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pergamum362

Rockwool And Fungus Gnats

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So i built an ebb and flow table in veg and one in flower, keep in mind growing in nothing but rockwool is a little new to me. Everything went great in veg, amazing growth, lush green leafs and right internode spacing, near the end of veg cycle, flooding 3 times was about perfect.

 

Now fast forward to about week 4 of flower. I kept the same watering schedule, thinking it was ok because of how it was at the end of veg. I also switch from flooding to top watering with a drip ring that just waters from the top on a timer. About 10 days ago, i noticed a lot of gnats flying around. I thought they just migrated from outside after i cleaned the driveway beside my house. Lots of dead mulberrys they seem to like. I could not of been more wrong.

 

Now i always seem to have a few flying around, but are more or less kept in control with nematodes. Turns out, i was WAY over watering in the rockwool. It dried out much faster in veg, due to the increased tempatures. I run my veg around 84-88 degrees with co2 augmenting, while flower maxes at around 84 degrees directly under the lights. A small oversight, turned into a nightmare. I tossed those two plants that had heavy, heavy infestations of larvae, its a very frightening sight, and corrected the water schedule on the rest. I added more nematodes to the soilless/coco plants along with a top watering of a product called "tanlin", and added it to the reseviors. Its basically a liquid form of diamatacious earth. The larvae eat it and the crystals swell up in there bellys killing them. Its been 3 days now, and it appears the problem has been solved. Just thought i would share my experience, with what is generally a nuisance pests, rather than a direct threat.

 

Share your experiences as well, id be interested in hearing if anyone else has ever had a small oversight, turn a relatively harmless pest into a disaster.

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So i built an ebb and flow table in veg and one in flower, keep in mind growing in nothing but rockwool is a little new to me. Everything went great in veg, amazing growth, lush green leafs and right internode spacing, near the end of veg cycle, flooding 3 times was about perfect.

Now fast forward to about week 4 of flower. I kept the same watering schedule, thinking it was ok because of how it was at the end of veg. I also switch from flooding to top watering with a drip ring that just waters from the top on a timer. About 10 days ago, i noticed a lot of gnats flying around. I thought they just migrated from outside after i cleaned the driveway beside my house. Lots of dead mulberrys they seem to like. I could not of been more wrong.

Now i always seem to have a few flying around, but are more or less kept in control with nematodes. Turns out, i was WAY over watering in the rockwool. It dried out much faster in veg, due to the increased tempatures. I run my veg around 84-88 degrees with co2 augmenting, while flower maxes at around 84 degrees directly under the lights. A small oversight, turned into a nightmare. I tossed those two plants that had heavy, heavy infestations of larvae, its a very frightening sight, and corrected the water schedule on the rest. I added more nematodes to the soilless/coco plants along with a top watering of a product called "tanlin", and added it to the reseviors. Its basically a liquid form of diamatacious earth. The larvae eat it and the crystals swell up in there bellys killing them. Its been 3 days now, and it appears the problem has been solved. Just thought i would share my experience, with what is generally a nuisance pests, rather than a direct threat.

Share your experiences as well, id be interested in hearing if anyone else has ever had a small oversight, turn a relatively harmless pest into a disaster.

Yeah, just want to point out last week you said Outdoor was "full of bugs and chit"

Truth is there are more catastrophic risks to indoor grows.

Never seen entire outdoor crops fail from pest, disease, ph, power outage like indoor.

Doesn't sound like you are very experienced .

Playing God ain't easy.

Edited by beourbud

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Ever had 75 plants outside with two weeks to go to harvest and then have seven days of steady heavy rain? What do you do in that situation to keep your crop from rotting?

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Ever had 75 plants outside with two weeks to go to harvest and then have seven days of steady heavy rain? What do you do in that situation to keep your crop from rotting?

Pray

 

Its a numbers game.

As in any organic industry there is some loss. Expect it ,plant smart and accordingly.

Edited by beourbud

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Yeah, just want to point out last week you said Outdoor was "full of bugs and chit"

Truth is there are more catastrophic risks to indoor grows.

Never seen entire outdoor crops fail from pest, disease, ph, power outage like indoor.

Doesn't sound like you are very experienced .

Playing God ain't easy.

outdoor is most of the time full of bugs. I said in the post i was new to straight rockwool, why post if you having nothing positive to add?

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Water temp? Need a chiller.

Too hot and the cubes aren't drying out enough.

Thrive in that hot moist enviro.

Water temps are good, i do eventually need a chiller, this is more of a trial run, to see if i even like the outcome compared to peat or coco.

 

Using the tanlin, was more of an extra precaution, i have fresh seedling in veg. Its been about 5 or six days, and new yellow traps are indicating a very low population compared to a week ago. Only 2-3 on the new cards after 2 days.

 

New form of growing, i knew i was bound to have a few learning curves, but my experience allowed me to overcome this issue with relative ease, even tho i decided to toss the two oldest plants. I thought that would be the best course of action, given how bad they were, since i also messed up thier feed the first two weeks.

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I was tearing my hair out for a few hours also. Thought i had root aphids, tearing threw the medium of two plants i tossed, looking for any signs of ra. I found none with my scope. I THOUGHT i found one, but it didnt quite fit the ra profile. Really small, no tail pipes, and no congregrations. Turns out what i found is a beneficial predatory mite, most likely hyspoasis miles? Or similar, probably migrated in or from my healthy coco and peat plants. Having these lil guys, usually means you have a very healthy rizosphere, at least thats what i have gathered from my research the past week or two. I thought ra due to the deficiencys that didnt seem to correct themselves, but alas, just a poor watering schedule, coupled with inadequite feeding.

