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Question and Answer Page 41

Subjects

120 watts of fluorescent lighting outside timer getting wet pH be for strawberries
cooling my system ppm growing range for plants threaded, 1", thick wall, PVC t
ppm for early growth when should one expect to see blossoms blossoming in tomato plants
cooling nutrient. process of washing the roots while bending a plant it broke
40 plant hydro system how close to the plant should the light be
Date:
28 May 2000
Time:
16:00:52

Comments

I want to be able to see the root systems on my ebb and flow system. Can I use clear pipe, or will this make the nutrient solution too warm. My system is outside. 

It could some. But it would also make your garden look like something out of a Swampthing movie with all the algae that you will be growing in those clear pipes.

Date:
29 May 2000
Time:
15:57:29

Comments

Hi Ron, is 120 watts worth of fluorescent lighting enough to grow and flower 8-12" pot plants in a less then 2 square foot space?? The plants are completely surrounded by the lights. Thanks

No

Date:
29 May 2000
Time:
20:18:23

Comments

COULD YOU PLEASE SEND ME SOME INFORMATION ON HYDROPONICS THAT I COULD USE TO SET UP MY OWN SYSTEM MY EMAIL IS BMX@FREEMAIL.COM.AU

Yea you and about a thousand other people.

Date:
29 May 2000
Time:
23:16:57

Comments

Sorry about making you repeat the answer to the last question. I used your search engine and found another person's post that answered it. Anyway, I was thinking about cooling my system, considering if I live in Alabama and summer temperatures frequently are in the high nineties. I've been using a rotation of 3 4-pound frozen athletic injury packs by dumping them in my reservoir, with marginal success. It's a real pain in the ass to change them every 8 hours, however.

1.Would putting a cooling device somewhere in the system create an "auora of coolness" around the unit sufficient to make growing more hospitable? 2.Do you know of any inexpensive systems? I was on some site, and the cheapest cooler was about $800. 3.If there are any inexpensive systems, where would you suggest it be placed. Would you put it in the reservoir or somewhere in the PVC pipe (if it would fit) and only turn it on when you pump. 4.Do you like Big Macs or Whoppers better? Thanks :)

-Richard

P.S.: I love the cynical attitude about the government and goddamn drug enforcement people. I have a darkroom in my basement with the windows painted over, and one month my air conditioner broke and started using about 4x the regular electricity. Guess who came knocking.

The cheapest chiller in my supply catalog is also 800 bucks. A fellow grower friend of mine made one out of an old refrigerator. Another way is to build a small well insulated shed for your water reservoir and put the smallest air conditioner in it to cool it down to what ever temperature you wanted. Good place to store your growing chemical too.
Whoppers 
    

Date:
30 May 2000
Time:
03:43:46

Comments

to john&amys garden Could you please send me a diagram of the timer you built and a parts list. I have some 555 timer ic but I can't get it to work. Any help you could give me would be very much appreciated. You can reach me at Air7500750@aol.com thanks!

Date:
30 May 2000
Time:
04:12:54

Comments

Ron what is the ppm for early growth, vegitive,& flowering. Once more thanx

Veg stage

bulletFirst two weeks 600 up to 800
bulletNext two weeks 800 on up to 1000 ppm
bulletLast two weeks 1000 ppm

Flower stage

bulletAround 1500 ppm all 8 weeks

Date:
30 May 2000
Time:
04:24:31

Comments

To Richard, re: cooling nutrient.

You can buy a small refrigerator at Sams Club, or perhaps at Walmart for about 100 bucks. Just drill a hole in the side for the nutrient line.

I'm in California and the temp here is usually over a 100 degrees in the hottest months. I'm just finishing up a 16 bottle garden and I don't forsee any problem in keeping the temp of the nutrient the same as ambient air. Seems to me that this would keep the plant from going into shock by being cooled every half hour or so.

If it gets too hot and my present plants in the ground start drooping, I just give them a good watering and they perk up immediately.

No matter what, I'd be interested in how your plants react to a shot of cool nutrient. Keep us posted.

Tailwheel

Putting the tanks in the ground helps me a little but watering every 1/2 hour the water doesn't stay below ground long enough to cool off anyway so I would have to agree with you.

