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Hydrogardener
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Inexpensive hydroponic system

I have been using this hydroponic growing system for several years and find it very productive. It was simple and inexpensive to build. It consists of a tote from Wal-Mart, a small garden pump, six net pots, a scrap section of PVC pipe and short sections of tubing feeding each net pot. The cost to build this system was under thirty dollars, and it has produced several times its initial cost in salad greens. The romaine and waldman's lettuce has been growing in this system for only four weeks and is just about ready to harvest.

[img]https://i404.photobucket.com/albums/pp121/hydrogardener/406.jpg[/img]
https://hydroponicworkshop.blogspot.com/

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
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the.grow.doctor
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great work, very handy. do you have any issues with the plants being so close together? :?:
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the.grow.doctor wrote:great work, very handy. do you have any issues with the plants being so close together? :?:
Not in the least. They don't need extensive root systems as the nutrients are delivered to them every two hours. They can just concentrate on growing. :D
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Would love to hear a description of the plans and designs for this if you have the time.

Starting to gather the knowledge as I expand the basement for further growing this fall and winter. Hydroponics is the next logical step.

Thanks in advance!
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Is this kinda like that EarthTainer someone posted a while back?
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There is a post on my blog from 2008 with construction details for this system.

https://hydroponicworkshop.blogspot.com/2008/01/another-approach.html
https://hydroponicworkshop.blogspot.com/

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
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Hydrogardener wrote:There is a post on my blog from 2008 with construction details for this system.

https://hydroponicworkshop.blogspot.com/2008_01_01_archive.html
Thank you for posting!
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Really great blog!

Lots of detail and progress reports.

Thanks for your efforts.

8)
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Hydro, after several dedicated hours reading up on hydro, please help me with a question I have.

On several sites and articles, it seems much emphasis is placed on a sterile environment for growing with hydro. In fact, a few of the articles have gone as far as recommending taking a shower before entering the growing area.

As this extensive level of prep was turning me away from hydro (to include near toxic waste water/nutrients, initial expense etc., I was pleasantly refreshed by your "do it yourself kits" and experience in trimming the "clutter".

My question is this; does the open vented greenhouse allow in pests or problem critters to compromise the environment? By the looks of the photos, it is obvious they are not, but are you taking precautions or using control measures you haven't mentioned?

Again, thank you for the effort in your posts and your blog, exceptional!
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I do not have a problem with pests, either indoors, or in the greenhouse. On occasion, as required, I may use insecticide soap for pest control on plants. When the temperature rises, and the humidity gets low, some plants attract spider mites, however you can control them with insecticide soap if you start early and persist. There is no exposed soil in the greenhouse, so I have never experienced pests or critters. I use a nylon shade cloth clipped to the door frame when the door is open, and I have never had a critter in the greenhouse. Regarding sterile, the only precaution I take is to avoid going into the greenhouse after exposure to the soil garden or any plants in the yard. Keep it simple and good luck. :wink:
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Thank you. About 3 more pages of your blog. Shame you had to quit allowing guest posts, but I understand why.
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Hydro, regarding your latest post at https://hydroponicworkshop.blogspot.com/, please help me with a few questions if you don't mind.

I am coming close to completing my system needs after extensive reading plowing through SO MANY sites and papers.

I will build an ebb and flow to meet my needs as the first system.

I wish I could respond to your blog.

Anyhow, do you experience any algae growth with the system mentioned in your latest blog? I ask because the water is "in the light" in your drain tub as it fills and drains as opposed to being under a "ledge" in net pots.

Not sure if that makes sense.

I would also like to see a better example of the actual draining mechanism from tray to reservoir. Some have simple holes drilled in the bottom, but that seems messy.

Any help would be appreciated.
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I have an overflow tube with a strainer in the system, and I have tiles in the bottom of the system so the net pots are not in any remaining standing water. The tiles are from HD and cost .37 each. Also, I use a tiny amount of algaecide in the reservoir.
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Hydrogardener wrote:I have an overflow tube with a strainer in the system, and I have tiles in the bottom of the system so the net pots are not in any remaining standing water. The tiles are from HD and cost .37 each. Also, I use a tiny amount of algaecide in the reservoir.
Thank you.