 

My wife is buying me a really nice usb microscope, once i get it, ill see if i cant snap some shots of them in the peat plants.

Edited by pergamum362

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Exactly. Cover the rockwool with something, it doesn't matter if it's sand, expanded clay or plastic covers.

i dont want to cover the rockwool at all, i want them to have access to as much o2 as possible, along with drying out as fast as possible, in order to feed more.

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when I was loving hydro, flood/drain I used rockwool too along with rocks. the gnats were part of the program occasionally, and most damaging in the clone dome/young veg stage until I used a little neem/soap spray on the cubes, the clones/plants loved it and it kept them away from there for good

 

then in flower they found their way into the rocks too and I used some commercial oil, then my own, a peppermint/soap mix and ran it in the res  till changed. It worked but they still returned sometimes. Now in dirt is where I can finally control these bstards. I use a mix of monteray and water and I treat my soil before I use it. I think the soil bacteria grows and eats the larvae of everything in there. not sure, but no more of these. I keep those little yellow sticky sheets up for counts and dont see many these days. I'll keep using that monteray like this, it might work to, not sure how much time it needs to colonize. sns makes a coriander/water mix is good too, but 20 bucks for a qt too. I grow in octopots in flower and I've seen them entering the bottom of the bag, where its wet, using space between root hairs, the res, and the frame. there crazy aggressive when observed closely. Keep a little cordless vac hanging in the grow room for spot clean ups of the buggers, goes alog way to keep them from hatching more. neem kills them in hydro, soil etc...in hydro its a bit messy, pumps/res etc.

 

good luck, I feel ya

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Yah, baccililus the???kills there larvae. I innoculate all new peat and coco mixes with nematodes, this normally keeps them at bay, and most of the time they are non existent. The over watering of the rockwool allowed them to get a foot hold, where as in the soilless mixes, i have watering down to a science. Just a bit of a learning curve trying something new. I think once i get this style down, im going to build a small rdwc set up and tinker with that...after i get a chiller ofcoarse. :)

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i dont want to cover the rockwool at all, i want them to have access to as much o2 as possible, along with drying out as fast as possible, in order to feed more.

 

Spray the top of the rockwool with neem oil. Yellow sticky traps work pretty well for gnats too.

 

But with exposed surface on the rockwool it might be best to learn to live with them.

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i dont want to cover the rockwool at all, i want them to have access to as much o2 as possible, along with drying out as fast as possible, in order to feed more.

 

Ok to cover the top, plus you won't get any alagea on the top of the cubes. (Alagea feeds on your Nutes) Powdered DE won't work. You want to use Diatomite in rock form on the top. Alagae starts due to light. Those are just whiteflys. Highly doubt root aphids. Either way they are still attacking the rootzone. Everyone should be using beneficial bacterias. O.G. Bio Warfare I'd recommend. Systemic treatment non chemical benies. Protect the rhizophere.

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Thats a misconsception. Algae tends to grow on rockwool when its over watered, even just a bit. I only know this because of the many years ive used rockwool to clone. I have zero algae on any rockwool except for the two thaf were just severely over watered for weeks. Ill see about popping a few pics up later. This tad of a learning curve is about over, i have realized my mistakes,corrected and the new set is going amazing.

 

As for the fungus gnats, they are just about non existant again.

 

@scarlet...what are whiteflys?lol i surely dont have whiteflies in here.

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Think I said the cubes aren't drying out enough. Nutes and light, "overwatered" cubes alagaefest.

I meant fungus gnats, brainfarted. Whiteflies are just another insect, they suck on the leaves, not the roots.

 

Funny quick story. May sound strange but an acquaintance swears by microwaving rapid rooters and rockwool. Claims to have bugs in rooting cubes and rooter. Believable. I don't see how rockwool would heat up no moisture in it to sterilize. I guess any larvae or bugs would obviously die though. They swear by sterilizing. Anyway Rooters are treated with some rooting hormone or something I forget what hydrofarm puts in them, must kill anything they add.

 

Hydro is great in the winter, make sure the water doesn't get below 58-60.

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^^^ bro science suggest the rw starter plugs absorb the microwaves and slowly releases them over the course of the crop, thereby killing any baby bugs that may get laid. ;-)

 

At least w the rooters they have legitimate reason to be concerned w bugs (&mold) coming from the store.

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I've hatched gnats by wetting those cheap pop up plugs in a sealed container for sanity. all I did was add water.

Tried with rapid rooters and rockwool but no hatching. I think they use a weak bleach in rapid rooters

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^^^ bro science suggest the rw starter plugs absorb the microwaves and slowly releases them over the course of the crop, thereby killing any baby bugs that may get laid. ;-)

not how microwaves work. you got a source on this?

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I know an outdoor gardener that bags his used soil in black contractor plastic bags all summer. lets them sit in the sun and get surprisingly hot and steam like crazy. He dumps it out and lets it dry again then uses it.

I've seen the soil when used again and it looks great smells good too. not going to to do it, dont care, gonna use new indoor soil every plant. I've never seen more pests than when I reuse soil. dead plant material, not near enough time to compost, and somethings always coming to eat at it. the stuff I compost shows no pest issues, but who's got the room for all that dirt, Mine goes to the outdoor gardens and greenhouse instead. Mine are so pretty with all those little white perlites.....

 

If I had a microwave I'd try this with the pop ups, they soo much cheaper than rapid rooters.....

ha, gonna put them in my new pressure cooker instead-perfect, nothing lives in there

Edited by trichcycler

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