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Rockwool damaging roots...


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Old 05-11-2016, 10:46 PM
malangon malangon is offline
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Default Rockwool damaging roots...

I built a "raintower". Not sure if that's the correct name, but it effectively drips water on the roots of the plants - 15 mins on, 15 off.

Some of the plants I used were big box store bought and I rinsed as much dirt as I could off the roots and used hydroton in net pots.

Some seedlings however I grew in rockwool.

I was under the impression I could just put the rockwool in with the hydroton and everything works out. But now I just read that since the rockwool maintains the water, it can damage the roots.

If this is the case - how do I transplant from rockwool to hydroton? Seems like tearing open the rockwool cube would damage the roots that are now poking through the bottom.

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Old 05-11-2016, 11:25 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello malangon,
Once the roots have started growing in rockwool, you can't take the plants out. Yes, Rockwool absorbs a lot of water and can suffocate the roots if it stays saturated all the time. If you don't want to use rockwool you need to start the seeds in another growing media.

If you start seeds in rockwool cubes and transplant into another growing media, the trick is not to allow the rockwool cubes to get to much moisture, while allowing the rest of the roots to get enough moisture. Once the plants get bigger you can adjust the water level so the rockwool cube doesn't get any water at all, and the main root-ball underneath gets plenty of moisture. The rockwool cubes are small and the bigger the plants get the more roots that grow outside of the rockwool cube, the more roots outside of the rockwook cubes the less it maters if the roots inside the rockwook cubes are suffocated because the plant can get oxygen from the rest of the root system. However with that said you still don't want it to be water logged because the rockwook cube surrounds the stem of the plant, and if the stem is constantly wet, that can lead to stem rot.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:46 AM
malangon malangon is offline
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Default Rain Tower

I followed this link.

http://www.tomorrowsgarden.net/conte...roponic-system

I went back and looked at the video again to see if maybe I screwed up. But there's a very clear section in the video where he puts a seedling in a rockwool cube directly into a pot with hydroton. The cubes stay wet all the time.

Dang it....
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Old 05-12-2016, 02:48 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello malangon,
That's an interesting setup. I would do a couple things different, nothing major though. Mainly just to make it a little less expensive (those square vinyl fence post tubes aren't exactly cheap), and to make maintenance easier (a larger and separated reservoir). I designed something similar, but haven't gotten around to building it yet.
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Old 05-19-2016, 06:29 PM
Stan Stan is offline
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Hello malangon, you have nothing to worry about using rockwool in that type of set up. I have been using rockwool for years with my setups and never ran into any problems with root damage. My first setup below worked just fine with all plants in rockwool.
http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/for...ead.php?t=2035
Here's my upgraded setup all using rockwool.
http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/for...ead.php?t=2475

You must put hydroton on the bottom of the net pots before you put in the rockwool cube. Then you must also fill in the sides and cover the top with hydroton. The plants will do just fine because they are only getting droplets of nutrient water.

Now if rockwool was used in a flood and drain setup you run the risk of developing root problems as the rockwool would get completely saturated during every water cycle.
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:51 AM
shillamus shillamus is offline
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Default Great Video

Quote:
Originally Posted by malangon View Post
I followed this link.

http://www.tomorrowsgarden.net/conte...roponic-system

I went back and looked at the video again to see if maybe I screwed up. But there's a very clear section in the video where he puts a seedling in a rockwool cube directly into a pot with hydroton. The cubes stay wet all the time.

Dang it....

Hey.. I want to go vertical. Thanks for sharing the rain tower!

After reading the posts here I am concerned I am not draining my cubes enough.

Isn't deep water culture with roots constantly in the aerated water?

5x5 fence post is expensive

http://www.lowes.com/pd/Freedom-Pre-...x-8-ft/4009495

Last edited by shillamus; 09-26-2016 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:17 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello shillamus,
Yes a water culture system submerges the roots in aerated water. But the key word is "AERATED." Air bubbles wont penetrate the rockwool cubes if their saturated. Think of it like this, when you let the water drain out of the rockwool cubes it gets lighter right? That's because water is heavier than air and as the water drains out, air takes it's place. If the water doesn't drain out, air can't take it's place. Thus suffocating the roots because they can't get enough air.

Those vinyl fence post tubes are nice, but expensive. About 4 times more expensive than ADS tubing. You can also get larger diameter PVC and sewer tubing at pluming supply houses. If getting a large diameter tubing, I would get thin wall tubing. It weighs less, costs less, is easier to cut, and still strong enough.

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