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PostPosted: Aug 10th, '13, 10:41 
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Hi!

I've filled up a GB of 100% hydroton yesterday and did a few cycles and everything was going great! Did see that the hydroton was floating and bulging over the top so removed some and it seems to be fine. F&D working at least!

I put the plants in last night (just a couple of strawberries and lettuces) in a small white planter type thing and put them in the hydroton like you do, but this morning I had noticed that all the plants have moved and I had even lost one! After digging I found it at the bottom of the GB!!!!

Has anyone else had this happen? And how did you rectify it? I was thinking of putting a 1/2 marble slate from my other GB and putting the hydroton on top, or put a sheet of weed mat or wind break when it's 3/4 full but think this might just go loopy after a few F&D's or even suspending the plants from a small stick and some sort of string around the baskets I have the plants growing in!

Didn't think I'd come across this problem anyway!

I have a 70l GB 400x600x300 deep with a bell siphon.

How to others use to control the float factor hydroton creates?

Thanks in advance :)


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PostPosted: Aug 10th, '13, 13:53 
You're flooding too high.... trim your standpipe so that the flood level is 25-50mm below the surface of the media...

I'd suggest about 25-30mm....


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PostPosted: Aug 10th, '13, 14:14 
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Hi Aquajess,

I am new to this so do not know a lot. As Rupert says, adjust your syphon.

Set up my system about 7 weeks ago. I noticed the same thing with the Hydrotron floating particularly if the bed filled too high on the flood cycle. My growbed is about 250mm deep and I have managed to get the drain cycle to start when the level is about 50mm below top of Hydrotron. The top layer of Hydrotron held the lower levels in place. Once a root mat starts to form, no worries.

My Bell syphon inner pipe can be pulled through its mounting so to lower level I just lowered the pipe a little each time. To see the liquid level I simply put a small terracotta pot into the Hydrotron. As the level rises it fills the pot and it is easy to see what level is reached. Once you are happy with the levels remove the pot.


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PostPosted: Aug 10th, '13, 14:19 
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Is it actually Hydroton?... or another brand, possibly Nutrifield?... or a no-name brand? (usually imported from China or Thailand then branded under a local company's name)... they tend to be more buoyant than the German/Dutch exp' clays.

You may also be flooding too high in the GB. I prefer to set my systems up so the water only floods to within 40 or 50mm of the surface.

When using expanded clay exclusively it's advisable to get the system operating, ie: flooding & draining, and let it operate overnight without any plants in place, then plant the following day. This gives the clay time to settle in and many of the floaters will have become saturated and will have less buoyancy to them.

Edit: I typed this out a while back and was then caught up with a customer, then came back to the puter and hit submit, but in the meantime you've already been sorted by Rupe and meomia, so I apologise for the duplicate advice.

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PostPosted: Aug 11th, '13, 09:41 
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that's great guys, all your advice is greatly appreciated! will definitely trim back the pipe and see how that goes, it definitely is the german made hydroton.

am so close to a perfect set up - enjoying the ironing our the kinks stage too! fish seem happy which is great!


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PostPosted: Aug 11th, '13, 09:52 
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Just when you think it is perfect you find more to do.


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PostPosted: Aug 13th, '13, 16:42 
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Theron wrote:
Just when you think it is perfect you find more to do.


I am finding this quote so true!


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PostPosted: Aug 13th, '13, 17:20 
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One thing with clay is you can easily bury seedlings deep to reach the flood level, so set your pipe 60-70mm down. After a while the clay will take up water and not be so boyant, then you can put a longer standpipe in.
Remember spring onions and leeks can go in now and need to be deeply planted, tomatoes the same

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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '13, 08:03 
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Hi All, new to the forum while searching this question. I have a 5 gal bucket I'm using for a tomato plant that I filled with hydroton. I found the same issue with plants shifting as the bucket filled and drained ( I could hear the clay shifting ). Came home from work and the plant was all the way to the side of the bucket getting ready for a one way trip to the bottom. I pulled it and placed it in my flat GB. I pulled out the hydroton to about 1/2 inch below the water line and replaced it with 3/4 inch gravel. So far things have stayed put and I'm hoping to replace the tomato plant tomorrow. Hopefully with time it will saturate with water and not be an issue again.


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PostPosted: Jul 6th, '17, 09:29 
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wow.. very happy to have found you guys.
ive been strugglin my way along aswell.
now i reckon gotta give the hydroton a little time to assimilate aswell and absorb the new home.
73


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