HOW TO WATER COCO FOR BEST RESULTS.

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Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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I have situation in 3gal pots coco perlite mix. Feeding 2 times 1200ml getting 10% runoff. Input EC 800 output came out yesterday at 350. Poured 4 l of 800ec solution through each pot EC output at about 500-550. Do I need to up to 3-4 times a day? I need to put them in flower ASAP so I want to tune in EC. Im waiting to final part for automation to come so now im hand watering.

Need maybe not benefit yes. If you are starting this method in the middle of your grow I would run 3 gals of 800 ppm nutrient solution through each pot. Then feed 750ml per feed and adjust the frequency so you get 10-20% runoff for each feed.

The fact that you are adding 1200ml and only getting 10% runoff means the coco is getting to dry and the plants are eating almost all the nutrients from the media before you are feeding again.

Since you are hand feeding you may not be able to keep up with the recommendations but yes feeding more often will help stabilize your numbers.
 
Enforcer

Enforcer

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I have situation in 3gal pots coco perlite mix. Feeding 2 times 1200ml getting 10% runoff. Input EC 800 output came out yesterday at 350. Poured 4 l of 800ec solution through each pot EC output at about 500-550. Do I need to up to 3-4 times a day? I need to put them in flower ASAP so I want to tune in EC. Im waiting to final part for automation to come so now im hand watering.
You are fine with 2 events now. But in flower I do 4 events a day. In the same medium and pot size as you. I recommend going to 3x a day when you flip and 4x a day by week 2. You may even need to go to 5x a day depending on your environment and setup. Keep monitoring the run off and adjusting as needed.
 
LBC

LBC

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good info. I have been running straight coco for a few years. Always learning. I have also struggled big time from watering too much early on. I think the bricks I am using become more water logged than some. I am prolly switching to canna next round. Tired of buffering issues, and inconsistent quality of coco.
 
LuckyLuck

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Thanks for reply, this threat is great, good info to learn. Im on Christmas vacation from wednesday so Im going to squeeze in one more watering. Im in same situation as Madmax, lights go on at 8:40 so its though to water past midnight. Hope my 8way manifold comes this week. Maybe i open thread and post link if every plant looks perfect as Im in hunt for 2lb grow.
 
mandoVol

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Check. "One of the biggest issues with coco is watering practices. Coco is a sponge, and like a sponge, when squeezed water comes out, but not all the water. The sponge will remain damp and coco can still appear wet without having enough available water to give to the plant. Constantly watering coco results in over-watering. When using coco, there is a need to water at a minimum of 50% dry. Sometimes 70% dry might be better especially during the first weeks, when most roots are formed. "


I read that too. This is my first ever indoor grow and I’m my head is still spinning from a good sized soil grow outside this summer. I’ve got four autos in 3gal fabrics in a 4x4, and I’m still “learning” the plants by weight. With soil it was easy, you knew right away when you tilted it. With coco the weight difference is more subtle, but you also have to factor in the amount of run-off that actually see. I’ve also had to pay attention to the fans drying out the pots. I use a couple of small fans to help evaporate the runoff, and to bring down the RH but it also dries out the pots quickly.
 
Randomnames

Randomnames

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The best results for coco i have found to date is during vege using 5gal air pots is drench it then let it dry out for 2-3 days depends on how the temps have been so the roots can stretch right out in search for water and then in flower i run a drip irrigation and keep it constantly wet. On my 3rd grow of using this method and have had back to back 42oz pulls off 8 clones with only an 8 week vege
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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The best results for coco i have found to date is during vege using 5gal air pots is drench it then let it dry out for 2-3 days depends on how the temps have been so the roots can stretch right out in search for water and then in flower i run a drip irrigation and keep it constantly wet. On my 3rd grow of using this method and have had back to back 42oz pulls off 8 clones with only an 8 week vege
Many ways to skin a cat. I prefer using coco because I can use way less media... 5 gal would be a soil grow for me.
 
skillet12

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Imo it leaves residual salt build up and needs to be top fed every so often to clear that out. I guess if someone flooded it until the waterline reached the top of the media it would eliminate that issue but I think its just easier to top feed than try and set that up???

Never done it so take this with a grain of salt.
Autopots don't need to be top fed after the wicking system is first turned on. After transplant, plants are top fed until their roots reach the bottom. When the wicking is turned on only the top 1-2cm of the rhizosphere will dry out leaving no effective salt build up that will affect the roots. As long as the roots are fully grown and the coco EC isn't high when wicking starts it doesn't cause an issue.

