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Thread: 1st timer, w/Hydroton, could use a little help...

  1. #1
    TMusic's Avatar
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    1st timer, w/Hydroton, could use a little help...

    I'm a first timer, so I'm obviously going to have some questions. After reading about growing for the last 10 years or so, i decided to give it a shot. I spent the last 3 weeks in this forum reading everything I could (THANK YOU ALL), decided what would be best for me and went to the store. The guy talked me in to a few changes but I came out happy and spent a exactly what I wanted to.

    My space is a bathtub (about 2.5 ft x 4.5ft x 7ft) in a full bath.

    400w HPS
    Digital Ballast (MH or HPS)
    24x48 Tray
    Bag of Hydroton
    30 Gal Reservoir
    Pump, Hose, Tubing for Drip system
    Smaller pump to circulate water in reservoir
    Long Airstone
    A box of the CO2 pucks that you put in water

    I'm 7 days in. Started from seeds. I planted 7 seeds from the steady flow of purple we've had for the past 6 months. All 7 sprouted, 6 of them made it. I started in Rapid Rooters, stuck the seed right in, pushed it down a little.... They're about 1 1/2 inches tall and are all starting they're second set of true leaves, one of them, which i think is a different strain, is 2 or 2/12 inches tall and has started it's 3rd set.

    Here I am 7 days later and I need a few questions answered before I can move on...i think.

    I took the plugs and put them in the Hydroton about level with the plug. They've been in the system since day 4 and I've been giving them about a 33% nute solution (technaflora products) all seems fine...

    I have the light on 24/7, when do I switch to 18/6?

    I don't have a dripper tip in the end of my tubing for each plant, it gently flows out of it right now, no splashing or anything like that, is this ok?

    I've been feeding every 4 hours for 5 minutes. How will that change once I start the lights on 18/6?

    I've read that I can water every 3 hours for 4 minutes but when it comes to using Hydroton, everyone seems to say something different when it comes to a feeding schedule.

    Thank you.

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  3. #2
    GoldenGoblin's Avatar
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    I think why everyone is on the fence is because Hydroton doesn't hold water (or enough anyway)

    Everything looks good with everything, 18/6 is another fence issue. It allows the plant a regular Calvin cycle
    Personally, I think the dark reactions are just as important as light ones.

    As to constant drip I am not to sure. Rockwool watering is usually 15min every 4ish hours though.
    I might say you need more intervals. Is it really aerated? Root rot in your situation could be drainage. No standing water in your pots?
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  4. #3
    Opie Yutts's Avatar
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    I took the plugs and put them in the Hydroton about level with the plug. They've been in the system since day 4 and I've been giving them about a 33% nute solution (technaflora products) all seems fine...
    Plants should have no nutes the first two weeks, then 1/4 strength for a week, then half, then full to be safe. But if everything is fine, I guess you don't need to worry about it.

    I have the light on 24/7, when do I switch to 18/6?
    Now. Plants take in the stuff they need during light hours, and process the stuff during dark hours. They need both unless you are rooting cuttings. I have only two light schedules. 18/6 and 12/12. People may say different, but I don't think adjusting those schedules will do much of anything.

    I don't have a dripper tip in the end of my tubing for each plant, it gently flows out of it right now, no splashing or anything like that, is this ok?
    That's fine. There will be plenty of splashing from your air stone and res. pump. But it should be more like dripping instead of flowing.

    I've been feeding every 4 hours for 5 minutes. How will that change once I start the lights on 18/6?
    Feeding schedules on systems like yours are very debatable, and as varied as the systems are. You just need to keep one thing in mind; you want your roots to get as much oxygen as possible without stressing the plants. This means that you actually want your roots as dry as possible. Believe me this is the key. Light schedule will not matter, just make sure the roots don't completley dry out, but are as dry as possible. I have a hybrid spray/dwc type thingee, and I water for 30 seconds every 10 minutes. For the most part this is pretty typical.

    I've read that I can water every 3 hours for 4 minutes but when it comes to using Hydroton, everyone seems to say something different when it comes to a feeding schedule.
    You need to remember that there are many growing mediums, and all require different care and schedules. For example rocwool holds way too much moisture in my opinion, so I would water much less often in that than I would clay pellets (Hydroton is a brand). Bleah, I hate rockwool. Way too easy to get root rot, mold, etc.

    Hope that helps a little.
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  5. #4
    TMusic's Avatar
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    I did my 1st 6 hour dark period, fed about 3 hours before the lights went off, 1 five minute feeding in the middle. 2 of the plants turned their largest leaves (1st set) up like a V. Is this ok.... I read somewhere that it is, but I figured I'd just ask the ? They're were at about a 45 degree angle and have gone back down a little in the last 3 hours.

