View Full Version : Algae & Funky Water Problem

01-11-2007, 05:35 AM
Hello all, hope somebody can help me. I have a hydro hut mini w/can filter & 180 cfm fan venting outside the hut. I have a regular fan to circulate air also. I have 8 bulbs T5 lights mixed spectrum. (4 of each spectrum) I have 6 DWC buckets. 3 buckets are on one air pump thats good for 60 gallon tank (so i have two of these air pumps) and there are air stones in each bucket. These are 3 gallon buckets and i keep my nutes about 1-2 inches below the net pots so there's about 2 gallons in each bucket. My buckets WERE white and i painted them black, then put duct tape over that (bucket & lid) and now I just added black plastic garbage bag over that just in case that wasn't enough. Also have net pot covers too. I have a small humidifier in there that will bring my humidity up to 49-50%, without the humidifier it is usually around 39-40%. I turned the humidifier off for now until I can fix my problem here, not sure if the humidifier is the problem but is hasn't been a problem until now. My rez temps are 68-70. My air temp is 70-73. I also keep my hut just a tap bit unzipped so fresh air can get in there. I use Techniflora BC Grow Bloom Boost. My plants are in their fourth week and all of a sudden the roots start getting brownish and then the buckets start getting funky and accumulating algae within one week of fresh nutes. I have flushed the roots, I dumped & scrubbed the buckets again and added all new nutes with FloraShield.

I thought my temps were good. Could it be that the humidity was too high for the temp? Should I put the humidifier on low (it was on high)? I would appreciate any help. Thanks.

01-11-2007, 07:22 AM
I've had some gunk and brown root problems in some of my DWC set ups. So far I haven't killed anything with it yet though. (I'm growing mailnly salad) It seems the less nute in the res the more gunk seems to build up. I noticed that when the airstones get clogged the browning of the roots seems to increase. Also, balancing of airstones on one pump can be tricky since they may not clog up at the same rate and the air will choose the easiest path to travel. I had to get some little valves to close down the airstones that were bubbling the most to get the others to bubble at all. I've sometimes heard of using a bit of hydrogen peroxide in the water (I tried it once and it seemed to help a bit) but I know there are additives that you should not use if you use hydrogen peroxide or vice versa.

They say a bit of algae (especially on top of the media) won't hurt the plants. Biggest problem is when it gunks up the works and clogges feed tubes or air stones. If there is enough growing it could use up some nutrients.

Is all gunk algae? I've on occasion found gunk growing in a very dark environment and thought perhaps it was bacteria instead of algae.

In any case, the important thing is how are the plants doing?

David G.
01-11-2007, 08:35 AM
DWC systems can be very tricky; if you have too much solution or not enough oxygen you can get serious pathogen problems.

You probably just have algae, which can come in just about any color under the sun (not just green), brown, red, white, etc. You can try a bit of Oxy Blast (http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/Itemdesc.asp?ic=NEGOB32&eq=&Tp=)or Physan 20 (http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/Itemdesc.asp?ic=PCPHYSAN08&eq=&Tp=); either one should help the situation.

Another product that we will be making available online in the near future is our Fresh Brewed Organic Compost Tea. This product contains over 35,000 different strains of beneficial bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes which will quickly turn the brown roots white and protect them against pathogens. We have been selling it in our retail stores for the past several months and the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. We'll probably feature the product in an upcoming eNewsletter when we post the product on the website.

01-11-2007, 09:26 AM
Well the plants seem fine. A couple of the plants have some burn on the leaves so i backed off the nutes. I also read somewhere that plants growing under fluros need less nutes so that's why i lowered them a bit, but then i thought perhaps it's heat stress, i have T5 fluors so I thought that I could get a little closer but perhaps not. I just need to get the environment figured out and learn what's normal and what's not but that will only come with time, I just don't want to kill them. Perhaps it is bacteria in the bucket, it wasn't bad but the first 3 weeks everything was great, no algae or bacteria or anything then all of a sudden it was there so that's why i am so concerned.

I also have a manifold hooked to each air pump so I can adjust the amount of air going to the air stones, I know what you mean about them getting different amounts of bubbles, that's why i bought two air pumps so i could distribute it better.

That tea sounds great, when it's in your online store i will definately get that too. Will check it out in the next newsletter.

Thanks for your help, i thought my root system should always look white but maybe not. They aren't slimy or anything so I guess I'll try not to worry so much and just keep learning.

Thanks again everyone.

01-24-2007, 10:15 AM
I have recently started using the Hygrozyme product and have seen great results ... healthy plants and roots!

This product would be similar to the 'organic tea' referenced earlier in this discussion thread. Hygrozyme acts as a cleanser (removes gunk, i.e. organic material, around roots and in medium) and breaks down dead organic material and transforms it into a useable cellulose product (carbohydrates) which the plant uses.

http://www.hygrozyme.net great product information!

It's pricey, but a bottle goes A LONG WAY! Give it a try (esp. in DWC), Im sure you'll love it!

01-29-2007, 06:04 PM
I'm betting their tea is a much different product with live bacteria which eat the algae and crap it out in a usable form (how convenient...) I think it's a blend of beneficial bacteria and fungi that do different things but all work well together. Hygrozyme is more like the other enzyme products which break down cellulose. Not sure how they affect algae but they do seem to kill that as well. I've been using a sample House and Garden "Multizyme" product. I suppose it did it's thing (I couldn't check out the roots though). Maybe I'll do the test Dave decribed on this site (sorry bad with links right now).

Anyway these enzyme products seem like they can get you to recover from damage but if you still have bacteria causing it then your problem may re-occur. I recommend Cutting Edge "Hum Tea".