I am so confused.

Let me preface this long bitch post by telling everyone what I have for a setup, to put everything in the proper perspective:
I am using DWC w/clay pellets (which is irrelevant, since I can't even get a single freakin plant to the point I can actually use the DWC), a 2 × 4 × 5 Vivosun grow tent w/ Spider Farmer SF2000 LED, and 1.5" rockwool cubes that I regret using, since they apparently require a PhD in horticultural science to properly prepare them.

In addition, I am growing from (feminized) seeds, which was also probably not the best n00b choice to make. My seeds are 10× blueberry kush, g.s. cookies, bruce banner, and gorilla glue, for a total of 40 seeds, minus about 10 now.

When I first started this little hydro project back in March or April, I bought and studied Jorge Cervantes' book, I went online, read articles, guides, and forum threads. I watched videos, and picked the brains of a few people I know that have the experience which I lack.

I've started approx 10 seeds now. You want to take a guess as to how many are still alive? One. One sad little baby, and she is on her way out, too. Not a single plant has made it past maybe 2 inches tall, and the one I have that is barely hanging on is the first one that actually made it far enough to grow the second pair of true leaves. The rest died not long after sprouting the first true pair of leaves, or they never germinated at all, although the few duds I had I think were more due to the company I got them from (Growers Choice). As for the rest, I am sure it's all me.

So, with that out of the way, let me just bitch a moment about the dizzying array of vastly different opinions on the matter. For starters, the advice I have received for soaking rockwool couldn't be more contradictory--some say soak them for 15 mins, some say 2 hours, some say 24 hours, some say "until the bubbles stop". So, which is it?

Secondly, when it comes to how much ppm that seedlings need (specifically in inert rockwool), the advice varies greatly as well. According to Cervantes, you only need plain old tap water for the first few weeks of life. Of course, I don't need to tell you all that if you go online, that's (again) exactly the opposite of what most people say. In fact, I've read (in some guides) that seedlings need upwards of 500 ppm. Then, there are those that say you must soak your cubes in nutients prior to planting. Well, which is it?

Third, when I see my plants yellowing, curling down, damping off, or whatever, I go online to diagnose the problem, and what do I get? When plants are yellowing and curlins, it could be too many nutrients, could be not enough. Could be over-watering. Could be underwatering. Could be too much light. Could be temperature. Could be fuckin VD. Who the hell knows? In other words, could be anything.

Finally, how damp is damp? That is a subjective term. I didn't know there was an actual measurement for "damp". This last I suspect is my real problem, but how the hell can I know that for sure?

Sorry for such a long diatribe, but damn I am so confused and frustrated now that I feel like either trashing it all, or crying like a little school girl. I am a 51 year old man. You do NOT want to see that, trust me.

Ah. I feel slightly better now after I got that off my chest. Anyone care to throw in their two cents? I would appreciate any suggestions, or maybe just comiseration. I will take whatever you all are willing to give me. Throw me a frikkin bone people!
 

curious2garden

Well-Known Member
I never prepared my Rockwool in any special manner. I soaked it, then gave it a good shake and dropped in the seed and put it on a tray in the dark covered. I'd check in 24 hours. If the cube didn't feel moist I'd drip some tap water on it.

As they germinated I put them on a tray under a T5. I just dripped tap water on the cube to keep it moist when I checked. I never fed mine until they turned a light color and their cotyledons started to yellow. Then I began feeding them at 200 PPM using GH Flora Trio, pHed to 5.8.

From that point I fed them every time they needed water. I moved to my NFT rail cups with hydroton once I saw roots coming out of the cube and added top feeding lines that ran water through them and their hydroton. When their roots hit the base of the rail I pulled the top lines.
I hope that's helpful.
 
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I never prepared my Rockwool in any special manner. I soaked it, then gave it a good shake and dropped in the seed and put it on a tray in the dark covered. I'd check in 24 hours. If the cube didn't feel moist I'd drip some tap water on it.

As they germinated I put them on a tray under a T5. I just dripped tap water on the cube to keep it moist when I checked. I never fed mine until they turned a light color and their cotyledons started to yellow. Then I began feeding them at 200 PPM using FH Flora Trio, pHed to 5.8.

From that point I fed them every time they needed water. I moved to my NFT rail cups with hydroton once I saw roots coming out of the cube and added top feeding lines that ran water through them and their hydroton. When their roots hit the base of the rail I pulled the top lines.
I hope that's helpful.
Bless you. That's very helpful, but I have some questions, if I may. Have to sleep now and get back to you tomorrow. Just wanted to thank you for answering so quickly first.
 

StonedGardener

Well-Known Member
Just a couple things.....regarding "damp" get a digital relative humidity monitor ( pretty cheap)....I keep mine at 35%, people vary, some 50% etc............underwatering is real limp, green, downward pointing leaves...........if all leaves going yellow good chance nitrogen overdose......just MY opinions......
 

Johiem

Well-Known Member
Rock wool For the inexperienced and unstudied is a BITCH! It holds too much then dries out in weird ways(I am inexperienced and unstudied in rock wool) I would recommend switching to a coir or peat style seedling plug to sprout then burying the little girl up to her cotyledon. And get the fan on her as soon as she spreads her first leaves. Coco is cheaper than Rock wool also.
 
Just a couple things.....regarding "damp" get a digital relative humidity monitor ( pretty cheap)....I keep mine at 35%, people vary, some 50% etc............underwatering is real limp, green, downward pointing leaves...........if all leaves going yellow good chance nitrogen overdose......just MY opinions......
Ahh. Great suggestion on the meter. Will try that. Thanks!
 
