From germination to the bubbler...

heembo(WA)November 16, 2004

Hi everyone! Excited to be here - I am new to hydroponics and have many many questions :)

I have done quite a bit of research so far, and have built myself a simple bubbler system out of a rubbermaid container, an air pump, two stones, and some tubing.

I am currently germinating some lettuce seeds to experiement with, but I am not sure how to go from where I am now to the point where I put them into the bubbler system.

I am using peat pellets for now, as I don't have ready access to rockwool. When do I move the seedling to the container with the rocks in it? How will the roots get any water if they aren't long enought to hang down into the water? Do I have to manually water them from atop for a while?

Hope this makes sense...



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No sir, it doesn't make any sense to me.

Do you have pictures you can post?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2004 at 10:44AM
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adrianag(AL z7)

Yes, you will need to hand water until the roots reach the level of the nutrient.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2004 at 6:15PM
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Willard, I don't have any pictures to post at the moment.

Thanks, Adriana. What do you use to hand water them?

Thanks again for the quick responses.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2004 at 7:52PM
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Your design is the same as mine. I would keep the bubblers to oxygenate the water too.If you can fit a small (cheap) centrifugal aquarium waterpump to your system in order to irrigate the plants, all would work fine.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 11:55AM
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adrianag(AL z7)

A simple watering can will be fine.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 12:33PM
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Hmm...That kind of raises the question of how much of the media pot should be immersed in the nutrient solution and how much capillary action occurs in the particular media being used.

And what is the best "capillary level" to root ball distance? I'm guessing it should be equal to the middle of the root ball. You think?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2004 at 4:33PM
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Learn some ideas here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Learn here

    Bookmark   November 22, 2004 at 5:25PM
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Thanks everyone for the great follow ups! Great information on a very interesting subject.

Ed - your pages are very helpful to a beginner - spells out and ILLUSTRATES processes I was a little confused with. One more question for everyone - once the transferred seedlings start to really take off in the bubbler, do you have to "upgrade" their containers? Seems like this would be a royal pain in the backside...



    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 9:56AM
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Cornell has put out an online book on hydroponic lettuce production:

As you see they change the raft hole size & spacing as the plants grow.

Lettuce is transplanted after 12 days:

The GW FAQ also has some propagation tips:

It is possible the peat will drop your pH although it may not affect your lettuce. Here is a PDF file on lettuce started in peat:

    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 10:24AM
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The website of Rutgers and the others you mentioned are super. Those are the sites I would like to see more of.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 4:53PM
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how big should the sprouts be before putting them in the cups????

    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 8:14PM
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