Jump to content

  •  

Photo
  • Please log in to reply
79 replies to this topic

#1 keybrdkid

keybrdkid

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 04 December 2017 - 07:10 PM

Hi all,

 

Well its been a while, and I've been scarce around these parts for a bit of time. So here's a grow log for you, to make up for lost time.

I finally caved and am taking a small step into the world of small-scale Hydroponics.

 

After a moderate investment (at least for me,) I came up with the following ingredients:

hydroponic1.jpg

 

Then I started some tomato seeds in Rock wool and plain water, and after about a week had this:

 

hydrotomatoes1.jpg

 

Since these are still small seedlings, I have a simple desk lamp socket set up with a 15W LED Flood Light style bulb (equivalent to 130 conventional watts.) 

 

IMG_0190.jpg

 

In the bottle you see above, I have a custom 1/4 strength nutrient solution mixed from nutrient bottles all supplied by General Hydroponics. I used about a 1/4 strength solution so as to not kill the seedlings with full strength solution. The solution contains Flora Bloom, Flora Micro, and Flora Grow; with the addition of a small amount of CaliMagic (Calcium/Magnesium supplement) and a tiny amount of Epsom salt (sulfur). Plus about 1 cup water.

 

I started dosing the seedlings lightly after about a week+ from seed.  I decided to do a PH test on the solution using a test kit from General Hydroponics. I found that my initial mix pH was slightly too high. More like between 6.5-7.0 on the PH scale. So I added some PH down acid to drop the PH a bit, but overcompensated slightly. So I had to add some PH up base, which brought the solution back to neutral. See below:

 

IMG_0194.jpg

 

So here is where we are now. The seedlings are starting to put real initial leaves out. I will continue to water them with 1/4 strength solution until such time as the rockwool cubes the tomatoes are sitting in are completely wrapped in roots or close to. Since this is a deep water culture, I want a good root system in place so the plants will be able to take advantage of the full strength nutrient solution. I have not decided yet on the final growing media choice. Initially I was going to use a combination of clay pebbles and coconut coir (in a 4 parts clay to seven parts coir ratio) in order to help with moisture retention. But I am not sure the size holes that my root spa has will work well with that media. I need to experiment with the wet coconut coir to see how it expands as to whether it will fall through the holes and pollute the lines. If it is a problem I may end up just using clay pebbles. But if so i will have a moisture retention issue that will need examining. The bucket has an air pump to add oxygen, but no air stone.

 

IMG_0192.jpg

 

Also,

 

I have four (yes I said four) 15W LED bulbs to choose from. At a total cost of about $200.00 just for the lights. Ouch lol. Each one emits a different type of light. Blue, Red, Far Red, and White (balanced.) My goal now is to experiment to find the right ratio of each type of light for this plant. I heard 20% blue to 80% red might work, but that is unverified. I think the blue light is for vegetative growth, red is for flowering, far red is for blooming, and white is not really for anything, but is a balanced mix of all.

 

So we'll see how that goes. 

 

Happy growing all.

 

-Key 

 

 

P.S:  Oh, and here's a picture of my new computer.  :). Intel i7 Kabylake processor, Dual EVGA 950 SLI-enabled graphics cards, MSI s270 military class-V motherboard, 250 SDD, 2 TB Raid 0, 32 GB Rip Jaws RAM, 850 Watt fully modular power supply, full modular Dark Base Pro ATX 900 case, Lenovo Monitor, Logitech G413 keyboard, Soundblaster Z card, NZXT full system fan control, internal LEDs ect. 

 

IMG_0091.jpg

 

And my 2017 Halloween pumpkin: Haunter!

 

IMG_0180.jpg

 

 


Edited by keybrdkid, 04 December 2017 - 07:31 PM.


#2 AvidLiving

AvidLiving

    Heating Up

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Location:New Hampshire

Posted 04 December 2017 - 10:10 PM

Love it; what kind of tomatoes are you growing?

