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can imagine the water running back through the pump
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Question and Answer Page 17

Subjects

non-circulating hydro system bad looking tomatoes pump timing (minutes on/minutes off)
advantages of hydroponics farming? What kind of tomato seeds cost effective to grow with hydroponics.
combination NFT and airoponics L lids glue to the tees  
branches do you trim off a tomato plant dimensions of the 11 plant garden?  

Date:
19 Jul 1999
Time:
23:52:04

Comments
would a black light 40,watts put out enough uv to grow a plant from seed to harvest bob

No Maybe you could grow day glow flowers after you sit that pipe down and take a brake.

Date:
20 Jul 1999
Time:
12:31:48
Comments
Someone asked about a non-circulating hydro system. Actually that is totally easy and low tech. Just make a wooden frame from 2x6 lumber, fill about half full with pea gravel. Now make your nutrient container from a 32 gallon trash can,use a drain adapter kit from the evaporative cooler area of your home Depot, attach a water hose, and spray adapter, fill with water and nutrients. Now twice a day drain your nutrient solution over your plants. Excess solution will just drain out. No recovery. Another method, more economical and less wastefull of nutrients, is to take a rubber made storage container 2ftx1ftx9inches, drill a hole for the evaorative cooler drain kit in about 2inches up from the bottom, fill with either perlite, pea gravel, or other agregate to within an inch of the top. To keep the media from escaping through the drain you can trap either a sprinkler screen washer or a scrap of nylon screening in the drain adapter. Mix a large container of nutrient solution, using a watering can you water twice a day until you see water draining from the hole. Putting the nutrient container on a platform will allow you to use a hose arrangement and sprinkler to water directly from the large container, reducing the workload. The shallow pool of solution in the base will provide water and nutrients until the plant uses them. You also use only the amount of nutrient solution your plant needs. If your plant does not use up solution, you will notice solution draining immediately on pouring, and can stop. A container placed below the drain will catch drainage to further reduce loss of solution to the environment. Probably once a month you might consider flushing the container with plain water to flush out salts. No pumps, no electricity, no wicks, no fuss, but more work intensive than recirculating hydro systems.
One more thing about that non-circulating system made from the rubbermaid storage container, You can use almost any container as long as you consider a two inch pool of solution and 6 additional inches of growing media, i.e. 8 inches total inner depth. Jim B in Nv.

Date:
20 Jul 1999
Time:
21:57:02
Comments
Thought I would post some pictures from my garden. The first couple pictures are of Cauliflower gone wrong. Sometimes you have to use traditional gardening techniques. Nobody ever mentioned anything about bringing the leaves together so that it would grow into a ball. Currently I am growing Peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, and cantaloupe all is the same Ebb& Flow system. So far, I have harvested about 10 cherry tomatoes. Garden was started 5/29 from 3 inch seedlings. Check out the photos on my web page at http://www.techblvd.com/temp/test1.htm. Larger pictures are available by mail request at jam@techblvd.com.

Date:
20 Jul 1999
Time:
22:58:34
Comments
hi ron, could i utilize hydroponics on tropical countries lorie

Yes

Date:
20 Jul 1999
Time:
23:32:53
Comments
Hi Wayne, You mentioned the pipes in the General Hydroponics Aero-Flo systems as an alternative in the system designed by Mr.Gates. I have that system and they do not work and it is a bad design for my money. They get clogged very easily and you have to remove the cups to see if they are spraying and to clean them. That is ok with small plants but a full grown tomatoe plant is really a pain to check out. I have converted all of mine to a full drip (flow) system and if something isn't working you can easily detect and fix it. Thanks Mike from Mo

Date:
22 Jul 1999
Time:
21:01:47
Comments
advantages of hydroponics farming?

Clean fingernails.

