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Hydroponics Systems Essay

2697 words - 11 pages

1. Hand Watered Bucket2. Water Culture System3. Ebb and Flow System HAND-WATERED BUCKET This inexpensive system is one of the Professor's favorites. It is probably the simplest hydroponics system on the planet. Simple yet effective, we have seen very impressive results achieved with this easy to build system. The series of holes that ring the bucket are about 1 1/2" inches above the bottom, this makes a small reservoir of nutrient solution in the bottom that will be wicked up to the plants roots by the capillary action of the growing medium.This system is perfect for large plants; it can easily handle a single tomato or pepper plant or a couple of smaller plants like lettuce ...view middle of the document...

ASSEMBLY OF SYSTEM1. Drill a series of holes in a CLEAN plastic bucket approximately 1 1/2" (4 cm) above the bottom of the bucket. The number and size of the holes is not critical, usually 6 to 10 holes (3/8" or 1/2" in diameter) are enough. NOTE: Holes smaller than 3/8" seem to plug up easily. The larger the hole the more likely that you will need step # 2 below. Very large holes will dry out the growing medium quickly.2. Optional: From the inside of the bucket place window screen over holes. (You can hold the screen in place as you add the growing medium, or you can glue the screen in place with a small amount of silicone sealant, wait for silicone to cure before adding growing medium). NOTE: The screen is just to keep the growing medium from falling out. If you don't mind a little mess, or if your holes are relatively small, or your growing medium stays together well you can skip this step.3. Add the growing medium to the bucket. (NOTE: you will need to wash and / or pre-soak the growing medium before adding to the system, depending on the type of growing medium that you are using. 4. Plant your seedling, rooted cutting or seed in the growing medium. NOTE: The Professor recommends starting your seeds separately and then adding the seedling(s) to the system.CARE AND FEEDING INSTRUCTIONSHand Water Version5. Mix your nutrient solution as per the instructions on the fertilizer package. Check pH and adjust accordingly. NOTE: The required pH value will vary depending on the requirements of the plant and the kind of growing medium. An easy way to mix the nutrient is to use a one gallon milk jug and mix a gallon at a time, however it can be convenient to mix more than a gallon at a time, you can use another 5 gallon bucket (or similar plastic container). If you mix large amounts at a time it is recommended that you aerate the surplus nutrient solution with an aquarium type air pump and air stone to keep the solution from stagnating. Storage container should have a loose fitting lid to keep out debris.6. Slowly add the pH adjusted nutrient solution to the bucket until you see some excess flow out of the overflow holes.7. Repeat step #6 periodically as needed. This will vary due to weather conditions and the size and type of plant(s). Knowing when and how much to water requires a little trial and error.CARE AND FEEDING INSTRUCTIONSAutomated Version8. Fill the reservoir with water and mix your nutrient solution as per the instructions on the fertilizer package. Check pH and adjust accordingly. NOTE: The required pH value will vary depending on the requirements of the plant and the kind of growing medium. 9. Attach the drip line to the submersible pump and put the pump into the reservoir. Plug the pump into the timer. Set the timer and plug it into the outlet. NOTE: You will need a short cycle timer that can be set for short periods of time. A digital timer from a home center usually...

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