Sterilizing A Dwc Bubblerponics Of Pythium

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T

THeretiC

Okay so I'm a first-timer. Growing some AK-47 and some White Widow. My setup is a basic DWC bubbler system. 25-gallon bin with a tray with holes cut in it for net pots, two airstones, 600 watt Mars Hydro LED light, 6" inline fan with filter (my place is dusty and mold is present somewhere), 4" exhaust fan with filter, 24 deep x 48 wide x 60 tall stealth tent. I utilize the Lucas formula (5ml per 10l) of General Hydroponics nutes, add one tablet of CO2 to the res. weekly, maintain pH at around 5.8-6.0. I also use 29% hydropero, hydroguard, and complezym.

That all said...I'm struggling. I'm on my third attempt. My plants have been contracting pythium and dying within their first few weeks. I've done my reading, and I've come to understand that the source of the pythium is the water supply. I'm staring at my latest attempt, and they're wilting noticeably. I use rockwool cubes, pack them in, no light gets into the reservoir, I have the temperature of the water maintained usually around 68-71F. I don't really have any means of artificially lowering the temperature. I simply opted to spraypaint the outside of the bin glossy white, which has done plenty enough to keep the temperature in check. I know it's pythium because I'm seeing browning in the roots. Unfortunately, I was making a novice error and allowing the bubbles to splash water up into the cubes. As a result, the pythium is in the rockwool cubes. I'm certain they're doomed, and I'm about to pitch them.

Now, my question is... am what I considering doing for my next attempt going to be sufficient for sterilizing the water of pythium? My plan is:
After emptying res, splash boiling water onto the interior walls, constantly filling the res with boiling water as well to keep the water temp at least above 200F.
After emptying, clean with 1 parts bleach to 10 parts water, scrub with soft sponge
Rinse, clean again
Rinse
Boil airstones and air tubes, and/or soak them in hydropero
Now for the water to be added: Boil water before pouring into reservoir
Once to proper water-line, cover bin, wait for water to return to room temp
Once water is room temperature, add 60ml of hydropero
Leave h2o2-treated water to sit for 24-48 hours
Add 12ml/gallon of hydroguard (bacillus A.)
Add 60ml of Complezym
Add Lucas-formula-measured nutes
Add Co2 tablet
Adjust pH down to 5.5
Add plants, turn on bubblers to low power so they don't splash water up into the cubes

I'm down to my last three seeds. If this fails, I'm SOL. All I need is just one harvest to sell to get another batch of seeds and to pay my rent for a couple months. If anyone has any suggestions on anything else I could do that won't cost $50+ (I've strained my resources to their absolute limits) to prevent another $%&#ing pythium infection, please let me know, because I am at my wits' end, here.

For example, could I get a UV sterilizing light and expose the water to it overnight to pre-clean the water?
 
S

Shawnery

Do some research on root rot, pythium and h202.

My understanding is that you can control and fix both issues with the use of H202.

Don't take my word because I've been growing for only two months. I use it regularly and it keeps my girls clean and healthy.

Do a little search on google and see what you think.
 
Midwestjay

Midwestjay

Hit the pause button. Imo trying to keep your system sterile is the prob. I tried the same route your on years ago. Forget the h202. Get you a giant air pump. 55w-80w. 1000gph-1500gph. The air flow through the water will keep you 02 rich.
Buy some hydroguard. Its a beneficial bact. It will beat out the bad Shit and help roots with nute uptake.

A big thing that will help is to use ro water. I have 4 5gal jugs that i fill at the grocery about once a week. Tap is no bueno. Although you can grow in it. I have but plants are never as happy as with ro.
 
J

J Henry

Question: If you pump 5 times more air with a giant air pump, will you get 5 times more oxygen and 5 times more nitrogen that a smaller air pump will deliver?

Just wondering, if a little air is good, then a lot of air is better and air is 20% oxygen. So logically a giant air pump that pumps 5 times more air will deliver 75% - 100% oxygen and surely that is plenty O2?
 
