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Plant suicide...algae?

LettuceLady

New Member
omega system

grotek's grow formula

crop: lettuce

medium: some in rw, some in peat plugs

light: 2 600w hps bulbs, one red, one blue

An algae coat started forming on the tops of all the media. I knew this was probably a problem, but my friend (who has a soil greenhouse) had algae on all of her seed trays and wasn't concerned.

So I waited.

Sure enough, plants started 'committing suicide'. The plant completely separated from the roots and fell of.

light + heat + humidity = algae (as far as I know) So, I thought I could solve the problem by removing light. Each 3" rw cube (with either a 1" rw or a peat plug in the whole) was wrapped with a 6" square of black plastic. The seedling poked through a slit cut into each black square. This was laborious, but a nice day spent in the grow room. :)

New problem: the cubes are no longer taking up water. I had been rinsing and replenishing my reservoir every 5 days or so. It's been over a week, and my water level has hardly budged. Plants look thin and week.

I think this is because the rw needs to evaporate from the top so that it can take up more nutrient solution.

How do I block the light from the tops of my rw, and still let the system breathe?
 

HiTimes4Me

New Member
I just keep something on top of my rw to keep the light from hitting it but once the algae takes hold of the media it's a real &!%^* to fight the one time it happened to me I just started over. Sorry I'm not much help but I'll try. It will still breath I wouldn't worry about that as long as you didn't just wrap the whole cube with plastic just put something over the top to block the light from the cube no need to wrap it up. And try flushing with some h2o2 in your water to fight the algae. Then just add h2o2 to your res. so everytime you water it's helping fight and prevent algae. Hopefully it helps. It surely can't hurt if they're commiting suicide lol
 

HiTimes4Me

New Member
Well that's the purpose to oxygenate the water because stagnant water causes algae growth...and your res. shouldn't be warm it should be around 65f-68f that could be your problem if your res. is too warm it promotes algae growth also...
 

HiTimes4Me

New Member
H2O2=H2O+O so it's basically water with an added oxygen molecule...it's like adding liquid oxygen...Do you have airstone's in your res? What kind of setup are you using?........Ah I See it's the omega garden...I don't have any experience with that... But the h2o2 should help battle the algae and if you don't have airstones in your res. maybe put some in there to keep it oxygenated. Hope it helps you
 
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Fuzzy Duck

Well-Known Member
Ok things are getting a tad complexed here with wat ever break down of molecues etc... did i spell that right for the grammer nazi's ? who gives a monkeys a unclue or auntie...


Now what we should be looking at is the common aasoication of algea on rock wool cubes for the start.

E.g - to much light to surface of rock wool cube + nutrient feed = algea.

Solution - remove algea & cover rock wool cube with membrane/hydroton/perlite/collar etc etc...



Its really a no brainer solution :thumb:


As for plants removing them selfs from root system... well give em some happy pills :peace:... only joking

More than likely, stem rot... is their any darkening of colour of stem ??? white fluffy fungal formations ???
 

LettuceLady

New Member
no darkening or fluffy fungals, just withered and separated from the root

I covered the rw with plastic on the top, but since I did that the uptake rate of the nutrient solution has dropped off considerably. They're just not drinking it up the way they used to (and they're starting to look thirsty).
 

Twelve12

Member of the Year: 2011 - Member of the Month: Oct 2011 - Nug of the Month: Jan 2012 - Plant of the Month: Feb 2012
Try warping the rw with black plastic bags with holes around it to block out the lights preventing algae growth. Normally, some algae is fine they don't do anything to the plant. They live on the top surface of your medium and does no harm to the root system or the plant. Mold on the other hand...is very deadly.
 

LettuceLady

New Member
new theory (re rw breathing): Is it possible my 3" rw is old? It's all been in the omega for about 70 days. When a plant dies or is otherwise failing, I've been pulling out the 1" and plugging in a new seedling.

Does the wicking ability of rw deteriorate over time?
 

OG13

New Member
If a plant died in the RW earlier, it probably has bad stuff in there and now the new plant gets the same disease, think mold, rot, wilt, anything transmitted via the media. Always use new after a THOROUGH Clean/Sterilize of the setup.
 

LettuceLady

New Member
clean everything... start fresh... sounds like a good idea

any suggestions on a good way to clean the accumulated salts from the metal omega trays?
 

Fuzzy Duck

Well-Known Member
clean everything... start fresh... sounds like a good idea

any suggestions on a good way to clean the accumulated salts from the metal omega trays?


Using old RW you might of picked up some nastys from decaying plant material fungus, mold etc, its a good idea to have a bit of clean up as a precaution you may want to give the whole grow room/area a wipe down:peace:

Always use clean/fresh RW or sterilized/new growing medium with every new plant as we do not want our pride & joy to suffer...


Mmm a cleaning product... have look around for/google

Ona Bleach - suitable for cleaning hydroponic systems/drippers/trays etc of mineral deposits.

Failing that... a mild acid such as vingar may prove effective & a brillo pad plus some old fashion elbow grease:thumb:


Ps - I've never heard of omega system, is that like NFT or some think similar ?
 
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