No fuzz colloidal silver for making seeds

Discussion in 'Newbie Central' started by Daniel Lawton, Jan 19, 2018.

    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Well-Known Member

    Tired of wiping fuzz from your silver electrodes? How come we have to do that anyway?

    I wanted to know. Turns out the fuzz is called, "burning" of the electrode by the electroplate people, and is an indication of a voltage that's too high.

    I tested various voltages to see if I could make that stop. I wanted to just let the machine sit there unattended, and make colloidal all the time, without electrode loss from fuzz. That loss can wear out a wire in 20 uses or so if you run high voltage.

    Here's the bottom line:

    1. Higher voltages (up to 30V!) are only needed because people want to make colloidal in 1 day, and tend to make a giant mason jar of it.

    2. If you reduce the amount of water to what you really need, like 150ml, it gets made much faster. So you can lower the voltage.

    3. Voltages below 1.0V either don't work, or take too long. Voltages above 1.0V will make fuzz on the positive terminal. Not sure where the precise sweet spot it, but 1.0V works well. Unfortunately, you can't use a single AA cell, that produces about 1.6V when new. You need a resistor network to make 1.0V.

    4. There's 2 types of silver loss. Fuzz, and crystals. Fuzz forms on the positive terminal. Crystals are from electroplating, and form on the negative terminal. That's ok, you can switch terminals and transfer the electroplate back and forth from one electrode to the other. But some crystals float, so even with no fuzz, there's still a very tiny loss of little crystals. Nothing to worry about, it's extremely small (see pic).

    5. AC also stops fuzz, although there's still a tiny amount of electroplate crystal formation. But in a 150ml beaker using 24VAC, it takes more than a week to make strong colloidal!

    6. With no silver loses, you can use thinner gauge wire. If you use thinner gauge, you can afford to buy twice as much. In the pic shown, there's 24 inches of silver wire in the AC version. It was cut in half, and spirled to fit in the beaker, using pieces of circuit board to keep the wires from touching.

    7. You can't use 1V on the double spiral electrodes because it's 1 directional, and the tiny circuit board pieces needed to keep the wires apart will bridge, and you'll end up running 300mA though the wires. But fortunately, AC doesn't bridge the gap.

    So you can make colloidal all the time, without having to tend the machine. Use 1V with your straight electrodes, or 24V with the spiral. 1V takes 3 days, 24V with spiral electrodes takes 12 hours. (To make 150ml).

    8. There's a really good sprayer at CVS drug store. It's for hydrogen peroxide to spray on your cuts, but it's the ideal size for 150ml, and a VERY good sprayer. Better than the ones I purchased separately.

    Spray away and make seeds! Easier to spray the whole plant than a branch, so just grow 2. Soon you won't be paying $10 a seed. Nofuzz_Colloidal.jpg
    BleedsGreen and Ablaze like this.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Well-Known Member

    Followup: An experienced member of this forum said he uses 1.5V with a bubble stone, and gets very good results.

    I retested 1.5V. I had forgotten why I decided a lower voltage was better.

    Although it doesn't produce electrode burning on the positive terminal, the losses due to silver plating crystal formation on the negative terminal are much larger. That makes sense, the electroplate industry uses a voltage close to 1.5V when plating with silver.

    Here's a pic of what it looks like after 2 days, completely unattended. The 1.5V was actually 1.55-1.62V, a brand new AA cell. The quality of the colloidal was very high, easily showing a laser beam in room lighting, with fewer "sparklers" (bigger colloids) than at traditional higher voltages. Also, the 2 days was faster than the 3 it would have taken at 1.0V.

    RIPE likes this.

    dbkick Well-Known Member

    Why even bother when you can buy a lifetime supply of silver nitrate and sodium thiosulfate for 30 bux.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Well-Known Member

    Just a choice. Maybe if I'd had better results with it, I'd say it was the only way to go.

    But I discovered, it starts to wear out once you mix it. Not sure how long it lasts, but not years. I stored my batch in the fridge and in a plastic sprayer (possibly 2 mistakes). Worked great the first time I used it, but it wore out in 4 weeks. 3 sprays from it didn't turn a branch after just month.

