Hydroponics Online Home Home Store Blog Forums FAQs Lesson Plans Pictures

Go Back   Hydroponics Forums Discussions > Hydroponics Discussion Forums > Your Hydroponics Setup

Improving My Setup


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-10-2013, 01:49 PM
Alec Alec is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Default Improving My Setup

Hey everyone! This is my second crop grown hydroponically and I was hoping to get some advice from those with more experience than me. I'm growing habeņeros and I think they look pretty healthy, however it has taken them about 5 months to get to that size and they're just starting to flower. So I'm concerned with their growth rate. Last year it took 8 months to get 5 small fruits between 3 plants. Last year one of my problems was insufficient lighting so now I use a cfl with the reflector you can see behind the plants. My pH was also about 8 so now every time I change the water (every 4 weeks) I lower it to just under 6. I'm using a drip system with clay aggregate which runs for 15 minutes every hour. They have a 16 hour photoperiod (which was recently reduced to 12 to induce flowering) under a CFL advertised as having a daylight spectrum along with indirect sun light from a nearby window. And I'm using botanicare nutrient solution. So, does anyone see anything that I'm doing wrong or could change so that my plants grow at a normal rate? There are a few things I'm concerned about, but not really sure if they matter. I imagine my water has very little oxygen. The roots extend down into the reservoir and form clumps. I'm using city water and not very sure of the chemical content. My plants are very close together. The grow bed is rather small. Thanks in advance for all your help!

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	402
Size:	85.6 KB
ID:	2538  
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-11-2013, 06:50 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

Hello Alec,
First, you are still way lacking lighting. If you plan to use cfl lights for that type of plant you are going to need lots more of them, or get them outside in the sunlight. Second, cutting back the lighting doesn't induce flowering in that type of plant. Peppers are continuously flowering/fruiting plants, and flower weeks from sprouting. They aren't dependent on spectrum of light, and/or use changing light time to determine what season it is.

1. What size reservoir are you using? If your only changing it once a month it must be large.

2. You shouldn't ever let the pH get that high. One reason it could be getting that high is because you don't change the nutrient solution often enough. You should check the pH every day, or at least every other day adjust it as needed to keep it at about 6.0.

3. You should be using some type of filtered water rather than tap. This could be a cause of a few problems, including pH and nutrient balance problems.

4. Botanicare makes a lot of things, therefore I have no way of knowing if you are using the right type of nutrient, nor if you are fallowing the directions or mixing them correctly.

5. Why do you think your water is low in oxygen? It does make a big difference, but there must be a reason you think so. There are ways to increase the dissolved oxygen levels if it is low. Also if your running a drip or flood and drain system, the roots get oxygen while the water is "not" flowing. Even more oxygen than from the water. They get oxygen from the air that is in the growing medium.

6. What is the water temperature? Plants abort fruiting when water temps are high. It's not just foliage that can suffer from heat stress, the roots are just as important. The optimum water temp is be between 68 and 72 degrees F. Higher than 80-82 and it can cause heat stress. Below 60, and it slows growth.
__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-11-2013, 10:09 AM
Alec Alec is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Default

What's the best lighting system I could use without needing a ballast? And my reservoir is 5 gallons, so how often should I change the water? I'm using botanicare pro gro hydrogarden vegetative formula for the vegetative phase and their hydrogarden flowering formula for the flowering phase and am using the amount it says to use on the side, so I'm not concerned with the nutrient levels, but instead the solution is very heterogenous (as opposed to say dynagrow) and has a tendency to form sediment and clog my pump. I do regularly check my pH and I only have to adjust it after a water change. The water temperature is about room temperature.
Thanks for all the help!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-12-2013, 08:23 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,831
Default

Hello Alec,

Quote:
What's the best lighting system I could use without needing a ballast?
Natural sunlight. Even a cfl has a ballast.

Quote:
And my reservoir is 5 gallons
way to small.

Quote:
so how often should I change the water?
With that small reservoir at least once a week if not more expecting to growing 3 large plants.

Quote:
I'm using botanicare pro gro hydrogarden vegetative formula for the vegetative phase and their hydrogarden flowering formula for the flowering phase
As I said earlier those plants are continuously flowering/fruiting plants. They don't have a vegetative stage and flowering stage. They do both stages at the same time. That's why their called "continuously flowering/fruiting" plants.

Quote:
am using the amount it says to use on the side, so I'm not concerned with the nutrient levels,
The manufactures directions are just general guidelines. Plant size, humidity, age, type, temperature, are all major factors to consider in weather to decrease the nutrient amounts. Not to mention the water volume your using.

Quote:
and has a tendency to form sediment and clog my pump
What color is the sediment? Some nutrients can cause build up, but most don't and and if they do it's likely it's a growers error. Example: If your tap water is pH 8, and you mix your solution in it before adjusting it. You'll likely see white powder like seatmate.

Quote:
I do regularly check my pH and I only have to adjust it after a water change
By this are you saying that your high pH is due to your tap water? If so you should adjust the pH before adding your nutrients. But you should be using filtered water to begin with.

Quote:
The water temperature is about room temperature
So what is your high and low room temps? My mom wont turn the AC on if it's below 81 degrees in her house, I like it at 76. I'm not there to check your thermostat. Also sometimes the lights or other factors can result in raising the water temps as well. Especially in such a small reservoir (volume of water).

__________________
Website Owner
Home Hydroponic Systems
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.