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growing in perlite

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by battosai, Jan 24, 2007.


    battosai Well-Known Member

    what do u guys think about using perlite as a hydro medium. i have a timer that i think is limited to 1.5 or 2.5 hours on/off. i want to use a water pump to flood something that will drain back into the originating water supply. its not a very strong pump, not sure of specifics--but is it possible to flood a chamber for 2.5 hours and have it off for a specified amount of time without hurting the plants?

    potroast Uses the Rollitup profile Staff Member

    I've never used perlite alone, but I don't think it would work very well in ebb&flo. You'll have to experiment with a container of it, and flood it repeatedly, and then see how long it retains moisture. As long as it stays in place in the pot, it will work.

    My first hydro grows, I used pea gravel. :mrgreen:

    MRbudsmoker Well-Known Member

    hey dude, i thought u flodded it ror 15 mins 3 tims a day.pertite should be oh tho eh? or i heard u can use hay and bark as well which i thought is poo

    110smoker Active Member

    the roots should not be under water for more than 6-8 minuets in an ebb and flow system.
    Garden Knowm

    Garden Knowm The Love Doctor

    Hey Batt :)

    I think it is safe to (start experimenting) flood for 5 minutes 3 times when the lights are on and 1 time when the lights are off...


    potenza Well-Known Member

    i read that clones should be rooted in perlite

    duble08 Active Member

    perlite by itself is an awesome medium to grow in - if you do a drip system, you can use 100% perlite (get the chunky stuff) and it'll work great - watch your nutrient levels though - perlite absorbs nutrients really well, so an occassional flush or decrease in nutrients is neccesarry to avoid nutrient lock. as far as ussing a flood system with perlite, i wouldn't recommend it. if you've ever watered perlite before, you'll notice the rocks tend to float a bit upon adding water. i would imagine having a ebb + flo system would just make a huge mess, pushing out all the perlite from the bottom and causing it to overflow from the top.
    Bongo gypsie

    Bongo gypsie Member

    I know this is a late reply to an old post but I'd love to know how you got on, did you try the perlite? I was hoping to do the same thing with a drip feed system.

    dakota166 Member

    im out of the ecp so can i use perlite im useing bubbleponics with an airstone and stuff and i also herd that vermaculite perlite mix would work too

    pdillo Well-Known Member

    I've had good luck with perlite as a hydro medium, first in hempy buckets and now in an ebb n flow SOG opp. I recently started putting a square of sure to grow matting on the bottom of a 1 gallon nursery pot, then filling it up with perlite. I flood 3 times for 5 minutes during lights on, works great. I like the perlite (normal size) from the hydro shop rather than miracle gro perlite from home depot because miracle gro perlite tends to be contaminated.

    poindexterous Active Member

    Perlite is a great medium, I've used it alone for years with top feed. It would be a total pain with ebb and flow as it floats. I use regular "course" nursery grade. Best to use it in pots with small drain holes like Hydrofarm square white pots to avoid a mess. Also be sure to wet it before filling pots or it will be dusty and mineral dust is bad to breathe. Once wet it's easy to work with.

    kpw555 Well-Known Member

    Perlite rocks :lol: in ebb and flow!!

    I tried a lot of other things too before I settled on perlite.

    Hydroton- Really expensive and hard to clean.
    coco- Good result but messy as hell!
    rockwool- Hard to water correctly and still a bit pricey in bulk.
    gravel- Cheap, but really heavy and hard to deal with in more than one pot quantities!

    As has been mentioned earlier perlite comes in different sizes from BB & dust sized, to the size of big marbles. In my experience the smaller size packs up tight & hard by the end of the run and I think it hurts the flow of nutes within the pot, but still works. The bigger size works very well, and after the plant is harvested it is still loose and airy, and the nutes still flow throughout the pot during flood.

    I do 12 pots a week and I don't re-use the perlite so any pestilence that was there gets thrown away so my garden is constantly refreshing. No media stays in the garden for more than 7 weeks. Costs about .60 a pot for this method.

    The pots will float however if not weighted down. As I said, I don't re-use the perlite but I re-use the pots and about 5 smooth stones that I put in the bottom of the pot to keep it down during flood. I drill 8 equally spaced 3/4 inch holes around the bottom of each 6 x 8 inch pot, making sure that the hole is more into the side than the bottom so it drains well. Also I line the bottom of the pots with cheap landscape fabric to keep the perlite out of my pumps.

    Always top water the pots out of the res before you flood the first time, and it doesn't float in the pot.

    This Buds for You (4).jpg

    mydogisaburnout Member

    .. Needed something catchy for the title. I'm still very green but experiment, way more then I should :D
    The set up I have with perlite is as follows, and if people want a follow up I will.
    2 x 5Gallon pots
    1st bucket has about 100 1/8th inch holes on the bottom
    2nd bucket is normal no holes or anything.
    I put 4 inches of perlite in both buckets
    I add water to the bucket with NO holes on the bottom, until the perlite is saturated and floating on about 3,4 inches of water.
    I put the bucket with all the holes on the bottom in the bucket with perlite and water, I satureate all of that perlite on the top bucket, then pot my plant directly in the perlite.
    I also have a 1/2 clear pvc hose from the water in the bottom bucket through the bottom of the 2nd bucket
    hanging a foot over the edge. (To blow air in to the water)

    mydogisaburnout Member

    This is what I was talking about

    lagarrettBLUNT Active Member


    DustBomb Active Member

    y cant u just have one bucket with 1 hole 2-3inchs up which act as your reservoir and call it a day.

    MongoGardner Member

    Searching around I found this old thread and your post and have an answer for you and question for everyone..the reason why you want more holes is so that air can get (and flow) through the pot and medium and into the roots when it isn't flooded. A 1" hole is big enough to let the medium escape but not necessarily enough to let air in? Maybe it is, but seems to me you'd want more air flow.

    My question for everyone on this same topic is about the aeration of the roots. I'm using a homemade plastic bin with lid that I cut out holes in the top of to set the pots in. My initial concern was keeping the light out away from the roots and water, but now I'm concerned whether I have enough air getting to the roots. The pots are 5"width by 6" deep with 1/4" holes on the bottom and 1/8" holes all along the sides. Medium is about 1.5" of hydrotone clay on the bottom, about a 20/80 hydro clay/perlite mix for most of it, and then another layer of 1" or so hydroton clay on the top to help weigh the pot and perlite down. (btw, I've had no issues with the perlite being messy or floating w/this setup.) SO since my flood tray is for the most part "sealed shut"..probably doesn't get a lot of air circulating in there. Do you think the flooding (about 80% of the tray) pushes the old air out, and the drain sucks in enough fresh air? I've been running 6x a day every 4 hours, seems to be just about right for the perlite/clay mix.

    drolove Well-Known Member

    you can use perlite but its hard to keep it in its containers

    Moebius Well-Known Member

    Ive seen some videos recently of a substrate called MAPITO. Looks easier to work with than Perlite, especially in a flood system. I'm trying it from next week.

    justhavinago86 New Member

    that will work in a dwc but not very effective just use hydroton balls if your gonna go soilless perlite won't give enough stabiltiy on its own

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