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CrossOps Hydroponics Journey (In Pictures)


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  #21  
Old 10-09-2011, 08:00 PM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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Starting my testing of seed germination from polyurethane foam. Test subjects pictured below. Once I figure how this works, I will construct an area dedicated to doing this efficiently. At this ratio based upon my testing so far (this is day 2 on these seeds, barely 46 hours), this method should cost me 1/10th of one cent per seed.

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  #22  
Old 10-10-2011, 12:10 AM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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So I just ordered a bunch of seeds so as to experiment with different varieties, and see how things work out, this is a learning process for me so not sure which types will do well and which ones wont.

We also have 42 buckets being designed into our greenhouse layout for the big leaf or wandering type vegetation. I will post my latest layout revision for that.

Product #: 11-BOUNTIFUL BEAN (46 days heirloom)
Product #: 1101-SLENDERETTE BEAN (53 days)
Product #: 1102-JADE BEAN (57 days)
Product #: 12-PROVIDER BEAN (50 days)
Product #: 13-TENDERGREEN IMPROVED (heirloom)
Product #: 1403-STRINGLESS GREEN POD BEAN (heirloom)
Product #: 1401-KENTUCKY DREAMER BUSH BEAN
Product #: 4501-WINDSOR BROCCOLI
Product #: 4802-CALABRESE BROCCOLI (heirloom)
Product #: 49-WALTHAM 29 BROCCOLI (85 days)
Product #: 52-LONG ISLAND IMPROVED (85 day heirloom)
Product #: 51-CHURCHILL BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Product #: 140-BUSH CROP CUCUMBER
Product #: 144-SPACEMASTER CUCUMBER (59 days)
Product #: 139-DIVA CUCUMBER (58 days)
Product #: 154-PINGTUNG LONG EGGPLANT (66 day
Product #: 156-SLIM JIM EGGPLANT (60 days)
Product #: 150-BLACK BEAUTY EGGPLANT (83 days
Product #: 15002-BLACK EGG EGGPLANT (70 days)
Product #: 188-COLLARDS-VATES (75 days)
Product #: 192-MUSTARD-GREEN WAVE (50 days)
Product #: 190-STARBOR KALE
Product #: 216-MAY QUEEN LETTUCE (45 days heirloom)
Product #: 21601-ALL YEAR ROUND LETTUCE (53 days)
Product #: 217-SUMMERTIME LETTUCE (68 days)
Product #: 21701-HANSON LETTUCE (heirloom)
Product #: 235-CLEMSON OKRA (64 days)
Product #: 280-CAYENNE-LONG PEPPER (70 days heirloom)
Product #: 272-CALIFORNIA WONDER PEPPER (75 days)
Product #: 27204-ORANGE SUN PEPPER (81 days)
Product #: 273-PURPLE BEAUTY PEPPER (71 days)
Product #: 276-SWEET BANANA PEPPER (72 days)
Product #: 27701-MARCONI RED PEPPER
Product #: 27702-ACONCAGUA PEPPER (heirloom)
Product #: 278-CUBANELLE PEPPER (65 days)
Product #: 33001-GIANT NOBLE SPINACH (heirloom)
Product #: 33002-VIROFLAY (47 days heirloom)
Product #: 386-RUEGEN STRAWBERRY
Product #: 344-GOLDEN ZEBRA SQUASH
Product #: 409-TIP TOP TOMATO (74 days)
Product #: 411-AUNT RUBYS GERMAN GREEN (80 days)
Product #: 412-OREGON SPRING TOMATO (68 days)
Product #: 41101-RED CURRANT TOMATO (75 days)
Product #: 416-GARDENERS DELIGHT TOMATO (67 days)
Product #: 424-BRANDYWINE TOMATO (80 days heirloom)
Product #: 42701-BIG RAINBOW TOMATO (80 days heirloom)
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  #23  
Old 10-10-2011, 12:12 AM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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Revised Greenhouse Layout Plan.
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  #24  
Old 10-10-2011, 06:08 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
If I sink the reservoir into the ground it sounds like it would be more of a challenge to flush it, clean it out, etc? Is it worth it to sink it into the ground, or maybe find a solid white 55 gallon drum or something smaller?
Yes it can very well be more of a challenge to clean out in the ground. With the reservoir above ground the reservoir will basically the same temp as the ambient air temp, unless other things cause it to rise or cool. Like sitting in the sun, or on a cement slab that absorbs heat all day etc.. The optimum nutrient temperature is between 68 and 72 degrees, but depending on many variables plants can survive higher water temperatures. Generally speaking water temps above 80 degrees, and the plants will be stressed. Much above 82 degrees and the plants may begin to abort fruiting in order to stay alive. Temps below 60 degrees and the plants begin to grow much, much slower.

