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Heisenberg Tea Summary - Cheap Easy Beneficial Bacteria to Cure Root Issues


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#1
Cannaculus

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So I realize this is not new information to some, and has probably been posted here before. I take no credit for this information, it is simply things I have gleaned from reading Heisenberg's wonderful thread on brewing your own cheap, easy beneficial bacteria for curing root and water issues in hydroponics. If anyone is interested in much more in depth info read the thread in its entirety, I can only do my best here to sum up the relevant info.

Everything is from this great sticky: DWC Root Slime Cure aka How to Breed Beneficial Microbes
I recently read through the whole thing and wanted to sum things up for anyone interested. I am also benefiting myself as this will be forgotten if I don't take notes :D

Keep in mind while reading that I do not necessarily have any experience implementing any of this.


Why Would I Use This?

  • Unless using a sterilizing product (physan 20, H202), most hydroponics solutions will breed bacteria in the water (though low reservoir temperatures slow growth, this is almost inevitable).
  • Frequent reservoir changes keep the water clean and fresh, preventing bad bacterias from causing root rot or other problems. Drain-to-waste or ebb&flow systems may have less problems with this, DWC is particularly susceptible.
  • Products like Great White, ZHO, Mycogrow, Aquashield, etc.. contain beneficial bacteria (bennies) to inoculate root systems and any porous surface bennies can latch onto (hydroton, container walls, airstones) but are generally expensive.
  • By using a combination of only a few of the most diverse/best/cheapest products an EarthWorm Casting Tea can be brewed by aerating a solution for 48 hours using only small amounts of these products to provide a diverse population of beneficial bacterium and fungi to inoculate hydroponic solutions and combat any bad bacteria, allowing for explosive root growth, general plant heath, lower nutrient ppm levels necessary, and higher safe reservoir temperatures.

1.) The parts required:
$6 - MycoGrow™ Soluble mycorrhizal fungi mix
Fungi Perfecti: MycoGrow™ mycorrhizal products

$10 - Botanicare ZHO mycorrhizal fungi mix
Botanicare Zho Root Inoculant

$30 - General Hydroponics Ancient Forest earthworm castings
General Hydroponics: Ancient Forest

 

- some sort of container
- airpump and airstone, 1W air pump power per gallon of water

The products listed can be substituted for similar items, but the chosen items have been found to be cheapest/best/most diverse. Great White powder and Roots Excelurator are stupid expensive. (Not to mention Roots Excelurator contains anaerobic bacteria and specifically says not to use it with airstones). Most anything containing sugar can be used in place of molasses, it just provides food for the bennies.

These products do have their own dosage and application directions, ignore them and brew the tea. It will be more beneficial and make more efficient use of the ingredients than using them separately.

2.) Combine the following in these ratios:
- 1 gallon dechlorinated water (if tap, let sit 24 hours or aerate)
- 1 tsp (5mL) Mycogrow soluble
- 1 tsp (5mL) ZHO powder
- 3/4 tbsp (11.25 mL) unsulfured molasses
- 1/8 cup (30 mL) Ancient Forest EWC

Small amounts brewed at a time are best as the tea remains usable for 7-10 days after brewing (only if refrigerated to slow bacterial/fungal growth!). If unrefrigerated must be used immediately or the bennies fight amongst themselves and the biological diversity degrades.

3.) Add to container, mix thoroughly, keep temperature 70-80F if possible, aerate for 48 hours.
- unless water pH is way off do not pH adjust before or after brewing
- a biofilm of foam should appear indicating good biological activity
- foam may not appear if water is too cold to 'wake up' the bennies but tea may still function at some level
- certain fungi will 'activate' in the tea but not reproduce and multiply, a small extra amount of ZHO powder (or any product with only fungi) can be added to the tea just before use to add additional fungi (but not at all necessary)
- tea is best brewed at the reservoir temperature it will be used at to ensure the different types of bennies are in the same ratio at the end of brewing as they will be when in the hydroponics system (however temperatures below 70F will not work as well)

4.) Immediately after brewing use tea as follows:
- strain tea using cheesecloth or similar, pour directly on roots, through netcups/hydroton, and directly into reservoir to innoculate the system
- 1 cup per gallon of total system water for fixing problems
- 1 cup per 10 gallons for general system health maintenance
- add a cup or so directly to roots every 3 days or so

Leftover tea can be refrigerated for use up to 7-10 days. The cold will slow down biological activity and keep the population diverse. If tea starts to smell like anything besides "mossy" or "earthy", throw it away. Especially if it smells like shit.

