Using Hydroton/Clay pellets in Ebb and Flow

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by HotKarl2, May 11, 2018.

  1.  
    HotKarl2

    HotKarl2 Well-Known Member

    Does anyone here have any experience using Hydroton in Ebb and flow? I was thinking of switching from Rockwool as there is only so much my neighbors can till into their garden, and I have a garbage bag full of the Hydroton.

    I was thinking of filling some baskets and just putting the rooted 1'' cube in the basket with Hydroton. However as I've never done that before wondering about some tips, like how many times per day to flood, and should I cover the table with black plastic, etc. Anyone had good success with Hydroton on Ebb and Flow table?
     
  2.  
    kaoss_11

    kaoss_11 Active Member

    Yes you can do it. hydroton 70/30 waters are going to depend on your room conditions plant size etc. so only you can figure that out.
     
    HotKarl2 likes this.
  3.  
    Mr.Green Jeans

    Mr.Green Jeans Member

    I've actually been using this method for awhile now and really like my results. You get really great drainage using the pellets so there is a lot less chance of over watering. I have my tables covered. The amount of time I flood varies with strain and where the plant is, like for my master Kush I will fill the table 3 times during the light cycle and once during dark for the first 2 weeks then add another fill during the light for the next 2. For flowering for the first 3 weeks I will fill the table 4 times, at 3 weeks I will increase that to 7 times for weeks 4-7 then back to 5 times for weeks 8 and 9. I always have big hearty healthy buds and really good root systems doing it like that. Hope that helps.
     
    HotKarl2 likes this.
  4.  
    HotKarl2

    HotKarl2 Well-Known Member

    That is a great piece of advice! Do you use baskets or fill the table? I will be using 9 inch baskets and then cover with white plastic, 30 baskets on my 8x4 table. I know others here flood 1 time per hour for 15 minutes with lights on, how long do you flood for? I think with covered tables you should have a bit of a nutrient fog and might have to flood less times per day than that, which you seem to confirm?

    Flooding too many times per day just seems like a hybrid RDWC situation to me, I ran RDWC before and it was a pain.

    Also do you do anything to protect against pump failure? Seems to me like that might be more of a problem with this setup vs my current Rockwool slabs, although covering the table probably helps a lot. Also helps protect against algae which just compete for nutes in the rootzone.

    These are the baskets I got: 9-inch.jpg
     
  5.  
    PetFlora

    PetFlora Well-Known Member

    Hydroton is messy as hell, and a PITA to clean. I switched to polished ornamental stones from Dollar store. They are easy to clean and reuse, and do a much better job of anchoring the root ball
     

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  6.  
    Mr.Green Jeans

    Mr.Green Jeans Member

    Awesome I've been looking for an alternative. Those pellets always leach shit off of them
     
  7.  
    HotKarl2

    HotKarl2 Well-Known Member

    Yeah I have the pellets so I'll do a run with them first. That's a good idea though. I was thinking for cleaning the pellets using a 25 gallon tote, put some bleach and water in there, let the roots fall off for a few days and then use a strainer to put the clean pellets in the baskets. I've cleaned it before and know that it is not fun and a PITA. This is my new idea to clean them with minimal mess, not sure how it will pan out.

    The only thing with those polished rocks is that they are not very porous and won't hold moisture as well as the pellets.
     
