Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What types of media can Tribus be used in?
A: Tribus can be used in all soil-based, soilless, and hydroponic systems. So regardless of whether you grow in peat, coco, rockwool, deep water culture, or in the field, Tribus can be used in your system.
Q: How is Tribus applied?
A: Tribus is designed to be mixed into irrigation water and applied to the soil or hydroponic system. Mix it into a nutrient reservoir like you would a typical nutrient. Try to use Tribus within 24 hours of diluting it into solution.
Q: Can I use Tribus with other beneficial fungi and bacteria?
A: Yes, absolutely! We recommend applying Tribus first to young seedlings and clones to ensure maximum benefit and reduced transplant shock.
Q: How much is too much Tribus?
A: Because of the symbiotic nature of our bacteria with plants, it is difficult to use too much. We recommend a relatively low rate to ensure maximum effect at a reasonable cost, but higher rates can be used without fear of burning or damaging the plant.
Q: What does CFU/mL mean?
A: CFU stands for Colony Forming Unit, which basically translates to live microorganisms--in this case, live microorganisms in each milliliter of Tribus. Our Tribus Original is 10 Billion CFU/mL, meaning at least 10,000,000,000 bacteria in each mL of Tribus liquid will start growing and reproducing on plant roots.
Q: Why are higher CFUs better?
A: Think of CFUs as employees in a large company. The more CFUs there are, the more work can be done.
Q: Bacteria multiply really fast. So why are higher CFU's better?
A: While it's true that bacteria will multiply quickly under perfect laboratory conditions, it's a much different story in the real world. Bacteria are constantly dying and reproducing in the soil, so starting with higher numbers ensures a higher baseline population.
Q: 10 million CFU/mL doesn't sound like that much less than 10 billion CFU/mL.
A: In reality, that's a huge difference--1,000 times less concentrated, to be exact. Even a product that is 1 Billion CFU/mL instead of 10 Billion CFU/mL is 10 times less concentrated--meaning you would have to buy 10 liters of that product to get the same CFUs you get in 1 liter of Tribus.
Q: How does Tribus increase yields?
A: The bacteria in Tribus are know as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, or PGPRs (not to be confused with plant growth regulators, or PGRs). There are several mechanisms, or ways in which Tribus bacteria promote growth; they mobilize nutrients, they encourage water uptake, they reduce plant stress, and they encourage root growth.
Q: How does Tribus improve flower quality?
A: Along with the growth promoting properties of Tribus, the bacteria we use have a special relationship with plants that allow them to communicate through what are called plant-microbe interactions. These interactions make the plant produce different compounds, many of which are valuable to the grower.
Q: Is Tribus a pesticide?
A: No, Tribus is not considered a pesticide.
Q: Do I use Tribus instead of fertilizers?
A: No, Tribus is not meant to replace fertilizers. However, you may be able to reduce fertilizer usage when adding Tribus to your regimen.
Q: Why is it so much more expensive than nutrients?
A: Biological products like Tribus contain live microorganisms, which are significantly more expensive to grow and produce than nutrients.
Q: I've never used biologicals or beneficial bacteria before, and my plants always do great. Why should I use Tribus?
A: We like to say using Tribus is like adding an extra step to the equation. You can grow great without it, but you can always grow better with it. It stimulates growth in ways that lights, nutrients, and other additives simply can't.
Q: How much does it cost per plant or per use?
A: A 1 Liter bottle of Tribus Original will make about 3,790 gallons of irrigation water. At $170/L, that equates to about 4.5 cents per milliliter.