Autopots should not be top fed from then on to keep that top salt build up from washing into the root zone. After centimeters are dry there's no future risk of toxicity or lockout unless water is reintroduced. The only situation that can be a problem is when feeding full strength fertigation right up to the day wicking turns on and continuing to feed high EC for the days directly after as this would obviously stack the coco EC.

I got this info from Autopot so this is how it was intended to be used, at least. Just thought I'd spread what info I have. Wicking systems are a bit strange but they can have their benefits like providing constant fertigation, constant access to oxygen, and a more stable living environment for soil microbiology to set up camp. Also they're a much more sustainable way to use hydroponics than drain to waste, which I feel needs to change on the large scale due to how polluted the water and soil already is from poor agricultural practices over the years. On the small scale I doubt its a drop in the bucket, though
 
Blakeja

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Ok writing this cause i see this issue often and rather have a thread to link than explain this each time. This is not my work but a collection of info from many members here and I have put into practice myself.

So first off COCO is NOT soil. For best results we want to keep it saturated between 90-100% that does not mean you can't go below this but you may see slower growth or nutrient issues over time if your consistently letting COCO get to dry.

Coco has an amazing gas exchange and air holding capacity when compared to soil. For this reason it is next to impossible to over water. Over watering is NOT to much water... its lack of o2. You will see this in soil with less drainage but because of coco's high drainage, air holding capacity and gas exchange its highly unlikely to see this in coco.

I do suggest if growing in more than 1 gal pots to add perlite if you are seeking faster grow rates. However if you want to water less often then you can eliminate the perlite as this will lower the drainage. As a rule of thumb:

1gal no perlite
2gal 20% perlite
3gal 30% perlite
4gal 40% perlite
5+gal 50% perlite

You can do more or less but it will affect the frequency of watering required. More perlite the more frequent you will have to feed. Personally I feel the better the drainage the faster the growth but its a balancing act and the above ratios i would say are a great place to start.

Coco has a low CEC (cation exchange capacity) so it does not hold onto nutrients as well as something like soil so we feed with every watering to keep a balanced nutrient ratio, ph and ppm in the coco. To do so we also need to flush out some of the last feed with each feeding to prevent a nutrient buildup which can affect all of these. THINK OF COCO AS SOILESS... much closer to hydro and very similar to rockwool.

I won't get into ppm in detail as thing will change quite a bit from grow to grow depending on many factors. But generally speaking start at around 300-400ppm and work up to around 800ppm. Now some may need to alter that as it will depend on your specific grow conditions.

HOW OFTEN DO WE FEED!!!

Ah the always debated subject.. 2 times a day, 1 time every 2 days, 10 times a day????

Forget that nonsense... like I say each grow is different so we need to use a better method. Let the plants tell you!!!!

Ok here is how we calculate it simply to your specific grow conditions, stage of growth, pot size and every other variable. You will never need to wonder am I feeding to much or to little again.

The formula:

1.Feed 5% of the pot size as your nutrient solution.
2. Of that we want 10-20% to come out as run off.
3. If you get more you can lower the frequency.
4. If we get less we need to increase the frequency and for that feed we need to add more to get our run off.

So I will do the calculations up to 5gal below to save you all some time. Feed the amount listed and check to make sure you get runoff of the amount listed from there adjust to dial in the feedings as they will change as the plants grow.

REMEMBER THIS IS A GUIDLINE AND NOT A HARD RULE. Our goal is to get as close as reasonably possible. It's not gonna kill your plants if its not exact.


I'm gonna round up.

1gal. Feed 250ml get 25-50ml of runoff

2gal. Feed 500ml get 50-100ml of runoff.

3gal. Feed 750ml get 75-150ml of runoff.

5 gal Feed 1litre get 100-200ml of runoff.

By doing this your plant will tell you how often you should be watering for best results.

Plant transpiration happens during photosynthesis so we only need to water during the lights on period. But in smaller containers you may find that you need to fertigate once in the middle of lights out if fertigation events are higher. Its unlikely but if your coco is dry before the first feed its not a bad idea to toss one in. Generally feed a couple hrs before lights out for the last time but you want to split the events evenly throughout lights on.

It may sound like you will be watering way to much but when you calculate how much you are feeding and then the frequency its not much more than most already do, just supplied in a manner that provides much greater stability. You will be using much smaller amounts of nutrient solution and by feeding much more frequently it doesn't take much to get your runoff while keeping the rootzone ph, ppm and moisture content ideal.

