Using Hydroponic Rocks Instead Of Perlite

Nan's Nook : Archive : Grow Chambers : Perlite
Posted by: Seige Machine Nov 09 02, 04:37 PM GMT
Is this stuff good for keeping the RH high? I have a great hydroponics store close to me and I guys that run it are very cool. They are willing to give me a great deal on a 25lb bag of this Hydro rock.
I have seen it used for hydroponic growing and they said itís has no nutrients to get contaminated. I read a lot about using perlite, but I can get the same quantity (25lb) for the same price as the deal on this hydrorock. Anyone used this stuff before can give me feedback?
If itís no good, Iíll just use the perlite and be done with it. I really want to support these guys though. They are local and have a small store just starting out.

See some dem rocks here ->

Posted by: sooshane Nov 09 02, 07:08 PM GMT
I am not too familiar with hydroponics rock. Is it clay pellets? If so what diameter? Although clay is pretty porous, it probably won't hold the water as well as perlite.

Posted by: sooshane Nov 09 02, 07:19 PM GMT
laugh.gif Is this a Freudian slip or what?

Last line of the first paragraph.

They are used both for commercial production and for decorative purposes such as a top layer for pot plants.

I think they meant potted plants.

Posted by: pixie Nov 10 02, 01:01 AM GMT
laugh.gif heh laugh.gif

Posted by: Malformed Nov 10 02, 01:09 AM GMT

it comes by many names, but its basicly all the same.

Predominantly used as a soil replacement for hydroponics, Hydroton is used to fill plastic net cups in aeroponic and NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) systems, as a medium for drip irrigation systems, or as a medium for container gardening. Hydroton is a clay aggregate manufactured exclusively in high-tech kilns in Germany and is well suited for growing larger plants, like tomatoes, peppers, and banana trees. It holds water extremely well and transmits it effectively to the plant roots. The pellets are uniform in size and have an attractive, natural appearance. Hydroton is a chemically-inert medium with a neutral pH, and is reusable, clean, and odorless.

Posted by: DirtyWOP Nov 10 02, 07:58 AM GMT
I'll answer your question backwards!
A guy showed me this great marijuana cloning technique with cut-off, bottomless two-liter bottles full of perlite, sitting in trays of H202 water.......there was a big sheet of plastic draped over all his clones

the guy said the clones took faster than any he'd seen yet

Posted by: Seige Machine Nov 10 02, 12:13 PM GMT
So maybe i can use it? it seems comparable to perlite from what you guys say ( sorry pix, not to say you are a guy or anything)

Posted by: Nanook Nov 10 02, 02:14 PM GMT
The question is how porus is the material. Perlite is like a sponge. It is mostly air (it floats), and the pores are largely ruptured and interconnected (meaning it has a great deal of surface area). The actual grain size is tiny in comparasion to the actual surface area... Which may be quite a few square feet. I read somewhere that the surface area of one cup of perlite is in the neighborhood of a football field.

Because the water absorbes into these pores, you have a great deal of evaporative surface.

Now there may be subsitute materials for Perlite, but be careful. Hydro rock is part of a water delivery system for plant roots, not the exact thing as humidification. A clay based material may absorb and release water slowly to stabilize conditions in a hydro bed, but it's not going to humidify well at all because clay is compact and does not offer the surface area of lighter puffed material.

I have seen some volcanic type hydro material that looks like it may be suitable... But there is another issue here that comes to mind and that is contams. Terrariums with cakes accumulate dirt and grow debris. And material place in the chamber must be either replaced or sanitized periodcally. Perlite is cheap enough it can be dumped and replaced.

Posted by: Seige Machine Nov 10 02, 02:34 PM GMT
Thanks guys for the information. This is great! I will have to experiment a bit and see if it works then.
The main dude at the store said he would sell me a bit to test and set-up my terrarium with. So over the next week I will get the first fruiting terrarium set up with it and monitor humidity levels for a few days before I make a decision on using it for my others. Besides the cakes are not ready to birth for at least another weekÖso I have some time.

Posted by: Nanook Nov 10 02, 03:31 PM GMT
Don't count on anything less than a high quality single purpose instrument for taking humidity readings.

Nothing sold at wally world will fit the bill. You really need a hygrometer, a high quality cigar store type instrument, or better, to get anything close to accurate readings in the typical fruiting chamber.

