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hydroponic Information regarding dwc and hydroponics in general

Hey all,
 
Just got a couple of quick questions. Ive got my self some equipment to do a single dwc setup just as a hobby on the side for abit of fun and what not. Ive got a couple of questions which may be floating around but I have not come across as of yet.
 
When people start a seedling for hydro in rockwool, is the seedling later on removed from the rockwool then placed into the dwc or is the cube left there for the life of the plant.
 
Ive read that a big factor is temperature. Its approaching summer here and from what I know the suggested and recommended temps for a dwc are between 22 - 23c. If this is the case, would it be pointless to start a plant nearing the beginning of summer? Where I live(Sydney) the temperatures fluctuate. It could be 24c one day but the next week could be 35+c. I don't see an efficient method to provide light to the plant and maintain a suitable ambient temperature so the water does not get too hot. In short, should I skip the whole dwc for now? I don't intend to invest into a grow tent and expensive grow lights. I would have liked to use as much natural light as possible and I can build some sort of enclosure around the bucket to shield it if that would help.
 
When it comes time to changing the nutes, which(need confirmation) should be done weekly?, how do you go about this? Theres hundreds of videos of youtube of running dwc setups and what people do when setting up a dwc and nutes but no one shows changes. How do you manage the plant? Do the roots just sit there on the ground while you spend about 10 minutes setting up the nutes in the bucket? Do you rinse the roots before you put them back into the bucket? Or is the best option to mix the nutes in another bucket then empty out the old one and pour in the new solution or does the old bucket require sterilization between every nute change.
 
Will the fluid temps affect how the plant grows; in other words if the temps had dropped in the bucket for a period of time, does this tell the plant its time to go to sleep(dormancy) or is that affected by the tree structure and not the roots?
 
Another thing Ive read it that some people are strict on their ppms and nute quantities while others have had brilliant success simply by following ml:L of nutes to water at different cycles. How does one accomplish this? At what stage do you need what amount of nutes and how do you know how much to use between brands? I just bought some calmag and the label simply says .5ml per litre of water. Are all hydro nutes like this, just a general number or do they give a recommended dosage amount for each cycle.
 
I want to try do this as cheaply as possible. Use natural light and if I must, T5's, single air pump with a single air stone with the cheap nutes, PH strips, no ppm counter. The plant would be a lab rat for me, its all fun its all experimenting and ultimately it all comes down to weather the temperatures here can enable me to run or even consider running a dwc. I can try one during winter since our winters are mild, the plant can get day sun and indoor warmth at night but it would be cool if I could do something now. 
 
I know there are about a million other questions I could ask but I'm confusing my self here just thinking of what to ask and then wording it up.
 
I'm down in Aus, everything here is more expensive than everywhere else. I only need a handful of clay balls and so far all places Ive contacted are trying to sell me 25L bags. Damnit I only need about 1 cup. I also only need one rockwool cube. Its not fun, all these hydro shops sell everything in bulk.
 
Wow, quite a bit going on in your OP. Here are some of my comments on a few items:
 
 
I'm down in Aus, everything here is more expensive than everywhere else. I only need a handful of clay balls and so far all places Ive contacted are trying to sell me 25L bags. Damnit I only need about 1 cup. I also only need one rockwool cube. Its not fun, all these hydro shops sell everything in bulk.
 
If you don't want to buy a sleeve of rockwool, just start the plant in garden soil and wash off the roots when it is time to transplant it. If you don't need that much hydroton, use gravel or volcanic rock. There is nothing magical about hydroton.
 
