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Control of algae


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Old 02-14-2010, 04:07 PM
Tileman Tileman is offline
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Default Control of algae

Hi guys I have a Verti-Gro Recirculating setup about 12 pots.

And my tank is a water tank that I got from Tractor Supply


I am having algae growth in the tank about 10 days after I clean it out.

The tank & setup is in the green house but it dose get sun on the tank hmm 12 to 13 hrs a day here in florida

Is there a reason to worry about it or just keep cleaning it out every 10 -14 days it gets real stuck to the sides of the tank & pump.

Also we use well water here not city water & there's no chlorine in the water just a sand filter off the pump & we test the water about every year for contaminants.



Ron.

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Old 02-14-2010, 06:18 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
The tank & setup is in the green house but it dose get sun on the tank hmm 12 to 13 hrs a day here in florida
Well this is probably your problem right there. The water tank looks like it's not light proof and the sunlight will promote the algae growth. The sunlight on the tank also will probably make the water temp to high, also promoting algae growth as well as other unwanted organisms.

Also the tank itself looks like it would be hard to reach inside and scrub all over to get it out. If you don't get it all out it will just seed your fresh nutrients, making it return faster. Small amounts of algae Should be OK it is just when it begins to get out of control that it can be a problem. If you light proof the tank and keep the nutrient solution below 72 or 70 degrees you probably wont have a problem with algae growth in the reservoir.

Chlorine is not good for plants anyway. What I would be concerned with are Microorganisms and pathogens that might be in the water. I am not sure what they test the water for when you have it tested, also what the filter actually takes out. I use mostly RO water 90% and 10% of the hard water from outside hose water. I boil the outside water and let it cool before I use it to be sure it is free of these things. I haven't looked into it and I'm not positive, but I think the RO filter is sufficient to take these things out.

P.S. Also if you use a air bubblier/stone in the reservoir it would help keep algae growth down. As the air bubbles rise in the reservoir it keeps the water moving, and algae cant grow very well in continuously moving water (like in a river or stream). The more bubbles the better. The air bubbles also help oxygenate the water.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 02-14-2010 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:10 PM
Tileman Tileman is offline
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Thanks for the info.

Light proofing the tank could be done. Just need to know how? Maybe paint the outside of it?

As far as keeping the solution below 72 would be the hard part for me.

Cleaning the tank is a pain it has built in legs that get the algae in it.

The water is tested for human consumption so that its safe to use & drink.

Ill try to post a few pics mon of my setup.

Thanks again for the info.

Ron.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:53 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Light proofing the tank could be done. Just need to know how? Maybe paint the outside of it?
For me the easiest thing to do is give it a few coats of black spray paint (outside only) it to block the light, then I spray paint it white to reflect light (so it dosen't absorb heat). Though brushed on paint might be easier on the finger (maybe even cheaper) for something that's large, not sure how many gallons the tank is.
Quote:
As far as keeping the solution below 72 would be the hard part for me.
I would start by keeping the sun off of it first. I don't know what the temp is of your nutrient solution, but if it's much higher than the 72 degrees your plants wont do well regardless of any algae. I may have a few ideas depending on how you have things set up. One common way is to keep the reservoir underground (no light proofing necessary). Another is a series of coils underground that can be run in two different ways to cool the nutrients. Also if keeping the reservoir above ground, using the coils to cool the solution I would insulate the reservoir to keep the cool in. In this case the insulation would act as the light proofing (if completely insulated). The easiest and cheapest way would probably be building a box around it, and lining the box with 1 to 2 inches of sheet Styrofoam insulation. Then filling all the cracks and holes in the box with spray insulation to make it air tight.
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The water is tested for human consumption so that its safe to use & drink.
That's what I thought, but I don't know if that tests for all Microorganisms and pathogens that are harmful to plants or not.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:12 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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P.S. I would probably build the box so it has a removable lid. This way the reservoir can be changed or used for something else later, even just general maintenance. I would line the lid with weather stripping for the air tight seal. Also make notches just big enough to run the lines in and out with. Then cover the lines with pipe insulation so it fits snugly into the notches to keep the box air tight. Just make sure there is enough support at the bottom to support the weight of the water.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:47 AM
Tileman Tileman is offline
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Thanks again for the info.

