Sick of rockwool. Medialess Growing? nft?

I feel sick of getting new growing media and disposing of it. Have many small plants. What you think about medialess growing? I was thinking about nft.

Maybe I could use my ebb and flood tables and do nft with them?

Why there is the saying, friends don’t let do friends rdwc?

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I love my RDWC system. Last grow I pulled 9oz from a single Barney’s Farm LSD. My biggest indoor yield to date from a single plant. I only gave her 5 weeks veg time. It’s made me determined to do a 4 plant LSD run this year to get the fabled 2gpw.
The seedlings are a few auto fems that I’ll document in my thread once they get a bit bigger.


The PITA thing about RDWC is keeping the ph in a range and NOT totally stable. I allow mine to drift from 5.8 to 6.4 then re adjust.

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rdwc is medialess? what is the stones in the pictures? marbles?

With medialess growing do you need to change nutrients more often than usually in hydroponics?

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It’s clay balls. They are only to support the seedling until strong enough. I also start the seeds in small rock wool blocks so it’s not 100% media less

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Problem with medialess is nothing supports your plant as it gets bigger.

You could use 2 or 3" netcups and neoprene collars and support your plant with stakes or a screen. Once they get about 16" tall they are gonna wanna topple over.

These netcups can be used in an NFT, Aero, DWC type systems

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netcups and neoprene collars sound good. the rockwool cubes topple over also at a certain point. But I have all here to build several trellis frames. So thats not a problem.

I have ebb and flood tables. I wonder when putting them into an angle I could use them for nutrient film technique. But they have a structure in the bottom so the liquid drains better, i think that would might cause the water to flow in these channels (which might be a problem I guess) instead of uniformingly over the whole area.

I saw you can buy root mats, is that something you use for nft? I saw them on offer in combination with a system like that:

My ebb and flood tables are these here :

They doesn’t look to different I guess. Could I use my tables for nft?

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I always added more hydroton balls when I uppotted my plants in the past. It allowed for more support in larger pots (and added base weight). Then again i was a newbie back then and may had done it wrong.

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As far as I’m aware root mats are 100% a requirement for nft. I think the proper name for them is spreader mats. They create an even spread of the nutrient solution across the roots.

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Yeah I add more as they get taller to block any light entering the rez :+1:

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True, you are using a different means of utilizing a flood table. My reservoir was separate and covered and i also didnt have to hide roots further than the top layer of hydroton. Either way, keep up the good work.

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You can grow using NFT with no hydroton or anything else - true mediumless. The trick is to start the seedlings in some medium that lets them develop roots that are long enough to reach down to the water.

Ive seen this done mostly where they are doing NFT in 4" to 6" PVC plumbing pipes. The pipes have just a thin layer f water flowing in them, so the roots need to beat least a few inches long. I believe @MicroDoser grows using that technique, but I dont remember how he starts his seedlings. He may be using hydroton in small net pots, but I dont know for sure.

I grow mediumless, but I start my seedlings in small dixie cups filled with perlite - mini-hempy buckets. When they get to maybe a week old, I dump the perlite transfer them to net pots. The stems are just held by the foam pucks.The roots grow into the net pot and support the plant that way once it gets bigger.

I have read of guys starting seeds with no medium, but thats not easy to do. Much easier to start in perlite, or hydroton or rockwool, then transfer to no medium. Its a little stressful on the babies to do that though and takes them a few days to adjust…


I see no reason why you cant do this with ebb/flow or DWC or any other hydro technique.

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show me a picture pls of the nutrient flow. how are you feeding the roots? spraying or flow over some area?

Does the problem exist that the roots clog the nutrient flow? How to avoid that?

what is the purple insulation material called? Is it pu-foam?

the green disks, is it neoprene?

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Last picture: the one on the right…
Is that the root, or some kind of rope wick?!
It’s growing like a tuber type plant…

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Dude that is awesome… I have never seen 100% media free… Thanks for sharing

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Dumb question for you guys.

   My girl used to have an aero garden. The small one to Grow her spices.   She used to order this and grow fully only using these sponges.  Would this be considered as media less growing?    

If it can grow a tomato. Why can’t it be used to grow weed? I’m never going into hydro. But I like reading the topics here and seeing what all you mad scientist are doing.

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This is an air atomized aeroponics setup - the roots get sprayed with very fine droplets - 50 micron on average as a target. Its drain to waste - not circulating. The roots get sprayed, then any water that drips down to the bottom is tossed out.

This is my most recent thread with more build details.

Sort of, but not the way you might be thinking. The roots can grow sideways, or even up in this kind of setup. Its like they dont care about or believe in gravity. They will grow directly toward the sprayers - no matter where you put them - until they cover them up completely. Once the sprayers are blocked, things dont work as well as they should if you are not careful how it is setup.

Yes, just 1" construction foam from Home Depot. I use it for the ceiling/lid of the root chamber. The green disks are just the normal net pot pucks. Not sure if they are neoprine or what, but very soft.

Thats all root. On that grow I screwed up more than once and severely damaged the roots. That plant grew a huge main tap root - about 1.5" in diameter - and thats what you are looking at. The plant to the left grew many very small roots. There is another plant you cant see which grew differently again with several medium sized tap roots in the 1/2" to 3/4" range. All three were the same strain, but reacted very differently to the problems I caused.

The root chamber is 24" in diameter by about 29" tall = around 56 gallons total volume. The roots can fill it all the way if you grow long enough, but these were autos. Here are some more pics at different stages.

I was mainly trying to show how the roots can fill the net pot to support the plant even when there is no medium.

There is another net pot burried on the far left side where all those medium sized tap roots are, but you cant se it.

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Damn!
Amazing roots… you must be doing a lot of things right :wink:

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LOL Thanks, but actually, if you read the thread you would know how badly I did as far as roots on that grow. I screwed up three times, and left the sprayers OFF for several hours each time. That let the roots dry out really badly and killed off a bunch of roots and stunted growth each time. Fortunately, these plants have an amazing ability to come back from near death experiences :slight_smile: I still ended up with a very good yield though by the end.

The new grow is going much smoother with no major screwups so far and the roots are developing nicely.

You can probably tell Im addicted to root porn :slight_smile:

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Those might work just fine. The trick will be if they dry out well between watering and if they hold too much water between. If they stay too wet, the roots will rot. No way to tell unless you try it though. You could probably find some sponge at the local store and just cut it into small cubes for a test, but they may not be the same density or porosity as the ones from ebay.

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I looked through your thread and saw that you changed the position of the nozzles. Is that solving the problem of the clogging or just delaying it? In some videos I saw some big hpa setups. Do you know how they prevent the clogging?

I am thinking to build lids for the ebb and flood tables but I am unsure about the material. I think I will try to find hdpe. But the insulation material is easier to get and more lightweight… is the insulation good to keep clean?

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