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Using Hydrogen Peroxide


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There are no doubts about the benefits of using hydrogen peroxide properly in a hydroponics system. This becomes especially true if your nutrient reservoir is kept above 72 degrees. Warm water holds less dissolved oxygen, and therefore encourages the growth of more viruses, fungi, and anaerobic bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide adds oxygen to you water and cleans the water of pathanogens. Benefits include healthier root systems, increased nutrient uptake, thicker stems, and bigger leaves.


One expert claims it should be used on all soil gardens as well as in hydroponics sytems. Knowing as much as I do about beneficial fungus and micro-organisms and the benefits they provide to living plants, I am shy in taking this advice. However, when this first line of defense fails and plants become sick I often resort to using hydrogen peroxide treatments on my soil grown plants.


The chemical formula of hydrogen peroxide is H2O2. You may notice it is simply water with an extra oxygen atom. In fact, as hydrogen peroxide breaks down in a solution the result is oxygen and water. Its application helps deliver oxygen to over watered plant roots and helps to sterilize the growing media by killing harmful anaerobic (not oxygen compatible) bacteria and pathanogens that cause disease. This includes bacterial wilt, pythium fungi, fusarium fungi, and others.


I avoid using the common 3% hydrogen peroxide you normally find at drug stores. This is because such low percentage solutions are unstable, and chemicals are added to the peroxide to keep it from breaking down before it can be used. I did a little research because I did not know what chemicals were used for this, or if the plants uptake these chemicals, or if there was a health risk associated with any of these stabilizing chemicals.


Hydrogen peroxide is usually stabilized with acetanilide. Acetanilide is a synthetic compound that was first used for its fever reduction and pain killing properties in the late Nineteenth Century. For many years it was utilized as an alternative to aspirin to treat various ailments, but large-scale medical use stopped when the toxic side effects of consuming acetanilide became apparent. This was enough to make up my mind to use 35% hydrogen peroxide instead.


Firstly, 35% peroxide is caustic and should be treated with the same caution as a strong acid. 35% strength hydrogen peroxide should be readily available at any quality hydroponics supply shop. The stronger concentrations do not use the added stabilizers.


The recommended dosage is to add 2-3 ml to each gallon of water, however, I use 5 ml per gallon and have never had any problems. At every nutrient change treat your fresh water with hydrogen peroxide. The general idea is to let the hydroponics sytem circulate the hydrogen peroxide solution for about a half hour to let the peroxide work against pathogens and to let the solution stabilize before adding your nutrients.


The beneficial effects of using hydrogen peroxide last about 4 days. There are some gardeners who add a little peroxide to their nutrient reservoirs every 5 days in between nutrient changes. If you decide to do this, stick to the guidelines and always make sure your solution is thoroughly mixed before exposing your plants roots to it. Another option is to top off your nutrient reservoir with peroxide treated water whenever it is low.


The original article with pictures and additional info can be found at http://www.jasons-indoor-guide-to-organic-and-hydroponics-gardening.com/using-hydrogen-peroxide.html

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Thanks Nigel, good post.


Came across a web site, believe it was the British Ionics site, they had a bottled product which was 17% Hydrogen Peroxide, one might say so what?


They have test strips similar to PH test strips for use with this product, to check proper concentration, and of course guidelines for use.


In soil how much is too much? Don't want to kill off the good bacteria!

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Thanks Nigel, good post.


In soil how much is too much? Don't want to kill off the good bacteria!


That's a good question. No one yet fully understands the complete workings of hydrogen peroxide. We do know that it is loaded with oxygen. (A pint of the food-grade 35% solution contains the equivalent of 130 pints of oxygen). So for me to give a exact and accurate mixture recommendation would be impossible. In organics it will kill the bacteria you want keep around. But if I personally was going to add H202 into my organic feeding regiment I would probably use 1ml per gallon (35%strength) every THIRD watering. This might actually increase the activity of the beneficial Bacteria and such, as they thrive in oxygen rich environments. The Bacteria produce oxygen on their own so adding H202 also increases the chance of disrupting the balance in oxygen to bacteria. Most organic gardeners would avoid the use of H202 for these reasons and only use it on sick plants and such as stated above.



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ya never use it with anything organic it will kill all benefical micro organisms. we use it with clones and when we used to run hydro for patients last year we use it in veg but that's it. you really don't want to make use of it in flower. and realistically the only times its useful is when your resivoir temps are high and you can't overly control it..or if you are having root rot issues it works excellent as a flush. But any hydro line that carrys any natural ingredients will not benefit from hydrogen. there are growers that have posts saying they use a very diluted mix every few weeks seperatly but you are killing micro colonies you have worked to build so it's sensless in organic. and food grade (35%) is the only kind you should use, the general store stuff has a bunch of bad things other than H202, like nigel said.

