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Question and Answer Page 20

Subjects

it began to leak four foot two tube flourescent seed germination
what type of fertilize indoor lighting rain water
hydroponic chives color spectrums science project with hydroponics
total of ten plants? iceberg lettuce? How many times a day should I flood the system?
chemicals are needed for the solution Reasonably priced H.I.D lighting what kind of pump would you recommend

Date:

21 Oct 1999
Time:
10:20:57

Comments

Ron,

I finally built the 11 plant garden and upon pumping a test run of water through the system, it began to leak where the bottles meet the structure! I used pvc sealant on all connections and the 2-liter bottles are screwed in tight. Would coating all of the suspect connections in some silicone help? Has anyone else run into this problem?
Help!
GN

Yes

Date:
22 Oct 1999
Time:
05:12:13

Comments

Ron, what type of fertilize are you using. I've been buying the more expensive hydro- fert but if another works fine let me in on it?

I am still experimenting with the cheap shit for veggies. Stick with real hydroponic solution if you are growing the # 1 cash crop. I love Formula One A&B
Ron

Date:
23 Oct 1999
Time:
20:55:04

Comments

What an incredible collection of pictures Ron. I haven't had good luck with hydroponic chives. Have you started any fro seed or just transplanted existing plants?

Adriana, Sarasota

Date:
27 Oct 1999
Time:
06:21:27

Comments

Hi Adriana Chives as you can see by this picture http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/images/t1.jpg is one of plants that I always could grow. Ron

Date:
25 Oct 1999
Time:
05:47:47

Comments

do 2 liter soda bottle halves or gallon bleach bottle halves work better for a total of ten plants?

Date:
27 Oct 1999
Time:
06:10:57

Comments

If you are going to be growing large plants then use the gallon bleach bottles but if you grow fast turn over plants then the 2 liter is best. Ron

Date:
25 Oct 1999
Time:
09:39:36

Comments

what chemicals are needed for the solution

Date:
27 Oct 1999
Time:
06:05:10

Comments

You need calcium nitrate and magnesium sulfate added to standard fertilizer like Miracle-Gro for tomatoes. Or real hydroponic nutrient solution if you are are serious grower.
Ron

Date:
26 Oct 1999
Time:
15:40:2

Comments

Dear Ron, With your 9 plant expandable garden using 1/2" PVC pipes what is the size of the cup that you used. Thanks. Edwin

Date:
27 Oct 1999
Time:
05:56:03

Comments

I use a 2 liter bottle and a 16 oz. solo cup with holes sits inside the bottle.
Ron

Date:
28 Oct 1999
Time:
05:28:12

Comments

Ron, I want to grow two tomato plants in my basement. I have limited lighting down there. Would a four foot two tube flourescent with grow bulbs do the trick? If not what is the most inexpensive way I can grow a couple plants? Thanks Sorbo

No florescence's are a waist of time and energy. I would buy a 175 W to a 250 W Metal Halide or a Low Pressure Sodium street light. You have to shop around but they are out their. I bought a LPS light for my yard at a flea market for 8 bucks.
Ron

Date:
28 Oct 1999
Time:
16:51:26

Comments

I have a question about indoor lighting. I am on an extremely tight budget with my hydroponic growing, but I need to get some sort of lighting for growing indoors. I know that metal halide, and high pressure sodium are the best but are way out of my price range. I have 2 choices: halogen and flourescent. I know halogen lights are not cost efficient, but since I don't pay an electric bill this is of no concern to me. Which would you recommend? I made the 6 plant garden and it's all ready to go except for the lighting. I'll be growing tomatoes and peppers. Any info you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Darren

Then I would grow next to a sunny window because Tomatoes and Peppers need more light than you can give them.
Ron

Date:
30 Oct 1999
Time:
07:39:43

Comments

How well would mercury vapor lights work for indoor lighting?

Not well at all.
Ron

Date:
30 Oct 1999
Time:
10:25:19

Comments

Hi Ron. I have a question about color spectrums. Could you supplement a high pressure sodium light with some sort of blue shade to add a little bit of the blue part of the spectrum that it lacks?

