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Thinking Outside The Box

Discussion in 'Hydroponics' started by PhatNuggz, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. It seems many are stuck in the belief that conventional science is our friend. As a 5+ year home grower/experimenter I have attempted variations of some of these technologies, especially as they relate to hydroponics and energizing the water used to mix/feed my plants. I can't begin to tell you how many experienced growers who poo poo my efforts

    It's a long watch, best to take it in small bites

    DO dissipates in warm water much faster than cool water. What we want is to increase the DO in the rez water to prevent root/stem rot issues, which is why we use air pumps/stones. BUT, they draw in unfiltered ambient air, which in addition to being warm, could contain germs, viruses, pathogens... , and it injects CO2 from the ambient air 24/7, which affects pH.
    Waterfalls are a significant improvement, but the pump (which is in the rez) needs to be on a timer to prevent overheating. Mine are on a timer running 3 minutes/60. However, this frequency is a guess. To determine how much DO is in the water one needs a DO meter which is $500+. Im a small personal se grower, so no bueno

    How much DO do air stones.waterfalls add? According to O2Grow (they make a nanobubble DO emitter) who demos with a DO meter, the max with air stones is ~ 8% DO. "I" assume waterfalls are similar

    And while I have vg roots, I can't help but think that a 50% increase to 12% using a O2Grow DO nanobubble emitter (according to O2Grow) will pay dividends, WHILE, eliminating the need for a chiller.

    Why? Again, according to O2Grow (and other studies I have read plus videos I have watched promoting nanoDO) nanobubbles are the key. Presumably, when left undisturbed in the rez water, DO stays in suspension for > 12 hours, which is more than enough for simple F & D systems, and may well supercharge them

    I have yet to find a grower using it, but tests restoring polluted and stagnant lakes, tributaries, etc. to good health have intrigued me to get one to see If this works as advertised

    The O2Grow 2020 (good for 20 gallon rez) is $300, which is a lot less than a 20 g chiller., and it only needs to cycle AFTER each flood

    I will be reporting on it in my next grow thread Thinking Outside the Box, but won't start up for a a couple months, though I will use nanowater to start seedlings
  2. OK I have a fair bit of personal experience with Co2/O2 dissolution in water. I can give you my take but i'm going off pure memory and have no time to look this up for accuracy so please ensure to double check.

    DO levels in water with no influence of uptake are determined by temperature, pressure and salinity. In our case temperature is the most influential. lower temps hold more oxygen. This biggest misconception people have is that you can add more oxygen to the water than it holds at equilibrium. Yes you can but oxygen is extremely hard to dissolve in water above equilibrium and there is no need to do so IMO. Our goal is to maintain DO levels as close to equilibrium so that we do not become deficient in them. These type of atomizers create the smallest of bubbles and the theory is the smaller to bubble the more oxygen this supplies because it has more surface area contact with the water. While is true the magnitude of it is very insignificant. Most airstones provide bubbles that reach the surface quickly due to size and buoyancy, atomizers can create bubbles that hang in the water column for quite some time not really increasing DO levels but the suspension of gas in the water (I cannot say if this has any benefit or consequence). The other negative side to an atomizer is the break down of the plates as it reacts (i believe this is due to oxidization but cannot remember for sure) and I believe releases heavy metals in that reaction. Whether or not toxic levels I cannot remember.

    In terms of adding Co2 to the water with air pumps. This just can't happen (in most cases) because of equilibrium if your supply air source is the same as your grow space Co2 levels in the air are the same and have reached equilibrium therefore the only gas exchange that an air pump could contribute to is a dissolved gas that has been depleted below equilibrium.

    The biggest factors we need to look at are in no particular order are:

    1.Circulation of the water in our systems (Oxygen can become depleted at the top or bottom layer of water) so it key to our water mixing.
    2. Surface area agitation. The largest portion of gas exchange happens from surface area agitation (remember you wont feasibly be able to add more DO than equilibrium but maintaining those levels is key) There are more ways than airstone and some are more effective than airstones however airstones also provide mixing of the water column.
    3. Water temp to a lesser extent because as long as you have adequate surface area and agitation you should be good. (only speaking in terms of DO)

    There are more but these are the main ones.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
    JWM2 likes this.
  3. One thing I remember from all the reading about about DO levels is that there is a maximum percent of DO in water depending on temperature.

    For example,

    At 68 degrees the maximum percent of DO is only 9.2. So since there is a maximum percentage allowed you can only increase it so much.

    Now if you were increase the water temp to say 74 degrees, why I'm not sure unless to save money on water cooler, then your maximum DO percent would be 8.7 percent. The problem then becomes how fast you can replenish the DO that the plants are using.

    I have read that there are some benefits to growing hydroponic plants with a higher water temp but that the chance of creating bad bacteria is to high.
    JWM2 and Aqua Man like this.
  4. Please keep the Emitter conversation to this thread. I am copying my response from Hail Hydro thread, where wee have also been dialoging

    Thanks, I was already aware of that, but, I c/pd the FAQs for anyone else following along. IMHO, parts replacement is a part of doing business, so to speak. I now have both 2 and 4 head air pumps and multiple stones gathering dust. I also have multiple Hydro Halo drip rings, 2 HPA pumps @ $100, plus a bunch of fitting, nozzles, etc. I gave away a Quantum Bad Boy 8 bulb with ~ 20 used bulbs when I moved to LEDs

    More to your point, emitters are only $59.95. I use ~ 300ppm to veg and ~ 800-1000ppm to flower (guessing minimal wear to the electrodes). As I mentioned I will cycle just prior to each 2 hour flood, and my rez is ~ 4 gallons, so 'on time' should be relatively short. Even if it takes 20 minutes to resaturate 4 gallons (I really should get a DO meter) = 240 minutes/4 hours per day if my math is correct 1600 hours divided by 4 hours/day = 400 days. I don't see the big deal, but then I did the math as a part of my research

    Info that O2Grow should provide: how much time to saturate one gallon with one emitter. Since I often run 2 separate rezes, I will get a 2020 to have one emitter per rez.

    Q: How long do the emitters last?
    A: The emitters will last more than 1600 hours with normal use, meaning that you only need to run the emitters a few hours per day and that you maintain the emitters by cleaning them with muriatic acid whenever they get buildup from calcium. The screens are coated with iridium and with proper use and maintenance you should be able to even extend the life of the emitter past 1600 hours. You will know when the emitter is at it's end of life when the emitter is generating significantly fewer bubbles.

    Q: 1600 hours does not seem very long?
    A: If you run the emitter about 2-3 hours per day, everyday, you should be able to get about 16-24 months use. It's important to note that once charged, the water will hold it's oxygen for about 12-24 hours without disruption (meaning, no bubblers and no flow) so you would actually be safe to run every other day and maintain fully saturated water.

    Q: Is there a benefit to run this unit 24 hours a day? Will the plants get more oxygen?
    A: Water will only hold so much dissolved oxygen. It depends on the type of water, the temperature of the water and any nutrients or other additives introduced into the water. Once the water is fully saturated, it can hold no more and running the emitter longer will not provide any more DO. The best way to check is to have a DO meter and measure the DO ppm.
  5. Here's a newish YT video. Pretty impressive

    Note he says improves DO over bubbler by 50%. This does not mean it creates more DO, but that it releases 50% more

    Aqua Man likes this.
  6. That last video convinced me

    I finally ordered a O2Grow 2020 yesterday

    I might be starting a new grow in mid september, but might have to push it to mid October. Just depends on whether i go to CO in early October
    Aqua Man likes this.
  7. Would a possible advantage of these be being able to run much higher water temps than normally would be?
    Aqua Man likes this.
  8. I would say in terms of oxygen... possibly but adequate airstones would also be. Higher temps equal faster bacterial growth both good and bad so I would say higher temps would allow for less time to react in the event the of bad bacteria.
  9. I agree in theory but a lot of reading I've been doing, actually a lot, states that we have the temps all wrong at 68. I've been reading that temps as high as 74 are actually considerably better for plant growth. Additionally it was stated that the closer you can get water temp to ambient temp the better, scientific reasoning.
    Aqua Man likes this.

