Seeing as I have been getting more active here on the forum, I thought I would update you on how my system is running. Going through the pictures, I swear I could throw in one from last year and no one would notice they almost look the same...Awesome!
I've mentioned a couple of times that I have some experience with nutrients
and water parameters prior to getting into hydroponics, and I'll give you a little idea here.
I took allot more care in starting my seeds
this year in January. Indoors under T5HO lights
specifically for growing plants underwater. One of my other wallet draining hobbies is freshwater planted fish tanks, or Aquascaping. It is hydroponic growing to the max! Yet I don't think I ever realized it.
In a high tech, high light planted tank we monitor water nutrients, add macro, and mirco nutrients usually in individual compounds like Kno3/Kh2P04/K2S04/CSM+B/Iron Chelate. basically mixing our own nutrient
. Fill a tank up with R.O. water, place a small sun on top, add rare and exotic plants and fish then see what happens...lol I even have a 15 lb. Co2 tank that runs into a Co2 reactor that dissolves Co2 (a carbon source) into the water column.
Imagine growing plants inside your reservoir... kinda like that. Generally no oxygen added, no bubblers, no air pumps/stones. The high lighting and high Co2 levels make the plants photosynthesize and produce oxygen at a very fast rate...the water can...at time, almost appear to boil with oxygen coming off the plants (called "pearling"). It's fun, add poison gas to your fish tank, and rely on the plants to produce the oxygen to keep your fish alive.
and that's how I got into hydro...kinda...
I really wanted to get a good head start this year on my seedlings. Learned a bunch last year, learned a bunch this year...and next year will be different again!
This is my first attempt at growing my seedlings indoor with artificial light. I used two 5 gallon DWC systems I made with cheap 7 dollar Tupperware containers. Next year I will probably keep the light closer the seedlings. I figured with the wattage, bulbs
, parabolic reflectors I would be more than enough light...ahem...ok so they got a little leggy towards the end.
So here are my babies inside this March, Growing under 98 watts total. 2x Giesmann AquaFlora and 2x ATI 10K light bulbs.
Biggest change this year is the suspension system, I went with the Reelenz support thingies Reelenz, Each [TOM1010|Each] - $1.30 : Hydroponic Supplies and Greenhouse Equipment for the Professional Grower, by CropKing Inc.
They work great, every time I click them they release 3 inches of line out. effectively lower the plant slowly. If done once a week, that is a foot of lowering a month. I had trouble layering my vines last year, hopefully this will help me out.
Running 20 heirloom tomato plants this year, ordered online. Supposed to be award winners from Tomato fest, and other highly recommended verities.
Getting ready to go into the NFT!
I have yet to switch over to my Flowering Nutrient yet, I know... I know it's time but I was waiting on these little mother suckers!
Live and learn right? I think I am going to pull these little pepper plants and put them on there own Reservoir, maybe make another little system in the yard, thinking of something else to put in there place, started at the same time as the rest of the plants, should have started them November December I think.
What nutrient do I run?
I changed things around this year, I got hit by powdery mildew late season last year, and ended up pulling the plants early December due to this. (Had to listen to my Pops one up me as we ate tomatoes from his garden on Christmas! and he's a soil grower!!)
Vegetative Nutrient - SuperNatural Brand "Gro Aqua" 11-6-16 (same as last year)
Flowering Nutrient - General Hydroponics "FloraMato 10-6-18 (same as last year)
with...(new this year)
Botanicare - Silica Blast (per the label - Silicate helps strengthen plant tissue to help flourish in adverse environmental conditions such as heat, drought, and frost.) I am running this this year to help fortify my plants against pests and disease.
MaxiCrop - Liquid Seaweed 0-0-1 (only played with this a little last year)
and H2o2...(ran this last year)
Very happy, very healthy plants.
Water schedule, recirculating system... from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. the pumps turn on on the hour for 3 minutes.
Media - Pearlite
Can't wait for the mater's to be ready, already enjoying the Squash, Zucchini, Snap Peas, Cucumbers and all the leafy greens have been running year round.