Dwc brown roots

Hey guys ive changed my buckets twice in the past 2 days and every time I check my roots turn brown and I really only started getting it after adding orca I use technaflora nutes lmk what you guys think


I’m not familiar with orca, but what are your temperatures like in the nutrient solution? Is orca a microbial product? Does orca have a lot of colour straight from the bottle? Do you run sterile or with bennies?

I know, coming back at ya with questions instead of answers, but all that info will help people to better help you! :wink:


i have had great white give a brownish hue in the cloner to roots, never used orca…

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It looks like Orca is this product?

If so, those are beneficial bacterias and junk. If you’re not sterilizing your solution (and you shouldn’t be), that’s normal.

What do the plants look like? If they don’t like what’s going on, you’ll see it in the plant, it’ll look limp and not so happy.

If the plant looks good, and you’re adding bennies, then no problemo!


thats pythium, aka root rot
this can be prevented by either running a sterile reservoir or applying appropriate control bacteria to achieve a “live reservoir” (refers to a non sterile res that contains a greater population of desirable microbes than pathogenic ones)
sterile conditions are most efficiently achieved with calcium hypochlorite (pool shock). start at .02 g/gal and adjust as necessary. take care when measuring and dosing, too much can be detrimental to plant health
there are a ton of beneficial bacteria products out there (hydroguard, great white, orca, etc etc). the mvp bacteria strain in hydro is bacillus amyloliquefaciens. other strains can still be (somewhat) effective, but they cant survive as long as b.a. in an aqueous environment. the most efficient way to get this strain into your res is a product called southern ag garden friendly fungicide. its marketed as a foliar for controlling mold, but it is the exact same thing as hydroguard only much cheaper and more concentrated. i run gff at .2 ml/gal in all my systems. you can go harder with it if necessary, its hard to overdo it with this stuff. but remember- waste not, want not
whichever way you choose to go, youll want to reapply every 4-5 days or so (if you havent done a full res change in the meantime). bacteria are easy to reload, just dose it for the full volume of your container. a little extra will most likely not hurt your plants. pool shock is a little trickier, as overshooting the chlorine can be very bad news for your plants. i dont run it myself, so i dont have any advice on calculating redosage. im sure someone out there does though, so do your research if you decide to go that route


First big question is:
What do the roots smell like? If they smell at all bad then it’s definitely root rot. If it smells spicy and/or vegetable like, then the roots are likely fine and only stained. Another tell is if the roots are slimy. Like snotty type stuff on em, thats rot and bad bacteria. If no slime at all on top of no bad smell, than yeah the roots are just stained and you don’t have to worry about anything.

For all the talk of Hydroguard and other beneficial bacteria… my experience is it’s all garbage/lies. Have to run sterile or you will eventually have rot regardless. I mean you can run a chiller and never have a problem, not need anything, but if you don’t, you will have rot at some point even if you dump a whole bottle of hydroguard into your 5 gallon bucket. It won’t help, it won’t stop it. It might help your plants maybe, but not in a way that’s worth the money they charge for it.

And poolshock is right out. Saw tons of people all over it the last couple years and how great it is so I bought into the kool-aid and tried it for a few months. In my experience every time I used it, the plants HATED it. I had a plant literally refuse to put any roots in the water for a month solid as long as that poolshock was in there. She would just keep bushing out at the net pot and no roots would get longer than an inch into the water. Soon as I got rid of the poolshock within a day there was roots in the water.

What fixed rot for me, was bleach. Regular ~8% Clorox bleach with NO additives. Dose 0.2ml/gallon every 3 days(72hrs). Plants didn’t care at all, tons of roots everywhere, bud is dank, and no rot at all. No problems whatsoever, and it’s cheap and easy to get and dose.


good catch, knew i forgot something

i dont doubt your experience, but this statement is empirically false. i have a couple systems with super hot (75-80f) res temps that run well with a live res, in addition to my temp controlled systems that also perform admirably with the same dosage of bacteria. i have also seen people run just a chiller with no sterilization or beneficial bacteria that ended up with root rot and/or stunted plants

what was your application rate? i have set up a few gardens that run sterile via pool shock that are performing very well. light dosage is key. plants use chlorine in minute amounts, but like most micronutrients, too much can throw things seriously out of whack. chlorine especially, as you saw with roots avoiding submersion. its definitely nasty stuff in high concentrations, but the toxicity is determined by dosage, as with most everything else

i have seen people run bleach successfully. its definitely easier to find locally too. the reason i recommend pool shock over bleach- bleach is sodium hypopchlorite, pool shock is calcium hypochlorite. i would rather have a pinch more calcium in a res than sodium. pool shock, being a powder, has a much longer shelf life than bleach, and is also much more cost effective for the same reason.


Luke these folks are saying. If it is root rot you will smell it especially as it progresses. Up until a couple of weeks ago I was battling root rot and it didn’t necessarily smell bad but you could tell it just wasn’t right so I was constantly adding h202 to battle it. Like they have said if it is beneficial bacteria and fungus you should be good. Ever since I started running beneficial in my res my roots are doing great. I mean still a little discoloration but that can be attributed to my nutes but all the slime is done for. Good luck dude


Right it’s just I had a res’ last year at 65-73 degrees F trying to do beneficial bacteria and had no luck. I had rot within a week every single time. Tried half a bottle of hydroguard and a whole bottle of tribus before I gave up and decided to try sterile. Could be something in my house or water supply I suppose, the tote’s were all bleach washed and cleaned before I started that run.

