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-   -   Setup for Peppers and Tomatoes (http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1599)

eduardomachado 05-01-2010 07:13 PM

Setup for Peppers and Tomatoes
I just got 10 6"x6" PVC pipes in 10' l
How can I use them for a hydro setup for tomatoes and peppers? what could be a good idea?

shaggy63 05-02-2010 11:46 AM

Get net cups 2 inch, and rapid rooter mat. Drill a two inch hole along the pipe every foot or two.

Look up NFT, water goes in one end and out the other.

GpsFrontier 05-04-2010 05:50 AM

I would use the largest baskets that I could. The Spacing of the plants would need to be adequate for the full size plants that you are wanting to grow. They will both need top support in that kind of setup, because they wont have enough root support. I built this one to grow peas, it's only one 4 inch tube, but can easily be expanded to as many tubes as you want. With adequate spacing for the plants (and top support) the same design should be fine. It can be used as either a "flood and drain", or NFT type system. Each 4 inch tube when filled held about 5 gallons of water to flood. Ten tubes would be a minimum of 50 gallons to flood, plus a minimum amount of water left in the reservoir to keep the pump from running dry. You would probably need at least a 100 gallon reservoir to run it as a flood and drain system for 4 inch tubing. Not sure how many gallons would be needed to keep it from running dry with 6 inch tubing. Especially as that many plants drink up water daily.

I was adding 2 gallons of replacement water daily to the one tube. Ten tubes would be around 20 gallons daily, and it wasn't even hot. Running it as an NFT may be a better choice as the plants get bigger, they will still need to drink the water, but it wont take as much water to flood the system. But as the plants drink the water. The left over nutrients will become concentrated, causing nutrient problems. So you will still want to maintain the same water level you started with daily, as well as pH. Even so, if there is not enough nutrient solution for all the plants (I call it "buffer water"), you may wind up with a diluted nutrient solution and nutrient problems.

eduardomachado 05-04-2010 06:04 AM

Thanks Gps I was thinking something like that but NFT, now I'm considering doing it as a recirculating top drip system using lava rocks as the medium...

what do you think about this idea?

BTW I don't need to use the 10 pipes at once :)

GpsFrontier 05-04-2010 06:40 AM


now I'm considering doing it as a recirculating top drip system using lava rocks as the medium
I like that Idea better, simply because you can control the flow better. In the tube you can set the return so that there is always an inch or so of water for the roots to wick the water up from (like an NFT system). And the top roots will be getting regular watering from the drip system. That can be easily changed with the timer. The growing medium should not be a problem, some growing mediums hold moisture better than others, but if it's drying out just make the watering schedule more frequent. That's one reason I feel that the larger the basket that you can go with the better, the other one is more plant support.

On the downside you may have problems with emitters/dippers clogging up in a drip system. The salts (dissolved solids) that can build up in the growing medium will be building up on anything that it comes in contact with. Also getting everything aligned just right for a drip system and keeping it that way so that it waters just right all the time can be tedious when doing a large tube system (even smaller ones). The plants will still need to drink up enough water daily. I think it's really a mater of preference, and resources, that make the most difference in the long run. Especially for larger setups.

P.S. You can always break up the amount of tubes in your system. Like peppers in one, and tomato's in the other. That would be better anyway, simply because of possible different nutrient intake/requirements.

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