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Old 01-06-2007, 02:31 AM #11
h g

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Hi gaiusmarius, thanks for the reply

i went away for new year but could only get away for 2 days because i needed to water. I got home just in time..another 6 hours and my plants would have been dust

I live in a hard water area, i get lime scale in the kettle and toilet...if i used a dripper system would the lime scale block it?

i've got this coco slab grow guide from the unofficial coco coir growers thread, but as we now have an official one..i'll post it here


Old 01-06-2007, 02:39 AM #12

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this is got my mind going........what do u think are the pros to COCO over rockwool besides itch every now and then and break down time for earth........thanks

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Old 01-06-2007, 02:43 AM #13
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Great thread Gaiusmarius...

I have had great luck with a drip system using coco cubes and slabs. I used Flora Nova.

As with most hydro systems you really have to watch your PH and don't forget to add some Cal Mag esp if using R/O

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Old 01-06-2007, 04:47 AM #14
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@ JackKerouac

the slabs are only about 8 to 10 cm thick, depending if they are fluffed up or pressed flat in the pallet.

the res size is only important if you are recirculating and if you need it to last you a particular length of time. if you are running to waste, you can use any size res, but the bigger the better for you as it makes your job easier. a 6x600 watt setup will use up 300 lt. in a week of average water use. so a 350 litter tank will give you peace of mind for a week, but to keep an eye on ph and ec it is still mostly good to go every 2 or 3 days to check on things.

you want the pump to run the drippers at least 3 times a day, it should run long enough for some run off to happen each time. this will depend on the size of your pump and that will depend on the size of your setup as well as on what type of drippers you use. some drippers have a valve on the main line and they need 4 bar pumps, the thin high pressure spaghetti drippers on the other hand will work with a sump pump with only half a bar.

i can load up the pics of the dripper set up with the pump and good quality inline particle filter?

my plants get 4 waterings in the day phase, each time the pump runs for 4 minutes. but when they are small 2 minutes is enough and as they grow you increase the length of time to always have enough run off.

@ h g

coco is quite amazing in that way, with the way i water it, the slabs are always soaking wet and the plants will make hydro roots, if the tank is empty, it still takes a good 2 days till my plants start to suffer, as the coco has loads of reserve water.

the lime scale is not too bad i have it too and was able to use my dripper setup no problem. what kind of an ec is your tap water at? basically i check my drippers between every run and replace any that seem to be slowing down or blocked.

@ dankiestog

coco is a natural medium, but it grows like a hydroponic medium and still if done right, you can achieve a taste thats very close to superb earth grown product. the fact that you can use the coco slabs for 4 or even 5 harvests is another very telling point in it's favor. when you grow in coco you are growing in a natural renewable resource. the coir is like the perfect medium for plants, they love it. but best of all it is so very simple, no air stones no chillers etc. it's as easy as growing in earth but as fast as growing in hydro.

best of both worlds so to speak.

@ vta

great looking setup you have there man. those plants are looking nice and happy in there.

yeah ph is important, specially at the beginning with new coco, you need to keep lowering it nearly every day till it finally settles down and stops being pushed up by the recirculating nutrient mix. (if one is recirculating that is) this is another reason why running to waste is the simplest way, specially in the beginning. although even a recirculating system is easy to maintain with a bit of extra care in the building. the ideal setup will be able to do both easily, run to waste or recirculate. that way you can save nutes in the early phase and go on the safe side later on in the grow when the salts start building up.

do you run to waste? or recirculate?
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Old 01-06-2007, 03:08 PM #15
h g

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Hi gaiusmarius...i havnt got a EC pen, i'll have to buy one

but the pH of my tap water after 3 days is ..... and after ive mixed my nutes


Old 01-06-2007, 03:12 PM #16

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Gaius: I will be doing my first run with canna coco slabs. It will be a "Reaper" style grow. Basaicly a 3/4" soaker hose running thru each slabs instead of drippers. I see that you are watering 4 times a day. What I dont get is how it will not get overwatered? I have seen others that water once a day and get overwatered in coco. Thanks. Also is it important to use coir specific nutes?

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Old 01-06-2007, 04:27 PM #17
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This thread should come in handy in the near future
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:41 PM #18
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Hey h g,

the reason i ask your tap ec is because that is a easy way to tell if the water will be good enough or not. now it seems that your ph is rather high, so i wouldn't be surprised if your tap ec is over 0.45, which is basically the point where, if it gets much higher you end up with blocked drippers. in cases such as this you are best of getting an ro filter and using that with your tap water at 50/50. this will put your ec and ph right down. if you want to use pure RO water you will need special RO nutes, as the tap water has all kind of trace elements that the plants need in minute quantities. so you either add it, or use ro nutes, which i don't think exists for coco. or you mix it with your tap water and can stick with A+B, without having to worry about anything other then root stimulator and flowering stimulator. not that you can't get very good results with nothing else the coco A+B, but with time you can achieve even better results by adding the correct additive at the correct time in the correct dose.

Hi BluntItUp

i never saw Reaper using soaker hose to water the slabs. in fact i see several possible problems with this idea. the first being that plants in coco thrive from top feeding and will rapidly deteriorate when that top feeding stops for any reason, even if the slabs 3 sister plants are still getting water and the slab is still soaked, that fact that the one plant is not being top fed shows rapidly. so if you have a cube on the slab that water should come to each cube. if on the other hand you have the plants planted in the slabs and have a soaker hose going along the inside top of the slab it would surely work.

it's not easy to over water coco slabs when they are being used as a hydroponic medium with regular waterings 3 times daily. if you start this with a clone from the first day you plant the cube on the slabs, the plant will make hydroponic roots. that means it will make roots that can and like to feed off air in the water. as you know a drip system provide a hell of a lot of air to the water.

now when you imagine the root area, you have to see that every time you water till run off, you are actually exchanging not only the old nutrient solution with new, but also the air in there gets forced out by the water as the pump runs. then it turns off and the water that has pressed all the old air out, in it's turn drains off, there by sucking in new air to replace the old.

the important thing is to start early and stick to that watering plan and the plants will love it and thrive.

if you treat the coco like earth and leave it to dry in-between watering, you can run in to all kind of problems. as the medium dries the salt concentration increases. even when hand watering you should never let the coco dry out.

Hi cough_cough_eer,

cool, i hope it does man.

Last edited by gaiusmarius; 01-07-2007 at 01:13 AM..
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:07 PM #19
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if you want to recirculate make sure to get a good inline filter on the return to stop your pump clogging

Good call, Hazy--yeah, I'm going to use some sort of filtration at any juncture where the coco could come loose or move from the table to the reservoir. Someone in the "unofficial" thread mentioned using burlap in the bottom of his pots, which sounds like a good idea; and like Gaius suggested, I'm going to use a piece of panty hose to cover the drain pipe. Hopefully that'll keep things running smoothly.

Also going to continue hand-watering in my veg'll only be a dozen or so plants at a time, not such a big chore. I imagine the ph would be more or less stabilized by the time they'd go into the bloom room, making a recirculating setup more feasible.
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:50 PM #20
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grotek coco cubes

nice grow vta!

I almost got those grotek cubes, but everything I read seems to indicate they drain too quickly. The instructions say to use continuous drip for drip, and to flood 15 minutes per hour for ebb and flood. I ended up moving my 2" rockwool clones drirectly into 2 gal pots filled with canna coco from bags.

What kind of drippers are those you use and what kind of flow rate are you getting per drip and per day?

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