Sent from my Galaxy S8 using Tapatalk

Edited by AvidLiving, 04 December 2017 - 10:26 PM.


#3 Edmick

Edmick

    Smokin' Hot

  • Moderators
  • 3,570 posts
  • Location:southern california

Posted 04 December 2017 - 11:05 PM

Just an observation but those seedlings look a little leggy. Might need to move that light down.



#4 keybrdkid

keybrdkid

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 04 December 2017 - 11:33 PM

Love it; what kind of tomatoes are you growing?

Sent from my Galaxy S8 using Tapatalk

 

White Wonder Tomato. See photo #1. I also have some seeds on the way from PepperLover.com which I may use for a future planting or if I expand my system. I was considering getting a 2nd stronger gph pump and building a vertical outdoor system. I've got the room, if not for the hurricanes. Might be a project for another day, depending on funds.

 

Just an observation but those seedlings look a little leggy. Might need to move that light down.

 

I tested this initially. My thinking is that if I can feel the heat of the lamp on my bare skin and it doesn't feel right, its too low. I positioned it just so, so that the heat was at its lowest point and the light was still on the plants. I may drop it some. That being said, the light is on for 10-12 hours straight while I'm at work. That made me slightly nervous because the leaves were drooping some and the rockwool was drying out on the top. 

 

How close do you think might be safe for a 15W LED (130 conventional watts) bulb? plus or minus 8 inches. 


Edited by keybrdkid, 04 December 2017 - 11:40 PM.


#5 Edmick

Edmick

    Smokin' Hot

  • Moderators
  • 3,570 posts
  • Location:southern california

Posted 04 December 2017 - 11:45 PM

LED? they don't put out much heat so I imagine the hand and heat trick doesn't really apply. I don't grow indoors but most my plants spend a good 1 to 2 months under just some basic CFLs til they go outside. But my rule of thumb is if they start stretching out, then you need to lower the light. Someone else may be of better assistance to you when it comes to indoor growing but they just look too leggy to me. I would lower it by about 6 inches til someone else comes along with some better advice.



#6 keybrdkid

keybrdkid

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:44 AM

LED? they don't put out much heat so I imagine the hand and heat trick doesn't really apply. I don't grow indoors but most my plants spend a good 1 to 2 months under just some basic CFLs til they go outside. But my rule of thumb is if they start stretching out, then you need to lower the light. Someone else may be of better assistance to you when it comes to indoor growing but they just look too leggy to me. I would lower it by about 6 inches til someone else comes along with some better advice.

 

I lowered it a good six inches or more. I'll have to monitor any changes I see, and adjust. Thanks for the advice. 

 

-Key 



#7 AvidLiving

AvidLiving

    Heating Up

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Location:New Hampshire

Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:07 AM

 
I lowered it a good six inches or more. I'll have to monitor any changes I see, and adjust. Thanks for the advice. 
 
-Key 

Once they get their true leaves, you are good to go to bring then closer. Tomotato leaves are a bit more tough compared to the pepper I'm growing.

Take a look at my pics someday. I think one of my 5s which isn't a lot is almost touching.



Sent from my Galaxy S8 using Tapatalk

#8 keybrdkid

keybrdkid

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:13 AM

Once they get their true leaves, you are good to go to bring then closer. Tomotato leaves are a bit more tough compared to the pepper I'm growing.

Take a look at my pics someday. I think one of my 5s which isn't a lot is almost touching.



Sent from my Galaxy S8 using Tapatalk

 

My problem in general is twofold. First, I live in South Florida, where our climate is warm year round. So, on the surface, there really is not much of a need for hydroponics like there is up north. But on the other hand, there is a large problem with bugs in my area destroying all manner of garden vegetables despite my repeated attempts to combat the problem. So I am exploring indoor hydroponics / outdoor hydro to see if this can aid the situation.

 

Literally I cannot plant virtually any pepper outside without it eventually being destroyed by white flies or similar. Same with tomatoes. I didn't want to resort to imidacloprid, but its that irritating. lol.