Inside a climate controlled greenhouse the nutrient temp would likely be about the same as the air temp inside the greenhouse. Though the more water volume there is, the slower it will raise or lower. So when the night time temps lower the water temp, the more water there is, the slower it will heat up during the day. But the longer it takes to cool at night as well. I have built a easy to clean in ground nutrient reservoir, and although it was a 20 gallon reservoir, the design is quite simple and easy to make bigger if you find the right containers. I will e-mail you my design plans, I created the pdf for my website. But for now here is a link to the post of the easy to clean in ground 20 gallon reservoir I built for my tomato plants.

Quote:
How often do drips really run to be as efficient as possible, and at what rate? Does it run at night?
I have never ran a non-recirculating system (run to waist). But every growers situation/environment/growing conditions, as well as all the other many venerable are different, so watering schedule's are something every grower really needs to work out for their situation and plants. Basically you just need it to run long enough to keep the roots moist (not saturated), and not off so long they dry out in-between watering. Regardless of type of system, and/or recirculating or not. Also plants don't really take up water/nutrients during dark, so I cut back on the watering schedule during that time, but I still don't let the roots become dry.

Quote:
Should I just make the link drip into the middle or use a hoop style drip line?
As long as the growing medium/root ball is moist it dosen't really mater. Just don't let the stem of the plant get to wet, then they may develop stem rot. Typically with non-recirculating systems (run to waist), they use dippers to control excess water usage. I personally stay away from those dippers because they easily clog. I like to make a drip ring and just poke holes in it with a hot paperclip. Much cheaper than buying dippers that will wind up clogging. However I have never used a drip system with 3 inch net pots. If you decide to make drip rings make sure they don't kink when you bend them into a circle. I have also herd that soaker hose works well, and dosen't clog when used as a drip ring, or even as an air diffuser when used with an air pump instead of air stones (that's on my list of things to try myself).

P. S.
I'm not sure there will be enough room to grow the plants you plan. The layout is very tightly spaced together, and most of the plants on your list like tomatoes, squash, zucchini, beans, cucumber, and eggplant are all very large plants. You may have already worked it out, but from the greenhouse layout and how tightly everything is packed, I don't know how you will be able to pull individual tubes out for for maintenance. Or even get to most of the plants for trimming, tying up plants (trellising), or harvesting etc.. Also I saw the bee hive in the videos, is that how you plan to pollinate the plants in the greenhouse?
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 10-10-2011 at 06:31 AM.
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  #25  
Old 10-10-2011, 09:24 AM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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Thanks for the pointers. As we keep researching and get feedback, we are modifying our layout goals (well, our initial goals rather, once concept meets application things tend to change on the fly).

What we have done is move the 5 gallon buckets to the ground and spaced them out, and thinned the number out by almost half.

We have then researched all the various types of the same vegetables we want, example being 4 variants of eggplants, etc. What we are attempting to do is to find the optimum variant for our location and couple that with its grow height, width, and reach. Essentially, which eggplant (as an example) yields the best return with the lower footprint without "taking over".

We have also moved the 5 gallon bucket type plants towards the bottom with a moderately decent amount of space to grow upward based upon the variant of each desired vegetable type.

I am just one of those "Plan Plan Plan" type of people that likes to map out based on all the information I can gather so that I can "Buy Once, Cry Once" and make as little of a fiducial mistake as possible (although I know things do not always work out as intended).

Do I even need a 5 gallon bucket, or do they make 2 gallon or 3 gallon buckets with the netpot lids that might be even more co-efficient?

Here is the revised layout:
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  #26  
Old 10-11-2011, 06:47 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I guess I don't really understand the layout. I don't see any buckets, just the square tubes. Unless the round spots where the square tubes are, are supposed to be the buckets. Then I'm confused as to how you plan to put both in the same space. Also I would never fit through a 1.53 or 1.72 foot pathway, unless I stood straight up and walked sideways. Even then I simply wouldn't have any room to maneuver. And that's even without plant foliage invading the pathway that needs to be maneuvered around as well.

Also, if I understand correctly the plants in the tubes are planed to be spaced about one foot apart in each tube. I know choosing varieties makes a difference, but I'm simply not familiar with any varietals of squash, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, or eggplant that don't get more than one foot wide. But at the same time the 5 inch tubes look to be touching each other, that would make the plant spacing just inches apart, even being offset from the tube next to it.

Then I see 8 foot long tubes, but less than a 3 foot long space to pull/slide them out with, So I'm not sure how that's supposed to work, unless you plan to harvest/pull all the plants at the same time. But then that eliminates the ability to rotate plants as they grow to maximize space/yields. Another concern (but again I don't think I really understand the layout) is how closely spaced the plants are. Not only because there dosen't look to be enough room for the foliage, but the inner plants are likely to be blocked from light because of the foliage from the plants closer to the greenhouse walls.

P.S.
Just a side note, I would cut the sponge material for sprouting the seeds into cubes first. That way you don't damage the roots later.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 10-11-2011 at 06:51 AM.
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  #27  
Old 10-12-2011, 09:12 PM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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The greenhouse is built, and awaiting transfer down here. Its galvanized steel and SunTuf polycarbonate. This for me is a great alternative when I do not have the time to build my own greenhouse like GPS (see this post: http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/for...on-begins.html ).
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  #28  
Old 10-14-2011, 09:08 PM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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I am testing out the drip system routing options, and am making test jigs using PVC line.
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  #29  
Old 10-27-2011, 07:40 PM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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Default The Greenhouse Has Been Installed

Wow, what a day. I say that not based upon the installation of the greenhouse (GPS works his tail off on his), I mean in reference to everything I had to get done in the day.
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  #30  
Old 10-28-2011, 05:20 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hey CrossOps, nice to see you got your greenhouse delivered. I cant wait to see it full of plants.
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  #31  
Old 10-31-2011, 09:27 AM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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Researching "Do It Yourself Cloning Options". Seems to be quite a few ways to do this.
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  #32  
Old 10-31-2011, 09:28 AM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
Hey CrossOps, nice to see you got your greenhouse delivered. I cant wait to see it full of plants.
Me to, I am at those final stages of planning the layout, I know things will change in the future from time to time, but the initial layout is still a daunting task.
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  #33  
Old 10-31-2011, 05:41 PM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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GPS, I got a video walkthrough of the greenhouse done: Hydroponic Greenhouse Walkthrough - YouTube
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  #34  
Old 11-03-2011, 09:46 AM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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Got the first of several batches of nutrients in. 50lbs of MaxiGro, and 50lbs of MaxiBloom. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts based on a "return-less" drip system. Simply put, I am not recirculating my nutrients, simply letting it drain to the outside ground (on citrus trees).
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  #35  
Old 11-06-2011, 09:12 AM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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Trying to come up with a rack type system that I can build with a very small footprint, the other option I was looking at took up a lot of space. Want to make three levels.

Hmmm.
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  #36  
Old 11-07-2011, 05:45 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Ya CrossOps,
I know what you mean. It's a compromise between durability/strength, space, blocking/not blocking light, as well as ease of maintenance. Then there's the cost of the various materials you can use/need to build it with and compromising design for something affordable. It will be interesting to see what you ultimately decide on. I know you have some very ambitious plans for that space, and the actual layout/hydroponic setup/s will dictate what's needed for support. Then it's just a mater of figuring out how much it will cost with various materials, then compromising for what you can afford to do.

In my case, when each level is flooded there will be nearly 2000 pounds on each level. The structure I build/built needs to be able to easily support 6000 pounds total. So it may seem like overkill the way I did it, but that's why I did. If I used steel/aluminum/metal framing support, it would be a much smaller footprint and allow more light to get to the plants. But would likely cost 10-20 times more. So I gave that as the compromise. With that much weight to support I simply needed strength, so any type of plastic materials wouldn't work (without being to cumbersome). If I used smaller wood (like 2x2's or 2x3's), I wouldn't have nearly the strength I needed unless I used so much more wood, especially for the for the vertical supports. Then the extra support framing would make maintenance much more difficult, as well as block more light to the plants on the lower levels. Of witch I will already need to delegate to the plants with lower light requirements to that space.
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  #37  
Old 11-20-2011, 01:57 AM
Frosted Flake Frosted Flake is offline
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Default Nice Greenhouse

Hi.

I read the thread re : Cost effective Nutes. Have a couple thoughts for you.

Maxi is a good choice, unless you mean to use drip emitters. The powdered fertilizers have a tendency to leave mineral deposits in inconvenient places. Like anywhere small. If this happens, consider switching to a liquid fert, like Tiger Bloom, or Dyna-Gro. I have used both, and like them.

Ph (percentage of hydrogen) is something you must monitor, because when it is off, some of the nutrients will "lock up" by combining with one another into a compound. This makes those nutes unavailable to your plants. The easy and cheap way to test Ph is with General Hydroponics Ph test kit. It is a squeeze bottle of test fluid and a small vial to test in. You may find it convenient to get a "Baby Medicine Dropper" from the drugstore to draw your sample with. You could spend long green on a meter, but, they are touchy, twitchy, easily damaged and easily lost. A bottle of test fluid costs $7.50, and lasts all season and then some. It is easy to read the results : If you see red, add Baking Soda. if you see green, add Vinegar. Then retest. You will learn quickly how much to add to get the effect you want. There are other Ph adjusters that could be used, but these are SAFE... and cheap. It is important to dilute the baking soda or vinegar with water before adding it, because the "Ph shock' that happens when you first introduce the corrective will cause "Lock up" too. Spreading it out with water reduces the Ph gradient.

Frnz 571 recommended (on the other thread) a book by Howard Resh. I will go further, and recommend ALLLLLLL of Dr.Howard Reshs' books. He really is the go-to-guy, and can teach you just about all you need to know to succeed. Here is his wiki:

Howard M. Resh - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

When it comes time to discard used (unbalanced) nutrient solution, do not overlook that the compost heap is an excellent place to do this. The process will be sped up and the compost will be better fertilizer.
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  #38  
Old 11-27-2011, 07:58 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hey CrossOps,
How's the greenhouse coming?
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  #39  
Old 12-11-2011, 05:46 PM
GoodGilligan GoodGilligan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossOps View Post
GoodGilligan, here is the video uploaded (its in High Def if you want to switch to that on Youtube of the backyard citrus so far:

August 2011 Citrus Growth - YouTube
Hey CrossOps -

Great video. Something I really need to do is plant some citrus in the backyard.

Sorry, I haven't been around much lately. I was having too many issues with humidity in the house so I packed up the garden for a bit. Now with the cooler and dryer temperatures, things are a lot better now.

All my old plants went to my Mom who has put them into her soil garden. They are still producing well. I have now started some basil for her and some lettuce for me. I am being a bit more logical this time around and only starting a couple of plants each week. Hopefully I will be able to start a completely sustainable garden this time.

anyway, you'll likely see a bit more of me again

GoodGilligan
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  #40  
Old 05-09-2012, 11:24 AM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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Ok, here is an update, after a long period of inactivity due to a large workload.

We know have our cinder blocks and rails prepped, and ready. This is the first layer of one of the sections. Each section will have three levels, separated by cinder blocks. 4 rails per level.

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