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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Aqua Cloner woes


When I first started using the Aqua Clone machine, I was astounded at the ease and success rate, and even the rooting time. I used to use peat pellets, and one day at the grow shop I saw this sitting on the shelf and decided to give it a try.

I'm glad I did, the results were fantastic, within a week I was seeing nice long white roots, something that would take up to 2 weeks using the peat pellets, but without any of the headaches of trying to control the humidity and keeping the pellets at just the right moisture level.  The Aqua Cloner was plug and play, basically fill it with tap water, put your cuttings into the neoprene collars and plug in the machine. That's it, just peek in every couple days till they were ready for transplanting into soil, no humidity dome required...

Fast forward 6 months, and things are very different. I was about to pack it up and go back to peat pellets and all the work involved because my cuttings were now taking a month to root, and the roots are brownish, not bright white like they used to be. To be honest, I figured it had something to do with the really hot temperatures during the summer, and so I set off on Google to try to find the optimum water temp etc.  I found this article during a search, and found many other good articles on the site as well, but this one specifically talked about the importance of sterilizing everything...

That's got to be my problem...   I'm quite lax when it comes to keeping things sterile.  I would find slime on the cutting stems, and coating the pump, especially during the hot weather when the water temp would occasionally go over 86F, way higher than the recommended 70F or so...  When this happened, I would dump out the water, rinse things off, and refill it. Little did I realize how unsterile that left things.

The above article even has you disassemble the water pump to ensure every bit is free of slime and bacteria. 

You see, when you first buy the Aqua Cloner, it's free of the bacteria that eventually builds up causing diminishing results. I have mine going continuously, always cuttings on the go, only changing the water when it needed it.

So I spent the past couple days following the instructions on that page and now my Aqua Cloner is back to being "like new" and I expect much better results! Because of the poor results lately, I have only 2 fairly small mothers, so my selection of cuttings was pretty slim.  I grow two strains, Green Crack for the THC, and CBDream for the CBD. I'm down to my LAST Green Crack mother although I do have one seed left in an emergency...

I took 6 CBDream cuttings, and two Green Crack, and in a week or so I'll take some more. In the mean time, I'll be watching the existing cuttings and see how successful this exercise has been. I'll post results as I move forward...

The first day I put the cutting in, all but two wilted really badly, and I thought this was going to be a fail.  That was three days ago, and now almost all of them have come back to life!

Update: 2018-11-15

Only one is beginning to show roots, it's been 11 days, something still isn't right. I'm also still having problems with cuttings wilting away, and drying up.  I know everyone says you don't put a humidity dome on these DWC Clone machines, but being winter, the air is VERY dry, usually less that 25% RH.

I set this up yesterday, and already the clones are looking MUCH better. I took 2 collars out so the humidity will rise up from the water. Time will tell, but it looks like I might be on the right track.

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