  8.  
    Mr.Green Jeans

    Mr.Green Jeans Member

    I don't use plastic to cover my tables it's a piece of half inch insulation that has a semi reflective sort of foil casing on it and I've just cut holes into it that I set the pots into, so it doesn't hold in quite as much moisture as the plastic. As far as protecting the pumps, as long as you keep them rinsed and free of debris they last awhile. I just use these little tiny ones,that only cost a few bucks, and they last for a few years. Some of that will depend on your choice of nutes, I was using one for awhile that just had so much stuff growing in my rez that it would clog the pump. I changed up to something that's much cleaner and I have no problems. Also when I switch from veg to bloom I will run either just ph'd water or a rinsing solution overnite just to keep the salt buildup down and I do the same thing4 weeks into bloom. My tables are 4×4 and it takes about 15 minutes to fill the table to about 4 inches and another 10 or so for it to drain.. If I use a pump that takes less time I would fill for less meaning I go for a certain amount of solution in the table as opposed to a certain amount of time. I also keep a lid on the rez and just drilled holes to run my hoses. I've been using this setup for about 15yrs and I really like it. I have previously used the slabs of rockwool and then I switched to the big cubes but they started getting expensive and like you said they pile up after a bit and they just hold too much water. I do use the large cubes inside a pot with a few pellets for my mother's so I only have to feed them once a day.
     
  9.  
    HotKarl2

    HotKarl2 Well-Known Member

    To start off when I put the clones in, maybe I should not flood too high up the table so as not to make the pellets float around in the basket? Then once the roots are more established I could water higher up as the roots will be holding the pellets by that time?
     
  10.  
    Mr.Green Jeans

    Mr.Green Jeans Member

    Yeah the floating around can be a pain because of course they can float out and cause problems. The pots I'm using are probably 6-8 inches so when I fill to 4 inches I'm good so yeah just adjust and compromise to your situation. There was another reply on here where the cat said he's using polished stones he finds at the dollar store. I will be checking into that for future purposes.
     
  11.  
    HotKarl2

    HotKarl2 Well-Known Member

    Yeah the only thing with those is they are basically inert, and not porous at all so I think you would be flooding a lot more.
     
  12.  
    Beachwalker

    Beachwalker Well-Known Member

    I used the same clay pellets for about 10 years, never a problem, mild bleach in a bucket to clean, good luck!
     
  13.  
    Mr.Green Jeans

    Mr.Green Jeans Member

    That's exactly what I do load them into a tub with a little bleach soak them for a couple of days then throw them into this big thing I found that's like a laundry basket with smaller slits and just rinse them. They just end up rolling around on my floor when they spill, It's not a big deal at all I'm just always looking around to make small improvements. But so far that's how I've been running and have pretty consistent results.
     
  14.  
    PetFlora

    PetFlora Well-Known Member

    Been using them for several years now. There are plenty of nooks and crannies for moisture to stay in and feed the roots

    Do these look deficient to you
     

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    zem likes this.
  15.  
    HotKarl2

    HotKarl2 Well-Known Member

    Never said they would be deficient just that you may need to flood more than with clay pellets since they are less porous. Do you flood more than you did with pellets?
     
    Budley Doright likes this.
  16.  
    HotKarl2

    HotKarl2 Well-Known Member

    For pump failure I was thinking of installing a "T" fitting and then using two small pumps instead of one, on alternating programs. My two digital should give me floods up to 16 a day of any duration, or I also have two mechanical timers I could use that will give me up to 24 at 15 mins, and if one pump or timer fails I still have the other one doing it's job. I think I will go that route as I want to be able to go away for a couple days and not worry overly much.

    Hmm I probably need a backflow valve or something for that to work, otherwise I am loosing 50% of the volume out the other pump.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  17.  
    HotKarl2

    HotKarl2 Well-Known Member

    Something like this check valve after each pump before the T. So my table will only drain out the mushroom siphon valve and not the pump as well when it turns off. Not a big deal to prevent pump failure.
    [​IMG]
     
  18.  
    Johnny Lawrence

    Johnny Lawrence Well-Known Member

    What's going on with your fan leaves?
     
    Budley Doright likes this.
  19.  
    PetFlora

    PetFlora Well-Known Member

    I flood every 6 hours once roots are well established, ~ every 4 hours in veg
     
  20.  
    PetFlora

    PetFlora Well-Known Member

    Good catch. When I transferred from the nursery I neglected to reset the timer, so for a couple weeks they were only getting 11/13= pistils appeared. The last thing I checked was light hours. Putting them back into veg hours causes single blade and/or twisted leafs
     
    Michael Huntherz likes this.

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