Really informative write up, Thank you!
this may be a stupid question? But I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere so I figured I would ask.
I haven’t been able to drop my root zone ph below 6.5-7 is this normal business with coco?
Inflow always 5.8, guy at the grow shop said not to worry about outflow PH in coco..?
Couple weeks back I wanted to drop my ph because my runoff was 6.5-7 so I fed at low 5 and the next day had crinkled leafs on one strain. Ppm was through the roof so I believe that did the leafs in, but hoping for clarity on outflow PH.

Thanks again, Blake
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Really informative write up, Thank you!
this may be a stupid question? But I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere so I figured I would ask.
I haven’t been able to drop my root zone ph below 6.5-7 is this normal business with coco?
Inflow always 5.8, guy at the grow shop said not to worry about outflow PH in coco..?
Couple weeks back I wanted to drop my ph because my runoff was 6.5-7 so I fed at low 5 and the next day had crinkled leafs on one strain. Ppm was through the roof so I believe that did the leafs in, but hoping for clarity on outflow PH.

Thanks again, Blake
I think you will find if you feed this way it will correct your issues. You may want to flush a 400-600ppm, ph and temp adjust nutrient solution through them to reset the media. Usually ph ppm and salinity issues are directly related to this.
 
mandoVol

mandoVol

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I think you will find if you feed this way it will correct your issues. You may want to flush a 400-600ppm, ph and temp adjust nutrient solution through them to reset the media. Usually ph ppm and salinity issues are directly related to this.

I think I got it licked. I should’ve started smaller for my first CoCo grow. You have to be able to get to your plants easily to see how much runoff you’re getting. I’m actually getting runoff with much less than 750mls. My runoff is around 700ppm.

Can you re-use your run-off?
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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I think I got it licked. I should’ve started smaller for my first CoCo grow. You have to be able to get to your plants easily to see how much runoff you’re getting. I’m actually getting runoff with much less than 750mls. My runoff is around 700ppm.

Can you re-use your run-off?
Yes and no.... depends on the runoff and sounds like you can... I dont but so long as its reasonably close to what you put in why not. I cant say I would recommend it
 
tobh

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Alright, imma throw a wrench up in here. Apologies Man of the Aqua, as I have not read this in full.

I'm wanting to run a f&d with six moms. Planning 1gal smart pots with pure coir.

I know this is regarded as unpreferred because of salt build up, but with your schedule, I don't see how salt could build up in the areas it matters -- ie, salt build up will happen in the top 1" - 2" of media as wicking will ensure solid saturation of the entire media on a rapid iteration cycle.

What are the public thoughts on this? Worst case, the f&d table can act simply as a drain table. Keep in mind, this will be *gasp* fully recirculating with coir.
 
Blakeja

Blakeja

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I think you will find if you feed this way it will correct your issues. You may want to flush a 400-600ppm, ph and temp adjust nutrient solution through them to reset the media. Usually ph ppm and salinity issues are directly related to this.

Thank you for getting back to me I think I’m a bit confused,

I had flushed down around 1000ppm which is what I was feeding prior.
this would of reset the media?
PH never changed during flushing, 1700ppm-1000.

what am I missing here?

thanks again,
 
unnerstall

unnerstall

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I bet with a good small sump pump on the floor of the tent that gets down to a low level like 1/8 inch you could push enough runoff to pump it back into the rez and basically run a recirculating system with very little fluctuations in ppm. Like what if you could do 100% runoff every time 10 times a day?

i want my babies to get the right mixture of nutes not some runoff mixture. I use mine to water my grass lol
 
MidwestToker

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Really informative write up, Thank you!
this may be a stupid question? But I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere so I figured I would ask.
I haven’t been able to drop my root zone ph below 6.5-7 is this normal business with coco?
Inflow always 5.8, guy at the grow shop said not to worry about outflow PH in coco..?
Couple weeks back I wanted to drop my ph because my runoff was 6.5-7 so I fed at low 5 and the next day had crinkled leafs on one strain. Ppm was through the roof so I believe that did the leafs in, but hoping for clarity on outflow PH.

Thanks again, Blake
I think if you look, the natural pH of coir is 6.4. Why chase pH of a medium with the same pH as the plants like?
Only thing I pH is aeroponic grows,
 
Marzcanna

Marzcanna

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I think this is one of the most asked questions when it comes to coco. As for myself I've tried everything. I think it's up to the grower, depanding on my time I ll feed 3-4 times a day and some days I ll water every other day. I have adopted the feed/water/feed schedule, watering with Cal mag. I know some growers will tell you to never to give it plain water etc. This is what worked for me
 
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