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Resurrected system


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Old 05-10-2011, 03:37 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Default Resurrected system

I have finally resurrected one of my older systems. I have had had some problems getting it going, but finally got things situated OK for now. First problem was that the nutrient solution was getting cloudy, and had likely a fungus growing growing in it. I am still not sure if that was due to contamination of my growing medium, or something airborne that got into the system. The plants were small, and felt if I needed to start over with new plants I would. But first I would give it a try to flush the system. So I cleaned the system out, and flushed it with bleach water for 24 hours (30 min on/30 min off cycles). I think it was about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of bleach to 10 gallons of water (again I just figured I would need to start over anyway).

The next day I flushed the system with just plain water, dumped and flushed again (about 3-4 times). Then mixed a fresh batch of nutrient solution, and added a strong amount of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). After a couple of days the water started to become cloudy again, although without a noticeable odor. After a few days more it still looked the same but still no odor. So I just figured I would let it go and see what happens, adding more H2O2 every 2-3 days. Much to my surprise, the plants seemed to survive the bleaching. After about a week I noticed some residue at the bottom of the growing tube, it looked like fine dirt/dust. Their putting in sewer lines on the streets surrounding our house (including our street) at the time, kicking up a lot of dust. So I'm pretty sure the cloudy water that still remains is due to airborne dirt from construction.

At this time the temperatures were really starting to warm up, and the tiny seedlings began to suffer from heat stress because I was still using a above ground reservoir that was in direct sunlight most of the day, and the nutrient temps were getting too high. I had planed to use the in ground reservoir I used for my tomatoes, for this system (just not needing it so soon). So I began getting it ready, but yet again another problem. Over the winter without any water in the in ground trash cans to hold the shape. Ground water caused a collapse (like a sink hole) in the soft soil that back filled the hole I dug to put the trash can in the ground. That caused the side to cave in, and that caused cracks in the inner trash can.

So I dug out the trash can from the ground, pounded out the indent, filled it up with water to check for leaks. Surprisingly that wasn't leaking, so I put it back in the ground to use for the reservoir. But without the inner trash can, maintenance will be much more difficult (I can't afford to replace it). Anyhow, then I needed to dig a shallow trench to run the PVC tubing for the feed and return lines from the reservoir to the system. That was for two reasons, one so the PVC lines wouldn't be in direct sunlight heating up all day, and the other was so we wouldn't be tripping over it (especially at night). Then I insulated the the above ground sections to help keep the nutrients from warming up while they are flowing through the above ground tubes.

I still have more to do. I need to re-wrap the blue insulation around the main tube to get a tighter and more even wrap, then I need to create a shade cloth cover to help shade the foliage from our harsh sun. But scene I completed connecting the system to the in-ground reservoir, they plants have really picked up, and one even bloomed today.

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Old 05-11-2011, 06:32 PM
hydrophotobio hydrophotobio is offline
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Are you using the ground as your temperature control? Good job if you are!
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:52 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrophotobio View Post
Are you using the ground as your temperature control? Good job if you are!
Yes, that's why the reservoir is in the ground. It's the only economical nutrient chiller I have found so far. Although I have plans to test out a promising design later this summer, however I don't expect it to be as efficient as geothermal energy.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:06 AM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
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Hey GPS,

Nice geothermal insulator you got going there...You first had that installed a couple years back...right? I remember because that's what prompted me to put my res. underground...though not as deep as yours...

Looks good!

Todd
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:56 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hey Freshwater,
Ya, well not 2 years, but built that geothermal reservoir over a year ago, before last summer. It's the same one, and in the same hole in the ground that I did in this thread http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/for...y-tomatos.html. Although as I mentioned the inner trash can was damaged and has cracks that leak, and I don't have money to replace it. So I'm using it with just the one permanently in ground trash can. That makes maintenance much more difficult, and I plan to do a nutrient change in a few days. The pepper plants have been doing much better sense I connected them to the in ground reservoir, and with lots of flower buds too. I will take and post updated pictures after I do the nutrient change. I got some wood today to create a frame for the shade cloth cover (1x2's $0.98 ea, five of them), and plan to do that tomorrow.
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:40 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Well it's been a few weeks now, and I'm behind in posting updates. But better late than never. The peppers have been doing much better with the cooler nutrient temps. Well, except one, one of them got a case of stem rot, so I eventually pulled it out. I have also re-warped the blue insulation around the main tube, although I ran out of it near the end of the tube, and I'm still contemplating what to do about that (I don't have cash fore more).

I have also created a shade cloth cover for the peppers because we are going to reach well over 100 degrees daily in the near future. So I wanted to give them a little relief from the all day long direct sunlight. I'm reusing old shade cloth, and I don't remember what percentage of shade it is. I didn't really want more than 30%-40% shade, but I'm stuck reusing materials I already had lying around. I have only had the shade cloth in place for less than a week, so I'll have to see how well they do with it.

P.S.
I took a couple of the pictures today, and it's kind of breezy, so sorry some of the pics are a little blurry.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 05-29-2011 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:15 PM
T'Mater T'Mater is offline
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Can not wait till i'm able to grow all the thing's you grow. Thing's are looking good man.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:44 PM
Stan Stan is offline
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That's a very nice set up! Your plants are looking really good.

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