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AACT not foaming

AACT tea compost

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#1 PepperWhisperer

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 02:16 PM

I started this batch of tea yesterday and it isn't making any foam, is something wrong?
Ingredients: about 2 T molasses, 3 handfuls of potting soil (composted wood, rabbit poo, bird poo, perlite), about 1 oz fish&seaweed liquid fert (3-1-1) and 1 rusty nail.
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#2 FireEater101

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 02:31 PM

I made my first batch of AACT on Friday night. I did not see any foam on mine until 36 hours after I got it started. I don't see anything wrong with your ingredients I just think you need to be patient. I have read in other places that it does not need to foam in order to be of good use too. I say just be patient I thought mine did not work until about the 36th hour after I started. I proceeded to root soak with mine yesterday after 48 hours.

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#3 thismembername

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 03:16 PM

what kind of pump is that?

what are you temperatures like?

#4 stc3248

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 03:23 PM

Did you use any raw compost??? Not much live activity in the commercial fish emulsion and potting mixes. I would use some active compost or compost starter and things should heat up in there.

www.imarunnut.blogspot.com/


#5 PepperWhisperer

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 03:25 PM

The pump is a big model from Petco from a few years ago. The air stone I am using is a cylindrical wand that just neatly fits across the bottom of the bucket.

Temp as I write this at 3:22 PM is 81. last night was low 60's, tonight will be the same. The bucket area gets a little bit of late PM sun.

The mix actually smells pretty good, a little bit sweet and fishy and composty. I bet my plants are salivating :surprised:

No fresh compost in it now, but I can grab a handful out of the pile and stuff it in the sock.

Edited by PepperWhisperer, 29 April 2013 - 03:26 PM.


#6 JJJessee

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 03:30 PM

Sounds like a good mix. Treated water might slow things down, otherwise I got nuthin. Give it a little time, but use as is if need be.
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#7 Burning Colon

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 03:33 PM

sounds like a time issue. i let mine sit for 2 days and just stir it occasionally. then i add in the air stone after allowing some time for the organic matter to breakdown.
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#8 stc3248

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 04:12 PM

Concur...time, but a handful of active compost will help too! It'll get there. You may need to throw in a bit more Molasses after a couple days to give the culture something more to feed on.

www.imarunnut.blogspot.com/


#9 PepperWhisperer

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 04:12 PM

I just dug into the middle of the compost pile and grabbed a handful of nice warm black stuff to throw in the sock. I did start with tap water, so I guess that would slow things down. I took a better look at the potting soil label and it has all kinds of stuff in it. Compost, worm castings, peanut hulls, sheep manure, rabbit manure, pine bark, pecan shells, expanded shale, lava sand, coir, diatomite, cotton burrs, soft rock phosphate, humate, sea minerals.

I guess now I wait.

#10 millworkman

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 05:32 PM

I let my tap water bubble for 24 hours before making mine. Toss some fresh grass clippings in too.

#11 Jamison

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:23 PM

Rusty nail?

#12 thismembername

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:46 PM

Rusty nail?


i was wondering the same thing

#13 GA Growhead

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:49 PM

Not sure about the rusty nail. If good or bad for the little organisms?
Someone gotta a definite answer on that?
Add some worm castings if you got them and also a handful of freshly pulled grass. Lots of good thing live on the grass in the yard. That will get it started for sure.

#14 brownb4

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:03 AM

rusty nail = Iron

i have heard that the liquid fish ferts will kill the foam, i think its the oils.

#15 thismembername

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:32 AM

Here is an interesting thought. I have heard from a knowledgeable source that even Neptune's fish and seaweed hydrolysate has added extras that they have to add to extend shelf life and to keep the product from exploding on the shelf. Let me explain.

1. The bacterial breakdown of the fish seaweed mix, after decomposing for months, is alive and living. If they bottled that as is, the bacteria could at first continue to exchange gasses and decompose. This gas exchange inside the plastic bottle would cause the bottle to burst. I say "at first" because the plastic bottle being sealed would lead to the second issue.

2. More likely, the bacteria in the bottle, plastic - air itight, would die and the entire mix would become anaerobic, causing bad bacteria. The product would stink, literally.

So what do they do? I'm fairly certian that they put all the bacteria to sleep by lowering the PH. I see assumptions of this all around the net, however I see no official confirmation of this claim by Neptunes on their website.

This is why you must dilute the mix with water, and then use it immediately. The mix with an increased PH becomes unstable.

What i gather from this is, no beneficial bacteria.

oh oh and the point of this, don't add commercial ferts, even neptunes to your tea, its PH is low to put bacteria to sleep, and it will do the same to your tea.

Edited by thismembername, 30 April 2013 - 07:35 AM.


#16 PepperWhisperer

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:45 AM

Checked it this AM and there is about 1" of large cell foam on top :dance:

The rusty nail is for iron. Not that I think it will add very much, but I had it laying around, and some of my overwinters are still a little chlorotic. Some pure (not oxidized or otherwise bound to another element) metals, such as silver, are very strongly antibiotic. I have never heard of Iron oxide (rust) having that effect.

Last time I made up a spray bottle full of the fish+seaweed fert I have I had some left over. About a week later it was growing a pretty good crop of mold in the bottle. I think you are right that they have done something to shelf stabilize it, but once it gets diluted and has some time exposed to air, it makes good microbe food.

I didn't want to put any green grass in there because the other people in the house occasionally use scary commercial lawn products. I don't want broad leaf weed killer in my tea!

#17 thismembername

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 09:08 AM

yeah, the product is marketed with an indefinite shelf life. thats naturally not normal.

once its mixed with water, the ph rises enough to become unstable and allow microbes to develop.

#18 Pepper-Guru

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:24 PM

One must remember, foam isnt always an indicator of colonization. Its all about what you put in there. You have to have organic matter, recently living or decomposing currently, in the mix. Im seeing lots of folks buying guanos, adding water and mollasses, then expecting a good AACT. Thats not a good way to learn this whole compost tea thing. Whos to say your guano has any microbes what so ever, or these liquid ferts people are trying with? Think about it.

Also, dont go overboard on the mollasses, in fact, its not nessesary either! Ive seen foamy ass teas have almost no microbes, while an almost foamless tea has had thousands of enzyme and protozoal strands per teaspoon! Wanna know if your tea is right? Use a hand scope!
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#19 PepperWhisperer

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:50 PM

Great idea! I'm going to dig out the old microscope and make a slide of my brew.

#20 GA Growhead

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 04:58 PM

+1 to guru. I have added organic ferts to make the mix also a feeding for the plants, but my basic mix is fresh worm casting, some garden soil, & fresh grass clipping w/ some molasses to feed the microbes. Bubble well for about 48 hours and pour. Always letting the water bubble 24 before adding anything also.
The feeding mix i make uses a dry mix that has mycos and other beneficial bacteria in it. It adds to the colonies.





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