Flood and drain table exhaust system

biggyboyMarch 31, 2014

My 4'x3' Flood and drain table is covered with a lid that has holes in it to house 5" pots full of hydroton and a plant.
The cover protects the roots from the light and helps to keep the algae down. The cover, being white helps to reflect light back up to the lower leaves. The down side to the cover is it restricts fresh air from getting to the root area.

To help correct this issue I decided to take a computer fan and make up an adapter to allow the fan to be mounted to the cover. The fan exhausts air out from below the cover.
New air can enter via the small openings around the pots, the cover where it meets the table and down through the hydropton from the top of the pots.

i just put it together today, so it will be interesting to see what effect it has on the plants health and growth.

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Close up shot.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 8:33PM
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Very ingenious and clever, what we do in hydroponics is fantastic.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 8:43PM
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@ Robert.1943
Thanks Robert!
I love to DIY and make stuff up. Helps to keep the brain limber and myself out of trouble :-)


    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 8:52PM
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I can say it doesnt work in aero. I`d recommend keeping a close eye on the roots for any sign of discoloration, especially browning at the root tips. It doesnt take much airflow to dessicate delicate roots. The flood phase drives out stale air and the drain phase replaces it with fresh.

This post was edited by hex2006 on Tue, Apr 1, 14 at 3:32

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 3:29AM
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Hey hex, been awhile Since I've seen you post.
To the OP, what he said. The ebb and flow cycle is all that is required to provide air to the roots.
Also, the fan is just a source for light to reach the nutrients thus aiding in algae growth.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 10:15AM
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Day four, So far so good. The plants have responded really well. They have perked up and are growing well. The Swiss chard that was listless floppy and not growing well has taken off . It is standing up straighter and growing at a greater rate along with the rest of the plants.
The fan sits over an existing hole, where the inlet and outlet nutrient pipes sit. When I cut the hole original to hold a pot, I did not take into account the pipes being there and that the pot would not fit. The fan now helps to block some of the light from entering this hole which still isn't the greatest, because the light can enter through the spaces between the blades then make it's way through the pipe top screens and down the drain pipe and allow light into the reservoir. Or worse the light might make its way down the fill pipe through the pump body and then into the reservoir. But by luck only, So far the roots look good, nice and white. But I'll keep a very close eye on them. But I know this is probably just the calm before the storm and my luck will run out and root rot and uncontrollable algae growth will take over.

Thanks for the info, it's good to know about your personal findings when you tried using air exhausts on your flood tables and how you experienced root problems and algae growth in your reservoir.

I'll have to keep a close eye on mine to see when it happens. Then I can pull the plug.
It Would be a great waste of plants if the same thing happened to me as it did you! Forums like this are a great way to acquire knowledge and to get input on ideas that others have already experimented and tried. Saves us newbies from experimenting, wasting our time and trying things ourselves. Hey why reinvent the wheel when other have already tried it and it didn't work for them.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 1:14PM
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