Question and Answer Page 6
|where to buy the nutrient solution
|building a simple garden
|speaking about gravel
|adjusting the pH in fish tanks
|hydroponics in hot desert climate
|pea gravel for my tomatoes
|What is Hydroponics?
|CPVC is a different diameter then PVC
|problems with my water supply
|nutrient cycle times
|bend and shape your 1/2 liter bottles
|trying to grow rice
|organic grow solution.
|how big to cut 2 liter bottles
|roots are starting to clog up the pipe
I want to do my 7th grade science project on hydorponics. I want to compare a plant grown in dirt
with a plant grown using hydroponics. Where can I buy the nutrient solution or do I need to make it?
Any help would be great. Snake
You can find hydroponic nutrient solution at hydroponic grow stores in most major cities or you can
order some from the grow supply stores that are posted here on hydroponics online.
It's difficult to mix your own but if you want to try click here. Element Chart
I am doing a research paper on the latest developments in hydroponics. I have to write mainly about
what research is going on now, and what the current status of the field is. If anyone could give me
sources of info, this would be great. If you like, you can e-mail me at email@example.com.
Hi Ron and all, I friend that owns a restaurant asked if I could grow corn during the winter in my
indoor hydroponics system. Although I haven't found any references to this on the web, I don't see
why not. Have you any experience or recommendations with this? Varieties? Thanx. -Greg G
No I never tried growing corn but I did grow bamboo in a gallon drip system once.
Novice needs help. Where can I get a book or talk to someone about a small unit.Thanks Jerry
McInnis Port Arthur, Tx email firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk to me Jerry
Question: Im looking for a commercial source of hydroponic lettuce trays. I need or would like to
find 24" wide by at least 48" long trays. I need to fill 4000 sq. ft. of greenhouse with these trays. Any
ideas on a supplier. They must be wholesale. Also a comment. I am a commercial grower of 5 types
of lettuce and 2 types of tomatoes in 3000 sq. ft greenhouses. Year round in North Bend ( on the
coast ) of Oregon. I use an NFT pipe system. home built. It works great. 2 years No problems. Best
fertilizer to use.. Scotts Hydrosol. Very reliable. And almost complete. The Haley Farm
Do you or any of the other members know what effect if any a water softner will have on the water
you use in your hydroponic system. Will it kill your plants because of the sodium from the softner.
Yes I would like to know that also.
I have used 5 gallon buckets with pea gravel for my tomatoes for a long time. Now I see what looks
like 4" to 6" PVC pipe layed out and a hole in the top. I would like to know what is in the pipe to
hold the plant roots. Is their pea gravel or?? Thanks Larry B. Placerville Ca.
The system you are describing might be a continuous flow
NFT where the plants grow in
little baskets and the roots hang in the nutrient solution. That way you don't need to use
a medium. Lettuce growers use this method a lot.
Dear Ron, I have been growing hydroponically for some time now and have encountered some
major problems with my water supply. My tap water reads at 400 ppm. Now i am using general
hydroponics 3 part formula and have encountered some problems. my feeding dose is the general
purpose of 1 teaspoon per gallon of micro,one and a half teaspoon of grow, and one teaspoon for
bloom. after i administer the micro, i test my ppm and it is 660 ppm, i then proceed to add the grow
and my ppm is at 1130, after i administer bloom, my ppm reads 1330. my problem is that i started
seeing signs of overfertilization (leaves curling down, claw like, very dry, brown spots, shriveling of
leaves ) when i had my ppm at 1200, it would be simple enough to lower my ppm but i also saw
signs of nitrogen deficiency (yellowing of leaves). Is this perhaps because the high ppm of the tap
water is adding more phosophorus potassium, and is also blocking out nitrogen somehow. how much
of each part of the nutrient should i use if my tap water is at 400 ppm, and my plants show
overfertilization at 1200, and their are signs of nitrogen defeciency. i am growing tomatoes via geolite
and am watering 6 times daily for 30 minutes each watering cycle and am growing in an ebb and flow
table under a 1000 watt metal halide, my ph is between 6.0 and 6.7. Thanks
I would say that it might be your tap water. You can try a water filter to eliminate
the unwanted crap
that they put in tap water just to make it drinkable.
I operate a demonstration hydroponics system at a botanical garden, and I am trying to grow rice.
Does anyone know whether rice has ever been grown hydroponically, and if so, where I could get
information on it? Thank you. Carroll Dailey email@example.com
I have found that plants that love water like rice grow very well in an ebb and flow hydro systems.
I will add rice to my list of plants to try and grow this spring.
Ron A good way to prevent blood from contaminating your bottles when cutting them is to use a hot
wire cutter. This way if you slip, the wounds are self cauterizing. firstname.lastname@example.org
Were do you get a hot wire cutter? Ron
Hi.Ron I need info about where I can buy the spanish version of Hydroponics food Production by
Howard M. Resh, also recomend a hydroponic nutrients supplier in Puerto Rico.
My name is Amanda Fehr and I attend the Southwest Virginia Governor's School for science, math,
and technology. I am required to submit a project to the Virginia Junior Academy of Science in the
spring of this year. I have chosen hydroponics as my topic. I would appreciate any information that
would help in the research of my project. I am not sure what exactly I am going to do yet, but I
know there are lots of possibilities... Yet, I trust you will have a creative idea? I would appreciate
your reply as soon as possible because I don't have very much time and I want to get started as soon
You might want to go with a project that combines hydroponics with the recycling aspect by using 2
liter and bleach bottles.
Has anyone had luck building a simple garden built mainly from "hardware" store equipment? Any
You can buy PCV, submersible pump, a timer from a hardware store and start drinking
your ass off
of soda and you can't get much cheaper than that.
Question? I have noticed a product in a pet shop for adjusting the pH in fish tanks to a specific
level(ie pH 6). It goes by the name of Bullseye and I presume it is simply a buffer. Would this
adversly affect the nutrient solution or can I make life easy by simply adding this?(I usually run ~pH 6
Yes Captain - I have emptied pet store shelves of their pH up or down when I
didn"t have time to
order any though the mail.
I'm a highschool biology teacher and I would like to set up a successful hydroponics garden in my
classroom. I have 84 biology students. I have a grow room the dimensions are 8' x 15'. Being as I
am a teacher, understand there is little to no money to work with. If there is anyone out there who
has a suggestion on how to build a inexpensive but effective hydroponic garden please send me your
drawings. I truly appreciate all suggestions and advice. My e-mail address is
JNUT569311@AOL.COM. Thanks Pamela
84 students, you have my deepest sympathy I will draw up some plans and post them that will give
you some ideas.
Ron,What is Hydroponics?
From the Greek words (water-working) (hydro-ponics).
Or simply growing plants without dirt.
Hi, I am looking for directions for a simple hydroponic set-up that could be used for a 7th grade
science project comparing soil grown plants to hydroponically grown plants. Any info or source
material would be appreciated. The student wants to grow beans from seeds this way-is that
I have a question about nutrient cycle times. When pumping the solution into the bottles (grorox), and
the solution get to the top of the cups, do I shut off the pump and let it drain, or let it run for x amout
A newcomer Ron Reece
Yes that is all it takes to water but some members can't buy a cycle timer because of
the cost so they
use a low cost timer that has to run for 30 minutes. That is what the overflow pipe is for so the pump
can run for 30 minutes without the water flowing over the cups. But by no means does it have to
water that long.
I'm growing beans in hydroponics,and the ph meter is showing 7.Is this ok?
Sounds fine to me, ask your plants and see what they say.
Hi Ron I recently purchased an 11 plant unit. When the unit arrived I set it up and ran into some
problems, all of the bottles leaked, I figured this was from rough handling in shipping. My biggest
problem is how to stop the leaks, I have used caulking of different tyes but nothing helps, also the
paint is flaking off of the bottles. Hopefully you can help me with these problems. Thanks C. Ritter
Sorry about that. That was the first time I sent a garden all put together.
What seals the bottles best is PVC Primer or Cleaner because it's thinner than PVC glue so it will
run down the inside and seal the bottles. Hot glue also works. Make sure they are dry and let them
sit a few hours after gluing.
I used epoxy paint which I think isn't flexible enough. I think vinyl spay paint will work better.
That's the reason I am going up to the 1 inch size so you can use the bottle caps with removable
bottles with no leaks
I have an ebb and flow system. I was told I would probably need to change the water and nutrients
about once every three weeks. I have been using an organic grow solution. After about one week, I
am getting a tremendous algae growth, and the smell is awful. As the system is indoors in my house,
it gets unbearable and I am changing the water and flushing the system every week, but its a alot of
work that I would rather not do every week. I check the PH when I put the new water in, could the
PH be the problem? I am planning on checking it more often to catch any fluctuations sooner. If not,
what could be causing this?
I also tried organic one season and the smell was to much. Imagine a hole greenhouse
full of slime.
Algae growth is caused by your water source exposed to sun light or artificial light. Try covering
anywhere your water is exposed to light if possible.
Algae isn't harmful to plants but will rob them of nutrients if not controlled
Hi Ron, I just wanted to let you know that one of your gardens(design anyway}is pictured in the
Nov,Dec 97 issue of the Growing Edge magazine on page 19.The man who made it kind of takes
credit for the design,talking about how he started the"smart valve"system,which lets the nutrient flow
into a system up to a depth of 30 mm and then cuts off the flow.I feel like writing a letter to the editor
and letting them know who should really take the credit for the system design.When he talked about
getting a lot of information off the internet,I knew exactly where it came from.Thank you for your
wonderful website.It sure helped me get started about a year ago,with great results!Kevin
That's OK I stole the design from High Times, October 1990 issue Pot For Pennies.
Ron, I have an nft system and my roots are starting to clog up the pipe, is it ok if i trim the roots? and
if so , how much should i trim off. thankx
Trim just the roots that are causing the problem so it doesn't shock the plants to much. Ron
When speaking about gravel, is their a specific type I should buy that could be found at a store such
as Builder Square or Home Depot? as much information that you can supply would be greatly
appreciated. Thank You.
I have never tried gravel but my guess would be to buy the porous gravel you can find
so the nook
and crannies can hold oxygen.
does arizona's hot desert climate lend itself to hydro systems?
Yes desert countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia rely heavily on hydroponics to grow
food. We just
haven't done so in this country because we haven't had to but we will because of erosion and
chemical run off. A retrievable water system like hydroponics is the only way to grow in the future.
Does anyone know somebody with hydroponics interests at México? I have interest in
contacting....at México or Rio Grande Border
I would like to warn people that CPVC is a different diameter then PVC and CPVC is too small for
the system specified here. For this system, use white PVC. Live and learn. Ken Gough
Thank you Ken. I have gotten e-mail from members that can't find what I call thinwall
which is SDR 26 1 inch pipe.
Ron is it possible to tell me how you bend and shape your 1/2 liter bottles so beautifully. I have built
your system as well as ordered one and I would like to have my bottles finished a well as yours.
Thanks C. Ritter
Take an old frying pan 6 inches or larger and heat to 300 degrees.
Have a 16 oz solo cup handy to stick in the bottle when it is soft enough.
Place the cut off bottle in the heated pan and slowly turn the bottle and it will begin to curl inward.
When it looks like it's curled enough then cram the solo cup in the bottle to form it around the cup.
Some bottles refuse to curl so just chuck them and try again.
With a little practice you will be curling like a pro.
Hi, my name is Rey and I have a ? I down loaded a Picture of a 11 plant, do it yourself hydroponic
system from your page, but it doesn't tell me how big to cut 2 liter bottles, what size pump I need,
how do you keep plants from falling over as they grow. I'm new at this, and I really want to start
soon. Any info. you can give me will help. The stuff I got from your page has been wonderful so far,
but I need more. Please help
The bottles are cut at 7 1/2 inches. That will give the solo cup with the plant in it support from falling
over. Some plants like cucumber and tomatoes have to be tied up when then get to big.
A 70 to 120 gallon per hour submersible pump works fine or you can use a larger one if you use a
flow control valve or just use a C clamp on the hose to slow the flow from the tank to the garden.
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