Root rot / brown slime - Chiller? Microbe Tea? Sterile Res? what works for you?

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GreySeer

GreySeer

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Hello folks,

After reading on the subject and looking at pics for a bit now I'm fairly certain the root issues I'm having are brown slime/algae.

I found a large brown feathery clump at the bottom of the bubble bucket during a water change last week so I cleaned the inside of the bucket, stones and all my tools and replaced airlines. I used some 3% h202 to rinse the roots I have hanging out of the netpot. I also mixed a little with water and used it to rinse the media in the net pot in hopes it'd sterilize things.

I've always used Hydroguard 2ml per gallon like it says on the bottle, water temps are between 68-72, around 72 right before lights off most days. I'm using an Undercurrent bucket and lid so it should be fairly light proof, though I've begun sticking paper towels in the finger/tube holes in the lid just to eliminate that small light leak. I refilled with fresh nutrient water and gave it a double dose of hydroguard in hopes it'd out compete anything I couldn't rinse off the roots. I lowered the water level a bit more than an inch.

We're about a week out and I'm now seeing the roots above the waterline look to be turning darker brown and the roots look a little bit slimy. Not quite the nasty snot clumps I've seen in pics but it seems similar. I do not smell a nasty smell. At best I'm getting a hint of fish tank, not sulphur/rotten egg like I hear pythium smells like. I can see some fresh looking roots that might be trying to grow out of the net pot but this plant looks like a weak seedling after 50 days from sprout so it's hard to say if it's in recovery, still stunted, relapsing, or withering away. New leaf growth looks a little pale but it's not turning brown like the lower leaves.

I'm trying to figure out my best next steps to prevent this in the future.

It seems the most popular prevention options boil down to:
  • Use more and/or different beneficials trying to out compete or provide a predator for the brown slime (make tea or just use more than one non AN bennie product)
  • Cool the water with a chiller until the slime can't survive or doesn't get a foothold
  • Run a completely sterile res with h202 or chlorine
I just ordered some Great White to try alongside the Hydroguard in hopes I can get it done without having to brew tea (I'll give it a shot if it doesn't work).

A chiller is a large investment, and growing in the small space I have, I question if it would make the heat problem worse trying to cool the water down.

I'm not opposed to running a sterile res, though using h202 and having to regularly dump more in sounds like a hassle I'd like to avoid so I'd probably look at something I don't need to maintain between water changes.

What's your recipe for success in keeping your DWC clean? I understand nothing is 100% fool proof, if you've had some success with one method I want to hear about it!
 
TheBioMaster

TheBioMaster

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Usually comes from organics in the nutrients. What type of nutrients and additives?

There is no one true method for every grower. It depends mostly on your starting water chemistry....type of setup, inputs like nutrients and additives, environment controls, and efficiency of equipment like pumps and air stones.....water temps play a role.....lots of factors that may prevent one method that works for others, workIng for you.

I haven't seen many setups that wouldn't work.....

If your looking for setups that work, the grow diary portion of this forum and many others is slam full of examples!
 
Nate_in_AK

Nate_in_AK

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This sounds dreaful, sorry man. I had a small issue like this with some yuck above the water line, so I mixed up some SouthernAG anti-fungal (probably just like hydroguard) and used a medicine syringe, like for kids, to spray the mixture all over the exposed roots, and it seemed to clear the issue up.
 
GreySeer

GreySeer

14
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Usually comes from organics in the nutrients. What type of nutrients and additives?

There is no one true method for every grower. It depends mostly on your starting water chemistry....type of setup, inputs like nutrients and additives, environment controls, and efficiency of equipment like pumps and air stones.....water temps play a role.....lots of factors that may prevent one method that works for others, workIng for you.

I haven't seen many setups that wouldn't work.....

If your looking for setups that work, the grow diary portion of this forum and many others is slam full of examples!

I'm using the GH trio + Hydroguard + CaliMagic for nutrients. My tap water is slightly alkaline with a low-ish ppm around 40. The city uses chlorine to treat it and I've been leaving out water for my nutrients for 24 hours before a water change in hopes the chlorine evaporating will help the hydroguard bacteria thrive. I'm using GH ph down to manage PH. I don't think it's coming from anything I'm intentionally adding to the res. On my next water change I plan to add great white which I understand includes more strains of bacteria as well as fungii. I'm hoping by throwing the book at the problem it'll finally relent and let this plant veg.

I have been using the 3w pump that came with the kit along with the medium air stones which are about 1.5" x 3". I just got an Active Aqua 6w 15L/m pump which seems MUCH stronger, along with some large 2"x4" stones, I'm seeing more smaller bubbles. I haven't put them in the dwc bucket because I want to wait for a water change on Friday so I can clean really well. I'm letting them bubble in some PH'd nutes in a bucket overnight to knock off any loose bits and flush out anything in the stones.

The water temps are below 70 most of the day and really only get around 72 in the last couple hours of lights on. I don't have continuous monitoring of my res temps yet but from checking temp/ppm/ph twice a day I think this is pretty accurate.

I totally understand what works for one might not for others. Case in point, I've been following the guides on growweedeasy and their recommendation was essentially, keep the water under 75f and run hydroguard, have a good pump and enough air stones. I'm thinking if I can't get rid of it with GW and the pump/stone upgrade I'll start exploring running a sterile res with pool shock.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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How long has the hydrogaurd been open and did you buy it from Amazon? They have a bad habit of selling expired hydrogaurd.

