Hey rdwc and UC community.

I am building an 8 site undercurrent ie 4 x 2, so my garden is longer than wider. So I thought of running a pipe long the middle with outlets tapped in for each 25l (~5gal) bucket's airline. Something like this between the buckets. Am worried about The tail ends having different flow rate. Also need wider main-line.
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BUT: I saw this video on manifold design for large room filled with many fish tanks. This guy says design-wise to have your main lines run a loop around your space, because that makes the out flow more evenly distributed, vs a linear manifold with dead ends like above...


Here's my ring air line manifold design thus came up with:
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SO, what do you guys think? Are loops standard or am I missing something. Also should the inlet on the loop be option 1 or option 2? I feel a T make the air flow more even but on the con side means the airpump is in the way of my epicenter and in the garden, so option 1 is better, tho seems uneven flow distribution-wise.
 
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I have never heard of the loop manifold however it makes sense but at the same time I think it's a bit much for a 8 site...I mean it would work and would be really clean but overdone... however what size and type of airstones/diffusers and pump are you going to be running..the loop would help with cooling the air but it is doubling the piping too for the pump too...as with a regenerative blower like he uses runs much different than a linear air pump does as well...
For my veg setup I have a uc4 8gal and alita60 that I just built a new manifold for as I was tired of having hoses everywhere and a complete cluster fuck so I no longer use any hoses..I use 1in pvc and fpvc too great shit btw too...so I run my airpump outside the tent which I built a stand out of 1/2 pvc and it works wonderful since it has to be higher than the water level of course..so a clean way instead of a cinder block like most people do...and you can build the stand to the size of the pump...I also use push in fittings like they use on r/o...I'll just post a pic it will be easier than to explain it all if you have any questions just ask...
Also on your option 2 if your dead set on doing the loop and you want to do option 2 just put a tee in the middle and then get a elbow and put the piping to the right and you can put the pump right there in option 1 still...
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I noticed that blower and I thought one can only really use piston type compressors for bubbling water.

Yeah less pipe does seem simpler, and also means I can theretically squeeze in between the buckets, but the garden is quite narrow (1m wide max, 3ft) so I can reach over without being in there.

Cool setup btw
 
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Ya regen blowers are fine for larger systems like 16 sites and up anything else linear air pumps work just fine...My veg tent which is the pics I sent is a 4.5x4.5ft...
Also my bloom tent is even better lol it has x4 27gal totes and no airpumps....I use waterfalls only for it and im loving it so are the ladies...I'm running a 350gph eco plus mag drive for x2 totes and same for the other 2..And it works out great...Now my waterfalls don't have any dead ends actually lol.....
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Wow that's awesome! I heard on riu forum that the undercurrent/rdwc crowd here knows much. I also experimented with flooming last year, like just a pump inside a tote with a short vertical spout so it sploshes down. But now I wan't to try undercurrent 8 site in 5gal buckets you gets. So to start Im going to just do the airpump thing and have about 3000l/h flow rate for about 50gal or 180l incl my epicentre.
 
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With your rdwc 5gal setup it will all depend on how long of veg you plan.. as with rdwc u can fill that 5gal bucket really easy with roots and when in bloom plants drinking up to 2 gal a day or gna struggle with keeping them with water my veg buckets are 8gal and I would recommend a square or rectangle container instead of round..And use bulkheads not bs uniseals unless you don't mind having leaks and the entire system end up on the floor....Not sure where ur getting 50gal from 8 5gal buckets as you don't fill them all the way up you fill them to the bottom of your netpot so depends on the size of the net pot on how high ur water level is as a 5gal bucket will give you about 2.5gal only...My 8gal is more like 4.6gal and my 27gal does 16gal.....So a x8 site 5gal would be more like 25-30gal depending on the size of ur piping..And plant size etc...
 
