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