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A Guide To Colloidal Silver

Discussion in 'Breeders Paradise' started by EverythingsHazy, Mar 27, 2015.

    Jason Fay

    Jason Fay New Member

    Thanks for the info. Have a happy thanksgiving.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Active Member

    More advice for people making seeds: Those fungus gnats really do kill seedlings. If you use some soil and he plant doesn't make it, and you've ever seen a little gnat flying around on it, you must DRY it out before you use it again, or you risk the next seedling falling over in a day.

    They're not so hard on big plants I guess, but if they've been living in that initially hot soil, which grows fungus for a while, there's a huge hungry population by the time you reuse the soil for a new seedling. With no fungus to eat, they'll kill a seedling overnight.

    I'm try to breed very short plants, so I end up with failed experiments all the time. Northern Lights is particularly perplexing. Low Ryder is nearly trouble free.

    xtsho Well-Known Member

    Sterilize your soil.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Active Member

    I was reluctant to do that because everyone talks about the "beneficial bacteria", but I guess I'd rather have sterile soil than the gnats.

    I also discovered the neem oil spray is not good for seedlings, even if you spray it on the dirt only. Makes distorted leaves.

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

    A layer of sand on top of the soil can help with gnats, as do mosquito dunks (idk how mosquito dunk affect the buds, if at all, though).
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Active Member

    I'm considering the sand, however my interest is in making a grow kit. I'm afraid, stuff having to go on top of the soil is too complicated for most users. I'll be lucky if I can get them to put the baggies of mosquito dunk powder on top instead of mixing it in.

    Fortunately, my battle with gnats won't happen to someone who buys a grow kit, just to grow one plant. It seems to be a problem that builds up over several grows.

    I read in one place, even drying out all the soil won't remove them. They find a sink somewhere that has some crud stuck in a corner that doesn't get flushed. That's enough to keep them coming.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Active Member

    I'm back to making colloidal silver, and wanted to pass on what I learned. After someone mentioned their colloidal lasted for a very long time, I started reading about it again.

    Never store colloidal silver in the fridge. That speeds up particles falling out of solution. Just keep it at comfortable room temp and avoid rapid temp changes.

    Put a heating pad (Mr. Coffee = $5) under the generator's glass container while making colloidal, and you can avoid stirring it or putting a bubbler in there. The bubble stone will in fact bleed particles into the water, which not a good thing.

    Agitation of some form is needed to keep the particles from hanging out in one place, and getting too big. The smallest are just 2 atoms, but they help the water conduct, and so can attract more and get too big if you don't keep them evenly far away from the electrodes.

    Too big particles fall out of solution faster. That's why my colloidal (which register 50ppm with a TDS) fell out of solution within 2 weeks, in the fridge.

    The electrode which dissolves is the one hooked to the positive voltage terminal. Despite what you read on the net, the electrodes do in fact dissolve, and fairly rapidly. Less so if you control the current.

    You can't just hook it to 30V and go away. As the colloidal silver forms, the amount of conducted current increases. You need to keep that low by turning down the voltage as it progresses. There's constant current sources to solve this, but you can also turn down the voltage if you can monitor the current.

    I don't know what the ideal current is. There's conflicting info on this. Somewhere between 2mA and 15mA I suspect.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Active Member

    Seems ideal current depends a bit on the volume of water and the temp. The first time I ran this generator, I had a large mason jar of distilled water at room temp. It took hours to make the laser light show a beam. At 30V I barely got 1mA at first, then later it went up very slowly.

    This time I used a very small (150ml) beaker. Silver rods spaced about 1/2-1 inch apart, carelessly. Beaker is so short, I had to bend them in half and twist the 2 halves to make one solid piece. So more surface area than before.

    But 30V I still only got only 1mA, same as the unheated large beaker of water.

    Then I went for coffee, came back, and the water was already yellow. Also filled with silver fuzz. It measured 40ppm on the TDS and it had only been running 30 minutes. A laser showed a solid beam!

    Done in 30 minutes! That doesn't agree well with some info on the web about this. I read several step by step articles, and didn't realize all this.

    Perhaps it's the old thing where most advice is for people running larger marijuana operations, to make a profit. Drug dealers in other words (no intent to judge you though). A hobbyist is different. There's no reason for them to be making a quart of colloidal silver!

    So if the water is heated by Mr. Coffee, and there's not too much of it, 1mA might be prudent to help form the smallest particles possible. There was a scientist on the web who studied this and recommended that current.

    That's a starting voltage of 4V. Since a little 9V battery puts out at least 7.5V before it's life is over, and can run at 15mA for hours, a 9V batter is perfectly adequate for hobbyists if they don't have more equipment. Good luck finding a radio shack however.