Date:
25 Jul 1999
Time:
06:04:47
Comments
Very cool website!
I'm designing a system, combination NFT and aeroponic. I have some questions:
1. I was thinking about making my system out of clear plastic so I could see through it and watch the roots grow and be able to monitor everything inside. I've read that the growing chambers should be dark but I've also been to EPCOT in Disneyworld and saw the tomato plants with the roots hanging out in broad daylight and growing fine. Anyone out there using clear plastic on an NFT or aeroponic system?
2. Are there some plants that prefer to have a growing medium or can all plants be grown successfully with NFT and or aeroponics, i.e. without growing medium?
3. I more or less expect algae growth in my system. Is there a way to control or eliminate it without harming the plants? Is the algae a problem if it does grow in the system?
Thanks in advance for your help on this. It is very much appreciated. I hope I can contribute something in the future.
Steve in NC

Hello Steve
1. If you made your system out of clear plastic it would look like something out of a Swamp Thing movie and smell like one too.
Disney I'm sure washes off the slime before the public sees them.   
But if you still want to build one you can buy clear PVC at www.aquaticeco.com
2. Short plants like lettuce  seems to be a favorite plant for NFT. Tall plants like tomatoes and cucumbers usually use some type of medium.
3. The more light you can keep from hitting the water the less algae you will have. Algae isn't necessarily harmful to plants unless it gets so bad that it starts to clog the medium from getting oxygen to plants underneath. 
Ron

Date:
27 Jul 1999
Time:
07:49:17
Comments
Hi Robert Gates, You described an excellent aeroponics system in your message on July 18th, and I am hoping you can share some more information about it with us.
What size pump are you using? Where are your suppliers for the mist nozzles and grow cups?
I have tried to build an aeroponic system and I can seem to get enough pressure from the pump to force a fine mist from my nozzles. I don't know if I have the wrong type of misters or not a good enough pump.
Any additional info is greatly appreciated.
Regards, Jeff jeff_midili@usiva.com.

Date:
28 Jul 1999
Time:
13:31:47
Comments
The smallest pump that I have seen recommended for aeroponics is 500 gph.

They do sell low pressure misters. But I can't remember where. I will look in my supply books.
Ron

Date:
29 Jul 1999
Time:
18:37:32
Comments
Thanks Ron for the directions on making a very uniqe system that works quite well. I use the system I have made for growing marijuana, even though some of the people on this message board may disagree on the cultivation of marijuana, I belive that growing and using marijuana for medical reasons should be legal in the United States of shit. Thank you for your time and great help! P.S. nice webpage super phat!

Date:
29 Jul 1999
Time:
22:31:25
Comments
I'm rebuilding a 30' sailboat and am thinking of how i can become self sufficient as I travel around the world. Has anyone heard of a hydroponics system that can withstand the rigors of ocean crossings and still not require alot of power?
contact me at flashy@ix.netcom.com

Date:
30 Jul 1999
Time:
19:57:32
Comments
hello
in mixing your nutrient solution, is there a rule which chemical to put in first ...
like trace elements should be palce in the nutrient solution before yo put in the macro nutrient ... and in mixing the trace elements, the boric acid before copper sultate, etc...

My nutrient solution? What's you talking about Willis!


Date:
01 Aug 1999
Time:
08:33:05
Comments
Ron, What percentage of non-producing branches do you trim off a tomatoe plant. or do you keep the all trimmed off as they appear---Luke

All of them except the top one.
Ron

Date:
01 Aug 1999
Time:
14:05:27
Comments
Hi I was wondering if I can i grow my plants aeroponically all the way to the flowering stage, or can I only use the system to grow roots on my cuttings? any help would be greatly appreciated
James,

Yes

Date:
02 Aug 1999
Time:
06:06:42
Comments
i am looking for a problem solving page. i can find pages that cover a few problems, but i can not find one that lists the most common problems,ie: the signs of a particular problem and how to correct it. i want this so as i can have a quick easy referance quide to fix mine and other peoples problems. we mainly do indoor garderning, using hps lighting.

I need that too.

Date:
02 Aug 1999
Time:
07:51:56
Comments
I have a problem with some bad looking tomatoes. Can anybody tell me whats up with them. they almost look like they have been burnt. For pic go here: http://www.techblvd.com/images/p0000550.jpg
jam@techblvd.com

That's called blossom end rot and can be caused by a calcium deficiency, water stress due to insufficient irrigation frequency, or poor root aeration.
Ron

Date:
02 Aug 1999
Time:
10:34:48
Comments
I have a small (8 plant) aeroponic garden into which peppers, tomatos, eggplant, and zuchini were transplanted in early May. I have religiously used General Hydroponics "Flora" nutrients. The plants grow like hell but set little or no fruit. ie..imagine a 4' tomato plant with one tomato or a 3.5' eggplant with one fruit. Suggestions??? Thanks Tom in Ft. Myers, Fl. aka= Vangarde1@worldnet.att.net

Date:
03 Aug 1999
Time:
00:15:37
Comments
Hello,
Thanks for the great site and thought id pass on a little info, bought a basic but cool circulating unit at; www.aquariumplants.com , for around 200.00

Date:
03 Aug 1999
Time:
05:11:41
Comments
Dear Ron, I'm interested in the 11 plant garden system. How much is the whole package with starter kit cost? I live in the Philippines. My e-mail is sophiaw@pworld.net.ph

The garden is $150.00 and shipping would be about $500.00
Ron

Date:
04 Aug 1999
Time:
06:39:00
Comments
I wanna know about Alan Coopers hydroponic nutrient formula.

Date:
07 Aug 1999
Time:
09:01:06
Comments
Ron Is a 18 gal. tank big enough for 1 gal.11 plant system. I'm just starting out and I want to grow tomatoes. I have just started out and set the 11 bottles on 16 inch centers. Will a 120 GPR pump be large enough for this system.

Yes on both questions if you drip from the top.
Ron

Date:
08 Aug 1999
Time:
10:18:14
Comments
We put togeather a hydroponic system out of pcv pipe and used pvc sealent, unfortunatly it has some major leaks. We resealed it with a sealent that made the water smell like model glue. It does not smell like anything I would want to subject my plants to. We need to find a sealent that is not harmfull to the plants. Thanks for any help you may provide. This is a great site we have learned a lot and still learning.

I used Wet and Dry Blue Glue in an emergency and it didn't seem to hurt my plants.
Ron

Date:
10 Aug 1999
Time:
04:20:49
Comments
Hi Ron
I kinda lost this page, and i didnt start with hydroponics so i cant help you with eurupean nutritions, but the wintter is coomming well it is a long way to there, but im laizy so i need head start. So im thinking again to build hydro system. And ill keep you posted if i start and what nutritions will i use and where will i get them.
Boto
P.S. im so glad i finnaly found this page again

Date:
10 Aug 1999
Time:
10:14:13
Comments
Can any one tell me where to buy a "PHOTO-TRON"!!!! Please..... wallaceandwofford@earthlink.net Thank you

Date:
17 Aug 1999
Time:
05:44:29
Comments
To wallaceandwofford@earthlink.net , you can get a phototron at, of all places, www.phototron.com

Date:
11 Aug 1999
Time:
04:18:36
Comments
Hi Ron,
need your help. you see, i have difficulty in dissolving Boric Acid in water for my nutrient solution. can you help me ? give me tip and advice.
have done using hot water. did not work.
thanks
edwin

Sorry I never had to dissolved Boric Acid. Anybody else out their know how.
Ron

Date:
14 Aug 1999
Time:
04:47:27
Comments
Hi Ron. Got the 11 plant "Pocket Hydro Farm" almost complete. Very neat stuff. Am having trouble finding the 2 liter plastic bottles as I don't drink much soda pop. Now if you can design a beer can system I'm your man. I plan to put tomatoe plants in it and am in a hurry to get started. What kind of tomatoe seeds do you think are best for hydroponic systems. Thanks for a outstanding site. T.R.

Hello T.R.
Patio type tomato plants work best because of their compact size for the two liter. The gallon system can handle any kind.
Ron

Date:
14 Aug 1999
Time:
10:03:10
Comments
I am having a problem understanding how the 2L lids glue to the tees. If the tee is one inch, and the bottle cap is an 1 1/8,how do I attach them together. Thanks from Ken

You are right. Even though they call them 1 inch tees they are in fact 1 5/16 and with the 1 inch thin wall insert it makes the 1 1/8" bottle cap fit perfectly.
Ron

Date:
16 Aug 1999
Time:
09:59:57
Comments
Hi Ron, I am new to your site but I have found it very interesting and usefull. I wanted to know what are the deminsions of the 11 plant garden? Is there a size(height and whith) and weight limit to the plants it can support. How do you transport seedling(or clones)into the grow rock meidum? Are the grow rocks reusable, and are they directly placed directly into the 2 liter bottles?
Sam :)