Rock wool For the inexperienced and unstudied is a BITCH! It holds too much then dries out in weird ways(I am inexperienced and unstudied in rock wool) I would recommend switching to a coir or peat style seedling plug to sprout then burying the little girl up to her cotyledon. And get the fan on her as soon as she spreads her first leaves. Coco is cheaper than Rock wool also.
I've noticed, believe me. Seems like rockwool may be great, in some cases, superior even, IF you know your shit, which I do not. I may have to admit defeat and take your (others have said as much too) advice. Just not ready to throw in the towel with the wool quite yet. Spent too much money, and I am a stubborn goat.
 

Johiem

Well-Known Member
You kinda sound like my pops although he said he'd never try it (much less grow it). It's the stubborn goat comment.
Welcome to RIU, pitch in where you can, learn as much as you can.
 

JimmiP

Well-Known Member
I would suggest starting with a mild organic soil like fox farms happy Frog, I. 3.5-4inch pots for your seeds then moving to ocean forest in 2 gallon pots then to 7-10 gallon pots to flower and not feeding them anything. Just water them and up pot when they need it. Then watch how the plant grows and learn from it.
Then after a couple of grows move on to hydro if you still want to.
Don't give up and welcome to RIU!
Good luck friend!
 

DoubleAtotheRON

Well-Known Member
I've had good luck with RapidRooters on a heat mat. Just make sure the channels stay full of water and mat is at ~82 degrees. Open vents on the dome as you see roots. My last tray of 50 had 49 rooters. This was cloning... but works just as easily for seeds.
 

JimmiP

Well-Known Member
I've had good luck with RapidRooters on a heat mat. Just make sure the channels stay full of water and mat is at ~82 degrees. Open vents on the dome as you see roots. My last tray of 50 had 49 rooters. This was cloning... but works just as easily for seeds.
I do love the rapid rooters for clones. Every single clone I took rooted last time.
 

SnidleyBluntash

Well-Known Member
1) soak vs no soak won’t kill 10/1 seeds. I tried it and didn’t and there was no difference.
2) ppm should start to be added slowly and gradually. You can start earlyer than 2 weeks for sure. I would start at 200 ppm right from the beginning. Could be reason for your issues. Your light Could be too close causing yellowing also, from having not enough nutrients.
3) the likely issue plaguing you is too wer off rock will and you are drowning them. I’l I’ll tell you the same thing I told 5 other people, the super secret: use a syringe to suck water out of the cube. You can use a Turkey baster. Or a pippet. This is the best way to remove water from it. Also you have to be gentle with it, or you can crush it and it loses its properties. Sucking the easter out will prevent dampening off and will cure all your problems.
 
You kinda sound like my pops although he said he'd never try it (much less grow it). It's the stubborn goat comment.
Welcome to RIU, pitch in where you can, learn as much as you can.
[/QUOTE
Thanks for the welcome. I like how responsive everyone has been so far, so I will stick around I think.
 

Hollatchaboy

Well-Known Member
Just a couple things.....regarding "damp" get a digital relative humidity monitor ( pretty cheap)....I keep mine at 35%, people vary, some 50% etc............underwatering is real limp, green, downward pointing leaves...........if all leaves going yellow good chance nitrogen overdose......just MY opinions......
I believe yellowing leaves indicates nitrogen starved. Dark green leaves and clawing indicates nitrogen overdose.
 

magnetik

Well-Known Member
Thanks. I know. I won't quit. Just think I made maybe some of the hardest possible setup choices for a beginner. I kind of knew that before I began, but I wanted a challenge.
Your subsequent grows will be better. My first grow choices were pretty bad. I ended up scrogging bag seed that was vegging for way too long in hydro 5gal buckets. scrogs + dwc=bad idea, flip to flower where the rootball is already filling the bucket = bad idea, and growing bag seed for first grow = bad idea (had one plant hitting the roof of the tent mid stretch, the other was short and bushy), I also underestimated the speed of growth of DWC and got root rot. I was trying to apply my pepper growing experience to cannabis which didn't work out as well as I had hoped. I now grow in soil, much more relaxing. haha I do agree with others on rapid rooters. They work and no precharging with pH this or that. I just spritz them with coconut/aloe water every few days and keep the heat mat warm.
 
1) soak vs no soak won’t kill 10/1 seeds. I tried it and didn’t and there was no difference.
2) ppm should start to be added slowly and gradually. You can start earlyer than 2 weeks for sure. I would start at 200 ppm right from the beginning. Could be reason for your issues. Your light Could be too close causing yellowing also, from having not enough nutrients.
3) the likely issue plaguing you is too wer off rock will and you are drowning them. I’l I’ll tell you the same thing I told 5 other people, the super secret: use a syringe to suck water out of the cube. You can use a Turkey baster. Or a pippet. This is the best way to remove water from it. Also you have to be gentle with it, or you can crush it and it loses its properties. Sucking the easter out will prevent dampening off and will cure all your problems.
That's another great idea, thanks. That will definitely help when I overdo it. Now if I could only tell when that is exactly.
 
That's another great idea, thanks. That will definitely help when I overdo it. Now if I could only tell when that is exactly.
Also, as for the light, it is set on 20% at 30", but I am wondering if i should use fluorescents until they are big enough. I have tried various levels of ppm. I think my very first was around 200. I will go back to that.
 
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