If I had to choose from a 1000  MH or HPS I would choose a 400 MH and a 400 HPS on a 2 arm sun circle to make sure the plants get the full spectrum.
Ron

Date:
30 Oct 1999
Time:
17:35:58

Comments

Dear Ron, Whatever happened to your iceberg lettuce? I just happened to see this in your post of '97. Was it successful? What problems did you encountered if you can still remember? Thanks. Edwin

I couldn't get it to form into a head. To hot here in Florida. Bib and Leave lettuce grows better here.
Ron

Date:
31 Oct 1999
Time:
09:34:57

Comments

Reasonably priced H.I.D lighting

Recently as I was searching the net for some halfway affordable HID lights, I came across a site which sells commercial lighting for warehouses and such. They sell both metal halide, and high pressure sodium fixtures for way cheaper than I've found them anywhere else. What my question to Ron is, will this type of fixture work: http://www.aone.com/~pfolight/16alhb.htm This address shows one of the cheaper styles of halide lights. The home page for this site is: http://www.aone.com/~pfolight/home.html

Yes they will work fine. The only difference is the ballast is attached to the top of the light making it pretty heavy. Grow store lights have a remote ballast that sits on the floor.
Ron

Date:
31 Oct 1999
Time:
18:47:04

Comments

Hi, my name is Ariel and Im new in this tecnology. Im looking for advices about using coconut fiber (cocopeat), peat moss, rockwoll, etc. Id would like to know what are the advantages and disadvantages for using this substrates (prices, quality, quantity, etc.). Im not sure if this items are used in hydroponic areas but id like to use in tradicional farming. Is there somebody than could help me??? Thanks a lot

Date:
02 Nov 1999
Time:
08:49:06

Comments

HOW DOES HYDROPONICS WORK?

It works fine.

Date:
02 Nov 1999
Time:
14:03:41

Comments

Hi. The two students from Rehoboth, New Mexico Again. We have begun construction on the 11 plant garden, but we have run into some problems. 1st of all, we can't get individual "T" and "L" connectors for the pvc. They only sell them in bulk.   Any suggestions? Buy Bulk Also, I'm wondering if 20 oz bottles will work in the place of 1L bottles. No 20 oz won't work. My other Questions: 1) Do I just put any old seed on grow blocks and hope that it will grow? Probably won't grow.2) What do I put the blocks on to keep them from blocking the liquid entrance hole. Don't use blocks use grow rocks. 3) What plants grow best? 2. Herbs & spices.4) Is it neccesary to have a light? Yes you need light because plants can't grow without light. 5) Are the soda bottles constantly full on the 11 plant garden? No. That's why it's called a flood and drain system.
Thanks for all your help. Thank you. Ron
Please reply here, or e-mail me at jwhitsitt@netscape.net

Date:
03 Nov 1999
Time:
11:17:42

Comments

Hi,

My son is going to start on a hydroponic project in his ag class at school. We live in Central NC. Is there anyone else close by that has some hydroponic systems setup that we could come look at? I did notice on the members garden area, that there is someone in VA.
Thanks
Write to Ray at ncscubaguy@aol.com

Date:
03 Nov 1999
Time:
17:05:08

Comments

I have built the 11 plant garden and have some questions about seed germination. How do I begin the germination process. At what point do I place the germinated seeds into the grow medium? Is there a readily available grow solution available to begginers? And finally, Is it OK to set up my pump and lights on the timers that people use when they go on vacation?

I start my seeds in vermiculite than transplant the bedding plants to the hydro garden when they grow their first set of leaves.
Those timers are OK if they have at least 24 on and off pins so the pump can water about 12 times a day.
Ron

Date:
03 Nov 1999
Time:
18:01:53

Comments

ron can i get an instruction book for the phototron 2 on line
sitegod@aol.com

Date:
03 Nov 1999
Time:
23:19:56

Comments

how about baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to lower ph (in a pinch)?

duh, I meant "raise" ph.