Date:
30 May 2000
Time:
04:51:43

Comments

Hello! I come from the islands of Azores in Portugal and since 1994 I've developed a pilot project using a geothermal effluent in order to heat a complex of 6 greenhouses in which I grow vegetables in hydroponics. I use local volcanic substrates such as pumice and "bagacina" a black basaltic gravel and drip irrigation system. In the first year of my research study I compared yields of melon crop using the local volcanic substrates and rockwool slabs. There was no significant differences between yields. So, now I only use my local volcanic substrates inside black/white olastic sleeves. Besides melon crop, I grow tomatoes, beans, pineapple, cape gooseberry, and papaya. If someone is interested in learning more about this project I will be glad to exchange mails. My e-mail address is arodrigues@inovacores.pt I work for an Institute of New Technologies here at the island of S.Miguel, Best regards, Ana Catarina Rodrigues

Date:
30 May 2000
Time:
21:01:39

Comments

I don't think that just passing water through the freezer for a few secs will make it cold, but you gave me an idea. I'm going to buy a fridge, remove the cooling element, and submerge the metal part in a tank of water separate from my nutrient tank. Then, I'm going to coil some vinyl hosing and put one of these coils in each plastic cup. Then, I'm gonna hook up the hoses to my old water pump. I did a little test where I poured some ice water in a bucket, and then hooked up my pump to some hose and made a coil around a solo cup filled with warm water. After about 10 minutes, the water in the cup was cooler, so maybe it will work. I'll wait for Ron to comment before I proceed.

If anyone knows how air conditioner units work, I would be very interested.

-Richard

Date:
30 May 2000
Time:
22:16:58

Comments

Ron -

My friend asked me to build a 40 plant hydro system for his wife, and I've never made one on this scale before. I was thinking of making a 60 gallon tank by connecting 2 30 gallon rubbermaid containers together with PVC, but I don't know what kind of pump to use. How many GPH should it pump? Is this too big of a tank?

I wouldn't use two tanks. You can buy a very large container at any large home improvement store or I also have used a 55 gallon plastic drum turn on it's side and cut a hole on top. You can also used trash cans like I did with my first large garden. 
I have used 55 gallon drums for as much as 150 plants. I also had to fill it ever day though. 

Date:
31 May 2000
Time:
00:32:29

Comments

Hey Ron! In case you haven't noticed, I like to ask lots of questions, but this time, I actually have some advice. A while back, some guy asked about the effect of rain on systems. Living in Alabama, I had trouble with real heavy rains flooding my system and reducing my PPM by a lot. To fix this, I just unscrewed my pump hose connector and screwed in a Y-valve and screwed the connector back in Whenever heavy rain is forecasted and it begins to sprinkle, I just turn off my pump and flip the Y-valve to drain the water. I actually collect the water, however, because it's not as limey as my tap water and, hey, it's free. I do have a rain-related question, however. My system is plugged into an outdoors socket, and I want to shield it somehow so when it rains my porch isn't the ground for an electric discharge. Also, I want to protect my timer. I have been putting a plastic bag over the timer, but moisture somehow still seems to get in. Any ideas?

-Richard

For a few dollars you can buy a safety trip socket that are now required in all bathrooms to replace the old one to save your ass from electrocution. 
Just put your timers in some kind of water proof box with a couple screen covered holes in the bottom to let out moister. A bag is ok if you leave the bottom open. 
  

Date:
31 May 2000
Time:
16:29:47

Comments

Hi, Ron

got a new tds ph continuous monitor. pretty cool only problem is plants went to hell. had better luck guessing. could u please tell me ? the ppm is 4 early growth, vegetative and flowering? Thanx once again.

I want to try one of those. They also sell ones that you can attach dosing pumps to and automatically add nutrient solution and pH up or down as needed. I guess with enough money you sure could take a lot of the hard work out of keeping everything right. 

Veg stage

bulletFirst two weeks 600 up to 800
bulletNext two weeks 800 on up to 1000 ppm
bulletLast two weeks 1000 ppm

Flower stage

bulletAround 1500 ppm all 8 weeks

Date:
31 May 2000
Time:
17:29:55

Comments

Hey, Ron...

I have upped the PPM in my system, and the plant is busting out all over. It's slurping up nutrient like there's no tomorrow.

While I'm still installing an MH lighting fixture soon, I'm curious about when in a tomato plant's life one should expect to see blossoms. My baby's nearing 14 inches...should they be here by now? I'm slow to get it together re: nutrients and lighting, so maybe I'm jumping the gun.

What's the normal period for blossoming to happen?

Meredith

To tell your the truth I have never grown tomatoes indoors so I couldn't give you a strait answer. My tomatoes plants in my pool garden are just now starting bloom and I will post some pictures soon. 

Date:
31 May 2000
Time:
18:52:06

Comments

Ron,

I'm just now getting a 16 plant bottle system started. I bought some plants from the nursery and am in the process of washing the roots. My problem is: The planting media in the nursery pots contains many large particles of leaves, and other fairly large particles of wood chips, etc.

It's difficult to get the roots 100% clean, before transplanting in the grow rocks, because the root system in the plant is like a net, it holds all the larger particles and you can't get them out.

Do you have any suggestion on what to do?

Tailwheel

As long as the particles won't dislodge from the roots then it is ok to leave them. It only becomes a problem when particle work there way through your system and clog your pump.

Date:
31 May 2000
Time:
19:02:54

Comments

HEY RON, AND GROWERS im growing some bud i just got a 400 wt mh how close to the plant should it be, and what light cycle from start to finish? how many days in between changes thanks

18 inches without glass. 24 hours veg. for 6 weeks and 12 on 12 off  for 8 weeks 

Date:
31 May 2000
Time:
19:45:23

Comments

If you need assorted PVC fittings, I found a great site that has most everything. Go to http://www.spearsmfg.com Manufacturing, Inc. They have barbed 1x1/2 reducing tees for hooking up your pump hoses (for 2 bucks, too and a bunch of other hard-to-find fittings.
-Richard

Date:
01 Jun 2000
Time:
04:54:11

Comments

Hey, Ron;

I hear a lot about Formula One A & B, but where can I get some? Gary in Virginia

www.wormsway.com is the only place but let them know where you heard about them because they pretend I don't exist even though I have sent thousands of dollars worth of business their way. Some day I will buy Worms Way.   

Date:
01 Jun 2000
Time:
06:55:09

Comments

Re: 40 plant hydro system

A couple of days ago, I ran a flow and leak test on my 16 plant system. The layout is about 6 ft.X6 ft.

When the pump is on, it takes less than 2 mins. to fill all the cups. I calculate that there is about 4-1/2 gals. of nutrient in the system when it's on.

I'm using a Rio 600 pump with a head of 20 inches., so it's capacity is about 120 gals./hr It seems to me that you will need roughly 3 times the tank capacity that I use. I make my solution in 10 gal. batches and use a 23 gal. covered container.

Therefore, I think that you need a capacity of about 15 gals. in the system and figuering 2 times the system use, a 30 gal. soultion should do the job for you. Maybe you might want to consider using 1-1/2 the system needs and use about a 22.5 gal. nutrient solution. That way, your container will have a little air space at the top. But what the hell, try 1 container first and if it's not enough, then think about connecting another container to it.

Incidentally, I've spent a lot of time on the web seeking the best prices on pumps and the cheapest I've found is this place.

http://mall15.register.com/salt01/index.htm

They have a toll free number and all the pump specifications are on the website. Their prices are 20-30 percent better than anyone else I've found. For instance a Rio 600 is $10.95.

Tailwhee

Thanks

Date:
01 Jun 2000
Time:
12:10:07

Comments

what should the pH be for strawberries and what kind of a medium should I use to shoot the plants?

5.5 - 6.8 vermiculite

Date:
01 Jun 2000
Time:
13:22:28

Comments

Hello Ron, I recently built your 11 plant garden and figured out that if I used a threaded, 1", thick wall, PVC t, I could apply aquarium silicon sealant to the outside of the 2 liter cap and just twist it right in to the threaded t for a secure, leak proof seal. What do you use to paint the exterior of your 2 liter bottles to prevent algae growth? Anything special or will white plastic model spray paint work? Thanks, MattLove your page! Matt

I will give it a try. Did all you members that can't get thin-wall pipe get that. 
Vinyl spray paint sticks best found at  auto part stores. 

Date:
01 Jun 2000
Time:
14:27:49

Comments

Hey, Ron...I have ordered MH lights for my growing but green green green plants. In the meantime, I was wondering when someone would normally expect blossoming in tomato plants. Does it happen really quickly, or do they usually reach a certain age or size? I'm going to be impatient every step of the way! Thanks, Meredith

Sorry but I have never grown tomato plants indoors under lights. My only experience in growing tomatoes comes from natural sun light. I am in the process of building a high tech indoor hydroponic digital video studio to answer just those type of questions so stay tuned. 

Date:
01 Jun 2000
Time:
15:02:17

Comments

Ron, while bending a plant over to tie down the main growing stem kind of folded over. What are the implications of this, and what can i do to help it. Will the plant die?? Help!!

It it didn't crack and just bent then it will grow a big knot at the bend and will be OK. Sometimes using a splint and tape will also save a plant if the stem is only broke half way through.




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