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Yikes. Made a mistake


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  #1  
Old 03-29-2016, 07:13 PM
sander sander is offline
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Unhappy Yikes. Made a mistake

I have a very simple nft system that I have grown peppers, basil, kale, etc. This year I put some tomatoes in it and they quickly outgrew the setup so I transferred them to 5 gallon buckets with a cage. I made the same solution I use for my nft and have an air bubbler in the water. The problem is that all 8 of my tomato plants have drooping leaves. I'm afraid they are about to die. Is it the difference in light? I didn't think that light would affect them this fast. The leaves are still green, just all limp. My ppm is 650.

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  #2  
Old 03-29-2016, 09:50 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello sander,

First is this supposed to be another temporary system? As you already found out trying to grown them in the NFT system, they will quickly outgrow this five gallon bucket system as well.

1. When you transplanted them into the buckets, did yo damage any of the roots?
2. What are the water and air temperatures?
3. Do you have any pictures of the air pump and stones with bubbles coming out?
4. Does the blubber make the water look like water boiling at a heavy rolling boil?
5. Do the leaves droop when in direct sunlight, and perk back up when their in the shade again?
6. What's the water level in the buckets in relation to the baskets?
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  #3  
Old 03-29-2016, 10:19 PM
sander sander is offline
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The roots on a few of the plants were together but I carefully separated them.

They are all in my basement, so I suspect the temperature is about 68 degrees

I will get a picture, the bubblers seem to be working well, in fast they have more bubbles than my nft system, which doesn't have a bubbler.

I had just moved the plant to the window to see if natural light would help.

I had the water level about 2" under the baskets, but added some more this afternoon to see if that would make a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
Hello sander,

First is this supposed to be another temporary system? As you already found out trying to grown them in the NFT system, they will quickly outgrow this five gallon bucket system as well.

1. When you transplanted them into the buckets, did yo damage any of the roots?
2. What are the water and air temperatures?
3. Do you have any pictures of the air pump and stones with bubbles coming out?
4. Does the blubber make the water look like water boiling at a heavy rolling boil?
5. Do the leaves droop when in direct sunlight, and perk back up when their in the shade again?
6. What's the water level in the buckets in relation to the baskets?
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2016, 10:57 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello sander,
Quote:
The roots on a few of the plants were together but I carefully separated them.
I don't understand what this means. How did you get the plants out of the NFT system without damaging any of the roots? If they out grew the NFT system, pulling the plants out would most assuredly damage a good amount of the roots. Even if your trying to be careful..

Quote:
They are all in my basement, so I suspect the temperature is about 68 degrees
If you plan to grow healthy plants you need to be able to check the water temperature. I use a simple $2 glass aquarium thermometer I get at Walmart in the pet supply's. I'm not saying the water temp is a current problem, but you can't rule it out unless you know for sure what it is. You would be surprised how far off you can be when you just guess.

Quote:
I will get a picture, the bubblers seem to be working well, in fast they have more bubbles than my nft system, which doesn't have a bubbler.
This is very confusing because you say they have more bubbles than in your NFT system that doesn't have a bubbler. So basically your saying the tomato plants have more than no bubbles at all. A couple bubbles here and there isn't enough. I attached a couple pictures of what the bubbles should look like.

Quote:
I had just moved the plant to the window to see if natural light would help.
Does this mean the plants were drooping in the shade before you put them in the direct sunlight? If so, did the plants droop even more in direct sunlight?

Quote:
I had the water level about 2" under the baskets, but added some more this afternoon to see if that would make a difference.
How much of the plants root system was underwater before, and now? Also how is the growing media getting any moisture? The plants main root-ball is in the growing media, so the growing media should be at least moist.
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2016, 11:13 PM
sander sander is offline
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My plants were about 8" apart in the nft, so only the very ends of the roots were intertwined. When I say they "outgrew", I mean height wise. I can only raise my light on my nft to about 36"

I meant that my nft didn't have a bubbler and now that I have a bubble stone in each bucket, therefore I would think that oxygen deficiency would not be the issue.

