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Glandore Hydroponic Nutrients, Lights and Equipment
CYCO Platinum Series Hydroponics Nutrients & Additives

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100% perlite grow

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44 replies to this topic

#1
smokeysmok3

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Hey I've just started a perlite grow besides the seeds are in rockwool to start,
I'm sure other people have used 100% perlite and I'm wondering what I should look out for?
Also pros and cons of adding coco would be appreciated but I'll probably still go with the perlite this time around.
I'm using a 2 pot autopot system which I'll add airstones to the base of the pots to help with oxygen etc,
I'm using growth technology optimum part A+B nutes plus seasol seaweed concentrate (3ml into 20l seasol so far, no gt)
They are under a 2ft single t8 24/7 atm but will end up under a 400w hps in a few weeks.
Ph is 5.2
Have an older extracting fan but will get a better one asap.
Also it's in a tent 1.6m x .9m x .6m,
Will get a 1.2m x 1.2m x 2m in a month or 2.
I put 1 seed in rockwool and another has just shown the tap root using the paper towel method, I will get this one in the rockwool tonight.
If this picks up and people wish I'll make it a journal but will see how it goes first.
I'll post photos when they break ground :)
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#2
Ford Fairlane

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Sounds good smokey. I like the idea of using an airstone in the outer pot.

Are you using anything to elevate the inner pot? I have used another smaller pot in the past, but found that by the end of the grow, it was pretty well squashed and broken.

Also, need to watch for bits of perlite blocking the lines and flooding your room, a bit of flyscreen over the drain hole should do it, but perlite could still sit on the screen and lead to the pot filling up and flooding. I have been thinking about using some kind of bag in the inner pot to remove any chance of flooding.

Good luck with it, would be great to see some pics.
Ford
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#3
merl1n

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Hey Smokey,
Ive used perlite in a recirc system for years. I started off with 100% perlite, but have now changed to a 4inch layer of clayballs at the bottom of the pot, to reduce the perlite compression, and the rest perlite in a 50ltr pot.
A BIG must with using perlite is washing it. The perlite needs to be washed thoroughly. This removes a large amount of the dust. When wet the dust goes a bit like grinding paste and is real harsh on pumps. It (as FF says) also tends to stick to the inside of tubing and restricts the return flow. The perlite compresses down a fair bit over the period of my grow and the result is that the roots become smothered in the dust sitting at the bottom of the pot. To relieve this I use the clayballs. I also thoroughly wash the clayballs as they to have a fine dust. When I wash, I flow approx. 100 ltr of water through the perlite/clayballs or until my waste runs clear, I then block my waste pipe and fill the pot with water and leave it overnight, any remaining sediment sinks to the bottom and the next day I wash the sediment out.

Hope it helps
Merl1n
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#4
smokeysmok3

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Thanks heaps Merl1n I'll get some clay balls washing now and set them up in 1 of the pots, that way I'll do a comparison, not that I doubt you I just want to teach myself as much as possible
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#5
smokeysmok3

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And thanks Ford, I have a matrix for each pot I'm using, they just came with the kit, is this what you mean? Also have either of you used the foam pad wick setups
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#6
Knarfman

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to wash clay balls when I use them I leave them in the bag. I get a chopstick and punch lots of holes in the thick plastic bag they come in, then get a small hole in the top and stick the garden hose in it. Then I just let it run for a few hours, giving it a shake occasionally. If you don't want the neighbours to think you mad you can sit the bag in the bathtub. (and the bathtub is where I clean them in between grows)

 

Also over the holes in the bottom of my inside pot, I was using flyscreen but it cut into the roots when they got big, so I now use the black rubber non slip mat you can buy from the cheap shops. (you know the stuff put in draws in the kitchen to stop stuff sliding around), this way any big roots don't get cut as the holes just expanded with it, and when I'm done with the grow you can just wash it to use again.


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#7
midlifegardner

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Hey Merlin, very old post but it came up in my Google search. I'm thinking of doing recirc for my next grow using a 100L bunnos tub for 2 plants. Was considering 100% perlite in 3 gal fabric pots. I've got a few aquarium pumps and hydro halos so was thinking there's no reason salt would build up as I could run the nutes through for several minutes a few times a day. Do you find the need to flush the perlite? Does it get salt build up or can that be avoided by constant watering with heaps of run off? Could I get away with never having to clean out or replace the whole nute solution in the tub and replacing only between grows? Cheers

Hey Smokey,
Ive used perlite in a recirc system for years. I started off with 100% perlite, but have now changed to a 4inch layer of clayballs at the bottom of the pot, to reduce the perlite compression, and the rest perlite in a 50ltr pot.
A BIG must with using perlite is washing it. The perlite needs to be washed thoroughly. This removes a large amount of the dust. When wet the dust goes a bit like grinding paste and is real harsh on pumps. It (as FF says) also tends to stick to the inside of tubing and restricts the return flow. The perlite compresses down a fair bit over the period of my grow and the result is that the roots become smothered in the dust sitting at the bottom of the pot. To relieve this I use the clayballs. I also thoroughly wash the clayballs as they to have a fine dust. When I wash, I flow approx. 100 ltr of water through the perlite/clayballs or until my waste runs clear, I then block my waste pipe and fill the pot with water and leave it overnight, any remaining sediment sinks to the bottom and the next day I wash the sediment out.

Hope it helps
Merl1n


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#8
pedro de pacas

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Yes yes no


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#9
midlifegardner

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Cheers Pedro. So in terms of saving $ does it actuslly work out to be cheaper than dtw? Seems every couple of weeks I'd need to empty to res so maybe not worth it?

Yes yes no


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#10
SOOTY

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You would probably be wanting to put fresh nutes in after a week or so anyway Hey? Or a top up at least..
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