How to germinate for clay pebble hydro

Good afternoon,

I was given a hydro system and would like to try my hand at it using clay pebbles as my medium. I have grown in dirt for personal use over the years, but never hydro. The question I have is concerning germinating seeds. Do I use what I have been doing (e.g. paper towel), start them in a small pot with coco, or soil, or peat moss, then remove the seedling, wash and put it into the clay pebbles? To me that seems like it would damage the young plant. Do I start it in rock wool, then place the rook wool seedling into the hydro clay pebble pot, rock wool and all? I’d prefer not to use a medium that could transmit bugs into the hydro system, any advice would be much appreciate. I’ve searched the internet, and our hydro shop doesn’t appear to have any ideas.

Thank you,
John

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when i was using those systems i was told to start them in their rockwool cubes then once the roots are long enough place the whole thing into the basket and cover with the clay pebbles. but i personally couldn’t grasp the nutrients at the time and switched to soil. but let some smart people answer your question better. hope this helps. heres a few people to help ya. @Nicky @BStarr @Mark0427 can u maybe help?

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So when I germinate, I use
The paper towel method, and then once I have a root between 1/4 and 1-2 inch or so, I place that in a root riot cube. I place that I’m the clap pebbles, and this has worked extremely well for my grows. I only have 5 grows, but all hydro and I used this method all but the first grow. I tried rockwool my first grow, and did not care for it nearly as much as root riot.

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what was the difference you found between the two? better bud? stronger more stable plants? sry but i figure my dumb questions may help someone else

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Root riot cubes are perfectly PH, no need to do anything to them but put the seed in and cover with the clay pebbles. Rockwool has to be properly PH before use, and tbh, I just did not care for rockwool at all. I am a huge fan of root riot cubes though. Not sure if the bud was better because i had more experience growing or because I switched off rockwool, but the final results were definitely better.

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Hey thanks for the tag buddy but I’m a soil girl, sorry :sunglasses:

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Hey, dig the name lol.

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Welcome to the forum. I started my hydro in Rockwood and then into the clay. Mine was ebb and flow recirculating and the best advice I got was set the Rockwood a little above the flood level that way the roots hunt the water and the Rockwood is never submerged.

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Something like rapid rooter or comparable from different brand pretty easy to use for this.

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I use rapid rooters.
I first soak in water for 12-18 hrs.
Then place in a damp paper towel and place in a warm dark area till I get a tail about a half inch long. (Usually about 12-24 hrs.)
Then place tail down about 3/8” in the rapid rooter.
I place the rr in a trey on my heat matt under the light and wait for seed to break ground, usually about 24-36 hrs.
I’ll water about a half tsp. Twice a day or the first week. (letting the rr dry out some, but not too dry.)
Once I see roots coming out of the rr, I set the rr in a net pot, cover with hydroton and set in my totes with the water level about 2” below the netpot. Air will bubble water up onto the hydroton and keep the plant watered.
Since seeds don’t need nutes for about the first three weeks, I just have plain water running through my system.
The cotyledon leaves will feed the plant during this time till they start to die off and then I’ll add nutes.
I use Jack’s nutes which doesn’t get any easier. A lot of folks use it. I would highly recommend checking out Jack’s 321 for your nutes. Others have dif ways that work just as well, but this is working for me. Tag us if you need some help or have questions.
Good luck! :+1:t2::v::sunglasses:

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I do the same as @spyonyou

Rapid rooters for sure. I dislike rockwoll.

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Thank you.

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Have you had any issues with transferring bugs from the root riot to your hydro system? Just wondering, I may do the same, thanks for your input.

Thanks…dig the bud :slight_smile:

did you have to do anything with the ph when using rock wool?

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Thanks for that! I’d like easy as it’s my first time at this. Can I ask if there is a risk in transferring bugs from the rr to the hydro system? I read about this online but you know how that is. I have never had bugs myself not even in soil, just been lucky I guess. Prefer not to do anything that could risk that in the hydro. I have never heard of Jack’s nutes, but I am going to have a look at it. Thanks again.

John

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I’ve yet to have problems with bugs in hydro. RR’s don’t have them so unless your germinating outside, I wouldn’t think it should be a problem.

Yes the ph pen and pp pen are both necessary. I always mixed nutrients and maintained reservoir at 5.8 +/- .2 and used ppm to make sure the nutrients are always at the desired level. Always mix nutes according to manufacturer instructions and add water to get the desired strength. Is this too much info.

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