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Hydroponic Cacti and Succulents


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#1 THCixx420

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:51 AM

Hi all,

I don't know if I'm using the search function correctly, but is anyone else here growing under lights in any type of hydro setup?

If there is I would like to hit them up with a couple of questions or read their post?

I currently run alot of 22 watt 2700K 1350lumen eco globes which come on before dawn, off at sunrise and back on at dusk to extend the day to 18hrs.

I flood and drain nutrient which only just tickles the very bottom of the roots. I am happy with the results but have also exploded a few (see images of astros). I dont mind them splitting because they still kick on and are good seed givers.

Attached File  IMG_1940.JPG   1.77MB   125 downloadsAttached File  IMG_1943.JPG   1.77MB   119 downloads

*note. This isn't the setup. This one is for germination of seed and growing out for planting or moving to the farm. Same lights, same channel, same but small. Those two in the image have been out of the system for a long time and live at home to give me seed. I just wanted to show an example of what can happened under the conditions in the same setup.

I'd like to hear how others are doing it.

Cheers.

Edited by THCixx420, 15 December 2012 - 11:53 AM.

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#2 Mr. Bowser

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:15 PM

Hey THC,

I've been using an ebb and flow table under MH for some peres and grafts. CFL light should be fine for peres/grafts so long as its close enough to the top. I use LECA and the water level reaches about 90% the total depth of the media once per day. The peres seem to love it, and grafts grown on these peres also do well also. If I could water every other day, I'd do that b/c sometimes the peres get too water heavy in the leaves and fall over. But I've only got a daily timer and I'm too lazy to water them manually. I posted a pic somewhere on here, I'll try to find the link for it

EDIT: heres the link

Edited by Mr. Bowser, 15 December 2012 - 12:17 PM.

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#3 Heretic

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 04:19 PM

In soil splitting is often caused by too much fert.

#4 jwerta

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:42 PM

wow those cacti look f**ked
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#5 applesnail

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:02 PM

dude you got some problems in that grow set up...your gonna get rot and infections thru everything in that set up...u want your grow environment somewhat sterile and plants growing in optimum health..those cacti are in seriously bad way exploding cacti like that is bad news its just a matter time before infection sets in and the nastys take over!

heres a nice successful loph grow log under lights in the forum..
http://www.shaman-au...showtopic=31895

Edited by applesnail, 15 December 2012 - 06:23 PM.

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#6 jwerta

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:05 PM

dude you got some problems in that grow set up...your gonna get rot and infections thru everything in that set up...u want your grow environment somewhat sterile and plants growing in optium health..those cacti are in seriously bad way exploding cacti like that is bad news its just a matter time before infection sets in and the nastys take over!


yep way to much water and nutrients = BAD!!

v6nxKsw.png


#7 Evil Genius

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:01 PM

That is like asking for Rot. Way too much nutrients and water for cacti. They are not waterplants and cant be grown like some other plants that thrive under these conditions. The splitting comes from the water and the nutrients. One point or another, you will lose these plants if you dont change the conditions. Astro´s are VERY sensitive when its about fungal infections and their roots. If you change the PH by fertilizing the hell out of them, they will rot away in no time. The fact that they were producing a lot of seeds before, may also mean that they tried to produce some offspring before they die. :)

Edited by Evil Genius, 15 December 2012 - 08:02 PM.

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#8 THCixx420

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:50 PM

Hey guys - I should have pointed out that happened in the early days - just to show a big fuck up.

Everything runs nice and smooth now. That photo was taken today when it was pissing down rain. That setup is outdoors for the regular plants im seeding. I popped those two under the lights mainly to show the lights that work well for me inside dry shipping containers on a farm with solar and battery power only.

This is how things normally look
Attached File  IMG_1952.JPG   1.65MB   95 downloads
Attached File  IMG_1953.JPG   1.75MB   97 downloads

cheers

#9 Evil Genius

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:02 PM

Yeah that looks better. Be careful, these lamps cause skin cancer.
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#10 THCixx420

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:03 PM

It was a few years ago that those split. They were pushed and pushed until they popped, experiment to see how much goodness could be pumped in - good lesson and thats why I like em - look fucked but keep on going.

#11 THCixx420

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

Yeah that looks better. Be careful, these lamps cause skin cancer.


I'm never under the lamps in the contaner coz they are only on during dark hours. Laser light sheets and shadecloth make up the roof to let the sun in when working in them.

#12 Mr. Bowser

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:09 AM

Forgot to mention that the peres are the only cactus sp. that seemed to thrive in my hydroponic setup. Put a t. cuzco in there, and even with decreased watering it was very unhappy until I pulled it out. I'll be trying a selenicereus cutting next once it has a developed root system.

But I've only had good results with peres grafts with lots of water and ferts. If you've got a digital timer and could water once a week or something and/or change to a drier medium you could probably grow all sorts of other cacti in hydro. Like EG said, the pH of your nutrients is important to prevent rot. While peres seem to do just fine with water/nutrients pH 5.5 -7, my trichos and other less water loving cacti do better at higher pH around 7 - 8. Then again micro nutrient solubility decreases at higher pH... so I just foliar feed the trichos and other basic soil loving cacti with dilute micro nutrients (pH 6.5) at night.
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#13 THCixx420

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 06:06 AM

Forgot to mention that the peres are the only cactus sp. that seemed to thrive in my hydroponic setup. Put a t. cuzco in there, and even with decreased watering it was very unhappy until I pulled it out. I'll be trying a selenicereus cutting next once it has a developed root system.