    Also, do the cotelydons fall off? If so, what does this process look like? One of them on my tallest plant is covered by the 2nd set of leaves and is turning yellow.
    Last edited by TMusic; Aug-22-2007 at 23:23.

  6. #5
    HighTillIDie is offline Registered+
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    man my plants are only a week old, but the nutes in my res are about 75%... a couple plants started to yellow a tad and show calcium defiancy so i had to up my nute strength.. so i say, let your plants tell you, every system is diff... i am using a dwc/wick, with hydroton... i foliar feed every now and then a slightly weaker version of the nutes in res.

    i am experimenting with 24 light for about 3 days, and i am getting good results, i just had to find a way to keep humidity and temp right at the plant level. i will give them their first nighttime tonight....

    and ya, you are describing when they fall off

  7. #6
    TMusic's Avatar
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    I had them on 24/0 for the 1st 10 days, first night time today, went to 18/6. Foliar fed them some 50% Thrive Alive B1 Green just as the light went out. The shortest is about 1 1/2" the tallest is about 2 1/2".

    I plan on switching out my reservoir tomorrow, its been a week in the system. I picked up some MagiCal and Sugar Daddy to add in with the boost and grow, not sure if i should do that now or wait until the next change. (1 week)

    I've been at 368 ppm for the last 7 days, that's the boost, grow, thrive alive red, and root 66. Less than 50% of each recommended. I'm planning on dropping the Root 66 and starting on the MagiCal and Sugar Daddy along with the boost, grow, and B1. I'm assuming that I can increase the ppm of my solution with a single change...??? From 368-500ish? Or do I need to do it more gradually.

    If I'm doing something wrong, please tell me, I've been growing for about 10 days.

  8. #7
    TMusic's Avatar
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    This is day 11. here are a couple pics, is the yellow on the bottom ok?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1st timer, w/Hydroton, could use a little help...-dsc00274.jpg   1st timer, w/Hydroton, could use a little help...-dsc00287.jpg   1st timer, w/Hydroton, could use a little help...-dsc00283.jpg  

    1st timer, w/Hydroton, could use a little help...-dsc00275.jpg  

  9. #8
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    Yellowing as shown in your pics is completely normal. Those bottom baby leaves fall off just like peoples baby teeth fall out. I would not be giving them so much ingredients in their nutes. Don't get so technical man. At that stage I switch to about 1/4 strength veg nutes, then gradually increase to full strength or so. You don't need anything else if you have good nutes like Fox Farm's Grow Big. If anything, I would probably add just a couple drops per gallon of Super Thrive or Liquid Karma, but your crop will turn out fine without anything but veg nutes. I get a little more technical during flowering, but not much. Just bud nutes, and a boost or two.

    Also, have you ever thought of making a cheapo airocloner and keeping a couple mothers? Much better results then rooting seeds in peat pellets. You can use scarification (search) to make massive amounts of root sites, and you can just lay the roots in the pot with some capilary matting (like a wick), and fill in the pellets around the roots. Good luck.
    Last edited by Opie Yutts; Aug-23-2007 at 16:08.
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    Everything I say in this forum is completely true, and should be construed as fact. I do smoke weed, and sometimes I eat it. Not only that I sell it, along with every other drug known to man and a few that aren't. Everything I do is 100% illegal, and I condone others breaking the law. All pictures that I post are not taken from the internet, but are of my own illegal operation. Also, I speed and don't come to complete stops at stop signs.

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    What is the science behind not giving them nutes? Overload potential? If the're not in soil, and they're not gettting any supplemental nutrition, how are they expected to grow to their full potential with water alone? or even 1/4 stregnth?

    I'm just trying to understand the "Why"? Only because everyone does something different, an educated guess is what I'm after.

  11. #10
    TMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opie Yutts View Post
    Don't get so technical man. At that stage ...
    ... your crop will turn out fine without anything but veg nutes. I get a little more technical during flowering, but not much. Just bud nutes, and a boost or two.

    Also, have you ever thought of making a cheapo airocloner and keeping a couple mothers? Much better results then rooting seeds in peat pellets. You can use scarification (search) to make massive amounts of root sites, and you can just lay the roots in the pot with some capilary matting (like a wick), and fill in the pellets around the roots. Good luck.
    won't the wicking material keep it from drying out? Isn't there enough moisture in the rapid rooter to hold it through until the next watering?

    unless i'm misunderstanding you, that seems a little complicated. Handling roots? When will I be doing that?

    Didn't you just tell me not to get too technical? ...or am I missing something?

