newbie looking to set up first system

stakeJanuary 22, 2013

All:

I am in the process of re-tasking two aquariums to hydroponics. I have bought some nutrient solution, net pots, air stones etc. My original thought was to build a plywood plates across the tops of the aquariums and cut holes for the pots...is this folly? I will be growing mostly smaller herbs, tomatoes, maybe cucumbers,,in a clay pebbles medium and have grow lights....in this plan...

1, will the plywood hold up?
2, I am unsure about maintaining the water level necessary vs drowning the roots...

any suggestions would be welcome. TIA!

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grizzman

My only concern with plywood is it creates a natural environment for molds/bacteria/etc to grow on. With what you're growing I feel pretty sure the plywood will be ample. maybe even overkill. have you considered styrofoam insulation?
If its a small aquarium (maybe 12"-14" across) that'd probably work.
Also, make sure to paint the glass light proof to discourage algae growth.
As for the drowning the roots issue, just make sure you aerate the roots the same way you would fish. With a waterfall or air stones.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 7:55PM
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cole_robbie(6)

The plywood will not hold up. The water will dissolve the glue, plus it will swell, warp, and grow mold. Foil-faced styrofoam insulation is a much better idea.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 10:15PM
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carb

I agree, styro is the way to go. Plywood will suck up water vapor and warp. Plus, styro is way reusable. You can clean algae on foam without harming it.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 10:54PM
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halfway(5a)

Styro or plastic.

Keep wood out of any equation involving liquid, soil, and potential fungus/bugs.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Indoor Growing Adventure

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 7:59AM
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Ctv2

Don't use plywood. It will rot and become a breeding ground for bacteria. I would use sheets of acrylic that you can get at a hardware store. make sure you paint your tank and lid either black or white so that no light gets through.

Make sure you have an airstone and you won't have to worry about drowning them. Most aquarium or pet stores have a decent selection. The more dissolved oxygen in the water the better.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 7:41PM
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hydro707

For a noobie, maybe try this hydroponic system. This package comes with everything you need to get started: http://www.ehydroponicssystems.com/hydroponics/rainforest-66-6-site/

Here is a link that might be useful: ehydroponicssystems.com

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:28AM
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stake

All:
I am uploading a pic of the system...it still needs some mylar, I think an emergency blanket it the ticket...Waiting for my first sprouts germinate....any comments welcome

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 12:25PM
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cole_robbie(6)

Not bad at all!

Mylar is overrated. A white wall is almost as good. When your plants get past seedling stage, you will probably want more light. You'll also want a fan to blow gently across the plants.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 12:07PM
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halfway(5a)

Looks good. What did you use for hangers and what are the wattages of the bulbs?

Well done!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Indoor Growing Adventure

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 12:36PM
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stake

the lights x2 40watt, 1600lumens, T12s, the hangers are simple eye hooks in the ceiling and some small chain.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 11:56AM
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