After innoculating hydroponics systems with bennies make sure to dilute any pH adjusters before adding them as the concentrate can kill them (good practice anyway to avoid nutrients being forced out of solution aka flocculation).

OK What Am I Doing?
The idea is that these bennies will destroy any bad anerobic bacteria and causes of root issues, make enzymes (think Hygrozyme), eat dead roots, and assist the plant in the uptake of nutrients and root growth. The molasses is used in tea purely to provide food, it should all be eaten by the bennies after the 48 hours brewing time so none will make it into the hydroponics system if brewed in the correct ratios. Any sugar containing products are food for bacteria and should not be added to hydroponics systems suffering from root issues, it can make the problem worse.

We expect the bennies to start dying immediately after brewing the tea, the idea is that we want them to eat anything extraneous in the reservoir but run out of food immediately keeping the system clean and healthy. This is why a fresh batch of tea is added periodically, to keep the most biologically diverse population of bennies possible and continually replenish them.

TLDR; This is highly recommended for anyone fighting root rot or other issues, pare your nutrient regimen down to the bare N-P-K essentials (remove any extra products that may be excaberating problems) and introduce Heisenberg tea, you won't regret it.

I believe even if a hydro system has no issues the bennies will grow better herb than a sterile system.



extra search keywords: mycorrhizae, mycorrhizal fungi, rhizosphere, compost tea, pythium, phytophthora, rot, brown, slime, cloudy, furry, dead, dying


Edited by Cannaculus, 31 May 2013 - 04:43 AM.


#2
fearnoevil

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Thanks for the summary Cannaculus, good info ;?D
Although I've grown for years, I'm fairly new to hydro so I do have some Q's.

I'm using a hempy bucket system and am wondering if this is something I should look at implementing or not. I'm not sure, but since it's pretty much a drain to waste system, should I even be worried about some of the problems listed. Since there's no true rez to recirc/reuse, does anyone know whether a properly run hempy bucket system needs this? I am already using Hygrozyme and I do add 15ml of H2o2 per gallon every other feeding just in case, but would I see a benefit from dropping the peroxide and going with this tea instead?

#3
zoomme

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Yes, because from what I understand about hempy buckets, they have a two inch level of standing water at the bottom. Meaning that they could develop root rot IMO. And I'd recommend bennies over peroxide any day.

#4
fearnoevil

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Thank you, I appreciate the heads up.:cool: I do understand that bacteria can be beneficial, but on a gut level I guess I can't help reacting negatively to the idea, lol.

So do you know whether or not the bennies will have any problem with the Hygrozyme (yah maybe a dumb question :confused_2:)?

#5
Cannaculus

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. . .So do you know whether or not the bennies will have any problem with the Hygrozyme (yah maybe a dumb question :confused_2:)?


I'd have to say that's beyond my scope and refer you to Heisenberg's thread
Though I think the answer will be that you don't need Hygrozyme when using this as it does about the same thing.

#6
nrgpill

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Sounds like you definitely have a good plan going. I read through the entire heisenberg thread many months ago and have been a tea convert for a while now.

My tea formula for every 2 gallons:

2 gallons of RO + 1 tsp Mycogrow soluble + 1 large handful of AF ECW + 1 tbs of blackstrap molasses + 1 tsp ZHO added to tea every time before going into res.

The exact amount of each is not that important. You just want to ensure that there is enough molasses in there for the bennies to feed off of and to multiply. Also, I am assuming that you are brewing the tea in the 68 - 75 degree temp range since that is the range in which the bennies thrive.