Date:
04 Nov 1999
Time:
20:12:24

Comments

Ron,

I like your attitude and love your website. I sent an email to your brother, by the way. I have a basic and sort of stupid question. I know...no such thing as a stupid question. (You never worked in the medical field did you? "I am a Dr., therefore I am GOD!)Jeez!! Don't get me started on that. ANYWAY, my question is this: I have a beginning Tilapia operation: a couple of 55-gal tanks, a couple of 10-gal tanks, a 120-gal holding tank and a 1600 gal fish farm.(I am putting this together now.) I have copied your plans for the 11-plant system and plan on building this. I want to grow tomatoes once I get the 1600 gal system set up. But for now, I want to just experiment. I want to set up some kind of system that is operable with my 55-gal tank(s). I just want something to play with for the next month or so. What kind of water pump should I buy. (Please be specific.) I would probably want to try the bucket system at first. Do you have to use seedlings? What size pot should I use? What should I use to fill the pot with? (Again, please be specific.) I would probably use a pump and a timer to fill a large bucket every so often. I know that I sound like I don't know what I am talking about...that is probably because I don't. I would love to get an experimental setup going though. Pls. help if you would. Thanks.......Steve

You need a good size submersible pump for big gardens. At least 250 GPH.
I use grow rocks as a medium because they are reusable and I get great results with them.
Ron

Date:
04 Nov 1999
Time:
20:17:25

Comments

Dear Ron:

I am in the process of builing your 11 plant garden. I am an American living in Argentina and have some problems getting some of the materials you call for in yor plans. E.g. I searched high and low and the smallest pump I could find was a fountain punp which runs at 200-300 GPH. Also, 1" PVC pipe is very difficult to find and I am having to buy 1 1/2" pipe. Will I need to install a flow valve to control the flow speed of the nutrient solution? I haven't begun looking for timers yet, but assume that I will need to base my purchase on the watering speed of the system. Please give me some advice.
Thanks,
Mark S.

My answer is forget it. You don't have any of the right stuff.
Ron

Date:
05 Nov 1999
Time:
05:09:59

Comments

Ron,

I have lousy tap water and was considering using rain water. Is it necessary to purify the rain water first or is it ok to use as is? (I apoligize if you've already addressed this in the FAQs.

Thanks Tim

Sounds OK to me but make sure the pH and PPM is adjusted correctly before use.
Ron

Date:
05 Nov 1999
Time:
09:28:33

Comments

Hi Ron Sounds as if your Hydro Special 5-11-26 formula is a Chem Gro product. If any of the members are intrested in it but don't want the big size there is a Chem Gro alterantive product Chem Gro Sump Tank Formula from Mellinger"s Garden Catalog. It comes in 6lbs for $12.95 and includes Calicum. The only thing you have to add is Epsom Salts. The only drawback is you can.t use it as a concetrate. Good gardening and peace to your big brother. Nurse Duckett.

Hi Nurse Duckett
Where can I get a copy of Mellinger's Garden Catalog?
Ron

Date:
05 Nov 1999
Time:
16:52:43

Comments

what do you know about son agro 430 watt lights.

As good as any other.
Ron

Date:
05 Nov 1999
Time:
21:08:02

Comments

I am only a begginer, and i was just wondering if in order to grow hydroponicly your plants will have to grow water roots. does it depend on what system you go with also can you just submerge any plant's roots that can grow hydroponicly into the water or does it depend on the plant? thanx

Hydroponics is not water pond plants. Hydroponics is the same as growing plants in dirt except that it's faster, cleaner, and environmentally safer. Some plants do better than others in hydroponics so don't grow those kind.
Ron

Date:
06 Nov 1999
Time:
12:15:38

Comments

Hi I am a sixth grade student in Palm Beach, Florida. I am doing a science project with hydroponics. Do you have any advise?

Here is a pretty easy system to build to explain the principles of a flood and drain hydroponic system.

  1. First go buy any kind of plant at the store or jerk up one of your parents plants.
  2. Connect two 5 gallon buckets or smaller ones like 1 gallon paint buckets with a short piece of hose.
  3. Take your plant and wash all the dirt from the roots and place it in one of the bucket with ether wood chips, lava rocks, pea gravel, perlite as your medium.
  4. Mix up a weak solution of what ever water soluble fertilizer you want like Miracle-Gro or Petters in the empty bucket Make sure the bucket with the plant is higher than the bucket you are mixing the solution in.
  5. Now when you raise the solution bucket higher than the plant bucket it floods the medium and plant roots with solution
  6. As soon as it is finished flooding then sit the empty bucket down lower than the plant bucket and then the solution will drain back to the empty bucket.
  7. Raise and lower the solution bucket about every 30 minutes or so until your science project is over.
    Ron
  8. More pictures of easy gardens, A - B

Date:
07 Nov 1999
Time:
23:50:26

Comments

Ron ;

I am a research and development technician who works on recycled glass applications. Is there any reason glass cannot be used as a hydrophonic medium?

Raymond

Hello Raymond
Even though rockwool is made from spun glass and grow rock is a clay fired ceramic product, glass can't hold enough oxygen between waterings which is the key in a good growing medium.
Ron

Date:
08 Nov 1999
Time:
05:56:13

Comments

what is the best hydroponics system for watermelons?

One that supplies a lot of water to the roots like NFT

Date:
08 Nov 1999
Time:
17:52:01

Comments

Ron, oh wise one, I have my tomatoes in the 11 plant system. I am using a 400 watt MH and am doing a 24 hour vegetative light cycle. The system is in a 4X4 area with mylar on the walls. I'm using 32 OZ solo cups and have adjusted the drain pipe to the correct height. I am using a maxi-jet 500 aquarium pump in a 32 gallon Reservoir. How many times a day should I flood the system? What is the closest, in inches, I can put the light to the 3 week old plants (it's a verticle lamp)? How close can the light be when the plants get big and strong? Also the four plants in the outer corners seem like they will not get as much light, should I expect these plants to be less productive when I go to a twelve hour photo period using my HPS conversion bulb? My last question is how often should I add water to this type of set-up? And how much?

Thanks, Bob

Hi Bob
If your system drains quickly then I would water every 20 to 30 minutes. I think some members are having problems with over watering their plants. That is why a cycle timer is important. The plant roots don't need to sit in water to get nutrients. When the cups drain fresh oxygen is suck into the medium to the roots.
If your hood doesn't have glass then 24 inches for young plants and about 16 inches as they get older.
That's the reason I use solo cups so I can spin and move my plants around the garden so they get equal light.
Just fill the container enough to last about two weeks and then you won't have to throw to much out when you fix up a new batch.
Ron

Date:
08 Nov 1999
Time:
19:26:50

Comments

Hi Ron,

I posted this question earlier. I am sure that you get a lot of questions, so I am posting it again. I will have my 1600 gal recirc system set up in a few days...will be stocked with Tilapia. I printed your plans for your 11-plant system and plan on using this for tomatoes. I have been told that I will have a deficiency of Potassium and Phosphorous coming straight out of the recirc. system. (For tomatoes.) Any suggestions as to how I may supplement this w/0 harming the Tilapia. Also, I asked what kind of pump would you recommend for setting up the 11-plant system. Would I be best in setting a pump/timer combination and pump into a barrel for "x" amount of time and then let it drip through the system or what? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks a lot......Steve

Hi Steve
I use submersible pumps in all my gardens. From 60 to 120 GPH for the 11 plant.
I have only seen lettuce grown from fish waste because it doesn't need much nutients that might harm the fish. You also have to compromise on the pH because fish like it around 8.0 and plants like it around 6.0
Ron

Date:
09 Nov 1999
Time:
15:28:10

Comments

Would 3600 lumens per square foot of fluorescent lighting be enough for a five sqare foot bud garden? I am using a very small space ( 4' x 4' x 4') and can't use HID lights because of the heat. I plan to grow the plants to a total height of 36" at harvest time, using the sea of green method. Thanks.

Maybe. It will depend on what kinds of seeds you use. There are indoor varieties that will grow under low light conditions.
Once you have that plant then clone the hell out of it.
Ron

Date:
10 Nov 1999
Time:
13:49:24

Comments

I'm looking for the cheapest pump (submersible, I think) possible for the 11 plant system. If anyone has one they would like to sell (or donate) or knows where we can get one, please e-mail jwhitsitt@netscape.net . Thanks. HydroJon

Try www.aquaticeco.com for pumps as low as $12.00
Ron




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