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Throwing in the towel on DWC: bennies

StelioKontos

New Member
Hello all,

I started a DWC grow and got root problems right at the start. I posted a thread here and got almost no response /help. I'm sure the problem lays with the beneficial bacteria or lack there of. I am using AN PH perfect line 3 part and hobbyist additives (voodoo juice, b52, big bud and overdrive) with the idea that the voodoo juice has the necessary "bennies" for DWC. After the first root issues I managed to order z9, the Canadian z7. It is not available in western Canada and had to order it from Ontario. It seemed to help but root issues returned. I then treated the system with h2o2 (like I did before) and removed the plants treated them with h2o2, dismantled the whole system and submerged /scrubbed every individual piece with methyl hydrate, and re assembled it.

Everything looked good for about 3 days then the root issue returned. I called the AN help line and their advice was to treat with h2o2 again, change the res water and that my ppm was too low (180 @.5 scale) and to increase it to improve the pants health. This sounded wrong to me, I had already done this and it returned. I was starting low on the ppm with the intention of increasing it but couldn't go more than 3 days before health issues recurred. I did what they recommended and the plants did seem to be growing slowly and I left it alone for a few days hoping it would somehow pull through. Also my wife has MS that put her in the hospital for a couple days and I have a yet to be diagnosed health problem that has crippled me, so I couldn't deal with anything else at the time. After a few more days the half my house smelled like farts from the plant root issues, I added h2o2 to the res a few days ago and left it. The smell did go away and the plants have slightly recovered. I say root issues because at first I assumed it was pythium but it happened so immediately in all 3 cases and my water temps are almost too low, 62-63.5F. So I don't know what it is. It's brown slime on the roots, it smells like shit, it recurred repeatedly in 2 or 3 days and has survived h2o2 and methyl hydrate. The roots are also tangled and smaller ones stop growing right at the water level.

I have done a lot of reading and the whole "beneficials" subject is confusing and a lot of the info is old and the products being recommended are discontinued and /or not available in most countries. Or perhaps newer better things are used?

Can we get some clarity on what kinds of bacteria or fungus or enzymes or whatever else is necessary to have a healthy DWC system?
I see a lot of people say, "I use this and that product" but they don't make it any more and I don't know if its bacteria or what. Continuing to chase the issue with h2o2 seems impossible as well.

My plants have gone through so much they are not worth anymore attempts /money /time to save. They are on day 43 and are 4" tall. I'm going to scrap these and do a different method for now and may try DWC again later if I'm more sure about maintaining its health.

Here are some pics, I guess the blue spectrum of light made the pics come out way lighter in color. ***They are 3 times more brown than that!!!

IMG_7811.jpg

IMG_7812.jpg


Those jugs are not ice bottles they are just taking up some water volume because it was just too much, over 30 gallons for 4 plants.

Thanks in advance.
 

Chris Scorpio

Member of the Month: July 2018
I recently had DWC issues, was as simple as my lids leaked light, once I fixed it I've been golden

I'd suggest 3 or 5gal buckets, take the volume down a lot

Start with 1/4 strength base nutes only, no additives besides the z9

Be sure yer pH is good, and see how they go

To much h202 can kill the roots
I've cut all my bad roots off and they came back strong, may try that too

So is that green alge on the roots
How much bubbles do u have

Bubble pics
Let's see the plant pics
 

Old Salt

Member of the Month: Apr 2019
I had to throw in the towel with DWC as well. It was for a different reason, my well ran dry when I tried to get enough water for the grow. I switched to another form of hydroponics, a coco/perlite drain to waste system. I'm using General Hydroponics' nutrients and supplements only. I have nothing against AN, as many grow successfully with their products. I chose GH for their long track record with cannabis.
 

Chris Scorpio

Member of the Month: July 2018
Also , have you grown before?
All those nutes and additives can be a bear to manage, why I suggest starting over with the basics.

I saw on yer other thread you said brown goopies on the side of the tubs. That's usually the nutes not dissolving into the water as well as the brown goop that attaches to yer roots

I see u have foil on parts of yer lid, is it on the entire lid?
 

StelioKontos

New Member
Hi, thanks for commenting,

Also , have you grown before?
All those nutes and additives can be a bear to manage, why I suggest starting over with the basics.

