Recently I pulled out some strawberries out of my grow beds, and I looked and found that all of the roots were coated brown. I am wondering is this typical for a new AP system? I am thinking my plants are starving for oxygen because of this build up on the roots, was wondering if others have seen this, and what they do to cope with this.
What type of filtration do you use to keep your roots white?
From my experience...Bright white roots are healthy roots (in my rafts, gravel beds, drip beds...all of them) and those plants show the fastest growth where darker brown roots are usually seen on the less healthy, slower growing plants. When the roots become covered with bacteria (Heterotrophic, nitrifying), decaying fish waste, etc it interfears with nutrient uptake with an end result of stunted growth, root rot and eventually death.
I would check your bed and see how much crap has built up in it over the 7 months of operation. Could have had a mass worm die off or something weird resulting in an accumulation of solids in the gb.
I've had brown roots just like in Matthew's photo and they seem to be dead. Especially with big tomatoes, kale, and peas. A slight tug when you run your fingers through them and the mass will all come off leaving some stronger bright white roots. I went through all my rafts and removed all the brown matter a few days ago - haven't seen any change since then.
I'm also wondering if it is a oxygen problem. I need to get up really early and check out the levels when their at their lowest since they seem to be fine the rest of the day.