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Powdery and Downy Mildew
Building your own Indoor Grow Room part 2
Building your own Indoor Grow Room part 1
The Benefits of Chelated Micro-nutrients
Is the pH really that important?
Getting Bigger Yields From your Hydroponic Plants
Tips for getting the most out of your nutrients
Millions of dollars lost in hydroponic tomato plant sabotage
Growing Hydroponic Raspberries, part 2
I have a few questions
Interesting study finds plants love this stuff
I have a question
help me please
Suggestion for nutrients
hydropnic farming? help me
And Carol from Hawaii
hello everyone, help me!
Is humic acid bad in hydroponics?
Q & A Page 10
|to much air||organic tea||parts for less than$9|
|increase magnesium||high pH||hydroponics books|
|drain in a plastic tub||crop tastes bitter||how necessary are growing lights|
|Anemic looking Basil||1 inch PVC 11 plant garden||pH optimum range|
|timer||ebb & flow||pump|
|sterilized medium||Are lights readily availble for 220 volt?||gallons per hour pump for 11 plant garden|
|submersible pump||plastic solo cups|
Can a root system get to much air?
no That's why it's a good idea to add an air stone to all your tanks to come on when
the pump does.
Hi Ron,do you no what can i put to increase magnesium in my nutrient solution Thank
Add one to two teaspoon of Epsom salts for every gallon of solution to your tank if
your nutrient solution lacks magnesium.
I need to make a drain in a plastic tub for ebb&flow what hardware can I use that is cheap? Any Ideas?
I use a threaded 1/2 inch male PVC end stuck through a half inch hole with a sliced end
piece of a 1/2 inch female threaded
connector or a gray round type plastic 1/2 nut found in the electric department.
Here is one way of doing it.
Add plenty of Teflon tape to the threads to prevent leaks.
Anemic looking Basil?
I have a small ebb&flow system with a variety of plants started from seed a month and a half ago. Plants include hot peppers,
tomatoes, cilantro, basil, and various leaf lettuces, etc. Everything looks great except the basil which pale green and not shinny
at all. Some basil is in rockwool some is in ground coconut. Nutrient strength is about 850ppm, and temp is 72F and there is an
air-stone in the reservoir. I give it two 1/2 hour flood cycles during the 12 hour light cycle. Light is from a 1000 watt agro-sun
about 4 feet over the plants. There is a fan in the room and the roots are a nice white. Oh, also I am using the formula one A+B
liquid mix. It seems like everything I can do. Any ideas?
I wish my gardens were so perfect. I would blame it on the verity of basil. Try another
Basil might need a lot of light. Here is 2 kinds of basil I had good results with under 70 percent shade cloth. Green & Purple
P.S. Here is a good answer from Ed
I have a hobby system in a spare bedroom under a 1000 MH, like the person that posted to you on the 7th. In addition to my
needs of lettuce, chives, tomatoes I produce over 2 lb. of basil per week from 40 sweet basil plants which I sell to restraunts in
town for $16.00/lb. I include this info only to indicate that good performance is possible from such a system.
The poster stated that his light source was 4' over the plants and that is probably his problem. HID's are incredibly bright which
is what makes them so useful. However, this intense light must be properly managed to get a bumper crop. Intensity is the
magnitude of light energy per unit of area and diminishes with distance from the source. Plants that are 4 feet away from the
lamp get a fourth as much light as plants one foot away! The closer plants are to the light source, the better they grow. Six to 12
inches is a safe distance for plants to be from the lamp.
While there are better was to measure light output in growing crops, watts per square feet is easy to calculate. The formula is
I=L/D2 (2 STANDS FOR SQUARED), or Intensity=light output devided by distance squared. So, at 1 foot there is 1000
lumens per square foot available, at two feet 250 lumens, at 3 feet 111 lumens and at 4 feet only 62.5 lumens per square foot.
So I'd say that his problem is mostly the distance he has his light from the crop. Drop the light to one foot, as I do and I think he
would see an almost immediate improvement. The pale basil will not turn green so he must cut them back to the lower emerging
leaves. I'd also increase the on time to at least 14 hours (I use 16), and also give a few more feedings.
All this is of course IMOHO.
Where can I find information on the web about growing strawberries with NFT.
Dear Ron, I wish I had'nt come here cuz now am addicted ;^) I'm a Heating and Air Service Tech. and I think I can make a
"heat pump defrost timer" bring on a pump for 3 or 5 min. every 30, 45 or 90 min. Would this be better than the 30 on 30 off
timer? I've made the 11 bottle screw off garden and the cups will fill in 3 min. easy. I would use a air pump and stone to
areate the solution. Also any idea what the shelf life is of nutrient concentrate? I'm using "Green Air Products" Microbase and
Grow Nutrient#2 with Bloom Nutrient to come later. Ever hear of these? Last but not least, Thanks for this wonderful,
informative site, I've been here for weeks. I'll scan a cheap Poloroid and send if anything grows. Thanks, Jeff
The plants don't need to be watered for 30 minutes but that is the least amount of time
on the inexpensive timers.
Don't know about shelve life but like everything else I would keep it in a cool dark place.
Does anyone have experience in growing water-cress with hydroponics (or can recommed a book) ? Cor
Does anyone know of a Florida University that would have an engineering course on hydroponics? I live in Brazil and have a
difficult time to access for this info. Could you e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if possible
I just want to take the time to thank you for your web page and the time you put in to help others. You are a class act my
friend. You saved me lots of cash with the info in your web page.
Thanks again. Best Regards,
Hi Ron!! Where to start!:
I am from a small island in the Caribbean. The library as you could imagin isn't exactly the most up to date one in the world but i
get by on online information.
I am interested in your '28 plant gallon system.' I as you may have guessed have an unlimited supply of coconuts and I heard
that the fiber can be used as a good media for growing. Can you tell me how it is prepared..
I am also having great difficulty locating a water pump the only one that I can seem to find is the aquarium tank pumps Can this
work for the '28 plant system.'
Nutrients are also non existent but I found some information on the internet that says that "Peters Professional Plant food"
contains the complete nutrient elements and also is completely soluable Can you confirm or deny this.
Do you know any good sites on "Do it yourself Aquaponics"
And what about the use of Animal excretion (worms & sea birds) as nutrient solution or fertilizer.
P.S. I think that this is a great service here that you are doing KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK :-)
P.P.S Could you e-mail me directly along with posting the reply Thank You greatly for your assistance Kendall Cable
What ever medium you use just make sure it's sterilized with a 10 percent bleach solution or you can boil your medium in water for about 20 minutes to sterilizes it.
The reason we use a submersible pump in the ebb and flow gardens is because when the pump shuts off the nutrient solution that was pumped up to the garden has to drain back through the pump to the tank.
But with the top drip system that you want to use you can use a regular pump that sits outside of the tank because the water doesn't need to drain back through the pump. You still have to have a return back to the tank for the solution.
Just because it says water soluble on the fertilizer doesn't mean you can use it for hydroponics. It should say on the fertilizer bag that it can be used for hydroponics.
You can make what we call organic tea by filling a barrel with water and your favorite animal crap.
Let it ferment for a few months. Stir it up every few days and take a big whiff to see how it's coming along. It helps if you don't have any close neighbors.
I use a bulkhead connector (PVC) to make plastic connections from one hydroponic unit to another. Item # E-06445-10 as
purchased from Cole-Parmer Instrument Company, 625 East Bunker Court, Vernon Hills, IL 60061-1844 USA e-mail:
email@example.com Item is re-usable and threaded..
Hey Ron, Wonderful site. Do you, or anyone else, know of any schools that offer correspondence courses in hydroponics
besides the Australian Correspondence School. Has anyone taken any of the courses offered by the above mentioned school,
and if so, what is their estimation of the school/course. Thanks, Arlene firstname.lastname@example.org
my hydrponics farm is using about 20 gallons of water a day with the local supply averaging a ph. of 8.2! correcting this supply
down to under 6.0 is geting rather expensive! What do you know is the least expensive safe acid for this purpose? Thank you
for the web site and keep up the good work! Sincerely Dale
I pay about $30. a gallon for pH down. No cheep and safe way to get around it.
I am lucky that my well water isn't as high as city water.
How can I set up a hydroponic system at home? (science project)
Read this web page then start building.
Hi Ron I'm from South Africa and I'm also practicing hydroponics as a hobbie ..Do you know of anyone in South Africa who
could supply me with a proper fertilizer mix? I've been using a 3:1:6(46)plant food mixture which I've bought at the local
hardware shop. However , I'm thinking of building a bigger system and then this mixture will be too expensive (R17 = 5$)
because it can only be found in small (500g)bottles . This mixture works beautifull on tomatoes and greenpeppers .
Yours sincerely Cobus Pieterse
I'm a sophomore in High school and my friend and I are doing a Biology project on the various nutrient solutions one can add
to soilless growth cultures and what affects they'll have on them. Do you have any suggestions for plants we should use in our
experiment, its only going to last 3 weeks so we'll need something that's going to be able to show us changes. If you have any
ideas please let us know. . . Thanks, Katie and Valerie Woodinille, WA.
Hi Katie and Val
I would use some kind of annual blooming flower. You could buy small plants that are just ready to bloom, wash off the dirt
from the roots and put it in your system and it takes about 10 days to fully adapt to the system. You then could show the plants
growth at different stages more dramatically with blooming and non-blooming plants.
Hello: I need help in designing a short term ebb and flow system to maintain the moisture in leach tubes holding tree seedlings.
We are starting from scratch so will need the specifications and prices for the components. We plan to build the basic holding
tray(s) using 6mm plastic film in a wooden box.
Can you help?
Many thanks, Len email@example.com
No sorry. Maybe someone else can.
Thanks to advice found here everything in my ebb and flow system is growing great! One problem though is that some of the
crop tastes bitter. The arugala is too bitter to eat and the thai lemon basil is as well. Broadleaf basil is not as bad but not very
tasty. The garden is run with a well controlled set of parameters except that I stopped checking pH daily but get to it at least
weekly. I am using Rockwool and the formula 1 A+B mix. Any advice?
I have never thought about the taste except for the tomatoes that I grow which
everybody says taste great.
I don't know enough about herbs and spices to know what they should taste like.
I just took it for granted that if it look healthy that it should taste good.
I guess I need to run some taste test with my friends.
Could you tell me if there is someone doing hydroponics in Argentina or Brasil? answers to Edmundo, e-mail:
I have a question for Ron K. (or anyone else) I'm planning on setting up a small hydroponic garden in my basement this fall and
I really like the picture of his setup that is posted here, I would like to know how wide his shelves are and what size lights he's
using in that application-the entire setup looks just perfect! Thanks in advance-Deb M. (DMurray407@AOL)
Ron, Thanks a lot for the info! But we decided on Cyperus, since they're small, and they were recommended to us by our local
nursery. Are these ok? Can you let us know anything about them? Thanks Again, Valerie and Katie in Woodinville
Can mushroom grow hydroponically?
Your soda bottle designs are using 1 inch PVC now rather than half inch? The cap goes in to the one inch PVC thin walled pipe
from the 1 inch tee and is glued, right?
Yes that's right. That makes the bottles removable and no leaks to plug. Picture of garden.
My wife and I are planning to build our first hydroponics greenhouse. We are curious which would be best an ebb & flow to
maximize space availability or the PVC type system you seem to like? We thought we could grow more in the ebb and flow
type system. We are going to concentrate on lettuce and herbs.
P.S. Great website!!
Thanks, Carey and Kristi Clark
Because I only use grow rocks I would have to use to much to fill troughs or tubs or
gutters and it would take a bigger nutrient holding tank to fill the system.
With the 2 liter bottle system each plant only has what it needs.
I have systems that are right next to each other for small plants and sense the plants are removable I can move them to a larger system as they grow.
Hello. My name is Dominic Gaidano and I'm a 15 year old ninth grade student at Drake High. Over the past six years, I have
planted a vegetable garden in my back yard. Recently I have discovered hydroponics. Your site is great because its the only
one not trying to sell a book. Your very generous for giving people free hydroponics designs. I have found the "free stuff"
menu a great place except its to confusing for me. I was wondering if you could make-up, or send me some simple starting
system designs. Then, when I get good, and use it for a while, I will create a more complicated system. Maybe some tips too. If
its out of your way, I understand, but it would be great to start up on my own. PLEASE! Please send to: Dominic Gaidano, 64
Fern Lane, San Anselmo, California 94960. Thank very very much. P.S.- I will enjoy what ever you send me. Thank you very
I will have new step by step pictures now that I have a new camera if I can get my
brother to hurry up and move down here to Florida to help me.
please email me with answer at firstname.lastname@example.org. . .
Are lights readily availble for 220? I assume that this is a common question as 220 is more efficient than 110. I am trying to set
up an indoor herb/vegetable garden though I haven't decided how many lights I will need. I would like to set up with 220
however in order to save greenbacks. $2.00 per pound for tomatoes here in Oregon is just outrageous!
PLEASE reply! thanks
Yes they have 110 v or 220 v and Hydro Farm has one that you can switch wires in the
ballast to make it ether one.
I am Miguel Martinez. I am Director and operator of a children's home and programs for orphaned, abandoned and street
children in Mexico. Due to the difficulty of fundraising through donations in Mexico and that it is our experience and belief that
one can conquer their circumstances through dedication and work, we developed a Hydroponics project to produce for the
commercial market, which would permit the home and programs to be the only self sufficient program of its kind and reach
thousands of children.This would serve as an international model.
The problem is that no one in Mexico wants to help finance us because its a new idea here and they don't believe it can work.
We have conducted various crop experiments and have proven over and over it works and works well. We have sought
foreign financing but the minimum loan they will consider is $10,000,000 which at this point is un realistic.
I am writing to you to see if you can advise us on a very economical commercial start up or Hydroponics suppliers, societies or
other that would be interested in a financing arrangement, assisting economically, with materials technically or otherwise. (We
desperately need all the help we can get)
Thank you very much for your time and any assistance that you can provide.
We have a complete project proposal available for review, complete with experiment results, market analysis, program and
project objectives, etc.
Miguel Martinez email@example.com
I could use some help in those areas too, especially the financing part.
Ron, You've got a great web site - thanks for sharing all of your ideas! I shall return to visit your site very soon. Thanks again.
Phil in Tennessee.
i am wondering if you can give me some information regarding putting plants in the plastic containers which are in the pipe
system plan which you have shown on your site.
do they go straight into the container or do you put some other sort of medium in first?.
I use expanded clay aggregate known as grow rocks in 16 oz plastic solo cups.
can you use this system for tomatoes or not?, also what height do you aim for the nutrient to rise in the plastic containers?.
Yes for short patio type tomato plants but I would
go with the gallon drip from the top system for regular
plants because they can grow very large and so they will need the extra root space.
as you can see i am new to hydroponics but, i am keen to learn so, your help would be
yaaahooo i got my first two seeds growing. this is my first attempt at growing anything. they are healthy and stand about 1/4 in
above the medium. i am using a comination of 2/3 vermiculite and 1/3 perlite. i was unsure about the mixture so i took a
See how easy it is and that my friend is the one and only reason that cannabis is
against the law.
The pharmaceutical industry does not want a plant that anyone can grow that replaces dozens of high price
chemicals they push on the public.
I need HELP!!. Hi. Iam an agronomyst from mexico -queretaro-, well, Iam planning in 416 m2 (4477.93 ft2)stablish an NFT
system to cultivate lettuce. My main doubt is this: What is the total quantity of water I should use? My plant density is this: 25
cm (9.84") between plants and 25 cm (9.84") between rows, that gives me a population of 16 plants/m2. Total: 6656
plants/416m2. Iam going to use PVC tubes (4" diam.)x 47" long. What tank capacity I should use? What nutrient solution you
recommend me? How often I should change/refill my tank and nutrient solution? How many water Im gonna use in the whole
crop cycle? Please send me your answer at: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: Fray Juan de San Miguel No. 63-3. Col.
Cimatario CP 76030 queretaro, Qro. MEXICO
Ing. Enrique Borbolla
What did he say? Buy a book
I am an industrial designer in Atlanta. I built your 11 plant system last night. It was pure genius. I got all the parts for less than
$9 and glued it up in forty minutes. I think it is one of the coolest hydroponic systems going.
Thanks for the design.
Keep on growing.
Ron, I need to find out about titles + authors for hydroponics books. Please help me by emailing me at
email@example.com Thanks James
Two that I like is:
Hydroponic Home Food Gardens by Howard M. Resh
Gardening Indoors by George F. Van Patten
My first question is how necessary are growing lights if you aren't going to do some kind of professional setup? I also would
like to know what the easiest kind of setup would be. Thanks.
On a patio, porch or under sky lights would be the only way because without
photosynthisence you can't grow plants.
Hi Ron, Is it true if nutrient solution's pH is out of optimum range (5.5 to 6.8), the plants will unable to absorb the nutrients?
That is correct and that is why pH is important with hydroponics.
Hi!!! I am doing a project on hydroponics... Can you please tell me what are the advantages of hydroponics??? And is
aeroponics under hydroponics.. if yes, are the advantages of aeroponics the same as hydroponics?? if no, what are the
advantages of aeroponics??? Thank you very much for taking your time to answer my question. Love, Jas
Plants grow faster.
Ron I am just getting started what do use for the pump and where do you get one? firstname.lastname@example.org
Submersible pumps is what they are called and you can find them at fish stores or where
they sell fountain supplies like
Home Depot, Ace Hardware or True Value.
Hi! I live in Missouri, and my parents and I are in the process of building a hydroponic greenhouse. How easy is it to grow
tomatoes? Would you recommend growing strawberries or lettuce? Why or why not? Thanks for your advice! Sincerely, A.
Tomatoes or lettuce would be your best bet. I haven't seen any successful hydroponic
strawberry projects yet.
Maybe somebody out their has.
can anyone tell me about how many pounds (kilos) of tomatos to expect in a hydroponic situtation.Also how long will the plants last and bear fruit.
Thanks Bruce McDougald email@example.com
A lot and for a long time.
What capacity submersible pump is required for the 11 plant garden? That is, gallons per hour? What kind is good, or best?
80 to 120 GPH is fine and you can restrict the flow if the pump is to strong for the
Hi Ron I have been using your design to grow veggies in a hydroponic system for about a year now and have recently built a
system for my father. I am having a terrible problem with mosquitos! Is there any safe chemicle that I can add to my solution
that would kill the mosquito larvae without hurting my plants? Thanks in advance for your advice. Kevin
That is a new one on me. I never heard of that problem before. Even here in Florida. I
would put a lid or a screen on
your tank to keep them out.
MESSAGE: FROM: ROBIN MURFET (Australian Citizen) MANILA, PHILIPPINES
As you will see by the "subject" we have embarked on an unusual but exciting concept of growing temperate zone flowers in a
temperate environment simulator.
We would like our first endeavours to be focused on growing tulips in this system. From this point we have to ask a few
questions and hopefully you can assist us.
To better understand what we are doing, I shall briefly explain the concept.
We have built a "box" which is well insulated with a sandwich of foam between the walls. The dimensions of the "box" is L
1.5m x W 80cm x H 1.2m
A flood and drain table is built inside, with the reservoir under the table (80 ltrs.) The reservoir and growing table is in a
"cocoon" into which the air is fed at a controlled temperature. In the lower section of the box, which does not contain the
reservoir, we have built in a refrigeration system from a household refrigerator.
The cooling of the growing chamber is controlled by the refrigerator thermostat. On the top of the box we have a two section
hinged lid which also contains a viewing window. On the underside of the lid we will place a growing light. This will be at a
predetermined height from the plants. The heat from the light will be ventilated by two small extraction fans set into the lid. We
will have good circulation of air with the hot air from the light rising and the cold air being injected from the lower portion of the
The reservoir as mentioned is also in the cooled section of the growing chamber so the nutrients will always be at the correct
At this point if you are interested, we can supply the working drawings. The box is really not a box as it has been designed
athetically and has a piano finish. It really is a show piece on its own.
Now we come to the "fiddly bits". What we have to now determine are the following questions which you may be able to help
us with or point us in the right direction to get the answers.
1. What is the correct temperature to grow tulips in? 2. What are the correct nutrients? 3. To what height will the tulips grow
when they are mature? 4. What height should the light be from the plants. Should the light be adjustable in height depending on
the height of the plants? 5. What type of light would be most suitable given that we have a controlled cubic capacity where the
whole lighting system is directed to the plants because of the enclosed environment? 6. How much heat will the light generate in
the enclosed system. As mentioned we are able to draw the heat off the light with extraction fans? 7. Will it be necessary to
inject any other gases into the system or will the circulating air be sufficient. 8. For how many hours will the light need to be
operating per 24 hours?.
Summary: We believe the whole thing will work, simply because we can produce a simulated temperate environment such as
the plants would have naturally, say in Holland.
If we can get the answers to the above then we are up and running for sure. CAN YOU HELP US with the above?
I look forward to your reply and if you would like to join with us in the trials then we can pass information between us. As
mentioned, we are willing to pass over the plans and drawings which we have already.
Kind regards, Robin Murfet (The Aussie)
To all Hydroponic experts, coleagues and supliers I´m searching the web, to find the best in technology and knowledge, in
order to install a industrial scale hydroponics farm and assure its economic feasibility. We pretend sales about Us$ 1MM/year
after the 2nd year of operations
My best regards and thank for you attention. JORGE BEYTIA CENDOYA
Hey Ron, how are you? Could you please give me a description of the appartus and nutrients used in hydroponics? Is there any solar, pest control or prunning requirments? Could you also please tell me the types of plants most suited to hydroponics? If you could answer these questions that would be great.
Hi I am looking for information on the following: 1.) Advide 2.) Ascend 3.) Super-drive Thanks
1.) Never heard of it. 2.) Never heard of that ether. 3.) Or that.
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