My First Hydroponics Foray
Hi all! I just built my first hydroponics kit this weekend and it seems to be going really well so far. I have one question, though, because I'm not sure if this is normal for hydroponic tomatos or not. I noticed this morning that the branches on the tomato are curling down a bit and the leaves are curling under a bit. I thought it might be environmental shock since I just transferred them into the pots on Saturday evening, or maybe they're getting too much water and I need to raise the net pots a little? Maybe someone here has some advice. :-)
Here's the specs on my system. It's very simple and completely home-made, so feel free to laugh.
I've got an 18 gallon resevoir (read rubbermaid tub from walmart) that is about 16.5 gallons full, about 3 feet long and 2 feet deep. I put a 10" air stone in it and I'm using a 10-30 gallon aquarium air pump to oxygenate the water. The net pots are home made, about 4.5 inches in diameter. In a former life they were slightly flexible plastic canning jars with screw on tops, but I cut net slots in the lower half of the jars. The net pots are supported by holes in the lide of the container, which are frayed and bent slightly so that they fit snuggly around the lip of the net pots without allowing any light into the tank. I used pea gravel for the growing medium. For the nutrient mix, I got a nursury mix 20-20-20 version of miraclegrow with micronutrients and mixed it up per the instructions on the box (1 tbsp per gallon of water). I made sure the clean almost all the potting soil off the root ball before I set up the tomatos in the pea gravel, and the whole setup is sitting out by my porch where it can get the most sun.
I did the planting on Saturday night, and I didn't notice the curling until this morning. The plants look otherwise very healthy and the stems are very turgid. If anyone has some insight about the curling or other general advice, I'd be obliged. :-)