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6 plant tote - 3 plants with stunted growth - Possible causes to affect only some?

HerbGnome

New Member
Hey guys, I am at a loss here. I have no idea what is happening to a few of my plants. This is my 3rd grow, each time I've used aeroponics. I have had the clones for a week and a half, every plant inside the same plastic tote, a total of 6. 3 of the plants are stunted. I also have 1 with a dried up stem that I believe is unrelated to the problem.

Anyway, 2 of my plants are showing exceptional growth. however 3 of them appear stunted, with leaves with blades of a narrow width. They appear to be growing maybe half as fast. one of them has wilted over.

PH and PPM are fine, I check both every day. Nutrients stay to 75% GH series chart. I use great white and hydroguard in addition. My humidity is at 30%, and my temperature is at ~80 degrees F. These are the 2 factors that stand out as potential causes, but even so one question remains. Why are some of my plants doing fine and some of them stunted?

I don't know what could cause some plants to suffer while others are doing absolutely fine in the exact same environment. Any ideas? Maybe disease? My res temps have been high (above 75), but I have had hydroguard in there from day 1, and have never seen such a drastic difference in plant size in vegetative.
IMG_20161115_091612.jpg
 

HerbGnome

New Member
Could be that they're not all the same strain.... Slow or sick looking plants should be discarded just to be safe..

Wise words, I forgot to mention however they are all the same strain. I will likely ditch the one that has wilted forsure. If the other two don't recover after a res change I will likely ditch those as well. Better few than none.

Edit: I have removed the wilted plant. here is a picture of the roots, it doesn't smell particularly funky and is lacking the slime that is symptomatic of root rot. I've included a picture of the roots in case anyone sees a tell tale sign of disease.

IMG_20161115_192148.jpg


I have a theory. I had a bad algae infestation in my previous tote and I did not clean the pumps thoroughly. I had water in the system with the pump for 2 weeks prior to getting the clones as I was testing the new tote for leaks. During this time I had no hydroguard or any good bacteria. I think that the dead plant material from the algae inside the pumps could have created a perfect environment for bad bacteria, and that is what I am seeing take hold of the wilted plant. Is this possible?
 

HerbGnome

New Member
Here are some photos highlighting the difference between the sick and healthy plants. Both are the same strain and same age, from the same grower. I do not think the disease or at least the problem was with them when I got the clones.

sick
sick_plant4.jpg

healthy
healthy_plant.jpg


Brown edges on the sick plant seem symptomatic of pythium. I am growing more confidant that this is a disease or a fungus. But I don't understand what it could be or how it got there. any confirmation or other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

edit: stunted plants were given a bath in a heavy h2o2 solution, about 10ml/gal. then rinsed with clean water, then put back into the tote. The roots of the stunted plants do not appear slimy, they are strong and do not easily peel away. slightly brown, but I believe that is from nutrient staining. I am wary of putting h2o2 in the reservoir because I should have a good colony of bacteria from hydroguard and great white.
 

DukeO

Well-Known Member
If you live in the US. You should get some z7 water treatment.

It will stop most if not all root issues.

There is no need for hydrgraud when your using it.

Last time I saw roots like those was three years ago before I started using it.

Z7, nutes and tap water is all I use now.

I run DWC buckets with no chiller with tent temps 80 to 85f.
 

HerbGnome

New Member
Re: 6 plant tote - 3 plants with stunted growth - Possible causes to affect only some

Hey guys, I just added z7 to the reservoir yesterday, and hopefully it is doing it's work! I wanted to ask a question about h2o2.

I am using great white(gw) and hydroguard(hg) which should be creating a healthy colony of beneficial bacteria. It is my understanding that this is a more effective way of controlling the bad guy bacteria that forms pythium root rot(The likely culprit I think) as opposed to using h2o2.

However my plants are obviously not rebounding the way they should be even after the GW and the HG have had 2+ weeks to build up the good bacteria defense.

My question is should I try to nuke all the bacteria in there with h2o2 right before I swap out the nutes in the hopes it vanquishes the pythium along with the good guys? Should I be using h2o2 regardless outside of nute swaps? Or am I better leaving the good guys to their own means and not nuke them with h2o2?

Thanks for all the help.
 

DukeO

Well-Known Member
Re: 6 plant tote - 3 plants with stunted growth - Possible causes to affect only some

If your using z7 then you should not need to use anything else.

You will just need to give it some time. The dead roots will rot off and dissolve away and new roots should appear in a few days.

Mine all recovered and that was the last time I had a root issue and that was over two years ago.

z7 and some time should take care of them.


z7 water and nutes is all I ever use now.

I would pour some of the mix over my plant/hydroton to flush that out as well.
 

HerbGnome

New Member
Re: 6 plant tote - 3 plants with stunted growth - Possible causes to affect only some

Thanks for the advice Duke, I really appreciate it. I will be patient and allow the z7 to do it's work. I shall not worry about h2o2. I indeed applied z7 treated water directly to the hydroton at the plant sites in addition to adding the proper amount to the reservoir.

On a side note I have read from z7's website that it is ok to use with beneficial bacteria like mycorhizae and hydroguard, so I will continue using those for now as I do not think they would contribute to the problem and have read that both should help with root rot. I may do away with them in the future, but for now I want all the help I can get!
 

HerbGnome

New Member
Re: 6 plant tote - 3 plants with stunted growth - Possible causes to affect only some

update:
I have taken pictures of what appears to be damping off on the stem. A brown ring surrounds the stem near where the stem emerges from the hydroton. Damping off would also perfectly explain my symptoms, young clones instantly wilting over or struggling to grow I have read this is caused by the growing medium being too wet and I believe I know why my growing medium would be more wet this particular grow.

I am using a newly constructed tote this time. My sprayers in the new tote are spraying the middle of the netpots wheras in my first tote the sprayers only covered the very bottom of the netpot. My plants are also buried closer to the bottom and I am also using a smaller size netpots which allows the water to more easily reach the rockwool cube in the center. I have not had this problem before in my previous grow tote, plants never had this problem so quickly, and I think the growing medium being too wet is the reason.

2 questions: do these symptoms seem to indicate damping off? and
Does it seem likely that my plants would experience this disease due to an over-watered medium?

Here are some photos of the brown spot/ring on the bottom of the stem. I have taken some of the hydroton away to reveal the spot.
IMG_20161121_212523.jpg
IMG_20161121_211719.jpg
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IMG_20161121_212625.jpg
 

DukeO

Well-Known Member
Re: 6 plant tote - 3 plants with stunted growth - Possible causes to affect only some

I sometimes put my seedlings in a spray cloner when they are about 5days old, after popping in Rapid Rooters. I put the Rapid Rooter into a 2" basket and into my sprayer that gushes water onto them and they love it. I gave up on rockwool a while a go.

I found Rapid Rooter to be much better for popping seeds and I use just a foam collar on my clones in the spray cloner. Rockwool can grow some nasty stuff in itself.

I have also run a top feed water farm and it worked ok.

My guess would be salt build up in the top of the hydroton from evaporation.

That is just a guess. But I remember I would see a lot of build up of it at the top of my hydroton before I started using z7.

Now I never see any build up any where. The way I came across z7 was it came as a free sample with my cloner.

Some of your plants are pretty far gone.

Be careful not to over love them and I think there is a good chance they will come back.

I would cut back on the light the sick ones are getting and give them some time.
 

HerbGnome

New Member
Re: 6 plant tote - 3 plants with stunted growth - Possible causes to affect only some

I will accept the loss with this batch I think, and come at the grow again armed with more knowledge and a more dry medium.

In conclusion before I off the batch and retry: I just wanted to ask 3 questions:
1. Is that that brown ring/spot affecting young clones disease/damping off ?

2. Is it possible to overwater hydroton and rockwool? I didn't realize that I really could overwater using that medium and just want to make sure that's possible before I narrow that down as the major cause of creating an environment for the disease to thrive.

3. Would an over-wet medium cause stem rot/damping off?

I will also be cleansing every part of the grow tote with a heavy bleach or h2o2 solution before the next grow.
 

HerbGnome

New Member
Re: 6 plant tote - 3 plants with stunted growth - Possible causes to affect only some

Again, thanks to everyone for the responses! I wish I could rename the thread to all plants stunted. I will put this knowledge to use. I have removed the plants, and am now preparing for the future battle of preventing pythium/root rot from affecting my plants again.

1. sterilizing every single part that came into contact with the disease ridden water/replacing the airstones and hydroton.

