Author Topic: Air stone for rooting in water  (Read 795 times)

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Offline TXFIG

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2020, 10:16:44 AM »
Thanks for the info ! I was wondering the same and will give it a try.
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Online WillowBottomFarms

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2020, 11:33:21 AM »
Ok here is my experiment.  It is essentially a five gallon bucket with an air stone and small fountain pump moving the oxygenated water over the cuttings.  The cuttings are held in place with Solo cups I burned holes in with a wood burning iron, sitting in a round metal colander from my veggie steamer.

I have been changing the water daily and checking for signs of slime, mold, and rot.   Nothing has been added to the water. 
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Offline figWillie

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2020, 02:30:38 PM »
Hello everyone,

Just had a few questions. I was gifted a clone bubbler recently but I've never used one before. I just wanted some clarification. When adding the cuttings, do the bottom ends need to be hovering over the water, so that they're misted by bubbles, or do they need to be slightly submerged in the solution?

Also, is there another thread on the forum you can direct me to regarding this topic. I searched bubbler and air stone and there weren't many threads.

Thank you, Chris.

Chris, I used to be in the tropical fish breeding industry for many years and this is what I learned about air stones and bubblers. The bubbles don't oxygenate the water! They just float right up to the surface and escape. They are used for appearance and water circulation only. Oxygenating water is a much more complicated process that involves filtering out gasses and such. Keep in mind, this is what I learned from breeding fish, not figs, so please take what I am about to say in its context. I'm not a fig expert like JD.

So it shouldn't matter if the bubbles hit the cuttings, it will have no affect as far as delivering oxygen to the cuttings is concerned. There will be a very small amount of oxygenation at the surface where the air bubbles burst, but it isn't enough to keep the water fresh. Also, the cuttings themselves use the oxygen and release tannins as well as other chemical compounds which will deplete the water of oxygen and pollute it. If you use a bubbler, it will help circulate the water around the cuttings and that is where any benefit will come.

Stagnant water is bad water, so keeping it in motion around the cuttings will get the most out of the water. The water still needs to be changed regularly depending on the amount. Using a larger volume of water will require less water changes.
 
Even more important is the water you use. Tap water is dead water. It is toxic to many organisms! It contains harmful chemicals that inhibit growth, primarily chlorine, but some places have chloramine, which is far worse. Cuttings may still grow in it, but it will certainly reduce your odds. So the water should be filtered of chemicals. JD has the benefit of natural rainwater to collect, and unless you live in a very polluted environment, this is the best water you can get. Snow also makes excellent water. There are other chemicals in snow and rainwater that helps plants grow. DMSO, for instance, is in both. Snow is often called "a poor man's fertilizer."

I would also be very cautious of using any metals as they will also taint the water and throw off it's natural chemical balance.

Having said all of that, nature is pretty miraculous, and plants have the ability to grow in some really harsh environments. I may be able to root some cutting in a toilet if I wanted, but why make it hard on them? What we are trying to do here is not test the bounds of nature, rather get as many cuttings as we can to root. So optimizing the rooting environment should be the primary concern.
 
I hope this helps.
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Online WillowBottomFarms

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2020, 03:20:17 PM »
figWillie,

Would you recommend I remove the metal collander from my bucket and find something else to keep the cups from floating?

My purpose mostly is to get my cuttings to produce the white root buds without having to change several jars of water daily and to reduce rotting.  The bucket and collander allow me to drain the cuttings over the bucket, dump the water, and refill.  All in less than 30 seconds.  I have well water that was tested with a PH of 6.8 to 7.0 and high in calcium but not high in any other heavy metals etc. 
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Offline figWillie

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2020, 07:58:33 PM »
It's not easy to tell but it look like aluminum, which can give toxicity issues. Using it to strain things in cold water, no problem. But sitting in water over a period of time, or heated water, it will leach out and eventually foul the water. (If you've ever left water in one of those aluminum drinking cups for more than a day, you know about the foul taste and smell that comes from the metal.)
If you are changing the water on a regular basis it really shouldn't matter. I know with aquarium water, it could kill fish and some plants too. But that is only because of the small volume of water that is recirculating through a filtration system. The metals, toxins, bacteria, et al, can build up pretty fast in a recirculating system. With starting fig cuttings, we have the benefit of being able to do 100% water changes, and that gives clean, fresh, oxygenated water. I think it's very important to use clean, fresh, chemical free water.

Well water can be excellent, lot's of good minerals, but it can get quite gassy from sitting underground and then in a tank, which can mean it has less oxygen in it. Not to worry though. Most good well water filtration systems take care of that issue. Some systems also use chemicals to treat the water, so if yours has that, it may be an issue. I used to have a ranch in central California that had well water that would get quite gassy as the summer rolled on so I've experienced how that can be.
If you are concerned, you can always do this:
when it comes time to change the water, pour the fresh water in a large mason jar or something similar with a tight lid, leaving some airspace above. Then shake it up really good. Then, take off the lid and let the water sit for a few minutes to release the unwanted gasses. Repeat the process as necessary. You should notice a change in the smell of the water if gasses are an issue with your well water. You may also notice a taste difference. If you don't smell or taste a difference, it may not be an issue in the first place. My water used to get quite stinky from the underground sulpher.

Your setup looks pretty good to me. The air bubbler should keep the water circulated and fresh longer. I had an issue with my cuttings rotting in water when I first tried it, but then I waxed the bottom of the cuttings and this seemed to solve that issue so far. Plus I change the water daily. Seems to work good for now. I have read some people let them root in there, but like you, I just keep them in long enough for the root buds to swell.

I have some curiosity questions:
How much water is in there? Are you keeping them in total darkness? Are you noticing much of a difference between varieties, so far as how long it takes to respond?
Want list: #1-Qalaat al Madiq #2- black Zadar, #3 LSU Red, #4 Ben's Golden Riverside/Robert's Golden Rainbow Black #5-Black Madiera/Madiera Island black.

Online WillowBottomFarms

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2020, 09:21:46 PM »
figWillie,

There is about 2 gallons of water in the 5-gallon bucket.  The bucket is in one of my bathrooms, and it is dark in there most of the time.  I have only tried this method for about a week and did notice the Italian Honey  and Brown Turkey cuttings budded already.  I hope this answers your questions and I will post more as things progress.
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Offline floridafigfan

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2020, 10:35:49 PM »
Hey figWillie,

Thank you for all the information.

I'll use your recommendations to fine tune my setup. I used 3-stage filtered tap water but even so, it probably still has some trace amounts of chemicals. Unfortunately, it doesn't snow in South Florida, it'd be great if it did, and we're in the dry season but my sprinkler pump is tapped into a well. Come to think of it, growing up, my neighbor would always use his well water to irrigate all his fruit trees and never the tap. Didn't even cross my mind to use that water for all my plants. I'll make sure to test it before using it.

There's roughly 1.75 gal in the reservoir. I had planned on changing out the water every week but I'll do it every 3-4 days. I have everything in my grow tent where the temperature and humidity hovers around 80˚ and 85%, respectively. I plan to cutout a cardboard partition to separate my unrooted cuttings from the light.

I'll see how it goes and keep everyone updated.

Once again, thank you.

Chris
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Offline floridafigfan

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2020, 07:49:03 PM »
Hi figWillie,

I was going to test my well water the way you mentioned but the smell of sulphur was pretty obvious. Will this be an issue for my cuttings? Should I just resort to purified water?