 
When it comes time to changing the nutes, which(need confirmation) should be done weekly?, how do you go about this? Theres hundreds of videos of youtube of running dwc setups and what people do when setting up a dwc and nutes but no one shows changes. How do you manage the plant? Do the roots just sit there on the ground while you spend about 10 minutes setting up the nutes in the bucket? Do you rinse the roots before you put them back into the bucket? Or is the best option to mix the nutes in another bucket then empty out the old one and pour in the new solution or does the old bucket require sterilization between every nute change.
weekly will wear you out. 10-14 days except when the plant was small. You could go several weeks or a month with a small plant, they don't use much nutes.
My buckets had a hose on the outside to monitor water level. that tube can also double as a drain. Just drain it out and pour fresh nutes in from the top.
 
 
When people start a seedling for hydro in rockwool, is the seedling later on removed from the rockwool then placed into the dwc or is the cube left there for the life of the plant.
Leave it in the rockwool.
 
I've done it the lazy way, and made a hyrdro rig out of a storage tub.
Changed the juice once in 6 months when the PPM started getting high.
Still have 4 plants out of it, but in pots now.
Found it took more attention and care----and much more room---to keep them in solution as compared to dirt.
 
A million ways to do it, and 1/2 that many threads on it.
 
I still use an arogarden to sprout, and expanded to another, and maybe even 1 more next year, but it's dirt for me for growing out.
 
Personal preference----I'm basically lazy.
 
I've got a single plant dwc going right now. My plant was in soil then I washed the roots off and put it in hydroton. My local hydro shop sells it by the pound so I am lucky in that department. But yes you can leave it in the rockwool and the roots will grow out of it. My bucket is just sitting under the T5 light and is doing fine.
I do a complete washing of the bucket, nute change and all that every 2 weeks. I top of the bucket once it gets a low with just distilled water. When I am doing the complete wash/nute change I have 2 buckets, I wash the airstones off first and fill the 2nd bucket with clean water and throw the airstones in and just set the plant in that bucket so it doesn't dry out. Then I just go about cleaning/rinsing/refilling/blah blah.
You can use aquarium gravel and as stated earlier any kind of pebbles/rock really as long as you rinse it off.

NateFrentz said:
just go with soil
 
That's not what he was asking. He didn't ask if soil or hydro was better/easier, he wanted advice on hydro. Way to pay attention.
 
Alot of quality information here. Ill look at pictures of different bucket setups. A bottom drain sounds awesome and convenient.

Ive got aquarium rocks somewhere thanks for that tip! Im gonna order some nutes tomorrow I'm going with general hydro micro and bloom the general idea seems to skip the grow nute.

How about in relation to temperatures. Should I avoid it at this time? I doubt I can maintain a suitable water temperature.
 
If you can't keep your water temps below 70f, you should have as powerful of an air pump as you can afford.

From what I've read, higher water temps means less oxygen in the water, which ultimately is what kills your plants in these situations. Then again, I'm no expert.

I keep my buckets under 250w of HPS, and the temps seem to be fine. I wrapped my buckets with reflective duct tape, which helps keep temps down.
 
Unless you are putting this outside, you shouldn't have issues with water temp.
 
When I did my outdoor hydro system last year, water temp was one of my biggest concerns. I ended up using a drip system instead of DWC and had a reservoir that was partially underground. I had no problems at all with this set-up. I think I would have had problems with DWC though and that is why I did something different.
 
Hey hey hey jeff thats an idea. I can dig the bucket under ground and have only about two inch exposed. Temps are a concern since I cant afford to buy a hps let alonr have it running for 15hrs a day. 6 people live at home and our power bills are very high. I imagine it would make a dent in the current price. Ive already placed an order on nutes and other stuff.

Jeff do you have more information about the drip system
 
Sarge said:
Jeff do you have more information about the drip system
 
 
Sure do. 
 
This guy was my inspiration. He has many videos and they are well worth watching all of them. 
 
(they won't embed 'cause I'm on Chrome ATM.....)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXy32Dr4Z4A
 
Details of my version can be found in this years glog starting somewhere on page two, but you can see my bubble buckets on page 1. 
http://thehotpepper.com/topic/35064-jeffs-glog-2013-season-is-over/page-2
 
Jeff H said:
 
 
Sure do. 
 
