Inoculant use in RDWC
Q-What would you recommend as far as an inoculant for my Under Current?
A-We offer a product called Mycostop that contains a specific bacteria, Streptomyces griseoviridis, which is very well suited for inoculating your UC system. This product does not contain a catalyst and will not over whelm your system. It will however keep pathogens in check in the event the root zone condition becomes stressed and susceptible to disease.
Q-Are organics recommended?
Q-I am assuming humic acid, kelp, and the likes, are simply too messy for the cleanliness required in this high-performance system.
A-That’s the issue, aside from the pH issues and other side effects adding these less stable ions into solution can cause.
Q-Do selective inoculants, such as Great White have a place in the UC system?
A-Yes, but it’s bacterial products that will tend to do better as they are naturally adapted to colonizing in water. Having said this, fungal inocs are also useful but are best served when introduced to the root crown so rhizoshere colonization can occur.
Q-The reason why I ask is because of the fundamental idea to “run it clean”, which in most cases means “as sterile as possible”.
A-Remember clean doesn’t only mean sterile. You can run inocs and teas but they need to be used in homeopathic doses so as to avoid the side effects of biofilms in the system and on the root zone. It’s this biofilm that can inhibit liquid and gas exchange in the root zone slowing plant metabolism and lending to aenerobic conditions.
Q-Great White has Trichoderma, which keep those roots clean, and Streptomyces to prevent fungal-related infecions. But the problem is the bio residue these organisms produce as they biosynthetize eiher the glycine carrier or fulvic acid. Then there is the 10-14 day water aging period for inoculants, which might not suit more frequent reservoir changes in a high-performance system.
A-Remember, water culture is hydroponics and not a tea brewer. Tea brewing is a process of over populating a solution with microbes to be disseminated into a plants root zone. Hydroponic solutions to provide a stable environment for mineral and water assimilation.
When using teas in heavier doses it will necessitate more nutrient change outs.
An alternative method involves the use of worm casting to brew a leachette tea. Simply add (2)cups to five gallons of water, aerate or stir, strain and then use that liquid at approx 10 mils per gallon in your system) Steeped or aerated worm casting or vermicompost has proven to be the most effective means of providing ecological balance in a water culture setting. The unique nature of red worms intestinal tract makes the likelyhood of disease organisms almost impossible.
Closing thought: Avoid adding any input with sugars and carbs into your water culture system, AACT or otherwise. Most out of the bottle inoculants have included as a food source for the bacteria so be thoughtful when using.
Water culture methods, often referred to as RDWC, require specialized maintenance. To learn more about the do and don’ts of water culture, refer to our growers guide in the reference section of our website.