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Live or Sterile? Why I choose Live

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TheCapn

New Member
Beneficial Bacteria

Stoner Translation: "Bennies"

I've been writing some articles on how to grow big plants. This success hasn't come un-earned. I've had my fair share of struggles, and here's one of them, that nearly drove me to turn off the lights.

A long time ago I was growing RDWC style (Recirculating deep water culture). This is where the plant's root ball dangles submersed in water, and air is pumped into the water, providing oxygen to the roots. At the time, I had no idea what beneficial bacteria was, nor what a "sterile" environment was either. I only knew I was wildly successful doing what I was doing, considering I was quite the novice. I had hoses and air pumps and buckets everywhere. It was a mess but at the time it was working. You could say I was successful by accident.

One day, in the 5th week of flower, I noticed one plant all the way in the back, looked terrible. I could only get to it by crawling on the floor under my other plants. Upon inspection, the air hose had come off the air pump. I reattached it. A week later, that plant was toast, and all my other plants started YELLOWING, from the bottom up. I was adding more nitrogen but that didn't help. Finally, I pulled a plant out of the bucket and the roots were dark brown and falling apart. ALL 6 PLANTS had root rot. Pythium had invaded my entire system. When the air hose fell off, anaerobic bacteria thrived and then spread to all the others.

I started reading. I did everything possible to save the grow, but could not. I scrubbed all my equipment with bleach. I got all new hoses and cleaned the entire grow room with bleach. You could have performed brain surgery in there it was so clean. I put the next batch of plants into flower, and within a few weeks, they got root rot too. I lost everything and started over again. This time, I built a completely new aeroponics system, including an expensive chiller, (even new water pumps). Again, pythium, and lost everything.

I went 6 months without finishing a plant. Don't ask me, "did you try this? Did you do that?" The answer is yes. I tried Dutch master ZONE, H2O2, bleach, physan20, hygrozyme, sm90, chiller, aeroponics, and finally, beneficial bacteria tea. "Bennies" was absolutely, the ONLY THING that saved my plants. I'm talking about a 2 foot tall plant, who's stem looked like a cut clone. Every root was rotted off of it, and I was able to grow new roots using beneficial tea.

During this nightmare, I read for at LEAST 3 hours every night. I learned more about growing MJ in that 6 months than I care to know. I got a good understanding of why beneficial bacteria works, and how to use it. Since then, I switched growing methods. I no longer practice any growing methods where roots are not in medium. I do dirt or rockwool now. These growing methods are less prone to getting pythium or root rot. I could probably go back to DWC and use a product like DM Zone or H2O2 as a preventative measure, but I have done side by side comparisons using beneficial bacteria, and DM zone. Unfortunately I did not document these, but there is no contest, the bennies win by a landslide. And I'm talking about a month into veg, bennie plants are almost twice as tell as ZONE plants.

For the novice readers, here's the lesson learned. When in hydro, we need to choose a STERILE environment, OR a Live (beneficial bacteria) environment. I choose BB, because of the fantastic growth rates, especially during vegetative growth.

STERILE: aka DEAD RES, means an environment where there is NO bacteria, good or bad. The benefit here is you don't have to worry about expensive or complicated beneficial bacteria, you just add the product that kills both and go. The downside is if you have a pythium problem, these products won't usually bring your roots back to health. In addition, these are chemicals the plant is taking in, and I'd rather not consume chemicals. Also, you don't get the benefit of the root encouraging bacteria.

LIVE: (beneficial bacteria, aka bennies) This means you use products to introduce live beneficial bacteria to your roots. This, helps to keep the BAD bacteria under control, and helps your roots uptake more nutrients. You will use products like, aquashield, Greatwhite, fungi, mycos, zho, voodoo juice, etc. Using these (correctly) will encourage great root growth, better than sterile. The downside is these products can be expensive, and it is difficult to use them correctly. If not used correctly in hydroponics, they will have little to no benefit.

