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Cleaning grow rocks


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  #1  
Old 06-10-2009, 03:06 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Default Cleaning grow rocks

I have tried to clean my grow rocks using a diluted bleach water solution and brushed them around with a big brush. There is still a white lime looking residue on some of them that doesn't seem to come off. Just wondering if anyone knows a good way to clean this off using stuff found around the house?

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Old 12-06-2009, 12:56 PM
KevinL KevinL is offline
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I used a heavy bleach solution to wash my Hydrotom clay beads, then rinse like crazy and they seem fine. But, I also have only used distilled water in my setups thus far and haven't really had any white residue to deal with. I know if I used my Well water I would as everything in my house gets a white buildup.
I would suggest CLR, but I don't think that would be safe in the long run.
I have heard of people baking their beads or even doing it in the B.B.Q. because they weren't really happy with the smell. Not sure if that would help with your issue either, but might be worth a try with a small mount of them.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:28 PM
txice txice is offline
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Just out of curiosity are we talking about this "white residue" being more like hard water stains or something...or are we perhaps looking at more like a salt residue/build up from the nutrients?

If it's the later you could perhaps try using an organic nutrient instead as I believe the organics won't have any of the salt buildup. I don't use organic nutrients (yet anyways) and you can see I have this buildup around the lid of one of my containers where the nutrient solution gets from time to time.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:15 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I started this thread a long time ago and hadn't received any reply's, so I e-mailed my question to General Hydroponics a day or two later. They told me this white residue was from the salt buildup. Also that the bleach solution would sanitize the grow rocks but wont get rid of the salt buildup. They also said that the only thing that will get rid of it was the FloraKleen, I didn't know if that was just a sales pitch or not, but had nothing else to go on. I also thought about using CLR but didn't (and still don't) want to risk the plants and grow rocks on untested products because there may be chemicals that cant be washed out in these that will be toxic to the plants.
Quote:
Just out of curiosity are we talking about this "white residue" being more like hard water stains or something...or are we perhaps looking at more like a salt residue/build up from the nutrients?
Although you get residue from water (especially hard water) I believe it's basically the same thing. Although with nutrients there are many more elements in it to build up, and may also be different colors depending on what elements are building up exactly. I attached the same pictures that I e-mailed to General Hydroponics with my question.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:10 PM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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I plan to buy some FloraKleen this year also.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:30 PM
GGM GGM is offline
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wouldn't a weak acid remove it? maybe drop a few clay pallets in a bowl of vinegar and see what happens.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:35 PM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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That might do it, I used Fox Farms last year and had a lot of salt buildup, this year I am using GH Floranova, and have not had that problem.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:59 PM
txice txice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGM View Post
wouldn't a weak acid remove it? maybe drop a few clay pallets in a bowl of vinegar and see what happens.
Probably a good bet. Looking at the data sheet for FloraKleen it has a pH of 4.0, so it's fairly acidic anyways.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:29 PM
KevinL KevinL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
I started this thread a long time ago and hadn't received any reply's, so
I'm slowly trying to make my way through the topics.
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  #10  
Old 12-25-2009, 07:02 PM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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I just got done cleaning about 7 gallons of Hydroton. UGG. But it's cheaper than replacing it.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:58 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txice View Post
Probably a good bet. Looking at the data sheet for FloraKleen it has a pH of 4.0, so it's fairly acidic anyways.
Just wondering where you found this data sheet? I have not been able to find a legitimate source so far. General hydroponics website does not have an active ingredient list. The best that I have found to that effect is:

"Ingredients: Flora Kleen Cleaning Flush Solution is a specially formulated mixture of chemicals that
are mixed in proportions to assure adequate removal of nutrient residues. The chemical identity of
the compounds and exact proportions used in the mixture are a trade secret.'

