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My Tomatoes And Peppers Are Growing!


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  #1  
Old 05-18-2013, 10:40 PM
FalseFlash FalseFlash is offline
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Default My Tomatoes And Peppers Are Growing!

Not sure if this is the right section, but I'm pretty excited about it! I got the system working, everything seems stable so far. The water is due for a change sometime next week.

I included a picture of the valve I was talking about in the other thread that I use to control the water level.

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Old 05-19-2013, 02:35 AM
fintuckyfarms fintuckyfarms is offline
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Awesome! Good job, just watch the nutes temp. Much above 80, 82 you will get root rot and kill everything...
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:22 PM
FalseFlash FalseFlash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fintuckyfarms View Post
Awesome! Good job, just watch the nutes temp. Much above 80, 82 you will get root rot and kill everything...
It's pretty cool since I dug it in the ground, even on a really hot day the water don't seem to go above 70.

I will keep a watch on it though because we are gonna have a few days this summer above 90F. I will have balanced cold water ready for it if that happens.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:23 PM
FalseFlash FalseFlash is offline
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Update 05/19/2013:
Roots are an inch or two longer in the tomatoes, they are pretty healthy.
No change in peppers.

55 Gallon Reservoir Readings Today:
442ppm (Dropped from 463 yesterday)
PH Level of 6.4 (Slowly changing from rain)
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:28 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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How does the valve control water level?
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:55 PM
FalseFlash FalseFlash is offline
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By controlling the rate at which the water exits the pipe, although it's more effort than it's worth. Sometimes I spend hours outside trying to get the level right. So it works, only if you're willing to put in the effort. I'm going to get it changed soon, it's really annoying because last night I was outside until 2AM making sure it didn't overflow.

Any slight change is either too much or too little. And by a slight change I'm talking barely any change in the position.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:02 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
although it's more effort than it's worth. Sometimes I spend hours outside trying to get the level right. So it works, only if you're willing to put in the effort. I'm going to get it changed soon, it's really annoying because last night I was outside until 2AM making sure it didn't overflow.
Yes, exactly. You will never be able to get it to work the way you want. Think of it like this, If you have one gallon of water flowing in, and less than that flowing out, it's just a mater of time before it overflows. You can adjust it as much as you want, but all your doing is changing the amount of time before it overflows. The only way you can keep it from eventually overflowing is to have the same amount of water exiting as you have going in. So the only way you can keep that valve from eventually overflowing your system, is to make sure it is open enough so the same amount of water is going out as you have being pumped in. That makes the valve useless because you can do that with nothing but a straight piece of tubing.

I'm assuming your using the same system you posted pictures of before, and the design is still the same. I made some drawings to show you how I would setup an overflow system in your system. It's quite simple, just get an end cap for the tubing (about $2). Then get two one inch PVC connectors. One a male connector like this PVC connector and one female connector like this one. Cut a hole in the center of the end cap just big enough to stick the threaded side of the male connector through it. You may need to use a spacer when you tighten it down to get it to snug down. The threads on PVC connectors are tapered, and don't go all the way on. They just get tighter until their too tight to screw on anymore. Once you have them tightly in place you should glue it in place as well. I like using pluming goop. Most hardware stores carry it, but the cheapest place I have found it is at Wal-Mart. Our Wal-Mart sells it in the pluming department for $3.94.

Now cut a opening in the top of the "T" connector in your system so you can access the overflow tube that will be inside. Then glue the end cap in place. Don't glue the overflow tube that's inside the "T" connector so you can change it at will. If you want the water level in the system to be higher, just make the overflow tube longer. If you want to lower the water level, just cut the overflow tube shorter. As long as the overflow tube is at least twice as wide as the water line feeding the water into the system, you wont have water backing up in the system and you wont need to constantly be watching to make sure it doesn't overflow on you.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:36 PM
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Just an update of where I'm at so far. The peppers are not doing too good, I'm going to put them in the ground. So here are the tomatoes. Some of the leaves are starting to turn brown on them, so I did some searching and tried changing nutrients this morning. I also bumped the PPM up to 1300, is that too high? Seems a lot of people run in that range after a couple weeks.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:34 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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What nutrients are you using, and how much are you mixing per gallon of water?
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:35 AM
FalseFlash FalseFlash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
What nutrients are you using, and how much are you mixing per gallon of water?
General Hydroponics Flora Series, I'm using whatever their calculator says to use.

16.9oz of each this time for 50 gallons.

Edit:

The readings show 1,210PPM today.

Last edited by FalseFlash; 05-30-2013 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:30 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
I'm using whatever their calculator says to use
That doesn't help me with anything. I'm not there with when you put in your parameters, I can't see what what your reading and how your interpreting the results etc. etc.. I don't know if you are using additives, and if your checking PPM before you add them, or after you add them. I also don't know what the PPM of the water is before you add anything at all to it. I don't know if your PPM meter is accurate, what conversion rate it uses, if it automatically adjusts for temperature, not to mention if it is being cared for properly. Even properly cared for meters often malfunction for various reasons. I also don't know what the PPM of the plain water consist of. To help with your question I need to know the specifics of what your doing.

The only thing I can take from the reply is you are using 16.9 oz of each gro, micro, and bloom, and I don't even know how your measuring it (I don't have anything accurate enough to measure fluid ounces down to 1 tenth of an ounce). You do know that the GH calculator has an option/setting for milliliters (ml) as well as fluid ounces. I can only assume from your reply that you choose not to use the additional additives, or you are using the same amount of all the additives as well.

Assuming your measuring fluid ounces correctly, one fluid ounce equals 30 ml. So 30 ml x16.9= 507 ml. That's enough to make 51 gallons of full strength nutrient solution of the GH flora series. For small plants the size in your picture, I wouldn't be using more than a 1/2 strength nutrient. Even full size plants I would probably only be using 3/4 strength nutrients (375 ml for 50 gallons of water). Likely even just a 1/3 strength for plants that small. And I wouldn't be using any additives at all. For a 50 gallon reservoir, and plants that small I would be using between 166 ml (1/3 strength), 5.5 fluid oz. And no more than 250 ml (1/2 strength) 8.33 fluid ounces. Even less if it's hot. Bottom line 1/3 strength is fine for plants that small. If they grow well, I'd probably bump it up to 1/2 strength in a few weeks.

P.S.
I don't use PPM, TDS, or EC meters because they just cant tell me the only thing I want to know (what the level of "each" mineral salt is). I might get a EC meter in the future for general comparisons, but it's not something I would rely on. Also I think you were running the system as an NFT system. Because I know your having trouble getting the water level to be content, that may be a big problem with your system as well. A NFT system uses a "thin" layer of water running at the bottom of the trough. If the water level is much higher than that, you run the risk suffocating the roots. They need air/oxygen just as much as water.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:52 PM
FalseFlash FalseFlash is offline
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Sorry about that. I believe it would be about 2tsp per-gallon, but I measure it in a measuring cup in oz. The .9 would be 5tsp. I have not added anything extra yet, if I do I will be using less. The plain water is 218ppm (hard water). There is a lot of iron in our water, enough where we are changing our water filter weekly because it's so bad.

Quote:
A NFT system uses a "thin" layer of water running at the bottom of the trough. If the water level is much higher than that, you run the risk suffocating the roots. They need air/oxygen just as much as water.
Oops. I've been running it the whole time with the pipe a little over half way filled. I've reduced it now.

Last edited by FalseFlash; 05-30-2013 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:29 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
The plain water is 218ppm (hard water). There is a lot of iron in our water, enough where we are changing our water filter weekly because it's so bad.
That's another issue. If you have hard water you should be using filtered water. RO would be best, but at least some kind of filtered water. Not only will the excess minerals in your tap water (hard water) make your nutrient solution unbalanced. But certain elements like Iron and Calcium want to bond together when when in excess. When they do, they become unusable to the plants. That's the reason most liquid (if not all) hydroponic nutrients come in at least two parts. To keep the elements from bonding before their diluted. It's also the reason that the manufactures directions always state to only mix your nutrients in the full volume of water you intend to use. To keep them from being in too high of a concentration where they will bond with each other before their diluted sufficiently.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:54 PM
FalseFlash FalseFlash is offline
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Ya, I plan on getting a better RO filter soon. Our current RO does not do very well. It only drops it to around 212. I planned on getting a 7-stage RO because I'm spending a lot on drinking water too, I'm not able to drink our tap water as it makes me sick when I do.

I'm switching to the hard water version of FloraMicro.

Also dropped tomatoes down to 950ppm

Last edited by FalseFlash; 05-31-2013 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:41 PM
FalseFlash FalseFlash is offline
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Another update, they are really putting out growth now since I balanced the nutrients.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:02 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Ya, they look like they have good form and color.

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