• If you need help identifying a pepper, disease, or plant issue, please post in Identification.

High Pressure Aeroponics

If the problem arises again in the future I may disassemble the hoses from the gullies so I can run disenfectant through it. Thanks for the advice.

So this system is pretty nice. I have kept a detailed excel sheet of pH, EC, and water levels since I started the system. In the most recent weeks since I started flowering, the plants have been taking up about 20 gallons of water every 10 days or so. This includes 2 full size Roma plants, a tiny tim tomatoe, 3 jalapenos, and 3 other Longum type peppers. So a total of 9 plants have been using 20 gallons, or a little less than 1/2 gallon per plant. This seems to be a vast improvement over DWC plants. In addition, the nutrients have been .... different. I tried using ultra-low concentrations at first (0.2 EC) or seedling levels, and the plants didn't like it. They dropped leaves and got spindly. I have had to adjust the nutrients to 0.7 EC accordingly, and they seemed to do well (both tom's and peppers) at this concentration. Although this is higher EC than I expected, I believe they're using nutrients less over time.

Simply put...
  1. 9 plants (6 peppers, 3 tomatoes) consume 20 gallons of water every 10 days during flowering
  2. 0.7 EC has been necessary for the plants to thrive
  3. The plants consume ~0.1-0.2 EC every 3 days
I would like to know if anyone has kept detailed logs on how much water their plants go through in a DWC during flowering to compare the amount of water usage. Please contribute!!
 
Hey there, thanks for stopping by.

Unfortunately the worst thing that could have happened, did. I ended up trying to use bleach in my system as a preventitive for future algae blooms. I don't know for sure if it was the bleach, but a couple days afterwards my system stopped working. The sprayheads were getting clogged from what appeared to be some sort of nutrient film. Cleaning the reservoir I noticed some large clear crystals, unlike those I normally see in the system, so some sort of precipitation was occurring and it was perpetually clogging the sprayheads.

Long story short, I had to scrap all the plants in the system (such a pain to have to do).

To remedy the system I have soaked the sprayheads in vinegar for 48 hours. There is already a 200 mesh inline filter between the reservoir and the pump, but I decided to add another one between the accumulator and the sprayheads so that it any precipitation occurs with the nutrients sitting under high pressure in the accumulator, it will be caught before reaching the sprayheads.

I've also let the system run (with no sprayheads) using just plain tap and bleach added to sanitize it.


Next up in the system will be a ozark beauty strawberries, tiny tim tomatoes, and some jalapenos.
 
Sorry to hear that. But that's what pioneers like yourself have to endure to level the field for others.

Thanks for your work and keep sharing, yours is definitely one of the most interesting experiments I've seen lately.
 
Hey Mike
Sorry to hear about the loss of your plants. I guess you may have used too much as i routinely add bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite) to the res with no ill effects..
The most i`d use for an active issue like root rot is 5ppm, or 1ml of 5% bleach per 10L of res.. As a routine preventative measure, i use 0.5ppm or 0.1ml of 5% bleach per 10L of res..
 
Hope your strawberries, tiny tim`s and jals are doing well. 
 
Unfortunately I have put my system into storage and will not be experimenting further with HPA for awhile. Medical school starts in August for me and I ended up deciding that it would be a catastrophe if the system malfunctioned and needed my time and attention to fix during my rigorous coursework. BUT... someday it may be up and running again and THP will be the first place to know!

Thanks for all the responses everyone. If anyone has any comments or questions, though, I will still be cruising THP and can try to answer them !
 
Hey Mike
Your system looks well designed so its unlikely to let you down. My outdoor hpa setup runs for months without missing a beat,  We have a mini heatwave here with air temps well over 32C, the lid of the hpa is over 40C even with shadecloth  ;)  The plants and roots are doing ok even though  i`m forced to run them a lot wetter than normal due to the heat.
 
Hi Mike
My hpa design is similar to yours, except its an outdoor and it runs completely offgrid. The heart of the system is a large accumulator that is manually charged from 80-140psi every 2 days. The accumulator feeds two 16ft x 2ft  (420gal) root chambers via pressure reducers and buried lines. The pressure reducers ensure a constant 80psi at the nozzles when they are misting. I have 12 nozzles in each root chamber that project the mist into the open space between the 2 rows of plant sites. The cycle timer and solenoids are all 12v dc, which is supplied by a 12v 7AH gel battery charged with a 20w solar panel. I`ll  post a few pictures if i can figure out how to do it.
 
Cheers Mike
I wanted a large outdoor setup that was immune to power failures with low maintenance. It takes about 5 minutes a day to maintain which isnt any great hardship.
This is the root chamber i`ve had to mist more often than usual. I positioned it to get full sun most of the day and then a mini heatwave arrived  :rolleyes:  I`ll try to get a more up-to-date pic of it later today..
vKDNeur.jpg

 
 
The other root chamber gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
LjOEPGf.jpg

 
This is the hardware i use to power the system, a rothenberger RP-50 manual pump, a 100L (10-bar) accumulator and a couple of adjustable pressure reducers. Its all solidly built and easy to plumb in. There`s no need for a pressure switch but its prudent to fit a pressure relief valve to protect the tank from building excessive pressure, for example, in the event of a fire. The accumulator can run the system for 3 full days if i let it run down to 80psi but i prefer to top-up the pressure daily as its only a 5 minute job.
Fes7Fqd.jpg

.
 
@Tank - Respect, that's a fantastic idea. It didn't even occur to me, you could drive such a system with muscle power!
 
What kind of spray nozzles are you using?
 
Thanks mate.
It doesnt take much muscle power, its not much of a workout.. more tedious than tiring. I have 12 purple netafim coolnets in each root chamber. 
Here`s the update pic
U1WfNAi.jpg
. .
 
Alright, that hand-powered HPA system is one of the coolest things I've seen. Well done, that idea never would have crossed my mind. 
 
Cheers TXCG  
It was one of those ideas where everything just fell into place. The pump was on special offer and the accumulator was an ebay bargain, £30 + delivery.
I should have bought a lottery ticket that week  ;)   
 
Wow, a hand pumped HPAs... now that is both old school and genius! I think the manned missions to Mars just got cheaper by way of less fuel used to grow their plants ; )
 
Mike,

Great little project! I did not bother reading every single post however.

Your algae problem could have been solved with the addition of grow media in the baskets to stop light penetration in your chambers.
 
hello everyone
i tried to build high pressure aeroponics system. i used components as flowing sequence.
 
1.reservoir 
2 .pressure pump
3.pressure valve
4.accumulator tank added with T Joint
5.pressure gauge 
6.solenoid  
7.mister
but pressure remains at 0 psi
 
any help to correct sequence?
 
Top