That is from General hydroponics website, so I don't think they would give any information to the public.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:03 AM
GGM GGM is offline
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proberbly means http://www.generalhydroponics.com/ge...lora_Kleen.pdf


Density: 1.01
pH: 4.0
Appearance and Odor: Light blue odorless solution
Odor Threshold Range: Unknown
Vapor Pressure: Unknown
Water Solubility: Miscible
Boiling Point: 1010 c
Melting point: -10 c
Other Solubilities: Unknown
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:37 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGM View Post
proberbly means http://www.generalhydroponics.com/ge...lora_Kleen.pdf


Density: 1.01
pH: 4.0
Appearance and Odor: Light blue odorless solution
Odor Threshold Range: Unknown
Vapor Pressure: Unknown
Water Solubility: Miscible
Boiling Point: 1010 c
Melting point: -10 c
Other Solubilities: Unknown
Ah, I see it now. That's the same pdf I was looking at, except I didn't read all the way down. Though I am not convinced the pH is the key to it working, but I figured I would give the vinegar idea a try anyway. I am cleaning the grow rocks from the tomato's that got the virus, so I took a few of the worst looking pellets and put them in a coffee cup with some distilled white vinegar. I am not exactly sure what the pH is of the vinegar because it tested at the lowest level of the range. Just for sh*** and giggles I thought I would up the acid level by doing another test, but this time adding some pH down to the mix. If the acid is what works that should do the trick. I will let them soak for a few days and post my findings.

One thing that I found strange about the FloraKleen is the boiling point. I don't know how that relates to it cleaning if at all, but it says that it boils at 1010 degrees Celsius. That's well over 4 times that of water at 212 degrees Celsius. Of coarse they don't say what is in the FloraKleen, so I don't know what would cause the boiling point to rise so high. But that might be a hint as to what is in it. There cant be too many things that would cause that, and it must be there for a reason. It also appears to be colorless, odorless (more or less) and a fluid, or at least dissolves in fluid. Anyone remember their chemistry classes from collage?
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:08 PM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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I just use bleech to clean mine with. But I am going to buy some FloraKleen.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:21 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Yes, I will use bleach also. That just sanitizes them but does not get the dissolved salts off.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:49 PM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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I use the FloraNova Nutes and they aren't as bad with the salts.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:10 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amigatec View Post
I use the FloraNova Nutes and they aren't as bad with the salts.
I think the FloraNova nutrients are kind of a second generation flora series nutrients, if I'm not mistaken. I have thought about trying them but haven't.

How do you like them?
Do you think they are any better than the flora series?
I think they are supposed to be more concentrated and more expensive because of it. How do they compare in price once you mix it?
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:04 PM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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I have been told they are made to be low salt nutes. I use about 1 tsp per gallon, the grow is very thick (like Molasses), I haven't used the bloom yet because I have been growing veggies that don't bloom, i.e. lettuce, spinach and celery. So far I really like Floranova, I like the 2 part mix instead of the 3 part mix. I also have the Floralicious Plus and the KoolBlooms.

I just started some green beans, a tomato, and a pepper. I will let you know how it turns out. You can watch it on my Hydrocam

I transplanted the beans this morning and they are only about 3" high now.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:49 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
I use about 1 tsp per gallon,
That's about 5mL per gallon, half what I use with the flora series at 10 mL per gallon. Though it cost about the same for a gallon of the flora series as it does for a gallon of flora nova at about $80+ that's about 3 times the cost per gallon of the flora series. Although with the flora nova you don't need 3 bottles. I am a little unclear if it needs to be mixed or not. It seems that there is Gro and Bloom, and you said you haven't used the bloom yet. So I would guess that all you use is the Gro. Basicly that all 3 parts of the flora series are in the one part of the floranova. In other words the cost of all 3 bottles of the flora series are in the one bottle of floranova. But at the same time you use half the amount per gallon making it more cost effective.

Quote:
the grow is very thick (like Molasses)
I cant imagine how you even measure it if it's that thick, not to mention how you will ever get it all out of the bottle. Also I read this from general hydroponics website, "Remember that due to its high concentration, FloraNova must be shaken vigorously before each use!" How would you possibly be able to shake it up that thick, molasses is about twice as thick as honey.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:44 AM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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Well it's not that thick but it is thick. I tend to mix it a bit weak. I have found that weak is better than strong, but I was growing lettuce and spinach with it so far, both of them are light feeders.

For the beans I will probably make it stronger, I am trying to keep the PPM below 1000 so far.

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