    I'd just like a piece of equipment I can turn on 3 days in advance, to get fresh solution, pretty much permanently. When I'm done spraying, dump it out of the sprayer because the cost was nearly nothing and it's easy to make another batch.

    The STS is MUCH better when it works. One spray is enough if it's fresh! If you want to convert only one branch, the STS is more convenient. It's a pain to spray only one branch the 14-28 times you need with colloidal.

    But spraying a whole plant is very easy. I spray mine 3 or 4 times a day, just because I got into the room to see how it's doing, and spraying is no big deal.

    So all in all, the colloidal seems more convenient to me, if you can get a fresh batch just by turning on a switch.

    If there's newbees making colloidal, and also reluctant to spray the whole plant, just remember, you can get some iso alcohol, do an extraction on the sprayed plant, and put the resulting oil into some chocolate to make edibles. So spraying a whole plant doesn't force you to lose the THC it made. And spraying just one branch is trickier than spraying the whole plant. Not sure why, but several people I know had either no pollen that way, or too little and too late.
    RIPE likes this.

    dbkick Well-Known Member

    Two part powder sts has a 3 year shelf life.
    Smok3yMcChok3y likes this.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Well-Known Member

    Yes, I see that now. There's a good article on the web about it. I made the mistake of following several other articles, which had you mix the STS first, then dilute the mix when you use it for spraying.

    According to the article, once mixed the solutions are only good for a month. Unmixed they're good for "months".

    Not sure what "months" means to that author.

    dbkick Well-Known Member

    Yeah, bad sts is one of the things that brought 303 to an end, or at least a temporary end.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Well-Known Member

    Wow, that's a nice strain. The bud I just saw looks like the "give me the strongest you have" pot I got at a legal store here in California, last week.

    One problem with autoflowers is, even the best (like amnesia haze) are still not as covered in trichomes as that 303.
    dbkick likes this.

    dbkick Well-Known Member

    303 is actually a seed company but yeah, they breed fire.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Well-Known Member

    I tested 1.0V again, thinking I'd get no electroplate growth, as there was for 1.5V (see pic).

    It was still there. Less, but still too much. Perhaps when I tested 1.0V at first, I kept examining the results, measuring the PPM several times a day on my desk at work. Perhaps that produced agitation and maybe eliminated that fuzz from the first set of tests.

    So the guy who said he uses 1.5V with a bubble stone might have had no fuzz too, at that higher voltage. And 1.5V is 3 times as fast as 1.0V.

    But I believe 24VAC is the best way to go. There's no visible growth on either terminal. Might want a 4.7K resistor in series in order to protect the transformer from accidents.

    There's still the issue of electroplate bridging the gap on the circuit board used to separate the electrodes. It shows up as a mirror like coating eventually. I don't believe it's caused by the electrical current. Even the inside of the beaker gets that kind of mirror finish. I suspect the colloidal just settles on whatever it can and sticks.

    The result (in my case) is that the spiral wire apparatus starts to look like a 100K resistor to a voltage meter, instead of >2M as it should be with plain water.

    When I solve that problem I'll post a pic. Obviously, if the electrodes have nothing holding them apart, the bridging of the pcb isn't an issue. And with a 4.7K resistor in series, accidental touching isn't a big issue.

    Meanwhile, a plant sprayed with the 24VAC colloidal is absolutely covered with pollen pods now. It's a bumper crop! So as to which makes better quality colloidal, I'd say that's not really a consideration if you spray the whole plant, and do it 2-3 times a day until you see the little pods.

    So newbies (like me), consider using 24VAC and a spiral of thinner silver wire. 24VAC adapters are easy to get on ebay, for about $12.

    They WILL blow an internal fuse if you touch their wires together by accident, so the resistor is a good idea if you don't want to buy 2 adapters.

    blake9999 Well-Known Member

    What ppm are you shooting for your coliodal silver?
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Well-Known Member

    I go for anything above 14ppm. That density has only a hint of yellow color in it. I've used 50ppm too, but it's unnecessary.

    Rather than PPM however, I believe the dollar store laser pointer is the best indicator. If you can only see the beam in the dark, it's still too weak. If you can see the beam in normal office lighting, that's strong enough.

