Bent plants, reservoir slime and squashed roots...

Discussion in 'General Marijuana Growing' started by Kieron90, Jan 10, 2018.


    Kieron90 Member

    I've recently upgraded my Wilma system from the one that pushed the plants too close together, to a larger one with better spacing. The extent that the plants have bent outwards (away from the light), in order to find more space / light is clear now they're in the new system.


    Will I be able to just stake these back straight ?

    I've also noticed a slimy residue in my nutrient tank. It's brown as you can see from the picture here.


    It dries to leave a dusty, powdery reside like this...


    I would like suggestions as to what this could be. It's the exact colour of the hydroton (clay pebbles, which were cleaned extensively to prevent runoff materials and pH spikes etc...) that I use; but the stink was what gave me the concern...

    I have been running temperatures of 24.4C (76 F) in the room and the tanks are normally at about 20C / 21C (68F / 70F). I know I have left the nutrient tank caps off a few times and that might have invited growth but the smell made me think pythium.

    It's freaked me out enough for me to consider running my air conditioner (despite it being winter here in the UK) to pull temperature down to 21C (70F) as that'll make the tanks rest at 17C / 18C (62F / 64F). If temperature is an issue, it'd save me having to buy a nutrient tank chiller seeing as the AC unit is already here.

    The plants are a picture of health, with extremely healthy root systems (the bottom of which can be seen below).

    I should mention that the nutrient tanks are aerated using Eheim @ 6LPM connected to two air curtains to help oxygenate the water to prevent the conditions being suitable for stuff to grow in; but I am aware the high temperatures will have affected the water's maximum oxygen capacity.

    What's the general consensus here ?

    Finally, seeing as the previous system had space underneath the pot for the roots to grow into, see below...


    This is not the case with the new system, and the pots have had to rest entirely on that root mass, where before, the pot was supported. I suppose I am concerned here that there will be negative implications such as stress or rot...

    I use Rhiztonic in the tanks to lower stress, as well as Cannazyme (could this be breaking down the roots and causing the residue in the tank above!?) which should break down any dead material in the event they die off now they're in this new position.

    I'll end with a positive. The cuttings have been taken and are now in the propagator, heat mat set at 25C (75F) and humidity at 85% - I shouldn't joke but if I lose the crop to pythium then these might just be the sole survivors !



    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018

    Kieron90 Member

    I'm self bumping this because I know my learned friends here at RIU will have an answer to these issues... :mrgreen:

    GBAUTO Well-Known Member

    I agree that the res in your rez is probably just from the hydroton. I normally use my evac/pond pump to suck that stuff out when I do rez changes. I don't use the same system you have but it functions just like the 8 bucket RDWC system I built. Supporting top heavy plants does require some type of trellising/scrog netting so try to plan for that. I only do an anual indoor grow during the winter because of challenges regulating my grow environment during the summer months. I also have used Hydroguard/Southern Ag Garden friendly fungicide to prevent root rot and have had really good results using GH Flora Trio. Try to keep room below 80 degF with good ventilation and you'll do just fine. Keep us posted on the progress.

    Kieron90 Member

    I hope it is, I try and keep everything as sterile as possible, so this is a bit of a kick in the nuts ! I'll be scrogging them on the next run, very much kept vanilla (give or take a prune or two) whilst I decide on a mother. I have heard of Hydroguard, would I be able to use that inconjuction with the Cannazyme and Rhizotonic that I currently use, or would it act like H202 and purge the tanks...

    NrthrnMichigan Well-Known Member

    Neat set up you have...You can wash the clay pebbles until the cows come home and you will still get dust or dirt come off them into rez. Is there room for a few ice bottles in the rez to help keep temps down? If so keep them clean and rotate with fresh ice bottles every 12 hours. Also, consider drip clean to keep the salts clogging to a minimum. Does light have access to the rez? There are a few issues I see with that set up that would detour me from using it. Your plants look good though. Is this your first run with that system?

    Kieron90 Member

    Yep, it's the first run with this setup up. I know that the frozen bottles are a great way to reduce tank temperatures, but if I can get the AC (saves me buying a chiller), to do the same job through maintaining 23C ambient, and 20C tank temps, then that automating of the system would be preferred, I don't think I could be bothered (in the event I could remember), to keep replacing them after they thawed out :mrgreen:

    The pictures don't cover the entire set up but I currently have two variacs set up on the intake and exhaust fans, and at the current settings they're keeping the temperatures exactly where I want them (the new lower range). As summer comes in and things heat up, the AC will really only serve to keep things in check, and shouldn't cost a fortune as I won't be asking it for Antarctica temperatures.

    I welcome the critique, so any thoughts are greatly appreciated ! As for the light having access to the tanks, they're completely light proof, the only time there would be momentary light access if when I take off the caps for the tanks and empty / clean / refill them.