    The TDS seems kind of useless to me now. That's how I ended up with stuff that fell out of solution in a couple of weeks. It's called, "agglomeration".

    But the $1 laser (from Dollar Store) works great. New water shows no beam, water with colloidal shows a bright beam.

    I'll post 30 minute results if I remember. I'm doing this at work. My bosses don't mind if I grow marijuana seeds as an experiment on the side, it's an interesting business idea in California.

    The UPS guy figured it out though, and keeps asking for "free samples".

    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

    You're planning on selling grow kits with media and everything?

    If someone can't follow instructions to put something on top of the soil, they're gonna have a hard time with anything regarding feeding schedules/amounts. That said, crushing up the dunks and mixing them into the soil soil be ok. It might be a bit wasteful, but as long as there is a decent amount mixed in there, they should still work well.

    Luckily, fungus gnats are one of the least damaging pestst, imo. You'd be far worse off with aphids, thrips, or scale. Just imagining having to eradicate them from an infested collection sends chills down my spine. It takes so much work, and it often fails.

    Also, store it the dark.

    How does heating the solution remove the need for an aerator like a bubble stone?

    If you're worried about the bubble stone particles, you could run it in plain water for a day before using it to make your CS. I've never noticed bubble stone particles, and it probably wouldn't make any difference to the plant, especially, since you should be running your CS through double coffee filters, or something similar, before use/storage.

    How does anyone not believe that the electordes break down? That's how the silver gets into the water! *facepalm

    They definitely do, and it helps to alternate, so you don't end up with one being much thinner than the other.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Active Member

    I would say at this point, if you don't stir every half hour, it doesn't. Mine grew flat silver crystals and shorted the electrode for a while. Increased the current dramatically. A bubble stone would have split those up.

    However, I started with 4ppm bottled water and the electrode went crazy dissolving a yellow mess. I had to remember that wasn't distilled and switch to 0ppm water, which did not show excessive dissolving at start.

    I doubt the stone doesn't contribute dissolved solids. However, if you're making a lot, mabve that's better than nothing.

    So: bubble stone stops bridges from forming, and also keeps small particles evenly dispersed (so they aren't as likely to get bigger). Heater keeps small particles apart also (heat means the molecules are bumping around faster), but it's insufficient to prevent formation of silver on the top surface, bridging the electrodes and messing up current flow.

    If you're only making 150ml, it only takes about 5 hours at the low rate of 1 milliamp. You could speed that up greatly in 150ml, I made some in 40 minutes at 30V.

    Well, if you do a REALLY good job, it's maybe almost as minimal as they claim. If I hadn't goofed at the end of this batch, the amount of fuzz generated was super tiny.

    Here's some stats on my last try, but I was cooking christmas food and got interrupted a bunch. Even so, it's interesting because it sort of defies some of the wisdom out there.

    I was trying to reproducably (so others could copy the setup without having to measure) produce 150mL (fills my little sprayer) of colloidal that would have a decent shelf life (small particles).

    At 4.0 volts, less than 1 mA flowed with the electrodes spaced 1/2-3/4" inch apart. Because the beaker was short, I bent the electrodes in half, thus keeping the same surface area exposure to water that I had in the large mason jar. Needless to say, with the ratio now at 10 to 1 surface area of silver, the process goes very fast.

    I heated it hoping that would knock the silver around to keep the particles small. It indeed have done that, I got no fuzz whatsoever on the bottom of the beaker. Only slight on the electrodes. So i do believe in heating. But it wasn't enough to stop silver crystals from forming sheets (small patches) of silver on the top, which eventually shorted out the electrodes and kept me from finishing measuring.

    Water temp 135F. Current flow at 4V remained from <1mA to <2mA, gradually rising over time. TDS raises 4-8ppm per hour. Since TDS is nonsense here, it's not surprising it varies that much. If you let it raise to 15 for example, and let it sit, it'll drop back to 11.

    At a TDS of 7, a laser is visible in the darm. It's not until TDS is > 20 that you can see the laser even with room lights on.

    After 20, I goofed and walked away, so a sheet of silver bridged the electrodes. Current flow when I noticed that was erattic, and floating around 20mA. Stirring reduced it to back down below 2mA. When I discovered that had happened, the solution was a very slightly detectable yellow, and the laser shows in the light.

    So it's done, but maybe not high quality due to the uncontrolled current at the end. I need it, so I'll use it, but I'll redo the experiment again.

    Knowing 4V is good for the whole time if volume is low, I'll try it at the voltage of a single 9V battery, but with my power supply so I can monitor the current.

    What's the point of all this: To make some solution that lasts, but to make it fast enough that you don't really need to save it, with minimal electrode loss.