About 2 ft. by 3 ft.
I wouldn't try to grow corn or wheat in it.
Wash the dirt off the starter plants and put in rocks carefully around roots.
Use a 10 percent bleach solution to wash the rocks between harvest.
Use 16 oz plastic solo cups with holes or paint strainers to hold the plants and rocks
Ron

Date:
16 Aug 1999
Time:
14:21:15
Comments
Hi Ron,
I'm sure that the answer to this question is located somewhere in your website, but I couldn't find it today, so thought I would just ask you this way. What rate of adjustment in pump timing (minutes on/minutes off) should be made for vegetables (tomatoes) as the plants mature? I am still at 30 minutes on and off and it seems like I need to add more "on time", because plants are limp but not wilted by the time the pump turns on again. What is the minimum off time for mature plants with tomatoes?
I plan to send some pictures as soon as I get gardens number 3 and 4 up and running. Thanks for the excellent start you gave me.
Beverly in Kissimmee badepew@juno.com

Hello Beverly
The wilting before the next watering cycle is the warning sign that you should water more often. Maybe 15 minutes off and on.
Ron

Date:
17 Aug 1999
Time:
15:37:16
Comments
Ron, I have some equipment for sale and was wondering if you knew who or where I might get rid of it. I have (1) CST-1 Green Air Products sequential timer, (1) CST-1P Green Air Products sequential timer with photostat, and (1) BCDE-1 Green Air Products CO2 control emitter with (120 volt) solenoid including 5lb CO2 bottle. More info available at www.greenair.com. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks dsands@teleport.com

Date:
17 Aug 1999
Time:
17:28:03
Comments
How much water does your garden take up a day. In the long run do you find it cost effective to grow with hydroponics. I currently have a ebb&flow garden. I am using 20 to 25 gallons of water per hot day (85+). I have 16 tomatoes plants. Nutrient is $30 per gallon. Using 2 cups per 25 gallons. While I have been able to produce large amounts of tomatoes, there per unit cost seems high.

Because of the cost factor I am going to use commercial grade nutrient solution this season. I bought a 25 lb. bag of Hydroponic Special 5-11-26 for about $30.00 which makes 400 gallons of nutrient solution. I still have to add Calcium Nitrate and Magnesium Sulfate to that to get a balanced hydroponic solution. See chart below. Ron

                               Seedling Plants
A - 50 gallons Water
B - 5 ounces Hydroponic Special 5-11-26 or Miracle-Gro for Tomatoes 18-18-21
C - 2 ounces Calcium Nitrate
D - 1 ounce Magnesium Sulfate (Epson Salt)
E -Adjust pH


                              Mature Plants

A - 50 gallons Water
B - 5 ounces Hydroponic Special 5-11-26 or Miracle-Gro for Tomatoes 18-18-21
C - 4 ounces Calcium Nitrate
D - 2 ounce Magnesium Sulfate (Epson Salt)
E - Adjust pH

Date:
18 Aug 1999
Time:
08:26:22
Comments
Hydro Ron Great site. I run Gen Hydro in grow rocks and it tends to run alka. I am following your try with Miracle Grow and am very interested in your results. Wondered if you have been growing with it long enough to notice any shift to acid? I have been trying Peters Blossom in the flowering cycle and have noticed a slight shift towards acid, but plants look great. I would never have tried without your input. Keep up the great work Ron. Nurse Duckett

Date:
18 Aug 1999
Time:
14:45:21
Comments
Hi Ron, Love your site! My question is.The leaves of my cucumber plants has all of a sudden turned yellow. What are the poosible causes. This has affected the entire plant too. The night temperatures have been getting low here. (around high 50's low 60's at best) Very un seasonable. Any responses would be great. Terry

Date:
20 Aug 1999
Time:
17:33:59
Comments
Here is a good site for technical information. See the new : maintaining your hydroponic system and controlling your hydroponic plants www.ecosci.com/hydroponics

Date:
23 Aug 1999
Time:
07:30:07
Comments
I happened on this site out of luck and more than a bit of frustration over the high prices of hydroponic equipment. Does any sort of aftermarket exist for used or surplus equipment? Just as in any endeavor, lots of folks start a program but give up- there is opportunity here! Joe




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