Thread: Forth System
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:32 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,855
Default Forth System

I have had the forth system running for about a month now. I hadn't posted it before because I was not happy with the bubblers I created out of PVC tubing (I didn't have money for air stones). But I had the seeds, and really wanted to put them to use as best I could. I just got some air stones last weekend. Only 2 and I wanted 4, but it's still better than what I had going. The air pump is not operating the best either, but it's still surprisingly pumping air (just not as much as it should be).

For the growing chamber (container), I just reused one of the ones I was using for my strawberry's last summer. I run it as a water culture system, and as I mentioned with air stones in the reservoir. It holds between 5 and 9 gallons water for the reservoir. I also have not changed the nutrient solution yet. The first couple of weeks I used about one third strength nutrient solution. Then after about two weeks, and the roots were coming out the bottom of the baskets, I brought the strength up to full strength. I will be changing the nutrient solution for the first time in a day or two.

I had to shim the bottom of the container to make it level (so the water level inside would be even). The water level just touches the bottom of the baskets (1/4 to 1/2 inch), that's plenty for the growing medium (coco chips) to wick up the moisture it needs. The rest of the roots hang down directly into the reservoir (water). They seem to be growing just fine the way it was with my makeshift bubblier made out of PVC tubing. But I am very glad I got the air stones, although I am still not happy with the amount of bubbles from the air pump and stones.

The lettuce plant variety is called Butter King. I was looking for the same butter lettuce you get at the store that is grown hydroponically, and sold as live plants in the plastic containers. Not sure if this is exactly it, but it looks very much the same. There are 8 plants in this container but I'm starting some new seeds for replacement plants, that way they are ready when I harvest the first ones. I'm also starting some spinach to put in this system.

I am building a smaller water culture system (container), that will hold the plants until they are ready (large enough) to put in this one once I harvest them. That way I can have a continuously rotating crop and supply of ready to harvest plants using less resources. I'll post pictures of it once the seeds are ready to put in it. I just put them in my home made incubator/germination device today.

Some of these baskets have 2 plants in it. I had extra, so I just put two in each and I was going to pluck the smallest ones. Though in some of them I just couldn't decide witch to pluck, so now I am stuck with two plants in about half of the baskets. In one of the pictures there is a clear spare container on top of the growing chamber. I just did that to show what I do/did when it rains to protect the plants when they were younger. I also cover the air pump with the blue container to waterproof it from the rain. It's important to make sure that the air pump is raised off the table an inch or two to keep it out of any water that gets on the tabletop. The picture with the container of tiny plants on top next to the butter lettuce plants, were from the same batch of seeds and started at the same time. They just weren't lucky enough to make it into the hydroponic system.

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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 05-04-2011 at 06:05 PM.
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