The Impact of Algae in Grow Rooms: How to Maintain a Clean and Healthy Environment
As a cannabis cultivator, you know just how important it is to maintain a healthy growing environment. You have invested countless hours and resources into creating the perfect environment for your plants to thrive, but have you thought about the impact of algae, mold, and biofilm in grow rooms?
Mold, algae, and biofilm can be common problems for cannabis growers, especially those who use hydroponic systems, where algae can quickly form in nutrient-rich water. Biofilm can quickly build up in piping systems, and mold can grow in humid environments that aren’t frequently cleaned. Unchecked bio-growth can lead to a variety of issues, including reduced oxygen levels, clogged irrigation pipes, and an increased risk of plant disease.
So, how can you keep your grow room free from algae and mold? Here are some tips to help you maintain a clean and healthy environment:
One of the best ways to prevent mold and algae growth is by regularly cleaning all surfaces in your grow room with a sanitizing cleaner. This includes walls, floors, grow trays and equipment. While floors and plastic trays can withstand chemical sanitizers, be sure to use a mild detergent and warm water on any sensitive equipment to avoid damage. Water often accumulates on grow room floors and it is important to clean up stagnant puddles. Incorporate routine cleaning procedures into your facility’s standard operating procedures.
Use an Algaecide
If you are already dealing with an algae or biofilm problem, consider using an algaecide. Algaecides can help to kill existing algae and biofilm in your fertigation tanks and irrigation system. Renew by Athena is a great sanitizing chemical for your irrigation system. It is added in diluted quantities to the fertigation tanks and pumped through the irrigation system, removing biofilm. This process should be done as part of an inter-grow cycle maintenance when the plants are removed from the drip irrigation, as the chemicals can harm plants. Be sure to carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions when using any chemical products.
Proper Ventilation and Air Flow
Adequate ventilation and air flow is essential for maintaining a healthy grow room, as it helps to regulate temperature and humidity levels. A grow room with sufficient air movement also helps to prevent stagnant air, which can promote algae growth. A robust environmental control system will ensure your grow environment is properly regulated. At Herb’s Supply, our experts are dedicated to enhancing your design for optimal performance and providing a wide range of solutions for all controlled environment agricultural equipment, such as dehumidifiers, fans and control systems.
Consider installing a UV sterilizer in your fertigation and HVAC systems. UV sterilizers utilize ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that can contribute to algae growth. UV light traps can be plumbed into re-circulation piping loops on purified water storage tanks to prevent biofilm. UV equipment can also be installed into HVAC ducts to kill airborne mold. Contact the technical team at Herb’s Supply to discuss a UV solution for your facility.
Maintain Proper Nutrient Levels
Algae, mold and biofilm thrive in nutrient-rich environments, so it's essential to maintain proper nutrient levels in your hydroponic system. Don’t mix up significantly larger stock tanks than you’ll use—if your fertigated water is sitting for a while, you’re more likely to grow algae and biofilm. Be sure to test your nutrient solution regularly and adjust as needed. At Herb’s Supply, we carry the best nutrients, algaecides and disinfectants around, so take a look and see what product fits your needs best.
Grow with Herb's Supply
By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your grow room remains clean, healthy, and free from the harmful effects of algae, mold and biofilm. And, if you need any assistance with redesigning your grow room, don't hesitate to reach out to the experts at Herb's Supply. We are here to help you create an environment to achieve optimal plant growth and yield.