Personally I am a fan of the Polytherm units for the money.

Posted by: Seige Machine Nov 10 02, 05:37 PM GMT
Yes, Thanks nan for the reminder on hygrometer. I only use digital thermometers from Lowes. I found that the digital hygrometers are inaccurate and only go to 95% if you are luckyÖ. at the bottom of our useable range for sure.
After begging for a few weeks (like the dog I am) my girlfriend got me a Polytherm hygrometer for my birthday. She knows Iím into it. That was few months ago. I hunted down the best price I could find at the time and finally got it here:

I hope that they are good enough. Do you have any experience with this brand? It seems OK to me. BTW thanks for answering my questions. It helps a lot when some one can tell you the right way to do something instead of fumbling around experimenting on your own.

Posted by: PhishinPhree Nov 10 02, 06:06 PM GMT
They Hydro-pod on Hawkeye's site uses the same stuff for humitity. I remember seeing a post a few days ago at the shroomery of some dude who had 5 or 6 of those units. He swears by them. Anyway, they call it geo-lite when its in the hydro-pod but it looks just like the hydroponic medium your asking about. Here's a link to they hydropod for comparison.
I would imagine that one could throw the stiff in the oven for an hour or so after using it in a setup. Its clay so high temps won't harm it a bit.
Hope this helps

Posted by: Seige Machine Nov 10 02, 06:22 PM GMT
Man that Hydro pod exactly what I was trying to think of. It's really expensive tho. sad.gif
I read something about it long time ago and didnít make the connection until now.
It was funny trying to explain it to the dude in the hydroponics store without letting him know what I was growing. But now that I think about it, he probability grows awesome MJ, so I donít know what I was worried about. They were very cool about selling me the stuff for a good price. I will be buying a lighting system from them when I get the cash.
This is good; I might get good results if I use this hydro rock.

Posted by: Nanook Nov 17 02, 04:40 AM GMT
I like the polytherms wink.gif

Archive link to Hygrometers!!!

Posted by: ImaCheezit Nov 17 02, 09:51 AM GMT
A lighting system for your fungi? IMO, I have found just setting them by a window that is not facing the front of your house, for obvious reasons is enough. You really don't need any special lights. If you can read in the same room, you have light enough to grow some fungus. smile.gif

Posted by: Nanook Nov 17 02, 08:11 PM GMT
Archive link to: LIGHT!!!biggrin.gif

Enough to read the comics by, a couple of hours a day, is sufficient wink.gif

Posted by: Sgt.Poop Nov 17 02, 11:35 PM GMT
Hydrorocks works wonders ive seen mycelium actuall come off and brace itself to the rocks..just soaking up the moisture...add a bubbler to the bottom and some water ""bleached"" change every flush...and you got a full fledged home made hydro pod...... what you need:::

tupperware bin

2-3 inches of hydrorocks...

1inch water...

long bubbler /air diffuser

a hole on each side level with hydrorocks...

seen the pics of straw going crazy....

posts on mycotopia guy made flat beds of 1pint WBR ""whole brown rice"" mixed with 4pints worm casings.. allowed to colonize cut into 2x2x9 Inches long ... i received a new pic that he has yet to post.. one shows a few pins and one shows only 5hrs later tons of pins prepare to get it on...

40bucks for 50lbs and probably cheaper... reusable ..boil ..sterilize what ever you want....clean no mess like perlite .. and dammit you can make your own hydropods..well see if the need for dunking is gonna be null and void if it works like it should
pics of straw......
pics of worm poo and WBR coming soon....

turning one pint into 4-5 means less jars you have to do... bigger tupper bins means you could litterally do flat beds of straw and poop,, lots of airflow.. no more worrying of casings contamed or improper watering.... its as KISS as you can get... newbies its very easy....

sorry bout the long post had to be done..can be done with pf cakes ... and any substrate you mix with straw....

Posted by: Bindegal Nov 18 02, 07:08 PM GMT
I use Leca (Hydrorocks) and it works fine. I have also use Oasis(the green type) cut i 1-2 cm. plates at the bottom of my grow chambers, it work to allmost as god as Leca.
Now I use 2-3 cm. of Leca and aquarium-pump and it works great for me.

Posted by: Sgt.Poop Nov 19 02, 11:43 PM GMT
do you put the air diffuser in the water, or do you have water at the bottom???

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