Thank you,

Chris
Wishlist: BB-10, White Madeira, Azores Dark, Golden Celeste...ALL LSU cultivars!, Blanche de deux Saison, Hative d'Argentile, Martinenca Rimada, Colonel Littmans, Ponte Tresa, Dall'Osso, Violet Sepor, Rigato del Salento

Offline figWillie

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2020, 01:58:32 AM »
Chris, I've never researched how sulfur may affect the rooting process, and don't have any experience with it in rooting cuttings. But it is something often lacking in soils, so it's great for your growing plants. I add sulfur throughout my garden. But it's taken up through the roots. If it helps or harms before roots appear, I have no idea.
My hunch is it should be fine, just try to aerate it as good as you can to keep the oxygen up and make sure it doesn't get stagnant. It may have a lower oxygen content as many well waters do. But, doubtful it will be an issue since you are just soaking them until they begin to bud. Just keep an eye on them to see if they are progressing and not decomposing.
You may want to split your cuttings into two groups and try both water sources to see if it does make a difference. My guess is no, unless it's highly saturated.
I think you'll be fine.
Want list: #1-Qalaat al Madiq #2- black Zadar, #3 LSU Red, #4 Ben's Golden Riverside/Robert's Golden Rainbow Black #5-Black Madiera/Madiera Island black.

Offline floridafigfan

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2020, 09:45:13 AM »
Chris, I've never researched how sulfur may affect the rooting process, and don't have any experience with it in rooting cuttings. But it is something often lacking in soils, so it's great for your growing plants. I add sulfur throughout my garden. But it's taken up through the roots. If it helps or harms before roots appear, I have no idea.
My hunch is it should be fine, just try to aerate it as good as you can to keep the oxygen up and make sure it doesn't get stagnant. It may have a lower oxygen content as many well waters do. But, doubtful it will be an issue since you are just soaking them until they begin to bud. Just keep an eye on them to see if they are progressing and not decomposing.
You may want to split your cuttings into two groups and try both water sources to see if it does make a difference. My guess is no, unless it's highly saturated.
I think you'll be fine.

Got it. Once again, thank you.
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Offline floridafigfan

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2020, 11:48:48 PM »
Update on the cuttings.

I removed them from the bubbler on Monday and potted them. From my observations, it seems like the well water might've had a negative effect on the cuttings. There were no signs of rot before changing the water to well water. A day after adding the well water, a slimy film began to form over the scared cambium. A deposit also began to build up on the sides of the reservoir. I probably could've pulled them from the water a day sooner because root nodes began to form only a few days after placing the cuttings in the water.

I'll try this again but with purified water and I won't scare any of the cuttings.
Wishlist: BB-10, White Madeira, Azores Dark, Golden Celeste...ALL LSU cultivars!, Blanche de deux Saison, Hative d'Argentile, Martinenca Rimada, Colonel Littmans, Ponte Tresa, Dall'Osso, Violet Sepor, Rigato del Salento

Online WillowBottomFarms

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2020, 12:23:37 AM »
floridafigfan,

Do you think the Clonex solution helped them get buds quicker?
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Offline stealthmayhem

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2020, 05:48:57 AM »
Update on the cuttings.

I removed them from the bubbler on Monday and potted them. From my observations, it seems like the well water might've had a negative effect on the cuttings. There were no signs of rot before changing the water to well water. A day after adding the well water, a slimy film began to form over the scared cambium. A deposit also began to build up on the sides of the reservoir. I probably could've pulled them from the water a day sooner because root nodes began to form only a few days after placing the cuttings in the water.

I'll try this again but with purified water and I won't scare any of the cuttings.

If at first you don't succeed.................you must be trying to root figs :P
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Offline FigHearted

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2020, 06:06:44 AM »
If at first you don't succeed.................you must be trying to root figs :P

Too funny!
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Offline floridafigfan

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Re: Air stone for rooting in water
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2020, 08:15:37 AM »
floridafigfan,

Do you think the Clonex solution helped them get buds quicker?

I wouldn't doubt it, all the reviews on that product are positive, but I can't say for sure. I haven't tried it without Clonex.
Wishlist: BB-10, White Madeira, Azores Dark, Golden Celeste...ALL LSU cultivars!, Blanche de deux Saison, Hative d'Argentile, Martinenca Rimada, Colonel Littmans, Ponte Tresa, Dall'Osso, Violet Sepor, Rigato del Salento