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Why is Coco Coir bad to use in a recycling system?

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Hi all, I'm in need of some help/info re the use of cocopeat in a recycling system.


I'm a first time grower. I've had on-going probs with fungus gnats & deficiencies which upon further reading & advice, Have been led to believe this could be because of the coco in recycling??


Can anyonne offer me any advice on this?

Should i change to a run to waste system? How do i do this if i rent my place & my rooms pretty small? How big does your res have to be then?

& if i stay with recycling, what's perlite like compared to clay balls?


I know there's a lot of questions here, but i'm feeling a bit overwhelmed rite now!

(perhaps, i need a little toke to calm my nerves!?) :smoke

... Ahhh... That's betta!

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Coco can be used fine in a recirculatign system the reason it's not "ideal" though is because it is a " dirty " medium , the water will change colour and pick up impurities like particles of dirt , bugs, desiese ect as it passes through and that can spread it to the rest of your system , however that can all be controlled quite easly and technicly you run pretty much the same risk with any hydrfo medium you choose


First thing to do is prepair the coco well , buy washign it through , next step is to choose the right additives , to controll the spread of problems from pests or desiese I sugest you have a try of microbile, or pythoff or even oxypluss ( basicly a good steroliser )



using the right additives is really all you need to do , to keep everythign nice and clean , but there is plenty more that can be done if you look around at other peoples methods


However if your having large issues , try a run to waste system , it is a bit mroe costly but it is less headaches for new growers ( and all growers in generall :))

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Hi Pure, thanks 4 ur reply.

What's Microbile? I do use Oxyplus at 2mls per 10ltrs. Is that rite?

Apparently coco changes the level of available nutrients or something??

I don't know. Have u heard of this?


Also, I'm going to see if i can get myself some "success" to drench my princess's suffering from funus gnats. I was recommended this yesterday. Does anyone know where i get it from? What's the main active ingredient? and What's "Guardian?" apparantly you use this on going?

Impart ur knowledge fellow growers!! It'd be muchly appreciated!!


Kind Regards,


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Coco is difficult to run in recirc hydroponics systems because the size of the flakes can be washed though the drains and into the pump.


Cocopeat also has a high "Cation Exchange Capacity" which means it holds onto some nutrients and releases others in different proportions to those media which have no such CEC. Cocopeat should really be used in RTW applications, and whilst I have seen recirc systems using coco, the vast, vast majority of coco users use RTW.


Cocopeat specific nutrients are available at any hydroponic shops. ;)


MicroBial is a Quarternary Ammonium Compound which is a microbiological suppressant and all around disease prevention additive. Bloody good stuff, it even prevents Cocopeat from breaking down, although with short indoor crops this is rarely a problem. If you're using oxyplus I wouldn't use Micro at the same time, although as I've said in another post if you really wanted to, you could add the oxy to your raw water, and then wait 1/2 hr and proceed to make up your normal nutrient solution with the microbial added. Mind you, you'd prob be better off with one or the other.


The active ingredient in Success is "Spinosad" which is a kind of actinomycete. (bacterium). It's safe to use, and at most has a 1 day with-holding period for our purposes. You can get it at just about any garden center, and costs about 14 bucks.


Guardian is a form of Monochloramine additive. Pythoff is another, although the Guardian also has some nutrients added, (don't know why, but hey, it's Dutch Master, I don't understand much they do...) :) And yeah, it's best used as an on-going additive, every day or two, and follow the instructions RELIGIOUSLY! They're written up that way for a reason.


Some say that it burns roots, but I haven't seen this myself in my use of it, although if you did massively overdo it I could possibly see this happening. Then again, I've heard horror stories about people using OxyPlus to wash their hands... not a dilution mind you... Neat. Hospital time!


Aaaanyway, you should be aware that if you use a sterilant, you're likely to defeat half the purpose of cocopeat growing, which is that there is a fungal component called Trichoderma which colonises the root-zone and provides growth benefits to the plants. Still, you can certainly use it, and you'll still do well.


Good luck. Hope that helps.

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Nah. Other way around. Cocopeat has a natural pH level at about 6.2 - 6.8 or so, give or take a few points either way with batches, as after all, it is organic.


Most hydroponic media are either neutral or slightly alkaline, but will take on the pH level of the nutrient solution with watering and/or pre-conditioning by soaking in the desired pH level.


Coco has the advantage of already being within the ideal range, which is why it's become so popular and requires less effort to train to the correct level. Still, it has both advantages and disadvantages, like any hydroponic/hydro-organic media, and these should be taken into consideration when planning a system.


B) Tom, well put. :P

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Basically, rtw is only hand watering by remote.  :B);)





:P, Yeah that's so true. I've thought about building an RTW but it seems pointless to have one which only needs to come on for 30 mins every two days.


In my experiance you get the best from coco if it's allowed to dry right out. Keeping it moist would just incourage the growth of adverse mould and bacteria. Root rot wont happen if the media is allowed to dry out between waterings.


These are just my observations. TY.

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hi everyone still a bit new to tthe forum thing, but i have a Q on coco. i use canna ( the cleanest i ve used) but am a little unsure on how many feeds required i mostly feed 6 times aday, roughly 2.2 liters per day at there peak. i am feeding twice daily at the moment (2.2lt avg) with no real sideeffects other then slightly slowed growth possably caused by the 0 10 c nights in wa. any response would help luke | tom .
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