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Question and Answer Page 27

Subjects

how do you grow a plant from seed I have a 1200GPH pump question, hydroponic nutrient solutions
growing lettuce in hot weather question about lights finding calcium chloride
spraying nutrient solution on the plant? tomato plants should be flushed I have a conductivity meter
What size (gallons per hour) pump a digital timer biological aspect of bacteria
How do you figure gallons per hour 1200 to 1600 ppm for tomatoes leaves are starting to turn brown.
Date:
27 Jan 2000
Time:
04:06:58

Comments

Hello i have never grown plants hydroponicly how do you grow a plant from seed in the gravel type medium

Start your seeds in vermiculite or dirt until they get big enough to grab a hold and carefully wash the dirt or vermiculite off before putting them in your garden.  

Date:
27 Jan 2000
Time:
17:11:00

Comments

what size water pump for a 24"x 16"inch pan and 2 gallons of water.

What matters is how high you want to pump the water. That size is small enough for a small size pump from 60 to 120 GPH. 

Date:
27 Jan 2000
Time:
19:15:56

Comments

I'm a newbie at hydroponics. Sorry about the paragraph but without all the info it might be hard to help me out. I recently started a Dwarf Tropical Papaya in a large square of rockwool (2x2x3 I think), kept it in a mini greenhouse, and when the roots began protruding from underneath(about 4-5 inches tall, 10 leaves), I transplanted it into a powergrower. 
This is my second try with this plant and would appreciate it if anyone could help me narrow down what I might be doing wrong. 
The first plant showed the first signs when its older leaves, only one at first, started to wrinkle upward toward the edges. I then noticed super tiny white bugs running around in the rockwool, and kind of summed it up as a bug problem. Couldn't seem to keep them away, used liquid soap mixed in with water and poured it all over until soaked. This seemed to work, for a while at least, then they came back. The plant just got worse and died. I haven't noticed any of these bugs with my second plant attempt, but the same symptom is appearing. Except this time I felt the "mottled" leave which was curling and wrinkled upward around the edges, and it was dried out and crackly. I have some ideas, but need to know the most likely cause, might be a combo of all though. 
1st off, is it a bad idea to mix both growing mediums, will the rockwool end up being too moist while the grow rocks (Hydroton) might dry out=over/under watering? What might be a suggested schedule for water? Or should I start over and start one without the rockwool right in the power grower? 
Could humidity be a problem? It is sitting on a bucket of water, and I do have a humidifier on just about all the time located about 4 feed away from this plant. 
Draft? Its winter here, and its located about 2 feet away from sliding glass doors. I am trying to fix this by putting up plastic walls (saran wrap if I have too), until I find a suitable dome that would fit. Any domes made for a power grower?
Nutrient problem? I switched from Shultz seedling/rooting fertilizer works great!) to General Hydroponics 3 part system micro, floro- bloom) and kept it at mild general use, and only watered once a day for 30min. because the rockwool seemed to stay wet and I dug down a bit and it seemed moist in the grow rocks as well. I'm going to go back to using the Shultz diluted fertilizer and hand pour it until it comes back. it was doing so well before) 
Lighting problem? I don't have space for HPS or Halide lights yet and use a vita-lite(24 in.) and full spectrum reptile light.
Another bug problem? I have recently noticed super tiny white and round things that don't move on some of the leaves, only where the base of the stem meets the leaf. I also saw what looked like sap bubbles on parts of the tree trunk still somewhat green and soft) and leaf stems, as if something might be biting it, never saw this before so don't know if this could be something else. 
I am going to be looking closely every day and remove anything like these things if I see them. I think I summed up everything I could think of. I really need some help because all the books 
I've read have so many possible problems that could be effecting my plant that it's hard to narrow it down without experience. Sorry again for the long paragraph.
Mark

Want to know how to build a garden?

Date:
28 Jan 2000
Time:
00:06:21

Comments

Hello hydro fans! Has anyone out there grown garlic in one of Ron's systems or is it even feasible/worthwhile?

Date:
28 Jan 2000
Time:
14:28:08

Comments

what do I do in the hot weather when green frill lettuce heart?

Lettuce is a cold weather vegetable. When I try to grow it in hot weather it bolts and blooms like a flower.

Date:
28 Jan 2000
Time:
17:41:53

Comments

Ron, My system uses spickets that spray the nutrient solution over the plants and perlite. Are there any problems with spraying the nutrient solution directly on the plant? Will it do any more than leave spots on the leaves? Also, would I need to rinse the perlite off every so often to get rid of salt deposits?

Thanks, Mike Tesnohlidek

Foliage feeding can be very beneficial to plants if it isn't to strong. I think it would be a very good idea to run clear water through your system to flush away impurities. If it isn't to much trouble I would do it every couple weeks.

Date:
29 Jan 2000
Time:
16:21:51

Comments

Ron, I haven't seen Calcium Chloride anywhere around where I live, but a local plant store sells a Calcium and Sulfur powder to add to your nutrient solution. Could this replace the 1/4 tsp. of CaCl? Is Sulfur ok to replace the Chloride in the 1 tsp Miracle- Gro for plants, 1/4 tsp Epsom salt, 1/4 tsp Calcium-Sulfur mixture? Or would I still need Chloride? I was thinking that the main reason to use CaCl was for the Ca not the Cl. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanx, Mark

Sorry Mark but I haven't use the commercial or Miracle-Gro mix long enough to give you an answer. I will be setting up different garden projects this spring to answer your questions and a lot more.

Date:
30 Jan 2000
Time:
07:03:38

Comments

hi, I'm doing a project on hydroponics and i need to know the advantages and disadvantages of it, And i also need to know why it has developed please can u help me and reply a.s.a.p

no

Date:
30 Jan 2000
Time:
19:36:44

Comments

Ron, What size (how many gallons per hour) pump do you use in the 11 plant garden that is made with 1" pipe?

You can use a small pump like a 60 GPH without a flow control. So you can use almost any larger size if you use a flow control valve to slow or redirect some of the water back to your tank. So if you add more units you just open up the valve to accommodate more units. That's why it is a good idea to always buy a larger pump because from experience you will want to expand when you catch the hydroponics bug.  

What size (how many gallons per hour) pump would you use for a garden twice that size?

You could probably fill 3 11 plant gardens with a 120 GPH pump if they were right above the tank. It would just take longer to fill more units which could be an advantage if your timer only has 30 minutes on/off pins. 

How do you figure gallons per hour for any size garden?

If a pump won't fill a certain garden or take to long to fill then I know I need a larger size. If water starts to come out of the little hole in the over flow pipe then the pump is to large for the system. So I can either add a flow control valve to slow down the water to the garden or I could add another over flow pipe somewhere in the garden to handle the increase in water volume.   

Date:
30 Jan 2000
Time:
23:59:43

Comments

Ron, Ever use hydrogen peroxide (commercial stuff) in your systems to increase the oxygen amounts at the roots? Thanx D.

No Does it work.

Date:
31 Jan 2000
Time:
20:16:32

Comments

Ron, How do you feel about using smooth textured lava rock for a hydroponic growing medium? I have a 1200GPH pump, can I use this monster for a 20 plant 1" system or will it blow my veggies out of the 2-litter bottles? Will placing several several over flow fittings in the system slow down the water flow? Thank you for this informative website.

All you can do is give it a try with smooth lava rock. Never tried ether. I think you can redirect as much as need be and with that size pump you won't have to put an air stone in your reservoir because the redirected flow will create plenty of bubbles. 

Date:
01 Feb 2000
Time:
07:12:59

Comments

I have 2 questions, one about lights and the other about food at the end of a cycle. I am currently working with 2-1000W bulbs on a small 8'x4' bed and I have heard about rotating lights and lights that are on tracks. My question is if I use one of the lighting above, can I reduce the bulb size from 1000W to 600 or even 400W and still not effect the plants. There are two different bulbs at this time and I have been told that the would do good with all spectrums of light. 

