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Question and Answer Page 18

Subjects

enclosed hydroponic system heating 2" pvc and bottle caps effects of gravity on plants
Where can I get "white" bottles? try fish gravel or sand algae build up
how do i level out the ph in water any way to drip from the top cheap and easy to build system
where to get the chemicals & equipment that i need hydro vegetable garden as a business parts to make a NTF or Aeroponic system
pipes cracked and burst cutting bottles neatly and easily rockwool in the 11 plant set-up
running out of vertical space society crumbles What is NFT?
Date:
23 Aug 1999
Time:
18:25:02

Comments

I went to the store to get Miracle Grow for Tomatoes 18-18-21. I noticed on identical pkgs that there was a big difference in the Nitrogen. The first was heavy on urea and lite on nitrates. The other pkg was heavy on nitrates and lite on urea. The latter would be a better mix for hydro. Both pkgs looked the same and had the 18% Nitrogen label. I went to other stores and found the same problem. K-Mart generic Tomato Food was only available in the heavy nitrate formula. Nurse Duckett

Date:
24 Aug 1999
Time:
01:17:04

Comments

I am building an enclosed hydroponic system and am trying to anticipate whether it will work. I bought an extra large rubbermaid storage bin for $16.99 at my local Home Base store. I placed some plastic rectangular cubes inside and have set some baskets with growing cherry tomato plants in gro rocks on the cubes. The tomatoe plants are long enough that the tops stick out of some cutouts that I made along the edge of the lid. This way I can take the lid on and off without lifting the plants. The pump, tubing and spray nozzles are all inside the storage bin. The spray nozzles are low pressure 180 degree nozzles designed for drip irrigation systems but they seem to work well enough to cover the grow rocks inside the baskets. The plastic bin holds about 15gal of water and the pump turns on for 30 min and off for 30 min during the day and off all night. Do you think I might have since the roots and about 18 inches of plant stem are always inside the storage bin?

I might need a picture to see exactly what you mean. To much humidity on any part of the plant except the roots you might have a problem.
Ron

Date:
24 Aug 1999
Time:
12:42:11

Comments

Hello Again!
Let me start by using a little bandwidth, I must give high praises about how great this site is developed. I have a question about the 2-liter bottles used in your designs. Where can I get "white" bottles? I have clear and green, but no "white". Are they painted? covered with "contact paper", or am I just imagining that the bottles are "white"? thanks
--jeff

Yes they are painted with white vinyl spray paint. Auto Parts stores carry it. For the people who asked about the bottles being curled click here.

Date:
26 Aug 1999
Time:
17:03:52

Comments

how do i level out the ph in water 4 a hydroponic unit?

Use potassium hydroxide/potassium caronate to raise pH and diluted nictric phosphoric acid to lower it. To order some try www.aquaticeco.com
Ron

Date:
28 Aug 1999
Time:
10:20:10

Comments

Hi, I'm doing a science project on hydroponic farming, using the Water Culture method, i need to know how to get the best results, especially with pea plants & carrots, if anyone can give me some advice, than post it on the bulletin board, please address it to J.S. of Fl

Date:
28 Aug 1999
Time:
10:49:06

Comments

Ron, Hi, i'm J.S.of FL, i asked earlier about how to get the best results with pea plants &/or carrots, using the Water Culture method, now i'd like 2 know where i can get the chemicals & equipment that i need, any help would be well appreciated, thanks.

www.aquaticeco.com is my now  favorite supplier for everything you will need. Ask for a catalog.
Ron

Date:
28 Aug 1999
Time:
14:40:39

Comments

Ron-I am having trouble...the 11 plant system 4 of the pipes cracked and burst...80gph pump.....i don't know what happened.........

Cameron Burnett

Nether do I. You must be growing some powerful shit to crack your garden.
Ron

Date:
01 Sep 1999
Time:
16:13:59

Comments

I have a space 3ft x 2ft and 6ft tall. Is your 11 plant system going to fit into my space?

Nomad

The garden will fit but you need more room if you put plants in it.
Ron

Date:
01 Sep 1999
Time:
18:13:10

Comments

I'm worried about running out of vertical space. In order to keep as much growing space as possible, what is the smallest reservoir I could use?
Josh Hermanson

I would say 3 gallons to fill the system and 3 gallons as backup so a 6 gallon tank would work. I like to use at least 3 times as much as it takes to fill the system. Find a large flat container like the kind they slide under beds to save vertical space.
Ron

Date:
01 Sep 1999
Time:
20:49:49

Comments

pvc and bottlecaps.i could't find thinwall pvc where i live(caribean)so i used the thicker pvc made them 2" heated them over my stove without realy burning the plastic but just heating it just enough so it get's soft and just jammed the bottlecaps into the pvc and molded it in form .after that just pop the cap out use some glue and then glue the cap to the 2"premolded pvc.it worked perfect for me,greetings culture_micker@hotmail.com

I use to heat 3/4 tees with a blow torch to soften them up and then cram the bottle into them with no cap. I still had to caulk them for leaks. Ron

Date:
02 Sep 1999
Time:
10:16:36

Comments

I am having the worst time trying to find growrocks, I was told to try fish gravel or sand, is there any other more readily available medium I could use instead and still get optimum results?

