Aquaponic Gardening

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I just wanted to drop a quick hint to help with mold and fungus issues in systems.

I've had problems in the past myself and have been discouraged by lack of info on how to deal with these problems well.  I've also seen several postings here and on the net about mold problems. As aquapons, we all know it is not a good idea to add anything to our tanks that might get in the water and unbalance our systems.  Most of our ways of dealing with problem are tied into the basic principles of the system...using nature's way to deal with issues.  That is, of course, why we are growing plants (and so successfully) the way we do.

Most of my mold problems seem to not get very big, or go away on there own - I have found that as my new systems mature, a balance seems to be achieved.  Although I have been dealing with a mold problem lately that was persistent - and very frustrating as it was on my most mature filter.

I would remove the mold by hand (it has been growing on a bed of moss/algae that likes to grow on the media of my filter) and rinding the algae in water form the tank that I removed to a separate container to try and get off any spores.  It would always reappear.  

Then I started reading about molds and stumbled across a fact I never took into account.  Most molds enjoy a pH of 6 or lower! This makes sense since pH lowers as things rot.  It also started making sense because as our AP systems mature...the pH naturally lowers toward 6.  I have been adding lime to mine, but not consistently, and the pH has been between and 6 and 6.2 for the most part.

I have been good about adjust the pH to stay between 6.6 & 6.8 for a few weeks now and have not seen the mold grow back.  So i am hopeful that this is helping to be a natural deterrent for it.  I also added a new air bubbler (the last one gave out a few months ago) underneath the filter material and now have a large amount of air bubbling up through the material.  I have a hunch this might help as well, either as a slight added air flow (stagnant air helps mold grow) or the addition of O2 in the area may help stave off the mold...I believe the process of mold growing on that type of decaying material is anaerobic...hence my hunch. 

Hope this helps anyone out there dealing with similar problems.

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Very interesting Ricky,  thanks.

Thanks for the tip, Ricky!

Thanks Ricky. About a month and a half ago  I applied what I learned here from you and got rid of a mold/fungus problem on some basil. 

Took out the affected net pot and ran a home-made lye solution (pH about 9) over the hydroton and bottom stalk a couple of times. Rinsed and put it back into the reservoir. worked like a charm. Thank you.

*I should add that this was in a non-fish "bio-ponic' system...

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