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Pros and Cons of using Rockwool

Rockwool one of the popular growing mediums used in hydroponics systems. What are the pros and cons of using Rockwool as a growing medium? For a long time, Rockwool has been a favorite growing medium among many hydroponics gardeners. However, there are some concerns about this growing medium. Here are pros and cons of using Rockwool in hydroponic systems.

Pros of Rockwool 

High water and oxygen retention capacity 

The structure of the Rockwool allows it to absorb and hold sufficient amount of water and air. This reduces the constant need to pump water to the system. Also, Rockwool provides the root system with the much-needed oxygen.

Available in various shapes and sizes 

Regardless of the type of your hydroponic system, you can find Rockwool that meet your needs. Rockwool is available from small cubes to huge slabs. Moreover, Rockwool is locally available and can be found in most hydroponic stores.

Durable 

This growing medium is made from rocks subjected to very high temperatures. In this case, Rockwool is durable and will not break down or fall apart. Therefore, Rockwool can be used in hydroponic systems for many years.

Easy to inoculate with beneficial microbes

Just like other growing mediums, it is easy to inoculate Rockwool with beneficial microbes. However, you may need to apply the microbes more frequently. These microbes are vital for the healthy growth of your hydroponic plants.

Easy to monitor 

You can use water content meter to monitor the nutrients, temperature, etc. This will assist you in providing optimum conditions for your plants.

Cons of Rockwool 

Non- Biodegradable 

Rockwool is designed in such as way that it cannot break down quickly. Therefore, discarded Rockwool can sit in the landfill indefinitely. In this case, it is advisable to avoid buying new Rockwool each growing season.

Have no natural occurring nutrients 

Other growing mediums such as coco coir contain naturally occurring nutrients such as potassium and other minerals. However, you have to supply all nutrients when using Rockwool. This makes you plants to rely on hydroponic nutrients at all stages of growth.

Pose health hazards 

Just like asbestos, Rockwool is made from rocks and minerals that have been proven to be hazardous. In this case, it is advisable to wear a mask when handling this growing medium. Although it is not harmful as asbestos, it is still a threat to your health. Moreover, Rockwool can cause irritation to the skin and may cause serious long-term effects.

pH fluctuations 

Rockwool has a naturally high pH which can slow down the growth of your plants. The pH of Rockwool is prone to fluctuations. This requires constant monitoring of the pH level of your system, which can be time-consuming.

Requires pre-treatment 

Unlike other growing mediums, the growers have an obligation to treat Rockwool before using them in hydroponics. Rockwool is soaked in pH treated water for the whole day before transferring plants to it. Although this is not a major concern for many people, others may feel inconvenienced when using Rockwool.

Conclusion 

Rockwool is a growing medium that has gained popularity in hydroponic systems. However, there are pros and cons of using Rockwool.

Electricity Safety measures in Grow Rooms

Indoor grow rooms require electricity to sustain the growth of plants. From lighting to water pumping, the electrical wiring is inevitable in your grow room. However, dealing with electricity can be hazardous and may lead to fire and electrocution. Therefore, you should follow some guidelines while working with electrical wiring and machines.

Electricity safety measures in Grow Rooms

Here are some measures you should follow to ensure maximum safety in your grow room.

1. Install circuit breakers

This is the first form of electrical protection in your grow room. Circuit breakers ensure that your circuit draws a safe amount of power. If short-circuit or circuit overload occurs, the circuit breaker will trip and prevent potential fires.

2. Install safety switches

They are useful in protecting electrocution that results from faulty electrical equipment such as light ballast with loose wires inside.

3. Keep off electrical components from the floor

The extension cable blocks should be fixed to the wall or ceiling to prevent fire hazards. Moreover, it will keep the electrical components out of your way so you will not trip over them.

4. Avoid flammable materials in your grow room

Most of the electrical devices in the grow room draw a massive amount of electricity and generate lots of heat. Therefore, it is important to keep flammable materials away from the grow room as they can catch fire easily.

5. Do not hang lights on their cords

Hanging your grow lights from the cord can put stress on the cables, which can lead to short-circuiting. Instead, hang the grow lights using chains.

6. Keep rodents away from the grow room

Some rodents are notorious for chewing electrical wires. This can lead to short-circuiting and potential fires in your grow room. In this case, your grow room design should discourage rodents from getting into your room.

7. Switch off the power before performing any maintenance

Working on live wires can be very dangerous as it can lead to electrocution and potential fire hazards. Always switch off the from the switch box before doing any wiring.

8. Checks the wiring connection on regular basis

Loose connections may lead to fires in your grow room. They generate lot of heat and catch fire if left unnoticed. In this case, you should check all wiring connections to ensure that they are tight. You should also ensure no wires come in contact with the heat source. Moreover, wiring that looks deteriorated should be replaced immediately.

9. Check for water leakages

Water is a good conductor of electricity as can lead to short circuit as well as electrocution. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that no water comes in contact with electrical wiring in your grow room. Also, ensure that all taps are closed when not in use as they can cause flooding in your grow room.

Conclusion

Electrical safety is a top priority in a grow room. Therefore, it requires careful planning and diligence before performing any electrical in your grow room. In this case, you have to pay attention to every detail to avoid putting your life and property at risk. Every installation should be done by a qualified electrical technician.