If you use gravel use the porous rocks you can find because they hold more oxygen than smooth stones. Some members use perlite because it's cheap but I haven't tried it yet. You also have to keep it from clogging the system because it's small by using paint strainers in the bottles.
Ron

Date:
03 Sep 1999
Time:
12:10:57
Remote User:
 

Comments

None of the Plumbing/Hardware stores around me seem to carry thinwall PVC. Should I be trying a specialty store of some kind? Also, can I build the system with regular 1"pvc and use the thinwall (once I track it down) for the bottle cap inlay? I'm anxious to start building the system and don't want to wait for the thin wall.

Jimmy Jr.

Date:
03 Sep 1999
Time:
12:15:19

Comments
Is there any way to drip from the top with you 11 plant garden?
If so could I use a smaller reservoir?
and should I drip all day if I'm planning on using grow rocks, or would you recommend a some timing schedule?
Great site and thanks for your help!!!
B. Pylfaroosky

Hi B.
Yes you can. As in this vertical garden. I water 15 minutes on 15 minutes off when it's hot and less often when it's cooler.

Date:
03 Sep 1999
Time:
23:02:01

Comments

hi ! i am interested in starting a hydroponic vegetable garden as a business, what size should the garden be to be commercially viable ? would appreciate a reply.

My guess would be a minimum of 100 ft. by 100 ft. climate controlled hydroponic greenhouse with as much units as you could fit in it.
Ron

Date:
04 Sep 1999
Time:
12:09:16

Comments

Leaks with 2 litter caps. I found using the water bottle caps that come with the pop-up work better. They are little bit taller and they already have a hole in them. Just pop off the pop up and break the the little plastic end off. I tried PVC cement and had a lot of leaks. I switch to RED Hot Blue Glue and it work a lot better. Beats me why they call it Red hot, it is blue and not hot and does smell.
Mark

Thanks Mark I know I was saving them damn things for some reason.
Ron

Date:
05 Sep 1999
Time:
01:48:13

Comments

About cutting bottles neatly and easily- Geez you guys, poke a little hole with a soldering iron (or other hot sharp object) then use SCISSORS.

Date:
05 Sep 1999
Time:
06:04:24

Comments

OOPS!! I built my 11 plant system and my green thumbed lover was extatic!! He was jumping up and down with excitement wanting to grow something. So I poured 10 gallons of water into the resevour and put 10 TABLESPOONS of Miracle Grow for tomatoes and ZAP within a couple of hours my Cotton Plants were toast. Burnt Toast. Guess I should have use 1 teaspoon. :) PAUL.

Don't feel bad I did the same thing.
Ron

Date:
09 Sep 1999
Time:
19:38:24

Comment

I was wondering if anyone knows how to make some sort of hydroponic solution yourself from stuff that is semi-easily accessible? If our society crumbles, it would be nice to have a hydroponic farm, but hard to buy the solution, you know?

Society crumbling? Do you know something we don't. You could make what is called organic tea. Soak cow, goat, bat, human? manure with water in a drum for about 6 months and strain out the lumps.
If society has broken down then you won't have to worry about your neighbors killing you about the smell. O! that's not right, if society brakes down then your neighbors will kill you because of the smell.
Ron

Date:
09 Sep 1999
Time:
20:06:38

Comments

I am a 11th grader in high school and I am considering doing a science project on the success of different nutrient solutions on hydroponically grown plants. is this at all possible? how much would it cost to set up a functioning hydroponic system?

The Gurgle Garden is the cheapest hydroponic garden you can build. It is powered by a $5.00 air pump, two five gallon buckets, and you can use wood chips for the medium. The nutrient solution is the tricky part. Read previous articles to see what I mean.
Ron

Date:
11 Sep 1999
Time:
11:06:33

Comments

hi Ron! it's JS of FL, thanks, got a lotta info on the stuff i need, now, Ron, i've decided to use lettace in my project, i almost chose tomatoes, but i'm gonna be testing the effects of increased gravity on the poor plants, which would have to include spinning them at a high speed, and since i'm not trying 2 produce ketchup, i figured it'd probably be pretty stupid to use tomatoes, anyway, so, my question is: what kind of chemicl mix do i need to grow lettace?thanks ahead for any help!

You ain't an alien are you. What else are you growing in that ship. Chem-Gro's formula is 8-15-36 with Calcium Nitrate and Magnesium Sulfate. To order some for lettuce only try here  www.hydro-gardens.com 

Date:
11 Sep 1999
Time:
12:35:41

Comments

I live in the tropics in the Fiji islands and have recently built my own system. I notice that there is an algae build up in the system - is this normal? Is this harmful? How can I get rid of it?

Block your light source from hitting the water to help control algae. It means that your nutrient solution is healthy and you can't grow grow hydroponicly without algae.

