Couple more easy (I hope) questions

thedude27January 14, 2006

Currently I am using a mediumless DWC (bubbler) system and having good results so far. However, I really enjoy playing around with this stuff and seeing how the different hydroponics systems work.

I bought some netted pots and was going to convert one of my mediumless buckets to a DWC using hydroton clay balls. My question is once I convert the bucket at what level do you keep the nutrient solution? Do you have to have the hydroton flooded completely or does it wick? Also, once the roots are dangling below the pots does this change where you keep the water level?

In addition I was considering trying my hand at ultrasonic growing. Currently I am growing in the corner of my living room (I enjoy looking at my plants) and was wondering how much noise one of those ultrasonic (say with a single 20mm disc) foggers make? Would it interfere with normal activities (reading/tv/etc) or are they about the same as an air pump?

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I just picked up an ultrasonic humidifer to experiment with (Reli On model at Walmart - $35). It is VERY quiet and it easily floods the lettuce table I have (root space volume approx 6 ft X 2 ft x 6 in).

I am really excited about trying the ultrasonic. Although it worked OK with the little rotary sprayers they were always clogging up - what a nuisance. Of course, now I'll probably be spening my time cleaning the fogger element. LOL

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 10:24AM
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Great, I was thinking they would be quiet because I'm sure the device itself would be but wasnt sure with how much it would have to splash the water around to make mist.

I think I'm going to pick up a couple of units from Mist maker world and put them in a tub. This should be fun :) even if it dosent work out, it will make this years halloween party much cooler :)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 12:09PM
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onewebfoot(z9 NorCal (SF Peninsula))

i hate to barrage any forum with monopolizing responses (however temporary), but i have experience with hydroton (clay balls) and DWC bubblers, based in 5 gallon buckets or other containers with net pots. One thing I read 4 years ago, that I never forgot, is that you want to leave maybe 1/2" to 1" of hydroton above the water level. Don't recall why, but plants like some portion of their roots exposed to air, rather than completely, comprehensively submerged in DWC solution. That is - very simply - do not overfill DWC. some air between roots and solution is allowable once a plant has a mature root ball, but I would not take it to extreme with DWC. You have to keep water level relatively stable, unless someone builds a case otherwise.

Yes, hydroton does have a little upward water wicking, but not much, and this is an advantage. it's easy to lay on enough hydroton to keep algae forming on the moist under-layer. hope this helps. -vince

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 1:49AM
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onewebfoot(z9 NorCal (SF Peninsula))

restate: "some air (more than an inch) between TOP of roots and solution level is allowable once a plant has a mature rootball..."

I love DWC (and drip, and ebb/flow, and anything, because it all truly works). DWC is classic and cheap and performs, however you rig it. But heed that 1/2" of 1" guideline - that is - 1/2" to 1" of roots are above water level, with hydroton. it's served me well. I know nothing of humidifiers.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 2:14AM
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Thanks Onewebfoot that definitley answered my question. I will be leaving some space there for air/helpful critters to grow.

BTW, I just ordered a couple of mist makers, well see how that works out. I've got a couple of tobacco plants sprouting to test them on :) If anyone has any questions about them I can fill you in when they arrive. If they work well I may try to do a larger outdoor grow using that 10 disc unit they have .

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 5:11PM
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How did the ultrasonic growing work out? I've read here the bubbler system is more prolific...?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 11:20AM
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I have tried a few odd experiments with growing lettuce in DWC.

First, I was getting tired of starting the seed in trays or whatever and then carefully transferring them into the cups I was using for my DWC and having to keep the water level high enough to reach the tiny seedling roots (sometimes having to top water some seedlings so they could catch up as I was dropping the level of the nutrient so there would be some air for the roots too.

Next, I tried some floating rafts for the lettuce. They tended not to be stable enough to support full sized plants or some seedlings would get water logged and others would dry out.

Most recently, I have been floating a thick layer of large perlite on the surface of the nutrient solution and simply letting the seedlings grow in that. It did work but that system isn't pleasing me either. As the lettuce plants get big and heavy they tend to sink down killing the lower leaves. I have plenty of bubbles going so the plants survived the deep submersion but it was kinda messy to deal with. Starting seeds on cotton balls on the perlite was easy though and they are relatively easy to transplant that way.

I'm still in search for "easiest/cheapest" way to grow lettuce. (since most of the year it is too hot outside here to grow it out in dirt, indoor hydroponics will continue to provide lettuce for us at least 9 months of the year.) Anyway, I'm now looking into using wicks to see If I can plant seeds directly in the cups and bypass the whole seed starting/transplanting step. I just need to figure out why the mop strings don't seem to be wicking water.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 10:37AM
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i would use and ebb n flo system with a perlite medium. that way nothings floating or sinking and you leave them where you plant them.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 8:25AM
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saw this and thought it'd make a nice layout for a fog system. enjoy

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 1:15PM
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