Coco: Tips, techniques, and the facts you will need

burgertime2010

Well-Known Member
I see a lot of people out here on the fence about switching to Coco or making the choice to try it and want to know what issues it presents. Basically, salt build up, gnats, frequent feeding, and having appropriate drainage are the main concerns and easily remedied. There is a misconception that it is not hydroponics. It looks like soil but does not like to be treated as such. It is hard to overwater and with a little Perlite, watering daily is common in flowering.
 

hellraizer30

Rebel From The North
Even with drip clean and 10% runoff im still geting salt buildup :(
was feeding at 850ppm. Went ahead and flushed but now they
look like shit!
 

burgertime2010

Well-Known Member
Even with drip clean and 10% runoff im still geting salt buildup :( was feeding at 850ppm. Went ahead and flushed but now they look like shit!
My remedy for that has just passed testing by me and works pretty well. I mix enough solution for 2.5 waterings at 1000PPm hypothetically. I will go ahead and water and then dilute the remainder of the solution by 20 %. The next feeding is at 800 ppm. Dilute again by 20% for the next feed and you wont have the salts building up. I find that in the end, the buildup is cancelled by the reduction in nutrients and the coco is at the same ppm as the first feeding. Also, the plant is given a chance to get hungry and when the cycle begins again they are ready to eat. Even if you just do this 3-4 times throughout flowering it does regulate the problem. I saw increases in yield, fast growing lush plants, and less nutrients I had to use as well.
 

djwimbo

Well-Known Member
I see a lot of people out here on the fence about switching to Coco or making the choice to try it and want to know what issues it presents. Basically, salt build up, gnats, frequent feeding, and having appropriate drainage are the main concerns and easily remedied. There is a misconception that it is not hydroponics. It looks like soil but does not like to be treated as such. It is hard to overwater and with a little Perlite, watering daily is common in flowering.
When I was running errands this weekend, I talked to the guys at a local (bigger name locally) gardening center. I had a brick of coco in my hand, employee asks if I need help, so I ask where the airpots/Superoots pots are. "Oh, we don't carry those." .. "Why?" .. "Too many holes, bug problems, and soil issues." I still bought what I went there for, but the second person to help me was much more helpful.

I ended up buying SaferGro PH down, I figured I can't really go wrong if it's organic. I did forget to buy Drip Clean while I was there.

At a different place I picked up 2x(1L, 3L & 7.5L) airpots. I might skip using the 3L's and transplant from 1L to 7.5L, but we'll see.
 

burgertime2010

Well-Known Member
When I was running errands this weekend, I talked to the guys at a local (bigger name locally) gardening center. I had a brick of coco in my hand, employee asks if I need help, so I ask where the airpots/Superoots pots are. "Oh, we don't carry those." .. "Why?" .. "Too many holes, bug problems, and soil issues." I still bought what I went there for, but the second person to help me was much more helpful. I ended up buying SaferGro PH down, I figured I can't really go wrong if it's organic. I did forget to buy Drip Clean while I was there. At a different place I picked up 2x(1L, 3L & 7.5L) airpots. I might skip using the 3L's and transplant from 1L to 7.5L, but we'll see.
Did you get Cal Mag? and your base nutrients? do you know about the rinsing of Coco?
 

GreenThumbSucker

Well-Known Member
My remedy for that has just passed testing by me and works pretty well. I mix enough solution for 2.5 waterings at 1000PPm hypothetically. I will go ahead and water and then dilute the remainder of the solution by 20 %. The next feeding is at 800 ppm. Dilute again by 20% for the next feed and you wont have the salts building up. I find that in the end, the buildup is cancelled by the reduction in nutrients and the coco is at the same ppm as the first feeding. Also, the plant is given a chance to get hungry and when the cycle begins again they are ready to eat. Even if you just do this 3-4 times throughout flowering it does regulate the problem. I saw increases in yield, fast growing lush plants, and less nutrients I had to use as well.
I started doing something similar to this. I water them with 800 - 850 ppm, top off the res with plain water then the next day water with about 500 - 550 ppm. 10% drainage. Heavy feeding day, light feeding day...back and forth. Have had no problems with salt buildup.

Once I fed with plain water only and they showed a nutrient deficiency the next morning. They should always be fed with at least SOME fertilizer.
 

hellraizer30

Rebel From The North
Well im thinking with it being automated and a res lasts a week with 4feeds for 1 min = 10% runoff
and using drip clean. At the end of the week flush! Or just 1 good feed of water might slow it down or
solve the issue.

Would be a weekly rinse any thoughts?
 

burgertime2010

Well-Known Member
I would just start increasing watering times. Get more runoff and use less food. You shouldn't need to rinse weekly and don't ever use water with 0 ppm (R.O./Distilled) without adding Cal-mag and base nutrients at 1/4.
 

djwimbo

Well-Known Member
Recommendations for hard water? unfiltered city water is 170ppm.

