Curing Bad Bacteria In Resevior What Worked For Me

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by motoracer110, Mar 11, 2017.


    motoracer110 Well-Known Member

    I've Been growing a number of years in hydro and for some reason growing in this house I have had crazy bad bacteria blooms in my Resevior. If you are in the same situation or have had the same situation in the past you know how crazy frustrating bacteria can be.

    I'm currently using a flo n gro bucket system with a 55 gallon Resevior and after doing a water change I would get a massive bacteria bloom within 2 days. Horrible smell, cloudy water, and a bit of foam on the water surface. Im pretty obsessed with keeping everything perfect. I'm using RO water, my res temp is always at 68f give or take 1 degree, I keep my Resevior in a separate dark room with no light leak, ph stays at 5.8, I was running a massive bubble pump meant for 1500 gallon outdoor ponds, at every water change I would flush and dissenfect, I tried res clear with no success and after that water change I tried bennefitial bacteria teas with no success. (Crazy frustrating to throw away that much money in nutrient solution. I had the same problems with 3 different product lines with the same bacteria problems.

    I finally found what worked for me and thought I would share my success. Reading on different product line websites I found many of them say not to run an air stone in the res, instead they say just to use a circulation pump. I went out and bought a 700 gph pump and got that going to move around the water. I also finally got my hands on 30% H202 and Bam! Problem completely solved. Water stays fresh, plants are growing crazy fast, and roots are bone white. The dosing of h202 is 250 ml every 3-4 days. If you are at the end of the road when it comes to res water going bad you should give those 2 things a shot

    ( if growing in DWC you still need air stones no matter what. My system flood and drains the buckets 4 times a day and therefore no need for air)

    If you have any success in curing bad water or bad root problems please post your successes below. hopefully this helps a few of you in the same situation I was in save some money, time, and crazy frustration I went through
    Niblixdark likes this.

    Niblixdark Well-Known Member

    H202 SM90 is what I use with 100% success.
    motoracer110 and Boatguy like this.
    Budley Doright

    Budley Doright Well-Known Member

    Chilled water and hydroguard (when it was available) was the win for my setup. And yup water fountain in the middle of the root zone for DO ;). I had not so good luck with H2O2 but may have been a tad lite on the application :(.
    motoracer110 likes this.

    ltecato Active Member

    I agree, that peroxide kills bacteria and fungus real good and the plants seem to appreciate the oxygen their roots get from it.

    sanjuan Well-Known Member

    I'm running ebb-and-flow mapito totes with chlorine bleach in a reservoir with 18 gallons of nute solution (MaxiBloom dry). It's a three day flood cycle; 3ml bleach (8.25% sodium hypochlorite) after the flood, 2ml bleach on the next day and 1ml the day before the next flood. This yields 0.75ppm total chlorine in the reservoir on flood day. My tap water from the city is in that range (and used in the res).

    Excess chlorine will inhibit magnesium uptake. I just now started adding epsom salts at the rate of 1 gram per gallon. This is mainly because I'm running the mapito res at pH 5.6 (which also inhibits Mg). If bacteria starts growing, the chlorine will be "eaten" up, disappearing much faster.

    I'm measuring total chlorine using a Hanna colorimeter (up to 3.5ppm) with Hach brand reagent packs (more convenient).
    I've hit plants with over 4ppm (usually by accident) and there is some wavy leaf distortion, pheno dependent. I think 2ppm or under is OK and would aim for 1ppm in the reservoir.

    For me, it was a choice of buying chiller units or using bleach (or pool shock, but it didn't want to dissolve for me).
    Enzymes worked well for a while but then I gave up and went back to bleach. I wasn't doing good clean-ups at the time, though, either.

    In a big tote, I boil the roots out of old mapito using H2O2 over a period of days after harvest.

    Edit: I used to have air stones but they seemed to raise the pH. I now use recirculation pumps that come on for 15 minutes every two hours.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
    motoracer110 likes this.
    Budley Doright

    Budley Doright Well-Known Member

    With out using the meter is it not kind of a hit and miss thing using bleach. I was always worried about the build up or not enough. Just seemed like a lot of stress but I guess that could be solved using a meter. The only time I've used it was in a full blown rot situation :(.

    sanjuan Well-Known Member

    Keeping a cool, dark reservoir goes a long ways towards good hygiene. My flower room gets a lot of hot sun exposure. I have a window banger AC but it's only used on an emergency basis. If I knew I wanted to grow here another ten years I'd get a Mitsubishi mini-split for the room, I guess. Soil keeps calling me back . . .

    On another site a few years ago, the consensus seemed to be 1ppm total chlorine is desirable and that it's used commercially. People were calculating the correct amount and dispensing it with 3ml disposable pipettes (for a smallish res) without metering.

    The chlorine gas is what does the work. I also have a Hanna free chlorine colorimeter but it requires timing down to the second for repeatable measurements. I also bought Hach analog (color wheel) colorimeter but I prefer the digital Hanna.

    Test strips will indicate the presence of chlorine but they are not worth using as a quantitative measurement, IMO. There is an EPA approved type but it doesn't work in nute solutions.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
    Budley Doright

    Budley Doright Well-Known Member

    Yup keep my res's at a nice cool 66 and the plants love it. IMO if your growing in a flooded root setup a chiller is a good investment, I use a passive chiller with 150' if buried copper pipe filled with glycol, works great till ambient temps get above 75 for extended periods and by then I'm outside under the sun :).

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    I use a DIY chiller and keep the tub at 65 -68F. No H2O2 and certainly no bleach just 2 - 12" airstones pumping out lots of bubbles. Air bubbling does NOT raise pH.

    Years ago before I chilled I used 35% peroxide at 0.5ml/L twice a week for maintenance and it all worked great.
    Budley Doright

    Budley Doright Well-Known Member

    Pretty much the same except for the air stones, I use water fall effect. The air stones were just a real pain in the ass but I was not chilling the water at that point. I also used aquaguard but that's not available here. I will try and find some good beanies to use as I honestly think they did promote root development but it's all just my observations and by no way proven in my grows :). I haven't used the peroxide in years except last run to try and win a root rot battle, it did do as good as bleach but the ratios may have been off. The chiller and hydroguard kicked its ass :).

Share This Page