  12. #11
    TMusic's Avatar
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    here are a couple pics.... last night I left some frozen ice pops (the flavored ones) in the tank, trying to lower the temp a few degrees, a couple leaked, made the water a little cloudy. I changed the water, flushed the plants a couple times.

    The leaves are twisting on a couple of them and one has a brown spot in the middle of 1 leaf. A couple of them look a little droopy, but a couple look unaffected.

    If anyone can tell me how bad this is, i'd appreciate it.

    I feel so stupid!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1st timer, w/Hydroton, could use a little help...-dsc00317.jpg   1st timer, w/Hydroton, could use a little help...-dsc00320.jpg   1st timer, w/Hydroton, could use a little help...-dsc00292.jpg  

    1st timer, w/Hydroton, could use a little help...-dsc00311.jpg   1st timer, w/Hydroton, could use a little help...-dsc00312.jpg  
    Last edited by TMusic; Aug-24-2007 at 17:46.

  13. #12
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    Freeze pops ? WTF? Use plastic milk jugs (quarts), soft drink bottles, water bottles, whatever.......fill 2/3 full with water, freeze, and drop them in rez. worst can happen if they bust is that your nute solution gets diluted.

    I have no idea what is in a freeze pop, or care, but I am going to make a wild guess and say its not what your plant likes. Probably some kind of juice concentrate (acidic) or some shit.

    Whats pH of nute solution now ?
    How did you flush a couple times in a day ?
    What did you flush with ?

    You need to give 'em some pH'd water at about 5.6 or so, maybe a bump of ST with something like FLora Kleen and let em rest for a few days while they cycle that thru.

    And COVER that hydroton. It needs ZERO light shining on it.


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  14. #13
    TMusic's Avatar
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    ph is 5.9

    flushed with 30% nute solution, as soon as I figured out that this happened.

    my 6 hour dark starts at noon and I had about 20 mins to change the water. left the pump on for about 15 minutes, at 3pm, ran it again for 5 minutes.

    how do I get the water to it if its covered?

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    the plants get watered every three hours for 5 minutes. they got the shitty water maybe three times. it was about 10 hours.

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    jammin26 is offline Registered+
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    have you seen this:
    YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.
    search for marijuana grow
    there is a 9part video of a green man explaining hydro grow

  17. #16
    TMusic's Avatar
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    Thanks but that doesn't help.

  18. #17
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    They're still looking a little droopy, how long does it usually take for them to recover?

  19. #18
    TMusic's Avatar
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    What do I "flush" with, and how often?

  20. #19
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    Flushing only needs to be done in 3 events IMO, when you over do it on the nutes or the PH gets out of hand. When you switch from Veg to flower and the final flush before harvest.

    Droopy plants normally mean too little or too much water, they aren't getting enough O2 to the roots or they really need a drink. Find out which one it is and slowly adjust your watering schedule to the plants needs + or -.

    When you flush your plants use pure clean water and to speed up the process use flora clean or a flushing product, it weakens the bond the nutes have with the plants allowing them to be removed easier.

    As long as your PH is ok I don't think the pops hurt the plant...its mostly sugar and water. They don't look all that bad really, they are still really small so take it easy on the nutes until the 5th or so growth node, then kick it up.

    Just be patient and your plants will tell you what they need, you will probably do more harm being overattentive to everything. They need consistency, good water, nutes, ventilation, proper lighting and the right temp./humid...most overlooked is ventilation, its vital to get good growth and for the plant to strengthen itself.

    Is this some sort of drip/DWC system?

    Keep your res temps 68 or so also...key point in DWC. I wouldn't even screw with the drip part just keep the airstones going and they will splash the right amount of water of the bottom of the pots.

    You don't need to change out a res that size very often at all....plants that size didn't even make a dent in the nute solution, the reason for changing out the res is that the plants take in nutes and dump out waste, this process will make your solution unbalanced so monitor by PPM, PH, and what your plants look like....I might even keep them in the same nute solution for 3-4 weeks it just depends on how much they are eating.

    You don't have to cover the hydroton...it would be better though, less light to the roots and nutes = no algae and better root development.
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    TMusic's Avatar
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    Thank you very much, that was exactly what I needed.

