Could external air pump be part of a problem?

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Growing' started by paestum, Mar 16, 2023.

  1. I have grown for years with the Aerogarden and have had no problems at all. Until this year. Problem after problem.
    Some of you have seen my posts about the issues I had with water being warm... and everything that ensues from that. Have isolated every single issue (no light, sterilization, black tubing, distilled water, etc etc etc).

    What occurred to me is two things--
    1) The pumps are old and rumble. I have the APC-50 which sit on top of the garden and I run two lines into the reservoir with two airstones. They rumble a lot. Is it possible they are pumping heat into the water?

    2) I had a mold problem in my room. Is it possible the device sucked up some bad stuff and they are transferring spores into the water? I recently tossed the old lines out and put new ones in.

  2. #2 trojangrower, Mar 16, 2023
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2023
    1 - yes, all pumps increase temperature.
    2 - mold is everywhere except maybe a biological flow hood. Everywhere.

    I'm sorry you are still having problems. Have you tried the beneficial organisms I've mentioned to you before? (ie RootShield & EarthAlive) You could try Garden Friendly Fungicide (I've not used it, but many others have).
    Have you tried ice packing? I'm having to switch ice packs each day. I use cleaned out bleach bottle that I filled with RO + calmag (in case they burst). Squish the bottle a little before you put the cap back on (because when it's frozen it will expand).

    *edit ~ also, you can always add a hepa filter to the air pump intake if you are worried about it.

    Did I share this article with you before?
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  3. Thanks for your kind message and for that article, that's super helpful.

    The pump sits on top of the unit and blows air through a black tube into the stones. I guess what I was asking was whether it's possible that the external pumps could be pumping warm air and/or spores into the reservoir.

    I have been using Hydroguard, Piranha, Cannazym and Sensizym... which I thought would inoculate sufficiently. I have been vigilant regarding the temperatures and only once or twice did I catch a warm tank which maybe lasted for a few hours.. but perhaps what I need to do is use the ice packs every single day instead of waiting for the water to warm up before using them. Because even a few hours can be enough to cause major problems as I have sadly learned.

    As for light I finally decided that it is possible that some light could have been getting in through the sides of the pods so I put electrical tape around the circumference of each one. And more...

    Fast forward to this morning and the plants still looked fine... but when I opened the tank there were bubbles on the water and I knew the algae had bloomed overnight. So I removed the plants and saw one section of the roots on one of the plants had developed goo on it... I removed the diseased part, rinsed the roots, removed the dead ones. Sprayed them with diluted H2O2 and rinsed again.

    I completely dismantled the entire unit and scrubbed it with bleach. I boiled the stones in bleach and water for 20 minutes and then connected them back to the pump to expel any residual bleach in clean water for another 10...twice.

    Cleaned the outside of the pump lines with bleach. Then ran 15ml of 12% food-grade H2O2 through the system with the plants in it. After 4 hours added nutrients. pH level fell from 7.2 to 6.

    Plan is to add the beneficials tomorrow. I have Garden Friendly Fungicide. But I have to wait for the H2O2 to break down (24 hours?) before adding it, right? Because otherwise it will get destroyed by the H2O2...

    CLINCHER... and EGG ON MY FACE... Boy has this been therapeutic... let's hope this diagnoses the issue...or at least part of it...

    I have been letting light in all along- and probably more. I just discovered that the unit has two holes especially for air stones. Yep. Never knew. Look at my setup before- and now.

    Looks like now the only thing remaining is water temp. What do you think? Or do IMG_2207.jpg
    AFTER... just noticed there is a hole for the stone tube.. DUH IMG_2210.jpg
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  4. I have run bubblers and my aero without any ice. I am running a setup atm and posted a picture about two hours ago.
    And I know what you mean about light getting in there; I refurbished a bato bucket and went hardcore and I still see a couple spots where light can get in.

    there ya go, just took a picture for you. I even covered the bottom and the top. But you can see a couple spots which I need to cover yet. I was just letting the plant stretch a lil before I do this.

    Also, this time I am using some Barley Extract that is suppose to be used as a pond clarifier.

    I can't vouch for it yet, but I have started using it for the algae reason. And once algae starts, then you get the other nasties. I just use 0.5mL or so per ~20L.

    What else did I do different this time? I filled the reservoir with clonex solution + calmag, which is the same. But I soaked the aero sponges in 1% h2o2 for an hour before planting the seed in it. I then placed that in the aero, so within 24 hrs, I imagine the peroxide has diluted away.

    Some people have success without using bennies and instead use bleach, but I haven't done this (in all the years since I've done this).

    I think you will get this. It's a learning curve, but once you get it, you will reap the rewards.

    on a side note, I can afford to start seeds using Clonex solution because I don't really use that much when I start, limiting the reservoir to 8L and needing only 40mL of clonex (and 4mL or so of calmag). I wouldn't use it if I had larger volumes and will probably try a seedling fertilizer in a while, maybe late summer (ie. too much on the go otherwise).
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  5. I would recommend you cover all the black areas that can absorb light with reflective or white.
  6. DWC reservoir needs to be 65 to 68degrees F Then you don't need bleach or hydro guard.
    Chiller, frozen blocks of ice, insulate the buckets.
    What ever it takes

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