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First time hydro grower

davec123

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Hey all,

I am planning my first hydroponics grow and I have a few questions.

1) I read a thread where someone said they didn't check the pH for 2 days and their plants are dying... Do I really have to check the pH that often? How often should I check it?

2) I also heard/read it is best to use flourescents for the first one & 1/2 weeks, then switch to Metal Halide for vegetation, then to HPS for the flowering. Is this a good idea? Should I run my flourescents throughout the entire grow? I have all three types of light, should I do some type of combination?

3) In my past soil-growing experiences I have germinated the seed first. Should I still do this with my hydro system?

4) Is the Flora Kit a good Nutrient kit?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
 

GenHydro

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yes the ph is definately one of the only critical things about hydroponics. If you're water is soft, and you use pro nutes, that's not going to be a consideration, because pro nutes are buffered pretty well. People will tell you 'i never check mine,' etc etc. People will also tell you that Bill Clinton didn't inhale. But seriously, there are people who never check theirs, because their water doesn't make the ph climb... typically, in most places in the world, the Earths bedrock is limestone.... and, limestone, has several incarnations; from stuff so hard you can make the Courthouse pillars from it, to Flooring tile, to.... calcium carbonate, my friend...the little white rings that are left when water dries? and it will make the p.h. climb in an eerily persistent way, at times.

When you start with hydro you can roll the dice, or you can buy a 25 dollar ppm meter. Typically you'll need one. Do a lot of reading about 'ph keeps rising' etc on google... i promise most of the returns on a search will be from pot growers on various sites lol! i'm not kidding about that; see calcium carbonate, and it's water soluble sister calcium BI carbonate, are good, for just about everything in the world: except laundry ladies, and pot growers.

Typically without any analysis, if you draw up some tap water, and then stick a ppm meter in it, about 85 or 90% of the parts per million, are going to be calcium carbonate, or calcium bi carbonate; a hundred parts per million is easily buffered by pro nutes. 200, then wellllll...... you might want to find some 'hard water formulation' pro nutes. They're out there.

If the p.h. swings man, that's not good. The plants will show a bewildering syndrome of combined nutrient deficiency symptoms, and you'll totally be like..... ***?. It's not fun.

But the more water, the easier it is to stabilize. And, that's one main reason people like DeepWaterCulture (dwc) grows so much.. the mass of water, once stabilized, is less likely to swing much.

The other things you're gonna have to face are the absolute need for oxygen, (very easy to supply) and the temperatures have to be kept within a half-ass reasonable level, the premium temp considered to be 68 or so degrees. 66 is ok, 72 is ok, but low sixties, the plants tend to slow down - more so, if the canopy is cold, too, and, if they go high, the potential for root-rot fungi, (pythium family primarily) to get a real hold, and take off, grows. Oxygenation suppresses this. Oxygenation also suppresses the carboniferous (carbon eating) bacteria that try to live in water. These cause sliming of the water at times. Oxygen is your friend, and like money, the more of it you have, the more dumb **** you can get away with, and not get spanked; to a point... again like money lol.

The flouros and metal halide as you know are bluer than hps; and, they'll tend to shorten the inter nodal distance, and help you grow a bush, not a small tree of switches, or mini fishing poles... but, if the other things are in good shape, they'll still be fine under the hps only. If you've got blue and orange light, use both... if you don't, no biggie. There are other ways to make the plants bush out, such as LowStressTraining, Supercropping, etc, which you already probably know about.

A lot of people start vegging with the blue light, then switch to orange light to save bulbs, and save electricity. If you've grown before, the canopy functions identically in hydro to the way it does in soil.


And yes, typically you do germ before actually planting, in hydro.. i myself use a faux aeroponic setup, that will germinate seeds in the container you grow in, and mine never see medium of any kind. i grow in a pool noodle puck, and start the seeds in a little tuft of polyfill, because my aeroponic unit pushes mist; the seeds sense the mist, sprout, and off to the races we go.. but yea.. you germ before actually planting, 90 % of the time.

FloraNova is the newer General Hydroponics formulation, that answers the need for people wanting a simpler, non 3-part nutrient setup. Previously, everybody sold three part nutrients; grow, bloom, and micro nutrient formulations; however the famous Lucas, who invented the way of growing with the OLD three part nute system, while only actually USING, two of those parts - the micro, and bloom - are very very popular.

In flora nova there's only grow and bloom, and the micronutrients are somehow combined into them. I don't use pro nutes, so i'm far, far from qualified to talk to you much about them.

Hopefully man, you won't freak out at the thought of having to learn a whole lot, about a whole lot, just so you can understand when people are talking about this, that, or the other.....

for instance if i told you i was growing in a f.a.g. not a t.a.g, using the n.f.t. of the spinner, with a 5 inch s.w.c. crop saver, you'd probably be like, *** is this clown talking about...

well, thats a 'faux aeroponic grow', not a 'true aeroponic grow', using the nutrient film technique of the humidifier spinning disk i use to distribute my water, with a Shallow Water Culture style, 'crop saver' in the bottom, for the roots to hang in, in case my mister goes out....

DWC is Deep Water Culture; SWC is Shallow... NFT is nutrient film technique, E&F is Ebb and Flow; A 'recirc dwc' is a recirculationg deep water culture, and a 'bubbler' is a non pump style root immersion grow, typically simply a DWC, that uses an aquarium air pump to aerate the nutes.

since there are lots of types, and people are both tired of typing, and, interesting in seeming like some kind of guru, or scientist, when actually most of em aren't you'll have to spend a lot of nights working out on the bong, and reading a lot of bullshit coupled with a lot of non bullshit..

Good luck homie.. as you know, blockade running, freedom loving, renegade 'do as i damned well see fit' types have to be innovative, intuitive, bright, quick, and it helps to be smart...

OverGrow the World.

Peace.
 

davec123

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Thanks for all of that. I have been reading hydro. info like crazy and I'm starting to understand what I am going to be dealing with. I figure if I get enough reading in I should be able to have a successful grow, and hopefully through trial and error I can learn what I didn't through my reading.

I will be starting my grow within a couple of weeks and I'll post pics and info in the Grow Journals section.

Thanks again.
 

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