Hydroponics and algae clash with each other sometimes. Hydroponics allows the plants to grow in the water medium, the same medium in which the algae make their home. Formation of algae in the reservoir water is one of the troubles with hydroponics garden. Algae are microscopic organisms that are found in warm, well lighted water.
There is no specific area where the algae might grow inside the system. It can be the water, roots, rockwools etc. The same algae can be free swimming or clogging to the inner surfaces of the tubes of the pumps.
Get rid of algae in hydroponics Reservoir – Algae and plant growth
These algae in the hydroponics and aeroponics systems interfere with the growth of the plants. Although they are not major threat to the plants, they do affect direct. The nutrients added for the plants will be taken by the algae and they also use the oxygen available. If the algae grow tremendously, it can choke the plants by preventing oxygen supply.
Algae do perform photosynthesize by using the carbon dioxide and water to give out the oxygen that benefits the plants. The process happens in the reverse at night when the algae take up the oxygen in the water and expel carbon dioxide that leads to the death of many plants.
Algae is harmful to plants – How to prevent algal growth in hydroponics and aeroponics
The first rule is to never use a clear container or tubing for hydroponics. It allows the light to penetrate the water. Algae grow well in well light water and nutrients. Since we cannot restrict the use of nutrients, cut down the amount of light that penetrates the water. Use opaque or dark reservoirs and tubing.
If it is the rockwool that is attacked by algae, cover it with a landscape fabric.
Use hydrogen peroxide for proper oxygen supply for the plant roots. Healthy growing roots will wither the growth of algae. But restrict the use of hydrogen peroxide to the older plants only.
Grapefruit seed extract can be used to control the algae. Another method is to place a Barley straw mat at the bottom of the reservoir. The mat will retard the algal growth and does not cause any harm to the plants.
Drain out the reservoir regularly, once a week. Clean the container thoroughly before refilling it. any dead matter of the plant or other dirt must be removed. Clean the tubes and pipes also to ensure that the algae do not enter the system though any ways.
Use only those reservoirs that have a lid. This is especially applicable to the hydroponics system that has the reservoir as a separate unit from the growing unit.
Kill Brown algae in hydroponics reservoir- The bottom line
Algae itself is not the greatest threat. It is lethal when it dies and is decomposed by fungus. These fungi will later attack the roots and then the entire plant system will collapse or suffer many diseases. Preventing algal growth is the first thing to do. Since the water in the reservoir is changes every week, care must be taken to clean the reservoir thoroughly.