Edited by keybrdkid, 05 December 2017 - 07:17 AM.


#9 AvidLiving

AvidLiving

    Heating Up

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Location:New Hampshire

Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:21 AM

 
My problem in general is twofold. First, I live in South Florida, where our climate is warm year round. So, on the surface, there really is not much of a need for hydroponics like there is up north. But on the other hand, there is a large problem with bugs in my area destroying all manner of garden vegetables despite my repeated attempts to combat the problem. So I am exploring indoor hydroponics / outdoor hydro to see if this can aid the situation.
 
Literally I cannot plant virtually any pepper outside without it eventually being destroyed by white flies or similar. Same with tomatoes. I didn't want to resort to imidacloprid, but its that irritating. lol.

Well, hydro is perfect in soiiless settings. All of my soil based end up with a strangling fungus gnat. The rockwool leads to no gnats. Love it. You have the right indoors too I'd assume.

I absolutely love my 600 w LED panel. It on It pulls 200w but includes r g and par w.

Sent from my Galaxy S8 using Tapatalk

Edited by AvidLiving, 05 December 2017 - 07:25 AM.


#10 keybrdkid

keybrdkid

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:31 AM

 You have the right indoors too I'd assume.
 

 

meaning..?

 

I assume you mean temp, controlled environment ect. If so, the answer is not really. But we don't normally have bugs flying around inside the house. And the A/C temp is about 75-80. 

 

I may need to get a small dollar store fan with a clip to add some air circulation.



#11 AvidLiving

AvidLiving

    Heating Up

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Location:New Hampshire

Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:37 AM

 
meaning..?
 
I assume you mean temp, controlled environment ect. If so, the answer is not really. But we don't normally have bugs flying around inside the house. And the A/C temp is about 75-80. 
 
I may need to get a small dollar store fan with a clip to add some air circulation.

Yep. Sorry man. Meant to add temps indoors. I've never had an insect problem inside yet growing in hydro. Good choice.

Sent from my Galaxy S8 using Tapatalk

#12 Masher

Masher

    Smokin' Hot

  • Extreme
  • 1,898 posts
  • Location:PNW Zone 8b

Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:50 AM

Hydro is soil less..you won't be using the coco in hydro.

 

I have tried 3 yrs running to grow toms from seed...they ALWAYS get too leggy and I have my lights within inches using HO T5's.

 

If you are planning on soil, get them into dirt right now and bury to within 1/2" ....5mm from the first set of leaves.  keep light as close as possible, don't over water.

 

 

Good luck with your venture, learning curve can be tough but you're on your way  :party:

 

Look up member Peter stanley (sp?)  he have amazing results with hydro style set ups and has a huge selection of vids of his grows etc.

 

 

EDIT: Here's his website linking to his grows...huge amount of data to gleen.  Also has a hydro section for viewing.

https://www.pepperinfo.com/


Edited by Masher, 05 December 2017 - 09:56 AM.


#13 keybrdkid

keybrdkid

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:00 AM

Yep. Sorry man. Meant to add temps indoors. I've never had an insect problem inside yet growing in hydro. Good choice.

Sent from my Galaxy S8 using Tapatalk

 

Of course if I have insects, I'll have to move the plant outdoors. Speaking of insects though, are your plants indoors during the flowering stages?  If so, how do you pollinate your flowers?  A cue tip? 

 

 

Hydro is soil less..you won't be using the coco in hydro.

 

I have tried 3 yrs running to grow toms from seed...they ALWAYS get too leggy and I have my lights within inches using HO T5's.

 

If you are planning on soil, get them into dirt right now and bury to within 1/2" ....5mm from the first set of leaves.  keep light as close as possible, don't over water.

 

 

Good luck with your venture, learning curve can be tough but you're on your way  :party:

 

Look up member Peter stanley (sp?)  he have amazing results with hydro style set ups and has a huge selection of vids of his grows etc.