I saw on yer other thread you said brown goopies on the side of the tubs. That's usually the nutes not dissolving into the water as well as the brown goop that attaches to yer roots

I see u have foil on parts of yer lid, is it on the entire lid?

I have grown before in coco and rockwool with good sucsess with both GH and AN PH perfect with additives. I just haven't done full on hydro like this.

The z9 reduced the brown stuff in the res and that was part of the reason I dismantled the whole thing and cleaned it with methyl hydrate. Then with the continued use of z9 it never came back. I assume it was nutrient residue.

I wet to extreme measures to keep light out and heat from the bins. You will see in the pics.

So is that green alge on the roots
How much bubbles do u have
Its quite brown and slimy looking. The color doesn't come through so well in the pic.

I have a 4 output air pump with a bubble stone under each plant. I was concerned if it was enough. 15L per min or 240 gph is what it says and the res is around 22gal depending on water level. Is the volume too much? I opted for larger res so that fluctuations and maintenance where less frequent.

Here's some pics, that shiny bubble wrap stuff is not completely light proof BTW. I see pics of people using it to cover net pots and such. That is mostly for insulating the bins from heat. There is another membrane of light proof material on the back side that I added, I don't know what its called, it's meant for a wall membrane in steel buildings. As well I put a layer of bubble insulation on the lid and covered the whole thing in aluminum foil tape.
20190204_195833.jpg

The 4' x4' tent is separated by this layer and the temps are way lower at the bottom. Its quite the setup and a shame to have to scrap it.
20190204_195854.jpg
Day 43. My camera is really emphasizing the wrong colors, probably the MH light. The leaves are yellower and the roots are brown.
20190204_195939.jpg


Thanks.
 

Chris Scorpio

Member of the Month: July 2018
What strength of nutes are u using
Are u using all those additives as well

Water pH, well, tap or RO. And what's your ppm on the water


Doesn't look like lite issues, but just thinking water, goopies, too many nutes not dissolving

I wouldn't scrap it but I think smaller buckets are much easier to work with

How often did u change the rezz, big or small it is a weekly task that needs done
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
If you are indeed throwing in the towel and using it to sop up all that water... may I suggest going organic soil? It is a beautiful thing to be able to just add water and not even have to adjust pH... and still grow fantastic pot. :peace::love:
 

StelioKontos

New Member
I think I might just go back to coco like I used too.

What strength of nutes are u using
Are u using all those additives as well

Water pH, well, tap or RO. And what's your ppm on the water


Doesn't look like lite issues, but just thinking water, goopies, too many nutes not dissolving

I wouldn't scrap it but I think smaller buckets are much easier to work with

How often did u change the rezz, big or small it is a weekly task that needs done

Started out very low 140ppm, was going to increase but the problems occurs so quickly. The AN help line guy suggested 1.5ml/L and when I did that the ppm was just over 500. So after an h2o2 flush that is what I did and that's when it got so out of control my house got funked to high heaven. The only additives I used so far are the voodoo juice and b52 as per the schedule at this early stage.
I would have added more nutes to increase ppm but why do that when there's an issue and they are going to be dumped and wasted. Also why feed the bad organisms.

I use tap water that I let sit and run a bubbler in for a week to evaporate chlorine. Starting ppm is 39. I have very good water where I live. I notice mineral build up on my house plants so I assume the contents are mostly minerals and I was surprised that the ppm was so low given what I see on the houseplants. The ph is just below 6. I couldn't ask for better water.

The goopies occurred at 180ppm and that was before I had z9. It's strange for it to happen at that low of ppm eh?

So far I have been changing the res in less than a week cause the problem comes back in a few days. So I flush with h2o2 and change the res. I worried about not giving the chlorine enough time to evaporate so I went to get an RO filter but my local shop didn't have the cheap inline ones so, in a panic, I ran the water through a Brita filter to fill my 30 gal drum (with 20gal of water). Before you laugh, their main claim is that it reduces chlorine and I have the nose of a blood hound and couldn't detect any, lol.

What's weird now is the last time the "issue" happened, when my house really smelled, I just added h2o2 and didn't change the res, cause I was giving up and this was the 500ppm water in there. This was 3 days ago, right about now the funk should be returning but it isn't and the plants have actually grown. Makes sense I guess cause the h2o2 is still in there a some level.
 

StelioKontos

New Member
Ya I don't know why the system is being attacked so hard by this "issue". I've gone to the extreme to keep light out, temps low /stable and keep things sterile and clean. By sterile I mean I cleaned everything with either alcohol or h2o2 before adding nutes with live voodoo juice. I even added h2o2 to the water drum, one time, a few days before adding nutes and putting it in the system to sterilize it. Just in case there was contaminates in the water.

Thanks for your input Chris Scorpio, but I think I'm going back to coco. There seems to be newer techniques with coco since I last did it that way.
 

Rifleman

Member of the Month: Mar 2016 - Plant of the Month: Nov 2015
There are only 2 ways to run dwc. Sterile or full of bacteria. H2O2 will keep a reservoir sterile, and provide extra oxygen as it breaks down... which is fairly quick. You have to find that perfect combo of how much, and when. Can't help you there, never tried.

I choose to run beneficial bacteria in the form of Hydroguard. Looking back through my journal you'll see many times my reservoirs were 78-80 deg F with no problems. Your rez temps are slightly low, and I know from experience the yellow lid will leak lots of light. When I used a tote like that I painted the lid with a dark primer, and then with white Kilz to light proof it.

Next time you tear it all down, try cleaning with a 10% bleach solution. Keep us updated too. I'd like to see if a cause can be found.
 

StelioKontos

New Member
I was maybe considering running h2o2 the whole time but its expensive in my area for some reason and I can't find any info on using it properly on a continuous basis.

Is Hydrogard all you use bennies wise?

The lid is very much light proof, now. The yellow plastic didn't stop much light. I put my phone in the system (empty of course) recording video to check for light leaks and I can assure you there are none.

Thanks for your input. Like I said, I will probably go back to coco for this round and maybe try DWC next winter.
 

RipinTubes

New Member
Hydroguard, Orca and its a done deal. I run both because theres too much invested to not run both. Also, need to use all black everything. 5g buckets, net pots/lids, air lines an cover the hydroton filled net pot section with black plastic lids. Easy to make yourself. Place your air pump outside the tent. Blow a small fan on it. Change your res weekly.

Also there are certain products that just bring on the brown slime even with recommended levels of hydroguard and orca present in the res. At that point you have to out army them and hit them with double the hydroguard and orca to clear it up. Anything organic and brown and thick going in your res is a big no no from my experience. Stuff like floralicous plus and the like will jack your res up in less then 24 hours. Go from pearly white roots to full on brown funk over night just by adding something organic to your res. You really don't need that stuff anyway. Stick with the basics - Cal-mag, Nutes, root stimulator, and bloom booster and you will grow trees with monster buds.
 

StelioKontos

New Member
Anything organic and brown and thick going in your res is a big no no from my experience.
I wonder if it was the b52? It's certainly brown and seems a bit lumpy and thick. I assumed everything in this AN lineup is synthetic, but I wonder if it's the cause.

Maybe I'll try a res change sans b52. All this res changing is consuming a lot of nutes though.
 

Chris Scorpio

Member of the Month: July 2018
Start basic like I suggested, determine the issues

To many additives just cornfuse the system

Base nutes and hydroguard at 1/4 strength, see how it does

And get a 5gal bucket, much easier to work with
 

StelioKontos

New Member
I am aware that nutes can stain the roots it's definitely more than that.

So I will try a res change soon with the base nutes, z9 and no b52. What about the voodoo juice?
I will leave it out because its only run at the beginning of veg and bloom anyway, even though the plant sizes are comparable to week 1 or 2 veg. Like Chris said, basic. Plus it's expensive as hell.

I looked into Hydrogaurd. My local store carries Botanicare brand but not Hydrogaurd, probably cause its Canada. So they are going to try to get it but probably wont be able to. I found it on amazon.ca but it's outrageously priced, $70 a quart and $80 shipping!

On the plus side, since adding the h2o2 and not changing the res, things seem better. Plants and roots are growing. Leaves still not the greatest color from deficiencies from having their roots all bunged up, but the're a shade of green anyway.

I guess I'll keep rollin with the punches then...
 
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