    But even when you can see it only in the dark, I suspect if you spray 3 times a day it'll be fine. Colloidal made with distilled water using the pure silver wire method does not hurt the leaves enough to fear spraying it more often than most growers recommend.

    Here's a pic of a plant I waited a little too long to spray. It already had some pistils. I sprayed it 3 times a day for 18 days before I took this pic. Probably could have stopped earlier, but after you've sprayed the whole plant a bunch of times, it's pretty easy to just give it a blast on top when you go to water it.

    Grow that next to a few of the same type, fluff it up to get pollen all over them, and you'll get thousands of seeds. And likely even a few S1s on the plant you sprayed.

    whitebb2727 likes this.

    blake9999 Well-Known Member

    I have some Auto GDP I'm going to use it on this year so I don't have to keep buying seeds. May use it only on one lower branch.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Well-Known Member

    Just be sure not to be lazy if you spray only one branch. For starters, it's hard to do. If you're trying to protect the pot so you can smoke it, you'll need to isolate that branch, and it's enough work that you'll likely not spray as many times a day as if you could spray the whole plant.

    Plus the lower branches don't bud as much, and seem not to make as many pollen pods.

    So you've got 2 negatives against you spraying just one branch, and if the colloidal wasn't that great, you've got a good chance of getting pollen too late and too little.

    Not good if it's the first time because it'll damage your confidence. I highly recommend anyone doing this the first time (not saying that's you) to spray the heck out of the whole plant, 3 times a day till you see pods. You can back off once you realize how easy it is.
    RIPE likes this.

    whitebb2727 Well-Known Member

    Can't test ppms of cs.

    You want an amber color. You can also test with a laser pointer. Shine the laser through the water. If you can see the laser you are good to go.

    whitebb2727 Well-Known Member

    I prefer a cell charger with around 2 to 3 volts.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Well-Known Member

    I must admit, the 1.5V was 3 times faster than the 1V and both still had annoying electroplate fuzz on the negative electrode. I thought the 1.0V was better because it was the lowest voltage that would make colloidal in 3 days. But the electroplate fuzz isn't significantly better.

    Maybe I'll test to find out when burning on the positive electrode starts (using DC of course).

    I'm just after no fuzz, no trouble, no attendance colloidal.

    Here's an experiment to see how many seeds you get per plant, if you designate one as the sacrifice and spray the heck out of it. The one in the middle is the one that got sprayed and is making a ton of pollen pods.

    The 2 sisters aren't stretching because they didn't get sprayed, it's because of another experiment I did, watering them only in the middle to avoid gnats. Don't do that! You have to water the whole soil at least once when the plant is just a sprout, or the roots confine themselves to the watered area and the plant stretches.

    My pollination technique for these 3 is to keep them in a room away from others, and just fluff the side ones against the middle, once a day.

    My prediction for these 3 plants: 20 S1 seeds on the sprayed plant (I can still see pistils at the bottom). At least 800 seeds on each of her sisters. They're amnesia haze, so they don't yield as much as bigger autoflowers like White Widow, which will easily make 1200 seeds.

    I'll also start an experiment to see what happens if you spray only a lower branch, but do it 3 times a day. Can you make 5 00 seeds on the same plant?

    RIPE likes this.
    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Well-Known Member

    I tested 2.0V DC for a day. At 2V you do indeed get positive electrode burning, although it's slight. And of course you get the electroplate formation on the negative terminal. So with DC, you can avoid the electrode burning if you are below 1.5V, but you can't avoid electroplate fuzz losses. Unless the bubble stone prevents those. I'm not a fan of bubble stones, kind of messy.

    Seems that AC is the only way not to get either loss. Here's a pic of 2.0V, but the burn on the positive terminal is mostly visible in person. It's slight.

    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Well-Known Member

    Ok, it's official (with me at least).

    Making colloidal using DC is far more work than necessary. I've tested all voltages from 0.5V to 30V. It's faster, but a lot of work. And very wasteful.

