Transitioning From Dtw Coco Coir To Rockwool

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ethcan

ethcan

Hello all. Small commercial grower here.

I am considering switching over from 3 gallon coco coir drain to waste grow over to rockwool.

I'd like to hear some information from people who have ran both.

All I know is coco. I have never used rockwool except in cloning, and literally need to learn it from the ground up.
I've got about 2.5 months to figure it all out before giving it a test run.

I currently have floraflex caps over my coco pots, and will likely run those again over the rockwool.


So..... what is feeding like? How many times per day? I run through about 25 gallons per day of nutrient solution watering 150 sites. This is with heavy runoff (15%-30%). They are fed twice per day in flower. I'd imagine rockwool will be very different.
 
4plant

4plant

Are you going to run 4" blocks cut into slabs or Hugo blocks independently? Different combos hold moisture differently so drip times will vary. No cec in Rockwool is nice though
 
cemchris

cemchris

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Depending on how you were running your Coco exactly the same. Rockwool will prob want to get feed more then twice a day. If I do full min watering on wool I cant go more then 3-5 hrs between waterings. If I'm doing small feeds (10-30 secs) its on the hr. Was a Coco warrior for years and now strait wool and only wool and never anything but wool. WOOL.

But seriously the only thing you might have to change up is back off the watering a little after you transplant clones. Over watering rockwool at that stage will lazy them up and lag the plant. Other then that its pretty much the same vs not having to deal with washing pots and having fucking coco everywhere. Oh and cutting down the trash after a run in like half or more. Dial it in just like you did Coco but you don't need as much runoff. The only difference you will really notice at first is rockwool can get way drier then coco and still be 5 x 5. You want dry cycles with the lights off but don't really want them drying with the lights on. There is a happy balance. As the cube dries out the ph/ppm start to swing inside the cube. So the trick is to keep them at a happy medium where the cube is staying near the feed input PH wise. Not too wet not too dry. Tuning this is where you start to see rockwool shine and really start killing the game.

Me personally I run sterile only in wool. It just takes a bunch of guessing and potential problems out of the mix I never have to worry about. 12-17 Hugos (6in non quick drains) use about 50 gals a week for me if that helps. Not a lot of runoff (maybe fill a 90 gal runoff res about 1/2 - 3/4 through an entire run maybe less per 4x8)

As far as flex caps on rockwool. If you already have them great. If not I would skip them. I use them on my Moms I hand water in wool. Too fucking expensive to kit out a whole grow with them and its one more thing to wash at the end with no real benefit and honestly if you are dripping them right you would never fill the top of one anyways unless you are using the ones with built in drippers. Rockwool is a sponge so a single 1/4 at the base will do just fine (for 6in cubes at least).
 
ethcan

ethcan

Depending on how you were running your Coco exactly the same. Rockwool will prob want to get feed more then twice a day. If I do full min watering on wool I cant go more then 3-5 hrs between waterings. If I'm doing small feeds (10-30 secs) its on the hr. Was a Coco warrior for years and now strait wool and only wool and never anything but wool. WOOL.

But seriously the only thing you might have to change up is back off the watering a little after you transplant clones. Over watering rockwool at that stage will lazy them up and lag the plant. Other then that its pretty much the same vs not having to deal with washing pots and having fucking coco everywhere. Oh and cutting down the trash after a run in like half or more. Dial it in just like you did Coco but you don't need as much runoff. The only difference you will really notice at first is rockwool can get way drier then coco and still be 5 x 5. You want dry cycles with the lights off but don't really want them drying with the lights on. There is a happy balance. As the cube dries out the ph/ppm start to swing inside the cube. So the trick is to keep them at a happy medium where the cube is staying near the feed input PH wise. Not too wet not too dry. Tuning this is where you start to see rockwool shine and really start killing the game.