S

Shawnery

The best thing I was ever told is this,

There can never be enough or to much D.O. in your solution, NEVER!

When it comes to h202 and a problem with pythium or root rot it will help cure a problem already out of control. I've read many threads of not just cannabis growers but of experienced hydroponic gardeners that use h202 regularly with great results.
 
DemonTrich

DemonTrich

How much do you sell your home grown marijuana for... how much $ for 1/2 pound? Will you ship it to Louisiana? Need more information.

PLEASE READ THE RULES!

Openly.asking or selling items is NOT ALLOWED on tbis site. Please don't do it again.
 
S

Shawnery

I'm not being an ass I'm being serious.

Is it ok to openly discuss ideas for a medical cannabis business? Perhaps ideas slotted around theoretical values. I have a couple ideas that I'd like to get feed back on but I don't want to step on any toes again.
 
J

J Henry

PLEASE READ THE RULES!

Openly.asking or selling items is NOT ALLOWED on tbis site. Please don't do it again.
Didn't mean to stray. The post looked clearly like an advertisement to me and I was just wondering how much he charges for his product... that's all.
 
J

J Henry

The best thing I was ever told is this,

There can never be enough or to much D.O. in your solution, NEVER!

When it comes to h202 and a problem with pythium or root rot it will help cure a problem already out of control. I've read many threads of not just cannabis growers but of experienced hydroponic gardeners that use h202 regularly with great results.

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is no doubt a great disinfectant and it's cheap. People have been disinfecting minor cuts and abrasions effectively for years with it. It's even used by hair dressers to bleach hair blond.

Is the fungus the culprit that causes the roots to die and rot or is the fungus simply an ever-present opportunist just waiting for the roots to get sick, die and decay and the fungal feast begins. The fungus families thrive and multiply feasting on a great bounty of fresh dead and decaying roots. I hear that he root death and decay comes first, then comes the fungal outbreak and massive infestation?
... and the crisis is on and the race for a "search for the cure." Repeat, repeat, repeat... time after time.

Do you think 125% DO Saturation and 14 PPM DO Concentration would be within the safe DO range?
How much dissolved oxygen do you think is enough?
 
T

THeretiC

I didn't realize that this thread received so many replies suddenly, I've been kind of out of it.

I'll make my reply as succinct as possible to address as many pertinent points as I can.

I've been using 29% hydropero (I use Nutrilife Plant Products brand), and hydroguard at infestation-treatment levels. However...on reflection to J Henry's comment, I am under the impression that it is indeed an opportunist, rather than the killer. After doing a battery of tests and examinations of my system, I've come to the conclusion that I've been trying to enact genocide on a microbial that is, well, not the cause of my problems. It's ever-present, but it's not the cause of my problems. It's just a symptom.

As I think I mentioned before, I'm new at this. I only just started trying to be a grower back in August. I'm very small-scale. We're talking a handful of plants, at least for now. Ideally, I want to establish myself as a grower, and once my state follows the national trend of legalization, it is my goal to open a medical dispensary using my own crops, and also to open a restaurant that specializes in THC-enhanced dishes and desserts, as I love cooking.

Now, emphasis on "I'm new at this." Despite my OCD-like attention to cleaning and sterilizing, this attempt is not going well already. One AK-47 grew out a few inches from her rockwool cube and sprouted her first true leaves, and has begin to sprout her second true leaves. However, her stem, once thick and stiff, has started to thin, and her embryonic leaves are yellowing. I had my lights, a 600-watt LED full-spectrum Mars Pro II, about 15" above the plants. I am almost certain that this was causing the yellowing (light burn), but also maybe a magnesium deficiency, with a calcium deficiency also possibly in play. I've recently begun drip-feeding her with a mild nute mix of filtered water and quarter-strength General Hydrponics' Micro. The thing is...her roots have all but stopped growing. I used a toothpick to gently brush aside some of the fibers at the bottom of the cube to see how close to the bottom she was. I located the tip of her taproot almost right at the bottom, and stopped moving aside the rockwool. I don't know what the deal is but this has happened before. The roots get right to the bottom of the cubes...and then they just stop. They don't continue reaching for the nutes in the reservoir, they just stop. Last time I'm almost certain it was from drowning (the bubbles popping underneath the kept the cubes constantly soaked, which was I believe was the cause of death last time), but this time, they're not being soaked, I'm just drip-feeding, and the cubes aren't soaked, so...

