Trouble in WillieP's World...

WillieP

In Bloom
Hello All,
Looking for a little advise please.

Background...
I run a modified E&F system. 17 gallon tote as an external res, to a 5 gallon tote that has a 2 gallon fabric pot filled with expanded clay balls.
IMG_7043.JPG
This pic is just to give you an idea of my system. It is of this plant, but taken 25 days ago.
I have the flood timed at 1 minute on, 3 hrs 49 minutes off.
This is the third run on the system, and my third ever run.
The current plant is a Durban Poison that was vegged for 8 weeks and is 5 days into flower.

My troubles began when I noticed a severe spike in PH.

8 days ago did a reservoir change.
5.9 956
6 days ago
7.1 920. Adjusted to 5.2 936
5 days ago
6.6 918. Adjusted to 5.2 921
3 days ago
8.3 857. Changed reservoir. 5.6 980
2 days ago
7.1 920. Adjusted to 5.4 975
1 day ago
7.7 954 @ 3:30 PM, 8.0 @ 7:00 PM. Changed reservoir. 5.4 998
Today
7.0 963. Adjusted to 5.3 963

In addition to the PH spikes I have noticed a couple other points of interest.
1) I have fungus gnats
2) My reservoir will develop an odd odor as well as a film on the surface.
The odor is not a rotten smell, more of a cross cabbage and radishes, it is strong however.

IMG_7121.jpg
My roots still seem to look fine.
I always use 1 ml of Southern Ag per 10 gallons of nutrients.
My reservoir sits on a basement floor and maintains approx. 65 degrees F.

In an attempt to get things under control I have been doing reservoir changes as noted above.
Yesterday I did a Neem oil spray of the entire plant and inside the 5 gallon tote. I also put out an old fashion fly strip. (only thing I could source locally)
Today the gnats seemed just as abundant,. After much reading, I did a drench with the Neem oil solution. (about 16 oz.)
Tomorrow I plan another reservoir change.

Thus far the plant is not showing major issues, but I fear that things are headed south so to speak.
IMG_7104.JPG

Any advise on what the hell is going on with my reservoir would be greatly appreciated!
Many thanks,
WillieP
 

Gentlemancorpse

Cannabis Chaotician
Hopefully someone with more hydro experience than me chimes in but I wanted to say I hate fungus gnats... I've tried a myriad of suggested cures and can usually knock them out for a while but ever since my first infestation I haven't been able to eradicate the completely

No idea how that ties into a pH spike though!
 

WillieP

In Bloom
Hopefully someone with more hydro experience than me chimes in but I wanted to say I hate fungus gnats... I've tried a myriad of suggested cures and can usually knock them out for a while but ever since my first infestation I haven't been able to eradicate the completely

No idea how that ties into a pH spike though!
This is the first round for me of the gnatbastards!
Worries me that there is a ton of larva in the root zone that I am going to have to get serious about.

The nastiness of the reservoir is what really has me freaked out. I don't know if they are connected or not, but my bet would be yes.
 

HydroRed

3Thirteen Seeds
Staff member
My first thought is bad bacteria with the picture and the mention of smells and film. This can also make your pH rise. I try to advocate sterile reservoirs whenever I can ;)

As for the gnats in your method of growing I'd recommend using Microbe Lift BMC. Its basically a bacteria (good kind) you add that kills off the gnats when they feed. If your flood level doesnt reach the top of your pots then I'd recommend hand watering the pots a handfull of times with the BMC mixed properly on top of adding it to your reservoir. This way you can be sure there isnt a "safe spot" higher in your root base for the gnats to find refuge.
Also -how often do you change the res?
 

