''advanced'' watering

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by Flowki, Dec 29, 2017.


    Flowki Well-Known Member

    Hopefully the correct place for this.

    Watering daily in coco has it's up sides for oxygenation but also it's downsides such as fungus gnats. A true downside is that daily watering washes out microbial life. You can literally see certain species in the run off so can only assume many that can't be seen are being washed out and completely wasted. Hard to come off as ethical given the over heads we use but still, got to draw a line somewhere.

    I wanted to look into low ppm feeding, say around 600. The plan is to feed the weekly brew on first day with no run off. The next 5 days would be normal synthetic feeding at 600ppm(guess) with no run off. Day 7 would be the same 600ppm nutrients but watering to 20% run off. Repeat from day one.

    The hope is that the lower ppm reduces the need for run off but as the none run off nutrients build during the week it's enough to feed the plant. Ofc the single weekly run off is for salt build up. Maybe it can even be done every other week?.

    I personally don't think fungus gnats are a downside if using microbes since they become a part of the food cycle says the internet. Using a hay mulch actually facilitates them better (seen this first hand) among other benefits and with enough microbial life high up in the coco the gnat cycle will become part of the food cycle.

    Does this have a hope in hell?. I really hope so as it will save nutrients, save water +watering labor, save microbes, turn gnats into a positive and also reduce labor of removing run off.

    Ofc the goal is that you still get to feed max water volume daily to renew oxygen levels, before the ''why not just go organic'' comments.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
    boilingoil likes this.

    jemstone Well-Known Member

    From what I understand with coco is that it needs to be watered through until runoff is same ppm as originally mixed in reservoir. Splashing it with water creates faster salt build up.

    The Monterey brand once a year pine treatment works against an invasion. Just water it in. However I do believe if you have a healthy biological soil and fungus gnats without them being overly abundant then thats ok. After all roots and microbes die off leaving a food source for something else.

    I brew compost teas and get the gnats in the spent compost bucket. They tend to stay in the bucket and not migrate to the garden. I use the yellow sticky traps cut up small then place around garden. tend to pick up only a few gnats per run.

    pergamum362 Well-Known Member

    Watering more often(drip system) with a lower ppm than you would usually use when hand watering once a day or however often is usually the way to go. As far as microbes..just add them in? Great white..recharge etc are just for this purpose.. however, i dont think gnats could be benneficial in anyway, just for the reason that they are a vector for pathogens etc..think root diseases.

    Flowki Well-Known Member

    I think the same result happens when using hay as a mulch but can't be certain yet. The Gnats don't seem to go anywhere else but at the hay level. Probably due to similar reasons of moisture and food break down.

    Drip system seems nice, been looking into blumat gravity setups today. The gnats are hopefully indirectly beneficial if you have the correct nematodes that feed on them. Was planning to use weekly worm cast dressing to achieve this but have not got around to checking the types of nematodes that would introduce. all I've ever read about gnats is that they are food for other creatures, so surely they can be introduced into the plant chain?.

    dtl420 Well-Known Member

    I used automated watering on coco once. Didn't care much for it, like you said lots of gnats. But I eventually found the remedy to be the addition of significant levels of sm-90. I love that stuff, I put it on almost everything. The gnats aren't the real issue, their larvae are. The lay their eggs in the soil where the larvae feed on all organic matter, such as your roots. I tried everything, even put the pots in the bath tub and filled it up with water to try to drown them (horrible idea in hindsight). Then I read about sm-90. It's a surfactant which suffocates the little bastards. It takes a little time for the last generation to die off, and being winter time once you get rid of them they're gone till spring.

    ANC Well-Known Member

    Gnats are cunts and will fuck up your yield more often than not.

    Put diatomaceous earth on the top of your pots and spray your plants with eco BB, that fungus will fuck your gnats right up.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018

    Jp.the.pope Well-Known Member

    How thick do you add DE?

    chemphlegm Well-Known Member

    Microbial Lift, followed directions havent seen a mite after 1st week's application months ago. gnats war is over.
    they eat tender roots, dont be fooled.
    Cold$moke likes this.

    Flowki Well-Known Member

    How does that effect other microbes?

    Can't they still get in from drain holes or air pot holes?.

    I looked this up (only found a product called microbe lift) and it makes no mention of being a gnat control product, do you have more info on this?.

    I'm more interested in this kind of approach though, as I'm already using a microbe product that ''protects from pathogens''. Do you think a small weekly top dress of worm castings could do the trick?.

    ANC Well-Known Member

    Technically yes. But they are clumsy fucks. Just water till runoff now and again if it isn't part of your routine.
    Flowki likes this.

    dtl420 Well-Known Member


    You're lucky I just read all that for you.... Holy shit that took some digging... based on this pdf, which is testing the effects of triethanolamine (the only ingredient that's not a plant oil) on both gram positive and gram negative bacteria extracted from metal working fluids, it has a minor effect on the reproduction of those bacteria at lower pH levels and lower concentrations, it took a significant concentration or a high pH level to completely stop the reproduction of those bacteria. Sm-90 only contains 5% triehanolamine.

    Another article I found, and forgot to save the link for, was a college research article that said triethanolamine has chelating properties. This will make metal ions, such as iron copper and zinc, more soluble and more easily absorbed by plants.

    Based on my experience with this product, it hasn't caused any adverse effects. It killed my gnats, though I'm sure there is a product out there more suited to your particular needs. Also, sm-90 is not listed as an organic product, so if you're trying to be organic you can't use it anyway. I don't use it in my organics for the sake of being able to truly say "this stuff is organic". I don't mess with too much organics though, it's a lot more work.
    Flowki likes this.

    chemphlegm Well-Known Member

    Microbe Lift does nothing to protect from pathogens.
    Worm castings do nothing to deter gnats, pathogens, or any other pest but they feed the soil very well.
    I'd spend the 20 bucks and trust me if I were you. small price to pay for permanent gnat/thrip elimination,
    the most effective I've ever used.


    "This 6 ounce bottle will treat a 750 gallon pond for 22 months. Or a treat a 2,500 gallon pond for 7 months. Microbe-lift biological mosquito control can be applied to areas that can contain aquatic life, fish and plants. This mosquito control product can also be applied to areas used by or in contact with humans, animals, horses, livestock, pets birds or wildlife.
    Biological larvacide, bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israaelenses (B.T.I.) Is the active ingredient).

    Can be used in water gardens that contain live fish and plants. Up to 14 days activity depending on application site. Disperses evenly in water. No fish toxicity. No toxicity to non-target invertebrates. No potential for resistance development in the target mosquito population. Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis (BTI) is a microbial preparation that is uniquely safe because its toxins act solely on mosquitoes and their close relatives-blackflies, nuisance flies and nuisance aquatic midges. The BTI destroy the wall of the larva’s gu"
    Flowki likes this.

    jarvild Well-Known Member

    I've been running coir with just weekly runoffs for a couple of years. 400 ppm (0.8 ec) for veg and 500 ppm (1.0 ec) for flower.
    Flowki likes this.

    Flowki Well-Known Member

    Thank you all very much for the help

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