Date:
11 Sep 1999
Time:
23:13:24

Comments

heres a cheap and easy to build and maintain system that can built for around 20,30$ or so materials required: (1)rubbermaid type container (10 to 20 gallon) (2)16oz. minimum to (whatever)24-32ounce solo brand (solo more durable than dixie brand)plastic cups. with holes either melted with wood burning tool or cut with razor knife or similar implement. (3)gro-rocks or lava rock 1/4" to 1/2"approximate size (4)aquarium style air pump with hose and air stone(s) (5)aquarium ph test kit and a 1 part hydroponic nutrient (aquaculture hydroponics in az. and eco hydroponics in washington state make good inexpensive products)2 and 3 part may be used but get costly to use year round.liquid sea kelp 4oz. liquid measure per ten gallons water can be used as micro nutrient supplement/growth stimulant if desired. trace cup lip onto lid of container then trace a magic marker line inside that line so solo cup will be suspended in hole. carefully cut out with a razor knife.2 holes about 6" from handles works well for tomaters or pepper plants 6 or 8 works for leaf lettuce. fill container almost full,add 1/2 strength nutrient for sprouts to seedling stage,adjust ph to 6 to6.8 range ,add bubbler to nutrient tank add cups so nutrient is approx 1/2 to 3/4 covering cups kick back and watch em grow.top off tank with water as needed.more nutrient may be added as plants mature to bring up to full strength. thats all for now,happy growing! dudley groright says grow your own vegies, they just taste better.

Date:
12 Sep 1999
Time:
07:09:16

Comments

Ron I built a 6 plant garden. I put 2 cleberity and 2 cherry tomatoe plants and 2 bell peppers in the garden. I am using Merical gro and epson salts for solution. My pepper plants had peppers on them in a week. It has been 3 weeks ago that I planted them. My problem is the small peppers have fallen off the pepper plants the large ones are alright. What has happened to these buds. The plants look alright. Dan

They have gone to pepper heaven. The nutrient mix is OK for the larger plants but you are cooking the younger plants. Try lowering the mix.
Ron

Date:
12 Sep 1999
Time:
07:59:27

Comments

For those of you looking for parts to make a NTF or Aeroponic system, here are the sources I use for getting some of the special parts.

See the plastic net growing cups in the hydroponic section of this web page. http://www.aquaticecosystems.com/Aquatic1v1/ They have the best price I have found anywhere.

The spray nozzles can be purchased from a company in CA. http://www.waterrite.com/dripcatpg6.htm They are made by TORO Agricultural Irrigation products division. The part part number is "HAR SFJ408". They are called Barbed Fogger - 2 GPH. A bag of 100 cost me $35.00. That's 35 cents each. Most cost 50 cents or more that I have used in the past. This is the only source I have found so far for this spray nozzle.

Robert Gates rgates@pdq.net

Date:
12 Sep 1999
Time:
14:34:35
 

Comments

hi!it's JS of FL, to answer your question Ron, i'm from the planet Zorglon3,[just kidding], i am however, from the space coast, which is why i'm doing this project, because i figure that it'd be awfully messy 2 bring soil into space, so we may have 2 use hydroponic farming. Also, if we ever do settle on other planets, most of them, including Mars, have stronger gravity, [could ya'tell i want 2 work at NASA someday?]so i want to see how well hydroponics would work in stronger gravity.btw, thanks for the info on the lettuce fertilizer!

there seems to be a lot of space hydroponics research going on. I have built hydro systems for Dr. Guna from Fisk University that is studying algae on plants in space.
Ron

Date:
12 Sep 1999
Time:
14:59:08
 

Comments

hi!it's JS of FL, just saw your "Swamp Things"Ron, being into slightly oddball, weird, & unique art, i loved it. Do those clocks actually work?

The clock works are the cheapest part of the clocks. They cost $10.00 and are accurate to 3 seconds a year.
Ron

Date:
12 Sep 1999
Time:
21:11:35

Comments

Ron, 1. Have you never used rockwool in the 11 plant set-up? Would it work? I heard that you get a larger root system with rockwool than traditional mediums. 2. I have a 400 Watt MH. Is it enough to make healthy tomatoes alone or is a HPS required? 3. I couldn't find a thinwall PVC in the stores so I got a 1 x 3/8" Grinding Point and bored out the 1" SCH 40 PVC I had until the bottle caps fit. I dig your site, it's great. Thanks, masterkush17@hotmail.com

I have never used rockwool in the 11 plant garden. My guess would be not to water as often as with growrocks because rockwool holds moister longer than growrocks. You can buy a HPS conversion bulb that will work in your MH ballast to help in fruit production.
Ron

Date:
13 Sep 1999
Time:
07:56:09

Comments

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Date:
13 Sep 1999
Time:
20:20:51

Comments

Ron, What is NFT?

Nutrient Film Technique  is a system that circulate a shallow stream of nutrient solution over roots being grown in a trough.  The trough is made of plastic and is covered to prevent algae from growing in the nutrient solution. The trough has a slight downward slope to a reservoir. The solution is pumped back up to the top of the trough and circulates down through the plant  roots back to the reservoir. Since there is no or not much medium to hold nutrient solution, the flow must be constant.
Ron




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