Hydro planting and medium help

I currently grow in 5 gallon buckets with 6 inch net pot lids and use hydroton as my grow medium. I’ve thought about using coco but read it’s hard to keep up with a far as nutrients and such. Wouldn’t it be the same as hydroton though? Because hydroton doesn’t hold and water or nutrients either? Question 2 what should I use to plant my actual seed in to plant in final pot? And how do I keep it wet without submerging it and growing mold? Thanks for any help and suggestions

I prefer smaller net pots as they don’t suspend as far down in the bucket. That gives you a bit more nutrient solution.

Coco chips (NOT coco coir) can be used but Hydroton does a fantastic job. Keep in mind that once roots reach solution the medium is only supporting the plant. Too much moisture at the base of the stem will cause stem rot which is no bueno.

Rockwool is what I start seeds in as you don’t have issues with media getting into nutrient solution and clogging stuff up. Until plant’s roots reach water you will top feed only. Adequate air in the bucket will cause bubbles to spray the base of net pot. Keep liquid distance 1 1/2 to 2" below net pot.

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@Myfriendis410 thanks for the info, as far as top feed goes do I just mix a solution in a water bottle and feed it like soil? For my first grow I just used a grow sponge and kept it half submerged the whole time.

You certainly can manually top-feed. I’d keep the TDS at around 400 to 500 ppm the first couple of weeks then ramp up to peak. Not knowing which nutrient line you are using is hard to provide specific instruction.

I will say as a general rule you will want to run silica, cal mag and base nutes; unless you are running Jack’s then no cal mag. Silica is always added to solution first. Then cal mag, then base nutes.

One note on rockwool: damp and not wet. When I start seeds I soak rockwool in water then squeeze out almost all of it.

@Myfriendis410 I’m using advanced nutrients sensi grow a and b starter kit comes with a bunch of supplements. I also have advanced nutrients calmag. How do you auto top feed?

If you want to auto feed, you’ll need to set up a small pump, timer and reservoir. A digital timer is best due to the short duration needed to deliver nutrients to the plants. This should be done several times per day until roots depend into the bucket. Then discontinue top-feeding.

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