I would put just one 1000 W on a 6 ft. track mover. If your garden is square (6X6ft.) then I would use one 400 HPS and one 400 MH on a two arm sun circle light mover. All spectrums is best if you can afford it.

The food question is that I am told that my tomato plants should be flushed with clean water at the before I am going to harvest. I was wondering if this is necessary and if so how long should this be done. By the way I have learned a great deal about hydroponics from your site and hope to learn more in the future.

I have never flushed mine and I sure don't get any complaints on the taste of my tomatoes. Tomatoes are harvested sometimes for months as they ripen so it would be a good idea to flush your system every few weeks anyway. 

Date:
01 Feb 2000
Time:
11:05:54

Comments

what type of a plant is a welswitchia?

Date:
01 Feb 2000
Time:
21:50:57

Comments

I would like to post some comments that may be useful. First, I got a digital timer from (www.growking.com) (650-560-0085) that is programmable up to 14 times per day. Run times as short as 1 minute. I water 14 times a day every 1hr. 45 minutes for 2 minutes. I am filling an eleven plant garden. The timer is an Intratec DT 11. It cost me 25 dollars. It is worth every bit. I am using 3 liter bottles. They are about 30 percent bigger than the 2 liter cut to the same height. Instead of solo cups I am using a "sock" made from tricot cloth. It is a nylon mesh fabric. I made a pattern to cut 2 halves, sewn together to make a sock that will fit the inside of the bottle. It holds the media and also acts as a filter of sorts. It fits the bottle and gives me full root capacity. To adapt the 3 liter bottle caps I used a 1/2 inch plastic pipe nipple 2 inches long. I used a 7/8 arch punch to punch a hole in the bottle cap. Next to attach the nipple to the cap I used 1/2 inch conduit lock nuts. The kind used on "Romex cable connectors". I put the smooth side of the nut on the nipple first so the smooth side will contact the cap. Then, put a little silicon seal around the nut, slipped the cap on, a little more silicon in the cap, put on the second nut, smooth side toward the cap. Tightened it. Then put some silicon seal in the threads of the cap, screwed to the bottle, let dry. The fittings on my 11 plant garden have 1/2 threads so I can remove the bottle for cleaning. I just put a 1/2 inch plug in the fitting so the rest of the plants can continue growing. This way I have plants at various stages of growth. I hope that this information can be of use.

Thanks for the info

Date:
04 Feb 2000
Time:
22:14:51

Comments

the guy from feb 1 has a good idea fitting the caps on the 3 litter bottles i saw those bottles at wallmart there just like the 2s only there 3 with bigger cap im going there

 
 
Date:
02 Feb 2000
Time:
06:50:00

Comments

Hi Ron, I don't know if I have a problem or not. I just started in hydroponics at the end of December. The question- my ppm have gone from 1200 to 1600 in the tomatoes. I just changed the solution about 6 days ago. I have kept up with the ppm almost daily and they just keep goin up. I am using distilled water because the ppm on my city water is 720. I hate to have to change the water weekly because the solution-general hydroponic micro, gro, and bloom is so expensive. The plants look great. What next? Email 7thson@citynet.net-Thanks Charlotte

1200 to 1600 PPM is not a bad span for fast growing plants like tomatoes. If your plants look healthy don't do anything. If it goes off the scale then I would change the solution.

Date:
02 Feb 2000
Time:
10:50:44

Comments

i am doing a science project on the root growth of spider plants in water. i have some of the plants in nitrogen, some in phosphate, and some in sulfate. is there anything else i should add to keep them alive, like ironit? Sherry

Date:
02 Feb 2000
Time:
13:15:12

Comments

i have a question about hydroponic nutrient solutions i saw one that's called phat hydro from canada, it seems like the nutrient levels are kinda low it's a two part veg a and veg b, a is (1.5-0-2.6) and b is (.5-.5-5.0). then the bloom is a (2-0-2)and b (1-.6-2) what is the best n-p-k for veg and what is best for budding? great site by the way

I wouldn't worry to much about the formula as long as it says that it's for hydroponics on the bag or bottle. The important thing is feeding your plants the right amount at the right time. (the PPM) 

Date:
02 Feb 2000
Time:
13:29:10

Comments

anybody have a good over the counter hydro solution they would recomend for good budding??????

Joe Schmoe Cocomoe

Date:
02 Feb 2000
Time:
18:10:56

Comments

Simple passive hydroponics. I am thinking about going passive. Will this work: Some grow rocks in 2 liter bottles, sitting on a tray in a tub of nutrient about 2 inches deep. Whenever it dries out I add more nutrient solution. Is that how simple it can be? How high should the rocks be and where should the seedling be? And I plan on using fluorescent bulbs. What wattages would work? All I want to do is grow two plants for fun. Sorry for the rambling. I just am pretty excited about trying something new. But I need to really keep it simple, I have roommates. Thanks..

Date:
02 Feb 2000
Time:
18:17:13

Comments

Ron, just wanted to let ya know that your site rules! Ever since I found it I've been checking back all the time. I'm new to Hydro, and decided to try the Miracle grow mixture. I've read that some readers have had a hard time finding calcium chloride, but you can get the stuff just about anywhere, I bought mine at Walgreen's, its the salt to melt your driveways with. A lot cheaper too, Aquatico is selling 4 pounds of it for $7.90, I bought 9.5 lbs for $6.99! Made by Prestone, and they says its safe for plants too. They don't list any other ingredients except for CaCl, so I hope there aren't any unlisted stuff in there. I don't think there will be though. Maybe I will email them and find out for sure b4 using it. Hope this helps some of your visitors. Mark

Date:
02 Feb 2000
Time:
18:20:15

Comments

Oh yeah, YES I do want to learn how to build a kick ass garden! I'm a newbie, but I'm catching on and your site has helped a lot. Thanx! Mark

Date:
03 Feb 2000
Time:
07:16:55

Comments

I'm looking for a nutrient solution for dummies approach. Where can I learn all I need to know to grow healthy plants? I have a conductivity meter and I haven't got a clue what it all means. I'm completely confused by all the terminology eg.) TDS, EC, CF, ppm, ppt, microSiemens, milliSiemens etc.etc. My meter reads in milliSiemens. Can I use this? and What would an ideal reading in milliSiemens be for my blooming nutrient, and vegetative nutrient. Please advise. Thanks much.

EC - Electrical Conductivity measures the rate a small electrical current flows through a solution. Usually measured in microomhos per centimeter (u.Mho/cm) or microsiemens per centimeter (u.S/cm) 1.0u.Mho/cm = 1.0u.S/cm 
How many millis are in a micro? Now you got me confused. Get back to you later.

Date:
03 Feb 2000
Time:
11:04:36

Comments

Hi Ron. I'm working on a report for one of my classes. I need to know what the biological aspect of bacteria are in a hydroponics unit. Or, How will the bacteria help the fish? Can you help? Thanks. Natasha

I would go to www.aquaticeo.com and ask for their catalog. They specialize in fish farming and hydroponic equipment and you can lean a lot from their catalog.
You can build your own aquaponics garden by placing the 11 Plant Garden without the container on top of a fish aquarium. Don't use the ebb and flow method but instead you need to run 1/4 inch spaghetti lines from the submersible pump in the fish tank up to each bottle/plant. This drip method doesn't use as much water as ebb and flow so your fish wont be sucking air ever time the pump comes on. You need to filter out the fish poop after it has release its nutrients in the water. Remove the old fish tank light and add a grow light above your garden that will serve duel purposes for plants and the fish.
Don't expect to grow high users of nutrients like tomato plants but stick to growing plants like bibb lettuce.
The problem is hydro plants like a pH of 5.5, 6.0 and fish like it at around 8.0 so you will have compromise on that and put it at maybe 7.0.  
   

Date:
03 Feb 2000
Time:
11:19:29

Comments

I have just transplanted some young tomato plants into a hydroponic system. The ends of the leaves are starting to turn brown. Any suggestions?

Mike Tesnohlidek

May be to high of a solution mix. That will turn leaves brown. 




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