Many hydroponic farmers are unaware of the extreme harm that an algae invasion can do to marijuana plants. Almost all growers think it’s fine for algae to grow on Cannabis. But, in reality, it is a highly harmful living entity that robs plants of oxygen and nutrients.
Despite its innocuous nature, algae may become selfish and deplete the harvest. It can be found in a variety of shades, including blue, red, and black, in addition to standard green. It prefers to connect itself to aquaponic and hydroponic cannabis systems in general. Unfortunately, it will also get into the piping, causing issues with the system.
Worse still, algae can penetrate the stems of marijuana plants. It would quickly accumulate and occupy the whole root system when left untreated. As a result, the roots can strain and have trouble consuming oxygen and nutrients. This will eventually cause your plants to die.
Therefore, if farmers do not act quickly, algae can destroy hydroponic weed. As soon as algae appear in your cannabis farm, the plants are deprived of vital nutrients. As a result, you must be alert and eliminate it from the system as soon as possible. In this post, we will look into ways to both prevent and treat algae invasion.
Problems Associated With Algae
Rock wool seems to be a popular prey for algae since it is a dense, fluffy medium that holds nutrients well. Introduce more light to your system, and you’ve provided the ideal habitat for the algae species to grow.
Algae may also grow in aeroponics systems’ nitrogen tanks and on sterile substrates, including expanded clay. Soil and coco fiber are two less popular substrates for the growth of algae. Although algae do not seem to be a concern in the early growth stages, the organism’s potential to attract a wide variety of plant parasites may easily exacerbate the situation.
Cochineals, nematodes, aphids, and Midges, all of which invade the plant roots and suppress their immune systems, may be transmitted by algae. Consequently, if algae are not handled promptly, the plants can become contaminated with fungi such as Septoria, Fusarium, Verticillium, Alternaria, and Pythium.
Although the diseases triggered by these pathogens are reasonably simple to handle if caught early, the cannabis would be subjected to problems that will have adverse effects, such as a lower-yielding, lower-quality harvest.
So, keep in mind that while algae growth may seem to be innocuous at first, it may quickly turn into a severe source of trouble. In the case of algae invasion, prevention is the most efficient solution.
How To Prevent Algae On Cannabis Plants
The prevention of algae and other diseases, which is an unavoidable part of hydroponic growing, can just get you so far. The algae will most likely appear at some stage, particularly in organic growing crops that seek to acquire microorganisms. A few algal infestations, on the other hand, cannot influence the life of your crops, although there are measures you may take to limit their spread.
Maintain a Blacked-Out Environment For Your System
Prevention is easier than treatment, as the popular adage says. In the long term, taking action to limit algal growth would save you time and effort.
Since algae need light to mature, grow, and reproduce, reducing the light supply in your hydroponics system helps to hold their population in check. Follow these instructions to black out your hydroponics system:
- When building or buying a reservoir and tubing, use dense, black plastic.
- Do not buy transparent tubing and opt for black tubing instead.
- If you’re doing the Kratky process, black out all the jars and tubs with spray paint.
Blacking out all devices and objects that come into touch with light and water would offer you a huge advantage over algae right away.
Maintain a Comfortable Temperature
Algae love warmth as much as it loves sunshine and nutrition. Warmer water allows the cell to reproduce even more quickly and effectively. However, if you decrease the temperature too much, the plants will suffer.
To hold algae at bay while maintaining the health of your plants, keep the temperature of the water between 21 and 23°C. With hydroponic coolers, heaters, and thermometers, you can keep a record of the temperature of the water and maintain it.
How To Cure An Algae Infestation
Prevention might be the best solution to get rid of algae invasion, but what should you do if your plants have already been invaded by algae?
Well, don’t worry since eliminating algae from your cannabis crops is also possible. Here are some of the most effective methods to cure an algae infestation and get rid of it:
1. Hydrogen Peroxide
Mix 5 liters of water with 3 mm of H2O2 and rinse all surfaces thoroughly. H2O2 acts by destroying the cell membranes of algae or removing these threats from the growing room. It is an extremely reactive and water-soluble compound.
2. Grape Seed Extract.
Scrub all surfaces, pipes, tubes, and reservoirs with grape seed extract as a natural solution. A grape seed extract has phytochemicals that aid in the rapid removal of algae.
3. Barley Mats
Barley straws are a common way to get rid of algae in cannabis systems. After washing the tank, add a coat of it to the tank. This substance will create a barley mat that will hold algae at bay while also assisting the helpful microorganisms in their recovery.
4. UVC Lights
UVC lights are an excellent way to prevent algae from forming in the drainage system before it enters the growth region. Basically, any unhealthy microorganism would be caught by the UV irradiation lights, reducing its ability to replicate. It will not, however, affect plants or humans. The same styles of lighting can be seen in aquariums and hot tubs.
Algae Control Requires Being Proactive
Algae infestation requires prompt intervention since it leads to safe, healthy cannabis plants. As a result, growers need to adhere to a series of guidelines while coping with it. Keeping the tank clear and utilizing opaque chemicals and retardants are also part of this. Growers also need to give the crops a boost in terms of oxygen.
Ultimately, implementing the necessary improvements normally makes the ecosystem less conducive to algae production. Simply follow all of the steps outlined in this article to prevent and cure algae infestation in cannabis. Maintain the health of the plants and try to meet their specific needs. Finally, good seeds should always be used since they are seldom susceptible to diseases.