Me personally I run sterile only in wool. It just takes a bunch of guessing and potential problems out of the mix I never have to worry about. 12-17 Hugos (6in non quick drains) use about 50 gals a week for me if that helps. Not a lot of runoff (maybe fill a 90 gal runoff res about 1/2 - 3/4 through an entire run maybe less per 4x8)

As far as flex caps on rockwool. If you already have them great. If not I would skip them. I use them on my Moms I hand water in wool. Too fucking expensive to kit out a whole grow with them and its one more thing to wash at the end with no real benefit and honestly if you are dripping them right you would never fill the top of one anyways unless you are using the ones with built in drippers. Rockwool is a sponge so a single 1/4 at the base will do just fine (for 6in cubes at least).
Great information you've provided for me here. Everything you stated is very helpful. The cleanliness, lack of extra (unnecessary) labor and garbage disposal are my main reasons for changing over, and anyone running a grow of a decent size with a bottom line will know that these are very relevant concerns.

Did some brain picking with my guy. We went over Grodan's rockwool guidelines. 3% saturation feeds 3 times per day, first watering event within 1 hour of lights on and no more watering events 2 hours before lights off.

Interesting you mention about the Floraflex. I really like them for what I'm doing now, but is it really true that better more even distribution of solution is not necessary for the 'wool?



To those responses above, thinking straight hugo's.
 
ethcan

ethcan

Here's what I'm growing in coco these day:


EDIT: Shit. The images didn't work. Maybe I don't have image privileges yet?
 
4plant

4plant

If you use 2 drippers per site they will saturate evenly. I heard Hugo blocks wool are vertical so they can dry out quicker whereas 4" block on a uni slab has a horizontal orientation so it holds onto water better.
 
Aheadatime

Aheadatime

This topic is exactly what I came here looking to find! I'm considering the switch myself. Two questions.

1. How large of a plant can you get in a 6x6x6, from the perspective of sites per 1k light. For example, I run 4 plants per 1k non-cooled HPS in 2 gal pots with coco, and the stalks are huge at harvest. Would this rip the hugos up? Would they tip over? I see most warehouse growers cramming in as many sites per 1k as possible, and not many people using the 4 per light method. What's up with that?

2. If cloning in an aerocloner, what do you do with the rooted girls? Always seemed to me that if you wanted to use rockwool, you had to start with it. Can you just squeeze them into a starter cube and put that into a 6incher?
 
4plant

4plant

1. As far as the roots zone is concerned you can have an enormous plant feeding on a Hugo block as long as you're saturating frequently enough. supporting a plant that becomes very top-heavy towards the end of harvest may be a different story but nothing you can't support properly yourself. Commercial Growers are just trying to fill a certain canopy size, they can shorten veg Time by using more plants .
2. You could probably do that might be stressful on young roots. I would probably get some one and a half inch cubes slice them in half as soon as you see roots close the cube on it and then put it in the Hugo.
- if you're interested in Hugo's check out 4 inch cubes into uni slabs I think that's a better way to keep the roots moist might be a little sturdier too.
 
cemchris

cemchris

Staff member
Supporter
This topic is exactly what I came here looking to find! I'm considering the switch myself. Two questions.

1. How large of a plant can you get in a 6x6x6, from the perspective of sites per 1k light. For example, I run 4 plants per 1k non-cooled HPS in 2 gal pots with coco, and the stalks are huge at harvest. Would this rip the hugos up? Would they tip over? I see most warehouse growers cramming in as many sites per 1k as possible, and not many people using the 4 per light method. What's up with that?

2. If cloning in an aerocloner, what do you do with the rooted girls? Always seemed to me that if you wanted to use rockwool, you had to start with it. Can you just squeeze them into a starter cube and put that into a 6incher?
#1- See 4plant answer. Veg time will decide that. Per 4x8 (2 - 1ks) I do 12-17 plants depending on how big they are. 4-6 weeks veg from rooted clone.

#2- If using an aero cloner you can use the Macro Plugs that are split down the side to insert the clone into and put into a cube vs using 1in or 1.5in rooting cubes.




As far as 4in and slabs vs 6in cubes I have done both. Got around the same yield. 4in and slabs ends up costing more per run vs 6 inchers plus veg time will come into play. I hand water veg and 4in will end up drying out too much before I transplant them. Something to consider if hand watering. I will say though I do like going the 4in slab method when doing large seed runs to find new moms. That ends up being cheaper on the blocks when pulling males ect.