    Unless you like wiping fuzz from your electrodes (@ > 3V), or losing crystals due to electroplate droppings (@ < 2V), you need to use AC. AC can be left unattended for days, probably even weeks. If everything was clean, there's no noticeable silver crystals floating around. I've just examined mine carefully. There is in fact a formation of a tiny silver blob growing on one of the pieces of circuit board holding the wires apart. In one location only. But it's still attached to the silver wire, so it's not a loss.

    Otherwise, there are no silver losses anywhere in the water other than colloids. You could u se that collidal without filtering it at all, though I recommend coffee filtering and looking in the bottom of the filter for verification you had no losses.

    It's easier to get an AC adapter than you think. 24VAC was used back in the day to power security cameras. And it's still around. The smallest one you can get your hands on is far more than you need.

    WARNING: never let the leads touch. Likely you'll blow your 24VAC supply's internal fuse and it'll be useless.

    For newbies who are pondering how to get the right voltage using DC, and did you actually use the correct one, is a 9V batter fast enough, and so on, forget about it. If you take the time to set up a 24VAC unit like shown in pics above (the double spiral), you can be sure you're making the exact same colloidal silver I made. I say that for those who are not confident. Use that design with distilled water, and you'll get the same colloidal I just used to turn 3 plants. And it didn't harm any leaves, with me spraying every time I walked by the plant (at least 3 times a day for a while).

    Use distilled water, and just keep the machine running until it's yellow. Yes, it takes days. But if you make some DC too and shine a laser in both, you'll see that the 24VAC has almost no "sparklers", and the DC has plenty of them. Those are an indication of poorer quality colloidal.

    I have 3 plants currently showing massive pollen pods, all of which used the 24VAC colloidal. One of them has 2 plants cuddled up to it. Those are showing bumper crops of seeds. Here's a closeup pic of one. It's only had pollen hitting it for 2 weeks that I know of, but the seeds are clearly visible. All I did was fluff them together once a day, after I saw pollen pods.

    A caveat for beginners. If you don't start spraying until you see flowers coming, you're in a game of catch up. Especially if you use 24/7 light, which tends to favor budding.

    The buds can take over completely, seeming to suppress the pollen with their hormones (a guess). In that case, just spray 3 times a day anyway. Keep blasting the heck out of it. It'll form the pollen on the lower branches eventually, and you'll get a bunch of S1 seeds out of it. You might even be glad that happened, since S1s are better than F2s. Probably the top buds will never turn after it runs away with blossoms, but that's even better. Those can make seeds.

    Don't worry it'll never make pollen, just get your colloidal nice and yellow and keep spraying until you clearly see pods somewhere. If you're spraying only one branch, God help you. That's kind of difficult. Don't be so cheap, spray the whole plant. Then make hash oil out of the remains of that plant, and put it into edibles. Forget about smoking the buds. There's never a need to lose the THC completely.

    If you put a Mr. Coffee heat pad under a 150ml beaker, you can have 150ml of bright yellow colloidal in about 4 days. Without the Mr. Coffee heat, maybe a week. (The heat increases the current flow by reducing the resistance).

    Don't try to do huge mason jars worth. Just make 150ml and then keep making another 150ml forever. All you have to do is pour the old out, add new distilled water. The AC machine is trouble free. And I don't think the electrodes will wear out any time soon. Certainly not as fast as with DC.

    If you start spraying well before there are flowers, it won't run away with blossoms. And you'll get nearly 100% pollen pods.

    But with 24/7 light (on an autoflower), some more blooms will come along later after you've stopped spraying for a couple of weeks. So you'll always get a nice collection of S1 seeds to go along with whatever you wanted the pollen for.

    When I get a couple of batches of pure yellow colloidal, one from no heat, and one with Mr. Coffee heat, I'll post some pics so you can see what heat does (mostly just speed it up, but seems to reduce sparklers too). Another odd thing, the colloidal using heat is pure yellow. Not a hint of grey or brown. I suspect that means, all the colloids are very small.

    Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Well-Known Member

    That plant above is an amnesia haze, which is an autoflower with a very nice trichome count. Almost as nice as the best medical marijuana. But the yield is low (15-25 grams). So if you're making kief, another autoflower might be better.

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