I'm wondering if I should raise the water level and maybe trim a quarter inch of the rockwool away so that the exposed root tip gets into the nute solution? That's my biggest problem now, is just getting my girls to reach for their food, but I'm worried crapless about whether I'm overwatering or underwatering them now, and every article I've read so far basically says "If you see this symptom, it could be this, or, this, or this, or maybe even this, but also possibly this that's the problem," and "You want to keep the cubes wet, but not soaking, but not too dry, just kind of moist but not really moist" and THAT ISN'T HELPING ME AT ALL. I'm just going to go on record as saying: I HATE ROCKWOOL. Everyone told me it was the easiest medium to work with, but when I used Jiffy Pods (peat pods), I had FAR greater success...but then I had organic material contamination that led to mold. So, I have the other AK-47 (a runt, it's been struggling, and I don't think she'll make it) and my White Widow in peat pods after transplanting them from their rockwool cubes because, big shock, they were struggling to survive in them. Then come to find out that "the easiest medium" requires you to soak the cubes for 24 hours in pH adjusted water and then charge them with a very careful nutrient solution and then not squeeze them or let them get too wet and on and on and on for preparation.

I'm sorry, I'm ranting. I'm under a lot of stress because I'm getting conflicting advice from people and sites, I don't know what to believe, and meanwhile my last chance to grow a cash crop is already showing signs of problems and my error for margin was expended prior to this attempt. It's success or I'm out of business before I even began, because I have no seeds left and all my money went into this venture, so I can't afford any more seeds.

I don't even know where to begin asking for help on this at this point. One plant's almost certain to die, one's starting to show the same symptoms that showed up in previous failures despite me correcting everything I can think of, and at this point, the Widow seems to be the only one that is showing genuine promise, and while that's a good thing, I know Widows don't exactly have the biggest yield potential, which is what the AK-47 was for...but if the AK-47's dying...

ugh. This is unbelievably stressful. I wish I knew what I was doing wrong! I'm doing everything I can think of to correct the symptoms and nothing's working, and now I'm at the point where I'm afraid if I try anything else, I'm going to actually end up killing my poor girls. :[
 
DGP

DGP

I am going to post some issues I have with hydro in grow tents in another thread but my guess is your water temperature is the issue. Here is the thing the tent sellers don't tell you when they sell you a "hydro" tent (not that I don't love the tent concept). First off, inside your house or apartment the air temperature is likely to be about 65-75 degrees, right? So, even with a 400 watt lamp in a 2X4' tent your tent inside temperature is going to be much higher than the ambient in the room say 75 degrees or more. with 600 watts in my 2X4 veg tent I run about 80 F even on a cold day in my garage! Fine for plant growth temperature-wise but death for roots at 75 degrees water temperature. You need the water to be under 68 degrees F whether your using Deep water, recirculating DW or Bubbleponic because above 68 degrees the ability of the water to hold oxygen is very much diminished (wish I still had a copy of a chart that illustrates this). THe enemy of the roots is anaerobic bacteria. If the water dissolved oxygen goes too low the bacteria thrive, but if the temps stay low the bacteria is SOL not you or your girls :). If you can keep the DO level high enough by holding the water temps under 68 and using H2O2 you will have very little root issues. However, I still use H2O2 every 4-5 days just to keep the water clean.

