Fodder and stinky mold issues please help!

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by skydive, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. skydive

    skydive New Egg

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    Jul 16, 2015
    Tennessee
    I've put together a fodder system in my living room made from pvc. It's been up and running for about two weeks. For the last week I've been battling with mold and a smell like dog poop! It's fed by a pump at the bottom of 6 trays, it does recirculate from a large tote. I was changing the water every 3 days and spraying it down with a bleach solution, now I'm doing that every day along with the trays as I use them. 30 minute presoak of wheat seeds in 1tbsp to 1 gallon of water. Rinse a few times and let soak in plain water overnight, rinse a few more times and dump seeds in the tray in the morning. Trays are 1020s with 3-3 1/2 cups of wheat seeds. Temps in house are 70-75F. Timer is set for 30 minutes every 4 hours. I'm not getting near as much growth as I did the first week, from approx. 6" down to 3". Getting real discouraged as I've spent abut $150 so far and seem to be doing a lot to just grow mold :( oh and I've had a small fan running on it 24/7 on low. Now after I've changed water today it smells sour
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  2. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you sanitizing the pump also, when you bleach everything else? If not, it may be re-contaminating the system.

    Maybe add a UV filter like they have for hot tubs.
     
  3. skydive

    skydive New Egg

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    Jul 16, 2015
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    I did a few times but I'm afraid of making it rust since it has metal in there. I'm thinking about starting it all over, sanitizing everything and using a container to hold enough fresh water and pump the fresh water in that way. I'm reading a lot about how I shouldn't be recirculating the water.
     
  4. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It probably is the recirculating that is causing the issue. When I sprout things I always rinse until the water is clear twice a day and that seems to keep the mold down. But of course, I am only sprouting about a cup of whatever at a time.
     
  5. skydive

    skydive New Egg

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    Jul 16, 2015
    Tennessee
    Thanks wyoDreamer, it's been a few days since I've stopped recirculating and it's made a huge difference so far, my house no longer stinks of dog turds and the mold is way down. I've been manually pouring water in two to three times a day until my new 15 minute interval timer comes in, then I can use the container for fresh water and keep it moist. Seems like the top seeds in day 1 and 2 get a bit dry.
    So glad I got rid of that smell, so is the wife!
     
  6. HnkyDnkyZZFarm

    HnkyDnkyZZFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 2, 2016
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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactobacillus_acidophilus

    You got me off on a research project, lol.


    So I got thinking and wandering - sprouting grains, bad smells, bacteria, and stumbled upon BREWERS forums, :D

    Lactobacillus is a typically beneficial bacteria that produces sulfur as a waste product. It's build up and the excretion of its by products, sulfuric gasses, is a large part of what causes human and animal waste to smell. Poo smell, not typically present when just green waste or brown waste - composts are breaking down. Present when grains are breaking down.

    If you were brewing, it would be what causes "sours" or what makes sourdough bread go sour. It's also airborne as well as water or mold, so it's not like you can sanitize the air.



    The water is naturally going to attract them and even draw them out of "thin air" where they are overpopulating because there's nothing eating them and there's no way to get rid of 110% of them. For a second more of random wandering, winemakers use sulfur dioxide to inhibit it. Not helpful here, but interesting. Sulfa drugs... bacteria... makes sense. Something new every day... haha.

    It likes low PH, so you could limit its growth by raising the PH of your water. If you have hard water, this may be why you're seeing such a fast build up. Calcium lowers PH. I don't know if you could use aquarium PH up drops to change the PH of the water you're sprouting with, and still have the end product be usable. I don't know if you could add lemon or vinegar to your water without it impacting the end product, but raising the PH of your water would slow the growth of the lactobacillus... There are types of algae and aquarium plants that also raise PH that maybe you could grow in your tank. Add fish for nitrogen.. lol.

    It sounds like this might be your stinky bad guy. Interestingly, other sites mention that it can be cultivated with water that grains have been rinsed with, to make a solution of the bacteria for use in things like lactose intolerance and digestive imbalances, kind of supporting that as well, and how funny it is that in one scenario, it's a good thing, in another, it's totally not.

    You have been successful at farming lactobacillus, without even trying! Which apparently some people work very hard to do. Lol!

    Interested in how it goes for you, may try it myself, (the sprouts, not the acidophilus ;-) ) since the area around the hay pile sprouts every time it rains.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016

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