Thread: 11 Plant Garden
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:09 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,843

Hello amberhall,
First I've never built the 11 plant system posted on hydroponicsonline but I will try and help you.

How do you attach the pump and what size pump?
You connect 1/2 inch vinyl tubing to the pump. You connect the vinyl tubing to the PVC tubing using a threaded and barbed connector. The threaded side screws onto the PVC side, and the vinyl tubing connects to the barbed side.

Barbed connector
Threaded PVC connector
PVC and barbed connectors together

As for what size pump to get, I wrote this article "What size pump should I get" to help answer that question.

What size container is used? Is it a regular rubbermaid container?
Yes, it's a regular rubbermaid storage tote/container. However you should make it lightproof. I also wouldn't put the plants/PVC container on top of the rubbermaid storage tote. That's a bad idea for two reasons. One it makes reservoir maintenance much more difficult, two the weight could become a problem when the plants get bigger. As for what size reservoir/storage tote to use, I wrote this article "What Size Reservoir Do I need" to help answer that question as well.

What do I add to the water for nutrients?
Hydroponic nutrients. That is nutrients designed for growing plants hydroponically. Soil nutrients are either lacking essential elements and/or are not balanced for growing plants hydroponically.

What grows best in the 2-liter bottles?
Small to medium sized plants. That is plants that wont get bigger than about 2 feet tall and/or wide. Plants that get bigger than that will need more root space.

Use perlite rocks?
You can use just about any type of growing media, however you will have to be careful if you plan to use perlite or grow rocks in a flood and drain system. Both perlite and grow rocks float and if the water level is to high you will undermine the plants, or even worse overflow the growing media right out of the containers. You can weigh the top down with river rock, or just use something else like coco chips/fiber.

Do you start the seeds somewhere else? If so, how old are they when you transfer them?
Generally you want to start your plants/seeds in a prorogation system. The prorogation system doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. It can be as simple as a used Tupperware butter or whip cream container you hand water once or twice a day. As for how big should they be before transplanting, just transplant them before they outgrow the prorogation system.

One of the first hydroponic systems I built was very similar to the 11 plant system, and I discovered a few problems with that design. Since the entire weight of the 2 liter bottles, growing media, water and plants all rest on the vertical PVC fitting, it's wobbly and not very durable. Also the 2 liter bottles are free but flimsy and the paint (used to light proof them) chips off very easily. It costs a few bucks more, but I've come up with a very similar design that's much more durable. I'll explain it and make a drawing of it if your interested.
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