They wont be too big, just enough to fill a 8 x 3 ft. Honestly they not 5gal, just realized, I think in metric, so I'm using 8 x 25 l bucket filled to about 20l I figure, about 3/4 way up, that 20l is a max possible value. My buckets are different to ones in the US I figure, because 7gal US = 26liters, I technically have "7gal buckets" if you even get that. They about 3/4-1ft wide and 1.5 ft tall. I think in feet tbh because indoor gardens mapped in feet makes more sense than the huge meter, but for volume I love metric lol. Anyways so say 8 x 7 gal buckets + 1 x 7gal bucket for my epicentre = 63gal. I wantto use a 100/lpm airpump. I have used grommets before, like 1inch ones, I do have 2inch ones, and they not uniseal. Also I have learnt that a good hole cutter and drill is king when using rubber seals. I hope tho I don't get leaks, I shouldn't (famous last words). I read that square totes are better than tall buckets once, prob because of surface area, but if I got airpumps, circulation, and temp in the right spot it should be a negative right? Also large tubs mean I really cant get into my space then. I do want to automate draining and filling during rez changes, for simplicity and to make up for small volume issues
 
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Tbh if I was u I would do 4 plants not 8 in ur space as 3ft wide isn't too wide at all and you would be better off with 1 plant wide..Also are you going to scrog your plants... Also there is 3.78l per gal so your closer to 4 than 3......And a filling/drain is two diff systems for rdwc....As for filling I have my 55gal top off res that I use to fill when I do a rez change and I have a pump I put in the 55gal to help it fill faster other than just the top off valve...And the drain kit is totally a different story..As it all depends on how much you want to drain out of the system etc..As it can get extremely complicated pretty quickly.....Containers u want something about 1.5ft tall max and the wider the better more surface area...Which is more important than some round bucket for circulation which probably isn't any difference since it's water it takes the path of least resistance always....I wouldn't bother with those said grommets either esp that size and I wouldn't go smaller than 2in for lines either esp with root clogs which will happen in a system like that guaranteed....
I would go bigger buckets try and find like 13 or 15gal and would use bulkheads only or u will regret it if u plan on keeping it for some time..And if u already don't have that 100lpm air pump don't buy it and go with a water pump and waterfall u can use a 1/2in elbow pointed down at the water in each bucket and that's all u need ...No B's air pump that's $350 or more plus air stones or diffusers and replacing them and air lines plus the heat from that pump not to mention pythim aka root disease that can kill a crop over night even...
 
2 plants per 3ft wide should be enough, seeing that I'm vegging not too long. Basically 4 plants per 600w HPS space although it's LED. Maybe for industrial scale larger totes makes sense, and also then I would have to veg and trim like crazy


Airpumps do keep the O2 gradient higher than just flooming or waterfalls apparently which it makes sense. Though I'm going to try exactly what UC recomend, and then work from there. I like to see how things work out first before I get clever. I have found that good airpump with bubbles going like crazy makes clones establish faster than the splashing from waterfalls. Plants can take pythium esp if they mature enough and I do sterlize equipment properly, and esp if the enivrionment like O2 levels is adequate. Also it's somewhat quieter than waterfalls like everywhere I figure.

So something like this:

Undercurrent.png
 
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I'm sorry but you are wrong about your misconception with waterfalls over air stones as I have first hand experience and are doing both actually and I would choose waterfall over airpump and my air pump is waaaay louder than the waterfalls are I can actually barely hear the waterfalls unless I'm in the tent and have the lid opened actually..Also bubbles themselves do not actually put d.o in the water it's when they break the surface tension of the water and mixes with the air....And my waterfalls kills my veg tent ...And pythim can happen even when you sterilize as it's in the air that a airpump intakes and then goes into your system.....And the bubbles makes ur pH fluctuate alot more than w.f....
 
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I have some experience setting up air systems in shops and have many years experience running fish rooms with more than 20tanks on single and multiple air pumps.

