I have an outdoor hydroponics system consisting of 4inch pvc pipe and 72 3.5" netted pots. I am currently using only 35 of those spots on the system. The spots that are not being used are covered with duct tape (that stuff is amazing). I have a 40gal reservoir, with a 5inch circle bubbler being fed by two air pumps. The pump is pushing out 800 gal per hour which at this time is a bit much so i have tee'd it off with a valve before it comes out of the reservoir. That being said, there is constant movement in the reservoir mixing and bubbling.
The top off on the 40 gal reservoir is about 5 gal every 3 days as it is warming up here quite a bit. It is being topped off with tap water that has set out for nearly a week. The tap after being out a week has a pH of 7.3.
I am in the process of testing a mix of of organic nutrients from a factory that is well established in central Washington state. In collaboration with Oregon State Univ. and Texas A&M, we are working on our end to develop an organic mix that can be used in hydroponics. The mix consist of micronized chicken parts and live bacteria with humic acid.
Now with all that out of the way, I'll mention what I am having issues with. The temps in this area spiked from 60 to 90f in the past week. I have the reservoir wrapped in reflective insulation in hopes to bring the temps of the reservoir down. I've failed miserably at doing this at the temps during the hot part of the day have reached nearly 88f and over night have dropped to 64f. This alone is an issue that I am working on by building a chiller to accommodate such high temps. Any thoughts or suggestions on how to better control temps are welcomed.
Issue number two is the pH balance. There isn't a pH balance in site. In the evening its ~8.15 then I add 3 tbsp of Citric acid and by the morning it is ~6.1. After a warm day again, the pH is back to ~8 in the evening. On the weekends when I am home, I can add mid day and bring it back down to 6 but at the end of the day it is back to 8. Any thoughts on how to correct this would be welcomed. I am almost convinced this is normal and that I neednt be so lazy.
Lastly, on the inside of the pipe, there is a film of sediment almost like moss.... Im certain that is a poor description of what it looks like. I am waiting for the lab to get through diagnosing what the sediment is. Its brown and when on the roots appears slimy. I can take the netted pot out of the system and swish in water and it all comes off revealing a beautiful system of white and dingy white root matrix. This sediment easily comes off the inside of the pipe when touched with a finger. Any suggestions on what this could be would be helpful, although I understand not knowing what is in the nutrients can cause issues when determining this.
Thanks a bunch for reading this quite lengthy post and responding.