My luck with S/H and Phrag. besseae

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Marco

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Jmoney said:
ask away! (as long as you realize I am NOT a s/h expert but rather just some mofo who uses a form of s/h).

I just run scalding hot water through the media and scrub off any obvious algae deposits, and then run enough water through to rinse off the assorted debris. I doubt that is a "real" sterilization though. My large bag of prime-agra came with instructions for sterilization that involved a bleach solution and many rinses afterwards--don't have the concentration offhand though...
You've had luck with your system, thats good enough for me. I got the starter kit from Ray to. I was thinking you used the bleach solution. Just wondering if you modified.

Thanks Jason :)
 

SlipperFan

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Dee said:
I think he means to fill the whole pot up with water and let it flush out. This way the media on the top part gets moistened too. It helps with the wicking process. Place the plant over a bucket with a rack on it, place your finger over the holes on the lower side, fill up the pot, then remove your finger from the holes. At least that how I have to do it growing indoors also.
C'mon, Dee. I have over 70 Phrags!
 
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Jmoney

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Marco said:
You've had luck with your system, thats good enough for me. I got the starter kit from Ray to. I was thinking you used the bleach solution. Just wondering if you modified.

Thanks Jason :)
np. I've had some luck with my system but I feel that the paphs liked the CHC/rock/charcoal media better than my s/h system, overall. I just didn't have the time to fine-tune the watering and this modified s/h lets me decide when to water. for some reason the phrags really took to this...
 

Ray

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Don't Blame Semi-Hydroponics!

Sorry for not responding sooner. Being at the Outer Banks on vacation is keeping me way too lazy. (Not to mention that the fish are biting better than they have for the last several years.)

Let me start by saying that I do not consider "my way" of S/H culture to be perfect, or the only way it will work. What DOES bother me though, is the way folks do stuff without necessarily realizing how they are affecting their outcome, run into problems, then credit the general concept with the problem. It is illogical and flies in the face of scientific reason, which clashes with my science/engineering background.....maybe I'm just picking up the flag from Bert Pressman.

1) Dump the charcoal that's in the medium and do not reuse it. Charcoal traps (permanently, unless you have the right heat treating equipment with atmosphere control) all sorts of stuff that can be toxic to your plants, whether that is directly, or by affecting the pH or other chemical aspects of the root zone environment.

2) The reason for filling the S/H pot to the top and letting it drain is not just to rewet the medium, but also to re-dissolve minerals and flush the pot, especially the reservoir. Between changes in the nutrient content and the changes created by the gas exchange at the root system, the chemistry of the solution in the reservoir can be totally different than what you put into it after only a few days.

3) Likewise, pathogens are not the only reason to avoid sharing a reservoir (via a tray) among several plants. The solution chemical effects I mentioned above can vary from plant-to-plant. Sharing the reservoir "forces" the chemical changes on the other plants.

4) Reducing the volume of the reservoir so it will dry out faster defeats the whole purpose of S/H, and in fact, isn't semi-hydroponics at all. It is simply "traditional" culture using the inert LECA medium. Roots must grow cells that are accustomed to the contantly-moist environment in order to take advantage of it and thrive. Letting the medium dry out in between waterings does not allow that to take place.

Also, while algae is not really detrimental, unless you let it go to the extent that it clogs air flow, the best approach is prevention. A monthly watering with Physan (1 tsp/gal) or bleach (1 oz/gal) will do the trick.
 

littlefrog

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Ray,

Glad the fish are biting, beats my last fishing trip.

Did I read that last bit to say you water with 1 ounce of bleach (the usual household concentration) in one gallon of water, to kill algae? Is that practice suitable for all genera? Do you water again with clear water after some delay, or just wait until the next watering period? I don't use physan for various reasons (lots of inertia and no physan on hand, mainly), but I do have bleach...

We've been conditioned to think bleach is bad for orchids, but a lot of people use it quite liberally. Wil Neptune springs to mind. I've never had that much of a problem with algae (except in the semihydro culture), so I don't use it much.
 

Ray

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Will is the guy that turned me on to bleach.

Yep, one ounce per gallon is a bit under a 0.8% solution of bleach, or about 0.04% sodium hypochlorite. I have heavily sprayed the entire greenhouse with it with no plant or flower damage, and without a follow-up watering to wash it away.

Yesterday - right off the beach in from of our rental - my brother in law and I caught grey trout, flounder, croakers, spot, whiting (they call them "sea mullet" down here), and while being very lazy and just leaving the line in the water while enjoying a cold beer, a couple of skates. We were supposed to do some wreck fishing yesterday with a guide we met a few years ago, but the prediction of 25-knot winds scrubbed that. We're going to try again Friday morning.
 

Heather

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I have heard many great things about Dr. Neptune. I have to get to more of the Mass. Society meetings (tho I don't really know how often he attends) I wish he'd come to the NH ones but I should branch out (and now MOS is a lot closer to me.)

Ray - sounds as though you are having a ball. Enjoy the break!
 

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