Growing plants on clay beads not working

A question from a fellow grower:

"Hello I just recently purchased several seeds frm you and then I placed them on a damp paper towel. They germinated perfectly, I waited for them to sprout, and once it was about 1/4 inch I put the seeds in my grow apparatus ( see attatched picture ). The grow appartus was built by me and is not professional grade by any means. Basically their are containers holding clay beads that get flooded with water. The clay beads actually end up submerged in water, not just damp. I placed the seed sprouts in the water with the proper nutrients and pH of around 6.8 and they did not grow. It looked a few of the seeds started to open up and sprout tiny leaves but these turned dark brown and fell off. I was hoping you guys could help me understand what I am doing wrong. Should the seeds actually be submerged under water? or Could their be something else going on?

Here are the pictures, I drained the water, but once added the beads will be submerged. Should I grow the plants completely in soil, or should I move them somehow to the beads once they reach a certain size?"

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better to place new hatched seedlings in a clear plastic cup filled with soil n drain holes.
place another clear cup on top for a humidity dome. mist top cup twice a day.
once you can see roots crawling up the sides of the clear cup…transplant to final home.

expanded clay floats. when submerged in water, lots will float/move around. bad thing for seedlings.

no problem if roots are grown and stick out.

your seedlings needed to stay moist…NOT wet n dry cycling.

I use rapid rooters (rock wool) to start my plants in a nursery box. Once they have developed a taproot they get placed, rock wool and all, into the clay pellets.

Basically though; you drowned the seeds. Let me try to help with your setup:

1- liquid level should be at least 1 to 2" below net pot/clay.
2-LOTS of air introduced to the liquid media via air pump and stone. Oxygenation is essential if doing hydro.
3-Top feed on a timer. Your emitter should not be near the rock wool but drips on the clay pellets and allows them to wick moisture to the plant.
4-Put a clear dome over the seedlings until well established: they like 90% RH to start.
5-Liquid temps need to be below about 72F
6-Nutrient solution should not exceed 300ppm until established at PH 5.8. Don’t get cheap and use a cheap meter. You need both PH and TDS for hydro.

Hopefully that’s enough to help you get started and I would strongly recommend you read up on DWC before moving forward.