I make 5 gallons of "tea" weekly and top feed it to the root zone. I know it may sound hokey but the results are a no brainer. The recipe I use is refined by "heisenberg". You can find his 100 page thread if you search google. My slightly modified version:

Fill a 5 gal bucket with RO or distilled water (not tap water), add an airstone, and:

Anchient forest 1/2 cup/gal
AquaShield 10ml/gal
Molasses 1/2 tbsp/gal
GreatWhite 1/2 scoop per 5 gal
RootsExcellerator 1ml / gal
Rapid Start 1ml/gal
(the first 3 ingredients are necessary, the last 3 are optional)

Let it bubble for 48 hours. Then, flood the root zone of each plant.

There are easier ways to add beneficial bacteria than making tea, and there are a slew of products out there you can spend a ton of $ on. But this recipe is more diverse, and it makes your products last a long time. Plus, if used incorrectly, beneficial bacteria is ineffective.

I hear people say, "well, my roots aren't white because they are stained by flora micro, or this or that.... Well, I use liquid seaweed, micro, and flora blend and it makes my water look like soy sauce. And look at these white roots. Bottom line, if you're not using beneficial bacteria, you are missing out on growth rates.

transplant24.jpg
 

s1ingblade

New Member
I agree with you that some great results are attainable by using Bennies. I was brewing up Compost Tea alot more back when I still had all the ingredients that I got from progress earth (hope I am allowed to say that, sorry if I am not). So after running out I started making tea with Mexican Bat Guano, Liquid Kelp and Earth Syrup. I now know that I need to re-up and get some more Mycos from Corey here at Blue Planet Nutrients. His Myco product is called "Root Magic" and I got nothing but great things from using it. Is it the "Orca" that also has the trichodermas? I have read info about the pros and cons about using the trics along with the mycos but am currently trying them for myself and will let everyone know later in my journal (URL in my Sig.) I am getting the trics from a AN nutrient product called Piranha and even though I got it for close to half off MSRP it's still more than I want to spend ever again lol. I am going to google the heisenberg's tea recipe on google and go from there. Thanks Cap'n for all the time you have been putting into your journals and how to's lately. I honestly believe you could do as good or better job than most of the growing books and HT articles :)
reps brother
 

TheCapn

New Member
>>>I agree with you that some great results are attainable by using Bennies. I was brewing up Compost Tea alot more back when I still had all the ingredients that I got from progress earth (hope I am allowed to say that, sorry if I am not). So after running out I started making tea with Mexican Bat Guano, Liquid Kelp and Earth Syrup. I now know that I need to re-up and get some more Mycos from Corey here at Blue Planet Nutrients. His Myco product is called "Root Magic" and I got nothing but great things from using it.

I haven't heard of the root magic, but I just looked at it, and it's even packaged in the same container as Great White, but it's about 1/5th the cost! I will read up on this. Thanks for the tip.

>>>So after running out I started making tea with Mexican Bat Guano, Liquid Kelp and Earth Syrup.

Good stuff, s1ing! I use these ingredients when I grow in dirt. For the readers here, I want to point out that s1ing usually grows in dirt, and the products he mentioned are great for dirt and other soil-less mediums. Beneficial bacteria is amazing in both dirt and hydro. The article I wrote above is geared toward hydroponics, but you can use the tea in dirt as well. However, if we are going hydro, we don't want to use products like bat gauno and earth syrup in Hydro. If you want to add beneficial bacteria to hydro, stick to Heisenberg's tea recipe above, or use a product you know is safe to use in hydro. Don't add other ingredients because you think it will make it more "diverse". You could actually cause a slime outbreak in hydro by using the wrong ingredients, even though some of them are "advertised" safe in hydro.

>>>Is it the "Orca" that also has the trichodermas? I have read info about the pros and cons about using the trics

Orca does not have the trichoderma. Great white is more diverse. If you want to make the tea, you could use either, but I would use Great White, because I know it works. If you already have Orca, it is safe to substitute it for the great white. If you simply want to add beneficial bacteria to your hydro system the easy way (without making tea), you can use orca, roots excellurator, and aquashield. If you add a scoop of great white to your reservoir, you are not getting the most from it. Brewing it up in the tea first activates is, and you will supercharge yourself an army of beneficial microbes. Your roots will go crazy.