#7
Guest_ekomsi_*

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Yo Im about to add my tea to my 55 gall Rez, I used about 4 gallons water, (1 cup ewc, couple scoops of ZHO, Scoop of Great White in a paint strainer), and 30 ML Molasses in a 5 gallon bucket. It has been aerating for just over 24 hrs, my next feed is at midnight. I run an ebb n grow system with 36 pots, I hoping this kicks the root rots ass I'm sick of the roots not being pearly white, strong, and fibrous.

For nutrients I use lucas formula, I also add hygrozyme.

Will this work if I add all 4 gallons to my REZ?

#8
zoomme

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It will make your girls healthy and HUGE!

Oh and I "cook"the tea for 48hrs.

#9
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I brewed it for 30 hrs and took 2.5 gallons of tea and top feed via a sprayer all my individual ebb n grow buckets. The remaining gallon or so of tea I just dumped into my Rez, I hope it helps and doesn't make my situation worse.

Forgot to mention I strained the tea through a 160micron bag before using. Good idea or bad?

#10
zoomme

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I've got my recipe in my Journal. I use a knee high pantyhose to put it all in and it soakes in the water with air for 24 hrs. Add But Candy, Bubble another 24. It will most def improve your system.

#11
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This needs to be a sticky!

Within 48hrs of adding the tea to my rez/plants I have bright white, strong fibrous roots compared to the weak, tan mushy roots I had before.

Im stoked big shout out to Heisenberg, and also thanks to Cannaculus for bringing it to my eyes.

#12
Guest_ekomsi_*

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bump b/c this tea could help a lot of people save their roots!

#13
budfr3sh

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i was wondering if you are suppose to flush the tea after a certain amount of days? or just continue to feed with the tea?

thanks! this is a great thread!

#14
zoomme

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i was wondering if you are suppose to flush the tea after a certain amount of days? or just continue to feed with the tea?

thanks! this is a great thread!


Continue to feed.

#15
budfr3sh

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Continue to feed.


thank you :D ! just added the tea !

#16
zeroshawdow

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One question can I make a tea with Supplies I already got.

Earthworm Casting
Molasses
Superthrive
Seaweed

????????????? or do I need something in addition ?

#17
LudaCHRI5

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One question can I make a tea with Supplies I already got.

Earthworm Casting
Molasses
Superthrive
Seaweed

????????????? or do I need something in addition ?


From what I understand ewc alone has alot of beneficial bac the plants need. Heisenbergs recipe is great,
But you can use just the molasses, ewc and seaweed and msybe add a cheap myko (glomus intradice) and youd be great imo.

I'm just doing black strap molases, ewc and mykos and it's been working great so far!

#18
zeroshawdow

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From what I understand ewc alone has alot of beneficial bac the plants need. Heisenbergs recipe is great,
But you can use just the molasses, ewc and seaweed and msybe add a cheap myko (glomus intradice) and youd be great imo.

I'm just doing black strap molases, ewc and mykos and it's been working great so far!


Thanks, 2morrow before going to Collage I will stop at the Store to buy some Castings, I have everything else. I will start the brewing 2morrow nite, let you know how it goes for me.

I have a final question. I do not use Organics Nutrients, I use synthetic fertilizers. Is useless using a tea with the synthetic fertilizers ? or is useful, do I get the same benefits ?

Thanks
ZS

Edited by zeroshawdow, 29 February 2012 - 03:22 PM.


#19
LudaCHRI5

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Thanks, 2morrow before going to Collage I will stop at the Store to buy some Castings, I have everything else. I will start the brewing 2morrow nite, let you know how it goes for me.

I have a final question. I do not use Organics Nutrients, I use synthetic fertilizers. Is useless using a tea with the syntethic the planst will take after a few days of feed them with tea ? or is useful, do I get the same benefits ?

Thanks
ZS


I'm currently using synthetics too, simple 3 part by cutting edge solutions. If anything I thinks it's even more useful for the fact that by making your own tea with earth worm casting, your bringing organics into your grow.

#20
HardDrive

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very good thread.


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