But I've only had good results with peres grafts with lots of water and ferts. If you've got a digital timer and could water once a week or something and/or change to a drier medium you could probably grow all sorts of other cacti in hydro. Like EG said, the pH of your nutrients is important to prevent rot. While peres seem to do just fine with water/nutrients pH 5.5 -7, my trichos and other less water loving cacti do better at higher pH around 7 - 8. Then again micro nutrient solubility decreases at higher pH... so I just foliar feed the trichos and other basic soil loving cacti with dilute micro nutrients (pH 6.5) at night.


What I've tried to do in the indoor show is make sections that share similar climate and soil types. Some Ive got potted in limestone, some in sand, some in soil, some in a mix etc

I've tried to replicate their natural conditions and the amount of water I give is based on the annual rainfall for a particular region. The water that is sent through is on a timer and carries a very low PPM of nutrient. Bugger all water is used - Too much water flowing through the system causes too much humidity in the air. In total there is 30-35 litres of water that gets flused through 240 feet of channel once a day. The water gets dumped into the channel, hits like a wave and passes through the medium just tickling the roots enough to dose the plant and continues down the line. At the end of the line it gets dumped through a mix of limestone, grit, coarse sand, cow shit, chook shit, compost and a few other goodies that are drawn out before being pumped through again the next day. Auto dose units keep everything within limits - ie add/remove water to/from sump to keep nutrient PPM, PH etc within limits. My babies havent suffered for a long time.

I really wanted to find out if anyone had lights running 24/7, what temps they had the water at, what temp the grow room was kept at, humidity and what sort of growth rates had been achieved.

I try keep my water at around 30 degrees and the containers can get up to 57 degrees. Humidity I try to get down to 0% but just cant do it because of the power situation. My aim is not to grow fast but nice and healthy. Shipping containers were used to secure my babies coz I cant be near half of them all the time.

#14 Mr. Bowser

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 06:49 AM

I've tried to replicate their natural conditions and the amount of water I give is based on the annual rainfall for a particular region. The water that is sent through is on a timer and carries a very low PPM of nutrient. Bugger all water is used - Too much water flowing through the system causes too much humidity in the air. In total there is 30-35 litres of water that gets flused through 240 feet of channel once a day. The water gets dumped into the channel, hits like a wave and passes through the medium just tickling the roots enough to dose the plant and continues down the line. At the end of the line it gets dumped through a mix of limestone, grit, coarse sand, cow shit, chook shit, compost and a few other goodies that are drawn out before being pumped through again the next day. Auto dose units keep everything within limits - ie add/remove water to/from sump to keep nutrient PPM, PH etc within limits. My babies havent suffered for a long time.


So the water wicks up into growing medium from channels, as opposed to the growing medium being flooded? Sounds like a good idea, and efficient with the water also!

I really wanted to find out if anyone had lights running 24/7, what temps they had the water at, what temp the grow room was kept at, humidity and what sort of growth rates had been achieved.


Haven't tried running lights 24/7. Sounds expensive. From what I understand of cactus metabolism, the plant is only capable of fixing carbon at night. The stoma are triggered to open at cooler (night) temps and if the temp is too high at night, they won't open at all. Not sure how the stoma opening is affected by light cycle, though I imagine giving them a few hours of "night" with cooler temps would be a closer match to their natural environment.

#15 Bigred

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:07 AM

my brother did it to quite some success but he used a 400 watt Hps son t agro and used perlite and sand as the media
the idea of indoor hydroponics is to replicate the ideal matrix for that species using compact fluro's is great but
to get results one must use HID lighting

thc your idea is great for what you have can the solar run a small setup they have these awesome little tent's
and t5 lighting reflector's

http://www.ebay.com....=item2c6a0bea1b


http://www.ebay.com....=item2c697a1c8a

#16 Stillman

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:21 AM

I have used canna terra nutes on my cacti that I wanted to push. just hand watered when dry, run to waste 10 to 15% outflow. Nice and low tech with good results. With any feed regime with succulents the key is to allow for rapid drying out between drinks so heat (and small pots) is a key if you want to push anything like this in my experience.
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#17 Rabelais

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:47 AM

I really wanted to find out if anyone had lights running 24/7



Haven't tried running lights 24/7. Sounds expensive. From what I understand of cactus metabolism, the plant is only capable of fixing carbon at night. The stoma are triggered to open at cooler (night) temps and if the temp is too high at night, they won't open at all. Not sure how the stoma opening is affected by light cycle, though I imagine giving them a few hours of "night" with cooler temps would be a closer match to their natural environment.


This ^

Cacti use crassulacean acid metabolism photosynthesis (CAM).

In other words, they need darkness as much as light.

Edited by Rabelais, 16 December 2012 - 08:50 AM.