>>>I am getting the trics from a AN nutrient product called Piranha
I have read reports of Piranha causing slime in hydro. I would steer away from it in hydro.

Thanks for the tips and the compliments, s1ling. If I wrote a book, it would all be plagiarized. I'm just good at reading, then testing for myself, and ONLY THEN do I suggest others use the same methods. There is so much bad information out there. When you search for answers, you will get 9 bad answers and one good one. Then it's up to you to figure out which is the good one. When I find the good answer, I like to share.
 

s1ingblade

New Member
Man you do a great job at writing, and displaying your work!
I didn't plan on using some of the products I do now that work great in soil/soiless mediums on the hydro run. Do you think filtering out the compost teas would work ok in the top feed cube grow? Was planning tonight on passing a few quarts thru an old but clean t-shirt cause theres tiny bat turds floating in the solution but with it being fed to them thru and old watering can it doesn't have a chance of clogging anything. Yeah the way I mix and feed to waste I never have a chance on noticing anything building slime or clogging much. Now the plants being on drippers in the tent had a few unfiltered feeding with the tea. Pretty sure if I do that any more I will be having clogging issues and dont need that.
 

TheCapn

New Member
Man you do a great job at writing, and displaying your work!
I didn't plan on using some of the products I do now that work great in soil/soiless mediums on the hydro run. Do you think filtering out the compost teas would work ok in the top feed cube grow? Was planning tonight on passing a few quarts thru an old but clean t-shirt cause theres tiny bat turds floating in the solution but with it being fed to them thru and old watering can it doesn't have a chance of clogging anything. Yeah the way I mix and feed to waste I never have a chance on noticing anything building slime or clogging much. Now the plants being on drippers in the tent had a few unfiltered feeding with the tea. Pretty sure if I do that any more I will be having clogging issues and dont need that.

Hey s1ing,

>>>Do you think filtering out the compost teas would work ok in the top feed cube grow?

If you are referring to the Heisenberg tea recipe above, yes, it is fine. You don't even have to filter it. Just turn off the air pump, let the particles from the ancient forest settle, then top feed it. As far as OTHER compost teas, I would caution the use in hydro, not because they could clog drip rings, but because like I said, some products tend to promote slime. But if it's a tea you know is safe for hydroponics, go for it!
 

s1ingblade

New Member
I have got to find out exactly what the ancient forest is? It's not from Advanced Nutes is it? So glad I looked and the AquaShield is the 4L and Brand New lol, finally a little luck:high-five: Do you think Corey's Root Magic could take the place of the Great White or Orca? I think so but wanted to see what you thought
 

TheCapn

New Member
I have got to find out exactly what the ancient forest is? It's not from Advanced Nutes is it? So glad I looked and the AquaShield is the 4L and Brand New lol, finally a little luck:high-five: Do you think Corey's Root Magic could take the place of the Great White or Orca? I think so but wanted to see what you thought

Hell no, it's not from Advance :)

Yes the Root Magic product contains a good diverse range of mycos. In fact, I am temped to buy some myself. It sounds like you are buying aquashield in BULK! I do too. woo hoo!

The Ancient Forest is made by General Hydroponics. It should be $12-15 for a bag that will last a year. I wouldn't substitute the A.F. You could make the tea with ONLY the ancient forest if you didn't have any other products. Here is a picture. Any hydro store should carry it, or at least be able to order you a bag.

ancient.jpg
 

s1ingblade

New Member
Hell no, it's not from Advance :)

Yes the Root Magic product contains a good diverse range of mycos. In fact, I am temped to buy some myself. It sounds like you are buying aquashield in BULK! I do too. woo hoo!

The Ancient Forest is made by General Hydroponics. It should be $12-15 for a bag that will last a year. I wouldn't substitute the A.F. You could make the tea with ONLY the ancient forest if you didn't have any other products. Here is a picture. Any hydro store should carry it, or at least be able to order you a bag.

ancient.jpg

Thanks Cap'n, I will be getting ahold of a bag soon. So I never really knew why I bought the AquaShield in such a big bottle but now I am glad I did. I also got some hygrozyme, not sure other than an occasional dose to give them some enzymes. Do you ever use the HygroZyme CAP? So once I get the Ancient Forest than I have a good amount of ingredients to make your hybrid Hesenburg's Tea recipe. I have to make some poop soup soon but dont want to just float in a bunch of tiny bat turds so I will take an old sock and make a tea bag with it
 

TheCapn

New Member
>>>I also got some hygrozyme, not sure other than an occasional dose to give them some enzymes.

