Twisting roots in hydro

Hello, I am a novice grower. Using a hydroponic system. I have air stones and a water pump in my hydro system. I have a 2 gallon reservoir. The roots seem to be twisting. They are a good color. Twisted in the middle and loose on the ends. I don’t think the twisting is a product of root rot. But I am concerned about the twisting. The roots are growing fast. About 3 times longer than the plant is tall. Also some of the longer roots are getting sucked into my water pump. Are these issues to be concerned about? Thanks for any advice.


Your solution level looks a little low. I would bring it up to about 1/2" below netpot. Also wondering what ph, ppm, and temp of your solution is? All of that is important. Roots twisting together isn’t a big deal, but getting sucked into your pump is.

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Thanks for the reply. My pics may be a little deceiving as I had the lid raised to take pic. But I will add some water as you suggest. The temp on the top of the tub ranges from 76 - 79 degrees. I don’t know exact temp of water. Hoping it is cooler than than the top. I have been trying to reposition the water pump but the longer roots keep finding their way to the water pump. Should I prune the roots a little bit to even them up? In the past day or so I have noticed the ends of the leaves are yellowing a bit and growth has seemed to have slowed.
I’m probably not quite prepared enough to answer some questions like the ph level. When you say ppm, I’m assuming parts per million. But of what? I have purchased this, VIVOSUN pH & TDS Meter Combo | Best Digital Meter Tester for Water, to get an accurate picture of what my levels are. Amazon should deliver tomorrow 9-17. When I have definitive answers I will advise. I gave my plants their first round of nutes two days ago when I changed out the water. Here is a pic of my plants as of this morning 9-16. Here is a pic of the nutes I am using. I was advised to use 2ml of each to start. Hope this isn’t info overload for you. :slight_smile: Thanks again for your reply and advice.


I hope so, too. Ideal water temps are 65-68° - the fact that your lid is blue is not helping you keep things cool. I’d pull it off and spray paint it black (make it light proof), then glossy white to reflect light and heat.

Those plants are gonna outgrow that thing.

I don’t think so, but stand by for @dbrn32 ‘s input. I’m a novice by comparison.

Yes. Of the reservoir water specifically. The measurement of your PPMs in the water will tell us (and you) if you’ve got too much or too little nutrient in your water. I’m unfamiliar with the nutes you’re using, so I’ll defer to the experts there.

I highly suggest finding a way to block off the pump - a mesh or net screen with fine mesh will at least help prevent the roots from getting sucked up.

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I think your twisting up because of the flow “current” in your res. Try to finding something the block the current.
And like @Graysin said above. Watch and be careful of them roots getting to that pump. The pump is pulling them towards it when it runs.

Maybe put the pump in the middle of the Rez and cover it with a plastic coffee can or similar. With a couple small hole on the bottom side when placed over pump.

Many thanks for all the replies! I have seen where some growers on youtube are using frozen water bottles to keep the water temp down. I think I’ll try that. One should be sufficient in my small res.
I know my grow box is small. But unfortunately right now it’s my only option. I’ll just have to make the best of it. My plan is to top the plants at least twice to help keep the size down. Another option is low stress training. But I’m not ready to try that yet. I don’t want to muck things up on my first grow. I’ll see how the topping works out for me. Maybe LST on my next grow if topping isn’t sufficient. Or perhaps a combo of topping and LST. I know all these things are not ideal but I’m going to try and make a go of it. I may have to flip the plants earlier due to size limitations. Painting the lid is a good idea but will have to wait for next grow. I can probably fashion some sort of reflective material over the lid for now. I’ll also work on screening off the pump to protect roots.

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It works. It’s a pain in the neck. I built a DIY water chiller and it works great but only for about 5 gallons of water… my reservoir is about 35 gallons. So I’m using the DIY chiller and a frozen 1 gallon jug every 4-6 hours. :upside_down_face: it sucks.