Pics of the roots would help to be able to confirm if it is infact root rot.

 
GreySeer

GreySeer

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How long has the hydrogaurd been open and did you buy it from Amazon? They have a bad habit of selling expired hydrogaurd.

Pics of the roots would help to be able to confirm if it is infact root rot.


It's only been open since I started this grow 1.5 months ago. It was purchased from Amazon too that sounds plausible... I just checked my bottle and it says on the label, good for 2 years from the date on the label, but there's no obvious date printed on the bottle anywhere I can find. There's what looks like a batch number on the bottle but it doesn't look like there's a date in it.

Here's a shot of the roots from a minute ago:

PXL_20210107_211058015.MP.jpg
PXL_20210107_211109973.MP.jpg
some newer looking roots in the netpot
PXL_20210107_211126940.MP.jpg
new growth looks green, old leaves are barely holding onto life. I haven't trimmed them trying to get every last bit of good I can out of them to help it pull through.
PXL_20210107_211119534.jpg
 
Zoneshityee

Zoneshityee

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Also, your feed, you should add armor si, silica wont directly affect the roots but it will help strengthen the immunities.. also cut your N down by ~25% and add something with vit. B1 and extra K
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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It's only been open since I started this grow 1.5 months ago. It was purchased from Amazon too that sounds plausible... I just checked my bottle and it says on the label, good for 2 years from the date on the label, but there's no obvious date printed on the bottle anywhere I can find. There's what looks like a batch number on the bottle but it doesn't look like there's a date in it.

Here's a shot of the roots from a minute ago:

View attachment 1076527 View attachment 1076528 some newer looking roots in the netpot
View attachment 1076530 new growth looks green, old leaves are barely holding onto life. I haven't trimmed them trying to get every last bit of good I can out of them to help it pull through.
View attachment 1076529
Copy pasted for you.

I talked with a manufacturing technician at Botanicare today - February 28, 2019. They now have their Manufacture Date listed as a lot code stamped at the BOTTOM of back side. My lot code was 1308318. The first three digits are the CALENDAR DAY of the year. The next number is the last digit of the YEAR. The last three digits are a LOT CODE for use by Botanicare. Therefore, my "born on date" was the 130th day (May 10th) of 2018. Hydroguard is good for TWO YEARS PAST this date, and use within 6 months of opening. Hope this helps!
 
GreySeer

GreySeer

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Also, your feed, you should add armor si, silica wont directly affect the roots but it will help strengthen the immunities.. also cut your N down by ~25% and add something with vit. B1 and extra K

I'm currently using half seedling strength nutrients, about 250ppm. Half doses of all three of the trio plus a half dose of CalMag.

I've seen Armor Si mentioned and was just holding off until I figured out this issue, I'll pick up a bottle if you think it'll help.

Any tips on a good additive for Vitamin B1 and extra K?
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Nvm in blind lol... is that old damage? New growth looks good.
 
Zoneshityee

Zoneshityee

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You can use floralicious for b1 and the armor is actually 0-0-4 so that will be a double bonus, also, dont use ph down the extra p could cause toxicity and make rootzone susceptible to infection
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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You can use floralicious for b1 and the armor is actually 0-0-4 so that will be a double bonus, also, dont use ph down the extra p could cause toxicity and make rootzone susceptible to infection
I have totally 100% disagree. And not all PH down is phosphorus. The amounts added are very small. Not sure where you got that info.
 
Zoneshityee

Zoneshityee

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Also get one of these and mix h202 in wit the water and blast the roots with massage mode
 
Zoneshityee

Zoneshityee

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He already stated he is using gh ph down and that's fine, to each their own🤷‍♂️ I agree to disagree wit you too
 
GreySeer

GreySeer

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If I'm reading it right this bottle was really fresh, August 3rd of 2020 I ordered it from amazon on Nov 3rd opened on or around Nov 19/20.

sr2168320246a-2

That's the code on my bottle.

The roots right below the netpot have been getting steadily more brown in the last 3 days. Originally the roots were all cream colored except a few more brown spots where the roots clumped together. it seems like I've lost some of the root strands too but I don't have root pics from before Saturday.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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He already stated he is using gh ph down and that's fine, to each their own🤷‍♂️ I agree to disagree wit you too
Never had root rot. Use 85% phosphoric acid. Phosphorus is a nutrient hkw can it be toxic from ph down but added in much higher amounts for ferts and is ok?

Sorry that is just wrong. Not just disagreeable.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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If I'm reading it right this bottle was really fresh, August 3rd of 2020 I ordered it from amazon on Nov 3rd opened on or around Nov 19/20.

sr2168320246a-2

That's the code on my bottle.

The roots right below the netpot have been getting steadily more brown in the last 3 days. Originally the roots were all cream colored except a few more brown spots where the roots clumped together. it seems like I've lost some of the root strands too but I don't have root pics from before Saturday.
Where is your water level?
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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If I'm reading it right this bottle was really fresh, August 3rd of 2020 I ordered it from amazon on Nov 3rd opened on or around Nov 19/20.

sr2168320246a-2

That's the code on my bottle.

The roots right below the netpot have been getting steadily more brown in the last 3 days. Originally the roots were all cream colored except a few more brown spots where the roots clumped together. it seems like I've lost some of the root strands too but I don't have root pics from before Saturday.
Its expired. Aug 4, 2018 it was made. Aug 4 2020 expired
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Not just expired but by 6 months
 
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