The biggest thing you can do to evenly provide air to each site is increase the volume of the system providing you have adequate room for flow so a loop effectively acts as that. Given the same size piping a loop will be superior to a single line. Often times reservoirs are put in where the runs are long to help aid but the best route is using larger piping. Now in a system that's constantly running volume into and out of the system is going to be much more important than total volume.

I don't think for your purposes the total volume will make much difference but it certainly won't hurt.

TLDR: an adequate pump that puts out enough volume to meet the requirements of the airstones is all that's needed. In a much larger system with a much longer run you would see more benefits.
 
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I'm sorry but you are wrong about your misconception with waterfalls over air stones as I have first hand experience and are doing both actually and I would choose waterfall over airpump and my air pump is waaaay louder than the waterfalls are I can actually barely hear the waterfalls unless I'm in the tent and have the lid opened actually..Also bubbles themselves do not actually put d.o in the water it's when they break the surface tension of the water and mixes with the air....And my waterfalls kills my veg tent ...And pythim can happen even when you sterilize as it's in the air that a airpump intakes and then goes into your system.....And the bubbles makes ur pH fluctuate alot more than w.f....
Pythium can effect any system. If you have an adequate amount of surface agitation both work fine. In a cramped site full of roots a waterfall may perform better but that's not because they are better. As far as heat both pumps give off heat but both are very low wattage so it negligible. Pathogens are everywhere what's the difference between spaying water through the said tainted air or using an airpump to force air through the water.... Same dam thing.

Both work well if they are built to be adequate for the system.

This waterfall is better in every way is quite a bit of misinformation and exaggeration. They do work well for their purpose and both have their advantages and disadvantages.
 
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I'm sorry but you are wrong about your misconception with waterfalls over air stones as I have first hand experience and are doing both actually and I would choose waterfall over airpump and my air pump is waaaay louder than the waterfalls are I can actually barely hear the waterfalls unless I'm in the tent and have the lid opened actually..Also bubbles themselves do not actually put d.o in the water it's when they break the surface tension of the water and mixes with the air....And my waterfalls kills my veg tent ...And pythim can happen even when you sterilize as it's in the air that a airpump intakes and then goes into your system.....And the bubbles makes ur pH fluctuate alot more than w.f....
How does an air pump make ph fluctuations? If you talking about shifting carbonic acid into bicarbonate form. That's directly related to gas exchange and bases in the solution. How is one different
 
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From what I have read is pH rises due to loss of co2 from the air stones...However I'm not totally sure but I know it happens also why current culture took the matala disc diffusers out of the epicenters...So I bet they would have a better answer for you...
I'm not saying air pumps don't work by any means as they do however everyone's setups and goals are different...There a million ways to skin a cat and or get d.o into a rdwc setup...Air pumps and water being the same in power well all depends on the pumps...As like the alita120 I have vs my x2 350gph h20 pumps my h20 pumps use half the watts and amps...Plus it's a hell of a lot louder it puts a lot more heat into the system vs having the h20 pump inline outside the totes...Replacing the air stones frequently vs not having to ever.... Just all depends on what your goals are and what your trying to do...
 
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From what I have read is pH rises due to loss of co2 from the air stones...However I'm not totally sure but I know it happens also why current culture took the matala disc diffusers out of the epicenters...So I bet they would have a better answer for you...
I'm not saying air pumps don't work by any means as they do however everyone's setups and goals are different...There a million ways to skin a cat and or get d.o into a rdwc setup...Air pumps and water being the same in power well all depends on the pumps...As like the alita120 I have vs my x2 350gph h20 pumps my h20 pumps use half the watts and amps...Plus it's a hell of a lot louder it puts a lot more heat into the system vs having the h20 pump inline outside the totes...Replacing the air stones frequently vs not having to ever.... Just all depends on what your goals are and what your trying to do...
Agreed half the watts will be close to half the heat.

