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Thread: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

  1. #1
    420 Member Ms.Fox's Avatar
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    Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    First of all, I want to thank SouthernWeed for going the extra mile here. This info is priceless.

    This information is pertaining to the problem many hydro growers face when roots mass together in a large root ball. Oxygen coming from the airstone(s) that are placed on the bottom do not reach the middle and upper portions of the roots. This causes a severe problem (stratification). We all know oxygen is the most important thing roots need in order to thrive.

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernWeed
    Ms Fox,
    Thought I'd share a little information that I got my hands on last night. I was doing some research on building a pond at my house, I'm a degenerate fisherman, and I was sent some information from a company that specializes in construction and upkeep of private trophy bass ponds. Under the heading of "common problems in shallow water ponds I found the following.

    "Stratification is a common issue afflicting many small shallow water ponds. Stratification is a condition caused by vegetative growth removing all or nearly all dissolved oxygen in the water. This condition can strike in water as shallow as six inches or as deep as thirty feet. This condition will cause rapid stagnation of the water and will leave a very distinct odor. All beneficial aquatic vegetation is at great risk if this condition strikes due to the nature of the roots produced by this type of plants. These roots, known as water roots, are completely dependent on dissolved oxygen in the water..."

    Sounds a bit familiar, huh? Anyhow, I'd be willing to bet that this is happening to other people, and the problem is being misdiagnosed. After all, I was a bit of a crash test dummy for this idea, so the idea is either not there, or is being dismissed. Fortunately for me, you were willing to go out on a limb with a gut feeling, and you were right, big time.
    So far, the only way I've come up with to fix this problem is to first make sure you have a really good air pump. Then carefully place small airstones inside of the root ball. You can never have enough air, so don't worry about overdoing it. This won't do ya a bit of good unless you have a powerful air pump that will be able to push air through all of the tubing. ;-)

    I would also like to open the door for new ideas that pertain to this problem.

    Again, thank you SouthernWeed!

  2. #2
    420 Member Retired One's Avatar
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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    ^ Glad to help.

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    420 Member Ms.Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    ^ + rep

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    420 Member Ms.Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    bump

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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    great topic +rep. but wouldnt putting airstone sin the ball roots fuck up the airstones when you water as the water would leak into the airstones. i have actually benn pondering a way to give oxygen to the roots of each plant directly but i can seem to figure out the probalem i meantioned above. also this way would technically dry out the roots more quickly and require more frequent waterings. there is the possibility of hooking up a pipe underneath the pot from the airstone and removing the pipe when watering and then pluging it in after water. has to be put into practice but interesting thread for sure man.

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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    how to add rep by the way ahahahah couldnt find the button

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    420 Member McBudz's Avatar
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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    Quote Originally Posted by hendrix View Post
    great topic +rep. but wouldnt putting airstone sin the ball roots fuck up the airstones when you water as the water would leak into the airstones. i have actually benn pondering a way to give oxygen to the roots of each plant directly but i can seem to figure out the probalem i meantioned above. also this way would technically dry out the roots more quickly and require more frequent waterings. there is the possibility of hooking up a pipe underneath the pot from the airstone and removing the pipe when watering and then pluging it in after water. has to be put into practice but interesting thread for sure man.
    Water will not enter the airstone due the the continuous positive air pressure coming from the air stone. If you were to power off the air pump water would then enter the air stone.. no big deal. Just make sure the pump is above the water line so water does not flow into your electronic air pump.. not good.

    This is for hydro too btw... sounds like you are talking soil. Inthat casde no airstones are used in soil. The nature of the medium (perlite, air gaps, porosity etc) deliever o2 to the rots.


    Good read guys.

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    420 Member quantuman's Avatar
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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    but its air pump water should be in the water. in one of my last grow i use it and all good.now i work with difrent sistem thet the air pump must be outside .
    am i right?

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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    Quote Originally Posted by quantuman View Post
    but its air pump water should be in the water. in one of my last grow i use it and all good.now i work with difrent sistem thet the air pump must be outside .
    am i right?
    air pump outside the res, water pump inside the res.

    im using 2 air pumps both have two lines bubbling. more bubbles than a jacuzzi. thanx fox for the tip, will be looking out for airless roots

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    420 Member Caber1's Avatar
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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    Hmmmm, now in what sort of system are you having problems getting air to the roots?
    On my ebb and flow table the reservoir has airstones and an extra pump to keep the water in constant motion so now I should have water being infused with oxygen.
    When I flood the water pushes old oxygen and waste materials away and then as it drains it pulls oxygen through the roots and hopefully leaves a nice mixture of nutrient and oxygen.
    Sound right?

  11. #11
    420 Member Retired One's Avatar
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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    This was primarily directed to people who are utilizing a DWC/Deep Water Culture setup, where explosive root growth can snuff out the airstone(s), and prevent oxygen from reaching the top of the res. It has little or no application to ebb and flow setups.

