Question about algae and growing medium

by Adrian
(New Mexico)

First, thanks for the excellent site and information.

I'm a long time greenhouse gardener but this year will be my first time trying hydroponics. I decided on the ebb and flow since it seems the least expensive and easiest.

I'm going to use a 2'x4'x6" tray containing 8 - 3 gal containers.

A few sites warned about algae growing in the nutrients. Has that ever been a problem for you? Should I cover the tray around the containers to block the sunlight?

Second, you mentioned pea gravel. I'd like to use that because all the other mediums are very expensive. The gravel is available locally but the other mediums cost over a hundred dollars with shipping. Since the medium will be in individual 3 gallon containers, weight isn't a problem.

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Question about algae and growing medium

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Jun 29, 2012
Algae and Growing medium
by: Larry

I almost always use pea stone as a substrate or growing medium because it is dense enough to provide a support for plants as roots grab hold of the medium. Just remember to rinse it well before use.

As for algae it is harmless. It can be surprising to wake up and find your nutrient solution has turned green overnight which happened to me but it is only a nuisance.

If you get an attack of algae the nutrient solution becomes almost syrupy so it should be changed.

To prevent algae do not expose your nutrient solution to sunlight if possible.

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