On my outside setup I have a 44 gal gray trash can that I use but it dose not recycle the nutrients. Just on a timer and a full tank will last hmm 4-5 days.
And I have been running it for about 3 yrs with no algae growth.




So I may in the green house try and use a small 10 gal can that's inside of a 25 gal can so that way I can put insulation around the small can that's in the big can LOL that make any sense.

I know this year we are building a shade house to shade the plants last year was hard on them the ones in the ground do fine but the Verti-Gro was just ok.

I try to post some pics today I have a meeting at noon here.

Ron.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:52 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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So I may in the green house try and use a small 10 gal can that's inside of a 25 gal can so that way I can put insulation around the small can that's in the big can LOL that make any sense.
Ya, it makes perfect sense to me. I even tried doing something very similar last summer. I used a 1'2 inch Styrofoam sheet (because it bends easily) and bent it around a 32 gallon trash can. Then filled the gap between the trash can and Styrofoam with spray insulation. The Styrofoam was cheep but the spray insulation got to be too expensive. At $4 to $5 a can for the large gap foam, and needing up to 10-12 cans of it to fill a 3 inch gap all around the trash can was just too much for me. I also had a smaller reservoir made out of two storage totes, one smaller than the other to fit inside of it to do the same thing but never really had enough spray foam to do the job, before giving up because of cost.

Though you may find that bubble wrap will do the job and be not that expensive. I would recommend it be at least 2 to 3 inches thick on both the side and bottom. And the top be sealed off to keep warm air from getting down in between the layers.
Quote:
I know this year we are building a shade house to shade the plants last year was hard on them the ones in the ground do fine but the Verti-Gro was just ok.
Do you know what the nutrient temperature was for this system? If it gets too high the plants will abort fruiting in hopes of just staying alive. Also they can look wilted even though they are getting plenty of water, then when the shade hits them they may look better. This was the exact problem with my peppers last summer (nutrient temp).

P.S. Wow, 44 gallons of nutrient solution every 4 to five days. That's about 10 gallons a day, isn't that expensive? It costs me about $0.21 a gallon to mix mine, that would run me over $2 a day to do.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 02-15-2010 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:45 PM
Tileman Tileman is offline
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I was thinking also how about a water cooler? It all ready has the insulation built in we use them for work here and they keep the water cold even in the hot sun.

Quote:
P.S. Wow, 44 gallons of nutrient solution every 4 to five days. That's about 10 gallons a day, isn't that expensive? It costs me about $0.21 a gallon to mix mine, that would run me over $2 a day to do.
We use 5-10-25 Hydroponic Formula 25lbs cost $50.00
then we mix in Calcium Nitrate, 15-0-0 25lbs cost $35.00

The mix I do is 2lbs of 5-10-25 to 1 gal of water and out of the gal I add 22oz to the 44 gal of water.

The 15-0-0 mix is 2lbs to 1 gal of water and out of the gal I add 11 oz to the 44 gal of water.

If my math is right should be about 93 cents every fill up so about hmmm
about $5.50 per month.

Quote:
Do you know what the nutrient temperature was for this system? If it gets too high the plants will abort fruiting in hopes of just staying alive. Also they can look wilted even though they are getting plenty of water, then when the shade hits them they may look better. This was the exact problem with my peppers last summer (nutrient temp).
I do not know the temp but you are right on about the plants looking wilted and very little fruiting.
Hope the shade cover I install well help out with that.

Ron.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:16 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I was thinking also how about a water cooler? It all ready has the insulation built in we use them for work here and they keep the water cold even in the hot sun.
I have thought about using them also, even the large ice chests, but not at the prices that I find. If I could get them at a garage sale or something it may a good deal. They keep the temp cool as long as there is ice added. When you pump it through the system it will warm up. If you are going to just pump it out and not recover/recycle it, you wont have the problem of bring back warm water/solution back to the reservoir. Though depending on how hot it gets there you will probably still need to cool it down somewhat.
Quote:
If my math is right should be about 93 cents every fill up so about hmmm
about $5.50 per month.
$0.93 for 44 gallons is not bad at all, 44 gallons would cost me about $9.25, not including shipping. I need to order nutrients online because there is no hydro stores in town, the nearest ones are in Las Vegas, about a 3 hour drive (depending on how fast you drive).