0.1 Grams / 10 Gallons of water was my dosing rate with poolshock. This was my next step after failing with beneficial bacteria. It stopped the rot for sure np, but yeah my plants weren’t happy. The Godberry I ran with it still grew pretty fine but could tell something wasn’t right. The mac and snow though, those were the one’s that wouldn’t even put roots in the water until I stopped dosing poolshock.

I’ve had none of those issues with bleach and it’s been smooth sailing since then.
I guess of course, YMMV.


Yeah before I was running beneficial and just supplementing with h2o2 the tempratufe was still a issue but since running beneficial fungus and bacteria not a problem at all. My temps havent been as high as they once were earlier in the grow but they are still hovering between 72-75f

yeah most products that are marketed toward growers are extremely diluted. and who knows how long that bottle sat on the shelf before it reached the end user? i had problems with hydroguard too (really with all bottled nutes, but thats a whole other rabbit hole), which is what led me to southern ag gff. dont get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with running sterile. i would do it in a heartbeat if i felt i needed to. my feeding/res management strategy makes bennies easier for me, so thats how i do it

now this i have seen. a friend of mine had root problems no matter what we threw at it. it turned out a couple other folks in his neighborhood were having the same issue. we got everyone running sterile and its been smooth sailing since then as far as i know. i have no idea what kind of weird shit could be in their water supply that was beating heavy doses of bennies+a chiller, but its definitely out there

thats actually a pretty light dose compared to what i usually see. most of the folks i know that run it start at .02 g/gal. were you running tap water? how old were the plants? most tap is chlorinated, could be that the preexisting chlorine level was high enough that your dose pushed it over the edge. ive also seen in some instances that younger plants are less to much less tolerant of chlorine in general. either way, if you have things in order using bleach to sterilize, this is all a moot point. if it aint broke, no need to try and fix it. speaking of which, what is your application rate for bleach?


Yep tap water so that’s most likely my issue then. Would make sense as yeah, no bennies I threw at it made a difference.

By the time I used poolshock on the Godberry she was already at least month into veg in dwc so fairly big. The snow and mac were both seedlings when I tried them, only a few inches tall at most so that could explain that too.

For bleach, 8%, I use 0.2ml/gallon every 72 hours or so, can go a few days later if you forget but I wouldn’t go longer than a week between applications. You can smell when the chlorine dissipates and it’s usually on the 2nd-3rd day after dosing.


Actually it looks like I didn’t use it at all on the Godberry. My mistake there.

According to my notes, I did try Poolshock on the Purple Mac and Russian Snow for the first 6 weeks after transplanting from soil into the DWC and had no luck with. They were small at the time of transplant, 4 nodes or so, and did grow for sure, but ~90% of the roots would not go into the res for me. After 6 weeks or so maybe 10% of the root mass was in the water, the rest would continue to grow around the net pot. When I switched to bleach is when I got the explosion of root growth I’m used to seeing in DWC.

Could again maybe be something with my tap water, perhaps something with the poolshock interacting with the chlorine/chloramine in the water that the bleach for some reason doesn’t cause? I’m not sure. I’m positive my scale is correct. Maybe bad batch of poolshock?

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I agree, run warm and and live, even with bacteria added, and it’s a matter of time before you get root rot.

You can get away with live if temps are low and you have a shit-ton of aeration, but sterile just solves a lot of problems before they become problems. It’s not a fix-all, but cool sterile reservoir puts you in the best position for success.

I wouldn’t worry about the sodium. The actual amount of sodium is so small with normal bleach dosing that it might as well not even be there. 10-20ml of 6% household bleach in a 40 gallon reservoir is nothing, a literal pinch of salt (and it’s a micronutrient).


I filled up my sink and got thos roots iin water and rinsed the roots most of the brown came off its weird cause I ran 2 plants under the dwc or bubbleponics with no chiller or sterile or bemnys and they did fine but it was in May so it wasnt as warm but som1 told me to put coconut water in and I didnt read the label was in spanish it said 28 grams of sugar my beautiful plant was dead in 24 hours the roots disintegrated,so say I do the bemnys Nd then I get that brown roots can i switch over to sterile or do you have to do one way the whole way,

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You can switch over to sterile at any time but if you run live and add the beach it of course kills all that stuff. But yeah you can switch over whenever


Bookmarked that shit. Thx.

Bookmarked that too…

Figure if I go into dwc season prepared, I should be able to pull off a few harvests before next summer.


The dose you use should also take into account if you chill your solution. It doesn’t affect how much you need but you are at much less risk if you solution never gets to close to 24C. I use a tiny dose of Chlorine as just a backup. It is so small it cant cause other issues. FWIW chilling the solution gives you other benefits and is a much better option but is costly.

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If it’s a brown slime, then it’s probably algae, especially if you have light getting into the water. hydroguard might help. everything should be cleaned thoroughly for next grow and no light leaks at all.

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Quick question…has anyone tried using an ozone generator air pump or uv light water treatment to combat root rot?..would the O3 be damaging to roots?
Ozone generators for aquariums and ponds…

UV water filter