inoculating reservoir with soil microbes and Mycostop
Hi Kyle and thanks for all your hard work on mycodo. It's very cool. I intend to use mycodo to fully automate my aeroponic grow system. I have some questions with regard to your automated hydro setup: Why not use mycostop only to innoculate your reservoir? Don't you run the risk of the soil microbes conquering the fungi? Thanks.
Without a microbial community, you run the risk of an undesirable organism establishing and growing unchecked. Streptomyces griseoviridis (Mycostop), a bacterium, is just a single organism, and is very unlikely to be able to combat every pathogen/contaminant that enters the system on its own. However, by introducing a mixed community, the likelihood of one or a few of its members being able to suppress undesired growth increases. So, the soil sample I used to inoculate a mixed community may have introduced undesirable microbes, but it also likely introduced beneficial organisms that keep them in check. As long as there's healthy competition, there shouldn't be any single organism that grows unrestricted.
By no means is this optimized. There is a lot of room for experimentation and developing an inoculation strategy that works best for your environment, nutrient composition, plant species etc.
I used to live in a place where pythium infected my hydroponic setups even under good sanitary conditions (not filtered air though). I just assumed it was in the air and came from the local soil. It was a hydroponic nightmare. In my current setup I keep the reservoir/root area pressurized slightly with hepa filtered air from a small aquarium pump. I'm not sure I could bring myself to deliberately add the soil stuff 😀
Thanks for the explanation. Ok one more question for today: Why do they use "myco" for bacterium? I just assumed it was fungi. Kind regards.
edit: I guess it's the "stop" part in "mycostop" that's also important. I just read the mycostop data sheet and it seems it kills pythium too. That's good.
Sanitary/sterility is a myth outside a laboratory setting. It's also undesirable. When beneficial microorganisms don't exist to combat contaminants/pathogens, this can be opportunities for infections by organisms like pythium to occur. Establishing a healthy community is one of a number of ways to reduce the likelihood of infection. Another is keeping the environmental conditions unconducive to pathogen growth or disease prpgression. Here's some literature I found related to microbial communities of recirculating water systems.