Root rot is any of various plant diseases characterized by the decay of the root system caused especially by fungi or pests. Root rot can cause serious damage to plants and can easily be misdiagnosed as the common symptoms could lead a grower to believe there is a deficiency in another area.
The primary cause for root rot is too low of levels of oxygen reaching your plant’s root systems. Therefore, prolonged exposure to moist conditions or when you overwater your plants, it can cause your roots to die back. They are not only flooded out, but they struggle to access the oxygen. As the plant roots die, they will rot away - hence the name of the disease.
Unfortunately, root rot isn’t something that is left to harm just one plant, either. As the roots continue to rot, the rot can easily spread to healthy roots and kill them, too - even if the initial problematic soil conditions are no longer present.
How to check for root rot in your system?
You can quickly see if there is a problem by lifting your tank lid or lifting the plant pod from the system and see if it smells funny. If so then this is a clear sign you have root rot in your system. Next, you can look at your plant’s roots. Some roots can become tinted from the nutrients they are absorbing, but if they appear to be brown and slimy, then this is a clear sign root rot has already set in. Typically the “whiter” the better and you should never see roots that appear to have slime on them.
SLIME + ROOTS = BAD
Sterile working environment
More oxygen (bubbler)
Less light infiltrating your system