Transition of seedlings to my hydro system

I started seedlings in little peat pods and when they have their second and third set of leaves, I move the seedlings to my system where i have pvc 3 inch pipes with 2" holes cut, 6 and 8" apart.

In the pipes I have about an 1"1/2 of 1/2 inch lava rock.

I pump water in through it 2 times per day, and water always remain in the pipe at all times about 1 1/2 up from the bottom.

The problem is, the seedling pots seem to be water soaked or not touch the water and dry out and die... And many times the seedling roots never come out of the pod and down into the water.

What am I doing wrong???

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Answer from Stella/Simon:

Hi Chrissy,
1st of all, part of the problem may be the peat pots. You should avoid peat pellets, jiffy pots or potting soil in a hydroponic system, as they break down and clog the pump.

Secondly, the plants must be quite far along with the roots actually reaching through the starter cubes so that it will reach into the solution. Peat pots are much harder for the roots to penetrate. I do believe the Peat pots are your whole problem. Please visit this page for more information, and our opinion of how hydroponics seedlings should be handled:

Seeds & Seedlings

Hope this helps!

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