 

 

EDIT: Here's his website linking to his grows...huge amount of data to gleen.  Also has a hydro section for viewing.

https://www.pepperinfo.com/

 

Cool thanks. And thanks for telling me not to use coir. I am not really familiar with the different medias per say. I simply bought what I thought I might need. I have sufficient clay pebbles to use that as my primary. I haven't added it to the system yet. I am also trying to decide whether I need to invest in an ebb and flow system or other system for larger plants. And some Grodan cubes. 

 

Since I have a stock of coir though, what can I use it for? I can't really return it since I've had it for a while, and I have three bricks of it.  

 

I wasn't planning on using soil due to the extensive bug problem I outlined for another poster. see above. But I do occasionally grow plants outside just to see if any will stick. My area is tropical with average temps of 75-90 outside.

 

As for height, I really have no height restrictions per say. The plant could be 8-10 feet high and it would not hit the ceiling. Apparently small compact plant are ideal for hydro however, so I am open to the short and stout variety. I can suspend my grow lights from ceiling hooks at any height I need. I also have timers to turn them on and off.  With the various blue, red, far red, and balanced lights that the plant might need.

 

I will search for this individual you speak of who does hydro well. It never hurts to learn more about what I am doing.

 

How should I pollinate a plant if I keep it indoors for the majority of its whole life. I can't keep ladybugs isolated since the plants are not sitting in a seal room. I suppose I could pollinate them by hand with a cue tip or something. 

 

Any suggestions welcome.

 

-Key


Edited by keybrdkid, 05 December 2017 - 11:05 AM.


#14 AvidLiving

AvidLiving

    Heating Up

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Location:New Hampshire

Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:44 PM

 

Of course if I have insects, I'll have to move the plant outdoors. Speaking of insects though, are your plants indoors during the flowering stages?  If so, how do you pollinate your flowers?  A cue tip? 

 

 

 

Cool thanks. And thanks for telling me not to use coir. I am not really familiar with the different medias per say. I simply bought what I thought I might need. I have sufficient clay pebbles to use that as my primary. I haven't added it to the system yet. I am also trying to decide whether I need to invest in an ebb and flow system or other system for larger plants. And some Grodan cubes. 

 

Since I have a stock of coir though, what can I use it for? I can't really return it since I've had it for a while, and I have three bricks of it.  

 

I wasn't planning on using soil due to the extensive bug problem I outlined for another poster. see above. But I do occasionally grow plants outside just to see if any will stick. My area is tropical with average temps of 75-90 outside.

 

As for height, I really have no height restrictions per say. The plant could be 8-10 feet high and it would not hit the ceiling. Apparently small compact plant are ideal for hydro however, so I am open to the short and stout variety. I can suspend my grow lights from ceiling hooks at any height I need. I also have timers to turn them on and off.  With the various blue, red, far red, and balanced lights that the plant might need.

 

I will search for this individual you speak of who does hydro well. It never hurts to learn more about what I am doing.

 

How should I pollinate a plant if I keep it indoors for the majority of its whole life. I can't keep ladybugs isolated since the plants are not sitting in a seal room. I suppose I could pollinate them by hand with a cue tip or something. 

 

Any suggestions welcome.

 

-Key

 

 

Honestly; my Toms are not that tall but they are under high LED from the seedling stage at 300w three inches from them. They are flowering inside and two to three feet tall; I'm growing nothing outside and they are doing a great job. Pollination will be with a vibrating toothbrush and/or que tip. It's easier to pollinate when the plant has both male and female flowers but with tomatoes they don't. 

 

If you go to the forum below- they discuss different ways to pollinate and have a few youtube videos. 

 

http://www.tomatovil...ead.php?t=44759

 

Are you doing 24 hour lighting?



#15 AvidLiving

AvidLiving

    Heating Up

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Location:New Hampshire

Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:41 AM

You can also just set the seedling in the rockwool cube in the net cup after it's roots come out of the bottom and fill the net cup with clay pebbles around the rockwool.

The coco is a great product but it might just fall out of the cup and make the DWC unit dirty.

