Best hydroponics setup for tomatoes?
I am finishing up my first season of hydroponic tomatoes and I am thrilled with my experience. I want to see if anyone has any other suggestions on how to grow tomatoes. I grow outside and I have a decent amount of land (1.3acres) but I still try to grow as efficiently as possible. My idea for my first setup is this. It was made from 4' corrugated drain line (which is $40 for 100'!) snaked back and forth every eight feet. This allowed me to grow ~ 85 LF of garden in only a 3x8 piece of land. There is a 27w pump that runs 24/7 since there is so much foliage that I lose 15-20gal on a hot day! A pic will better explain there is a link at the bottom.
Anyway, the only flaw to the system is that I found the seams to sometimes leak (but is easily fixed) and one row was not pitched enough so the water could get too high and leak from the planted hole. The only other problem is that where the holes are cut that is where the plant goes. ie. if they grow very large they can't be moved. I guess that could be fixed by spacing the plants more since I know that they will grow large. I like this system a lot and would maybe like to build another one but better this time. But since I have never grown any other way I want to know if there may be a better way.
So if you think I should stick with this method how else can I improve it? Is there a better, cheaper way to grow tomatoes? What methods have you found to be easiest to maintain and expand if needed?
Here is a link that might be useful: