Live undercurrent system questions.

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by shawnery, Aug 16, 2018.

  1.  
    shawnery

    shawnery Well-Known Member

    I've never introduced myself but lurked for quite a while. My name is Shawnery and I live in the Ca Bay Area. Been growing for maybe a year with 2 grows under my belt. Both grows had been bottom of the barrel rdwc systems with only 1/2" tubing. Got .85g per watt on my second grow of Gelato 33 and 41.

    On to the question!

    I've built a new system made out of eight 13 gallon HDX totes, 2" pvc, 1" return, 1000gph water pump, 2 60lph air pump, 4" air stones on each bucket, 6 spout fountain waterfall in epi center and a 1/4hp water chiller. Lights are Samsung f564b strip lights @ 3500k @ 1650w for bloom but only 250w for veg.

    This go I wanted to try running a live bacteria system and brewed up some Bu's Biodynamic compost tea. After 48 I added 1 gallon for every 15 gallons. Today the the plants look healthy and perky and the water is colored but clear.

    One thing I've read is the difficulty in getting beneficial bacteria to colonize in a hydroponic set up. What i did to combat this was make mini bio ball canisters that float in the epi underneath the fountain of water. I built them from 3" net cups with bio balls covered with a neoprene collar. Because of the collar they float at the surface.

    I'm also wondering if I'm able to get the bacteria to colonize the bio balls would I then not have to keep adding compost tea weekly but feed the bacteria that is present with molasses or the like?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  2.  
    Airwalker16

    Airwalker16 Well-Known Member

    More pics plZ.
     
  3.  
    shawnery

    shawnery Well-Known Member

    Of what? The question is sort of photo independent. Let me know what you need to answer the main question. I'll do my best to answer them.
     
  4.  
    Airwalker16

    Airwalker16 Well-Known Member

    I just like rdwc and wanna see more of your setup is all. You're pretty bold using bacteria and a chiller. I would never try to use any bacteria beneficial or not in an RDwC.
     
  5.  
    Airwalker16

    Airwalker16 Well-Known Member

    Those are HLG 480's?
     
  6.  
    Heisengrow

    Heisengrow Well-Known Member

    I use hydroguard on a 1/4HP chiller in RDWC whats the problem?
     
  7.  
    thenasty1

    thenasty1 Well-Known Member

    i run a live res in a fairly large rdwc
    i keep my water temps right at 68 and im confident that enough microorganisms survive to be worth the effort
    i also make up a couple gallons of heavily microbe'd water and pour about a cup through the top of the net pots every week or so
    ive been thinking about playing around with small doses of molasses but im worried about fucking my pumps up while trying to find the right application rate. a couple of the products i use have microbe food in them already though
    tl;dr: do it, keep your chiller at 68 for maximum survival rate
     
    mytwhyt likes this.
  8.  
    shawnery

    shawnery Well-Known Member

    320
     
  9.  
    shawnery

    shawnery Well-Known Member

     

    Attached Files:

    Kretzlord likes this.
  10.  
    Airwalker16

    Airwalker16 Well-Known Member

    That's a really cool setup. Very close to actual UC. That's a bad Ass JBJ chiller.
     
    shawnery likes this.
  11.  
    shawnery

    shawnery Well-Known Member

    Thanks!
     
  12.  
    shawnery

    shawnery Well-Known Member

    I'm running my water chiller, water temp at a range of 70 to 72. From my research the optimal temp level for beneficial bacteria seems to be around 74 degrees.

    I tried feeding molasses today at a rate of 1/8tsp per gallon of nutrient solution. It's really test to see if I'm building a bacterial colony in my system. I figure if my bacteria isn't breeding or colonizing than I will most likely get super slimy roots from the molasses. On the other hand if my water stays clear and there is no slime layer on my roots that should point to an active colony existing in my system, no?

    If all works well then I should be able to feed the microbes in my solution like a seeding compost tea with carbohydrates like molasses. Instead of brewing tea each week to reinoculate my system I can just feed them the molasses that would have gone in the tea. Perhaps kelp would be a good addition as well to feed the fungi in the system?
     
  13.  
    Airwalker16

    Airwalker16 Well-Known Member

    I prefer sterile. I'm interested in what you find tho.
     
    shawnery and Heisengrow like this.
  14.  
    shawnery

    shawnery Well-Known Member

    My first two grows were sterile but if I'm honest not it wasn't. It seems more of an effort to kill microbes already growing in an imperfect system, not that it doesnt work very well.

    I'm very interested to see if I can get this to work but I'm very aware that my roots could be snot in a couple days if not.
     
  15.  
    Airwalker16

    Airwalker16 Well-Known Member

    I hope for you they stay healthy and white.
     
    shawnery likes this.
  16.  
    shawnery

    shawnery Well-Known Member

    This is honestly just a test to see how it goes. If i lose them all i can live with that considering my last grow of 8 plants netted me 2.2#'s dry.
     
    Airwalker16 likes this.
  17.  
    shawnery

    shawnery Well-Known Member

    Didn't work! Got white slime on roots in first right bucket in line from epicenter. I waited to see if the good bacteria would fight it but no go. A couple hours later the first left bucket was getting it.

    I have neoprene collars on my net cups so I filled up a tote with fresh water and 10ml of 3% h202, only have store bought, per gallon. Put an airstone in there and letting it bath in disinfectant for an hour.

    Filled the system with 700ml, 70 gallon system, of h202 and letting it sit for an hour and kill off everything in there. Then I'll clean out the system with fresh water and clean and fill a couple times. Then I'll fill it up with 70 gallons of water and 400ml of h202.

    Put the plants back in after all is done and then in 3 days later when h202 has completely dissipated I'll add some of GFF, which is a cheaper stronger version of hydroguard.
     
    Airwalker16 likes this.
  18.  
    shawnery

    shawnery Well-Known Member

    After a day you could quickly notice just from the scent that the h202 didn't do a thorough job of sanitizing. It was also obvious that just a day later all of the h202 had dissipated and reacted with any organic material it came in contact with.

    It was obvious that it needed to be treated again to kill more bacteria but I had a hydroguard replacement, Garden Friendly Fungicide, on the way and wanted the system ready when it got here.

    Yesterday the Garden Friendly Fungicide arrived around 4pm and I used it immediately. By 4pm today there were no obvious signs amongst the plants or roots that it was working yet. Although one way that it is becoming obvious is the changing smell. It's quickly changing from the bad fish tank smell with shit loads of bacteria floating in the solution to the smell of a clean fish tank that is clearing every hour. It was already clearer from the clean out but it was getting slightly less clear by yesterday afternoon.

    The Garden Friendly Fungicide has a consistency of frozen yogurt compared to Hydroguard and you can literally see the bacteria unlike Hydroguard. You have to dilute it at 20:1 with water and then treat at 1ml to 2ml per gallon. Like I said the water definitely appears clearer and the smell is lessening more and more.

    Hopefully I have the dosage right because a few who have used this at higher dosages had the opposite effect as expected.
     
    Airwalker16 likes this.
  19.  
    Kretzlord

    Kretzlord Active Member

    Fingers crossed for your grow. That setup looks sweet too
     
    shawnery likes this.
  20.  
    5BY5LEC

    5BY5LEC Well-Known Member

    How it going with the Southern AG stuff? I was considering getting some once the HG runs out. I use Both HG and Orca together with a 1/4 chiller.
    Always on the hunt to save a couple bucks. I don't think I would ever stop using bennies.
    My res always smells like cold dirt. Its a nice earthy smell and I have come to appreciate it haha.
     

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