Herb and lettuce garden

Hi all! I bought myself a little hydroponic herb garden and it’s giving me problems.

It’s been going since Dec 1 and after 2 weeks it started getting green algae on the tops of the sponges. I moved my light up and I’ve been brushing the sponges off daily with qtips - tried wetting q tips with peroxide, tried setting them with hydroguard, I can’t kick it!

It has a shallow reservoir that holds 3 liters but when I put 3 in on first fill it was almost to the top but the buoy that measures it said it’s almost 2. You almost have to fill it completely to cover the pump inside or you hear it.

I completely changed out the water which is a pain with this unit as you have to remove the light to get the top off, which is a pain! The light goes flying when I get it off and I’m afraid I’m going to break it. I’ve done that twice and this time besides nutrients and hydroguard I put a ml of neem oil in the res as well. Not sure if that might help with algae problem…

Lettuce growing faster and better than anything, especially buttercrunch. Even though some things germinated quickly, others didn’t and some I’ve had to retry. I raised the light a bit to help with algae in case that’s my issue.

Also has/have some damping off. Lost spinach and other things are leggy because after germination (in the sponges) roots grow and circle around before they can seem to get a footing through the sponges.

Now that I’ve given it a terrible review, I suppose I’ve answered my own question. I think I’ll give it to my time limit to return on Amazon and then try an aero garden! :rofl:

Wow I’m long winded! Enough of that, here’s pics. Any more ideas on fixing the issues would be appreciated!


I wouldn’t add neem oil to my res.

Your plug is to wet that is why your getting damp off / Algae… Once the roots are in the water you want that plug dry as possible… You could add a fan blowing on the plugs to dry them out?


With the res being so shallow, the sponges go almost to the bottom. They’re always wet but they don’t drip when lifted. I thought they were too much in the water to begin with witch is why I’m only using 2 liters now but they’re still more than 1/2 IN water and I feel like I should turn the pump off at that height. Which is why I feel like I should return it but I know I don’t NEED bubbles…

So could I spray with neem oil or something else to try to kill surface algae? None has shown up in the res yet thank goodness but I wanted to try to use extra preventive measures since it is on the surface. :woman_shrugging:t2:


I don’t think neem combats algae. With my aero there’s a plug to the pump which pumps water to the top. Once my seeds emerge, I unplug the pump!


Are you saying the pump purpose is to make the plugs wet?


I don’t have an algaecide so I thought a fungicide might help but you know idk much about what I’m doing. :rofl:

Okay definitely an aero for a replacement!! I can turn my pump off with a button but it doesn’t splash bubbles up (no need with deep plugs in a shallow res), I think it just aerates the water. It’s not that powerful, it just puts a little extra air in the water I suppose… maybe it helps circulate water too but anytime I’ve looked, water moves just right around the little pump. On it cycles 30 min on, 30 off, or I can just turn it off.

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Maybe cutting the sponge in halve might help but after the this grow might cut roots at this point


- - - [2021-12.31]:






  • (Cut Pool Noodles, -To- The Right Size, -To- Lift Your Basket Up): (Easier To Do This, -Than- To Keeping Water Level Lower In Such A Shallow Container): {:wink:}:

  • [https://youtu.be/JXKfIASdSqM]: {:mag:}:


:wink: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :+1:t5:

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That’s a great idea!! Ironically, I just saw that pool noodle video with the downspouts a couple weeks ago and loved it. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I never thought of cutting something else to fit. I did think about cutting the plugs off at the bottom for what’s in there but I doubt I could do it without damaging roots.


I’d get what you can from this grow, maybe cut the pods shorter for your next one :wink: