Question and Answer Page 4



question about Aeration prune tomatoe plants 16 oz cups take the plants to 4 feet
vermiculite as a medium size and stage of plant needs seeds in a 1 inch rockwool cube
can I use lava rocks? how many plants grown in a 8x5 room starting with seeds
proper ppm is for vegetables calibrated the pen meter pump for the 11 plant garden
sterilized lava rock dehydrated plants one or two plant system
mixture of perlite and vermiculite strength of my liquid  

10:24:24 PM


Hi Ron I have A question about Areation. I am running A system that use's Perlite as the medium. My system is outside and im Using Organic Fertilizer (Earth Juice). My system is an Active Drip (well Its more like a constant stream) I use 1/8 inch holes in 1/4 in tubing (I fear of clogging drippers). My timer is set to start at Dusk for 1 hour every other hour until Dawn (about 8
Cycles/hours of watering). I know this sounds like a lot but its outside about 80-90 degrees out, its in the sun, and my Nutrient Solution is AIRATED All the time. Can you tell me if its too much watering or does perlite drain/dry really fast that Oxygen will not be a problem...Remember i am Aerating my solution 24 hours a day and Fish and Water Plants live in water 24 hours a day Why or why not can my Tomatoes? Please Help me Clarify this Oh buy the way did the aspirin lower the PH and FYI Citric Acid (vitamin C) is supposed to be an organic PH Down. Thanks Again....Rick

Hi Rick
My understanding is if you have an aerator in your tank then you should have no problem with over watering. That is why I recommend putting an air stone aerator in every hydro nutrient tank.

7:43:27 PM


Im new at this stuff, but I thought you are supposed to feed the plants during the day, while photosynthesis is occuring, not during dark hours? that's what I have read.. Ask others what they think?
Ron Like Vincennes, IN inglobal@abcs.com

12:36:17 PM


Hi, I want to know if vermiculite is an acceptable growing medium? Kevin

Hi Kevin
Vermiculite will work if you can keep it from flushing down through the system. Unlike perlite, vermiculite will brake down over time. A paint strainer will work to keep the perlite or vermiculite from flushing down your system.

10:10:57 PM


I wrote to you about two months ago and ask about the 4" pvc pipes, Well I did it! I am using clorox bottles and I have two questions 1: can I use lava rocks? will it screw up the ph? 2: I have tomatoes and peppers, hot and bell, how often and for how long should I set the timer to water using the drip system?
I have my tank below ground level to keep the temp. down as it gets quite hot during the day here in Fort Lauderdale Fl. I am using General Hydroponics FloraMicr and FlorGro. Thanks for your help and web page!
Greg B.

Hi Greg You have to make sure the lava rocks have been sterilized because of the toxins that pure lava rock has. I would water every 20 minutes or so for 5 minutes and maybe more often as the plants get bigger or it gets hotter.

Date: 7/8/97
3:21:57 PM


I was reading the bulletin board and discovered that "eric" has a schematic for a 555 timer for a 12 volt battery. It also said to email him directly for a copy but i did not find an email address. I might have missed it but if anybody knows the email address or has the schematics, please contact me. Thanks,Kevin

4:08:36 AM


i was wondering what the proper ppm is for vegetables.also,at how many weeks is a plant no longer a seedling?_thanks

Ideally, the pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0
Normal tap water is usually 7.5 to 8.5 but the addition of nutrients which are usually slightly acidic should lower the pH to an acceptable level.
If the pH is on the acidic side (low), minute amounts of sodium hydroxide, calcium carbonate or potassium hydroxide will balance it.
If the pH is on the alkaline side(high), use aluminum sulfate to lower it.

3:08:05 PM


Hi- I just tripped over this site whilst wandering about looking for help with a home-grown hydroponic system that I am trying to make work. Any help would be highly appreciated. My system is consists of a five-gal. container draining through a 1/2" line to drip emitters at the plant containers.
The plants are planted in lava rock (pea-sized), and drain onto a corrugated surface which in turn drains into a six-gal. reservoir. From there it is pumped (automatically) back into the upper container.
The system uses about one gal. per day, which I replace with solution at the same dilution as the original. The illumination is a 600W HID, the whole system is on a timer. I'm groping around w/nutrient solutions; I would rather concoct my own that buy one ready-made, within reason. I would really appreciate any comments or criticisms regarding my system, and any suggestions on nutrients, esp. regarding how often the solution should be changed, how should the solution be topped-up each day, etc. Any and all help is gratefully received. Thanks. John T.

11:20:54 AM


What are the pro/cons or theories of horizontal vs. vertical grow light (Halides and HPS) orientation
in a (indoor) gro-room??
Your opinions or facts please.

10:47:28 AM


Where can I find a "Morons guide to Hydroponics"?I'd like to read a "hand-holding" document
that tells me exactly how to get started.Thankscybereagle@miworld.net

5:16:14 PM


New light moving system available for patent rights desgined by young Australian inventor.
To get more details, view our home page at:
Hope to have lots of enquiries.
Regards Advanced Grow Rooms

8:03:22 PM


Hi Ron!
Its me again, Greg B. in Fort Lauderdale Fl. I asked you about the lava rocks, and you suggested
that " I sterilized because of the toxins that pure lava rock has. I would water every 20 minutes or so
for 5 minutes and maybe more often." How would I go about sterilizing them? They are growing
tomatoes just great but the ph has to be adjusted every day because it goes way up. I am adding
asprins to control it but I am afraid that it will do harm to the plants. Has lava rocks got the acid 'built
in it or something? anything I can do to get rid of it?

Thanks a bunch, your friend in Florida Greg B.

You can clean them with a 10 percent bleach solution or cook them in an oven at 250 degrees for an hour.

7:31:41 PM


Are there any plans for building a system from scratch? cheaply? i'am just starting out.

Yes click here.

5:20:59 PM


i was told to check out this site because i was on garden town and i asked if there is anyway to grow
vegetables inside in the winter. i am very confused and feel kinda dumb. i know nothing about
hydroponics. help!!!! -gail

2:21:17 PM


I am new to hydroponics and would like to get into it for myself and as a hobby for my retired father,
who has just built a small greenhouse. I was in EPCOT this past spring and saw an exhibit that grew
plants vertically and used a mixture of perlite and vermiculite. Has anyone used this mixture and what
are the pros and cons of this (which I can buy locally) and the Geo-Lite grorocks (which aren't
available locally). Thanks, Kevin

The main difference between using a perlite/vermiculite mixture or using grorocks is usually in the
nutrient delivery. Perlite/vermiculite is light weight and so floats if too much liquid is received from
below so some kind of drip system is best utilized. With grorocks you can flood from the bottom, or
drip from the top. I personally use straight perlite with a drop system in two gallon bucket for large
plants like tomatoes, and use grorocks with smaller plants like basil using flood and drain.

9:21:48 PM


Ron, I'm new to the WEB, but not to Hydroponics. Congratulations and best wishes on a great
"PAGE". Do you know of any similar page "down under" here in Australia, or do you cover the
same area? My own systems include a number of flood-and-drain systems which are made from
lengths of 100mm plastic pipes, into which a series of holes have been drilled to accomodate 150mm
lengths of 50mm plastic pipe. The "hole" blank produced by the hole saw is glued onto the bottom of
the 5omm pipe, making it into the planting pot. The medium used is one known to us here in Victoria,
Australia as "scoria" which is not unlike crushed house brick. An alternative being "expanded clay"
which has a similar moisture holding capacity to "scoria" but at a much higher unit cost. All the good
books tell me I'm doing the wrong thing, but it works... Is this unique to "down-under" or are things
so different "up-north"??

1:49:28 PM


I have seen that you should 'prune tomato plants as they grow, how do you do this? Thanks, Greg
B. Fort Laud. Fl

Hi Greg
Trim all the large lower fan leaves as they mature and pruned to a single stem supported by a string.
Remove the suckers (shoots) between the main stem and each leaf are removed when they are one
or two inches long because they take nutrients away from the main plant and fruit.
You can snap the suckers off with your fingers but be careful not to damage the main stem.

11:08:32 AM


RON and friends, great page. Found it while searching for more info and ideas. For those looking
for other types of designs and additional info you might try AOL's garden spot hydroponics folder. I
found a cheap system design that I am trying now. I think it might qualify as aeroponic but not sure.
The post was by EDECKER. Other ideas on system designs available as well in forum. THE LADY
e-mail at FPIERCE519@AOL.com

10:58:19 PM


is there anyone here from SAN ANTONIO?

7:03:49 PM


Hello everyone! I am using General Hydroponics Nutrents Floragro, Bloom, Micro. On their online
page they say that you can combine the mix's and come up with what your size and stage of plant
. They neglect to mention in what porpotions should be use doing this What I am wondering, if
you mix say, the grow with the bloom do you use it in full strength i.e. both 1 1/2 tsp per gallon of
water? I have sent two email messages to them and no reply as of yet. Any ideas? Thanks a bunch,
Greg B. Fort Lauderdale Florida

Hi Greg
If you mix the Grow with the Bloom together then you still only use 1 1/2 tsp. per gallon. You control
the TDS (ppm) by adding less like 3/4 tsp. or 1 tsp. per gallon for younger plants and more as the
plants mature.

10:06:47 PM
Remote User:


I've been interested in setting up an indoor garden which employs hydroponics.I'm a beginner,so here
are a few questions: how many plants can be grown in a 8x5 room? how much light is required?

The closest together I would put plants is 8 inches for indoors because of limited space and don't let
the plants get bigger than 24 inches tall or they will crowd out the plant next to it.
With allowing for 8 inches from the wall you could have 7 plants across. So I would use a 7 plant by
7 plant garden. That's 49 plants square if you use a stationary light or a circle light mover.
You can use the other 3 ft. in your room for your nutrient tank or for cloning
Sense your room is a rectangle you can add a few more rows of 7 plants if you use a bar light mover
that goes back and forth.
I would use a 1000 watt MH or HPS light for best results or 400 watt if your on a budget.

12:47:20 PM


i am new to hydroponics and starting a couple of cucumber plants in a container using only water and
nutrients, i am using a nutrent in powder that states 1/s teaspoon for seddlings and 1 teaspoon for
fruiting plants but i notice that when i mesure the TDS with my pen meter in the fruiting formula i only
get readings of 80 - 85, i have calibrated the pen meter that is very hard to calibrate, but when i
finaly get to do so, and test again the solution i still get the same reading, i have read that the total
PPM shuold be betwen 1200 and 1800 and i am getting some yellowish color in my plants
Can you help me on this Thanks Ron

If you are adding 1 tsp per gallon and your nutrient solution is for hydroponics and not for dirt then
your TDS pen should read higher.
My well water is 200 with nothing added.
I would put 1 tsp. in a gallon of water then take a TDS reading then add another 1 tsp. and see if the
TDS (ppm) doubles.
That will give you an idea if your pen is reading correctly.

4:28:04 AM


HELP! My cucumbers grew for 6 weeks and dehydrated! I added calcium but it didn't help.
Tempuratures here have been 93 degrees. I grew cucumbers before in different seasons and they
always dehydrate. Why?
Mystery to me.....I am using hybrid seeds. I've tried them in rockwool and cinder rock...both have
dehydrated each time after the baby fruits come out. The plant dehydrates before the cucumber
matures. HELP! trekker@lava.net

Here in Central Florida I have to grow under 70 percent shade cloth or the hot sun wilts plants like
cucumber and tomato.
I also water more often or the plants wilt.
Also check your roots and see if they look white and healthy. If not then you might have a nutrient or
root problem.

9:23:37 AM

Hello Ron,
Using a home built drip system setup in my back yard in Southern Florida my reservoir, ( 10 gal. )
will sometimes be over full with rain water or almost empty due to evaporation i.e. heat and humidity
or lack of it. I am using using General Hydroponics 3 part nutrient system. Other than buying a meter
or dip stick that I can not afford, is there any good way to check out the strength of my liquid before
I add water and more nutrient or pour it out and use for 'ground plants when too full? or good rule of
thumb to go by? Thanks Greg B. Fort Lauderdale Fl. -- President and Founder ...

Hi Greg
The only way to keep track of how much nutrient to add is to add a gallon at a time to your tank
after adding the amount that it calls for on the nutrient instructions.

12:38:35 AM


Dear Ron I am Siva.Chandrasekaran. Two days ago only I happen to saw the Hydroponics systems
and its simplified systems. I am more interrested in developing a system. But I am unable to get a
clear step by step details to form this system. Can you advice me on this line, that where can get this
information through internet. Since I wanted to start this as hobby in the first stage, I wil prefer the
free stuff. the free stuff what I got from the current FREE stuff is only pictures. I have also made
myself as the member of the club. I will be thankful if you provide tthis details (step by step methods
of forming a garden)

Step #1 Buy a garden or my head might explode!

8:05:43 PM


I live in the New York New Jersey area and would like to learn about hydroponics, implement it in
my home and distribute the products to my community. i have a customer base that is nationwide as
well as people in Trinidad, London England and Ghana West Africa. Anyone who can provide me
with the necessary resources, guidance etc. to make these things happen would be greatly
appreciated. Advice experiences etc is much needed and appreciated. Thank you Please email me at
bsheps@sheps.com. Thank you. Sincerely, <A HREF=mailto:"bsheps@sheps.com">Tufani
"BahShepsu" Mayfield</A>

11:21:40 PM


RON, will your nine plant hydro system using the 2 liter bottles with 16 oz solo cups take an indoor
cannabis plant to four feet. because i saw the 4-6 foot tomato plants in the pics. But wasn't to sure if
the rooting is equal if you have ant advise it would be very helpful thanks JORDAN B.C.

12:59:36 AM
 my question is will the 2 liter bottle setup with 16 oz cups take the plants to 4 feet or should i go with the one gallon system
I've already built the two liter system but if it won't work then i'll build the other.any info on this
matter will be very helpful.thank you JORDAN B.C. canada

You can grow a four foot plant in the 2 liter size but you have to check the roots every few days because they will grow down the pipes.

3:38:22 PM


RON, thanks for your help earlier. My next question is if i start my seeds in a 1 inch rockwool cube
then when I transfer them to the hydro system would it be okay to just put the cube in the cup with
grow rocks or will this be a problem.also would it be better to use a bigger cup for the type of plants
I'm growing. thank you JORDAN B.C.

I have transplanted from rockwool to dirt with success. Make sure your water level rises enough to
soak the cubes. I would use larger bottles with four foot plants. You can cut just the top from the 2
liter bottles and use bigger cups for your insert. Some members line the bottles with screen and don't
use cup inserts. Ron

11:51:17 PM


Ron,I built your 9 plant setup now I have some stupid Questions that are bugging the hell out of
me.1.I'm growing indoors and starting with seeds what should I start them in besides the setup
because I want them close together to get maximum light for first four weeks then I plan to put them
in the system? but if I use a soiless medium I need to fertilize the plants right?I'm using the genesis grow
2# with micro base should I use this and if yes what should be my dilution ratio?because I don't want
to fry the plants,the medium I'm using in the big system are grow rocks.or would it just be easier to
start them in soil then after four weeks transfer them into the big system?so could you tell me the best
way to start them,in what medium,the best way to transfer them & how?thank you,MIKE G.

Hi Mike
I used vermiculite with those plastic starter trays with 48, 54, or 72 plant inserts.
Soak the tray with a weak nutrient solution (about 300 ppm) or B1 Plant Starter then plant one seed
per spot about 1/2 inch deep.
Cover with a clear plastic hood and put under a weak light.
Once the seeds pop remove the hood and continue to water the plants until they are 3 or 4 inches
high with a little stronger solution as they grow
When they are big enough to grab with your fingers push from the bottom and pop the plant out of
it's plastic insert.
Wash off as much vermiculite as you can without mangling the roots in a bucket of water. You don't
have to get every bit of vermiculite if the plant is root bound
Now you can put the plant in the system being careful not to hurt the roots.
It takes a few days to adapt to the system before you start to see noticeable growth.

3:11:04 PM


Hello. We are doing research on aquaponics and hydroponics for our teacher, Dan Ginter, and need
all the information we can get! We would appreciate it if someone could help us. Thank you - Carrie
and Amanda

2:51:21 PM


Hi Ron 
I want to now what kind of pump we use for the 11 plant garden and where do you take
her,and what is the price.
Thank you

Submersible pumps are rated by how many gallons or liters of water they pump in an hour.
So the smallest pump you can find should do. They cost from $20 to $35.
50 to 120 GPH pump is fine and you can use a flow valve on larger pumps to cut down the flow. If
your timer runs for 30 minutes on cycle then you want to slow the flow to the system to take at least
30 minutes to fill to the correct water level.

11:45:09 PM


What is the best hydroponic info page on the net??? please e-mail Coke Freak at

This one you boob.

12:19:31 PM


I just want to find out if anyone knows how to grow kale and/or exotic lettuces in South Florida
hydroponically and if the growing season is all years. Thinking of using NFT system with 1 1/2 PVC
- 6 inches apart.
Sorry for not signing off on last message re: Kale in South Floida. I also would like to find out if
Arugula would be a practical/viable option to be grown NFT. If anyone knows, please let me know
the particulars. Thanks a lot. Jo

6:39:45 AM


Anybody know about Quantumponics

12:33:04 PM


Hi I'm very new to this and have a question. Recently I came into possession of what I think is a
greenhouse.v, it is made by Pyraponics Lab. dated 1991. The structure is atb least 4 feet high and
six sided, it has 6 removable semi clear plastic windows. There are 4 flourescent light and a hanging
light. a pump is also included. Can anyone tell me about this? Would appreciate any info. E-Mail
address is critter@inu.net

8:30:10 PM


I am interested in hydroponics, but never tried it. Where can I find out about a simple inexpensive way] to grow one or two plants, just to see if it's a hobby I want to pursue?
Kelley Oklahoma City

Hi Kelley Here is a picture of the most simple hydro system you can build. Raise the solution bucket
higher than the bucket with the plant until it waters than lower it to the floor to let it drain. Raise and
lower the solution bucket five or six times a day.
This next ebb and flow picture will cost more but it will be automated.


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