I was thinking along the same. It’s not a vital piece of information, but it would be something to compare it to. If for example even if it’s some wild number, the plants look good, so I wouldn’t worry if it was.
Check out @thedeernad journal. His has a sweet custom setup. Using a metal res
I checked it out Josh it looked nice. Was that a tote inside the metal box? Probably a great way to keep it cool and keep the light out. I couldn’t tell if he was doing DWC or aero/hydro but it sure looked sharp.
I’ll try and explain the components of the system. In the above pics, you can see the aquatec8800 pump in the back. There is a 50 micron inline filter right behind the motor you cannot see which is just there for insurance as the solution passes through a 10 micron fuel filter back before it leaves the Rez and pass through the PH regulator. The motor pressurizes the system and moves the nutrients around. There are two ball valves with blue switches on top. The one on the left is the drain out to a 3/8 diameter line. The ball valve on the right leads into the guts of the system. The first piece is a check valve which protects the motor from back pressure, it only allows the water to flow one way so the motor isn’t doing that job and it lasts longer. It’s basically less wear and tear on the heart of the system. After the check valve you’ll see the L bend. The line then leads to a pressure gauge. Which is the big metal dial thingy and is installed before the 3/8 intake line hits the accumulator tank. The orange black part up front is the acc. tank and it holds 3/4 liter. The acc. tank also reduces wear and tear on the motor by allowing the motor to rest most of the time and only run a few second every few mist cycles to re-pressureize the tank. The line diameter is reduced to 1/4 on everything after the accumulator tank all the way to the misters. The piece with wires at the bottom of the screen in front of the accumulator tank after the L bend is a pressure switch which controls the motor. It turns the pump on when the pressure gets below 80psi and shuts off at 100psi. The line hits another L bend, goes straight up into another check valve (white with pink seals) to prevent back flow, and then heads into the solenoid which is pictured further back in the thread. The solenoid is controlled by a short cycle timer which can be set from 0 to 999. Every bit of the line and the PVC drains are covered with insulating foam to prevent algae and the help the intake solution hold its 15.5C temp from the res. Lemme know whatcha think?
I think that was a wicked explanation and I am just now realizing you spent a Fork ton of money on this setup. I’m. So glad for you to be sharing it with us it’s not something we see very often if at all I will do my best to learn and help as I know lots about growing but minimal about aquaponics.
I can you explain the solenoid connection I got everything else aside from that and the PH regulator… I mean I’ve seen auto PH regulators on Amazon but I’m curious to know how yours works exactly.
Noticing your using co2, these expensive lights (that I’ve seen in grow magazines to be honest now that I recall), I notice a blue lab device, oh wait it’s a blue lab PH regulator wow… Dang.
I notice your AC infinity good choice but what’s the device on the peg wall that has green digital numbers?
I can get the sence of a couple things.
#1 you got some $ to play with (or did lol)
#2 your a guy who does things right and ttys not to short cut or cheap out
#3 this is new to you do you like learning and diving into things (you came to the right place)
#4 you have wanted to try this for a while
Ps did you check your calcium levels and oh levels we seen early calcium deficiency before…
Oh and I want to see the guts eventually, the sprayers.
Finally where’s the chiller? How you keep it cool?
And why do you need to keep it so cold?
I run gravity, bottom feed, zero waste, hydro. My rez is room temp.
Interesting setup. Would love to see something like this in a larger grow, 20+ plants.
Sorry about the lights. I have hidden anxiety about the lights I bought though they seem to be doing well. I don’t know that it is even possible or good for the plants, but could you supplement with the 600 by turning it on/off every 15 minutes? I imagine if it isn’t running hours straight it could keep temps down?
Your pH regulator— can you adjust the range of pH it will hold the solution at? Like could you tell it to keep it between 5.8-6.2? Or does it just target a singular number?
@TAGridyFarmer no tote around the metal res box. It sits right on the concrete floor (inside the tent of course), which i believe leads to my nice water temps. I am DWC, 2 4x2 airstones in the res.
SS is easy to clean, a great heatsink, and js incredibly durable. Its use may be quite over looked!
@Joshmcginnis28 thanks for the tag
I did amass a small fortune this summer with the goal to start this endeavor, but I am of modest means and made the money selling off some of my collectibles and a few musical instruments. I had my eye on a BiFarm Aero unit. It was supposed to be a 1500$ state of the art aeroponic unit with a computerized grow monitoring and all the bells and whistles blah blah. I waited most of the summer for the release date. I had purchased most of my tent, fans, seeds, etc and the damn company send a message on the release date saying sorry six more months pandemic whatever. I got peeved and impatient and decided to build my own.
The rectangular LED display is the short timer cycle and it shows second off in green and seconds on in red. It sends electrical juice to the solenoid which sits in-between the root chambers right before the T connector in the pics. When the solenoid gets power it opens, the pressure from the tank is released to the misters and we have air-food for the girls. The green thing you asked about is an ink bird controller. It has a thermometer in the reservoir and turns the probe cooler on and off in the reservoir to maintain the temp settings. I have two Ac infinities hooked up one intake and one out. I was trying to keep the air as clean as possible and mitigate as much odor as possible. I figure three carbon filters should do the trick, probably overkill but that’s what I did. The Co2 monitor is an autopilot and it has a sensor that runs on a solar battery. So when the lights go out, the gas goes off, otherwise the sensor does the same thing and releases the gas solenoid to maintain the co2 PPm. The Bluelab device isn’t the monitor, it’s just the battery powered meter, but I love it. The chiller is the square device on the front of the reservoir close to the floor. The pic on the inside of the res that looks like a big metal bolt is the other end of the chiller. I read that keeping the root chamber cool was the number one struggle so I wanted to start with cold solution in order to maintain a cool root chamber. I don’t know if I am too cold or warm I am just learning as I go.