This guy was my inspiration. He has many videos and they are well worth watching all of them. 
 
(they won't embed 'cause I'm on Chrome ATM.....)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXy32Dr4Z4A
 
Details of my version can be found in this years glog starting somewhere on page two, but you can see my bubble buckets on page 1. 
http://thehotpepper.com/topic/35064-jeffs-glog-2013-season-is-over/page-2
 
Wow man, I just watched that video on youtube and checked out your pictures. That setup looks brilliant and much more effective and efficient than a DWC setup. I might try something like that with a two bucket setup. Thanks heaps for showing me that. It would be much easier to control the nutrient temps in this situation since the reservoir can be moved out of the light. I could even place the nutrient tank under the house and build a setup along the wall of the house.
 
Here's how I so my DWC.

As far as water temp goes I try to keep it at around 70* F, right now I do this by putting my air pump by an open window, with it being colder out now the cooler air coming through the pump foes the work for me. But if your having trouble Down south you can always put a frozen water bottle in the bucket to keep the water a bit cooler.

When I'm changing out nutes I have a separate bucket with water in it so the roots don't dry out, and sometimes ill add a bit of H2O2 to kill and microbes on the roots that may be there. Then I change out my water and add fresh nutes. While my plant is in the other bucket ill run a gallon if distilled water through the rocks to clean ten out. Sometimes microbes can grow in there and you'll never know it, so doing this can help a bit. Once this is all done I put the air stone back in and place the plant back in. Done.

As for nutes and how much to give I go by the bottle and measure accurately using a graduated cylinder. I have a meter for PPM but I find that I second guess myself when using one because I never think there's a high enough nuts concentration in there. So ill add a bit more and sometimes that's a bad thing. pH strips are a good thing to use just in case some fluctuation happens but normally they are good to go.

Go for a brand of nuts that has just single bottles for different stages of plant growth. Mine are one for growth one for bloom, and they have another for micro organisms that I use as well. Right now I'm at grow phase and use 20 ml of nutes for 4 gallons of water.

For lighting, do you have any good windows that get a lot of sun during the day? Use a window that the sun rises in and you'll not have to use as much artificial lighting. Or if you have a sunroom that would be great too!

Your seeds are on their way my friend, by the way!
 
LawrenceJ2007 said:
Here's how I so my DWC.

As far as water temp goes I try to keep it at around 70* F, right now I do this by putting my air pump by an open window, with it being colder out now the cooler air coming through the pump foes the work for me. But if your having trouble Down south you can always put a frozen water bottle in the bucket to keep the water a bit cooler.

When I'm changing out nutes I have a separate bucket with water in it so the roots don't dry out, and sometimes ill add a bit of H2O2 to kill and microbes on the roots that may be there. Then I change out my water and add fresh nutes. While my plant is in the other bucket ill run a gallon if distilled water through the rocks to clean ten out. Sometimes microbes can grow in there and you'll never know it, so doing this can help a bit. Once this is all done I put the air stone back in and place the plant back in. Done.

As for nutes and how much to give I go by the bottle and measure accurately using a graduated cylinder. I have a meter for PPM but I find that I second guess myself when using one because I never think there's a high enough nuts concentration in there. So ill add a bit more and sometimes that's a bad thing. pH strips are a good thing to use just in case some fluctuation happens but normally they are good to go.

Go for a brand of nuts that has just single bottles for different stages of plant growth. Mine are one for growth one for bloom, and they have another for micro organisms that I use as well. Right now I'm at grow phase and use 20 ml of nutes for 4 gallons of water.

For lighting, do you have any good windows that get a lot of sun during the day? Use a window that the sun rises in and you'll not have to use as much artificial lighting. Or if you have a sunroom that would be great too!

Your seeds are on their way my friend, by the way!
 