    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    My oppinon everthing looks exceptionally clean
    And you have nothing to worry about :)

    If there where a problem i doubt your roots would be so nice.

    Let em go!
    coreywebster likes this.

    Kieron90 Member

    Yep, it's the root condition that reassured me. I'll chill out and write one of the three 3000 word assignments I have to take my mind off it :wall:
    Dr. Who

    Dr. Who Well-Known Member

    While it maybe some dust from the hydroton.
    It's mostly residue left by the cannaZYME. What that single myco strain does is to consume the shed root "skin" as it grows. This consumed "skin" is turned into plant usable nutrition.
    The resulting byproduct is that brown, slimy residue.

    This and other things, generally called "waste products" of the plant. Cause that rising ppm of your res as it goes on. This can get "toxic" to the plant on several levels.
    This is why you dump and refill a res, instead of just adding back nutrient all grow long.

    Kieron90 Member

    Ah - the dump and refill I normally practice, this is the first run but I have read enough to consider it best practice; not sure how some people assert they can go through the entire run without changing up the reservoir and just adding on top.

    Have you used CannaZYME before and definitely know it to be the waste product run off, I just want to be 100% that I should expect it in the future. I would hate to misdiagnose a more serious problem by assuming symptoms were "normal waste" residues :shock:

    coreywebster Well-Known Member

    White panda film might help lower your res temp, a sheet cut to fit over the top of the Wilma to stop the light heating it. Plus a white film will reflect light back up to the plants and that's no bad thing.
    Its silly that in this day and age they continue with the black plastic but I guess that keeps production costs down.

    Straight plants, I wouldn't worry about that.
    Nice roots!!

    Kieron90 Member

    I've had this same discussion, it just seems so counter intuitive to produce them in black; even if they were use outdoors the same issue would likely occur. I checked the temperatures a while ago and they were resting at a cool 18.5C / 65F - I reckon I will try and create something (I watched far too much Art Attack on TV as a kid) to cover the tops of the tanks to to try and maintain the current temperatures.
    Cold$moke and coreywebster like this.

    coreywebster Well-Known Member


    R.I.P Neil Buchanan

    blackmelo Well-Known Member

    those wilma pots are great for vegg. Great for lettuce, herbs but they will restict growth in flowering, they just don't have the root capacity imo. Probably not what you want to hear since it sounds like you just binned the last one and spent more money on this one. It's still a great system that you should keep for vegg but for flowering maybe go for for something a bit bigger. Have a think about it, no point making any drastic changes but bigger roots = bigger yields.

    You seem to be doing great so giving you this advice from my experience. People don't realize the importance of a decent hydroponic system, it's worth more than a decent light and doesn't need to cost much, bubblers are for making bubbles. I just built a 2 x 30l pot flood and drain system for £20. Add a £13 water pump and a £3 timer and you have a flood and drain system that does the same an alien system for £500 does. The only difference with cheap flood and drain systems is that you need to use gravity to drain your pots so your pots need to be raised by 40cm which is a lot of space for some people but if you have the space you could build a 100l hydro system for less than what you spent on your wilma.
    For 4 plants I use 4x 20l pots and the roots usually end up growing into the feeding tubes, they get that full.

    as to the clay pebbles, I think that has been covered. I was told that they can harbour bacteria and fungus, they are not a sterile growing medium.

    I personally use perlite but it does tend to fall out of netpots a bit so another alternative which I have used and is great is growstones.
    They are like clay pebbles but they are completely sterile, nothing nasty will come off them or grow on them. cheapest i have found is, still twice as expensive as perlite but a bag should last several years.

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    Just as a note i have gone a long time if not a whole run jist doing top offs with no big problems...

    Edit to add with the exception of draining out when i switched to bloom

    Not to say its best but its doable
    Dont have to take my word for it

    Look up kratky method of hydroponics
    Also some very interesting stuff from DR . WHITCOMB

    Not saying its the same for our plants but its there.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    Also i have to say i hate hydroton for the dust in the res.
    I have switched to gtow stones and LOVE them

    No stupid balls rolling around lol
    NrthrnMichigan likes this.

    NrthrnMichigan Well-Known Member

    I switched to rocks after last bag of balls ran out... still have to rinse the piss out of them though.
    Cold$moke likes this.

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    I just scoop mine out in the net cup and stick the cup under the faucet works great

    But i love how i dont find red dust every where lol
    And grow stones are made of silica (im pretty sure)
    And the silicate are good for the roots system :)

    NrthrnMichigan Well-Known Member

    Not nearly as dusty as the clay balls.

    Attached Files:

    Cold$moke likes this.

    Kieron90 Member

    I liked the idea of being able to use cannaZYME throughout the run and then easily clean off the medium of roots afterwards; it's not really the cost of having to get more, but the stealthy way I don't have to go out and get more, as well as, hopefully having to clean them less, though the latter point seems negated after the comments above.
    Cold$moke likes this.

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