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Surfer Joe

How often to use a top feeder in hydro?

I am doing a hydro dwc grow in a 30 L bucket and planning to include a small pump in the bucket to pump the nute solution on to the clay pebbles in the net pot with the seedling until the roots reach down into the nutrient solution.

Should I just let it run continuously or should it be turned on and off to moisten the net pot periodically?

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Either consent drip.....or interval timings...I much prefer the later.

 

No one will be able to tell you the best interval timings and you will have to work this out yourself based on your lights, environment and plant stage.

The clay pebbles dry out really quickly under intense lighting but feed too often and the roots won't bother to go 'looking'.

 

A fifteen minute segmented timer should suffice for this project imo and allow for a good wet/dry cycle :yep:

Edited by zen-ken
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yes, like Ken says, do it on  a timer, leave them plenty of time to take up oxygen when they arent wet. 

i would treat it like a flood and drain for a kick off. 

my mate runs 3 feeds a day, for 15 minutes to start off plants. one just before lights on, one half way through lights on and one just acouple of  hour  before lights off

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I use the same system, just sprouted seedlings with a single tap root...once every 24hrs then as Billy says above after that...:yep:

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Thanks everyone. 

I have grown in this hydro setup before without using the top feeder and just pouring a little water over the hydroton pebbles once in a while for a few days until the roots showed under the net pot and then they could reach and drink from the nute bucket. I also set the nute level during that time a bit higher in the bucket so it bubbles just at the base of the net pot, keeping the lower end wet.

They seemed to grow fine that way but I read that top feeding them would add more vigor to their early vegetation and I have a small pump lying around so I thought I'd try it, but I don't want to drown the roots or make them lazy and not hunt down to the nute bucket as one of you said.

I thought they might need constant watering to improve their early vegetation, but I can easily water them myself a few times a day, so if that's enough to get them started, is it worth the effort to set up a temporary top feeder in the bucket?

Edited by Surfer Joe
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if you have the time to throw a cupful of water over it once or twice a day, then theres no real need to automate it eh?

i suppose it also depends on how many plants you need to do.

 

dont constant water them, or the roots wont go searching

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