Starting in ebb and flow

Rio_GrandeMarch 15, 2014

We used a ebb and flow system last year with great success starting seeds outdoors. We are preparing to set the same system up indoors to get seeds started before transplanting. Into either dirt or hydro as we use both. We are also trying a seprate float system for the same purpose. We require hundreds of plants for the dirt portion of our operation alone not to mention the hydro and aqua expansions occurring this year. Last year we spent a ton buying our plants from a greenhouse.

Now my question on ebb and flow.

Should I set it up as I had last year with a pump and a timer running twice a day or should I set up a constant flow system with a bell siphon? I need to use coco chior or similar media as I need the plants to be easy to transplant.

Thanks for any input.

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PupillaCharites(FL 9a)

It probably depends on how well you're getting media drainage. If the timer system worked the pump only had to run a small fraction of the day, and coco coir drains slowly, so you'd have to be careful not to keep it too waterlogged with the constant siphon cycle going on. It doesn't sound to me like the frequent siphon draining would help???

If the medium were larger pieces of stuff like rocks and hydroton, the retention would be less and the siphoning action would probably aid by aerating, pulling air through the big spaces, but I don't see that benefit with slow draining coco coir.

If you wanted a 50/50 mix (or whatever the right proportions turned out to work best) of perlite and coir, that might complement better the continuous siphoning ebb and flow with superior aeration.

If your water source were from a fish tank though, the continuous system would probably provide more ammonium oxidation for the fishes' benefit, but balancing fish requirements with variable seedlings might not be something fun to deal with.

This post was edited by PupillaCharites on Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 2:19

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 2:17AM
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I bought a bag of cyco coco pearl. Man what a waste of money. I contacted the tobacco supply place about an hour from me. They have the stuff made for this for 9.00 a bag as opposed to almost 30.00 for the pearl and a 5 lb bag of vermiculite. As usual, it says hydro so it is worth almost 3x as much!

I am going to pick up some trays too, enough for about 5000 starts.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:10AM
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