Some common issues with aeroponic farming systems â like root rot and diseased clones with mold, slime and spotting â can be avoided with a little elbow grease and a lot of care for your EZ-CLONE System.
Most customer queries regarding sick plants can usually be traced back to one common cause: SMS, or “sick manifold syndrome”. This occurs when EZ-CLONE cleaning isnât properly performed after each cycle.
The EZ-CLONE system manifold â which holds the misters and is a crucial component in aerating the reservoir water â is also one of the hardest parts of the system to clean. That said, we here at the mother lab have some handy tips to aid that process while keeping your plants healthy and happy.
- Remove all red misters from the manifold. As bacteria often gets trapped in the grooves or threading they’re screwed into, this part of the cleaning process is often overlooked or skipped, but is the only way to thoroughly disinfect both the misters and manifold.
- Place the red misters in a separate bleach-water solution (using a ratio of 1/2 cup bleach for every 5 gallons of water) or place them in the bottom of the reservoir while the manifold is being cleaned.
- Place the water pump and manifold into the reservoir and fill with water until itâs flowing over the sides. Then add bleach â 1/2 cup for the 16 system, 1 cup for the 32 system, 2 cups for the 64 system and 4 cups for the 128 system â and plug the water pump in to cycle the bleach-water solution through the manifold.Â
Remember: the manifold should be clear of any red misters and be completely submerged, which prevents it from soaking the user. Run the pump and manifold with the bleach-water solution for at least 20 minutes.
4. After 20 minutes, drain the reservoir and give all components a quick hand rinse.
Note: Pay special attention when rinsing the misters. Individually check them to see if any buildup is obstructing the sprayer. Compressed air can be used to blow them out individually, but if thatâs not available, an old toothbrush is recommended as a quick scrub.
To recap, SMS doesn’t just show up out of the blue. Itâs caused by bacteria and pathogens building up inside of the manifold and infecting the clones when moisture and heat are added. Essentially, the bad bacteria flourishes, infecting the water and your plants.
This typically happens after the first few cloning cycles, or when the system isnât being cleaned using the steps listed above. Taking a little extra time to remove the misters and adequately soak all parts can save a lot of headaches and hassles. So, be tedious, be a clean freak and keep your plants growing!
Below, you’ll find some examples of cross-sections of manifolds that have been left to their own devices:
And finally, what a well-maintained system looks like…look at that sparkle!