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    420 Member Caber1's Avatar
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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    So in actuality what you have is a problem with the size of the growing area.

    I would guess then that rather than jamming airstones up your plants behind you would be better served by a bigger grow container.
    Even though ebb and flow is a different type of method I still need to be able to meet the plant's root oxygen needs.
    Do you guys put your airstones right on the bottom or do you attach it to the sides? I've seen both options available.

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    420 Member Ms.Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    Quote Originally Posted by Caber1 View Post
    I would guess then that rather than jamming airstones up your plants behind you would be better served by a bigger grow container.
    Not necessarily. In addition, your solution is not always possible when you're already in the middle of a grow.

    This condition can strike in water as shallow as six inches or as deep as thirty feet. "

  14. #14
    420 Member Retired Two's Avatar
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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    All of this "airstones in the root balls" is unnecessary.

    IMHO.

    I started using rubbermaid tubs in 2001 after reading an article about DWC in CC or HighTimes. No forums for help so I did what made sense to me. After eight years here's a quick run-down on what I do now.

    The 12Gal tub is set up with a 12" airstone lying in the bottom center with a small hole drilled under the handle of the tub for the line. A two outlet Maxima aquarium pump does two tubs just fine. Much better than Elite air pumps!

    For nutes I put about 8.5USG of distilled water, (from my Polar Bear Distiller), Liquid Rock as per directions on bottle, adjust pH from 10 - 5.5-6.0 or thereabouts. Add 3-part Advanced Nutrients and some epsom salts so it's at 300-400 ppm. Then 35% food grade peroxide @ 2ml/USG. All the time the air's been bubbling and mixing everything up. Doesn't hurt nothing if the pump is shut off at any time.

    After getting some clones started in those flimsy plastic 9-hole pots using Pro-Mix as medium I plunk them into 3" or 4" net pots and pack with Hydroton. Leave the dirt on it don't cause no problems.

    I adjust the water level to a couple of inches under the pots and hand water for a few days by using a syringe or turkey baster to suck a little juice out of the tub through the inspection port and and pouring it through the pot. Once the roots are hitting the water I let it go down to 3 or 4". As they take off I'll add equal amounts of the 3 nutes every week or so until they get up to 800ppm or so which I'll keep them at as long as they are vegging.

    I don't bother changing nutes tho I may siphon off a couple of gallons when they're low and infuse the tub with a fresh load of nutes and water.

    For flowering I'll move the girls to the 12/12 room and have prepared an 18Gal tub much the same but tweaked for blooming. Then I just lift the lid with plants and plop it down on the new tub. The old nutes go on the garden or out in the woods. They still look clear as water. After a tub is cropped I leave some plant material and little buds on the stubs and plop that lid back on a 12Gal @ 300ppm under flouros 24/7 and in 3 - 4 weeks they're vegging again and ready for another go round. When I lift the lid to put the cropped plants in the 12Gal I get someone to cut off the root masses about 4" below the pots. They grow back fine!

    My KaliMist x BigBud are 46 days into their 3rd flowering, about half way, and have plum sized buds already, the kush I started from seed are disappointing in size so far but are stanky dank bitches with crystal all the way up the stems of the biggest fan leaves. They were only 30 days old from the day I put the sprouted seeds in the 9-hole pots 'till 12/12 so I'm hoping they'll fatten up with the fresh nutes they got today and the Dr. Hornsby's Big Bud I'll give them tomorrow. The Kalis are in a 12 pot tub and half have died off in the interim. I left the pots with roots in the tub with no problems. I attribute that to the peroxide I add on a weekly basis.

    The last crop of Kali I used a 1000W metal halide with a SunMaster bulb but it died about week four and broke as I was I picked up a standard MH bulb from a local electric supplier.

    This time I'm using two 400W HPS, one with a standard HPS bulb and an EYE Hortilux 430W in the other. I think they like it. :0) I may get another standard HPS and use it. Save the EYE for vegging. I'd like to try out one of those Ceramic MH bulbs that run off an HPS ballast.

    Sorry to ramble on but I'm bagged and the sun is coming up. One more blast of Sweet Kali and I'm off to bed for a few hours.
    Last edited by Retired Two; 06-06-2009 at 05:45 AM. Reason: Additions

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    Re: Stratification - A Must Read For All Hydro Growers

    That was an impressive instructional on what you do. However, I think you missed the point. This is an issue that can, and does, crop up from time to time. The issue in my grow was explosive, non-stop root growth, that ended up taking over the res and snuffing out my stones. Once you have the problem, it's nice to know how to fix it for less than 20 bucks. Nothing worse than losing a grow at the last minute, fortunately Ms Fox thought this up, and it worked great.

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