I feel like there's a simple solution, I don't need much.
 

burgertime2010

Well-Known Member
I use a reverse osmosis filter. If however, this is not an option I would definitely draw the water 2-4 days prior depending on how much there is. This allows the chlorine to evaporate. If it is not much, and you don't have the time, boiling the water will remove chlorine rapidly.....remember to let it cool to under 70 degrees before adding nutrients and feeding.
 

djwimbo

Well-Known Member
I use a reverse osmosis filter. If however, this is not an option I would definitely draw the water 2-4 days prior depending on how much there is. This allows the chlorine to evaporate. If it is not much, and you don't have the time, boiling the water will remove chlorine rapidly.....remember to let it cool to under 70 degrees before adding nutrients and feeding.
I was hoping to try some different options this weekend, and see what's best for my usage. I was going to try 2-3x methods and see what I can get it down to.

The chlorine separation by evaporation ... should I add an air stone? or flooming device? Or is it really just fill a bucket and wait a day or two?
 

Nizza

Well-Known Member
I was hoping to try some different options this weekend, and see what's best for my usage. I was going to try 2-3x methods and see what I can get it down to.

The chlorine separation by evaporation ... should I add an air stone? or flooming device? Or is it really just fill a bucket and wait a day or two?
I use an airstone and wait one day, just to increase oxygen levels, our water is from aqua firs and is ~120ppm. if you think your water has chlorine 2 days is what i hear, and an airstone will speed it up. Oldschool guys like to take 2 buckets and pour them back and forth, creating crazy levels of o2
 

Clankie

Well-Known Member
so i guess i'll throw down with the grownups. i just set up my first drip/dtw setup a little over a month ago, switching from ebb and flow. liking the results so far, but i'd love some input. currently using 1gph drippers 4 times per 24 hours for a total of 1gal each plant, 3 gal smartpots. thoroughly flush with lower strength nutes once a week.looking a little something like this.
 

burgertime2010

Well-Known Member
Looks good, plants are strong and healthy. I would be inclined to even out the canopy height a bit, but I can't tell what light config you have. Training and topping are valuable tools to increase flowering sites and productivity. Also, dont cut any more leaves off.
 

Clankie

Well-Known Member
Looks good, plants are strong and healthy. I would be inclined to even out the canopy height a bit, but I can't tell what light config you have. Training and topping are valuable tools to increase flowering sites and productivity. Also, dont cut any more leaves off.
thanks, after reading more on this forum i have decided to up my watering level to 1.5 gal per 24 hours. i had to cut clones off these gals later into flowering than usual, and i tend to remove a couple of the biggest uppermost fan leaves because i do usually train my plants outwards in a crown shape, so thats whats up with the defoliation. i use air cooled 600s and oscillating fans everywhere, but those girls in the middle got dropped down 10" later that day. since a lot of these are seed plants, they often get taller than i like, so i also have a 1000w on a mover w/double parabolic hood behind them that i use for girls that get too tall, mylar everywhere, so theres a lot of light around.
 

Clankie

Well-Known Member
i tried coco mainly because i didnt like clay, or rockwool solutions for large plants, but it is obvious from their vigor that they love it. the roots are insane as well, and good root structure is vital tl good yield. h&g's roots excellurator is awesome, and worth the price. if you don't want to use that, i had great results from rapid start from gh before i got a free sample of h&g's. big fan of beneficials, i had always stayed away because i love h2o2 in dwc and ebb andflow systems, but i started using gh's subcultures b and m and i think i will at least use the b forever now. aeration is the key, all my best coco plants have been from smartpots, and they reuse better than i thought they would.
 

djwimbo

Well-Known Member
Did you get Cal Mag? and your base nutrients? do you know about the rinsing of Coco?
Not sure why I didn't answer this question before. Yes, GO CaMg+ and I presoaked the coco in 120ppm CaMg @ 5.5pH. See sig for journal. Canna line + drip clean + RO Coco coir ... etc.

I fed 350-400ppm until the second set of leaves started to form, and "day 5"(today) was their first feeding @ 600ppm. Next feed will be lower, like 450. Sound like a good idea?
 

burgertime2010

Well-Known Member
Not sure why I didn't answer this question before. Yes, GO CaMg+ and I presoaked the coco in 120ppm CaMg @ 5.5pH. See sig for journal. Canna line + drip clean + RO Coco coir ... etc. I fed 350-400ppm until the second set of leaves started to form, and "day 5"(today) was their first feeding @ 600ppm. Next feed will be lower, like 450. Sound like a good idea?
Well, the ph seems low and I am concerned that you might go heavy on the nutrients a bit early.....it is hard not to. Also, strains have differing needs that set yopu along a path that they dictate via close observation, study, and repetition, or get luck and find an old pro familiar with your girlfriends. I think it sounds good...just remember the cardinal rules of a beginner....dont water or feed too early or often. Any pics??
 

burgertime2010

Well-Known Member
I like seeing people getting it together and starting off strong. A lot of good questions have came in and I want to see more and more Coco people here, helping getting this some momentum. So, where were we?
 
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