The tent salesmen don't tell you that you may need a chiller for the water etc. I use a tent to veg but it is in my gargage where the temps outside the tent help me cool the tent more effectively as well as placing my water reservoir outside the tent and using a submersable pump to water the plants via some flexible hoses into the tent. My water is 65 degrees or so on an average Fall/Winter day in the garage which keeps the water cool even without an expensive chiller. During the Summer I just don't veg or flower inside but only outside (what is better than sun grown anyway!). The pump from amazon is about 14 bucks and a 5 gallon food grade bucket is about 10 bucks as well as a timer that can go to 15 minute intervals being about 15 bucks. These items plus a little PEX tubing form Home Despot make for a cheap, effective cool water system. With your bubble system can you use a remote reservoir? Your only other option is a chiller for about $275.

I struggled with root issues for a while too and for me it was the water temp. Don't give up yet!!!!

DP
 
T

THeretiC

Hey guys, it's been a while.
Well. More failures after failures. However, through process of deduction, I have to realize what the source of my woes is.
Hydro herpes.
AKA, cyanobacteria.
 
T

THeretiC

Its source is clearly the tap water. Unfortunately, through exposure, it has colonized the interior of my tent, airtones, and probably my air-pump too just for good measure because cyanos are sadistic little $h17$ like that, apparently. This stuff grows in total darkness, in tap water that has no nutes in it, that is around 68 degrees F, and which is heavily aerated. H2O2 will not solve these woes; cyanos DEVOUR oxygen. While it can be overwhelmed by the free radical O2, it will then begin to feed off of it and come back full force. If you find yourself in my position, DO NOT H2O2-BOMB YOUR RESERVOIR in an attempt to kill this nasty slimy crap off. Do NOT use chlorine, either: They chlorinate tap water and yet the spores survive, so it's not going to kill it once it's in your reservoir.

I am certain that the following does not work:
H2O2 (ANY concentration)
Chlorine (Any concentration)
RO filtering tap water
Mold Armor
Vinegar

I am uncertain if Hydroguard will inoculate your reservoir and plants against cyanos. However, I will be using it during my upcoming assault against this literal dinosaur of a microbe (it's apparently a living fossil organism, having been around since the age of the dinosaurs; its spores can survive dormant in extreme conditions for MILLENIA! Kinda fascinating, actually. Additionally, it can be harvested to make antibiotics!), along with the following vectors:

-Physan 20 (I hear lots of good things. I know it will obliterate EVERY microbe including bennies, but I'm hoping that adding the Hydroguard after the Physan 20 has dissipated will provide the sole source of bennies. If this is a bad idea, I hope someone tells me before I hit the big red chemical warfare button)
Chemiclean (If the Physan 20 does not work)
Erythromycin (If the above do not work)

I hear tell of teas, but I'm rather leery of introducing MORE organics into what is supposed to be a sterile, strictly-synthetic system. Additionally, it sounds like absolute hell to make and properly use teas, and if it's going to require that much effort, then screw it, I'll just go low-tech and be a dirty grower for a while.

If anyone has any experience with dealing with cyanobacteria infestations, I'd love to hear them. Additionally, I CLEARLY need to clean the interior of my tent, but conventional cleaning chemicals clearly (heh, accidental alliteration) won't suffice, so... I'll have to see if the P20 will be up to that task. I am pretty certain the weird white chalky crap that will not scrub off like normal water residue stains will is colonies of the cyanos that have dried up and caked to the surfaces they got splashed onto when changing out the water.
 
DGP

DGP

Wow, always something to learn. How does this get into tap water (source)? Have never heard of it til now. Seems like you need to be a chemist and a micro biologist to raise cannibis......How do you know for sure this is the cause (just curious )?
 
DGP

DGP

Just did a little reading and it appears that cyanobacteria (blue green or red type algae) can't flourish without light. Are your buckets black and do you have your media covered? I have always painted the outside of my white buckets flat black and put plastic or coco matte covers over the media with a slit and hole for the plant stalk to keep all light off the media and water. I did this just cause I ended up with a lot of general algae in the res and on the media.

Seems aquarium people struggle with this all the time.

Hope you get this solved, seems it is the only thing stopping a successful grow for you. Don't give up!
 