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#18 THCixx420

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:22 PM

This ^

Cacti use crassulacean acid metabolism photosynthesis (CAM).

In other words, they need darkness as much as light.


This is what I'm trying to get at. What is the optimum number of daylight/darkness hours. The combination of sunlight + 2-4 hours under lights depending on the time of year works well for me but i'm always wanting to do better.

Would 12 hours on and 12 hours off be better? What about 6 on and 18 off? Why not 16 - 18 on and 8 or 6 hours off? I'm here to learn.

CFL vs HPS vs MH is not the issue for me. I have had near 18 years of using differnt lights, media and nutrients for lots of different plants. I dont want to deal with the extra heat or humidity from hotter lights inside a shipping container when its balanced nicely now. I just want them to feel it is summer all year round (but can change if its for the better). I'm not aiming to turn out big ones quick - just nice examples. The lights dont even need to be on if they need more darkness - thats what I want to find out. More or less light?

Edited by THCixx420, 16 December 2012 - 09:24 PM.


#19 Rabelais

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:55 PM

I've always used 18/6. No scientific basis for using this, it is just what I have used.

I guess a good thing to do would be to look at the sunrise/sunset times for the seasons depending on the origin of the cactus being grown, I guess this would be optimum since it is how they have evolved...that is pretty hardcore though.

A good tool for finding the specific environmental conditions would be Climate Consultant software, it goes into great depth with regards to climatic conditions, even down to ground temperatures. Really are a wealth of information, I use Climate Consultant at university for my architecture studies...couldn't live without it.

You can download the software from here (free): http://www.energy-de...s.aud.ucla.edu/

Once you download and install the software, you then get climate data from world-wide weather stations from this page as zip files: http://apps1.eere.en...eather_data.cfm Then load them with Climate Consultant.

Edited by Rabelais, 16 December 2012 - 09:58 PM.

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#20 incognito

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:11 PM

wow those cacti look f**ked

[

jwerta you get the 2012 sab quote of the year in my books ;)

dont know why but i just lost my poo.

i like handwatering my cacti :)
especially my precious ones :)
really suss them out and see what their doing, gotta keep your eye on the game or all of a sudden you have the dreaded red spider mite or scale. spider mite are what i fear most now. Ive seen the destruction they can cause to unchecked cacti.

peres would lend very well to hydroponics.

Edited by incognito, 16 December 2012 - 10:20 PM.

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#21 .dg

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:42 AM

a few years ago there was a German(i think) guy growing some amazing lophs in a hydro set up. amazing growth!

i believe they were old pere grafts with some of the pere left as root stock but the lophs were nestled down in the grow rocks

#22 THCixx420

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 11:02 PM

Thanks for all the input guys. I'm definitely going to give Pereskiopsis a go soon. At the moment I have a heap of Trichocereus for this round of grafts. I would need a fair bit of Pereskiopsis to get through what I need to and I dont have enough yet,

#23 mushroomman

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:55 AM

a few years ago there was a German(i think) guy growing some amazing lophs in a hydro set up. amazing growth!

i believe they were old pere grafts with some of the pere left as root stock but the lophs were nestled down in the grow rocks


Is this what you are talking about? http://www.shaman-au...l=&fromsearch=1

#24 Bigred

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:11 AM

i think people get the wrong idea of hydroponics, the actual growth mediun and system normally refers to hydroponics
the use of indoor light's is more indoor horticulture
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#25 THCixx420

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:29 AM

Is this what you are talking about? http://www.shaman-au...l=&fromsearch=1


Thanks for that mate. Very similar to what I'm doing.

I have been trying out a new brew in the sytem at homefor 2 months now and I'm happy with the results. So I figured I would throw a recently grafted loph under the lights in to see how it likes it.

I brought this little loph home yesterday to throw in the outdoor unit. I've measured it up Attached File  IMG_1962.JPG   1.68MB   9 downloadsAttached File  IMG_1965.JPG   1.53MB   10 downloads (maybe a mm out) and will update pics with more measurement when I think of it.

FYI the nutrients I have been using are:

Worm juice
Canna
Natural VitaRich - Seaweed, Fish emulsion, blood and bone. This is the new additive I'm trying.

I make up a fresh brew weekly. I fill up a 40 litre tub with tap water. I dont bother with PH or letting it sit to get rid of chlorine or anything - it will sort itself out and my plants dont seem to care. I swap the tubs over and save the old nutriend for one of the misting bottles and the garden.

I then give the pumps and lines a cleanout by removing debris and flushing the first couple of litres of water through the line into a watering can. I then run the tap water through the system for up to 12 hours depending what time I could be stuffed switching the water over.

After nutrient free water has been running through it for a while I put my meter in the water and tip my worm juice in. I take the nutrient levels up to 650ppm with that.

I then add the Canna. I go up to 1300ppm with that.

Finally I add the vitarich gear. When nutrients are between 1750-1800ppm I'm done.

For the next six days I will check the nutrient every few hours and take things back up to around 1750ppm and watch my babies grow.

I dont measure anything out - I just pour from the bottles after a shake.

Cheers and happy growing!

ixx