And you 1 though 4 pretty much described me to a tee…I had some money until I started this, I do my homework and I don’t half ass, I’m loving the challenge so far, and I have always wanted to try doing this. The pandemic gave me time to go on sabbatical and really commit so I went for it. The guys here seem pretty helpful and are giving me some good ideas so I am glad I registered, I am really enjoying the forum as well. Thanks for all the banter.
Thanks for the info Deernad nice to meetcha! You have a hella nice set up man. I love the SS benefits clever. Do you do a top drip to start em, or do you do like a seed starter transplant to the system method?
Forgot to mention the Ph regulator you asked about nick. I has some sort of ionic charge solution in it that adds or subtracts ions and keeps the ph stable. It’s supposed to keep the waste products less harmful and keep the other nutrients more available. It has worked like a charm. Mine is the inline version and is the 30 gallon model. She’s supposed to be good for 3 or four months in a recirculating DWC system on a charge. You have to take it apart and refill it will solution every so often but I have not had to do that yet. Since I only run 8 gallons of nutes at a time and it isn’t moving at gallons per minute I assume it will last quite some time.
Oh, and consider this. All of the parts of my system that are crucial have redundancy. I have a replacement part ready to go if anything fails. Extra motor, solenoids, tubes, fittings, misters and nozzles, and extra probe chiller, extra bluelab gauge, short cycle timer, you name it I can replace it before the roots dry out as long as I notice the problem in time. All that and a generator in case the wind blows. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Wassup Heythere! I’m ok with the lights as a live and learn lesson. At this point they may not be as good as I thought they were, but they might be better than people think so I’ll wait for the empirical evidence and the visceral experience before I really decide if I made a bad purchase or not. My bar for a first grow is pretty low, I just want to keep them alive and have something to cure. I’m not sure about light intervals that sporadic, I’m growing autos and I don’t know if that would make them herm out or stress any plant for that matter? I think I can manage the temps and I am gonna put the big light up this weekend when I can really babysit them and keep an eye on things. If it seems extreme I swap em out again, I might as well try. As far as the ph thing goes, it is supposed negate the need for ph up down, but I always balance my solution with up/down and then that device holds that like a rock. When I start with 5.8, two days later it’s 5.8 after they have consumed half my reservoir. I’m seeing better growth and my rusty leaves are looking better closer to 6.0. Same thing happened when I changed the ph up from 5.9 to 6.0 to see if it would help my calcium problem. It just kind of stays put for me. The technology was developed by NASA and some expensive research college I can’t remember the name of who has interests in aeroponics farming in space and when we get to Mars someday. We will have to be super efficient with water, electricity, nutrients etc. and the risk of a bad ph disaster destroying the aeroponic farm crop on the martian city…holy cow.
Thanks for the compliments! I dipped started my seed by hand in rockwool. Worked out quite well!
I was going to ask, but nvm, you posted it.
In spring I would like to start my set up. It’s similar to yours, except I went with a 2 gallon accumulator tank. Motor runs for about 5 mins, then shuts off. Misting cycle is good for about 8 hours. Same motor.
Ohhh sooo that’s how those PH adjusters work, good to know I considered getting one because I have two 30 Gallon reservoirs in my system currently. It’s fine when ppm’s are high but at low ppm’s drif happens alot faster.
As for the autos I can help you there.
I just noticed your on an 18/6 cycle go ahead and bump It to a 20/4 cycle.
This will increase your DLI (daily lighting interval) this will give your plants more radiation and thus increase your yeilds.
A 4hr dark period is fine for autos, of course we want a 18/6 ideally but considering your current lighting you definitely should be on 20/40.
I run my system on a 20/4 to help maintain temperatures in the grow room anyways you won’t see any I’ll effects, Infact quite the contrary.
Thanks for all that detailed explanation some of it I was well aware of other not, I didn’t realize that bolt was the chiller I thought it was a drain out of the rez lol.
This is my setup not sure if you had seen autopots or not much more low tech lol
Self dry/flood trays. With a 3 way float.
Covert I can’t wait to see it all set up. A 20 gallon acc. tank is a beast. Do you have a good ambient temperature spot for it, or do you have any other method to manage nutrient and root chamber temps? Seems to me like you’d have to pump it in cold, and then insulate the tank pretty well to maintain during that 8 hour stretch. I’d love to know more about your methodology/equipment.
Nicky…after the week’s black dog debate I had the same thought and clipped an hour off of each end on my timer pegs before I went to bed last night and flipped to 20/4. After finding out what we did, I was thinking they can probably use all the light they can get right now, so coming home to your advice was reassuring and validating. You have some beautiful plants in those autopots brother…I’m jelly. Does the float thing you are talking about work like a toilet float where it shuts off and on with a buoy on a stick thing? I really am not too familiar with autopots, so I’ll get acquainted. What’s up with the last pic, I just don’t recognize the gear with black/red blue/green things either?
Some of my fan leaves were getting gnarly. Many have started to curl at the tips and look dry, but it’s hard to get pics. Others have gotten some green back and look better than before but still scarred. Since it’s an auto should I defoliate the bad leaves? Let em fall off, leave em be? She is growing like mad and getting some early buds and is also bushy and thick as heck. I have often read auto’s do best left alone and shouldn’t be stressed during flowering?
I’m scratching my head at a fuel filter. Wont nutes gum it up and clog it ?
It has not so far is all I can honestly say. First grow, so I will get a perspective on how long the filter lasts/how good a job it does over time. I have not had a clogged mister yet fingers crossed.
May I ask what brand of fuel filter your running? There have been studies on these filters and (like lights) have been known to advertise falsely. I would imagine you did your research on this though.
This is some seriously intricate design, and it looks really really solid, as well!