1. The roots that grow into the water at the bottom of the pot are acclimated to the wet conditions and will actually grow in water. When you first pot up into S/H, it is wise to keep the old roots above the water reservoir.
2. Fertilizer build-up- prevention requires flushing once a month. The long soak in clean water also 'recharges' the clay pellots with moisture. Even though the pellots wick water up to the roots of the plant, the pellots themselves dry out over time and the wicking action appears to be less when they dry. to do the soak. put the S/H pot in a larger container, fill to the top with clean, room temperature water and allow to soakfor a few minutes. Pull the S/H pot out, pour off the used water, do the same thing again to flush the system.
3.Glass marbles or the colored glass stones don't have as good a wicking action as the clay pellots provide. You'ld have to watch your orchids more closely to be sure they are drawing water.