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Top feed placement, and starting plants with rockwool in hydroton

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    HYDRO Top feed placement, and starting plants with rockwool in hydroton

    Just getting my first grow in this system started and there were some details not well talked about in the guide on using the system. The placement of the top feed spike to where it will provide water under the rockwool but not overly saturate the rockwool is what i am trying to achieve right now. I have been using a garden sprayer and wetting when the surface dries out which seems to work fine, but i am trying to get the placement of the spikes right in order to be able to successfully get the roots going well and let the timer handle it. My placement in the picture seems maybe a little far away, but i also didn't run it for a full 15 minute cycle like recommended. Would it be wise to get it a little closer to the rockwool?

    #2
    At this stage I think it is better not to use the automatic top feed and just add very little water once a day to the top of the rock wool. Be sure not to overwater. My setup is DWC and I never used top feed even though I had it. Once the roots hit the water in the reservoir your watering duties are done.

    My top feed is a single discharge point like yours and I do not believe you achieve a uniform enough distribution. I have seen other systems with a circular distribution header which I am sure would be better.
    Last edited by RetiredGuy; 12-20-2020, 01:55 PM.

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      #3
      RetiredGuy is spot-on. Once some roots hit water in reservoir you can stop top feeding.

      I use a large 60 ml syringe to top feed twice per day for seedlings. For the first couple of days only a few drops like RetiredGuy said. After that, i apply the water further away from the seedling to help encourage roots to start growing sideways in the hydroton. When i get a bunch of roots out the side of the basket, I’ll also spray them with the syringe full of plain water to keep drawing them along until they touch the res water.
      Over 30 yrs of back pain management without ever having a pharmacist give me a bottle of pills. Thank you Mother Nature and all the hippies from the ‘60s that became weed-masters.

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        #4
        This is strictly a drip system, not dwc or ebb and flow. The roots do not go to the water reservoir. They grow in the hydroton, it is the grow medium, so the pump has to run for the who life cycle of the plant, the older it get's the feedings go from 2x a day for 15 minutes to 3-4 times a day for veg and 4-5 times a day during flowering. There is 5 gallons of hydroton there, roots grow all thru it and are watered with non airated water because the hydroton contains lots of air pockets. These systems work very well the way they are built, i have no reason to change anything as it is very very proven system, just trying to get the spike where it will achieve watering the center of the pot and not over saturate the rockwool.

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          #5
          In case anyone has this situation in the future, the correct answer from what i found is to use a garden sprayer with ph adjusted ro water and keep the hydroton just on the side with the drip spike moist for about a week and then the water from the top feed will spread out as it makes it's way down and get to the roots. So far so good.
          Last edited by bryanwheat; 01-03-2021, 05:37 AM.

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            #6

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              #7
              I’m very interested to follow this grow. I can’t say I’ve seen someone use 5 gallons of hydroton as a media.
              Over 30 yrs of back pain management without ever having a pharmacist give me a bottle of pills. Thank you Mother Nature and all the hippies from the ‘60s that became weed-masters.

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              • bryanwheat
                bryanwheat commented
                Editing a comment
                It's a big thing in europe, there aren't many of these type of systems here due to the ridiculous shipping prices for the size of the base i guess. I think the platinum brand is a little more common, but overall it isn't super common. Coco can be used in them as well, just have to put in the slow flow spikes and run the pump way less. I did a lot of research into finding a system that was very easy to automate and not have to put much effort into, but still get excellent quality and found these to be very potent. I am using Advanced Nutrients, so it hasn't involved much more then keeping an eye on my ph/ec meter that has probes in the water at all times so far. I don't want to jinx myself, haha. https://www.nutsystems.co.uk/wilma-dripper-system/

              #8
              Good to hear from you again. It is a very interesting system and I like the fact that you don’t need an air pump. I always worry about mine failing while I am away for a couple of days. Please keep us posted.

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              • bryanwheat
                bryanwheat commented
                Editing a comment
                I've got that fear with the other system i am getting ready to use, it is a hybrid between a normal drip, and dwc, but the drip ring is also powered by air. It would definitely be shitty as hell to get near the finish line and lose power or something. Have to be in there powering it with a bicycle pump or something until the power comes back on, haha.

              • RetiredGuy
                RetiredGuy commented
                Editing a comment
                I lost power my last grow, but fortunately I had a small generator for camping to use. Wife was pissed that I used it for my grow instead of the refrigerator, but she got over it!

              #9

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                #10
                So far still doing great, well 3 of 4. The fast buds pineapple express is very temperamental in this setup, one is taking off the other is gonna get pulled likely. Having some algee growth where the water collects around the diameter of the containers that i have to find a way to block light from but it so far is just watch the ec and ph readout and let em go and change the reservoir every 2 weeks. Going to start some gh defguard soon if i can work up the nerve to mess with it. The warnings on the instructions make it seem like it will kill your whole town if it is used wrong, lol.

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                  #11
                  Look good. It looks.Ike you have Mars Hydro SP3000. I just started a grow using one in a 2 x 4. I would be interested in what you have been using for hanging height and dimmer settings so far. I started my seedlings at 30% and have worked it up to 45% in early veg.

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                  • bryanwheat
                    bryanwheat commented
                    Editing a comment
                    They are the tsl2000's in that tent. They are 300w a piece like the sp3000, but don't have the samsung and osram diodes like the sp3000 so not quite as efficient, but mars makes some great lights for the money. I Keep them at 30" and started at around 50 percent and am up to 75 now. I previously have used the ts600's on my first grow and went 30" for seedlings, 24" for veg and 12-16 for flowering. My soil tent is running ts1000's and i have kept them a bit higher during flowering, around 18". I have noticed that with photo's they can run closer with higher intensity, i am running all auto's this round and have had to back them off a bit, but not too big of a difference. This is a pic of my gorilla glue auto's under the ts1000's. One in week 4 of flowering, and the other in week2, but it was topped and won't stop stretching. Glad i've got a 7' 2x4 for those, lol.

                  #12

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                    #13
                    These are still doing very good. The fastbuds pineapple express in the front wasn't happy with the system at first but has picked up well though. At 5 weeks now, havn't had to put much effort at all into running this, just get an idea where the nutrient level needs to be and add a little extra water and ph down from time to time and change the reservoir every 2 weeks. Using h202 once a week now as well.

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