WillieP

In Bloom
My first thought is bad bacteria with the picture and the mention of smells and film. This can also make your pH rise. I try to advocate sterile reservoirs whenever I can ;)

As for the gnats in your method of growing I'd recommend using Microbe Lift BMC. Its basically a bacteria (good kind) you add that kills off the gnats when they feed. If your flood level doesnt reach the top of your pots then I'd recommend hand watering the pots a handfull of times with the BMC mixed properly on top of adding it to your reservoir. This way you can be sure there isnt a "safe spot" higher in your root base for the gnats to find refuge.
Also -how often do you change the res?
Thanks Red for the assist!
I just checked Amazon and I can have it in a few days
You are talking about this, correct?
Amazon product
I also saw this product...
Amazon product
Any thoughts on it??


Would you recommend using H2O2 now, and if so, at what rate?
I've also read on the use of pool shock, is that a practice you recommend?
What is your method you use to run sterile?

Cheers,
WillieP
 

SSGrower

👨‍🔬
For pool shock use the 72% stuff at least. No pH buffering, scale reducers etc. There is also 99% pure calcium hypochlorite, thats what I use 0.4g in quart h20 then 10-20ml of this solution per gallon res. Treat every few days you can go less frequent if you use uv in the res too.

Fungus gnats - undercanopy airflow, bt and avoid excessive moisture, thos fabric pots might be contributing, I would think they stay wet but I dont have any experience with them in hydro.
 

WillieP

In Bloom
For pool shock use the 72% stuff at least. No pH buffering, scale reducers etc. There is also 99% pure calcium hypochlorite, thats what I use 0.4g in quart h20 then 10-20ml of this solution per gallon res. Treat every few days you can go less frequent if you use uv in the res too.

Fungus gnats - undercanopy airflow, bt and avoid excessive moisture, thos fabric pots might be contributing, I would think they stay wet but I dont have any experience with them in hydro.
Thank you for the assist!
I've always ran bennies in my res before.
Apparently that ain't working this round.
I'll have to try the sterile route.
Cheers
 

HydroRed

3Thirteen Seeds
Staff member
Thanks Red for the assist!
I just checked Amazon and I can have it in a few days
You are talking about this, correct?
Amazon product
I also saw this product...
Amazon product
Any thoughts on it??


Would you recommend using H2O2 now, and if so, at what rate?
I've also read on the use of pool shock, is that a practice you recommend?
What is your method you use to run sterile?

Cheers,
WillieP
For flood n drain I would suggest using the liquid BMC as the dunk bits are seemingly more geared for top dress in soil. Also, Id suggest a smaller bottle of the Microbe lift as a little goes a long way with it. 6 oz will last you forever (and possibly go bad on you) if you run a "smaller" grow.
As for running sterile, be sure to use the Microbe Lift BEFORE you switch to sterile. If you apply the BMC to a sterile res, it will kill off all of the beneficial bacteria rendering it useless. Once you get the gnats in check, then maybe switch over to sterile res if thats the direcion you plan to go.
I have a recipe I can share with you that has been working amazing for me:
I use the HTH brand of pool shock. Be sure to get the #3 "shock" as they sell multiple forms of pool shock ranging in an "all in one 7 part" as well as seperate individual bags for each step of the pool treatment system. The #3 "Shock" that I use from HTH is 52% Calcium Hypochlorite and is the only bag you need and a 1lb bag will last you yrs for like $8.
Mix 5g of shock treatment with 1 gallon of water for your stock solution. Once you mix the stock solution, add 5ml of the stock solution for every 1 gallon of water in your res every 3 days.
 
Last edited:

coste

In Bloom
For pool shock use the 72% stuff at least. No pH buffering, scale reducers etc. There is also 99% pure calcium hypochlorite, thats what I use 0.4g in quart h20 then 10-20ml of this solution per gallon res. Treat every few days you can go less frequent if you use uv in the res too.

Fungus gnats - undercanopy airflow, bt and avoid excessive moisture, thos fabric pots might be contributing, I would think they stay wet but I dont have any experience with them in hydro.

The 10-20ml, is that for sterilization, or maintenance? Do you know what the approximate PPM total is once the concentrate is added to the nutrient solution?

Also, is that for total gallons the res is capable of holding, or gallons of solution in the res?