Some people swear hygrozyme is the bomb. As long as you are not having any root issues, it is ok to use, but I have personally seen it make matters way worse, at least in DWC. I have a 30 bottle of it, and I won't use it. Search google for "slime hygrozyme", and you will find one person after another who have seem hydrozyme cause slime, especially in any system that involves an air stone.

Stick to the basic heisenberg recipe, (aquashield, ancient forest, and a myco) and you can only do good for your plants.
 

s1ingblade

New Member
Sounds good, I dont have the ancient forest yet but what I did do was took three socks and in one put mexican bat guano, another got some earth syrup (dry form) and the last some roots element I think is what its called its a powder form of ca & mg plus some fish protein that stinks bad, also put in a 1/4 cup of liquid sea kelp. Not even 60 mins later had so much foam I gave em 5 drops of storch oil
DSCN06515.JPG

So for me? I'll choose "Live!"
 

TheCapn

New Member
I don't have any experience with those ingredients in a tea but it looks like a good concoction. I hope those socks were clean. ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Did you buy the root magic yet? If so, please post a picture, I want to see what the powder looks like.
 

s1ingblade

New Member
I don't have any experience with those ingredients in a tea but it looks like a good concoction. I hope those socks were clean. ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Did you buy the root magic yet? If so, please post a picture, I want to see what the powder looks like.

No not yet, thanks for reminding me lol. I did find that inside of 6 of the 10 smart pots was a 30ML sample of General Hydroponics Rapid Start. No mycos in it but still cool as I didn't even know they gave me 6 free bottles.
 

TheCapn

New Member
I wanted to circle back to this article to mention some news... worth mentioning :)

About a month ago, I found a couple DinaFem OG Kush seeds that I got for freebees, so I germinated them. These two plants are sort of "bonus" plants for me. I mean, I don't really care about them much and they don't fit into my perpetual "capn style" grow, as I have bigger and better strains on the horizon. So I decided to do an experiment. After they were 6" tall, I put them in 10" net pots, and started DWC in 5 gallon buckets. I used the nice gen hydro air pump with 4 outputs. I used TWO coke can size air stones in EACH BUCKET. Water temps hover around 71-72F. Why am I trying DWC? I'm simply experimenting.

Before I continue, I want to remind you that I'm still using the "heisenberg tea" once a week. For those of you just tuning in, "tea" is a concoction of beneficial bacteria, that form a symbiotic relationship with your roots. They help protect roots against root disease, and DO help your roots grow faster. Brewing the tea isn't absolutely necessary. You can use pre-made mycos and other beneficial bacteria, but the tea is more diverse.

After a week, the plants were doing spectacular. Snow white roots where hanging down about 6 inches into the water. The plants had doubled in size in just a week. Then, I thought to myself... "Self, instead of using tea, let's try some DM ZONE to protect against root disease." If you don't know what "dutch master zone" is, it is a product that is advertised to protect against and cure root disease. I have already proven that is DOES NOT CURE root disease, but maybe it will protect against it. So, I followed the instructions on the bottle, and added the recommended amount of ZONE. Why did I use "zone", instead of my time proven tea? Because, zone is easy. You just add it with every nutrient change.

WITHIN 2 DAYS, any roots hanging below the net pot, turned DARK brown. Can you F'ING believe it? But let me tell you why I think this happened. I believe the ZONE killed my beneficial bacteria, and this opened up the door for pythium. I already KNOW that ZONE WILL NOT KILL PYTHIUM, even though dutch master says it does. ONLY after I added the ZONE, the roots turned black.