  10. Yes, that is one of the advantages, but I have no idea what temp would be too high
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  11. I can't find the info again but perfect plant health for roots and veg is found when there is an equilibrium between the water temp and ambient temp but ofcourse that only works up to a certain temp which I don't think would be above 74.

    If I wanted to spend that amount of money I would totally try but I'm still a bit cheap.
    Aqua Man and PhatNuggz like this.
  12. I have not been able to find anyone growing cannabis with it, neither has GreenEnvy, who sells it, but a lot of growers are private for good reasons

    I don't think equilibrium works when ambient temps are mid 80*+, as they are here 8 months a year: water should be below 68. Its just easier to maintain water temp when ambient is < 75*s, only about 4 months a year here. And running ac in that room adds $100/month x 4 months is, well...why I am willing to try the 2020

    Waterfalls are a very good alternative, but must be on a deep cycle timer to minimize heat build up: pump + timer + plus fittings + tubing ~ $100 +

    During hot months, I rotate blue ice packs every couple hours. That keeps me from having much fun away from home.

    Now, IF using the 02Grow allows temps ~ 80*s, or, if it allows me to flood every 3-4 hours (by allowing the roots to absorb considerably more nutrient from each flood) and get the same benefit as flooding every 2 hours that, too, would be HUGE

    Aqua Man likes this.
  13. Equilibrium is equilibrium
  14. Temperature and gasses will always try to reach equilibrium. Root and shoot temps do affect growth. Warmer temps change the viscosity of the liquid in plants and in studies I have read below 64f can slow growth. And an optimal for growth is around 75f in those same studies. Now in the case both air and water temps are equal... reached equilibrium. Since this in not usually the case in nature or our man made environments the higher shoot and leaf temps would minimize this effect since the plant feed itself through siphoning the water combined with nutrients, the root temp effect is less but not to be discounted. Basically yes higher water temps could provide for easier uptake of nutrients but this is most effected by transpiration rate and the difference between root temps of 68 to 75 would more than likely make minimal differences in growth while creating a more favourable environment for bad bacteria. Different bacteria can survive or thrive in certain conditions and in this case the bacteria we want fair much better in cooler temp than the bacteria we are trying to avoid. Can higher temps be done... absolutely but is the risk worth it... imo not so much.
    Shawnery likes this.
  15. Agreed on all accounts but one of the requirements for negative bacteria to thrive is a low oxygen environment, correct or not, I'm really asking?

    So if your using these 02 emmiters which would allow you to keep maximum 02 levels even in high temps then wouldn't that mean any concern for bacteria growth would not be any higher than with lower temps?

    I'm not being difficult but just trying to understand better.

    Most of the reading I've done have stated the growth increase from higher temps is not negligible at all. I've never done it so I can only go by what I read. My only problem with the whole concern is oxygenation by this new system "should" basically remove 'heat' risk in terms of bacteria growth.
    Aqua Man likes this.
  16. I just read a study done by spinach growers. In the study with every 2 degree increase there was a noticable increase in grams of harvest weight. There was four temp solutions, 68.3, 70.7, 73.1, 74.2.

    Harvest weight
    @ 68.3 - 20g
    @70.7 - 25g
    @73.1 - 35g
    @74.2 - 40g

    This is just for informational purposes not for arguments sake! Double the harvest weight from 68 to 74, crazy! This is a scientific study not some dude saying it just because.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  17. There are 2 types of bacteria anaerobic and aerobic. In hydro you will never have anaerobic conditions. This usually occurs in compact substrates in nature not in water columns and those types of bacteria are responsible for h2s gas that can be deadly at low concentrations.

    The temps you are quoting are shoot and leaf temps I think not the roots. I would have to see the study. Transpiration is the driving force for water uptake this takes place in the leaf and is most affected by leaf temp...not root temp. Although at some point low root temp would affect this and in the studies I have read that occurs below 66f and the growth rate from 68 to 75f is not all that significant.
  18. Will have to look at this once I'm back to my hotel room. Looks interesting though.