    As for seeds, I get 1000 per autoflower if I spray one and dump that pollen on the other. And I get a few S1 seeds from the one sprayed, so I can repeat that.

    I'm doing a Northern Lights, an AK47, and an Amnesia Haze right now.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Active Member

    Separate thing: I tried the dual sprayer idea, where a sprayer mixes 2 solutions to make STS.

    Did not work. Both solutions were calculated to make the final correct strength, but in mixing in the sprayers, an intermediate mixing state at a higher strength, was skipped.

    I suspect that separate step of mixing up TOO MUCH solution at a higher strength, then diluting later, is needed for the chemistry to work. You end up with TOO much, because to mix at the required starting density, you have to use tiny amounts your scale will have trouble with. Accuracy trouble. So maybe the formulation method was a compromise. But y ou still have to mix at the higher strength.

    Would be nice if a chemistry minded person spread that info around. Why mix at the higher strength first?

    It doesn't seem to mix the same at final strength. And I sprayed the stuff 4 times. No effect whatsoever.

    blake9999 Well-Known Member


    EverythingsHazy Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I'm not sure. 30ppm on a TDS meter is usually enough, but TDS readings aren't really accurate with CS. If you can't make your own generator, you can try it out. Id spray it on a few leaves first, to see if it burns them. If it does, it's not pure/well made.

    Remember, that CS isn't supposed to stress the plant into making pollen sacs. The goal is to get the silver particles to bind with the copper molecules in the plant, to prevent the production of ethylene, which is the chemical that signals the plant to produce typical female flowers (calyxes with pistils).

    blake9999 Well-Known Member

    @EverythingsHazy I just received some tiresias mist I ordered but Damn that stuff is expensive. I'm just looking for a cheaper alternative that may work without forking out $20 per ounce. I'm just trying to make a few seeds from my Auto GDP so I don't have to buy them for next year.I'm not looking to go in the seed business, just save a little money.

    growerNshower Member

    @EverythingsHazy @blake9999

    I would stay away from pre-made colloidal silver. I'm sure they're not all created equal, but I bought some that was supposed to be 100 ppm from amazon and I think it was far more dilute than that and may have even just been pure water. I shined a red laser through it - undiluted - in a dark room and didn't get any signal in the solution. Additionally, after 2 weeks of spray 2x/day (beginning 2 days before flip), all I got was development of female flowers. After making my own silver (which passed laser test with flying colors every time), male nanners started popping up soon after (don't remember how long it took, sorry). I achieved very incomplete reversal and my blue dream didn't produce much pollen in the sacks that did form. I'm guessing the weak/absent colloidal silver in the beginning was responsible for poor conversion.
    Tim Fox likes this.
    Tim Fox

    Tim Fox Well-Known Member

    Plus making our own silver is so easy
    growerNshower likes this.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Active Member

    Some encouragement for the new seed makers: I've got one amnesia haze autoflower I sprayed at the start of this month, with 2 of her buddies snuggled up to her. All 3 seeds are prime genetics for which I paid $10 a seed.

    There's SO MANY seeds on them, I have to prop them up with stakes. They can't hold the weight. Should be more than 600 on each, despite amnesia haze being such a small plant. Could be as many as 1200.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Active Member

    You can see the laser in normal room lighting at 14ppm. 30ppm is likely up into yellow color territory.

    Maybe I'll calibrate the ppm. I've got a 24VAC with heater setup which has absolutely no fuzz or crystal losses so I can weigh the wires and figure out how much actually went into solution. I'm pretty sure there's a reasonable translation from the ppm to silver content, for a given method of generation.
    Tim Fox and growerNshower like this.

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Active Member

    I guess you could weigh a little clean beaker, fill it with colloidal and evaporate it, then re-weigh it. Just for fun, I'll try that next batch of very yellow I make.

    However, if you have a method for making colloidal silver which doesn't produce fuzz or electroplate crystals (in other words, you don't need to filter it), you can just weigh the electrodes before and after.

    (with oven baking to make sure it's fully dry).

    I have a batch going now. I'm going to figure out what the minimum is to see the laser in dark, and that PPM measurement, then do the same for seeing the laser in normal room lighting, and finally measure it when it's nice and yellow.

    That'll take about a week with my machine. AC is very slow, but there's no waste. And you can leave the machine unattended for days.

    One thing I've established completely is, colloidal silver is produced faster if you leave some from the last batch in the water. If you can't do that, a little Mr. Coffee heater under it helps.

    I'd like to lodge a complaint to the powers that be (I mean, in the universe). Marijuana information is still very primitive, contradictory, and imprecise.

    I'm hoping for the day when UC Davis fixes all that with scientific research. And we switch from Cheech and Chong as our pothead archetypes, and maybe use Morgan Freeman instead.

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