In the first post of this "live or sterile" article, I talk about choosing one of the two methods, and sticking to it... not changing 1/2 way thru. This experiment confirms that. I need to stick to my own rules! Ronnie... the guy with the "rainforest" aero / dwc set up... he is using ZONE and his roots are exploding. HOWEVER, Ronnie started using the zone from the beginning.

So, I cut off all the roots hanging below the net pots. I transplanted the two plants back to capn style. One, in the 6 gallon airpot, and the other in a 5gal "poor man's air pot". Both plants were a little droopy from getting roots cut, but I'm sure they will be fine. The 3 seedlings you see are new strain I am excited about. You will have to wait on these!

As I said before, some of us are successful be accident, using NEITHER method. But this is a lesson I have learned. Voltrom posted his experience with it here. Thanks for the well worded post, Voltrum. In my opinion, media-less growing (DWC / aero) is a ticking time bomb, unless you choose a live or sterile environment, and even then, it can still bite you and ruin your entire crop. Will I start another DWC grow in choose one or the other? Nah... no more experimenting for awhile. I'll stick to rockwool. I get near DWC yields, and have had nothing but white roots.

 

s1ingblade

New Member
SOrry to hear of the zone incident, maybe sticking to the cubes is a great thing? So far it is for me except for the learning curve lol its grows so fast I outgrew the room.
Got to take cuts and start a brew asap, like NOW!
 

s1ingblade

New Member
well Sunday has come and gone and let me tell you it wasn't easy.
I figured it would be appropriate to chat about my last task of the day today before going home. I made a modified version hesinbergs tea. I added a bigscoop of ancient forest, worm castings, "Roots Elemental" and 30 mls of aqua shield to four gallons of well water. The well water is super clean and comes in at a low 86 PPMS, some of the cleanest water I have ever had the pleasure of having. So far I havent had any problems with stopping the use of cal-mag. If I were to go get some Reverse Osmosis I would most def. add it.
SO one hour later I had to add a few drops os storch oil cause it was already overflowing in foam bubbles. The way I understand it and could be wrong but the foam is a byproduct of life? Bacterial action? Something in there is working.
Hey Cap! if one wanted to make a compost tea or a modified heisenberg do you think they could use bat guano? Maybe the Mexican thats high in Nitrogen in a tea for plants in veg and a tea with the Jamaican which is low in Nitrogen but higher in Phosphorus for plants in bloom? I dont know enough about compost tea and if it needs to be custom tailored to suit different stages or if a proven recipe like the Heisenberg one is good enough for all stages?
I have always made one and given it to plants in various stages of there life.
Sorry for the rambling guess what I am asking would it be better to custom blend and brew or stick to the recipe?
Thanks
 

s1ingblade

New Member
live or sterile doesnt matter to the clones, leave the pump off in the cloner and they'll both die, wash my hands and take some more time
 

CaneyeBus

New Member
Hello Capn, I have a few questions for you if you dont mind.
1. I bought bukaroo brand natural organic worm castings will this suffice? I saw the ancient forest brand in my store , didnt buy it because it said soil ammmendment on it lol not worm castings.(duh i now know they are typically the same just saw your pic of the bag argh!!! It was the right bag i was looking at in the store)
2.I have a bag of xtreme grdening mykos drops, are these comprable to the mykogrow?
3. I was reading other heinsberg tea forums,recipes,posts etc and are the mykos to be added while the tea is brewing or right after thebrewing has finished?
I have the unsuplhered molasses as well as a sample pac of great white the great white will suffice for the bascillius bacteria correct?
I will take the bukaroo brand back to get the ancient forest if need be , also this bag is
20 quarts, theres no way ill be using all of that anytime soon,the ancient forestg looked a bit smaller so im leaning towards returning it and getting the anciet forest.

