So I get hydro guard is to help get Rid of root rot, can I use it during my grow to help Prevent root rot? Also, would I use recharge during my whole grow? Or when the roots really start to show? Thanks everyone.
Yes and yes
Hydroguard is intended to be used as a preventative measure, I’ve found it doesn’t by itself cure an instance of root rot that has already taken hold without cleaning the roots and res first.
From what I’ve read, they (the bacteria in the hydroguard) don’t actually grow or proliferate much until the water temperatures increase around or past 30°C. The goal is to have more of them present than the bad ones should that occur. An abundance of hydroguard present as early as possible helps to fight off any initial attacks as the temps begin to pass 23°C. I’ve personally recovered from res temps as high as 27°C though the recovery included reducing overall temps in general and adding recharge to my list of additives – hydroguard was already in use but might not have been in high enough doses.
As for the recharge - it fulfills a similar biological purpose as hydroguard but is mostly geared toward establishing a colony of fungi than bacteria, and does more in the cocopod and exposed roots than it does in the reservoir water itself (or so this is my understanding); it keeps the “dry parts” or “exposed parts” safer whereas the hydroguard is intended for the wet parts. It is originally meant to be a soil amendment, and even though this is DWC we still have some parts of the roots that aren’t submerged in the water so there are other pests (which hydroguard won’t protect against) to contend with on that front as well.
When I soaked my past two coco pods I did so in a bucket of water that had both hydroguard and recharge already mixed in. I also defer the first drain/fill by a week or two to give the first batch of hydroguard a better chance to establish a colony in the reservoir, i.e. not dump them out too soon. Have read about this being very important to ensure that the hydroguard are “mature enough” (i.e. have been growing/reproducing for a while and becoming stronger than in their suspended state) to stave off an attack by a bad bacteria. It’s actually recommended elsewhere, in non-grobo circles, to give the first batch of hydroguard around a month to colonize before changing the water.
One thing I’ve definitely found is that it’s easy to use too little hydroguard and hard to use too much. If in doubt, use the maximum recommended dose (from the bottle) or even a splash more than that. It’ll last a long time if it’s just being used in 1 grobo even with excessive use.
Disclaimer: Much of this info is from personal research or contains my own (distilled) opinion and your mileage may vary!