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I agree, it is best used for a sick "system". It will kill both bad & beneficial bacteria allowing you start over.


H2o2 is also used for chemical pruning of the roots. It will dissolve larger more developed roots killing them essentially. Allowing new growth of smaller veins. By increasing growth of your root system & divert the hormone Auxin (southerly traveling hormones) and allows better distribution of other "cell dividing hormones" to do there work. Creating better growth.


As for using it for extra oxygen: IMO not a good idea in organic grows unless you know what you are doing. Regardless you are going to do more harm than good if used at wrong time. You would be better off with larger air stones. H2o2 can cause more problems than fix. But it dose have it place indoors and out.


Flushing with H2o2: well IMO you are wasting your dollars and you don't want H2o2 left within the plant system when smoking.



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Here is some info:


Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) is a water molecule with an extra atom of Oxygen attached (2H2O + O2 = 2H2O2).


H2O2 is a clear sharp smelling substance very similar in appearance to water (H2O). Like water it is made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen, however H2O2 has an extra Oxygen atom in an unstable arrangement. It is this extra atom that gives H2O2 its useful properties. H2O2 has been used for many purposes including cleaning, bleaching, sterilizing, rocket fuel, animal feed treatment and in addition many miraculous claims about its health benefits have been made. This article isn't about any of these; instead it will concentrate on horticultural applications. H2O2 is of great use for both hydroponics and dirt/soilless gardening.

1. What Does Hydrogen Peroxide do?

H2O2 is an unstable molecule, when it breaks down a single oxygen atom and a molecule of water is released. This oxygen atom is extremely reactive and will attach itself to either another O- atom forming a stable Oxygen molecule or attack a nearby organic molecule. Both the stable and O- forms will increase the level of dissolved oxygen. This is the method by which H2O2 is beneficial. Pretreating the water supply with H2O2 will drive out the Chlorine many cities use to sterilize it. This will also degrade any pesticides or herbicides that might be present as well as any other organic matter. Well water can be high in methane and organic sulfates, both of which H2O2 will remove. Many disease causing organisms and spores are killed by Oxygen, the free Oxygen H2O2 releases is extremely effective at this. H2O2 will help eliminate existing infections and will help prevent future ones. It is also useful for suppressing algae growth. The free Oxygen atom will destroy dead organic material (i.e, leaves roots) in the system preventing them from rotting and spreading diseases.

2.Over Watering

Roots require Oxygen to breathe and low levels are the main cause of almost all root diseases. Both soil and hydroponic plants often fall prey to the same syndrome although it is rarely recognized as what it really is. Hydroponic crops often fail due to "root rot" and soil crops succumb to "over watering." The real cause of both these problems is a shortage of Oxygen at the root zone. In a soil system the soil consists of particles, a film of water on the particles and air spaces between the particles. When too much water is put into the soil the air spaces fill with liquid. The roots will quickly use up what Oxygen is dissolved in the water, if they haven't drunk enough of the liquid to allow air back in to the soil spaces they will stop working. In this situation roots will start dying within twenty-four hours. As the roots die the plants ability to drink water and nutrients will decrease, this will cause symptoms of nutrient deficiencies (mostly pale, slow, weak growth), and strangely they will start to wilt like they don't have enough water. It is easy to make a fatal mistake at this point and add more water.

In a Hydroponic system the cause is a more direct simple lack of oxygen in the solution, this may be from inadequate circulation and/or aeration. High reservoir temperatures also interfere with Oxygen's ability to dissolve in the water. Temperatures above 70F (20C) will eventually cause problems, 62F-65F (16C-18C) is recommended. The same symptoms will appear as with soil plants but you can also check the roots. Healthy roots should be mostly white with maybe a slight yellowish tan tinge. If they are a brownish colour with dead tips or they easily pull away there is at least the beginnings of a serious problem. An organic dirtlike rotting smell means there is already a very good chance it is too late. As roots die and rot they eat Oxygen out of the water, as Oxygen levels are even further depleted more roots die, a viscius circle may be well under way. Reduced Oxygen levels and high temperatures both encourage anaerobic bacteria and fungi. The plants may still be saved but you will have to work fast.

3. How Hydrogen Peroxide prevents root rot/overwatering.

When plants are watered with H2O2 it will break down and release Oxygen into the area around the roots. This helps stop the Oxygen from being depleted in the water filled air spaces until air can get back into them. High Oxygen levels at the roots will encourage rapid healthy root growth. In a Hydroponic system H2O2 will disperse through out the system and raise Oxygen levels as it breaks down. Strong white healthy roots with lots of fuzzy new growth will be visible. This fuzzy growth has massive surface area allowing for rapid absorption of the huge amounts of water and nutrients needed for rapid top growth. A healthy plant starts with a healthy root system.

4. How to use it.

H2O2 comes in several different strengths 3%, 5%, 8% and 35%, also sold as food grade Hydrogen Peroxide. The most economical is 35% which we recommend be diluted to three percent before using, as at this high concentration it can cause damage to skin and clothing. When working with food grade H2O2 it is very important that you clean up any spills or splashes immediately, it will damage almost anything very quickly. This is extra important with skin and clothing. Skin will be temporarily bleached pure white if not washed cleaned. Gloves are strongly recommended when working with any strong chemical.

Food grade H2O2 can be diluted to three percent by mixing it one part to eleven parts water (preferably distilled). The storage container should be opaque to prevent light from getting in and it must be able to hold some pressure. If three-liter pop bottles are available in your area they are ideal for mixing and storing H2O2. There are twelve quarter liters (250ml) in three liters, if you put in one quarter liter H2O2 and eleven quarter liters (250ml) water in the bottle it will full of three percent H2O2 and the bottle can hold the pressure that the H2O2 will generate. Three percent Hydrogen Peroxide may be added at up to three ml's per liter (2 1\2 tsp. Per gallon), but it is recommended that you start at a lower concentration and increase to full strength over a few weeks. Use every watering even on fresh cuttings. For hydroponics use every reservoir change and replace twenty-five percent (one quarter) every day. Example: In a 100L reservoir you would add three hundred ml's (3%) H2O2 when changing the nutrient. You would then add seventy-five ml's more every day.

5. Where to get it.

35% food grade: called food grade because it has no toxic impurities

Of course your local hydroponics retailer, whom you can locate over the web at www.hydromall.com. Direct order off the web (there may be shipping restrictions on high strength peroxides). H2O2 is used to bleach hair so the local hairdresser may have a source. The local feed supplier may have it in small towns. Prices range from fifteen dollars per quarter liter to eighty dollars a gallon. One gallon will treat up to fifty thousand liters of water.

3%5%, 8%

Can be found at most drugstores or pharmacies, prices start at a less than a dollar for a one hundred-ml bottle that will treat one hundred liters.

6. What to do if you already have root rot.

In Dirt:

Use peroxided water with anti-fungicide (benomyl) and a high Phosphate fertilizer (9-45-15, 10-52-10, 0-60-0) for root growth. Root booster (5-15-5) or any other product with rooting hormone dissolved in it is helpful in regrowing roots and is strongly recommended. If a plant is wilty adding Nutri-Boost may save it. Water heavily until liquid pours out the bottom of the pot. This sound like bad idea, but it flushes out stagnant dead water and replaces it with fresh highly oxygenated water. Don't let plants sit in trays full of water, the soil will absorb this water and stay too wet. Don't water again until the pot feels light and the top inch or two of the soil are dry.

In Hydro:

Change your nutrients. Add H2O2 to the system. This will add oxygen and chemically eat dead roots. If roots are badly rotted and can be pulled away by hand you should pull them off. They are already dead and will only rot, causing further problems. Add a fungicide to kill any fungus that is probably present in the rotted tissue to prevent it from spreading. Root booster will speed recovery. If plants are wilty Nutri-Boost may help save them. Increase aeration of the water, get an airpump and air stones, or more of them, for the reservoir. An air stone under every plant is usually very effective, but will require a larger air pump. Models that will do from forty to four hundred stones are available. Decrease the reservoir temperature, oxygen dissolves better in cold water and disease causing organisms reproduce slower as well. A good temperate range is 62F to 65F; anything above 70F will eventually cause a problem. It is also a good idea to remove any wilty plants from the system and put them on a separate reservoir so they don't infect plants that are still healthy.


The key to big productive plants is a big healthy root system and Hydrogen Peroxide is a great way to keep your roots healthy. It is a must to ensure the biggest best crops possible and to increase the chances of your plants thriving to harvest. Peroxide users will rarely lose plants or crops to root disease and will harvest larger and more consistent crops.


REF: http://thegardenguy.tripod.com/omma/id15.html

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  • 3 weeks later...

dutch masters has a product called ZONE i have not seen it in my local stores but it is on there web site and i have seen videos of it working it seems to me that it may be the same as the peroxide or works in the same way

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