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Old 03-31-2009, 07:28 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,855

Originally Posted by jb1848 View Post
I need some help with the gallon system set-up.
1- I can't find enough bleach bottles to get my system up and running, so any other suggesting on what would work well?
2- Also what kind of container goes inside the bleach bottle? I can see it is filled with grow rocks, but what is holding the grow rocks?
3- I don't have access to a local hydroponic store, so I plan to use perlite as my medium. Any suggestions on how to keep the perlite in place besides using paint stainers? I plan on using the top drip system.
4- How does the excess nutrient solution make its way back to the nutrient tank? Do I need to elevate one end of the pvc pipe?
5- I live where it will soon be in the 100's for the summer months, any suggestions for helping protect my plants, length of water cycles, etc?
1. I am not sure the particular system you are referring to but the basic principals would still apply to any system. I am using upside down 2 letter bottles myself and any bottle you can fit to the PVC will work. I glued mine to the connectors with polyurethane glue and if it is clear plastic make sure you paint them black to light proof them then paint them white to reflect light so they don't retain heat.
2. With my 2 letter bottles I cut the bottoms off then drilled holes in the bottoms and flipped it and pushed it down into the upside down 2 letter bottle and it fits nice and snug but when I am done with growing the plant and it is time for cleaning it will still come out to make cleaning easy. I would imagine this would work with most bottles. Just don't paint the inside of the bottles or the part you put inside, just paint the outside only.
3. I don't know if perlite would be heavy enough to provide the plants to grow without being top heavy by itself. But if you don't have a Hydroponic supplier in town, as with my situation in Lake Havasu AZ. (my nearest hydro store is in Las Vegas) It is easy to order what you need from any of the thousands of hydro stores online. If you are worried about the shipping check there contact us page for a psychical address for there location and choose one that is not to far from you so the shipping charges will be less also grow rocks are kind of heavy so if the shipping weight is a consern the coco chips will work well and are cheaper anyway. I got 2 blocks of coco chips for $4.00 each and I have 32 plants in 3in pots and still have half of the chips left, but they are not reusable like the grow rocks are but are cheep and light weight for shipping. Also you will need to soak them a few times in fresh water overnight until the water doesn't turn dark brown but only takes a day or two. It might still tint the water a clear brown but it doesn't seem to be a problem as my strawberry plants are doing fine.
4. with a flood and drain system you want the overflow drain pipe to be the height of the water level when flooded so any excess is drained off and when the pump turns off the fluid is siphoned back into the reservoir. But with a drip system the fluid wont siphon back so the overflow pipe should only be as high as you want the fluid level to be continuously. I would suggest the overflow pipe level to be all the way to the bottom of your growing system and just making sure the dripping is constant enough to keep the roots wet so they don't dry out.
5. As I said I live in Lake Havasu AZ. and it gets 125-130 degrees here and this is my first time growing Hydroponics so I am going to grapple with that very problem also. I plan on using shade cloth to cover the plants. I understand that digging a hole in the ground for the nutrient reservoir container is a good way to keep the solution cool although that is not really a solution for me as the ground is mostly rock so I plan to run a line inside the house and keep the nutrient solution inside the house and use pipe insulation on the line outside for both inlet and overflow lines. But sorry other than that I don't really know what else to do there. You can put bottles of water in the freezer to freeze then drop them in the nutrients to cool the nutrients as long as they don't leak and dilute your nutrient solution.

Last edited by GpsFrontier; 03-31-2009 at 07:31 PM.
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