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Thread: Holy Hydro shop batman!

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    swords's Avatar
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    Holy Hydro shop batman!

    I went to my first hydroponics shop today and scored a 50L bag of Hydroton clay ball media for $32. The place is only about 5 miles away from my job in a closed down bank building. I'm going to use it to line the bottoms of all my new vivariums about 2" deep and also try some semi-hydro style orchids on my patio, supposedly this is the killer new way to do orchids so I'll try it. Basically you grow orchids in a clear plastic container full of Hydroton and make the drainage holes 1" up on the sides instead of the bottom. The water in the bottom 1" reservoir wicks up through the Hydroton and keep the orchids roots "perfectly moist".

    I've never been to a hydroponics shop before cos they're usually a long way away from my area and I didn't want to get suspected for being a dope grower by shopping there. But the desire for the Hydroton was too much. It was actually a pretty neat shop. A LOT of people shopping there, was like going to any other plant shop on a Saturday afternoon not full of people in big trench coats, dark glasses and fakey looking wigs like I imagined it would be. There was all kinds of great plant stuff you can't get at the "run of the mill nurseries". I'll be shopping there a lot but always using cash at such a place would be a wise idea I should think. Though I did learn that apparently if you put the word "stealth" on any product you can charge $100 more for it. LOL

  2. #2
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Make sure to soak the hydroton thoroughly or hold it down with something. Some of mine was still floating after more than a week in a deep tub of water. It does work wonders, though.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks Joe, on the way home I was wondering if I should rinse it before using but I hadn't even thought of soaking it. I've got a huge rubbermaid tub I could use. I suppose I should get on that tonight if you left it a week and it still floated!

    Is the Hydroton made of laterite clay?

    Can it be pulverized and still used effectively (say for fine rooted plants) or does it have to be left as whole balls.

  4. #4
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I haven't tried yet, but I was thinking of smashing some as a substitute for APS. It does need to be rinsed - very dusty/muddy in wet applications. I suspect that when crushed it will produce a lot more dust. It seems to abrade itself rather easily, as I can rinse a batch clean, then shake it around in the sifter, and it will be all dusty again just from the agitation. Seemed easier to me to get it clean after it was thoroughly wetted. I've heard some people say to use some rubbing alcohol to accelerate the process, but I'm not sure what the reasoning behind that is.
    ~Joe

    PS - No clue what kind of clay it is, but laterite... doesn't sound wrong, at least.
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll soak it then rinse. I don't think I'll try the rubbing alcohol thing though, at least not for now.
    I'll have to test fill a tank and see how much I need to soak, I don't wanna soak up the whole huge bag and have it go foul by staying dark and wet til I get round to using it all.

  6. #6
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Oh it's easy to dry back out. It wicks water like nobody's business so as long as it isn't covered it'll dehydrate with a little time and air circulation. Filling the tank dry isn't a bad idea, but I suggest using about 20% more than you want because some will just refuse to sink.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  7. #7
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    Hydroponics stores have been selling things like hydroton, 4 cuft bags of Perlite, coir and a host of other things for a long long time! Glad to see someone discovering them as a source, as the products they sell (well, some of them) have great CP uses and can't be readily found elsewhere.
    Glad to see you will be helping to keep an industry alive, that has more than "assumed" uses.

    Congrats!

    PS: We all know why you were really in there! Key word: stealth!
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

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    I usually boil mine before using it, I can't say it helps with the floating but I do everything I can to keep new species of moss from getting a foothold. I have about 2-3" of the stuff in most of the larger tanks. I would suggest getting some of the lighting egg crate and cutting it to fit over the hydroton to give you an even floor. Its white but I would not go with it.

    Don't forget to add some to the Nep. mix, good airflow, wicking, and light weight.

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