08 8371 5777

Beginners Guide to Hydroponics (Updated)

Last Updated: April 2018

How long should I run my lights ?

Vegetative phase = 18 hrs per day.

Flowering phase = 12 hrs per day.

What distance between light and plant is best?

The gap should be approx 40cm for 400W, 40-60cm for 600W and 60cm for 1000W globes.

Also a fan blowing gently between the plant and globe will help with heat building up.

If using “cool tubes” then lights may be run much closer!

What is the best light to use, High Pressure Sodium (HPS) or Metal Halide (MH)?

In our trials, we found that HPS (versus MH), when used for an entire crop cycle, slightly but noticeably out performed MH. We have also found that HPS gives a marginally better yield if it used for the bloom phase and the

MH performs slightly better during the growth phase. For best results use an MH for growth and an HPS for the flower phase.

How often should I change my globes?

For best results change your globes about every 3000 hours. We have calculated a 10% loss between 3000-4000 hours and a 25% loss from 4000 hours of usage. A light meter is also a useful tool for measuring the loss of your globes. Every Second Crop Is Preferable

Do I need reflective material on the walls? E.g. Mylar, Diamond Foil

You don’t need Mylar on the walls but reflective walls mean more light which means more growth and extra yield.

Your Lights will work much more efficiently with Better Reflection!!!!

What temperature should the growing room be?

Daytime 26 -28 °C

Nighttime 20 – 23°C

Use a thermometer to record temps/swings. A thermostat is also a useful tool for controlling temps.

Try to keep the gap between Night and day temperatures close.

What humidity should I maintain?

Clone above 80%
Grow stage 60%-80%
Bloom stage 50%-60%
If humidity is too low then an evaporative cooler will help to increase humidity levels. If humidity is too high extra ventilation or a dehumidifier is recommended.


How much ventilation is necessary?

Ventilation needs to be enough to maintain a temperature of about 26-28°C and a humidity of about 50% in the centre of the plant canopy. Generally it is better to have too much than too little ventilation to raise co2 levels for your plants. Use a thermo/hygrometer to record humidity swings. A fan is a useful tool to remove humidity. A dehumidifier may help in humid conditions or in co2 grow rooms.
In summer an Evaporation Cooler is great for raising the humidity levels.

What brand of nutrients should I use?

At Glandore Hydroponics, every brand we sell is of the highest quality. Our personal opinion is Dutch brands as they seem to work better than locally made brands – Try BAC  or Canna nutrients.

What PPM – EC should I maintain?

This changes with the growth phase and time of year.
It is also different for each brand of nutrient. (Most Nutrient companies want you to use more, We find Less is more!
A Bluelab truncheon or a simple EC pen will be suitable to measure. If too weak- add more nutrient. If too strong- add water. Below is a rough guide on nutrient strengths. We always prefer using less nutrient rather than more nutrient. If Unsure use Less nutrients

 

A General Guide for media such as Perlite and Expanded Clay Balls.

Vegetative: 840 PPM – 1540 PPM | 1.2-2.2 EC

Flowering: 1260 PPM – 1680 PPM | 1.8- 2.4 EC

A General Guide for media such as Coconut Fibre

Vegetative: 840 PPM – 1400 PPM | 1.2-2.0 EC

Flowering: 1260 PPM – 1540 PPM | 1.8- 2.2 EC

What pH should I maintain?

6.0 – 6.6 Re circulation

5.5 – 5.8 Run To Waste

A PH Pen or Milwaukee Digital Waterproof PH meter or even a simple test kit can be used to check pH. You will also need pH(up) and pH(down) to correct the pH of the solution.

The last three weeks of Flower, Run Your pH at 6.2 – 6.8.  This will make P/K more available to the plants.

Products like Frooting Power and the Incredible BAC F1 booster will make things work much better.    

What is the different between a recirculating system and a run to waste system (RTW)?  

A recirculating system is one where the nutrient solution is continuously pumped from a reservoir to the plant and then drains back to the reservoir.

The same water is used over and over though the reservoir is occasionally refilled to replace the water used by the plant. A  RTW system is where the nutrient solution is pumped from the reservoir to the plant then discarded.

Growing in coco is an example of RTW. We always recommend RTW systems. A RTW system will deliver more consistent results.