  22. #21
    HighTillIDie is offline Registered+
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    hydroton is fine, i love it, and i have seen great gardens with it. It can support very tall heavy plants like tomatoes with normal amounts of support. roots aren't that weak, and algea can be cleaned away, and all with normal maintanence. block any light to roots, ect.

    uh they look ok to me, a perfect plant is a rare thing

    don't water during dark, except maybe 15 mins before light, and i would water for a 15 min duration.. don't water an hour or more before dark

  23. #22
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    So I was just assuming that my droopy plants was due to over watering, so I decreased the number of feedings to 5 per day, about every 4 hours when the lights are on, for 15 minutes... And my plants look even worse. Plants can get droopy from underwatering too right? Everything else is right. Temp in the box is 77 or 78, fans inside, on the hood, ph is right, rez temp is about 72.

    Am i doing something else wrong, or do I need to relax?

  24. #23
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    [QUOTE=GoldenGoblin;1609189]I think why everyone is on the fence is because Hydroton doesn't hold water (or enough anyway)

    hydroton holds water really well. I have personally seen that it is possible to overwater hydroton.I have pictures of overwatered hydroton in flood and drain system in my "pro hydro" log.

    just like hightillidie said "no water during night cycle."

    have you ever used hydroton??? if not ....then please dont comment on it.

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  25. #24
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    Hey man- I've had very good luck w/ pot of hydroton just being constantly top fed by 1/4" line w/ return to res.

    If you're gonna run constant, aerate the res.

  26. #25
    TMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonite View Post
    Flushing only needs to be done in 3 events IMO, when you over do it on the nutes or the PH gets out of hand. When you switch from Veg to flower and the final flush before harvest.

    Droopy plants normally mean too little or too much water, they aren't getting enough O2 to the roots or they really need a drink. Find out which one it is and slowly adjust your watering schedule to the plants needs + or -.

    When you flush your plants use pure clean water and to speed up the process use flora clean or a flushing product, it weakens the bond the nutes have with the plants allowing them to be removed easier.

    As long as your PH is ok I don't think the pops hurt the plant...its mostly sugar and water. They don't look all that bad really, they are still really small so take it easy on the nutes until the 5th or so growth node, then kick it up.

    Just be patient and your plants will tell you what they need, you will probably do more harm being overattentive to everything. They need consistency, good water, nutes, ventilation, proper lighting and the right temp./humid...most overlooked is ventilation, its vital to get good growth and for the plant to strengthen itself.

    Is this some sort of drip/DWC system?

    Keep your res temps 68 or so also...key point in DWC. I wouldn't even screw with the drip part just keep the airstones going and they will splash the right amount of water of the bottom of the pots.

    You don't need to change out a res that size very often at all....plants that size didn't even make a dent in the nute solution, the reason for changing out the res is that the plants take in nutes and dump out waste, this process will make your solution unbalanced so monitor by PPM, PH, and what your plants look like....I might even keep them in the same nute solution for 3-4 weeks it just depends on how much they are eating.

    You don't have to cover the hydroton...it would be better though, less light to the roots and nutes = no algae and better root development.

    so i got the nutes down to 350 ppm, the water from the store is about 80 to start with. Ph is good, temp in the box is 67-68 during the dark period, 77-81 during the light, reservoir temp is 69-72. I left the pump off for a few extra hours just to be sure I'm not overwatering and they looked a little droopy. So I fed them for 15 mins, lights went out... 6 hours later they all look a little better and they all look better now. the droopy ones are picking up. a couple of the second set of leaves are still curling under but seem to be getting better...def not worse though. I have the feeding down to 15 minutes every hour and 15 mins, during the light period.

    Its not a dwc system, just a drip...and the drip comes out more like a constant stream, maybe 1 gallon per minute.

    The one with the brown sopts has more brown spots now and they're lightening up, more golden brown that poo brown, and also on the opposite leaf, this one particular plant seems a little more sensitive than the others. smaller leaves, they're all twisting or coming out long and skinny.

    Some of the other ones are getting really purple towards the center of growth...inside of the leaves and the stem. 4 of these plants are from some incredible purps we've been getting solidly for the past 6 months.

    The 5th plant is supposedly some mango kush? ?Its growing twice as fast as all of the others. I don't really know, but it was an incredibe smoke...

    Considering I only have about 36-40 inches at max, when shoud i start worrying about height training, if I should at all.


    Will adding CO2 help me out at all?

    As you can see, I'm kinda lost as to what "theory" I'm going to use. There are so many different options, and I've read everything I could about all of them but I still can't decide.

    Any suggestions on what direction I should go with this grow?

    Right now I have 5 plants as described above and I have them in a 2x4 tray, 400w Eye Hortilux hps (50,000+ lumens, and a drip/flow system, hydroton with rapid rooter plugs,20 gal reservoir. Technaflora products---grow, boost, bloom, magical, sugar daddy, thrive alive red and green, awesome blossom.
    Last edited by TMusic; Aug-27-2007 at 00:02.

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