Yo, what up my fellow weed growers? It’s ya boy Dan, here to drop some knowledge on how to keep your cannabis crops free from algae. We all know algae can cause some major damage to our plants, from messing with the pH levels to attracting pests and pathogens. So let’s dive in and learn how to prevent and treat this nasty problem.
First things first, let’s talk about how the algae grows. They need three things to thrive: moisture, light, and essential nutrients. This makes them a real threat in hydroponic grows, but they can also find their way into other growing mediums like coco fiber and soil. Algae enters hydroponic systems through microscopic airborne spores, and once they land in a compatible environment, they start to develop into fully-formed cells. The algae reproduce through a process called mitosis, during which the nucleus divides and produces genetically identical daughter cells. This is when the algae begin to take over the hydroponic setups.
Now you might be wondering, can algae kill my cannabis plants? Well, left unchecked, they can seriously harm your plants. They don’t directly attack cannabis plants but they provide a breeding ground for pests and pathogens that eat and infect cannabis. Algae suffocate plants and clog equipment by obstructing oxygen uptake and causing wild pH fluctuations. They can also attract pests like midges, aphids, nematodes, cochineals, and fungus gnats that feast on different parts of cannabis plants.
So how do we prevent and manage algae? Well, prevention is better than cure so let’s start there. Algae require light to grow so by depriving them of this life source does wonders to keep their numbers down. Use thick black plastic when making or purchasing a reservoir and pipes, select black tubing instead of transparent options, and use spray paint to black-out tubs and jars if using the Kratky method. Keeping the water temperature between 21-23°C also helps fend off algae while keeping your plants happy.
But what if you already have an algae infestation? Don’t worry fam, I got you covered with some treatment options. Hydrogen peroxide works wonders in sending those algae running. Mix 3ml of H₂O₂ (3%) with one litre of water and give all surfaces a good scrub down. As a highly volatile and water-soluble chemical, H₂O₂ works to destroy the cell walls of algae and remove them from the growing space. You can also utilize grapefruit seed extract as a natural alternative when scrubbing down reservoirs, tubes, pipes, and surfaces.
So there you have it folks, some tips on how to protect your cannabis crop from algae. Don’t let those microscopic organisms mess with your hard work by taking over your hydroponic systems. Keep it clean and blacked-out while maintaining an optimal temperature range. And if all else fails, hit it with some hydrogen peroxide or grapefruit seed extract.