Hail Hydro 2.0: New Beginnings

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with over 42K visitors to my Hail Hydro thread, which covered a lot of ground for those interested in hydro, I felt it was time to start this new thread to explore some new ideas and to follow up on some recent ideas, all in the name of potentially better, more consistent grows. As with anything new, some failure can be expected, and I've had my share

While I have had very good success germinating seeds (drop in pure water + a drop or 2 of sea minerals), getting them to the seedling stage has been challenging with new concepts. The newest being water beads, which are probably better suited for clones, but could well serve as the ideal method to bring seedlings along; the biggest problems being over/under watering and how to support the long man stem in the early stages

Not being a fan of Rapid Rooter Started Cubes (the seed holes are too wide making it hard for root hairs to anchor= death)

My best success came when using coco + coco net pot cups, but I don't need a whole bag of coco, and it tends to harbor gnat eggs, so I went back to Rapid Rooters, and lost 4/6 seeds.

My go to hydro store had no alternatives, but another in the area had perhaps the perfect seed starter Planters Pride Pellets, which consist of compressed coco inside 20 individual bags, which expands to ~ a 3" x 1.5" cylinder when soaked in warm water. The seed is than inserted and easily covered with coco; 2/4 new seeds are in them now. Note I surrounded them with water beads (another experiment)

The next problem is weak main stems and how to support them. I have tried many things (see coco clone plug): enter water beads. I tried WBs for germinating, which might be excellent now that I have the PPPs, but they are excellent for supporting weak young main stems. The key being to use a tall enough jar to surround them and keep them straight (see picture)

My other issue has been how to keep nutes cool without an expensive chiller (and to keep mosquitoes at bay), plus eliminate air stones. Since I only grow 1- 2 plants per tent, the rezes need to be individual as the plants may be in various stages and so cannot be fed from a single source. In the middle of last grow I started using an igloo cooler, ad switched from air stones to flooming. Flooming required a second pump, but it must be on a timer or it will quickly overheat the nutes, which fried my primary leafs last grow.

Almost anything can be used on the flooming pump to circulate/aerate the nutes, but I had a couple Hydro Halo drip rings which works well. A deep cycle timer is needed as a 15 minute timer would overheat the nutes. I run it 3/20

I do need to move the 2 older seedlings into my DIY bubbler, but will stick with 4 air stones as that is where I have had best results

OK here's a few photos

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Not being a fan of Rapid Rooter Started Cubes (the seed holes are too wide making it hard for root hairs to anchor= death)
so far, I happen to like rapid rooter plugs for cloning and germinating. For cloning, the hole is definetely too big, so I flip it over, trim some of the top flared out part(so it will fit in the dome holders), and make a new hole. Holds clones really well that way.

for germinating, I do the traditional 24 hours seed soak, then on paper towel, then take the new tadpole sprout and put in in the original hole root down, and finally take a piece of the rooter and push it in the top of the hole for complete darkness of the seed. The seed always pushes the plug out within a couple of days...

just my experience with rapid rooter plugs };-)

I love hearing new ideas though
 
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Put 2 more seeds into the pucks. These 2 barely cracked the husk, so curious to see what being wrapped in coco love will do

All have been moved under my Amare Tech SE 250.

The 2 older wispy taller ones are embracing the veg spectrums
 
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The 2 older seedlings are developing more leafs but still require support to stay up. The small one in the front is the first seed to crack and placed into thee coco pouches.

Under the humid dome: one of the seeds has popped through, should see cotyledons by days end
 
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I have been using only the enhanced mono rings surrounding the CoBs in my Amare 250. It's too high above the plants. I think the main stems need more umoles in order to thicken, but instead of resetting it to be lower...

I also have 2 BML supplemental light bars in this tent that are on ratchet hangers (easy to lower) so I plugged them in this morning

2 /3 new seeds have cotyledons, I fluffed the coco in the 3rd but did not locate that seed WTF?
 
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I am going to play musical chairs with the plants, moving the 2 currently under the led tubes to the tent with the Amare 250 + BML supplemental bars. Just waiting a few days for the young plants main stems to firm up

This will provide optimal enhanced lighting and more umoles to max bud and trich production
 
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Here's a tip on supercharging your young plants. I have been using Aptus, but not too happy with it/them. Total lack of communication to questions I have asked

NPK:

Silicon aids in the uptake of water and nutrients, improving the plants resistance to heat and water stress. Some of the silicon can be taken up by the plant in the soil water solution, but much of the silicon becomes embedded in the root cells. With added silicon, the permeability of the roots is substantially increased. As a result, the flow of water into the roots is enhanced, and the drought tolerance of the plant is improved.

http://www.npk-university.com/plant_...on_silica.html
 
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Pic update

From back to front

The 2 in the back are much older and were started in Rapid Rooters. They grew tall with very weak main stalk that required support until today when I was finally able to remove the coco fibers. (no bueno). Most likely it was hard for roothairs to develop along the tap root and anchor since the RR holes are too big, which also caused 2 others to die

The other 4 were all started in the coco pellets 100% success (muy bueno). Main stalks are stronger and I suspect will be shorter to the first leaf sets

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I often follow nutrients and supplement advancements: You tube is a great source. I saw this among many NPKs YT videos. Certainly seems logical to me, so today, I started adding yucca to my veg nutrient and foliar spray. Also adding it to my 2 flowering plants, but here seems the more ideal place to see what it brings to the party. I know I should, but won't be doing a side-by-side, but then I'm not trying to sell you something

http://www.npk-university.com/plant_nutrition_yucca.html
 
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Tasty Tidbid- Silicone
Silicon in and of itself is beneficial to plants, but it is most beneficial to those plants that accumulate high levels of extra silica in their tissues. In rice, for example, silica is already considered an essential element, and many grasses and other monocots are significant silicon accumulators. In contrast, most vegetables and other dicots accumulate only trace amounts of silica, so the benefits of synthetic, water-soluble silica are often limited. Biogenic silica, on the other hand, provides water-soluble silica when the plants need it the most, and it provides a host of additional side benefits during the rest of the plant’s growing cycle.
 
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All 6 are doing as well as can be expected. Keep in mind the 3 smaller are younger, with the smallest younger still as the seed in that pellet disappeared: I think it popped out of the tweezers when I attempted to insert it, but I didn't notice it at the time

Note the roots coming out the sides of the net pot due to the coco pellets allowing lateral development
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I listened to Harley Smith's talk (NPK Industries) on seedlings and clones. Good stuff. A couple things that will help now and all future grows

1. pH should be between 5.8 and 6.4. I learned 5.5- 5.8. I always thought 5.5 was low, but... I do let it hang out closer to 6.0 in flower. I think he's right about this. Keeping it low MAY have contributed to leaf tip burn. dunno, but...

2. Domes should be removed after first leaf set to minimize possible mold and root rot
3. Pre-cloning how to prepare the mother, which branches to chose from, proper way to cut, best root stimulation nutrients- too much to post here. It's free. I recommend signing up at NPK Industries
 
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I just came up with an idea to replace air stones for seedling development by combining 2 hydro technologies.

My starter tote is partially set up with a drain that is capped off. I will remove the shut off valve to make way for the pvc inflow to create a low pressure aero system that drains back to a rez. I have most of the parts.
Parts needed; pvc tube plus end cap, a couple low pressure mist heads, high volume low pressure pump and a deep cycle timer as they do not need/want more than 30 second wet cycles (10-15 probably better) and ~ 1-3 minute off cycles

Stay tuned
 
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I added 25ml of EH Root Wizard today in hopes of amping up root development. I need to get the 2 largest out of the bubbler and into individual totes and under the Amare P3. Moving them will also let me experiment with replacing the stones with low pressure aeroponics
 
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I added 25ml of EH Root Wizard today in hopes of amping up root development. I need to get the 2 largest out of the bubbler ASAP and into individual totes and under the Amare P3. Moving them will also let me experiment with replacing the stones with low pressure aeroponics. The thing is I need a low height igloo (can't find one) or tote that will hold ~ 3-4 gallons that allows the bulkhead fitting drain back. I saw a tote at HD that might work
 
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I just finished setting up the tent with the Amare P3 (300w) and transferred the 2 that cracked on 5/27

A lesson I learned was t do a wet sans lid to check water/nute level. Lat 2 times I assumed, and we know where that takes us. Those plants were barely getting fed at a crucial time in their development. That said they are doing well, but who's to know how much bigger they might have been

Nutes are NPK Grow and silica + Starwest Botanicals yucca ($8.50/4oz), and Emerald Harvest Root Wizard total @ < 400ppm, pHed ~ 6.0

I mix in a blender then add to the 2 gallons of RO water ~ 11ppm

I still need to add an inline venturi

The last pic is pre moving the 2 largest from the bubbler that is under the Transcendent T5 leds

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