That’s gonna be the best way to make the most out of your space. Interestingly, LST is way less nerve wracking for me than topping. Topping is plant removal, but LST is just bending things. I highly recommend these, they solved my fear of plant training - easy to clip on and entirely removable once the stems and branches are grown out the way you wanted. LST clips from Amazon

Yep, this works too. Aluminum foil or Mylar film is :+1:

I have some numbers. Ph is 6.47 ppm 0267 solution temp 71.6 The Ph is at higher part of range (5.5-6.5). Temp could come down. PPM looks pretty low. How to correct? Should I add nutes?

Add more nutrients. Then check your PH. You really should be lower than 6 in water.

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I slowly added nutes and got Ph down to 5.94. PPM is 515. From a chart I saw it said early veg should be higher in PPM closer to 600. I think I’m in early veg. I have two sets of 5 blade leaves. Should I keep going with the nutes? Would that be safe? Don’t want to overfeed.

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You can give it 24-48 hours and watch how your leaves react. If they don’t crisp up at the tips, you have some room to push more nutes.

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Understood. Thanks much for the advice.

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If they don’t crisp up at the tips, you have some room to push more nutes. Very well said.

I also like chrispy tips😎

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Having to back up and punt. Struggling with the water temps. The plants are struggling also. I got spousal approval to get a tent! Yay! Wife was against a tent due to size. She wants me to be successful at this as she enjoys a good buzz, too. Am going to try and convert hydro plants to soil. I believe I can pull this off. Just need to get some planter pots and soil mixture. Now height is no longer a concern. I am going to get a 48x24x60 tent. Any advice on my soil mixture, size of pots? Should I use root hormone or just drop current roots into soil mixture? Any links to forum posts concerning this? The grow box I have can now be used for germ and/or cloning. Thanks for the support from you folks!

Thinking of using vivosun 5 gallon grow bags and FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Organic Mix. Any thoughts on this plan?

It can be done. I moved a plant from hydro to soil after root rot (from bad temps and light leaks) destroyed 80% of the root system. I had nothing to lose.

Word of caution- if they’re autos, all you can do is sacrifice the net pots - pick em up, bury em in the soil with the plant, and recover after harvest. It may also be late in the game to transplant autos so they’ll be stunted, but likely they’d be stunted by less than optimal conditions anyhow.

If they’re photoperiod, I still suggest burying the net pots so you don’t harm the root structure.

I use FFOF - fox farms ocean forest - for my soil grows because they’re very hot (loaded with nutes) which is most similar to hydro. I can feed interchangeably between my hydro and my FFOF plants once they use the soil nutes up and not skip a beat.

I’d use Great White (powder) and if you can get some CloneX gel onto the roots (or the most on some solution) as you’re placing it into the dirt.

If you’re moving all of the plants, a 3gal pot or you’ll run out of room. 5-10gal is ideal for photoperiod plants. 3-5 gal is good for autos. Get fabric pots or something else with good and breathable

My plants are photo. Looks like we’re on same page with pots and soil. I plan to use 1 5 gallon pot for each of my two best plants. I will have room for them both. My plants are currently in peat starter pods that sit in plastic net pots. Since the roots extend way out of the plastic net pots, can I just drop the net pots into my soil mixture? I would rather not try to take plants out of net pots if possible. I thought I would make a deep enough hole in the middle of the soil to just drop the current roots straight down in the hole. The roots are about 5 to 6 inches in length. Will check out CloneX, also.

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Yep, exactly. I took mine out of the net pot because I figured it had nothing to lose, but even then those few surviving roots got seriously beat up passing through the slots. Just bury the pot into the dirt.

You can give it a whirl and see what happens. I would create a few inches of dirt, coil the roots around the inner part of the pot and bury them, then set the pot on the dirt. I’d do it that way cuz I can never manage packing my dirt very tightly in fabric containers - FFOF is light and airy compared to miracle grow or other traditional potting soils, so til it’s wet it doesn’t really pack worth a damn. Plus the roots have ample time to create more offshoots to grow down to the bottom of the container. If you can get the roots in a nice deep hole though, you’d be my idol.

Good advice. Thanks. Looks like I’m good to go with my plan. I will report back in about a week or so after I get thigs setup.

I’ll work on that. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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