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Alternative Gardening: Aeration of Hydroponic System

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Forum: Alternative GardeningReplies: 4, Views: 78
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San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

December 17, 2011
12:12 PM

Post #8933280

I feel like a novelist who has lost the manuscript of his novel. I lost my previous attempt to discuss this subject when I lost it all by trying to delete a misplaced letter. It was a masterpiece, as are all such lost efforts, but life must go on. Anyway, I want to build a pot for growing things hydroponically. I want to keep it very simple, but I want to avoid the mistake I made with my previous attempt at hydroponics of neglecting proper aeration. What if I drain my 5-gallon pot at the end of every day and then pour the drained solution back into the pot the following morning? I'd appreciate thoughts on this and possible variations. Maybe I don't have to do it every day. Maybe I could pour it back in as soon as it has drained out,. etc. Keep it simple.
Okemos, MI
(Zone 6b)

December 17, 2011
5:59 PM

Post #8933614

Dear Snorkelpop, save yourself a tremendous amount of work by buying a small air pump and 4 or 5 inch air stone at the local pet shop and putting it in the bottom of your nutrient bucket. Then change your nutrient solution every week. I run the air pump 24/7. Keep an eye on the pH of the water you use and the resulting solution. It should be about 6. You didn't say what you are trying to grow, but almost all plants require a mildly acidic solution.
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

December 17, 2011
9:33 PM

Post #8933914

Yes, I'm certainly aware of pumps, but I want to do it manually. It's not only about growing plants, it's also about designing and building a successful hydroponics system of my own design. Some people like to build steam engines. My dreams and schemes are much more modest. Anyway, I want to do it all myself. After all, in purely economic and efficiency terms, it's foolish to waste time and money on gardening when you can save time and buy better and cheaper produce at the supermarket. So, my question about aeration remains. However, as gardening enthusiasts know, it;s not about saving money or growing better vegetables, it's about doing something that you enjoy.
Longview, WA
(Zone 8b)

February 4, 2012
10:11 PM

Post #8995115

Hi snorkelpop,
I have seen hydroponic systems that use 2 buckets attached with a hose to the bottom of each, one with the grow medium and the other for the nutrient solution.
You will need a set-up where you can lift and set the nutrient bucket above the grow bucket until the nutrients have flowed
into the grow bucket. After the nutrients have flowed into the grow bucket for a period of time, ( I don't know how long this
would be; probably 25 or 30 minutes.) you lower the now empty nutrient bucket below the grow bucket and the nutrients flow
back into the nutrient bucket. The action of draining the nutrients back into it's bucket pulls air into the grow medium, oxidizing it.
I read where you do this twice a day.
Simple system. Although it would require someone to be there to do this almost every day.
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 5, 2012
4:42 AM

Post #8995198

I would Use, in addition to transferring the solution back and forth, a little food grade hydrogen peroxide, each time I transferred the solution.
Check this link for this see if it might help.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Horticulture - Quick Grow Indoor Garden ...

Sorry I'm not familiar with making a hyper link. but if you go to this web site I think you will find it helpful.

I to am planning on making a simple hydroponic garden this spring.
My plan is to use plastic mineral tubs of about 15 gallon size and plum them together with hose and use a pump to transfer the solution and be able to add nutrients and mix with the pump on a regular basis.
I am thinking of having maybe 5 tubs that have been planted, plumed together with hoses and 1ne more tub where I can mix the nutrients and add some peroxide and circulate through all the tubs and back to the mix tub. All tubs having lids, to keep light out.
I haven't tried this yet as this spring will be my first attempt.
If it works outside like I think it should, I will try it on a smaller scale in the garage next winter.

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