Hand Watering Question

Hello everybody. I’m new to the forum and relatively new to growing. What experience I do have has been in soil under HID and MH lamps. I’m going to try my hand at hydroponics for the first time and will probably use a 70/30 mixture of perlite and vermiculite as my medium in 5 gal. plastic pails. I understand that as the plants grow they will require more water and nutrients, but I’m trying to get a handle on how often I should expect to water once the plants start vegging out for a couple of weeks or more. If I need to water twice daily, would it be better to include all the nutrients in one watering and water with pure water the second time? Or is it better to put nutrients in solution with each watering? Please forgive the extended post, but I have tons of questions? Thanks.


Best to ask questions…before starting. We like to think we are wise…and will gladly show off our knowledge…:crazy_face:

Suggest you water with nutes in morning…and plain PH’d water late afternoon.

Suggest other new questions get their own new topic. Helps keep things from getting muddled.

I’m confused: hydroponics or media growing? If hydro; that media is not at all suitable. Something like hydroton (absorbent clay balls) or coco chunks is more in line with what you want. If running 5 gallon bucket hydro you will run into issues chasing PH later in the grow when the roots fill the entire bucket. Better to use something like a 15 gallon tote and mod that.

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Thanks tanlover442. I will be sure to do that.

Thanks Myfriendis410. I guess I’m the one that’s confused. I thought any grow media that was inert with no organic material and nutrients came exclusively from water intake was considered hydro. I plan on growing 3 or 4 plants in a 4x4 tent with a relatively short veg time (3 or 4 weeks max). Your comment about larger containers made me think it might be better to get 1 giant container that can house all four plants (maybe a plastic kiddie wading pool) instead of 5 gal. buckets. I will take your advice and use the clay balls instead. Are they heavy? Do they require pre-treatment like rockwool? Do they have decent water retention (I don’t want to be watering every hour :laughing:). Thanks again.

What @Jolly_Green_Giant is attempting is called a Hempy Bucket, and a Perlite/Vermiculite mixture is the standard medium to use. They are a very popular inexpensive method of doing hydroponics.
I’m currently doing a Coco Hempy Bucket(same thing but with Coco instead of Perlite/Vermiculite), and am very impressed with both the results and lack of maintenance required.

@Jolly_Green_Giant - I water my plant once a day with the full nutrients for that day.

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Technically that’s a “media” grow like coco or Promix and should be identified as such as it’s NOT hydro.

Hydroton (clay) is very light and is reuseable. It has a specific design for wicking the correct amount of moisture to the plant. That and coco are typical hydroponic media as small particles = bad things in a hydroponics grow.

If you are doing media then by golly you will enjoy it. I have no experience with that mix but coco and Promix are both used and done right you can see growth close to hydroponics.

I would steer you away from putting all plants in one container as not all will mature at once and often you have one plant that needs additional attention which means it usually comes out of the tent. Also: would suggest 5 or 7 gallon fabric pots if going for a media grow.


Im just here to Nod and Smile. Welcome to ILGM. Tons of knowledgeable peeps. Myfriend got u lined up. Tanlover knows his digs as well

Actually, it is a hydroponic method. Most everyone in this hobby is familiar with active (continuous flow) hydroponics, such as deep water culture, ebb & flow, drip systems, etc. But there are also 2 types of passive (static flow) hydroponics - the wicking method and the Kratky method, both of which simply suspend the plant above the nutrients. It’s all soil-less, the difference is that passive hydroponics use no “active” things like motors, pumps or aerators to maintain the plant.
I wholeheartedly agree that small particles can be bad in an active hydroponic setup where things like recirculating pumps can get clogged, but they are fine in passive hydroponics.

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Thank you gentlemen for your valued expertise it will be put to good use, I assure you. Oh, and to you PurpNGold74, your avatar is mesmerizing! Well worth the price of admission. Oh yeah that was free, wasn’t it. :laughing:


We’ll just have to agree to disagree haha.

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Here’s a little visual encouragement for you, @Jolly_Green_Giant
2.5 gallon Hempy bucket
4 weeks of vegetation
3 weeks of flowering (so far)
This is an autoflowering strain. I chose it on purpose so it wouldn’t get too big because I have 4 other plants in this tent. It currently measures 24" tall and almost 22" diameter. You could definitely fit 4 of these in a 4x4 tent.

:open_mouth: That is magnificent! I’m changing all my Amazon grow purchases to overnight shipping! I was planning on scrogging but after seeing that I might just use 4 or 5 feminized seeds, veg them until they get about 15" to 18" tall and flower them. Did you top that? If so, how many times? Is that perlite/vermiculite media? Sorry for the rapid fire questions, but you got me all excited!
Also, will you be so kind as to post another picture of that before you harvest it? I would appreciate it.

I usually top my plants, but I FIM’d this one instead. I ended up doing a scrog when the growth started to get crazy with it. I have this handy 1-plant scrog so it doesn’t get in the way of other plants in the tent:

The media I used is coco. When I first started reading about Hempy buckets I was going to use the standard Perlite/Vermiculite method, but somewhere along the way (I forget why) I decided to try the coco method.
There’s also a layer of hydroton in the bottom(reservoir area), up to the weep hole. Really, you could even use rocks for that part.
Here is a really long thread about Coco hempy buckets, if you’re interested in that at all:

Thanks. She almost singlehandedly inspired my love for the Lakers :joy::joy::joy:. But happy to pass on the motivation. Anywho happy growing.

I also do quick vegs and flip to flower. If trained right u can certainly fit 4. But airflow with be a premium. Dont skimp on fan/filters.

4 of these would fit easily. 6 week veg n flip

like 2 x 2 worth of space if that much

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Thanks for the info PurpNGold74. You are certainly getting me off on the right foot. I’m glad you referenced the Lakers as the reason for your love of Purple & Gold. For a while I was worried you might be an LSU fan! :smile:

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Lsu or Lakers still makes me question his sports accumen lol I think he’s a Ravens fan too :roll_eyes:

Lakers, Ravens, Dodgers! But death to the lsu :tiger: :joy::joy::joy:

Spurs, Steelers, Pirates, Penguins NCAA BB Kentucky, NCAA FB Ohio State. I’m from OK so none of those teams make sense.

Lmmfao! I was thinking u gotta be from Pittsburgh :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes: lol. But i like the TarHeels basketball n Canes for football. We both all over the place. If i had to pick a hockey team… id pick a purple one