For instance, you have a 19 gal res, but only have 12 gal of solution in it. Would that mean you use 120-240 ml of pool shock concentrate or 190-380ml of pool shock concentrate?
 

HydroRed

3Thirteen Seeds
Staff member
The 10-20ml, is that for sterilization, or maintenance? Do you know what the approximate PPM total is once the concentrate is added to the nutrient solution?

Also, is that for total gallons the res is capable of holding, or gallons of solution in the res?

For instance, you have a 19 gal res, but only have 12 gal of solution in it. Would that mean you use 120-240 ml of pool shock concentrate or 190-380ml of pool shock concentrate?
its going to be the gallons of water in the res (12 gal in your example)
 

SSGrower

👨‍🔬
The 10-20ml, is that for sterilization, or maintenance? Do you know what the approximate PPM total is once the concentrate is added to the nutrient solution?

Also, is that for total gallons the res is capable of holding, or gallons of solution in the res?

For instance, you have a 19 gal res, but only have 12 gal of solution in it. Would that mean you use 120-240 ml of pool shock concentrate or 190-380ml of pool shock concentrate?
Actual numbers based on creating low single digit ppm (4-6) in a gallon of water using 10ml of shock 1.47g of the 99% per gallon. Divide by 4 to get quart 0.3675g per quart my scale only has tenths so I round up to 0.4.

The original basis came from using 2g/gal of the 72% stuff which eyeballin the math looks like @HydroRed Is right in the same ballpark


I will use the higher end 20ml if I have been lax in treatment and base only on the amount of liquid in the system not total capacity so in your example 120-240ml
 

WillieP

In Bloom
Also -how often do you change the res?
Sorry, missed this in my reply.
Typically once a week, might go as long as 10 days.
What's your water source? Tap/r/o, well/city ect. Could be a fuck up on the treatment plants end, or a contaminated well causing the film/smell and ph spikes.
Good thought. Sorry I didn't mention that I use RO water.
 

socaljoe

In Bloom
I run a very similar setup to yours, main difference is I use coco with a layer of clay balls to block the coco from washing out the drain holes.

Anyway, I put a mosquito dunk in my res and just leave it there through res additions and changes. That coupled with sticky traps has helped me keep the fungus gnats down.
 

Jewels

Tilts at Tables
Mix up a batch of nutes and take measurements. Let stand.
Measure again 24 hours later.
Measure again 48 hours later.

Somebody is F'ing with you.
Isolate them. Observe.

Hand water a plantless station every 4 hours.

What is same. ?
What has changed ?
 

Jewels

Tilts at Tables
Reasoning, that you have enjoyed successful harvests running the same game, right?
The photo of that rooty pot is Boss!

What could be different at this time?
Get your hands in there, surgery, whatever.

In case of emergency,,,
It seems the res is souring ?
That would be a main concern?

You could always hand water, drain to waste. At least you have quality control.

One thought.
RO is easier to bounce around. No ballast to it. It is quite impressionable and likes to swing.
I should have read closer,,, are you using an additional product to drive your PH that low?
Is tap water a no go ?
 

WillieP

In Bloom
Reasoning, that you have enjoyed successful harvests running the same game, right?
The photo of that rooty pot is Boss!

What could be different at this time?
Get your hands in there, surgery, whatever.

In case of emergency,,,
It seems the res is souring ?
That would be a main concern?

You could always hand water, drain to waste. At least you have quality control.

One thought.
RO is easier to bounce around. No ballast to it. It is quite impressionable and likes to swing.
I should have read closer,,, are you using an additional product to drive your PH that low?
Is tap water a no go ?
Thanks for your input, I appreciate it.
Tap is a no-go. 550-750 PPM
Using PH down to try and keep the PH within reason.
Good point on the hand watering. I will hold on to that as a last ditch effort.
I have the pool shock and Microbe lift on order. I am hopeful that going to a sterile res will clear thing up for me.
Fortunately the plant doesn’t look bad yet, it’s just that the res looks horrible.
Cheers, WillieP
 
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