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I'm trying to get into hydroponics and have started with peas as it's winter in in Wollongong, Australia.

However I've had an ongoing issue ever since planting them a week ago. I haven't seen much growth at all and constant wilting of the leaves. They were in rock wool in a running water setup that remained saturated and so I thought over-watering might be an issue so I've taken the rock wool out and now they are just sitting in the clay balls with the bottom of their roots in the running water. Also when taking out the rock wool I noticed that the roots are trimmed with brown now.

I bought an air pump a couple of days ago thinking that it may have been an oxygen issue but I haven't seen any results since having installed it in the reservoir.

I'm a beginner and everything I've read on the net points to over-watering however everything I have tried hasn't worked.

  • Were they growing well in the rock wool? If so, for how long before you transplanted them? – BRM May 28 '13 at 13:48
  • They were not, it was about 5 days before i transplanted them. – Shannon May 29 '13 at 5:42
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As far as I understand, what over-watering really is, is:

  1. Soil gets too wet, so bad stuff starts growing on/in it.
  2. The roots do not get enough air, which they also need besides water and nutrition.

No. 1 is not a problem in hydroponics, as you do not have soil, and no. 2 is solved by aeration, so you really should be using that air pump.

But if you got that covered, then you should not be afraid of over-watering. Which does not really make sense in a hydroponics system, as the point is growing the plants in water. :)

Also, see this question: If it's possible to overwater a plant, then how do plants grow hydroponically?

What kind of nutrition are you using for you hydroponics system?

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    They've started to pick up so it was definitely the lack of aeration that was the cause. And just your standard growth A&B mix for hydroponics. – Shannon Jun 5 '13 at 4:57
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You also have to be very careful about your nutrient solution concentration because if the solution is too concentrated the process of osmosis comes into play leading to plant wilting.

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