Aeroponics in 55 Gallon Drum???

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C

chennemann

I'm considering doing an aerponic grow with 55 gallon drums and using 4 misters like these http://www.reptilebasics.com/misting-nozzles.html

I'm only looking at growing the plants 4-4.5 ft high. I have 450 sq/ft area (shouldn't need the entire area) I will be growing 12 plants (medical grow) with 8 - 1000 watt lights, CO2 generator/tankless water heater, sentinel controller, 2 ton AC and possibly an additional window AC if needed. The room will be sealed with panda paper everywere. Dehumidifer if needed. I will be using fatmans forumula for drain to waste fertiizler.

Goals
Temperature 70-85 degrees
CO2 1500 PPM during the day
Humidity <65% during first 3 weeks of bud then <50%. This is an area I need to do more research.

  • Has anyone done something similar?
  • Any suggestions or pitfalls with my plan?
  • Any suggestions for an inexpensive tankless propane water heater?
Thanks for your help...
 
B

Bobby Smith

Lol, the title caught my eye as that's what I'm considering doing for my next setup.

Yeah, those misters are pretty similar to the ones I have, but I got mine from cloudtops.com and they were $.50 cheaper per mister.

You're definitely gonna need a dehumidifier if running sealed.

You want a Marey Tankless Hot Water Heater - they're pretty cheap off of Ebay. Depending on how you run it (recirculating or drain to waste), you're gonna need to get a solenoid as well (if drain to waste off of a pressurized municipal water supply).

You're also gonna need a deep cycle timer (<1 second increments) and an accumulator tank, a nice diaphragm pump, a solenoid per plant sit, and a shitload of John Guest fittings.

I'd highly recommend you read through the "UC vs. aeroponics" thread here for lotsa good info.
 
C

chennemann

I am finishing up a run now that didn't do well. So I am using a small gallon accumulator (want to get a large one someday soon), pump, solenoid and timer. I made the following mistakes:

  • These were clones that were started in soil and it took awhile to get roots restarted.
  • I tried to only use 2 sprayers on one side and the roots only grew on that side. Also to compensate I had the water on too long. I have increased it to 4 sprayers and it is doing much better.

I do highly recommend the following timer. http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=16&zenid=029d794bdedf1bb99a0d445ebc540ffe

I think I am going to order additional misters directly through G A Murdock. They only sell to business though. I am trying to find away to go 3/8 line all the way and 1/8 NPTF at the end. The best I have found is http://www.freshwatersystems.com/p-1076-female-nptf-connector-38-push-in-x-18-nptf.aspx

Thanks again....
 
B

Bobby Smith

I am finishing up a run now that didn't do well. So I am using a small gallon accumulator (want to get a large one someday soon), pump, solenoid and timer. I made the following mistakes:

  • These were clones that were started in soil and it took awhile to get roots restarted.
  • I tried to only use 2 sprayers on one side and the roots only grew on that side. Also to compensate I had the water on too long. I have increased it to 4 sprayers and it is doing much better.

I do highly recommend the following timer. http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=16&zenid=029d794bdedf1bb99a0d445ebc540ffe

I think I am going to order additional misters directly through G A Murdock. They only sell to business though. I am trying to find away to go 3/8 line all the way and 1/8 NPTF at the end. The best I have found is http://www.freshwatersystems.com/p-1076-female-nptf-connector-38-push-in-x-18-nptf.aspx

Thanks again....
A large accumulator would definitely be a good call for you - I sourced (the only, as far as I know) accumulators that can go up to 150PSI working pressure (in the US) - lemme know if you want a link.

I also made the mistake of clones having to start in pellets (issues with my aerocloner), so faced the same difficulties and have had to compensate with longer than desirable misting times; that being said, not too worried about pretty roots this run as my rig isn't really designed for HP aero.

When looking at that timer, I thought "holy shit, this timer is bomb" until I saw the relay life expectancy (100,000 cycles) - using a standard-ish two minute pause, you'd go through 2.5 of those timers per year.

I have the ATC 422, which is an industrial timer and is rated for 10MM cycles, or 100 times longer - about 3X as much, but since it should last me until my death (or just about), I think it's probably worth the money.

In my rig, I go 3/8 line out from my accumulator which tees off twice before it hits my solenoids (attached pics kinda illustrate what I'm talking about), which are 1/4" (OD). Maintains pressure fairly well, but again, this rig wasn't constucted with HP aero in mind (retrofit) so I've had to make it work as best I can.
 
B

Bobby Smith

BTW, nice find on those $2 fittings - could've saved me some bread if I knew about those.

Although that's gonna be cheaper for you, using 3/8" line all the way through is gonna lead to more runoff at the end of your cycles unless you get some expensive misters that don't crack at less than (pulling a number outta my ass) 70PSI or you get some of the "no-drip" misters, which I've heard aren't that great.

When (if) I switch my setup around after a couple of runs, I'm gonna spend some looch and get the $10-$20 misters that don't crack at less than 100PSI and just set my pressure switch to be 105-125PSI.
 
PhatNuggz

PhatNuggz

chennemen I got all my parts from reptile. They have complete articulating heads- single, double and quad. All you do is drill a hole insert the body from the inside. Comes complete with locking nut. Add your fitting ('t' if you are doing several in line), run your line, connect to the Aquatec 8800 JG fittings and you're done. Oops, you would be connecting to your accum.

55G rain barrels would be cool, but they are like 4 ft tall and you need some room under them for drain, and then you have to add height of plant and room for lighting. 10 ft disappears pretty fast, and 8+ ft canopies are challenging for non NBA players.

HPA is best suited for SOG, or any low height plant, but not trees. Not sayin you could not grow awesome trees, but the height limitations come into play fast.

hth
 
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chennemann

Thanks everyone. I think I am going to use 30 gallon drums instead. The ones I found have removable lids, which will make it easier and secure.
 
PhatNuggz

PhatNuggz

Another thing with trees. They can get top heavy, and/or grow out of balance. The whole tree 'could' tumble your pod. Have a support system at the ready. Also, you need a trap door on the lid big enough to get your arm in in cases of replacing nozzles, wiping down the insides to remove algae, mildew, etc. Love to see this in action!

hth
 
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