DWC First Time Grower Needing Guidance

  • Thread starter MagicalNut
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MagicalNut

MagicalNut

9
3
Hello everyone,

I currently am attempting my first DWC grow, which seems really daunting now that I am in it. I have 3 five gallon buckets (black) that have PH Balanced RO water in them.

What I have done so far:
- Started seeds in Rapid Rooters, they have all popped, and have their leaves growing.
- Buckets are all cleaned and have their air stones installed, hoses, and an air pump.
- I washed the hydroton as good as I could and placed my plants into the netpots.
-Buckets are filled to just about 1 inch under the net cups and the water bubbles on to the pebbles.

But here is my issue:
- The plants are still very small. Other than the cotyledon leaves, I have one set that is larger and another set coming in.
- I had read that you shouldn't feed the plants anything but PH balanced RO water for the first couple of weeks.
- The roots aren't in the water yet, and don't appear to be growing all that quickly.
- Where as the leaves were bright green when growing originally, they have dulled and are droopy. (I assume they are hungry at this point).

Nutrients I am using:
Remo Nutrients (used them for a coco grow last time around and loved them).

My confusion comes in with the first feeding, and different sources give different answers. So I figured I would come here and ask anyone willing to help for some guidance as I try this new journey!

If my plants roots don't quite reach the water, and they are showing signs of being hungry...how should I proceed?
 
Oldguy71

Oldguy71

I would raise the water level so it’s touching the net pots. Your in plugs so you’ll alright. Seedlings have about 3-5 days before they need nutes in my opinion. I start mine at 220 ppm and go up from there. Once the roots are popping out of the pots you should lower the water level again.
 
Tez710

Tez710

Im a first time dwc grower as well so don’t take my info to concrete but Ive learned a lot throughout my grow. I think you should have kept them in the rapidstarter until you saw roots popping out. I also would have fed my plants super light nutes in the stage yours are in. Idk about the nutes you used for coco but as long as their salts or synthetic you will be fine, no organic. You also want your hydroton wet and bubbling lightly but not drenched, your plant can get wet feet. It’s pretty slow but you don’t have to do any top watering at all, I would move the water level to 2” so the hydroton is being hit with bubbles but not soaked so your roots have to go out and find the water. Once your roots touch the water then you’ll notice much faster growth.
 
MagicalNut

MagicalNut

9
3
Thank the both of you for your quick replies!

@Oldguy71 - So that might actually be my problem. These girls are 9 days old and haven't had a feeding at all. My initial thought was to place them in the buckets, let the roots grow down into the water and then after a week I would add nutes and rebalance the PH in the water. However, I have attached some pictures so that you can see the progress I have made, and perhaps give some more input from there. My first reaction was to top feed them with 1/4 nute solution...by hand. However after reading around this seems like a slightly bad idea. I will take your advise though and raise my water level to perhaps get some more bubbles going on the rocks.

@Tez710 Good news is I did keep them in the starting kit until after all the roots had shown out the bottom. I fear though I may have actually waited too long. (Was waiting on my pump and airstones which were delayed a few days.)

Than you both yet again for what information you have already provided. I provided pictures for a better idea of what I am working with.

I did however make a mistake by rinsing the hydroton in tap water, because as they have dried it's creating that white residue that you see there. Our water is really hard here where I live. But, the water in the container is RO water with 0 PPM currently.
 
Tez710

Tez710

I used rock wool to start my grow so I’m not 100% on your plug, I do know that if you were to keep your starter roots wet it can stunt growth. You didn’t wait to long I’ve seen people run like 2 in roots out of the bottom of their starter and be fine. And that white stuff on the hydroton is just dried minerals it shouldn’t mess with you. If I were you I would drop my water down and add some nutes.
 
MagicalNut

MagicalNut

9
3
When you say add nutes, you mean to the water and not as a direct top feed correct?
 
Oldguy71

Oldguy71

Top feeding once or twice with 220 ppm solution would be a good idea to get nutrients into the plug. You could foiliar feed them as well to get nutes into the leaves quickly. Root riot or rapid rooter plugs are much more forgiving than rockwool. A top feeding or two won’t drown them. I’d be surprised if you don’t have roots in a couple days after feeding them.
 
MagicalNut

MagicalNut

9
3
Thank you soooo much for the help on this one man. I'll give your suggestions a go and then report back with results, if you're okay with that? Helps to have a second eye when starting something new.
 
Tez710

Tez710

Do you grow in non recirculating 5 gal buckets as well? @Oldguy71 If so maybe you have a solution for my ph issue post.
 
Oldguy71

Oldguy71

I do flood and drain tubes, nft, tote dwc, and 5 gal dwc. Mostly nft right now switching things over to the f and d tubes. Seems like I always have extras that end up in totes or buckets.
 
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