Great information you've provided for me here. Everything you stated is very helpful. The cleanliness, lack of extra (unnecessary) labor and garbage disposal are my main reasons for changing over, and anyone running a grow of a decent size with a bottom line will know that these are very relevant concerns.

Did some brain picking with my guy. We went over Grodan's rockwool guidelines. 3% saturation feeds 3 times per day, first watering event within 1 hour of lights on and no more watering events 2 hours before lights off.

Interesting you mention about the Floraflex. I really like them for what I'm doing now, but is it really true that better more even distribution of solution is not necessary for the 'wool?



To those responses above, thinking straight hugo's.
Yeah. Specially in commercial setups have no idea why people run Coco. The amount of labor involved in flipping rooms is crazy compared to rockwool. Time is money on that front. The weird thing is in the EU Grodan offers rockwool recycling to commercial growers. Never saw that here when dealing with them. Another bonus if doing large setups is sweet talking a Grodan rep can get you a Growsense meter on loan/rent for cheap or free.


Yeah I really like the floraflex caps also and like I said if you have them they aren't bad. I'm not putting the product down by any means but for 6in cubes or less they just arent really needed imo. When you have multi rooms it starts getting a little steep with large plant counts. Using something like big mamas I would. Ive never had a problem with 1 dripper in a cube (1/4 line). The other thing I saw with Flex caps is a bigger problem with Thrips. It keeps a perfect environment for them between the cube and cap. I would just use the panda cutouts if I used anything on top nowadays. I just go for the ease of use and I like having my rooms and tables the only thing I have to wash at the end of a grow.
 
cemchris

cemchris

Staff member
Supporter
I can't tell you how many of the drip clips for the Flex caps I have lost or broke between runs. Not to mention the times they popped off the side of the cap. I ended up just drilling a hole into the side of the cap and ditched the clips.
 
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login

I couldn't keep my room cool enough for RW, I was getting this yellow fungus in the root zone even with 65f rez temp feedings and dry cycles with DM zone was no match for this yellow fungus shit. Now back in coco and no problems.
 
cannabeans

cannabeans

Question...
I understand there are environmental factors and plant size factors but what is considered a good dry down time for RW.
Should the wool be light before next watering.
I'm running blue dream vegged 2 weeks in 6" Hugo's then flipped .. the roots are just making there way to the bottom of the block. The plants are about 3 ft tall entering into their 2nd week of bloom. I have been hand watering once a day .. should I up it to 2 a day.
 
cannabeans

cannabeans

Been running coco for a while just looking to make the switch. Trying to reduce labor cost with smaller plants and lots more in RW...
 
cemchris

cemchris

Staff member
Supporter
Question...
I understand there are environmental factors and plant size factors but what is considered a good dry down time for RW.
Should the wool be light before next watering.
I'm running blue dream vegged 2 weeks in 6" Hugo's then flipped .. the roots are just making there way to the bottom of the block. The plants are about 3 ft tall entering into their 2nd week of bloom. I have been hand watering once a day .. should I up it to 2 a day.



http://www.sea-of-green.com/blog/crop-steering-with-rock-wool/

This is the best way to give you a visual on the real proper way to water rockwool. Each spike is a drip cycle. Now this won't really apply to hand watering like you are doing but gives you an idea of what's going on in the cube. Letting them dry out too much will up the ppm's and swing the PH to where you don't want it and cause issues with lockout and burn.

Tuning your watering in wool will take a little work. To get the best results with handwatering you are going to be on the edge of over dry and just the right amount of dry. I would say about 15-20% of the weight of a fully watered cube. I mean you could mimic the drip cycles but you would have to be in your gorw the whole time the lights are on which isn't feesable. If you are flowering I would be hand watering them at least 2 times the first week at min and after week 2 up that to 3 or 4 if using hugos. you might get away with 3 waterings but I don't think you will get away with anything less then that. My veg plants that I hand water in hugos after about 6 weeks have to be watered twice a day at a min (24/0 veg under 1k's turned to 600)
 
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