How often should I water in Perlite?

The amount of irrigation water to apply is perhaps more important than how and when to irrigate.

A general rule of thumb to follow in irrigating plants is to apply 10-15% more water than the container will hold. Frequency of application will depend upon plant size and grow room temperature, but will vary from once or twice daily immediately after transplanting to several times per day on warm days during harvest. Only water the plants during the day period.

How often should I water in Clay Balls?

A general rule of thumb to follow in irrigating plants is to apply 10-15% more water than the container will hold. Frequency of application will depend upon plant size and grow room temperature, but will vary from one 15 minute feed every hour while the lights are on during the first weeks of growth then one 15 minute feed every two hours starting several minutes before the lamps have been turned on. Only water the plants in the day period.

How often should I water in Coco Fibre?  

If you are using a pot over 30Ltr water once per 24 hours until the plant reaches 30cm wide/high, Then 2 feeds till 50cm wide/high before running the maximum of three feeds.
IMPORTANT-Around 20% Runoff is a good amount; a good rule of thumb is
to wait a couple of minutes, as the coco acts like a sponge then lets out the excess,
If the pots are smaller than 30Ltr then it may be necessary to water up to 5 times per day. Only water the plants in the day period. Do not over water plants as this will slow growth and can cause pest and disease infestation.
A good tip is to feel the weight of the pot . If it is heavy do not water until the pot has dried out a little. If using Rocket Pots then extra feeds may be required as they dry out quicker than standard pots.

 

Is it necessary to aerate the nutrient solutions?

YES. Aerating the nutrient solution is a good idea. It mixes constantly, protecting against stagnant water and improves plant health by adding oxygen to the solution. A mixing pump is recommended.

What temperature should my nutrient solution be?  

Between 18 – 22°C. If solution is too cold use a water heater. If too hot, a nutrient chiller will be suitable. Cold nutrients slow growth, hot nutrients decreases oxygen from nutrients and increases chances of root diseases.

20°C is the optimal temperature. A nutrient chiller is recommended in the hotter months.

How often should I flush?  

Every 7-10 days is recommended. A small amount of nutrient in the flush solution (EC 0.6 ) will save the plant from any unnecessary stress. Make sure temperature and pH of flush water is correct.

Do not over flush as this can cause inconsistent PPM/EC/CF levels! A general guide is half the volume of water to the amount of media in the pot. For example; 50litre pot, 25litres of flush water. We also recommend using Dripclean in the nutrient solution to aid in the removal of built up nutrients in the medium.

What causes the tips of the plants to burn?

This can be caused by too much nutrient (too high EC), too much salt in the water, NOT enough water, lights too close or not regular flushing.  Certain nutrient deficiencies can also cause leaf tip burn.

Use a good nutrient of the highest grade and ask us to make a customised schedule to suit your needs!

As previously recommended, H&G Dripclean will protect the plant from built up nutrients in the medium.

What causes leaves to turn yellow?

This can be caused by a number of factors.

  1. Nutrient solution too warm (keep solution between 18 -22°C)
  2. Low oxygen levels due to lack of aeration.
  3. Over watering!
  4. The onset of root disease.
  5. The pH is too high.
  6. Too much salt in the water.
  7. Room temps too high or low.

All of these stop the plant from taking up nutrients in the correct quantities and balance.

Why do plants stretch?  

Plants stretch when the light is insufficient or humidity too high. Lack of ventilation is normally the cause of high humidity, also too many plants in a small area. A larger fan may help to fix this.

Why are my plant’s roots brown?

Brown roots are usually those that have been attacked by disease, probably Pythium.  Using fungarid will be of great assistance and usually eliminates the problem. Another frequent cause is over watering.

Normally, roots should clearly be white.  (Products that can ensure this are Ryzo and H&G Multizyme).

My plants have very small bugs that spin webs. What are they?  

These are a troublesome pest known as Red Spider or “Spider Mite”.They can cause severe damage and should be treated by spraying plants when small to prevent an infestation happening Kryptomite will be suitable. If it is late in the flower stage then Mite Aerosol will be more suitable as this is a dry spray. For best results , do not use the same mite spray more than 3 times on the same cycle Recommended sprays Mite Aerosol , Kryptomite ,Killa-Mite

 

There are small black flies around the edges of my pots in the coco around root system of my plants. Are they a problem?

