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Hello World. My newly finished indoor aero garden


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  #1  
Old 09-04-2009, 04:49 PM
pilotguide pilotguide is offline
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Default Hello World. My newly finished indoor aero garden

First off I would like to say hello to everyone. I'm happy to have found a forum with people who have the same interests in this field.
For the past couple of months I have been working on a couple of hydroponics projects. It's been quite a learning process and I am hopeful that I will begin to see the returns on the investment in time and money. The learning curve is still far ahead of me but I'm climbing the hill. Any comments or suggestions on the system are always welcome!

David







http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAvTds3IsDc


Last edited by pilotguide; 09-04-2009 at 04:51 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2009, 08:10 AM
administrator administrator is offline
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thanks for posting your progress, any more details would be great, construction process, specific equipment used, etc....

thanks!
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2009, 08:52 PM
pilotguide pilotguide is offline
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I'll see what I can do about a in depth description. I just completed 2 Compact Florescent light fixtures on the cheap today. Going to give these a try in conjunction with my led UFO and see what happens.



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  #4  
Old 09-07-2009, 08:56 AM
pilotguide pilotguide is offline
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THE SYSTEM

This setup is a combination of Aero and NFT. Using 4' X 4" ABS pipe as the main grow area for 3" net pots and 1/2"pvc pipe inside the main tube as the sprayer. I used a 1/16" drill bit to make the spray holes in the 1/2" pvc. Each grow spot has 3 spray holes drilled. Two at 45 degree angles inward towards the net pot and one perpendicular to the spray line. So it creates a nice pattern to spray the plant from several angles and will help prevent complete failure if any of the spray lines gets clogged. The 1/2" pvc spray line is connected by a manifold to a 1/2" ball valve so I can regulate the spray pressure. Then from the ball valve to my pump. My pond pump is a little overkill at 450 GPH. But with the ball valve in place I can regulate the output. I am using a regular rubbermaid container painted black to keep as much light out as possible. The whole system is on an electronic timer that turns the pump on for 45 minutes and off for 1 hour. When the pump is not active a small aquarium aeration pump keeps oxygen going in the reservoir. At this time I only use about 6 gallons of water to keep the weight/quantity of it down for the water changes. After the water comes out the spray lines it flows toward the drain hole creating an NFT effect on the bottom. The drain lines are 1/2" hose that are not securely attached to the main grow area. They were designed to leak heavily and allow the surface tension of the water to cling to the outside as it cascades to the net pots below. Using clay balls as a simple filter system. They are easily removed to clear any clogs from plant debris. The sound of falling water really makes this a nice addition to our kitchen. Hopefully the results of the design will be nice big plants. So far the roots have taken very well and are doing their best to grow into the water stream.

LIGHTING

I originally started with one led UFO. The plants really do seem to like it but I think for the number of plants I have it was too small to support the whole system. So I have built 2 compact florescent fixtures on the cheap using a combination of 100W and 200W equivalent cfl's in each. So now the entire system is really bathed in light. Because none of my lights run hot I can have them hanging very close to the grow bed. The lights run off a second timer that turns on at 5am and off at 9pm.

nutrients

I have been using an organic hydroponic tomato solution with good results. The plants have all been loving it. But I have ordered General Hydroponics nutrient solutions to start next week. Hopefully I will see some spectacular changes in the near future.

PLANTS

As you can tell from the photos I have a multitude of plants growing here. I know there is plenty of discussion saying that the results will be better growing fewer types in a system. But so far the plants are showing no signs of slowing down. I have the following in the system at this time.

Pimento Pepper
Jalapeno Pepper
Strawberry
Grape Tomato
Grand Rapids Lettuce
Romaine Lettuce
Ruby Red Lettuce
Parsley

So far so good with all of them. But of course this is one big experiment so we'll really see the result of all of this down the road. I have a pH tester on the way and plan on running as close to 6.5 as possible to give each plant an equal chance an surviving.

I'll keep you all posted.

Here is a quick video of the system...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAvTds3IsDc

Last edited by pilotguide; 09-07-2009 at 09:51 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-14-2009, 08:22 AM
pilotguide pilotguide is offline
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Week two has started of the project. Rooting is coming along really nicely. I'm still waiting on my new nutrient solutions. I'm thinking the company I ordered from here in Canada has completely forgotten the check their online orders. GAWD that's frustrating!
Replaced the 2700k bulbs in the CFL fixtures with 5000k to help with vegetative growth. I will switch back to 2700k once it's flowering time.

Here are the roots of a Grape Tomato plant...


Strawberry plants seem to be thriving in this system. Fresh strawberries in winter? I guess we'll see.


The net pots are almost completely full. Took some extra time to get enough lettuce seeds started and to take. But I think we're in business.

