The root health challenge - Not for the inexperienced

Long story made short...

This isn't our first rodeo. 5 years of experience, literally hundreds of cycles, not to say that we're above anyone or beyond over looking anything but if you're going to answer "have you tried zone?" or "its easy, just brew a tea" please just don't. We've systematically tried to eliminate possibilities, to scientifically try products and to establish a repeatable regiment of long term root health in the RDWC systems... unsuccessfully.

We've tried sterile; h202, zone, bleach. I've controlled the water; merlin 5 filter RO filter, 63* max, 1 hp dedicated chillers, UV sterilizers on water source as well as individual systems. I've tried teas. We've used CC's recommended stable nutrient, Canna (prior to their nutrient release) and run PPM's on a 700 scale at 300-500 in veg, ~700 in flower but never to exceed 900 (less than 1.2 EC.) PH swings, PH pegged. I've literally spent years trying to perfect this system in every possible way that I can think of. I've been successful in other locations (prompting the thought; it's in the water, seriously), and we're even chugging along now, but the expectations from these systems is 3x or 4x what they're producing and I cannot seem to find the root health we need.

I've posted three pictures of vegged plants in our veg systems before they enter the UC RDWC. These are in 20 gallon coolers that swing 62-65*, have 3 12" airstones from a 1hp commercial blower (chilled), running 5.5-6.0ph swing, ~350-400 Canna Veg A/B nutes, with a Heidelberg tea (ancient forest, mycos or EWC, aquashield, Great white or ZHO and molasses.)

The first picture is an empty cooler that has run for 3 days. The buildup of algae/slime is the concern. I can wipe this off daily and it returns, with or without plants, with or without tea. This then progresses to the second picture, roots about 10 days in. The growth is ideal, the plant shows no defficiencies and new roots are white and nice, with the exception of the top of the root mass it is ideal. These start with water essentially at the bottom of the net pot and are lowered to approximately 1" below as the roots establish themselves.

The third picture shows the root mass a few days later. Again, new white growth, no difficiences showing, 'older' growth is showing yellowing/browning tint as usual but the brown and the slime has essentially taken over the top of the root. This stage then progresses as the plant continues its growth cycle and is a constant battle. The plant is healthy but yields are very low. The new root growth continues to start white but given time will be over taken as the pictures show in the veg'd root mass. This is with tea being run the entire cycle, same issues with other products (sterile would delay the onset but the end result was the same.)

So before jumping off a cliff and getting away from my beloved RDWC what are your thoughts and solutions?




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What media is in your net pots?

Is it all in the same system? Maybe there is a spot that isn't getting cleaned, dirty airstone etc.

Have you tried flooming instead of airstones?
 
I don't have the time to do a full write down on that topic my friend. But the result of alot of testing ive done is. Use either Ridomil GOLD in your rez it will cure algea and root rot in a systemic way or change to another medium where you can keep healthy roots the organic way. You won't be able to keep clean roots without getting losses after 4-5 runs when you don't use pesti and fungis. Or try the hard way. True Aeroponics air assisted style. Cause there is alot of oxygen in your solution and with mixing your own nutrients you can use some chloride in there...

Wait if Jalisco Kid has something to say about that topic....
 
Maybe a stupid question from a stupid person but, have you ever had the water analyzed at a real deal laboratory? maybe one certified by the state DOH. Not "aquascience" or the freee home depot water test but a real lab that only deals with water...maybe a local university.


Also, nuttso

You won't be able to keep clean roots without getting losses after 4-5 runs when you don't use pesti and fungis.
Can you please expand on this? thanks.

Peace,


Ham
 
What media is in your net pots?

Is it all in the same system? Maybe there is a spot that isn't getting cleaned, dirty airstone etc.

Have you tried flooming instead of airstones?

Thank you for the thoughts.

We've tried different media's.... hydroton, hydrocorn, grow stones, and a couple others. No effect on this problem. We've cleaned it, we've bleached it, we've soaked it in h202. We had a weird fungus that would grow on the bottom of the lids previously that we were specifically chasing at that time but there is no difference in the root/water quality.

No, different systems, many runs, both recirc and as pictures show DWC without recirc, same issue. We've anally clean our systems between runs - 100% disassembled, bleached, pressure washed, 3 cycles through the pump and chiller, we've used bleach, h202 and even physan (that killed the plants that were planted) without it killing the slime/algea.

The airstones are new every run. We do not reuse them. I've tried limited fluming but for a 12 tank system and the quantity of water I didn't feel it was sufficient, although I don't have a DO meter to test it the airstones didn't seem to be the source... but everything is suspect at this point. Previously I'd get away with USED airstones in the previous location so I don't know that they're the issue.
 
Maybe a stupid question from a stupid person but, have you ever had the water analyzed at a real deal laboratory? maybe one certified by the state DOH. Not "aquascience" or the freee home depot water test but a real lab that only deals with water...maybe a local university.


Also, nuttso



Can you please expand on this? thanks.

Peace,


Ham

I actually looked for someone who would do this. All kinds of well water tests but I was unable to find someone who specifically could provide both a useful test, this is what's in the water, AND useful information, THIS is the component that is the problem. I expected to receive a test back with a 100 different trace elements but no idea what was doing what.

