FPE's only in a Hydro system?

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by MizzaFishKilla, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. I'm committed to being an "organic only" grower, but in intrigued by the feasability of using primarily fermented plant extracts for "nutes" in a hydroponic system. The system that that I'm most interested in is the "undercurrent system" found here: Home : Current Culture Hydroponics, superior hydroponic systems.
    • Has anyone tried this?
    • What FPE's did you use?
    • What sort of system did you use?
    • Did you notice a difference in the medicine? Taste, quantity, growth rate?
    • Does mycorrhizal inoculants work in hydro systems?
    • Should one expect PH problems?
    Comments by anyone having done this are welcome, or even your conjecture and hypothesis by ones who have not!

  2. #2 Possuum, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2011

    Killa, HighYa man. I was cruising around The City and I see that we've left you hanging bro without even a comment. I'm gonna throw out and see if we can get a civilized yet spirited dialog going on your excellent thought processes.

    I think an FPE only grow might work but I think plant yield would be diminished. In order of nutrient significance of N-P-K I think we would find comfrey first followed very closely by the much maligned dandelion. Both of these plants and those of their ilk (tap root) are referred to as dynamic accumulator plants - they store plant available nutrients in their tap root. If we carefully remove these plants roots, chop 'em up and ferment them along with the leaf material, flowers, stems, etc. we will have created a nutrient rich 'tea' of sorts that could be used to both irrigate and fertilize. The challenge of being a sufficient N-P-K source is going to be entirely dependent upon the amount of N-P-K that is stored. And that of course is going to be dependent upon a multitude of factors. Compound that with the standarized 100wt method for a guarantee of nutrient percent and it would take a dump truck load of raw plant material to to meet the N-P-K requirement for MJ. It might work and it probably would work but I think you would see a noticable difference in plant health, vigor, and harvest compared to a plant grown with more intense nutrient management.

    Mycor's are capable of working in a hydro environment because they are entirely dependent upon a plant's root system to survive. If you were able to use the FPE's in a hydro system, and I don't know why you wouldn't be able to, you probably would not have any concern for chemical destruction of the mycor population ala 'salts' that are associated with non-organic nutrient elements. So, yes mycor's can live in the root system of a hydro garden but it may be entirely dependent upon the successful use of non-synthetic nutrients.

    pH is a problem no matter what medium you grow in. There's plenty written here in The City about cation exchange capacity (CEC) etc. But pH is ALWAYS important regardless of the medium one grows in. Just because one grows in a soil/soiless medium doesn't mean pH won't be a problem. But as it's a problem in that medium so it is with hydro. However, pH issues are severely compounded with hydro because there is NO CEC within the substrate of rock wool, hydroton, areo, DWC, or any of the flavors of a non-soil/soiless grow. The single one amendment to a soil/soiless grow that helps to manage pH is humus material. Humus is one of only a couple of amendments that will have a positive influence for building the soil/soiless CEC. I point this out because without a sufficient quantity of soil organic matter (humus) pH is going to be a problem. there is no humus in a hydro gro. So the FPE as a component of managing pH in hydro is not a factor.

    My only runs with hydro were largely unsuccessful for me. I just didn't do it right. I think it's a great way to grow if one has the propensity for paying due attention to ensuring everything stays in order. For me, at the time, it didn't fit my lifestyle because it couldn't be attended to daily. Now, perhaps I could be successful growing that way but since figuring out a couple of things with soil/soiless I won't even bother going back to hydro for the forseeable future. I can grow five plants in 9sf yielding about 3 - 5 ozs cured, under a 250w light for less than $60 excluding electric. For moi it doesn't make sense to change that or even mess around with it too much. But I digress. That wasn't your question about what I have experienced with hydro LOL!

    C'mon you Organphiles. The dude asked a thought provoking question. Where are your thoughts?!? LOL :wave: Hopefully not in the non-organic gutter mates! :rolleyes:
  3. Well, my hazy understanding of "organic hydro" is that you run it similar to a synth setup, but with frequent res changes and organic nutrient lines. Most of these lines are based on kelp and fish hydrolysate anyway, so it should work similarly if you used FPEs.

    As to whether it's something that you would actually want to try in the real world, meh. That depends on how bad you need your harvests.

    I would do some reading on how to do the standard organic hydro methods, and experiment from there. Maybe a Kelp/Alfafa FPE, with some Guano hydrolysate (ala Budswel, however they do it) for mid flower? If you have anything that will clog on you, I would watch it like a hawk for a few weeks too, just to be sure. . .

  4. I have yet to try this but
    Organic Hydroponics | Cannabis Culture Magazine

    Use a tray feeding/ebb n flow watering system to facilitate a capillary action in which the water gets absorbed from the bottom.
  5. Thanks Possuum, Sam and Wong,
    After further research, I'm finding that controlling PH pluctuations in a "do it yourself organic" grow will be a maintenance nightmare - something I'm trying to get away from...

    Plus, making FPE's that will do the trick will be difficult in the sense that it will be nearly impossible to know NPK strength of a FPE from batch to batch.
  6. Yeah, probably not a fix for any garden chores, hah. Definitely more of an experimental dealio.

    Now watch LD come along and make me eat my words with a page full of articles on the subject, heheh. Seriously though, I may be talking out of my ass, as I have no first hand experience.

    You could always do a big batch of your main ones, and then stabilize them and test them. I want to say you use Phosphoric Acid, but I'm not sure. LD and Chunk know a lot more about FPEs than I do, may want to PM them, or I'll see about digging up a source for you in the morning. Damn oil has me way too baked for proper research.

    Cool thread though!
  7. MFK,

    The biggest hitch I can see in using an FPE is that they need to be brought to pH 3.2-3.6 for complete fermentation/readiness of the fertilizer. Most hydro systems run optimally at 5.8-6.0 pH, so IMHO maintaining that "sweet spot" in your pH could be problematic.

    I've been thinking about giving an FPE a go in a Hempy Bucket, which is a simple, passive hydro system. The Hempy is a bucket with a hole drilled at about 2" up from the bottom of the bucket.

    That 2" space is considered the reservoir. Ideally, the plant uses up the water/nute solution before any crud begins to grow. In theory, if your FPE has a diverse nutrient profile, it should be able to support the growth of an MJ plant.

    My first Hempy grows were in a 50/50 medium of perlite/vermiculite with a GH Lucas formula nute program. I would opt for a coco/perlite medium if I were to do an FPE Hempy. Maybe even a Sphagnum/coco-perlite medium.

    IMO, a Hempy grow with an FPE would be a great way to see if indeed an FPE would work in other hydro systems. One thing I would add to any future FPE's (especially for the Hempy) would be kelp meal. Maybe a Comfrey/Kelp or a Nettles/Kelp FPE would be something you could start with and build from there.

    Give me a holler if you'd like to further discuss,


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