2. attempting to reduce temperatures with a evaporative cooler. I will keep an eye on humidity to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.

3. adding more oxygen to the reservoir with a 20 watt ~600 gph air pump and more airstones.

4. reduce the pvc sprayer bar height so the sprayers aren't water logging my rockwool. The sprayers need to hit the utmost bottom or just below the netpots, so I'll need to hand water until the roots come through.

5. using z7 as a preventative. I saw a large build up of material at the bottom of my reservoir a few days after I used z7 actually and it very well could have been the z7 eating away at the slime/pythium . z7's description described that exact thing happening after use.
 

HerbGnome

New Member
Re: 6 plant tote - 3 plants with stunted growth - Possible causes to affect only some

Instead of the sprayers, why not just turn the tote into a dwc bubble bucket? You've got everything you need.

The thought has crossed my mind, once the roots have reached the water it essentially is a glorified DWC environment anyway.

The biggest reason is that I have seen great growth personally from the sprayers before. Sprayers can cover the entire root area which I believe helps with growth and I remember watching roots explode during the veg stage from the netpot my second grow with aeroponics. I am confident in their durability, have never seen a sprayer clog, and trust in their performance.

another is that the bottoms of the netpots are sitting a good 1~1 1/2 feet from the water level. I would need to either drastically raise the water level(every inch is about 1/2 gallon) and consequently I would need to spend more money on on the more nutrients it would take(I'm at 12 gallons inside the res right now). Or I would need to hand water for much longer until the roots descend to the water.

the last reason is lack of maintenance. I don't like the idea of hand water for any longer than a couple days.

I am open to ideas though, perhaps my reasoning is silly!
 

Dr Fish

Well-Known Member
Re: 6 plant tote - 3 plants with stunted growth - Possible causes to affect only some

If your water feed is directly to the rockwool it could keep it too wet.. That could express itself by showing overwatering symptoms... When i use rw for cloning, i pull off as much rw as i can at transplant, with as little damage to the roots as possible... It keeps everything too wet to suit me...
 

LEDBud

Well-Known Member
Re: 6 plant tote - 3 plants with stunted growth - Possible causes to affect only some

Products such as z7 that use microbes to keep the water healthy are good to use BEFORE you get root rot , not after.

Its too late to farm enough microbes to kill the bad bacteria , it won that battle and will kill any new microbes that are introduced.

its all about who gets the foot hold first when using microbes.

What you should have done is cleaned up the system by hand dropped the nutrient temperature and used a sterile res treatment at maximum strength.

It will not let bad or good microbes live , problem solved.

The problem arised because your nutrient temperature was not kept in check

If you do not control the water temperature this is highly likely to reappear next grow.



Again, thanks to everyone for the responses! I wish I could rename the thread to all plants stunted. I will put this knowledge to use. I have removed the plants, and am now preparing for the future battle of preventing pythium/root rot from affecting my plants again.

1. sterilizing every single part that came into contact with the disease ridden water/replacing the airstones and hydroton.

2. attempting to reduce temperatures with a evaporative cooler. I will keep an eye on humidity to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.

3. adding more oxygen to the reservoir with a 20 watt ~600 gph air pump and more airstones.

4. reduce the pvc sprayer bar height so the sprayers aren't water logging my rockwool. The sprayers need to hit the utmost bottom or just below the netpots, so I'll need to hand water until the roots come through.

5. using z7 as a preventative. I saw a large build up of material at the bottom of my reservoir a few days after I used z7 actually and it very well could have been the z7 eating away at the slime/pythium . z7's description described that exact thing happening after use.
 

DukeO

Well-Known Member
Re: 6 plant tote - 3 plants with stunted growth - Possible causes to affect only some

(5. using z7 as a preventative. I saw a large build up of material at the bottom of my reservoir a few days after I used z7 actually and it very well could have been the z7 eating away at the slime/pythium . z7's description described that exact thing happening after use.)

Yes that is what happens if you put z7 in with slime.

It also will stop the rot if you flush water though the hydroton(that is what I use) and over the roots.

I did for me anyways.

Those roots will not start to grow again in most cases.

But in about three days you should start to see a bunch of new white roots show up.

I have not washed a bucket/cloner or stones or anything in two years now and it all looks like new.

I know it sounds crazy. But it is true.
 
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