Yes Scaria Fly can kill a plant easily If Untreated
The flies are probably Sciaria Flies also known Scarid and Fungus Gnats. Their larvae chew on and devour the fine root hairs of your plants; it is this damage that increases the risk of waterborne diseases like ‘Pythium”.
Gnatural is very effective for the treatment of Scarid Fly. fungarid will be required to treat for the disease left from the Fungus Gnats. Also Deploy Sticky yellow fly traps horizontally on the edge of pots to control and detect adults.

What is the brown rotting in the flower buds?  

This is nearly always a disease called BOTRYTIS (grey mould).
To help prevent this you can use products like “Silikamagic” or “Quantum silica“. If you have this then  will stop the rot spreading through the flowers.
The Best way to cure this problem is to harvest the infected flowers. A visual inspection of larger flowers close to harvest will make it easier to stop the spread of Botrytis. When first signs are noticed, remove affected flowers.

There is green algae growing on my medium, Is this going to cause problems?

No. This will not cause any problems. This is caused by the reaction of light and water. Once the canopy of the plants grow this will stop.

My leaves are curling over. What has caused this?

Leaves curling upwards can be caused by incorrect PH levels. It is generally a sign of a nutrient deficiency. Incorrect PH can play havoc with nutrient uptake and cause deficiencies. Check the PH of the nutrient and that your meter is calibrated and working correctly. Also check your EC and your EC meter to ensure that you are giving your plants enough food.

 

My leaves are curling under. What has caused this?

This can be caused by over fertilization. However, again, this could be related to a deficiency. Check that the EC and PH are within the correct range.

What are the white powdery spots on the leaves?  

This is probably a disease called powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is a disease that spreads by air borne spores that enter the grow room from the ventilation or when the door is opened. To prevent this try a bit more ventilation.

My leaves are turning purple towards the end of flower . Is this a problem?

Leaf purpling is fairly common towards the end of flowering. This is generally due to a Phosphorous deficiency.
Towards the end of the plants life it can have problems up taking Potassium and Phosphorus.
Increasing the PH to 6.4 can help to alleviate this problem. Using extra PK products can help to fix this as well. It can also be triggered if the environment is to cold. A heater may fix this problem.

Should I remove leaves and branches?

It is not recommended to remove leaves as they are solar panels for the plant, having said that if there are leaves in the middle of the plant or in places that are not getting light then they can be removed. It is also recommended to remove small spindly branches and shoots from the centre of the canopy. This will also concentrate energy into the flowers rather than developing useless fluffy flowers in the middle of the plant. Removing unnecessary shoots and branches will help with better air circulation and airflow.

However, we recommend removing leaves 7 to 10 days before harvest.- This will make the flowers explode. Do not remove leaves earlier as the plant will waist energy to grow them back.

My Plants are way to big. Should I use Quickturn?

When a healthy plant goes from growth to bloom it can stretch up to 6 times in a very short period of time. Quickturn is a 2 part program. Part 1 will stop the stretch and trigger the plants into flower immediately . Part 2 is the “Full Bloom Enhancer”, (the money part) this will create more flowering sites. Basically , less gaps between the flowers. Can increase flower production by up to 30%.

Should I use a Digital Ballast or Magnetic Ballast

We would always recommend using a Digital ballast over a Magnetic ballast. A Digital ballast will use around 30% less power and produce around 25% more produce.

Should I use Rocket Pots?

We recommend using Rocket Pots over standard pots . We see less root problems , quicker growth and higher production. The Rocket Pots provide extra oxygen for the plants roots and will not get root bound as easy as standard pots.

Will Co2 Enrichment increase my yields?

Co2 can increase yields by around 30%. We recommend co2 for growers who have perfected their grow rooms . This is not for beginner growers, as plants will grow much quicker and the gardener has to know what he or she is doing as things can get out of control. For example, when co2 is used problems will happen much quicker , but also can be fixed much faster. For more detailed information please ask in store.

 

This is a guide only! For a more detailed prognosis please contact our plant specialists by phone – 08 8371 5777 or email admin@glandorehydro.com to get a better diagnosis.