Coco as media in DWC

Picking people’s brains here has anyone tried to use coco in a net pot? I am pondering the idea of mixing coco and leca in net pot as medium it could pose some issues but am curious if the pros may outweigh the cons media would retain more moisture while still having good airflow to roots roots would start and reach solution faster. on the downside could make mess of res

I personally have never used it as I always felt it would wick up too much water and stay too wet, and not be the best for the roots.

However I did have a guy at a local hydro store, and he was pretty obvious about the fact that he was growing weed and not vegetables. He said they make a course cut coco that won’t fall through the net pots and that it would work in DWC and he apparently used it in his DWC and recommended it and he kept trying to talk me into using it.

I never did though, and that hydro store is now out of business and I sometimes wonder if he was just trying to unload the stuff on anybody he could, lol.

Anyway, let us know if you do try it and how it works out for you.

~MacG

Thanks for the reply I was thinking small 2-3" net pot inside 6" net surround with leca mostly to get roots down through the 6" netpot hold moisture for the first critical week of rooting since getting roots through the leca takes time.

I am very interested in this thread. Will follow closely as I want to try this.

Well, I always run a top drip through my hydroton/leca. However, it is from an “air lift” and not really a typical water pump, this does a few things, first the drip is already highly aerated because of the nature of ‘air lift’ columns, and then the drip itself creates a Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) like action as well – as it drips through the hydroton, and even along the roots when they become long enough. Also the splashing at the surface in the reservoir as it drips from the bottom of the net pot to the water level below, all of this help with aeration and oxygen absorption. The thin layer of moisture constantly moving in NFT also help with oxygen absorption. Also the splashing at the surface may be as important or maybe even more important to oxygen absorption in the reservoir than the fine bubbles from the air pump. Also not having a mechanical water pump submerged means there is not the addition heat being added to the reservoir that these can contribute.

I have seen some people claim coco coir can’t get too wet, especially if you have highly aerated water constantly dripping through it. And I’ve seen this in a few different videos on you-tube from some seemingly professional growers, and so it might be possible using coco in traditional DWC or a top drip “fertigation” like technique, however the one time I did try something similar to what you described, with coco around the main stem/roots, surrounded by hydroton, I did get root rot and stem rot, so haven’t tried it since, lol. This was also one of the reasons I never tried the guy’s coarse cut coco.

I almost always start with clones in DWC and almost always start seeds in soil or soil-less and select a mother to use for clones. However, now, if I do try and start a seed in my DWC, I use a rockwool plug in the middle of the hydroton and have the top drip close enough to keep it moist and have never had a issue with root or stem rot using this technique. As the plant gets bigger, I do move the top drip to the outer edges of the net pot and away from the enlarging main stem.

Hope this helps,

~MacG

thanks that was what I was curious about since not using top feed I did come up with a cheat however quite similar to airlift I suspended a airstone from bottom of basket in order to further agitate surface of water and splash up into leca more. Learning curve will be using far bigger clone next round defoliate more of it’s stem and setting deeper in my lecca. Lol may even try the coarse coco too since what’s another bucket to play with nothing ventured nothing gained not discrediting your advice by any means the goal is always to learn more try more and not be scared to experiment for bigger better buds :slight_smile:

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And like I said, many apparently “pros” associated with professional hydro stores or what have you, on you tube have said coco can be used like this, and the guy at my local hydro store seemed genuine in that he used it. It could very well work. Also, truth be told, my situation was a very long time ago, and honestly I can’t remember if I had some actual soil mixed in with the coco stuff around the roots and stem and that might have been the cause of the root and stem rot, not being true pure coco. It was one of my very first ventures into DWC, but it forever scared me away from experimenting with it since ha ha.

good luck,

MacG

Thanks again worst case I lose one plant I rarely risk a whole crop on a theory will let you know how it pans out.

As always respect the advice and counsel

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I am new to growing outdoors (one season) and on my very first indoor crop. My first attempt I would say was a huge success in my mind. I am going to grow 3 outdoor plants this year. Two the way I did last year and experiment with the other one.

After further research I believe I have found the true error and flaw in Coco as a substrate in DWC it is the absence of air in the upper roots which is the true benefit of DWC. in essence DWC uses NFT without drip ring or top feed simply by the fact the bubbles burst spraying highly oxygenated nutrient onto upper roots. Coarse bark like coco may work but the buildup of salts may become toxic. So indeed Mac you are absolutely right Coco is a fairly new substrate and it’s proven highly effective drain to waste and top feed but very few have used it in DWC with any noticeable benefits.
We have a new member using coco DWC I will be watching his grow with interest.

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I will keep up with my weekly pics so everyone can see how it goes so far she looks great

What did you use as net? to contain coco

I washed coco really good 6 times an thats it my net basket works fine by itself

How did you know it was coco

lol I seen the picture and was pretty sure

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