Hi homeschooldad, There could be a few things causing "brown" nutrient solution (a photo would be helpful here). In the meantime...
- Do you have net pots, rockwool and plants in all growing ports?
- Do you have unused growing ports plugged / covered?
- Is your nutrient solution temperature in the 65° to 75° F range?
- Did you start from seed or seedlings?
I have net pots in all growing ports, but I do not have the unused ports plugged/covered.
I have used mostly seeds to start. I have two lettuce plants that I purchased as seedlings, and I cleaned all the dirt off the roots prior to putting them in the rock wool.
I have not checked the water temperature. It may be a little warmer than 75.
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Hi homeschooldad, Based on your photos and responses, I would say it's most likely one or more of the following (difficult to make a 100% accurate diagnosis without asking for additional painful detail):
- Algae resulting from light infiltration.
- Organic matter from soil-based seedlings.
- Pathogen / Bacteria growth due to organic matter, temps >75° F, low oxygen levels in nutrient solution.
In all cases, the corrective action is the same:
Clean entire TG (including pump internals), replace nutrient solution, thoroughly rinse-off seedlings and reuse (or replace), block / cover unused growing ports, tub access port and pump power cord hole, keep nutrient solution temperature in the 65° to 75° F range.
The following docs will help with the corrective actions I recommend above:
How to [Really] Clean the TG
How to Mix TG Nutrients
Grow Port Plugs
FYI - Tons of additional information available here: