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Question and Answer Page 15

Subjects

draining of the h20 in the growing cup change the solution starting on a tight budget
About timers more than one overflow pipe I can't find the pump
How much Miracle-Gro for tomatoes: changes in ph,ppm,or toxic build looking for pumps
What PH is best sump is getting algae roots keep growing into the pipes
what is bolting ? get the seeds germinated at home
Date:
21 Apr 1999
Time:
04:09:13

Comments

An apology from HydroRon.
Sorry about being off  line for three weeks.
Please send your complaints to Network Solutions. You can tell they work for the government.
I have moved from using my own server to WebCom.
Living out here in deliverance land my phone line was slow and it disconnected at least once a day.
Now I will be connected full time as long as I can pay my bill.
Ron

Date:
21 Apr 1999
Time:
09:29:58

Comments

hi ron,
i need your advice.
i am using rockwool for my hydropnic system but it seems that the water retention is greater than what i expect. the rockwool i use is not the same of those the market call rockwool cube. this rockwool i use is the same material they use in insulation and looks like cotton. i layer them horizontally to the base of the growing cups. i think this may be one of the reason why the draining of the h20 in the growing cup is really bad. the fiber in the rockwool seems to be blocking the water from dripping away.

will using cocofiber plus perlite solve my problem ?

Yes your medium is acting like a sponge and not letting the water drain enough. A more porous medium will hold more air and drain better.
Ron

Date:
21 Apr 1999
Time:
11:56:09

Comments

About timers: I saw somewhere is the posting that these cost $80.00 for a 1 or 2 hour cycle timer. At www.x10.com, wait for the sale they have them all the time, you can get an active home kit for $39.95. An appliance module will run about $12.95. If you have a PC, this would be the way to go. You can setup a watering schedule and then turn off the computer. Add another appliance module and you could control your lights. I didn't go this route because I found a digital seven event timer for about $20.00 and I have a small setup.

Date:
21 Apr 1999
Time:
12:38:17

Comments

How much Miracle-Gro for tomatoes: To those people using Miracle-Gro, what strength per gallon should I use? I have been using 1/4 teaspoon to the gallon. The plants look OK, but, I am not sure if they could use a stronger solution.

I have been using 1/4 tablespoon per gallon instead of a teaspoon. With about half as much of Epson Salts.
I will post some pictures of them tomorrow.
Ron

Date:
22 Apr 1999
Time:
20:22:20

Comments

Glad to see your back!!!!! I want to grow tomato's on a large scale. What PH is best and how do you regulate it. I also would like to know if they need to be covered from rain ( Louisiana has its share )
Thanks
Mike

I like to keep my pH between 5.0 and 7.0 with 6.0 being the best. You regulate it with pH up or down that you get from a grow store and buy the gallon size because chances are your water sucks and you will need it.
The plants in my shade cloth greenhouse gets rained on but the cloth does give them some protection.
Ron

Date:
23 Apr 1999
Time:
09:58:14

Comments

dear ron,

i think i have a problem with my cabbage on hydroponics. after 5 weeks, it just grown by 3 nodes. i dont think its a very good progress.
somebody told me that i might be experiencing bolting. what is bolting ? how can i prevent it and what are the physical manifestation of bolting ?
btw, i am in Philippines where temperature runs above 32 C in the middle of the day. i keep the system cool down by placing it indoor with indoor lamps. i cool the roots with temperature control nutrient solution.
o2ten

I haven't had good luck with taking cabbage to completion here in Florida. I think because of the heat.
Bolting is when a plant has run to seed prematurely. Probably cause by moving the plant back and forth from strong light then weak light. It's so freak out it doesn't know what to do.
Ron

Date:
23 Apr 1999
Time:
23:07:00

Comments

glad your back enjoy your site and i like hydroponics as a hobby

I spend more money than I make on hydroponics so I guess that's what I got going, one big hobby.
Ron

Date:
23 Apr 1999
Time:
23:15:28

Comments

ron i also found miracle-gro works much better then any hydro-solution go figure

Date:
24 Apr 1999
Time:
12:12:47

Comments

Ron! Before I found your website, I purchase two WaterFarms and the three "Flora" nutrients. They recommended to change the solution and rinse tanks every 7 to 10 days. This uses a lot of expensive nutrients. Does you system require the same attention?
Thanks, JohnJ

Hello JohnJ
To tell you the truth I only change my nutrient solution if my plants show signs of trouble like yellowing or burnt tips. When I here the pump sucking and see my plants wilting then I know it's time to fill up the tank. The small gardens like the 11 plant needs more maintenance so I would change it more often especially if the water gets funky.
Ron

Date:
25 Apr 1999
Time:
10:24:53

Comments

In reference to the thinwall 1" SDR 26 Pipe, Is the pressure rating 200 or 160 PSI?
Jimmy

200

Date:
25 Apr 1999
Time:
10:37:17

Comments

Glad to see your website up and running again!! I surely missed it in the last couple of weeks. A question for you -- would you recommend more than one overflow pipe set-up if a large number of 2-liter soda bottles are used in a single system? I am planning on having a system of at least 28 plant sites. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!!

Yes I would. You will know if one over flow is not enough if water comes out the little air hole at the top.
Ron

Date:
26 Apr 1999
Time:
18:30:24

Comments

Ron: What media are you using with Miracle-Gro? Do you notice any changes in ph,ppm,or toxic build up other than what you had with hydro solutions. Plants look great I hope you have continued luck with the set up. It sure beats hydro firts prices. Nurse Duckett

I am using grow rocks as a medium.
The PPM is a little low around 550 but I am not going to go by PPM. I am going for awhile with how healthy the plants look and what the tomatoes taste like.
No signs of  toxic build up yet but I don't think I have been growing  long enough with Miracle-Gro to see any.
Ron

Date:
27 Apr 1999
Time:
16:31:51

Comments

I built a 11-plant garden. The sump is getting algae. How to I get rid of it? Should I paint the RubberMade "sump" to keep out light? The "Home Hydroponics..." book by Lem Jones claims that you can prevent it by keeping a tight lid on the sump. I have a small 2.5 inch round hole for the cord, and water line. I can tape this up. Anyone else had this problem? thanks, mark

Hello Mark
Yes painting the container is a good idea. You can also use contact paper for shelves and it comes in hundreds of colors and patterns.
Ron

Date:
28 Apr 1999
Time:
07:34:25

Comments

I want to start a hydroponics system but I have do it on a very tight budget. What are some things I can use to get the seeds germinated at home, without buying anything, or something cheap?

Date:
29 Apr 1999
Time:
01:50:21

Comments

start seeds in used cleaned food containers dont forget to punch a drain hole

Then when the plants get big enough, wash off the dirt and put in your hydro system.

Date:
01 May 1999
Time:
04:17:13

Comments

Ron, Just signed on tonite . A comment about starting on a tight budget. I bought plastic shoe boxes w/tops @ Savon Drug store for a $1.00 a piece. Very carefully Drilled holes in the ends w/ 5/8" wooden doles for plugs. Started seeds from K-Mart Burpee. Experimenting w/ sand, Vermeculite,perlite potting soil. Tomatoes in the Nutrient of 9-4-15, are doing very well, laying the roots flat,compared to potting soil, parsley very slow from seed, cilantro,cucumbers, & sunflowers the same. My 1st year. Hydroponic Nutrient was ordered from HollistersHydroponics out of Irvine,Ca my home ter- ritory. Jim

Date:
01 May 1999
Time:
13:47:25

Comments

Hi Ron, John & Amy French mention using phosphoric acid. I have just tried it and am having a terrible problem with "sudsing", did he mention this? Thanks Sam

No they didn't. If your out their John & Amy, what do you do about the suds. You could add Jacuzzi defoamer but I don't know what it will do to plants.
Ron

Date:
01 May 1999
Time:
20:46:02

Comments

i get all my containers at the recycle center for free most nurserys just throw them away after a one time use all sizes its great

Date:
01 May 1999
Time:
20:51:14

Comments

will lime work to keep ph neutral or am i on the wrong track

I tried lime and it had no effect on my pH and it didn't dissolve. I think it needs dirt to work properly.
Ron

Date:
03 May 1999
Time:
04:14:01

Comments

I live in a tropical country.What kind of flowers can I grow? How do I increase their chances of blooming?

Tropical flowers like Bromides or Orchids. You need a way to control the amount of darkness your plants get in order to trigger them to bloom. Some flower growers in Europe use black plastic on a pulley system to block out the sunlight on long summer days.
Ron

Date:
05 May 1999
Time:
04:36:16

Comments

When flowers such as marigold are maturing, would they make the pH of the nutrient solution go bonkers?

I hear from members that their pH changes over such a short time that something has to be changing the pH so that just may be the case. I am sure some plants will change it more than others.
Ron

Date:
05 May 1999
Time:
21:26:21

Comments

im trying to grow hydro but im not sure weather to use the drip system or not? If you would please email me back and tell me your opinion on drip. Im just starting out so im kinda new at everything. I have learned quite a bit but i would much rather have a personal opinion. thanx, amanda
amanda_marieB52@hotmail.com

Hellooo amandaaa
I like the drip system because watering is not as big as a problem as with ebb & flow.   Your don't have to worry about an overflow pipe. Your tank can get lower before refill also.

Date:
07 May 1999
Time:
20:41:27

Comments

as a rule which way does pH go up more or down, some one said it usually just goes one way is this true thanks this site just keeps getting better all the time

Mine goes up.
Ron

Date:
08 May 1999
Time:
09:19:59

Comments

Dear Ron, I am 14 and I am really into hydroponics. I am wanting to make the 11 plant garden but I can't find the pump. What is the estimated cost and also, whats the best brand. I really like your site and I am a member. Thanks Cameron Burnett

I hope you are into hydroponics for the right reasons. At least until your are a consenting adult.
The cheapest  submersible pumps ($20.00) I have found is at Walmarts in the fish department. They are sold under the brand name Aqua-Tech by Regent called the Power Head. You have to modify it slightly in order to attach the hose.
Ron

Date:
09 May 1999
Time:
17:03:49

Comments

I am desperately in search for a good source (be it internet/book) on algae control in hydroponic systems. Any or all information/sources you may know of would be much appreciated. This is for a college report, so if you have no answers please don't fake it Thank you kindly for your time. Josh spivakjm@cobleskill.edu

A college boy. Ain't we smart. Sorry no answers.
Ron

Date:

10 May 1999
Time:
10:32:14

Comments

Hello, I'm using Dyna-Gro systems solution and I am ending up with a pH of 3.5!!!!!! Has any similar problems been reported with this solution, and is Sodium Hydroxide ok to use as a buffer, if not what can be used? Thanks, O. Ragette

I would first check the pH of your water with no nutrient solution to see how low it is. You may have to let your water air out for 24 hours to let the chloride evaporate before you can use it.
Yes Sodium Hydroxide is ok.
Ron

Date:
15 May 1999
Time:
00:04:27

Comments

Ron, I started to grow cucumber and tomato in the 2 litre 11 bottle system. do I let the roots keep growing into the pipes or do I trim them at the cups? If I do let them grow into the pipes, will it clog up the pipes before I harvest all of the fruits?

Yes. Those two plants are the worst for clogging up your pipes. I had a tomato plant that grew roots over 3 feet long all the way down and clog up the propeller in the pump. Half the garden was clogged with roots when I stopped using it.
I still have to figure out how to unplug the garden. I think I will try Liquid Plumer. I will post the results if it works.
You can try watering more often so the roots won't have to go looking for water. A paint strainer will keep the roots out of the pipes also.
Ron




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