so, as you mention, will gradually pickle. This also happens with platinum (if you put platinum in saline at a pH of about 1 and add an oxidisers, such as persulphate or peroxide, it'll start dissolving into solution - they use that trick to recycle catalytic converters without autoclaves or aqua regia). Whether or not it's a problem is another thing I guess. I suspect you may be able to saturate the water with oxygen using relatively short bursts. Could always use magnesium for the electodes 😜

I've tried growing, temporarily, using H2O2 in solution, solely (no air pump). Peroxide has a relatively long persistence in water apparently, even at low concentrations; check this >link< where they measure the degradation. My hope was it'd help kill off any germs and also provide oxygen to the roots; it definitely does break down into free O2 when it contacts the roots as you can actually see it fizzing if you use higher concentrations. I didn't run this for long enough to know whether or not it'd work over a full grow. It did seem to keep the nutrient reasonably clean; I was running it in a clear container (exposed to light) but didn't have any algae growth in it initially.

Something I did notice, using Advanced Nutrients hard water veg, was that after adding just a few mL of peroxide every few days to 4-8L of water at ~1000ppm nutrient, I could see what appeared to be something flocking out of solution (opaque white fluff). At first I wondered if that might be the hard water additive chelating (ligand binding) minerals out of the water. But I already had some mixed up that had been sat in a bottle for weeks / months that was still perfectly transparent.

I strongly suspect what was happening was that the peroxide was actually oxidising something within the nutrient itself. Peroxide is a none specific oxidiser, so it'll oxidise anything around that can be oxidised; including organic material in the nutrient. The nutrient solution itself didn't appear to change at all in terms of ppm reading, but that could easily be because the things it's oxidising in solution aren't conductive to begin with (the ppm reading is essentially a conductivity reading right). The peroxide oxidises whatever it encounters first that it can most readily react with. One solution to that may be to add something to the tank to preferentially cause it's decomposition.

I've read many blog posts (re-posts of re-posts?) claiming H2O2 is really simple to use but I suspect I've observed something others haven't due to it being used in a transparent container to begin with (so I could actually see what was happening in the nutrient tank - the flock forming). I would be curious to know if something similar happens using the electrolysis idea, as oxygen radicals will temporarily form near the electrodes, which may then also react with the nutrient itself.
In case you never found out about your oxidation hypothesis, I read that what gets oxidized is the chelating agents themselves first.
 
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I would hope water still has plenty of oxygen in it without air stones! Lol

Thats why its H2(O)<---- other wise it would just be H2 and we would be basically living on the sun!

This is why methods of Hydroponics like the KRATKY method work.

Good job on proving the advertisement companies wrong! 👍

2 days ago I watched a time lapse YTV comparing K to Aero: Aero won by a long shot

As to H2O having O in it, DUH, but plant roots respond to fresh infusions of O2, which they are getting when my bottle sprays nutes into the air, as well as the air that the nutes bring back when the solution drains back from the totes
 
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shire said:,
I'd be interested to see how it goes if you send me a message. I think you'll definitely want some kind of agitation in the water around the roots.

I agree, which is why I DIYed the plastic bottle with spray holes to both circulate the nutes and aerate them
 
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Plant roots have taken to their new flood set up. What little bud there is continues to develop and smells wonderful

Today I virtually replaced 100% of the nutes, maybe shy of one quart. Anyway...

I still have sufficient Emerald Harvest Bloom 2 part + Emerald Goddess. I start with EH CaMg > Bloom 2 part >DM Silica> NPK RAW Aminos>Bloom Microbes (they offer both)> DM Zone

Here's very good video on how various spectrums affect plant development

Toward an Optimal Spectral Quality for Plant Growth and Development

 
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Ive been in flower mode for ~ 5 weeks with very slow bud development. About 5 days ago I dropped my light schedule by 15 minutes, then 2 days ago another 15 minutes

One of the clones has responded quite positively, shooting out quite a few more pistils

hth
 
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Both plants are doing as well as can be expected. The girl on the right had a bigger rootball resulting in much bigger buds

I had been feeding every 60 minutes, but decided to see what more floods will do, so late yesterday I increased by flooding to every 45 minutes, a 25% increase per day. Be interesting to see what happens in 7-10 days.
 
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Thought it time to post a picture of the 'bigger' of the 2 females

The 45 minute flood certainly hasn't hurt. Both plants seem to respond well to it

The buds are tight and very stinky
 
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Smaller leafs are getting oily, a very good sign

pH has been dropping from ~ 6.0 to ~ 5.7 daily. Also a good sign as this means the plant is dumping the equivalent of poop from all the bud sites
 
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The air out of my air pump is cooler than my tent. I keep the air pump outside the tent. The tent maxes out at 26c I've never seen the water in my DWC over 23c. That was in veg when the plant didn't cover the black buckets I use.

If your air pump is outputting hot air, you may want to look in to a better pump. Or perhaps place the pump in another room that isnt as hot?

No, the airstones are not hurting things. The hot air is.
 
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I am going to point out an issue with the first post.

Air bubbles do in fact aerate the water, each air bubble at the part touching the water is exchanging some of their air with the water.

The primary air exchange happens at the surface, but the smaller the bubbles the more they give off on their way to the surface. Nano bubbles are the best way to oxygenate salt water tanks because of this. Nano bubbles can significantly raise the ORP of water and that's a product of more dissolved oxygen in the water, and it's entirely because of bubbles, not the the surface being broken.
 
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I am going to point out an issue with the first post.

Air bubbles do in fact aerate the water, each air bubble at the part touching the water is exchanging some of their air with the water.

The primary air exchange happens at the surface, but the smaller the bubbles the more they give off on their way to the surface. Nano bubbles are the best way to oxygenate salt water tanks because of this. Nano bubbles can significantly raise the ORP of water and that's a product of more dissolved oxygen in the water, and it's entirely because of bubbles, not the the surface being broken.
Sure, but it's the bubbles breaking the surface that supply the moisture above the water line for the roots to stay moist and feed off.

Inside my DIY platonic solids device the nutes are forced through the media which structures the nutes making them more bioavailable. To do this the plastic bottle must have holes for the nutes to flow through the platonic solids. As the nute level drops during the flood stage, some nutes are sprayed out of those holes providing DO
 
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I just replaced 80% of the nutes with fresh at ~ 440 ppm, whereas it was at ~ 840 ppm.

EH 2 part Bloom + EH Micros + NPK RAW; Aminos, enzymes, Bloom microbes + Silica and Zone (Oops, I double dipped on the microbes)
 
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I just replaced 80% of the nutes with fresh at ~ 440 ppm, whereas it was at ~ 840 ppm.

EH 2 part Bloom + EH Micros + NPK RAW; Aminos, enzymes, Bloom microbes + Silica and Zone (Oops, I double dipped on the microbes)
 
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Summer type temps are here, and my Rez ice paks were now only lasting about 1.5 hours at which point the contents became liquid= ~ 75*s+= no bueno. Time to make adjustments

First, I wrapped the Igloo with a ~ 1/4" thick padded mylar then I placed an extra Igloo top on the lid

Time to begin testing

4/08
9:49 68* so I replaced 2 paks
1:00 65*s
3:13 67*s
5:45 pm 68* (removed 2 paks replaced one)

4/09
6:45 am 75*s (replaced with 2 paks)
10:12 68*s

or roughly 4+ hours between replacing 2 paks, but could easily go 8+ now without temp rising much above 70*s.

That's a huge improvement

hth
 
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