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.
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.
cool, i hope it does man.
Last edited by gaiusmarius; 01-07-2007 at 12:13 AM..