Do you have a source?
 
Unused sugars from your tea is my guess. Cut the molasses back and see if it gets better.

The muck in the roots is not sugars if that's what you're inferring. Is your logic to state the slime/algea is feeding off the sugar?

One would argue any bloom booster would then be the same issue as many of them have these same sugars.

We've also run sterile and have the same type of problems, with no tea/sugars.
 
Check out the thread: Get rid of “The Slime” aka “Brown Slime Algae” aka “Cyanobacteria"
Appears some folks and having good results with erythromycin.

Search in google or remove the spaces from url below.

ic mag dot com / ic / showthread.php?t=224658
 
Are you using white buckets?? If so you have to be completely sure you have no light leaking into your buckets... Even the smallest amount of light that enters a white bucket basically bounces off and reflects off the white walls in the bucket (like how panda film works).. I had this problem with white buckets algae would not go away... I wrapped the buckets in panda film and made little tops covering the tops of the net pots because light leaks through the tops of the net pots no matter what kind of medium you use and then it is reflected off of the inside of the white buckets... I cleaned out the whole system with physan 20 flushed all physan out put new plants in and BAM!! Nothing but sucsessful grows ever since...
 
Are you using white buckets?? If so you have to be completely sure you have no light leaking into your buckets... Even the smallest amount of light that enters a white bucket basically bounces off and reflects off the white walls in the bucket (like how panda film works).. I had this problem with white buckets algae would not go away... I wrapped the buckets in panda film and made little tops covering the tops of the net pots because light leaks through the tops of the net pots no matter what kind of medium you use and then it is reflected off of the inside of the white buckets... I cleaned out the whole system with physan 20 flushed all physan out put new plants in and BAM!! Nothing but sucsessful grows ever since...

Those are coolers, they have a 2" wall on them that is an exterior, insulation and an inner shell, they do not leak light. They are then put into black containers with black lids that have a similar panda film skirt like you describe. Had it been a light leak I would think there would be variances; 1 would leak light and another wouldn't, the white root would continue on the 'dark' side, ect but there would be some sort of variance, they're consistent. Thanks for the thought but I think we've explored that possibility.
 
i had same problem in a diff uc system. After months of headache i found out it was a faulty design in the pump which was allowing bacteria to build up in small spaces in the motor. i bleached the pump several times and it never killed the bacteria in the pump. once the bacteria took hold the massive amount of air made it thrive, taking over my root system within 2 weeks. I would try getting a new pump flushing the system for 2 days atleast, then starting over. Also somtimes certain nutes that are suppose to be sterile actaully aren't sterile. i had this problem with a few AN products including overdrive, bigbud and then a chelating issue with their bloom. That was the last time i used both AN and UC systems ever. I know several guys running 10k to 20k with UC systems that had same problems or just other problems with UC which forced them to modify the system. Deacon now uses a modified uc for soil. Good luck man; i know first hand this shit really sucks. Take it easy....... I know you didnt want to hear it but organic soil or soil with heavy 16 is much more secure and productive then any uc will ever be and doesn't come with all the hassle. Other then krusty buckets......but thats a whole other story.
 
The air level is probably contributing to he rapid degradation of your water, but i would bet a water test would find some bacteria present in your water source. Your going to need a chlorinization and DI system.
I've been looking for a place who will test the water - Any references to reliable sources that provide usable information?
 
The air level is probably contributing to he rapid degradation of your water, but i would bet a water test would find some bacteria present in your water source. Your going to need a chlorinization and DI system.

Air level as in too much? You commented on another thread suggesting a UC system with upgraded air system - What is the right amount or balance/gallon?
 
Maybe a stupid question from a stupid person but, have you ever had the water analyzed at a real deal laboratory? maybe one certified by the state DOH. Not "aquascience" or the freee home depot water test but a real lab that only deals with water...maybe a local university.


Also, nuttso



Can you please expand on this? thanks.

Peace,


Ham
Code:
We've tried sterile; h202, zone, bleach. I've controlled the water; merlin 5 filter RO filter, 63* max, 1 hp dedicated chillers, UV sterilizers on water source as well as individual systems. I've tried teas. We've used CC's recommended stable nutrient, Canna (prior to their nutrient release) and run PPM's on a 700 scale at 300-500 in veg, ~700 in flower but never to exceed 900 (less than 1.2 EC.) PH swings, PH pegged. I've literally spent years trying to perfect this system in every possible way that I can think of
As you see he already tried nearly everything except Ridomil GOLD. Man I'm not trying to push him into systemic pesti and fungi, but in my opinion it is not possible to keep such a system for some time and not run into issues regarding the root zone. Perhaps there are ways, but always remember you are growing a living organism. There can happen alot of things that even sciencist can't answer yet. I don't want to say the plants cause the algea or the root problems. But it is really hard to get rid of spores and not let one into your system that can fuck you up. I know they are really fast these uc or dd farms but in my opinion you get more consistently results with real medium. Especially something that you can innoculate with bennefical bacteria. Natural ways is always the best. Try some mapito with a good base, caps bennies and aptus boosters and get better yield with half of the work and even denser buds....
 
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