CO2 strives for equalibrium like all gasses and the gas exchange just like with waterfalls happens at the surface primarily. Gasses like CO2 are a lot easier to dissolve in water than o2. But the only way I could see any difference is if the air pump was located in a high CO2 area bringing CO2 into the buckets and that would lower the ph. When you create gas exchange the water tries to reach equalibrium no matter how it's achieved.

Did they replace it with a waterfall or just delete from the system?
 
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Just wanted to add that this is why it's important to aerate your water before phing it. You need to aerate your water in your system to provide adequate o2 and the ph can change quite a bit when aerated. So people ph sitting water that has not yet reached equalibrium add it to the system and the ph rises as the CO2 is gassed off as it reaches equalibrium and raises the ph.

So if you see this happen more so with air stones I would say it may be providing better gas exchange
 
I've never had a problem with pH and air. It's nutrients without sufficient "pH buffer" that cause pH swings. Google how a chemical pH buffer system works, it's magic, it's like a chemical control system. Phosphoric acid and Carbonates work well to keep pH in a non-linear zone.

"Surface agitation" is what drives gaseous exchange, research "flooming", it's what they use in aquaculture. It's just churning the surface of the liquid that facilitates gaseous exchange. Like a swelling in the centre. Much quieter and not a waterfall per se, but it works as well. The splashing of water also works, but it not necessary except for wetting above-surface roots I find, like the ones growing out net pots. Hence why I'm drifting back from flooming-waterfalls to having a good bubble spray.

Are you sure your temps are in range, and the water is churning inside the root mat and at the bottom of tote? These issues are why I'm going back to taller buckets with smaller plants than scrog totes, so that they can in-actuality have a current flowing all around and the root-mat. Also I ask myself when I build a system that water may be sufficiently oxygenated on the surface but is it really penetrating and swapping out solution right from the middle of a massive root mat every 5min? It's all about how water flows in rdwc that means healthier root growth.

I have had more problems with bulkheads that grommets, weird.
 
I have some experience setting up air systems in shops and have many years experience running fish rooms with more than 20tanks on single and multiple air pumps.

The biggest thing you can do to evenly provide air to each site is increase the volume of the system providing you have adequate room for flow so a loop effectively acts as that. Given the same size piping a loop will be superior to a single line. Often times reservoirs are put in where the runs are long to help aid but the best route is using larger piping. Now in a system that's constantly running volume into and out of the system is going to be much more important than total volume.

I don't think for your purposes the total volume will make much difference but it certainly won't hurt.

TLDR: an adequate pump that puts out enough volume to meet the requirements of the airstones is all that's needed. In a much larger system with a much longer run you would see more benefits.
That's exactly as how I see it, but I compare a ratio of manifold inlet area(s) to the sum of the outlet areas. A loop manifold means I can get away with thinner pipe as 2 pipes raises the volume. I know you get those short aquarium manifolds, but my garden is quite long vs wide, so my 5mm outlet tubes for the airstones will be different lengths then, which seems uneven and some plants will get better air that others and ruin an even canopy. So it's why I was thinking a longer manifold, until I saw that video up there and the guy said "dead-ends makes flow uneven, always have a loop". And that statement got me really thinking...
 
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Agreed half the watts will be close to half the heat.

CO2 strives for equalibrium like all gasses and the gas exchange just like with waterfalls happens at the surface primarily. Gasses like CO2 are a lot easier to dissolve in water than o2. But the only way I could see any difference is if the air pump was located in a high CO2 area bringing CO2 into the buckets and that would lower the ph. When you create gas exchange the water tries to reach equalibrium no matter how it's achieved.

Did they replace it with a waterfall or just delete from the system?
They just removed it from the system although the return line goes into the epicenter so it's waterfall still like it was...
 
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They just removed it from the system although the return line goes into the epicenter so it's waterfall still like it was...
Yeah it was probably found it was not needed and they could reduce costs.... Hopefully passing some of the savings on to the consumer
 

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