Do you have a link to the products/manufactures that you use? What type of results are you getting with them? I'm using the General Hydroponics flora series right now. I started using them because I was sure they would work well, and I wanted to eliminate as many problems as I could. They are working fine, although with all the plants that I have going and have planed, cost of the nutrients is quickly becoming a major factor in what I can do. I just kind of gave up on my broccoli plants because of it. I still have them in the system, but I'm not using the nutrients for them anymore. I just mixed up some Miracle-Gro and added it to the reservoir, and whatever happens happens.
Quote:
I do not know the temp but you are right on about the plants looking wilted and very little fruiting.
Hope the shade cover I install well help out with that.
I would get a submersible thermometer from the Wall-Mart in the pet supply's (in fish department) for about $2. Tie a string on it and leave it in the reservoir to keep an eye on the reservoir temp. It will probably be close to the same as the air temp. The more gallons the longer it takes to warm up, but it also takes more to cool down. If you are not able to keep the reservoir temp under control you wont have much luck with the plants, shade or not. I had strawberry's last summer in direct sunlight most of the time, with temperatures reaching 115 degrees, but it was because I wasn't able to control the nutrient temp that led to there demise.

I just finished building a geothermal (underground) reservoir for my tomato's to address this problem myself in this thread http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/for....html#post4201, that would probably be perfect for you with that system.

The large trash can was $10
The small trash can was $12
The Styrofoam sheet was $6
Digging the hole, Priceless
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:36 PM
Tileman Tileman is offline
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Nice setup you have there. Good looking pics.

I will get a submersible thermometer and post back my temps.

Quote:
Do you have a link to the products/manufactures that you use? What type of results are you getting with them?
I get mine here The Verti-Gro Hydroponic Fertilizers and Nutrients - Organic and Hydroponic Growing for Commercial and Hobby Growers its about a hour from my house its were I got all my vertigro stuff from. So I save on the shipping.

Next time I go over I could get you some or I have a ton here LOL
I could ship you a little for a test befor you have to pay for it.

I have good luck with it on my plants I grow Broccoli - Lettuce - tomatoes and peppers. They all do good for me but I have never used anything diff.

My wife's strawberry's we use this mix from here works great
Strawberry Formula 8-12-32

From that same site I was thinking about trying the southern Vegetable Formula 7-14-36 Souther Vegetable Formula 7-14-36

Just to see if it's better then what I have now.

Once again thanks for the info. I know now that I need to keep the temp's down on the nutrient solution.

let me know on the nutrient I do have a good stock of it lol it's the lest I owe you for the good info.

I my dig a hole for my tank but we are in florida you know lol hit water about 2' or good day 3'

Ron.

Last edited by Tileman; 02-15-2010 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 02-20-2010, 03:14 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Nice setup you have there. Good looking pics.
That was last summers design. It worked fine until the temperatures got so I wasn't able to control the nutrient solution temp effectively. But it took about 40 gallons of nutrient solution to flood and not run the pump dry. I have a new design for strawberry's that I plan to build as soon as I can afford to (pictures attached).

It will have 4 times the plants (128) but only use about the same amount of nutrient solution to flood as my old design. Each tube will hold 16 plants, and 4 tubes in the system for 64 plants. I plan on building two of these for a total of 128 plants. This design can be laid out many different ways, but the key aspect is the use of the square tubing to double the amount of plants in each tube by turning the square tubing on it's edge. I will be building a geothermal reservoir like I did for my tomato's (only larger), as well as warping each tube with blue foam insulation (again like with my tomato's). I will also use pipe insulation on all the above ground pipe and tubing. I may also build a geothermal trench design (heat exchanging system), for additional protection from excessive nutrient temperatures if needed.

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