Sent from my Galaxy S8 using Tapatalk

#16 keybrdkid

keybrdkid

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 09 December 2017 - 04:13 PM

plants getting larger. will move to clay pebbles as soon as I am satisfied with their root growth.

 

IMG_0219.jpg



#17 keybrdkid

keybrdkid

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:53 AM

did some transplanting today, since the plants were starting to fall over.

 

Not quite 100% happy with their root growth at that time, but we'l see.  Currently using two 15W LEDs (I have the whole set of four.) I am experimenting with if the white light will help the plant absorb the blue better instead of my having to try to add the red light too or leave the white out. Ratios y'know. Anyone know a good red/blue ratio for tomatoes. I hear 80/20. But I've heard it said white light is better because plants grown under only red/blue aren't as sturdy.

 

I also mixed up a new stronger nutrient solution, and then tested the pH-which was fine. Its filled to the five gallon mark, which is too much I think. But I didn't realize that until I did it. But then again, the roots are not grown out they way they should be. So hopefully solution will induce this growth. I went more for the aggressive growth side to try to induce this. (high in Potash and nitrogen etc.) 

 

IMG_0232.jpg

 

 

 


Edited by keybrdkid, 12 December 2017 - 06:55 AM.


#18 AvidLiving

AvidLiving

    Heating Up

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Location:New Hampshire

Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:06 AM

Those are looking good!

Roots will come. They take a bit. I was able to stimulate growth down through the net cup by top feeding a few mls into the rockwool and the water about quarter inch above the bottom of the rockwool cube. In a few days it drank to just under the net cup and I have two roots popping under the netcup.

Sent from my Galaxy S8 using Tapatalk

Edited by AvidLiving, 12 December 2017 - 08:09 AM.


#19 keybrdkid

keybrdkid

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 15 December 2017 - 02:32 AM

I feel I need advice on a couple of problems I am witnessing.  

 

First, I think I jumped too quickly from a 1/4 strength solution all the way to full strength while the plants were not ready to take this load. As a result, my plants seem to be wilting. I may take out two full pitchers of solution and replace them with plain water, so as to dilute the solution. And then see if this helps. If not, I have some pepper plants in seed trays that I can experiment with later when they are transplating size. I'm also using a calimag supplement which apparently you need to do with caution. But I was doing that with the seedlings and it wasn't really a problem I don't think.

 

Second, my air pump. Are air stones really necessary for Deep Water culture? I have the pump running non-stop, but I read an article about the difference between bubble size and dissolved oxygen. Without doing some research, I have no idea what the amount of DO tomatoes and peppers might need. If so, I need to find an air stone that fits 1/4 inch tubing (at least I think it is 1/4) that is made out of 1300 degree fired stone.

 

Third, my air pump again.  My air pump is running non-stop as I mentioned, but I feel like without an air stone, there could be too much turbulence in the water eventually. I turned the air pump down in strength (it has a knob to do so,) but I am still wondering about this long range. Should I put the pump on a timer so that it is off for some of the day and not off for others? I never had a pump running when the seedlings were starting out and they seemed to do fine. 

 

--

 

Other than that, I'm not sure whats going on. If there is some nutrient being blocked from absorption by another nutrient (too much of one blocks absorption of the other.) 

 

Would appreciate the advice. 

 

-Key

 

IMG_0241.jpg



#20 keybrdkid

keybrdkid

    Hot

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 15 December 2017 - 02:36 AM

Your post inspired me to try growing tomatoes again, I usually do that no earlier than in April. thanks for sharing your experience!

 

One interesting coincidence about growing tomatoes indoors in my area is that we have hurricanes. So from may to November (specifically in August-October) we are in danger of losing power for days at a time. I am running dwc, so I need electricity. But I also had a 5500 watt generator, so if power was really necessary than I could plug into that for the time being.

 

So our storm free time of the year runs from november to May. 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: tomatoes, hydroponic, hydroponics, hydroponic tomatoes, grow lights, ph solution, clay pebbles, coconut coir, deep water culture

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests