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newb question: keeping water at correct temps


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Old 01-29-2010, 11:35 AM
stuartambient stuartambient is offline
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Default newb question: keeping water at correct temps

just starting out here with a letter raft / bubbleponics type of system. Finally finished all the hardware, but filled the res with a few gallons of water and it's been sitting unaltered for soon approaching 24 hours. I was really testing for leakage but what I found is that the temperature of the water is way too cold. I need to get a thermometer but it's way colder then when I filled it. This from sitting in a room that is fairly small, fairly tight with a duct register in the room. Our thermostat is I believe set to 63F.

The lights were not over the setup, but I'm running FS cfl's (= 500w / real 110w) still doubt that would heat the water. So what is a good way to heat the water. I think aquarium heaters might work though it's Roughmate tote so I have no idea about the safety.

Any ideas ?

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Old 01-29-2010, 04:14 PM
smurf smurf is offline
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you cant get any thing better then a fish tank heater. 300watt heaters work great.
They have inline pool heaters, but i think that is way overkill for you.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:21 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Yes the fish tank heaters will be perfect depending on how many gallons you are heating. They usually tell you what size fish tank heater they are for (5-15 gallons etc.) You can probably even use it for more gallons than that, as long as it's not way over like 50 gallons for a 15 gallon heater. Also most fish tank heaters that have pre-set thermostats are set at 78 degrees, that's too high. You want the adjustable thermostat models. The nutrient solution temp should be between 68 and 72 degrees, can be a little lower but should be not higher. You can get fish tank thermometers for around $2. Although I wouldn't recommend the stick on kind they are hard to read and I don't think they remain accurate that long.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:00 PM
stuartambient stuartambient is offline
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Thank you people. I'll make a trip over to the aquarium shop and see what I come up with.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:10 PM
smurf smurf is offline
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Cool,

Dont cheap out and buy a hydor or some other cheap brands. Get a good titanium aquarium heater please. You can thank me later.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:17 PM
stuartambient stuartambient is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smurf View Post
Cool,

Dont cheap out and buy a hydor or some other cheap brands. Get a good titanium aquarium heater please. You can thank me later.
Okay even better. But just to check again I need not worry about it melting the plastic on the tote . I gather it would sit a bit off from the surface just not sure how far.

Stuart

PS I called the aquarium store near my house, their smallest titanium is 200W
That's probably overkill.

Last edited by stuartambient; 01-29-2010 at 07:22 PM. Reason: Addon
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:38 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I gather it would sit a bit off from the surface just not sure how far.
As long as it is not in direct contact with the plastic. Even if so I don't think there is any danger, because the water will keep the area cooled down. Then when the water gets to the right temp it will just shut off. You don't want it sitting directly on the wall of the reservoir anyway, it will heat better if it gets circulation on all sides.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:57 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Dont cheap out and buy a hydor or some other cheap brands.
I always thought they were all just about the same, more or less. Are there recommended brands or is it just the "titanium" that makes the difference?
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:01 AM
watercatwn6535nd watercatwn6535nd is offline
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Default hold the boat

why are you worried about cold water, thats what we all strive for unless its clones or seeds. Obviulsy not freezing water but your not even close to that. wait tell you have cycled your lights and you'll get some heat. The big question is will you need air conditioning or a water chiller once the lights are running.

I just walked into my green room and it was a bit warm but not enough to activate my emergency program. went to the graph and saw the system was running my air conditioning re boot and de ice policy. the policy is not allowing for enough time for a full melt of the coils. the humidity sensor failed to signal the relay to activate it so the humidity got up to about 53% relative at 85 f. Little jungle love going on there.

I excuted a re boot and went through the days grow jouranl and found the error.

So a cheap way to heat the water for a few days for clones or seeds if you must is just to paint a floresent bulb black and stick the glass part of it in the water. hook it up to your light timer if you want or just lift it a bit out in aday if it gets warmer than you want and you can leave it on all the time you need to.

Fish tank heaters in plastic tanks is a disaster waiting to happen every time. I cant count how many times i drained a tank and forgot the heat was on it.
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:10 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Fish tank heaters in plastic tanks is a disaster waiting to happen every time. I cant count how many times i drained a tank and forgot the heat was on it.
That wouldn't be a problem for me. I am in the habit of cleaning the reservoir at every nutrient change. That includes unplugging the pump (to clean it), and scrubbing out the reservoir. I would be unplugging the heater and cleaning it as well. If for some reason that is not the case for you, it would be simple enough to place a insulating plate in between the heater and the reservoir. Or using a piece of 4 inch tubing placing the heater in it, and cutting slots in the tubing for water circulation. That would keep the heater suspended even when there is no water in the reservoir.
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:43 AM
watercatwn6535nd watercatwn6535nd is offline
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Whay in the world would you clean the whole system at every nute change?

