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How to effectively deal with algae growth

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Over the years, we've found that lots of growers have questions about algae. It's one of the biggest things that comes up around managing a hydroponics reservoir. One thing about algae is that it's very prominent when it starts growing. It can also have a big effect on plants.

So how you control and prevent algae? There are various ways to make sure that algae doesn't take over in the hydroponic reservoir.

Seal out light

One way to prevent algae from growing out of control is to seal the hydroponic reservoir against light. Without any light, algae won't be able to thrive. However, a little bit of light often gets into the system, and this enables algae growth. They may be specific areas of the system, such as holes around drippers or other interior equipment, that will become vulnerable to algae.

Another trick is to use specific types of UV light to treat algae to reduce its growth.

Sanitizing and scrubbing

There's also the manual approach to getting algae out of the system. Growers often use a diluted form of hydrogen peroxide in water. They get in with a brush and scrub the algae out of systems. This can be an effective way to go after algae when it has already become a problem in a hydroponic space.

Essential oils

Certain types of essential oils such as grapefruit seed oil can be effective means of halting algae spread.

Organic materials

Putting types of organic materials in the water can help with algae. Some growers may use things like barley straw mats to cover particular areas.

Evaluating algae

Another related question is how much algae can you tolerate in a grow space? Lots of growers will allow some algae growth in particular areas unless the algae is about to jeopardize plant growth. For example, if there are only a couple of pencil thin places where light gets into the reservoir and it creates a little bit of algae clinging to particular systems, there may not be need to go in and scrub it away. On the other hand, if the entire reservoir surface is getting inundated, it may be time to use some of the above tools such as hydrogen peroxide or other effective cleaning solutions.

For more on hydroponics and everything it takes to get started, check out Dealzer and ask about the products that we offer to a growing community of gardeners.

 
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