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i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

Posted by abacoian 10 (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 7, 12 at 15:03

I love gardening. I work a m-f 9-5, nothing to do with gardening. I also love photography, the local chamber has started a Friday market that I've been able to get off from my regular job and sell my photos at.

I decided to buy a few plants retail to sell at the market as an experiment, it was succesful. I'm always growing different plants and plan to take them to the market.

I'm looking into global buckets / earthbox for hopefully more effective growing, I know not hydroponic.

Am hoping that if I could get / start to learn about a small hydroponic system that maybe a few plants might grow a little faster. But I'm also curious about the cost of whatever kind of nutrients I will need.

I'm disabled (wheelchair) so looking for something simple to start with, I found this: http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/product/emily-foots-garden-hydroponic/hydroponic-systems

Please tell me what you think and I appreciate all ideas and wisdom, thank you,

Ian


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

How much are you going to charge for each plant? It must be a bundle if your willing to spend $82+ just to grow 6 plants for sale. In order to make that profitable at all, you would to charge about $20 for each plant ($15 just to break even in less than 6 months). Have you considered building your own hydroponic system/s? You can build a very similar system to the one in the link for less than $20. The key to building your own system is designing it for the plants you plan to grow. As for nutrients, the nutrients are cheaper than the water if you get them from the right source. What do you plan to grow? And to what size?


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

Hello abacoian. Welcome to the forum.
In a situation such as yours you might look into a drip irrigation system or a flood and drain system. either would allow you to grow your plants in individual pots so, once to a size suitable for selling, don't need to be transferred.
Search this forum and you'll find a plethora of information on each. If I'm not mistaken, homehydro uses a drip system so could probably provide some insight into that system.
greenhouse megastore sells one gallon pots very cheap. you'll need to decide what kind of media you're going to grow in as that will somewhat dictate available nutrients. If you use a soil based media, you can use off the shelf fertilizers such as miracle grow, though its not a true hydro system in that case. with a soiless media such as lava rock/ hydroton or perlite/vermiculite those fertilizers aren't usually appropriate. in that case, you'd be best to buy a simple 2 or 3 part hydro solution to make sure you want to go that route before commiting to a larger fertilizer purchase.
A properly irrigated and fertilzed plant grown in a soil based drip system will perform almost as well as a hydroponic system, so that is something to consider.
Hydroponics would probably benefit your situation best in making clones to be placed in a soil based media, but that may be a bit further down the road in your business plan.
hope that helps. feel free to ask more questions if you'd like.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

thank you for the insight guys. Yep, I'm not ready to invest $80 yet, but I know some invesments are worth it. I'd love to learn how to make my own system, I will search the terms yu guys listed. I'm interested in growing a few different plants and wouldn't sell them at a high price. I'm thinking easy to get seed plants like blanket flower, salvia, sand dune daisy and others as I come across them. Also interested in growing ixora. Also want to do hibiiscus cuutings and things like coco plums and maybe sea grapes. Am wondering if hydroponics works well with cuttings? My one plant that I might be able to sell a bit higher is minature poinciana, the flowers are beautiful and I have access to seeds.

I do hope to be sucessful and need income like everyone else but at the same time I'm going to learn, and enjoy it sales or no sales. Preferably with of course:)


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

Every hydro machine you see for sale can be built for a small fraction of the asking price, and you can usually do a better job.

The defect of that machine is that it uses an air pump instead of a water pump. Water is aerated by surface agitation, just like the wind blowing over a lake. Air bubbles do that a little bit when they pop at the surface, however from the time they leave the air stone, they do nothing at all until they get to the top of the reservoir level.

It's much better to use a water pump to agitate the surface of the reservoir, even if it is only a small fountain pump. You can pump water sideways at the top, or you can built a manifold of pvc pipe and spray the water back down against the surface; the latter way is best.

Just buy some hydroton clay pellets, net pots, a bin of some sort with a lid, and a water pump and you can make that thing very easily. You can use a drill and hole saw to cut round roles if you use round net pots. General Hydroponic nutrients are about $30 a gallon, but they are very popular and time-tested. A gallon each of bloom & micro would last you years in a machine that size.

If you put it outside, make the reservoir tank white for use in the hot summer sun. Keeping the nutrient solution cool is the biggest challenge in hot weather. Shade helps.

If it's physically hard for you to move water around, get in the habit of using a transfer pump and hose. Good luck with everything.

Here is a link that might be useful: Too expensive, but fun to look


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

http://hydro-gardens.com/hg/fertilizers/chem-gro-our-most-popular-hobby-formula-10-8-22/

you can get this for about 2$ a pound shipped if you buy 25lbs. cheaper if you buy more. i usually use half strength and it work good on all the plants i've tried. you must add epsom salts (mgso4) which you can get at the dollar store.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

What cole said about aeration is correct. another popular method is to use an 'air pump' to lift the water so it will waterfall back into the rez. just search this forum and you'll find instructions / pics of how one is made. the benefit of an air pump vs a water pump is it is not submerged and so doesn't add heat to the rez.
Also, if you're going to paint your rez (it IS a good idea), paint it black first and them white. black will block out the light from the nutes and white will reflect the light.
As for what rebel said, he is correct. buying a powder in bulk is a lot cheaper. I was suggesting you buy a small qty of GH nutes to test before buying more. they sell the individual components in quart size also.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

It is true that you can build your own hydroponic systems for a fraction of the price of a store bought one. But it's not true at all that air pumps don't work/do anything in hydroponics. Air pumps provide a great source of oxygen to both the water, as well as directly to the plants roots from the rising air bubbles. If you are having difficulty growing plants using an air pump there's something wrong with how you planed/set up your system. Most likely using a air pump that is to small to do the job, air stones that clog and/or restrict air flow, etc. etc. etc... Bottom line, is that water absorbs oxygen from any contact with air. Especially including the surface area of air bubbles. The longer the contact, as well as the more air bubbles and smaller they are, the more oxygen molecules can be transferred.

If you want to test the theory, build a small water culture system using a air pump ans air stones to create the air bubbles. Grow a/some plants in that system for a few weeks, then unplug the air pump to see what happens. The plants will begin to die within a day or so.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

Air pumps provide a great source of oxygen to both the water, as well as directly to the plants roots from the rising air bubbles.

The problem is that the surface tension of the water keeps any of that oxygen from actually going into the water. We see a bubble, but the roots can't. In any body of water, 90% of the oxygen is still contained within the top one inch. That oxygen is there from surface aeration, and that's what those bubbles do when they pop at the surface. That's what makes air pumps work. I'm not saying they don't work at all, but it is much easier to simply stream the water back down into the reservoir with a water pump. When water from the top one inch is pushed deeper with the down flow, you aerate the reservoir deeper than about an inch. And that does not happen with an air pump...unless you are using the air pump to move water, as with the popular "waterfarm" devices.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

hi guys,

thank you for all the info, i will look for a good step by step of how to build something that will work. Can you make a hydro syystem that doesn't need elctricity? I will be looking for something that can work outside so I don't have to worry about lighting.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

Yes, but it's not easy. You need energy of some sort, even if it is not exactly electricity. You could try a solar cell to power a small air pump or a water pump. There are also designs that attempt to use the wind to aerate the nutrient solution by catching it in a big funnel and piping that into the reservoir for raft hydroponics. It would work if you had consistent wind.

Or you could power it yourself by building a flood & drain bed that could go at least a day before needing to be flooded again. Once a day you'd just hand pump the water from the reservoir to the plant bed and let it drain back.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

The problem is that the surface tension of the water keeps any of that oxygen from actually going into the water.
This theory is not true at all. Not from either a surface, or underwater standpoint. Fact is, the longer the water bubbles are in contact with the water, the more ability they have to exchange molecules.

That is a simple fact, and one of the things I was talking about when I mentioned that if you are having problems, it was dew to your system design. Try looking into ozone treatment for hydroponic systems. The key to it working is how deep the water chamber is, and how long the bubbles have to rise. Thus the surface contact time of the air bubbles as they rise.

We see a bubble, but the roots can't
Why the heck would they need to see the air bubbles to be able to benefit???? I cant see air bubbles come in contact with my nose and mouth. But I know darn well I'm breathing air (or I would be dead)? Are you somehow under the impression that if you cant see it it doesn't exist??? Last time I checked plants didn't even have eyeballs to be able to see bubbles with anyway.

In any body of water, 90% of the oxygen is still contained within the top one inch
I'm not sure where you get your infromation from, but the only way that is possible is in Stagnant water. Even then I'm sure that's imposable, unless under extreme conditions. Truth is that the oxygen molecules tend to rise in water (like air bubbles). So in Stagnant water most of the oxygen molecules will be near the surface. But even then the presage is highly dependent on water temp, depth. And that doesn't even include the factor of the plants roots absorb the oxygen, and the bigger the plants the more oxygen they need to absorb.

That oxygen is there from surface aeration, and that's what those bubbles do when they pop at the surface
That (theory) is absolutely 100% untrue. Oxygen molecules aren't only absorbed at the "WATERS TOP SURFACE" regardless of means. There absorbed from any contact with air. It is true that the more the water surface agitation, the more (churning) and exchanging of molecules. But exchanging of molecules don't only happen at the top surface. Rising air bubbles provide a lot of water aggregation and churning if design it that way (if not, it wont).

I'm not saying they don't work at all, but it is much easier to simply stream the water back down into the reservoir with a water pump.
Easier? Yes! But much less effective.

Easier? Even if it were, if done correctly is much less effective. Then there is the cost of the pump to consider. Depending on the size of the system and air pump needed, the cost of the air pump verses even the smallest water pump, a air pump is about 1/3 the cost of a water pump. the cheapest water pump I know of is about $30, the cheapest air pump I know of is about $6. Even running two of the air pumps is about 1/3 of the cost of a water pump.

Falling water is a great source for adding dissolve oxygen to the water (if done right). However nothing replaces rising air bubbles in the system to-date either. Combing both methods is best, but if you need to choose between both methods (for whatever reason), my choice would depend on two things. The size of the system and how many plants, and the type of plants being grown system. That imply's they were being grown in a water culture system (the only system that submerges roots on water).

When water from the top one inch is pushed deeper with the down flow, you aerate the reservoir deeper than about an inch. This is not a true theory. First off, there is no truth to the statement that oxygen is only absorbed at the waters surface. Oxygen molecules are absorbed from any and all air bubbles as long as the rising air bubbles are in contact with the water. It is true that water circulation will circulate dissolved oxygen. But has nothing to do with dissolved oxygen levels at any water depth.

When water from the top one inch is pushed deeper with the down flow, you aerate the reservoir deeper than about an inch. And that does not happen with an air pump...unless you are using the air pump to move water, as with the popular "waterfarm" devices.
Perhaps you should try building a water culture system yourself. First I agree that that commercially built systems are way overpriced. However you oblivious haven't learned how and why a "water farm" system works. Or even how the water culture system works either.. It has everything to do with proving a steady source of moisture, air, oxygen to the roots. The twist (old twist for the water farm system) is using a air pump (witch uses less electricity to run) to provide the moisture to the roots. Absolute nothing to do with providing oxygen. So if your basing your theories on the water farm system, Well rethink them.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

Why the heck would they need to see the air bubbles to be able to benefit???? I cant see air bubbles come in contact with my nose and mouth. But I know darn well I'm breathing air (or I would be dead)?
you do realize we don't normally breath air bubbles don't you? trying closing your eyes and catching air bubbles underwater and let us know how that works. that's a closer analogy.

Fact is, the longer the water bubbles are in contact with the water, the more ability they have to exchange molecules.
actually it has a lot more to do with area of contact than time of contact. (not to say time isn't a consideration) and an air bubble that erupts at the surface of the water creates WAY more surface area than the bubbles rising to the surface. (again, bubbles rising does help, but not as much as the eruption of bubbles at the surface)

the cheapest water pump I know of is about $30, the cheapest air pump I know of is about $6
actually, you can buy water pumps in the range of $5-$10 fairly easily. they won't lift the water more than about 2 inches above the waters surface, but for the purpose of circulating water and "waterfall" type aeration, you don't need it lifted more than that.though admittedly, I would rather use an airlift to create said waterfall. that way you also get the benefit of the air bubbles in the water column.

Hey Cole_Robbie, I forgot to mention;
Welcome to the forums.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

Perhaps you should try building a water culture system yourself.

HAHA!!!! Gee whiz, perhaps I shall. What an idea.

I was trying to use small words so that everyone can understand. We can get into a more technical discussion later to try to help you understand the concept of surface tension of water. It's unfortunate, though, that anyone reading this might believe the things you are saying.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

Oxygen molecules are absorbed from any and all air bubbles as long as the rising air bubbles are in contact with the water.

From what I am now reading in dissertations on waste water management, that is technically true in a very small amount. But the amount is so tiny, less than one percent as compared to surface agitation, that it might as well not exist.

You could just ask any forum about aquariums what aerates better - an air stone or a power head. Air stones are mostly used to look pretty. No one takes them seriously as an aeration method.

http://www.ratemyfishtank.com/articles/104

"Air stones are placed in an aquarium to produce bubbles. It is not actually the bubbles that provide the oxygen to the water (a common misconception), but it is their disturbance of the surface and ability to provide more water circulation that helps to raise the concentration of oxygen in the tank."

Have fun with your air pump; I think it's great for anyone to be into hydro. There's nothing wrong with having a rinky-dink little system. What I am against is the idea that such a system is the end-all be-all of hydroponics. You're never going to get better if you can't see your shortcomings. And neither will anyone else reading this.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

Cole_Robbie

It's unfortunate, though, that anyone reading this might believe the things you are saying.
My sentiments exactly!!!
The last thing I want is for some new hydroponic grower to read untrue and/or misleading infromation. Then wonder why there plants are suffering, then give up thinking that growing hydroponically doesn't work.

I was trying to use small words so that everyone can understand.
Ah, you don't need to use small words just for us dumb hicks in a hydroponics forum. Heck the aliens that abducted me and billy bob learned us our words after they got done sticking that probe in our butts. Don't worry about all that medical marijuana we smoke, if we see double we just divide by half to get the right number of letters... Ain't that right billy bob?

We can get into a more technical discussion later to try to help you understand the concept of surface tension of water.
I understand the concept of surface tension just fine. I just don't agree with your perceptions. Your more than welcome to try and convince me of your beliefs, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Not unless you have some new documented data from creditable sources. Not just some bloggers website, article or book from some unknown author without qualifications, sellers website etc. etc. etc.. But some real ""creditable source"" where the persons credentials/qualifications can be verified. As well as the details of how the creditable sources come to their conclusions. There are many variables to consider, not to mention the testing methods to consider the validity of.

I want to know how you can test the transfer of oxygen molecules on the surface of the water as the bubbles break? As well as how you test the rising bubbles as their rising. What type of sensor do you have to attach to the air bubble as they rise, and how does it detect the transfer (or as you claim lack of) oxygen molecules as they do rise at various water depths, water pressure etc. etc.. As long as your at it the more water pressure pushing on the air bubbles, the more the air bubble is compressed.

Thus the air pressure of the air bubble increases (pushing back). Water is not compressible, but air is. So the more compressed the air bubble is, the higher the PSI. Playing to your theory, where is the point that the PSI of the air bubble is greater than water? But none of witch has anything to do with the transfer of molecules (oxygen or otherwise) between either.

From what I am now reading in dissertations on waste water management, that is technically true in a very small amount. But the amount is so tiny, less than one percent as compared to surface agitation, that it might as well not exist.
I cant control what you read, who wrote it, or even how you interpret it. Key phrase "how you interpret it."

P.S. Have you read anything on Ozone treatment in hydroponic systems to control pathogens, and how it works? Are you aware that Ozone treatments just help oxygenate the water, and the key factor in how well it works is how much contact time the air bubbles have to interact with the water (before they reach the waters surface)? Thus is why it's important to use tall columns of water for air bubbles to rise in (for maximum contact time).

You could just ask any forum about aquariums what aerates better - an air stone or a power head. Air stones are mostly used to look pretty. No one takes them seriously as an aeration method.

First, I don't take anyone's word in a forum as fact.

Second, I'm well aware of the use of falling water in aquariums as a source to oxygenate the water. One aquarium builder posted pictures of a system for that purpose he builds for tanks in the 1000+ gallon range in another hydroponics forum over a year ago. The concept is nothing new to me, and I believe falling water works well to aerate water.

Fact is the commercial aquarium builders design was basically simple, and I think it's the best I have ever seen. It used falling water, but it still involved using air bubbles (best of both worlds). It was nothing more than a tube that rose above the water level, used a manifold to create all the air bubbles at the bottom of the aquarium. Feed by a large air pump/small air compressor (air only, not a water pump at all). The pressure of all the rising air bubbles rising in the tube lifted the water where it fell back down from above the aquariums water level. If a simple water pump did the same job, there would be no reason for him to create a system that employed both methods of oxygenating the water.

Third, Rising air bubbles are still much better for plants roots (there is no getting around that), even if you use falling water as well. Were not growing fish in hydroponics, were growing plants. And fish don't have roots that benefit greatly from the contact with the air bubbles. In hydroponics, it's not just about dissolved oxygen levels in the water, but also about keeping the roots from suffocating (lack of air). Air bubbles help keep the roots from suffocating too. I'll use small words for you Cole, that is the air bubbles "helps them to breath while being submerged underwater."

"Air stones are placed in an aquarium to produce bubbles. It is not actually the bubbles that provide the oxygen to the water (a common misconception),
Common misconception only to you and those growing fish instead of plants, and in rinky-dink aquariums (see above two paragraphs) .

but it is their disturbance of the surface and ability to provide more water circulation that helps to raise the concentration of oxygen in the tank.
This may be the only thing we agree on, even if it's not for the same reason. It is very true the air bubbles create movement in the water that helps circulate it, and water circulation is very important for the plants as well. To circulate all of the molecules the plants use (not just oxygen).

There's nothing wrong with having a rinky-dink little system.
Seriously, you feel the need to insult anyone who doesn't agree with you or build a system like you would??? Are you adult enough to see how childish that is??? Trust me, if you want to trade insults, I'm more than willing to oblige. I would hate to do that to the forum, but I wont let insults go unanswered (ask anyone).

What I am against is the idea that such a system is the end-all be-all of hydroponics.
Go back and read the thread from the beginning!!! You obviously missed a lot!!! There was never any statements from me (or anyone) that suggested that falling water wont help aerate water. Just that in hydroponics (not aquariums) rising air bubbles are much more beneficial for the plants than falling water is. As well as if in a smaller system (like most every new grower just starting out in hydroponics is) builds, a air pump is much cheaper than a water pump, thus easier on their budget.

You're never going to get better if you can't see your shortcomings
Your shortcomings are yours, not mine.

Bottom line transfer of oxygen molecules have many variables including water temp, the starting dissolved oxygen level to begin with, air bubble contact time. Not to mention the saturation point of dissolved oxygen in water. No mater what method you choose to aerate water, once the saturation point is reached, how much oxygen can be transferred is highly dependent on the original dissolved oxygen level as well as other factors (not just the method used to aerate).


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

So Cole believes waterfalls work better.
HH believes air stones / bubbles work better.

Got it! everything else posted is just extended gibberish, sarcasm, and one-ups-manship.
Basically, much ado.
Bickering back and forth does nothing for your plight nor does it increase you credibility.
As Robert Hunter put it simply:
"Please don't dominate the rap jack, if you've got nothing new to say."


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

o3 is about a million times more reactive than o2. It makes no sense to compare the two. When your air pump gets hit by lightning and starts pumping o3, then yes, it will do a fine job.

in hydroponics (not aquariums) rising air bubbles are much more beneficial for the plants than falling water is.

Why? What's the difference in aerating water for fish versus aerating water for plant roots? It's still water.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

o3 is about a million times more reactive than o2. It makes no sense to compare the two.
I am well aware that the extra oxygen molecule is unstable, and thus makes a big difference in the amount of oxygen molecules that ultimately get transferred. But that's not the point, and not a factor in my point. If falling water (or even rising air bubbles of only o2) did the same job, there would be no need for the whole ozone treatment process in the first place. They would just use a larger water pump for more falling water (heck of a lot cheaper). But o2 or o3, the process of how and why the oxygen molecules get transferred is still the same, just much more are transferred using ozone treatment (because of the extra unstable molecule).

What you are not getting is the reason for the deep water chamber (with the rising air bubbles in it) in the first place. If the oxygen molecules were only transferred at the water's top surface, there would be no need for the tall columns of water with the air bubbles in ozone treatment. It would simply mean that there is more oxygen molecule transfer when using o3 rather than using o2 at the waters surface, with or without the tall water column or not (because you say that's the only place the molecules can exchange). But that's simply not the case, there's a very good reason for the tall columns of water for the rising air bubbles. The air bubbles need contact time with the water in order to have time for the oxygen molecules to transfer. The shorter the contact time, the less transfer (the point).

That's also why the commercial aquarium builder I mentioned uses tall columns of rising air bubbles in their large aquariums (not a water pump). Not only do they get the benefit of the air bubbles long contact time with the water in the tall columns as they rise, but they also get the benefit of falling water as well, and without the need for another pump. That's why I say it's the best design I have seen yet.

Why? What's the difference in aerating water for fish versus aerating water for plant roots? It's still water.
Go back and re-read what I wrote. Beyond the fact that the more contact time the air bubbles have with the water, the more oxygen molecules are transferred. That is depending on the waters dissolved oxygen level, and saturation point at that water temp in the first place. But there is another very good benefit of rising air bubbles (you wont get using falling water) in hydroponic systems. But you'll need to go back and re-read my posts. I mentioned it at least twice, and even in the very last post I posted in this thread. It's a waist of time and effort to re-wright things over and over again when people don't even bother to read it in the first place. But I'll give you a hint on what to look for if you really want to know or care, it's not just about the waters dissolved oxygen levels (thus why hydroponics is different than for fish).


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

The problem with comparing waste water to a hydro reservoir is that waste water typically contains a high level of surfactants in the form of soap and detergents. Those reduce the surface tension of the water, and make the rising bubble method somewhat more effective. It's also easier to pump air into sewage than to pump it up spray it downward due to clogging issues that would not be present in a hydro reservoir.

Sorry, but you're just going to have to spell it out for me why fish tank water aeration is any different from hydro reservoir aeration. If you are saying that air bubbles work because they move water, then fine. Just skip the bubbles and move the water instead with a water pump. Other than only having $6 to spend, there is no reason to use the air pump.

I don't believe your magic bubble theory. Even if it were true, falling water pushes down bubbles, too. Are those bubbles not just as magical?


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

First, I never said anything about using waist water at all, that's your issue. I'm speaking about growing plants in a well balanced nutrient solution, not sewage. Though there may be some dedicated organic growers that would argue it's all one in the same thing. But I use good quality water.

Second, I simply don't care if you believe me or not, that has never been an issue, or even a concern of mine. I don't get paid to get people to believe me, I don't even get paid to post anything. My only concern is for the new growers, and that they aren't mislead. Then having them give up after all that time, money and effort.

I work hard to promote hydroponics for growing crops other than pot. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry is growing pot hydroponically. The field of hydroponic agriculture would grow ten fold if there were more people using it to grow food. I have spent the past 4 years towards that goal, and plan to continue for the rest of my life. That's what I care about. Not if somebody in a forum that thinks they have reinvented the wheel believes me (there are 100,000 of those out there).


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RE: Not sure why it posted early

Not sure why my last post posted before I was done, but I guess I'll finish it in this post.

Sorry, but you're just going to have to spell it out for me why fish tank water aeration is any different from hydro reservoir aeration.
If you cant read, I can't help you. If you don't understand what I said, I would be happy to elaborate, but it wouldn't make a darn bit of difference for me to say it again if you aren't able to read it in the first place. After all, I already mentioned it at least twice now. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me three times, well that is so bad they don't even have a saying for that yet. I'm not biting, if you care, you'll need to do some of the work. Heck, I even gave you a very good hint on what to look for to make it even easier for you (since you missed it twice).

If you are saying that air bubbles work because they move water, then fine. Just skip the bubbles and move the water instead with a water pump. Other than only having $6 to spend, there is no reason to use the air pump.
Well circulating the water is defiantly a factor, and a good one. But any water pump would do that as well, and not even close to my point about it's not just about the dissolved oxygen levels. That's why I mentioned early on that you should build your own water culture system. I wasn't trying to be sarcastic. But only by doing so, and observing how it works, would you understand just how all the small things in the design work. And only then be able to make it better the second time around (by controlling those factors to benefit the plants better).

I don't believe your magic bubble theory. Even if it were true, falling water pushes down bubbles, too. Are those bubbles not just as magical?
As I mentioned in the last post, I don't care what you believe. But to answer your question, YES. They are just as magical. Though it's much more difficult to push air bubbles down underwater than it is to let them rise naturally. How far down the air bubbles go, drastically affects it's contact time with the water.

A small air pump can easily bubble air from a few feet below the waters surface. But to push the air bubbles down to the same depth is drastically harder. and a water pump would only push air bubbles a few inches below the surface unless the water fall is extremely high. It would take a water-jet to do so. That may very well be the reason you believe that oxygen molecules are only transferred at the top surface/few inches. That is as far down as your air bubbles get.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

In regards to the use of an air pump and air stone: Gee, I wish I had known that it wouldn't work before I grew my current tomatoes in a DWC with an aquarium pump and a singl air stone. They are just turning red. There are Twenty six tomatoes on one plant and eighteen on another with more blossoms every day.
Earl


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

You can dig a lake with a tablespoon, too, and that also works. It's just not very smart. I would guess that those tomatoes might look ok, but they will have little meat, tough skin, and not be very sweet. A grape or determinate cherry kind might be edible, especially in winter when that's all you had, but they're never going to compare to summer garden tomatoes. At least that is most peoples' experience with hydro tomatoes.

If you want to use an air pump and a bucket,
Worm's Way has WaterFarms for $45: http://www.wormsway.com/detail.aspx?sku=WF201

It is an exceedingly superior design to a typical bubbler bucket. Try one side-by-side to your bubbler bucket if you must. The difference in roots is extraordinary.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

One mans tablespoon is another mans bulldozer. It's not always the tools, but how you choose to use them that makes the biggest difference. The WaterFarms system is NOT a water culture system. It's very different, a drip system that uses a air pump to push up water into the drip ring. At best it could be considered a drip/water culture system depending on the water level, and/or if the plant is big enough so the roots hang down into the reservoir. But it's still primarily a drip system, and drip systems are much more forgiving.

Personally for large plants like tomatoes, I would prefer to use a drip system myself. That is mostly based on the large size of the root mass. But regardless, a drip system is much different than a water culture system. Drip system supply's much more air and oxygen to the roots than any other system type other than aeroponics. It's the typically larger amount of growing media used in drip systems that hold the moisture and air pockets without suffocating the roots. Making a drip system vastly different than a water culture system (not the pump). The plants roots are much less susceptible to suffocation in a drip system. Depending on the type of plants being grown, that's what makes a drip system design typically better than a water culture, not the pump used for delivering the air or water.

Now with that said, I know of many people that like the WaterFarms system, however you can build one from scratch yourself for about $15. Even less if you do what I do and go around to your local restaurants, and ask them to save the buckets they would normally just be throwing away for you. You can easily use round five gallon buckets for the waterfarm design (that's even larger than the 4 gallon square buckets), but if you want to use the square buckets, restaurants are always tossing them out as well (usually even food grade).

Heck you could get a large volume air pump for $30-$60, and use it to run many buckets at the same time. You could easily build a 8-12 bucket setup like the water farm design for under $100 if you get the buckets for free from restaurants. Even if you don't want to look for buckets, you can get new ones at Home depot for about $2.50 ea. Two buckets per plant, that' about $5 per plant for the buckets. Grow 10 plants that's about $50, but free with a little work asking around.


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

abacoian - If a person has the right tools and can use them the sky is the limit - well except for the cash part.

Searching U tube will get some good results. Plus give a good education on the types of systems being used but not always the most accurate info--
================================================

This is a different method of aeration - but the tech data and testing seems well thought out.

http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/19/1/212.full

I buy nutrient solution with no bio active needs, so I can use H2O2.

I use an air stone in my grow tubs because of standing water. I use air stones in a 5 gallon pail for circulation of the water. I aerate the water the day before to remove chlorine, for solution changes.

Hydroponic design is like inventing the wheel over and over doing the same thing a different way.

>)))))*>


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RE: i know nothinng about hydroponics, please help me start

abacoian - If a person has the right tools and can use them the sky is the limit - well except for the cash part.

Searching U tube will get some good results. Plus give a good education on the types of systems being used but not always the most accurate info--
================================================

This is a different method of aeration - but the tech data and testing seems well thought out.

http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/19/1/212.full

I buy nutrient solution with no bio active needs, so I can use H2O2.

I use an air stone in my grow tubs because of standing water. I use air stones in a 5 gallon pail for circulation of the water. I aerate the water the day before to remove chlorine, for solution changes.

Hydroponic design is like inventing the wheel over and over doing the same thing a different way.

>)))))*>


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