This is where I'm getting confused when it comes to nutes. Alot of reading, people suggest the grow isn't necessary while others will use all 3 as per the label. Would I be better off buying all 3 and not using the grow if I dont *need* to or should I just save my self the money and buy the two that I can get away with.
 
Ive heard of people using ice bricks in the reservoir to keep it cool, I read a story one chap somewhere in the US was using a ice brick to cool his bucket in 34c weather. The brick lasted about an hour. Unfortunately for my the temperatures here can average much higher during summer. A sun room would have been the perfect answer since I can control the temperature in the room but that's a luxury I unfortunately don't have.
 
I'm gonna stay positive about the seeds man lol I have a big feeling customs are gonna take them. Its pretty absurd what you have to do to bring them in, you need a pool of 4000 seeds tested to prove they do not have some particular virus strain and then prove there is no bacteria on the shell then you can bring them in. I don't have the money or capacity to have someone test 4000 seeds for me. Already there is a seller down here on eBay claiming to sell eds seeds but how did they get them in so damn quick and why are they the only ones with them when THSC and JR don't even have these yet. Fingers crossed!
 
If I alternate windows I can get about 8 - 10 hours of light. If I use the balcony I can get almost 6 hours of light there alone but the exposure to the sun and air will raise temps too far. I'm gonna organise all my kit, get pumps, get nutes, and already sourced the rocks. Its gonna be one bucket if its a dwc or 3 - 4 buckets array outside if I go with the external drip feed setup!
 
The variation in prices in nutes is massive. I just called a shop he wants 35 for each GH nute in 1L bottle. I can buy them online all 3 for $55...
 
Well for your first hydro I'll just be honest man, go simple. When you spend a ton on it and don't get the results you want it's very discouraging to see. That's why I go with just a simple One bottle of grow, and then when i see the first flower I go for the bloom formula. But I do add other things to the mix if need be, as if I see calcium deficiency I will fix that or Mg deficiency I fix that, etc. 
 
LawrenceJ2007 said:
Well for your first hydro I'll just be honest man, go simple. When you spend a ton on it and don't get the results you want it's very discouraging to see. That's why I go with just a simple One bottle of grow, and then when i see the first flower I go for the bloom formula. But I do add other things to the mix if need be, as if I see calcium deficiency I will fix that or Mg deficiency I fix that, etc. 
you dont really need grow with chilis .. you can start out with bloom plus micros.
 
LawrenceJ2007 said:
Well for your first hydro I'll just be honest man, go simple. When you spend a ton on it and don't get the results you want it's very discouraging to see. That's why I go with just a simple One bottle of grow, and then when i see the first flower I go for the bloom formula. But I do add other things to the mix if need be, as if I see calcium deficiency I will fix that or Mg deficiency I fix that, etc. 
Yeah thats what my plan in to try spend aa little as possible and if it doesnt work ill just flog the gear on ebay and be done with it. Ive got nutes sorted. Ended up with gh bloom and micro. Also have a bottle of flairform calmag. Ive got a few buckets, 54l tub, air pump with stones and line, rockwool crap etc. The only thing I need now is to get the water pump and then set up my gear accordingly

Ive lookes at a few other hydro setups. Now a aeroponics system has me interested too but im still heading towards the dutch bucket system. Much more setting up time but maintenance would be easier than on a dwc.
 
Sarge said:
Yeah thats what my plan in to try spend aa little as possible and if it doesnt work ill just flog the gear on ebay and be done with it. Ive got nutes sorted. Ended up with gh bloom and micro. Also have a bottle of flairform calmag. Ive got a few buckets, 54l tub, air pump with stones and line, rockwool crap etc. The only thing I need now is to get the water pump and then set up my gear accordingly

Ive lookes at a few other hydro setups. Now a aeroponics system has me interested too but im still heading towards the dutch bucket system. Much more setting up time but maintenance would be easier than on a dwc.
you may wanna try a flood table .. really really ez to deal with ...
 
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