I think the neoprene covers I purchased will address my concerns with algae forming from exposed media.

I will research the algaecide rates as well.

Thanks again.
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Here is the overflow tube, which is adjustable. I do not recommend drilling holes in the bottom of the tray, but do what you think is best. I add the algaecide as a precaution, as there is little, if any, liquid remaining on the bottom of the tray if you have it leveled correctly.

[img]https://i404.photobucket.com/albums/pp121/hydrogardener/overflow.jpg[/img]
Last edited by Hydrogardener on Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Hydrogardener wrote:Here is the overflow tube, which is adjustable. I do not recommend drilling holes in the bottom of the tray, but do what you think is best. I add the algaecide as a precaution, as there is little, if any, liquid remaining on the bottom of the tray if you have is leveled correctly.

[img]https://i404.photobucket.com/albums/pp121/hydrogardener/overflow.jpg[/img]
Thanks

My drain plug is similar, but I notice it has a small lip that prevents the tray from completely draining. I have tapped a couple holes and leveled it as to drain the entire tray.

I think I will have to adjust the timing a bit, but the pump compensates the drain holes and still fills quickly.

I used alot of your info in fabricating my system. I'll get some photos up as I get it situated where I want it.

I cut holes in the tray lid and the pots hang from it as opposed to setting on their bottoms. The overflow triggers at the halfway point of the pot. I can see the roots laying in the bottom of the tray once they begin running,
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There are many ways to construct a system, so go with what works for you. I find open trays an advantage as I can put large, small and different shaped pots in them.
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Hydrogardener wrote:There are many ways to construct a system, so go with what works for you. I find open trays an advantage as I can put large, small and different shaped pots in them.
Nice job on the new grow room HG (from your blog).

Are the ebb and flow systems open-topped as the one's in this thread?
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Thanks, and yes the ebb and flow systems are open. The system on the far right is closed. The net pots are fed by a pump which runs one hour on, five hours off. Actually, the ebb and flow systems are restaurant bus tubs. They cost about three bucks each and are very durable.
https://hydroponicworkshop.blogspot.com/

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Hydrogardener wrote:Thanks, and yes the ebb and flow systems are open. The system on the far right is closed. The net pots are fed by a pump which runs one hour on, five hours off. Actually, the ebb and flow systems are restaurant bus tubs. They cost about three bucks each and are very durable.
Forgive my newbish questions, but how do you keep the algae from growing as eventually the roots will escape the nets and the water remains exposed to the lights?

You may have answered this before, but I'm still scratching my head as keeping light from the nutrient mix is a pretty big deal.

Nice lighting by the way....are you running a mix of red and blue in the T5 setup? The hydro shop has a 4 tube, 48 inch T5 VHO system with 2 red / 2 blue for $159. My T8 system of 6 tubes at 6500k seems to be fine for the moment (and the money - $40 total)
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Halfway wrote:[quote=

Forgive my newbish questions, but how do you keep the algae from growing as eventually the roots will escape the nets and the water remains exposed to the lights?

You may have answered this before, but I'm still scratching my head as keeping light from the nutrient mix is a pretty big deal.

Nice lighting by the way....are you running a mix of red and blue in the T5 setup? The hydro shop has a 4 tube, 48 inch T5 VHO system with 2 red / 2 blue for $159. My T8 system of 6 tubes at 6500k seems to be fine for the moment (and the money - $40 total)
I have so little problems with algae I don't even bother to think about it. The systems drain pretty much completely, and I have the tiles to elevate the pots from the little liquid that does remain. (Home Depot, sixteen cents each) The roots have never grown algae on them. As the canopy grows it will inhibit light from getting to the bottom of the system. You can use an algaecide if you need to. Use a few milliliters of something like HTH spa non foaming algaecide per gallon.

No, I am not running a mix of colors in the T5, and never have. I have grown many flowers and tomatoes successfully with the 6400K tubes. Eventually I am going with only LED lighting.
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HydroGardener,

Your recent blog posts and the results of the LED UFO / new grow room are spectacular. Looking forward to continued posts.

Is the UFO still holding it's own?
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nice system.. thanks for the link to your blog.. very nice
Daniel888

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