Edit---- guess ill be going back for the ancient forest, as i forgot the aquashield. Just hate being in "those" stores for any longer than i have to be, the sales rep kept talking to me and trying to plus sell me on stuff i didnt go in there for. In my haste to leave i forgot it. They also had the zho if i understand correctly if the mykos i have are good the zho isnt necessary?
Thanks again

Stay Frosty
 
Last edited:

TheCapn

New Member
Hello Capn, I have a few questions for you if you dont mind.
1. I bought bukaroo brand natural organic worm castings will this suffice? I saw the ancient forest brand in my store , didnt buy it because it said soil ammmendment on it lol not worm castings.(duh i now know they are typically the same just saw your pic of the bag argh!!! It was the right bag i was looking at in the store)
2.I have a bag of xtreme grdening mykos drops, are these comprable to the mykogrow?
3. I was reading other heinsberg tea forums,recipes,posts etc and are the mykos to be added while the tea is brewing or right after thebrewing has finished?
I have the unsuplhered molasses as well as a sample pac of great white the great white will suffice for the bascillius bacteria correct?
I will take the bukaroo brand back to get the ancient forest if need be , also this bag is
20 quarts, theres no way ill be using all of that anytime soon,the ancient forestg looked a bit smaller so im leaning towards returning it and getting the anciet forest.

Edit---- guess ill be going back for the ancient forest, as i forgot the aquashield. Just hate being in "those" stores for any longer than i have to be, the sales rep kept talking to me and trying to plus sell me on stuff i didnt go in there for. In my haste to leave i forgot it. They also had the zho if i understand correctly if the mykos i have are good the zho isnt necessary?
Thanks again

Stay Frosty

1. Caneye, sorry to tell you, and it looks like you figured it out already, do not use the straight worm castings. They are TOO funky for making tea. Go back and get the A.F.

2. Yes, extreme gardening - very good stuff and good prices. Comparable.

3. There are mixed opinions about this. I start everything brewing and use it after 48 hours. I don't add anything at the last minute. The argument is that some mykos are activated right when they get wet, and then don't need to brew. Check with the vendor of your mykos on this. Ask them if you can use it right away or is it better when brewed in a tea?

4. Yes the great white is very diverse, it is good stuff. I prefer to brew it because if you just add it to your system, sometimes you will find it on the bottom of your res. But if you don't want to spend that much, the ZHO is a great alternative. I have both the GW and the ZHO and I use a dash of each. I don't think I listed the ZHO in the recipe above, because it is totally optional.

Even a tea with just the Ancient forest works well. Next most important ingredient is the mycos (great white or ZHO or any mycos), then the aquashield. Recently, I have been using florablend in my tea as well, at 1ml/gal. It seems to work well, but I have only been doing it for a month so not enough data yet.

PS don't add additional ingredients thinking it will make it better. Stick to the recipe. Good luck and be sure to post pictures of your tea.
 

CaneyeBus

New Member
1. Caneye, sorry to tell you, and it looks like you figured it out already, do not use the straight worm castings. They are TOO funky for making tea. Go back and get the A.F.

2. Yes, extreme gardening - very good stuff and good prices. Comparable.

3. There are mixed opinions about this. I start everything brewing and use it after 48 hours. I don't add anything at the last minute. The argument is that some mykos are activated right when they get wet, and then don't need to brew. Check with the vendor of your mykos on this. Ask them if you can use it right away or is it better when brewed in a tea?

4. Yes the great white is very diverse, it is good stuff. I prefer to brew it because if you just add it to your system, sometimes you will find it on the bottom of your res. But if you don't want to spend that much, the ZHO is a great alternative. I have both the GW and the ZHO and I use a dash of each. I don't think I listed the ZHO in the recipe above, because it is totally optional.

Even a tea with just the Ancient forest works well. Next most important ingredient is the mycos (great white or ZHO or any mycos), then the aquashield. Recently, I have been using florablend in my tea as well, at 1ml/gal. It seems to work well, but I have only been doing it for a month so not enough data yet.

PS don't add additional ingredients thinking it will make it better. Stick to the recipe. Good luck and be sure to post pictures of your tea.

Thanks for the response Capn!oh I'm definitely gonna stick to the recipe not adding anything,just wanted to know if there were substitutes for any of the ingredients if they weren't available. I may have been reading another thread on 420 about Heisenberg tea and got confused about which thread i was in. So ill be getting the ancient forest as well as the aqua shied
Oh, i will post pics of the tea once i get the rest of the ingredients, now that i have the courage to do so.lol
+reps for the help

Stay frosty
 
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