I still wouldnt use tank heaters unless it was extreme or clones. the extra few days the clones and seeds take is so much less hassle.

for actaul plants in veg or flowering under lights its almost impossible to get the nute to cold? i'm sure some one will chime in from Michingan and and tell us about grwoing in a fish shack and using teh lake as aa aquaponics nute source and you have to pre heat it to not shock the plant. (i'm okay with this just dont want to here from them on it)

For the rest of us, cold water is fine and newbies dont need the hassle of heat to content with tell they have spme practice with there new system.

i run my systems in for a week with out plants, lights pumps everything. amazing what and how stuff works when you plan it all out and find out its a bit different.

Also with no heat you grow a lot less shit in the water as far as algea. I wouldnt heat anything. but if you have to heat something for say clones or seeds let me recommend a actual fish tank. i prefer flaoting clones in styrafoam. i use the meat packing from the grocery store your butcher will give you a few or sell you a bag cheap. poke a hole with a writing pen and drop your clone through. set the temp at 75f no nutes no lights. like magic in a few days your in roots. no hormone either keep it simple keep it cheap.

but if you use a painted florescent bulb it cant get to hot and melt anything and they dont break when cold water hits them like a fish tank heater and they are cheap and lots of different wattages.

just remember that if you wanted to store drinking water for a emergency. best way to do it is a tank in the ground for darkness and insulation value. 45f or cooler and no lights nothing grows for the most part and nothing that kills you. i ahve a system on my guttter down spout that filters the leaves and stuff out and keeps the tank full. just FYI for new guys sometimes its nioce to hear what you can and cant get away with.

on that same note hi tech everything grows best with automation all most everytime. but more important it lets you go on vacation. just dont add stuff like heat, next you have to add h2o2 to help clean it up then your using root products then water ph balancers.

its like buying a cat to kill amouse then a dog to get rid of the cat then a cougar to get the dog and abear to get teh cougar and so on and so fourth.

i never clean my system it stays in balance. truly this si what everyone should be striving for. also i should say before i get corrected algea isnt bad it just looks like it should be cleaned. I dnt buy the It oxygenates the water bit). but a good system can be perpetial and cleaning it tosses teh nutehydro into kaos. unless its a clone tank of course then its just you using nutes when you dont need to and lights when the plant doesnt need them and or not dumping the hydro really often.

blah blah blah i should just grow some pot and then i could just make brownies and not get so carried away with heater posts.

By the way my a/c is bak up and running again and the world is abetter place. just melted a ice chest of ice out of it. the air flow was also blocked becuase i have never cleaned the filter on it thinking it was clean room it should stay fine (wrong). I wrote a policy to email me on a regular period to clean the filter.
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:13 AM
GGM GGM is offline
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is there a aquarium cooler on the market?
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:27 AM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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Your better heaters will have a curcit to sense low water and turn off.
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:54 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Whay in the world would you clean the whole system at every nute change?
Very simple, it only takes me 20 min, and it is the best way to make sure you don't wind up with anything growing in it (not growing out of control) that's not wanted. Not just algae, but any bacteria or micro organisms either. That's certainly worth 20 min every week or two. Also when you do it regularly it cleans easy.
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for actaul plants in veg or flowering under lights its almost impossible to get the nute to cold?
Not everyone grows using lights or even indoors, and rooms like basements or garages are not always heated and can become cold. I grow everything outside in natural light. The outside temp gets down into the mid 30's during the winter, and daytime temps barely reach 50's at times.
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For the rest of us, cold water is fine and newbies dont need the hassle of heat to content with tell they have spme practice with there new system.
If you'll notice I gave the temperature range to keep the nutrient solution at. If they fallow that there wont be any problems because of heat or cold nutrient temperatures. That's also why I recommended the adjustable thermostats. With the thermostats set in the right range there also wont be any problems with nutrient temps being too high (not from a heater anyway).
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Also with no heat you grow a lot less shit in the water as far as algea. I wouldnt heat anything.
Yes, that is very true, however its not all about just what happens when they get too warm. Different micro organisms are triggered by different temperatures also. If the temp is too cold the beneficial micro organisms wont be able to grow and survive. Also the plants wont be able to uptake the nutrients they need as well if the temperature is in the correct range. This basically stunts the growth of the plants. This is something I am dealing with right now with my peas (I don't have a heater for that nutrient reservoir).
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but if you use a painted florescent bulb it cant get to hot and melt anything and they dont break when cold water hits them like a fish tank heater and they are cheap and lots of different wattages.
I personally have not tried these but even so, there would be one major problem for me. They are not waterproof. Too much chance electrocution from splashing water, as well as just shorting out when getting wet. By the time I bought a socket, bulb, cord for the plug, silicone to seal it all up, I cold have easily bought a fish tank heater and not had any of those problems to deal with. Also the water in the reservoir is not at the same height all the time, and unless the heater is submersible it wont be able to heat the water when it fluctuates.
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45f or cooler and no lights nothing grows for the most part and nothing that kills you.
Yes, if you don't mind your plants growth being stunted. As well as the lack of the beneficial organisms. Then 45 degree temp would be fine.
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on that same note hi tech everything grows best with automation all most everytime. but more important it lets you go on vacation. just dont add stuff like heat, next you have to add h2o2 to help clean it up then your using root products then water ph balancers.
Unfortunately not all of us can afford a grotronix system. H202 is pH neutral, I've tested it.
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algea isnt bad it just looks like it should be cleaned.
Just like plants, there are many different types of algae. Some good, some bad. Generally a little algae is not bad at all, but too much can defiantly be a problem.
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:59 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGM View Post
is there a aquarium cooler on the market?
Yes, I was looking into them last summer, but they are way too expensive for me. Something like $300-$600 for one that cools up to a 15 gallon tank if I remember correctly. Not to mention the electricity to run it.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:33 AM
txice txice is offline
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They also make these little guys called "IceProbes". Cheaper than a traditional "chiller"....but can cool quite as well as one either.

IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller, Nova Tec Inc
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:25 PM
watercatwn6535nd watercatwn6535nd is offline
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Default chiller

I build my own chillers out of wall shaker units. i cut the condensor off and the evaporator off. then i buy two stainless plate exchangers off ebay and solder then on in there place. i add the high and low pressure fittings if there not already installed. I buy a can of hot shot refridgerant from the parts store and dump it in tell the system is cold.

a store unit is fine for a small system but a wall shaker starts out at 5 , 7 or 10K btu's. i have one in my shop right now i'm building for my 250 gallon hot tub fish tank for summer time. i think its a10k btu's got it off craigs list for $20 and the plates were 25$each and the freon is $8. takes about 4 hours to build.

I wasnt suggesting any one keep tere nute at 45f i was stating that this is a safe place for water to be to keep it drinkable.

Titanium fish tank heaters are the only way to go. But iof you were growing indoors you would realize taht you have to heat the room if its cold. with lights and in the dark cycle with a heater. so since the room is warm the nute will be warmed up. since we all grow about teh same temp indoors its the exact same factor for temp in my state as it would be in the midwest or hawaii. when you take control of your air climate the hydro will also fall into the right place.

All the other creative heating and cooling stuff for the most part is for guys trying to grow sea of green pot plants hidden with non air exchanging rooms to keep teh smell down.

my system runs this way only for the hottest few weeks. the rest fo the time i use out side air to cool the room as its free cool air. i use air filters from a furnace to keep it all clean.

set the room temp at 75 or 85 depending on what your growing drop the night temps to 60 or 65 and use a heater if you have to. your walls and floors will get saturated with a base line of heat and it will all self reguate and your plants will have grow better than any dirt grow has grown.

frontier what issue with the water are you worried about? I think cleaning tanks and containers is awful. in fact if i wee a newbie hearing that i would go grow in the dirt. thats a lots of time and effort and its not the fun part fo a grow at all. How about you run a grow through in a another system with out this cleansing and just do the normal once a week h22o2 doseing and what ever drain and refill program you want and see what or if it makes a difference. keeping stuff alive out doors in natural sunlight for a few months is so much easier i think than in doors. try keeping 60 to 90different varities fruitig and vegging for 2 or more years staright indoors with out cleaning the system once a week.

drop the stress on those plants to. can you imagine changing the dirt out around your garden plants every week just to be sure there clean? also how are you getting any micro growth when your dumping the tank and then washing it all out.? Aslo once a week is way to ofetn to be dumping tanks and to expensive. two weeks is to much unless you ahve bad water and that can be fixed with a dehumidifier to keep the system full. cheap free pure water. or a nice solar still made from a kids pool and some black plastic will get a guy enough pur water from nasty pnd scum water to run a large in or out door system if the sun is out and if its not you probably dont need that much water that day if your grwoing out side.

Lets not scare the new guys into a path of taking there systems donw and cleaning them.lets go with light blockage and cool nute temps and good nutes. hard to get inside my hydrofarm hoses and clean them once a week? I've heard of properly trained gerbals that climb right up in the whole with a litttle lube and do the job? I believe they can be had at richardgear.com
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:37 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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How about you run a grow through in a another system with out this cleansing and just do the normal once a week h22o2 doseing and what ever drain and refill program you want and see what or if it makes a difference.
I have done that, that's why I know that it can be a real problem. I have had issues of things growing in systems that were unwanted. Granted, that is usually found with nutrient temps that were too high. But I just cleaned the reservoir for my peas yesterday because there was something in it. I have no idea what it was or where it came from, or even if it will come back now that it got a start. Today is the hottest day we had in a long tome and it's only 66 degrees. That's well below any temp that I would expect a problem with things growing in it. If you ever made your own beer it looked like the part you strain off before bottling, brown cloudy and murky.
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drop the stress on those plants to. can you imagine changing the dirt out around your garden plants every week just to be sure there clean?
Dirt plants are susceptible to root diseases just as easy as in a hydro system, even more so. It would only take me a few minuets to find a many links that list soil born root diseases. It's truly a misconception to think hydro plants are not vulnerable to root diseases simply because there is no soil involved.
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also how are you getting any micro growth when your dumping the tank and then washing it all out.?
By that thinking there would never be any algae growth either, yet it is there. It is not the sunlight that gives algae birth. If it did there would be algae all over everything that comes in contact with sunlight. Sure using a good quality water is a great help but that's not foolproof. By keeping proper nutrient temps and regular cleaning, I can hopefully keep bad microbes and pathogens at bay, before they have a chance to multiply out of control. As in the case of my peas I mentioned.
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Aslo once a week is way to often to be dumping tanks and to expensive.
This would depend greatly on the size of your reservoir as well as the plants you are growing. Yes commercial operations don't change there reservoirs that much, but they have the equipment to monitor the nutrients. They also grow specific crops in one reservoir and know what these plants require in nutrients. Commercial operations also manufacture there nutrients or have them manufactured for them, this way they can replenish the nutrients the plants take up faster to keep a balanced nutrient solution. Commercial operations also use either ultraviolet light or Ozone Generators for root disease control. Commercial operations also have water purifiers. Home hydroponic gardeners (especially new ones) have a ppm and pH test meters, and a some kind of water purifier at best.
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Lets not scare the new guys into a path of taking there systems donw and cleaning them.
I am by no means am wanting to scare off anyone. But at the same time I want to be realistic, I don't take the salespersons approach. Getting them to buy it, then let them figure out it isn't what they thought it was. If they know the possible problems before hand, they will be able to build better systems the first time around. As well as have better success.
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lets go with light blockage and cool nute temps and good nutes.
All good advice, although hardly foolproof and would be negligent to suggest so. Again, the more people know about possible problems the better success they will be able to have is my goal.
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hard to get inside my hydrofarm hoses and clean them once a week?
True, I don't really clean out the inside of them either. I do however flush hot water through it for a few seconds at the same time I clean the pump and pump filter. I don't get anything I can see coming out, although I still have tubing from last summer that has caked on stuff inside it. The truth is if someone is scared off by doing a couple minuets of work every week to their hydroponic systems, they wont have much success with it in the long run anyway. Hydroponics takes more work than soil grown plants but has many advantages. Keep in mind also that most if not all new people just starting out in hydroponics (just like with all new hobbies) cant, or don't want to shell out much money for all the bells and whistles until they have some success first.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 01-30-2010 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:48 AM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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The problem may be growing outside. I grow inside and have not had any problem with stuff growing in my system.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:09 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
The problem may be growing outside. I grow inside and have not had any problem with stuff growing in my system.
It was nearing two weeks in the same solution, but I changed it a couple days early because something was obviously in it. It may have very well been something airborne that got into it, we get a lot of wind here. We had some rain, but our rain is very clean (we live in the desert, no smog of any kind). Also the broccoli reservoir is only 5 feet away from the one for the peas, and got even more rain water in it than the peas did. But there was nothing wrong at all with the broccoli reservoir (except the solution was diluted). I looked at it today and I fear it's coming back, the solution looks like it is starting to become cloudy again. I added some H202 but will probably need to change the reservoir again in a couple of days. Lets hope not, I cant afford to change it every couple of days. Once something gets into it, it can be extremely difficult to get rid of. You cant sanitize the roots themselves without killing the plants.

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