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Persistant root rot, bennificial bacteria not working


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Old 01-05-2017, 05:28 PM
chopficaro chopficaro is offline
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Default Persistant root rot, bennificial bacteria not working

I am very close to solving the last major problem in my grow, but it is one hell of a puzzle so please let me try to explain it the best I can and please help guys, your input has been incredibly helpful thus far. It seems I have been battling root rot for a long time now. It was much worse and more visible before, killing an entire crop in fogponics. Since then I have changed to NFT, added beneficial bacteria, and lowered res temps to exactly 67.6F. I have also shielded the reservoir with 3 layers of cardboard in addition to the lid so that no light can get at it at all but the lid is cut and the cardboard layers are stacked loosely enough for air to get at the reservoir. I don't think I need an air stone because the water is at optimum oxygen absorbing temperature and the 8 foot long, 4 inch wide NFT stream creates maximum water movement, providing plenty of moving area for oxygen to be absorbed through the surface. The roots in the water have been pearly white, but just today I noticed that the roots that are above the water are light brown. I didn't notice it because in NFT the roots don't dangle very far before they hit the water. This amount of light brown roots above the water is so small that they probably weigh less than a quarter of a gram, while the roots in the water probably weigh 7 grams. So my guess is that the roots above the water have a constant Pythium infection, but whenever the Pythium tries to invade below the water level, my beneficial bacteria gobble them up. But this might not be the case because my reservoir has patches of bubbly foam on the surface and the PH RISES BY MORE THAN 2 POINTS IN LESS THAN A DAY! This would seem to indicate a larger infection I would think, but as I said the roots below the water are pearly white! What a puzzle. Adding H2O2 to the reservoir would not help because if the beneficial bacteria in the stream cant reach the roots above the water, neither could the H2O2. I have just bathed the roots and changed the reservoir and the ph just rises uncontrollably within a day after changing. I will add more light shielding to the NFT channels themselves but I don't think this alone will be enough to solve the problem. Here are my numbers, please help guys:

all polyethylene NFT system no rockwool just neoprene collars
620ppm maxigro
26 gallon reservoir
67.6 water temp
5.4 ph rises to 6.7 in 12 hours
66% humidity
70F air temp
i keep adding shots of Hydroguard at about 8ml dose, 3 doses so far in this reservoir

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Old 01-05-2017, 08:35 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello chopficaro,
First, I agree there wouldn't be much point to having a air pump in the reservoir in a NFT system that's running 24/7 and has the water temps in the optimum range. The constant water flow keep the water moving, and the churning water in the NFT channels, as well as the falling water in the reservoir aerates the water. Not to mention that in a NFT system most of the oxygen uptake by the plant is done by the roots that are above the water line in the NFT channels. So adding a air pump would have little effect.

Second, light brown roots does not necessarily mean disease. Older roots will often naturally become tinted brown. Especially when hanging in mid air. Healthy roots will feel firm, diseased roots will feel mushy and/or slimy. Here is a picture of perfectly healthy roots. You'll notice the roots are NOT pearly white, but rather brown instead. You'll also notice the older roots near the top are darker brown, while the newer roots at the bottom are lighter brown to white at the tips.

Third, your right that it doesn't mater what you put in the water, the roots above the water line won't get any benefit because their above the water. The roots would either have to be submerged, or in growing media and the water top feed to cover the entire root system.

Fourth, I'm not sure if you understood what I was saying in the other thread about the foam. In your case the foam doesn't necessarily mean pathogens because you are adding beneficial microbes. Both beneficial microbes and pathogens will give off proteins that will result in the foam. Also both beneficial microbes and pathogens can cause a bad moldy/musty smell, as well as cloudy water. The one sure difference is that beneficial microbes WON'T cause mushy and slimy roots. Beneficial microbes won't harm the plant, but pathogens will. Mushy and slimy roots mean disease, so only pathogens will cause mushy and slimy roots.

Fifth, the pH changes may, or may not be related to the microbes in the water regardless if they are beneficial or pathogens. Both can alter the pH. The continued addition of beneficial microbes will increase the foaming. Also if the beneficial microbes are affecting pH, continually adding more beneficial microbes will only cause it to get worse. But before I can determine the pH changing is related to the microbes (either beneficial or pathogenic), I would have to rule out other possibilities. So I have a few questions:


1. Do you have any pictures of the plants and system?
2. Other than the color of the roots do your plants look healthy?
3. Are the roots firm, or mushy/slimy?
4. is the reservoir water clowdy or translucent?
5. Does the reservoir water have a musty or moldy smell to it?
6. How are you cheeking your pH?
7. What are you using to adjust your pH?
8. What are you using for your water source?
9. How often do you change your nutrient solution?
10. How big are your plants?
11. How many plants are in the system?
12. If you don't adjust the pH will it continue to rise, or is 6.7 as high as it gets?
13. Are you adding anything other than the maxigro and Hydroguard to the reservoir?
14. You said you added three 8 oz doses of the Hydroguard to this reservoir so far. What time frame are you talking. When did you change the reservoir last, and how often are you adding the Hydroguard?
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 01-05-2017 at 08:56 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2017, 04:10 PM
chopficaro chopficaro is offline
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here ya go
http://i.imgur.com/Gy7chjK.jpg
i swear to god they look brown in the picture but white in real life
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:15 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello chopficaro,
Obviously I'm not there to feel the roots myself so I can't tell if they feel firm or mushy and/or slimy. Nor can I see the top of the plants to see if they look healthy or not. But I don't see anything in the picture that appears abnormal. One thing I do notice is that it doesn't look like a NFT system. The water level in the channel looks like it's more than 1/8-1/4 inch deep. In fact it looks like the roots are floating in water completely submerged. That makes it a water culture system. If you have water flowing through the channel 24/7, that would make it a recirculating water culture system. I'll be waiting to hear the answers to my questions.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:52 AM
chopficaro chopficaro is offline
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yes that's about the depth of the water because the channel is on a very slight decline. also it stops pumping and empties for 1 minute every 30 minutes. i have a tri moniter for ph. it is ro water. the 3 small plants do not look healthy because they have been subjected to severe trauma from the humic acid + kelp mix that was in the previous 26 gallon reservoir, which was changed just a few days ago. nothing except maxigro and hydroguard in this res. i have mixed powdered ph down from precision hydro, which i keep dumping in and the ph rises very quickly to a max of 7. the roots feel and look healthy to me. i have dosed it with hydro guard once every 1 to 2 days in this res change after i noticed the ph rising problem.

Last edited by chopficaro; 01-07-2017 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:48 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello chopficaro,
Quote:
do not look healthy because they have been subjected to severe trauma from the humic acid + kelp mix
That doesn't really help me much since I still cant see what they look like. If I could see the plants I may see things about what's wrong you don't.

Quote:
i have a tri moniter for ph
Get some pH drops to verify your results with. Electric meter can give false readings even when taken care of and calibrated properly. pH drops are cheap and will never give false readings, they also don't need to be calibrated. I'm not saying your meter is for sure giving false readings. I'm saying that unless you double check the readings with pH drops you can't rule out the possibility the electric meter could be wrong.

Quote:
i have mixed powdered ph down from precision hydro
Do you have a link to the product? I'm not familiar with precision hydro pH up and down.

Quote:
3 small plants
This doesn't help me much either. Again this is where pictures are much better. I don't know what your growing and/or what your idea of small is. A small lettuce or strawberry plant is vastly different in size than a small tomato or pepper plant. What small is to you may be much different to me. I'm trying to figure out how much water and nutrients the plants are consuming. Water volume to plant ratio and nutrient uptake can change pH. So in order to rule this possibility out I need to know how big the plants are. With 3 plants and 26 gallons of water/nutrient solution that comes out to 8.6 gallons per plant. But in order to know if that is enough and/or if the plants are consuming the nutrients to quickly, I need to know how big the plants are as well as if their heavy feeders or not. As the nutrient composition and strength changes, so will pH.

Quote:
ph rises very quickly to a max of 7.
Just to verify, your saying the pH never goes above 7 even if you don't readjust it. Also your relying on an electric meter, so to verify that the readings are correct, you need to check the pH with pH drops. Other wise you can't rule out false readings.

Quote:
i have dosed it with hydro guard once every 1 to 2 days in this res change after i noticed the ph rising problem.
This is an absolute misuse of the product. Beneficial microns are NOT meant to be added daily. To much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

The manufacture recommends using 2 mL per gallon of water. 1 fluid oz= 30 ml. Your reservoir is 26 gallons. So you should be using 52 ml, or about 2 oz (60 mL) in the your reservoir. Not only are you using 4 times more than recommended, your doing it daily. Beneficial microbes should only be added once, when you do a nutrient change. Beneficial microbes will continue to breed and multiply as long as they have a food source and breeding grounds (a bio filter). A bio filter is simply some porous material for them to attach to and the water flows through, like just about any type of growing medium.

Small diluted amounts (about 25%-50% of the manufacture recommendations) can be added about once a week after that if needed and your not changing your nutrient solution weekly. You've exceeded 12 times the manufactures recommendations in just a few days. That's a drastic overuse.


You also forgot to answer answer these questions
4. is the reservoir water clowdy or translucent?
5. Does the reservoir water have a musty or moldy smell to it?
9. How often do you change your nutrient solution?
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 01-07-2017 at 10:58 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-13-2017, 12:43 PM
chopficaro chopficaro is offline
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yes the res was cloudy, no it didnt smell, told you problem occurred a few days after changing res, i've been under dosing not over dosing
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:03 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
i've been under dosing not over dosing
You said you used 8 oz of the Hydroguard for 26 gallons of water, and not once but at least 3 times within one week. Is this true or not? If it is how do you come to the conclusion that your under dosing when the manufactures recommendations clearly say to use 2 ml per gallon of water?

Outed directly from the manufactures website. (scroll down and click on usage application)
"Direction for use:Use alone or with conventional fertilizers and/or nutrients. Jar test for compatibility prior to application. Shake well before using.
Application Rates:
Hydroponic Applications: 2 ml / gallon"
Hydroguard feed chart

Quote:
told you problem occurred a few days after changing res
I didn't ask when did the problem first occur, I asked how often do you change your nutrient solution.

You have yet to answer
1. You still haven't posted a link to the pH adjusters your using.
2. You also haven't said anything about the results of testing pH with pH drops instead of using an electric meter.
3. You still haven't answer my question about how big the plants are, "Small" is a relative term that could mean anything.
4. You never replied about me wanting to verify that your pH never goes above 7 even if you don't readjust it.
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:04 PM
chopficaro chopficaro is offline
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dude i have answered all of ur questions if u just read my posts. i said 8 ml not 8 oz. the ph is steady now but the plants are still stressed, old growth dying too much. i really appreciate ur help but i have solved this problem for now, the pythiam has been killed, and am moving on to other problems unfortunately. if u really want to help, and i hope u still do, do u think it is possible that i have stressed my plants with the exact recommended dose of H2O2 on the bottle? I have stopped using it and am now relying on the fact that i have decreased my reservoir temperature to 60f from 68f earlier, to stop diseases.

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