DGP

DGP

I just realized this is probably what I have seen in my aeroponics cloner. Used to get a wicked relentless scum that killed my clones and could never defeat it. I finally gave up cloning with the aero cloner and went to old school Rockwood but this is failing too so I have been relying on my seed bank to start new babies cause my cloning tray does the same damn thing but when I start seeds in the blacked out covered buckets it doesn't happen!
 
T

THeretiC

Actually, cyanobacteria are not actually an algae, they're a...well, bacteria. They can actually survive and thrive in pitch-black conditions. They don't need to photosynthesize, see. BUT, light WILL accelerate their growth. I suspect the reason why you are having the issues in cloning trays is probably from prior contamination; if the equipment anywhere nearby the originally-contaminated sites is not fully sterilized, it'll get to the plants. But, if you are using buckets that were not nearby contaminated equipment, then you're home-free on that. Cyanobacterial spores are, from what I've read, very common in tap water, but even in DWCs, they rarely get a chance to get a foothold, or at least get to a point where they can propagate enough to overwhelm any other safeguards (bennies, chems...) you might have in place either passively (chlorine in tap water) or actively (H2O2 bombardment).

My problem is that my airstones are contaminated, as is the interior of the tent, especially on the floor of the tent from spillage: The airpump was usually on the floor of the tent, and unfortunately, it has basically been vacuuming up spores and pumping them into the airstones and into the water; thus, even though my buckets are black and fully covered, and even though I was germinating these last two seeds in pitch blackness, the spores were still getting into the water (I did not have it nuted, but it WAS tap water, which still has some nutes; PPM readings of my tap water are around 250 unfiltered, 210 filtered, so the cyanos had something to feed on all the same). Now, the spores have likely contaminated the interior of the pump, and while I can soak the airstones for 24 hours in bleach (and when my Physan 20 gets here, I'm soaking them in that, too), the air pump is a lost cause and will have to be replaced, so until then, my two little sprouts require me hand-watering their starter plugs. Also, can I just say, Rapid Rooters are tits, I love them! Pitch those rockwool cubes; rockwool is garbage, and you can get a 50 pack of starter plugs for like $20. MUCH more breathability, they come pre-charged with the perfect blend of nutes and they provide a very good, solid foundation for your seedlings' roots. I kept having failures with rockwool cubes from simply drowning them by accident with the most minimal of watering schedules, but I've never had such a problem with the RRers, and they lived up to their name; the plants were getting huge thickets of roots growing out of them after only a week and a half! If only the damn cyanos hadn't screwed everything up, I'd be starting flowering phase right now.

I ain't never givin' up, no sir! I have the power of human ingenuity and chemical warfare on my side. These damned dino-bacterias' days are numbered.
 
T

THeretiC

Take in mind, all of what I'm saying is, at least for now, speculation, supplemented with me frantically searching forums for possible diagnoses and treatments. But if it works, hopefully this'll help serve others with this same problem, because this stuff seems to have earned its nickname of Hydro Herpes.
 
DGP

DGP

cyano.PNG
From some reading I have been doing I see it was originally thought to be and mis-categorized as an algae but was ultimately a bacterium that happened to live in huge colonies. It still is referred to as blue-green algae and that seems to create ongoing confusion. I keep seeing it referred to as photosynthetic so I keep wondering about the light factor and what other factors encourage or deter it. In my state they test lakes all the time (especially in Summer) to determine the levels and then issue warnings to swimmers (quite toxic to humans). Also, it makes me wonder about what contributes to the ebb and flow of the levels in natural lakes and if it cant be killed or controlled why it wouldn't be more of a Borg that just takes over everything in it's path.

I change my water once a week or at the longest once every 1-1/2 weeks. I don't know if that is a factor but there is always some level of slime on the airlines and sometimes on the surface of the inside of the buckets. My buckets are on casters so I raise the light when I water change slide in a clean bucket with fresh nutes clean the airline off and drop it in the new bucket and the transfer the plant from the old bucket to the fresh one. Don't know if this helps prevent it but seems that it would. I wonder how fast they colonize once you start fresh.

DP
 

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