Hydroponics setup...thoughts?


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Hi everyone! I wanted to experiment with hydroponic vegetables this year. My plan is as follows;

1 - Start the seeds indoors on a coir pellet in very shallow (1/2 inch or so) nutrient solution under a daylight bulb (4000-5000K)
2 - Once the seedling's roots start growing out of the coir pellet, the seedlings would be moved to an outdoor passive hydroponic setup under shade cloth and with a stronger nutrient solution. The seedlings (which would be planted in small pots of expanded clay media) would be watered daily or twice daily until their roots reached the solution, and the shade cloth would be lifted a little every few days so as to help the seedlings adjust to direct sunlight.
3 - Once a week, the nutrient solution would be dumped and replaced, and the pots would be rinsed in rainwater (if available) or dechlorinated tap water to leach out excess salts deposited in the media.

How does this sound? Would ebb and flow hydroponics work better than my passive hydroponics concept? Thanks :)
 
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I love growing using hydroponics and your method sounds super. I found that General Hydroponics Flora series is the best nutrients for drain to waste and works well with recirculating hydroponics as well. I started mine in rockwool and started feeding very low dose of the nutrients... I use an EC meter or a TDS meter to monitor the amount of nutrients. Do you have one?
 
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I love growing using hydroponics and your method sounds super. I found that General Hydroponics Flora series is the best nutrients for drain to waste and works well with recirculating hydroponics as well. I started mine in rockwool and started feeding very low dose of the nutrients... I use an EC meter or a TDS meter to monitor the amount of nutrients. Do you have one?
Thanks :) I do indeed have a TDS meter, though it was originally purchased for aquarium purposes. I already have the Flora series...I'm using a dilute mixture of it for my houseplants (which are also being grown with passive hydroponics). MY tap water is in the low-mid 40's ppm TDS after aquarium dechlorinator is added and has very little hardness (EG common aquarium fish will die of osmotic shock if I try to keep them in this water without adding minerals to it).
 
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I use Rain or RO water with good results. Rain is my preferred water, but when drought hits here, I have to use RO only. I have found that Rain is easier to maintain the pH better. I try to keep the pH at or about 5.8 with nutrients through out the whole grow. But that pH is for liquid hydro. When you say passive hydroponics you mean wick method is that correct?
 
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I use Rain or RO water with good results. Rain is my preferred water, but when drought hits here, I have to use RO only. I have found that Rain is easier to maintain the pH better. I try to keep the pH at or about 5.8 with nutrients through out the whole grow. But that pH is for liquid hydro. When you say passive hydroponics you mean wick method is that correct?
I place the plants in expanded clay media and then place the pot in a larger container partially filled with nutrient solution (ideally about 1/3rd the height of the pot the plant is actually planted in). Capillary action pulls the solution through the media to the plant's roots. I rinse salts out of the pots once a week and replace the nutrient solution at the same time. My chinese evergreen is growing quickly on this treatment and my Clivia, African violet, and pepperomia also seem to be doing well...certainly no obvious bad reactions (no wilting, rotting roots, etc).
 
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Very interesting! Do the nets set in hydro corn or coco coir for the wicking system? Are you putting the nets with hydro corn in a liquid reservoir using an air pump?
 
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The houseplants are placed in expanded clay pebble media (currently geolite) in a normal pot with drainage holes, and that is placed in a larger, more ornamental container (without a drainage hole) to which enough nutrient solution is added to reach a third of the way up the inner pot (effectively a glorified cachepot). If the inner pot is too small, I will place some stones or similar underneath to keep it at or slightly above the ornamental cachepot.
 
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Houseplants? I'm not sure there's an 'end', but I started with dechlorinated tapwater, moved to the 'seedling' level (1/4th tsp each floragro, florabloom, and floramicro per gallon), and will be moving them to twice that level at some point. Though I have a south window, we live near a forest and right now most of the direct sun is blocked by trees, so I am using daylight bulbs for the Clivia, African violet, and pepperomia (the chinese evergreen couldn't care less). The violet's bloom stalks (inflorescences?) shot up several inches within a few hours of adding the light and have stayed tall and proud ever since.
 
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That's about 1&1/2 ml per gallon, I would say about 160 ppm. I thought you were under lights because of Winter. I'm using fluorescent lighting to keep my plants green.
 
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