Last edited by pilotguide; 09-14-2009 at 08:25 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-21-2009, 08:16 AM
pilotguide pilotguide is offline
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Default Week 3

Here are some updated photos for week number 3. I am still waiting on the delivery of the nutrient solution. :-( But it should be here in a couple of days. I started using H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) about a week ago. Using 1ml for each litre of water in the reservoir. The plants have really been liking this technique. I've been seeing much improved root health and foliage growth.

Tomato roots are really taking off.


Strawberry plants are still getting bigger. Although I have notice just a little bit of tip burn. Hopefully the new food will help correct that.


Things are looking better every day. If you compare earlier photos it's very interesting to see the changes.


The CFL fixtures seem to be working really nicely. Certainly not as strong as commercial lighting but still does the job. More updates in a week! Checked my hydro bill for the last month and only saw about $3.50 increase from the previous month. So the cost of running the entire system is easy to eat.

David

Last edited by pilotguide; 09-21-2009 at 08:19 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-27-2009, 09:20 PM
pilotguide pilotguide is offline
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Default Week 4

So it's now the start of week 4. Things are going great with the system. I finally got my General Hydroponics nutrient solution. The plants really seem to be enjoying the change. The other benefit is NO SMELL! It was a pleasant surprise when I changed from the tomato fertilizer. The roots have taken so well that I am no longer able to pull the plants up to look. There is just too much of a possibility of damaging them. I have also been using H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) for a couple of weeks to help keep the root system healthy. It's amazing the growth they have experienced since adding H202. I would recommend it to anyone. I have only been using 1ml per litre. I've attached a photo below that illustrates the growth over the past 26 days. I'll do my best to keep this updated until all plants can be harvested.



Thanks for viewing!
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2009, 02:41 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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REALLY NICE,
The plants seem to be taking off really well. I have herd about using H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) but not tried it as of yet. Though it's on my list of things to do.
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2009, 06:53 PM
pilotguide pilotguide is offline
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I was a little hesitant at first to try out the H2O2, but had read posts about several other growers having excellent results. I have been using just your average everyday 3% solution. After the first couple of days I had noticed the strawberry plants growing a tonne of new leaves. Apparently the H2O2 helps break down dead and decaying roots, leaving the fresh ones intact to take up all of the oxygen. The general rule was not greater than 3ml for every litre. So I started at 1ml per litre and have left it there.
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2009, 08:51 PM
pilotguide pilotguide is offline
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Default Week 5

It's the beginning of week 5 and I'm on my way for some family vacation. This will be the first time I have left the system unattended for more than a couple of days. Should be a good test of its reliability. I'll either come back to bigger plants or complete devastation.

Week 5 of the Hydroponics


Lettuce plants


Strawberry Roots


Tomato Plants


See you again in a week! Wish me luck!
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  #11  
Old 10-04-2009, 03:41 PM
silentscorp silentscorp is offline
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Can't wait to see the progress, this is such a helpful series of posts that we are setting up a version for ourselves over the course of the week. Ours will be condensed to 9 plants, but going for the same looking outcome!
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  #12  
Old 10-12-2009, 07:08 PM
pilotguide pilotguide is offline
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Default Week 6!

Welcome to week 6. We've been away from the system for a full week. It's been unattended for the full week and we weren't sure if the results would waiver a bit without its daily monitoring. We arrived home and wow! It worked perfectly. We're only running a 7 gallon reservoir and close to half of that was gone by the time we got back due to evaporation and plant uptake. Every plant is doing great. Lettuce is good to go, tomatoes are enormous and the strawberry plants have flowers! So we're hoping those flowers will turn into strawberries in the near future. If anyone has questions about the system please feel free to post or send questions. I'm attempting to get a construction plan completed but it may still take a while to finish due to my work schedule.

Front view of the system. Tomato plants are huge!


Lettuce is ready to go. Just a slight amount of tip burn. May be due to the lack of new water being added to the system last week.


The strawberry plants are flowering. Hopefully they will bear the fruits soon.


The system is still holding up great. The roots are intertwined in the grow tubes. Pulling them out will likely damage the plants. We have hung up a fly catcher. We've noticed a few pests here and there so this has done wonders to rid the plants of these annoying little buggers.


The plan is working! Fresh vegetables in winter. We just had our first snowfall. Proof that this can work anywhere.

Last edited by pilotguide; 10-12-2009 at 07:20 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:18 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Just wondering how the plants are doing and if you have any new pictures?
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  #14  
Old 01-28-2010, 11:35 PM
eduardomachado eduardomachado is offline
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Interesting post/...
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  #15  
Old 01-31-2010, 02:08 AM
Montag Montag is offline
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bump.....any updates?
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  #16  
Old 01-31-2010, 02:15 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montag View Post
bump.....any updates?
Don't think so, the last time the person who started this thread logged into the forum was over 3 months ago.
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  #17  
Old 02-23-2011, 12:05 PM
ralphkaz ralphkaz is offline
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would love to see/hear an update as well!

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