The water level the the baskets was about 1" underneath. I was maybe 2" under the baskets in the buckets until I added water today.

I had the plants under t5's in my nft system, and put them right next to the nft. I will add another t5 above the tomatoes tomorrow
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  #6  
Old 03-30-2016, 12:20 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello sander,
Quote:
My plants were about 8" apart in the nft, so only the very ends of the roots were intertwined
I'm not talking just about the roots being intertwined and pulling them apart. I'm also talking about pulling the baskets out of the holes. Roots don't just grow downward of the baskets, they grow out of the sides of the baskets as well. When you pull the baskets out of the holes, the roots sticking out the side of the baskets tend to be scraped/cut off. I'm trying to determine if there is enough root damage that the plant is having a hard time absorbing enough water and/or oxygen to support the amount of foliage it has to support. So far you haven't told me how much root damage there was, so I cant make an assessment about this possible issue. All you have given me is you tried to be careful.

Quote:
I meant that my nft didn't have a bubbler and now that I have a bubble stone in each bucket, therefore I would think that oxygen deficiency would not be the issue.
A NFT system and a water culture system are two very different systems. The plants in a NFT system get oxygen two ways that plants in a water culture system don't. You don't need a air pump in a NFT system. But a air pump serves as a very important part in a water culture system because that is the only thing supplying oxygen to the plant in a water culture system.

I'm trying to determine if the drooping is most likely due to root damage, lack of moisture, and/or lack of oxygen to the roots, as well as what the cause is. There is a possibility that it could also be related to water stress due to nutrient concentrations. But that isn't very likely at this point, and I need to rule out the most common possibilities before I go looking for others. The answers to the questions will tell me what's going on, but you haven't answered my questions. I used to spend a lot of time explaining all the possibilities and going through all the scenarios. But I just don't have that kind of time to spend hours writing a book for each post anymore. So now I just ask specific related questions to determine which way to go, and what to look at. So far out of my 6 questions this is what you've told me at this point.

1. When you transplanted them into the buckets, did you damage any of the roots?
Don't know, undetermined. You tried to be careful.

2. What are the water and air temperatures?
You guess about 68 degrees

3. Do you have any pictures of the air pump and stones with bubbles coming out?
Not yet, so I cant' make any determinations.

4. Does the blubber make the water look like water boiling at a heavy rolling boil?
In case you couldn't get pictures of the pump and air bubbles coming out of the air stones. I asked what it looks like, But I still don't know anything here because you didn't answer the this question either, so again I still cant' make any determinations about this possibility.

5. Do the leaves droop when in direct sunlight, and perk back up when their in the shade again?
Not answered. You've told me things like when you put them in the sun, and you use T5's, but you haven't answered the actual question.

6. What's the water level in the buckets in relation to the baskets?
You said originally it was about 2 inches below the baskets, and I think now it's about 1 inch below the baskets.

Fallow up questions

1. How much of the plants root system was underwater before, and now?
Not answered

2. Also how is the growing media getting any moisture?
Not answered.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 04-05-2016 at 08:41 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-05-2016, 11:05 PM
sander sander is offline
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Well good news. All the plants recovered. Perhaps it was a little root damage or just shock. I learned to not move plants once the roots really start growing
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2016, 12:26 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Part of being successful growing hydroponically is learning from your mistakes. But you cant learn from them if you don't know what they are. Transplanting plants isn't a problem if you know what the potential problems are and how to avoid them. You can even cut off roots intentionally, but knowing how much is OK, and knowing what to expect when you do is the important part. Your problem may have even very well been mostly related to your hydroponic system design in the first place rather than the transplant itself. Even if a significant amount of the roots were damaged, knowing how that will affect the plant and why, as well as how to compensate for it to reduce stress on the plant would have been valuable knowledge for you in the future. But since you refused to let me help you, you still don't have any understanding of what went wrong, and/or what you were looking at. Good luck.

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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 04-07-2016 at 09:03 AM.
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