Putting together a rdwc system with automation

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highguy777

highguy777

Hello everyone, completely new here I wanted to join somewhere where there are many hydro growers :) I am getting a 13 gallon 8 site rdwc fallponic system from pa hydroponics and pairing it with a 4x8 and a bluelabs pro controller with 4 peripods. Im trying to have this generally as hands off and automated as I can have it be. I just had some questions for people that run a similar system or just rdwc in general because I am newer.
With a 4 nutrient pump system such as the peripod m4 , for the nutrients used is it best to go with : PH down, calmag, part a , part b. As the 4 choices? I would be switching from a general hydroponics nutrients because of the 3 part system, and im sure many part a part b are better than GH anywho.

ill be using Reverse osmosis water only for the system, one question I had regarding nutrients and mixing. With a 8 site system and 1 reservoir all 13 gallons, when I have a feed dosing , what gallon amount am I measuring it to? 13 gallons? Or would that be diluted because thats just feeding for one plant.

Also with RO water as I understand correct me if I am wrong, you never have JUST RO water only for your rdwc system. As in you would always want calmag mixed in the water so there is some EC. Or am I wrong about this? Any help appreciated, links guides anything. Thanks in advance all :)
 
UBERMAN2552

UBERMAN2552

Sorry if my english is not perfect, but im from holland so please forgive me.
Reading your post, and understanding only the nutrient question coz in europe we work with liters instead of gallons xdxdxd


I would go with the tripart system of GH/Terra Aquatica ( thats the new name )

And I would go with RO, and add cal+mag myself. ( like you suggested yourself )

For some stability in ph + / ph - its smart to add cal+mag till 0.2/0.3 E.C and then add your other nutrients.

I have the perfect .excel file for you, where you just enter the start ec. And the amount of water ( ltrs tho ) And it will tell you what you need to add from what nutrient in what stage.
Let me know if interested ( a pic of what im talking asbout is on my profile )!

namaste!
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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So with RO depending on the nutrients it's extremely likely you will need to add alkalinity to buffer the ph or your going to get large ph swings.


It's unlikely you will need cal mag depending on the nutrients used. But good to keep on hand.

If I was you I'd go with a 1 part like PBP grow or dynagro. This will ensure you keep a balanced nutrient profile. Especially if using a controller that doses based on ppm.

The system should be given nutrients based on the actual water volume and stage of growth.... 1 plant or 20 plants they should be the same. The only difference is less plants will cause less change over time and require less water changes.
 
UBERMAN2552

UBERMAN2552

So with RO depending on the nutrients it's extremely likely you will need to add alkalinity to buffer the ph or your going to get large ph swings.


It's unlikely you will need cal mag depending on the nutrients used. But good to keep on hand.

If I was you I'd go with a 1 part like PBP grow or dynagro. This will ensure you keep a balanced nutrient profile. Especially if using a controller that doses based on ppm.

The system should be given nutrients based on the actual water volume and stage of growth.... 1 plant or 20 plants they should be the same. The only difference is less plants will cause less change over time and require less water changes.
I add my nutrients manually XD With the old skool syringe :p
Also in europe we meassure with EC not ppm.
But I get the point :)
 
highguy777

highguy777

So with RO depending on the nutrients it's extremely likely you will need to add alkalinity to buffer the ph or your going to get large ph swings.


It's unlikely you will need cal mag depending on the nutrients used. But good to keep on hand.

If I was you I'd go with a 1 part like PBP grow or dynagro. This will ensure you keep a balanced nutrient profile. Especially if using a controller that doses based on ppm.

The system should be given nutrients based on the actual water volume and stage of growth.... 1 plant or 20 plants they should be the same. The only difference is less plants will cause less change over time and require less water changes.
If there is a week of no nutrient feeding, then wouldnt you still need calmag for the plain RO water?

Also I should add I plan this setup as an exact double , same tent flowering and same setup veg, so should I have a different nutrient line up in the veg tent if all it does is veg and a different lineup for flowering vs exactly the same for both?
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Sorry if my english is not perfect, but im from holland so please forgive me.
Reading your post, and understanding only the nutrient question coz in europe we work with liters instead of gallons xdxdxd


I would go with the tripart system of GH/Terra Aquatica ( thats the new name )

And I would go with RO, and add cal+mag myself. ( like you suggested yourself )

For some stability in ph + / ph - its smart to add cal+mag till 0.2/0.3 E.C and then add your other nutrients.

I have the perfect .excel file for you, where you just enter the start ec. And the amount of water ( ltrs tho ) And it will tell you what you need to add from what nutrient in what stage.
Let me know if interested ( a pic of what im talking asbout is on my profile )!

namaste!
Also cal mag does not buffer ph. It's almost always nitrate sources and can actually lower ph. You need carbonate, bicarbonate, silica or hydroxide to buffer ph.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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If there is a week of no nutrient feeding, then wouldnt you still need calmag for the plain RO water?

Also I should add I plan this setup as an exact double , same tent flowering and same setup veg, so should I have a different nutrient line up in the veg tent if all it does is veg and a different lineup for flowering vs exactly the same for both?
You never have no nutrients in hydro... ever. Many nutrients are already designed to work with RO and already have Adequate calcium and magnesium added. But likeni say it's good to have on hand.
 
highguy777

highguy777

Not sure what you mean weeks you don't feed? Like flush at the end?
So if week 1 is just ro water with cal mag, week 2 is a feed, week 3 is no feed only calmag and topping off RO water if needed etc. Along the lines of what I mean.


Keep in my mind I am a newer hydro grower so my way of thinking may still be stuck in the soil LOL I am sorry if some of my questions seem foolish
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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So if week 1 is just ro water with cal mag, week 2 is a feed, week 3 is no feed only calmag and topping off RO water if needed etc. Along the lines of what I mean.


Keep in my mind I am a newer hydro grower so my way of thinking may still be stuck in the soil LOL I am sorry if some of my questions seem foolish
No worries so in hydro it doesn't work that way.

keep in mind this is a rough guide and it will depend on the plants and growth rates. I also suggest you pick between sterile or live additives to prevent root rot which will almost certainly be an issue without either of those.

Week 1 maybe 100ppm cal mag if needed and 150-200ppm of nutrients.

Week 2 again maybe 100ppm cal mag if needed and 200-300ppm

Week 3 same cal mag 300-400ppm

Week 4- week 7 same cal mage 400-600ppm
And adjusting ratios if you are inclined to. Personally I don't change my ratios much.

Week 8 no cal mag and 300ppm
 
highguy777

highguy777

No worries so in hydro it doesn't work that way.

keep in mind this is a rough guide and it will depend on the plants and growth rates. I also suggest you pick between sterile or live additives to prevent root rot which will almost certainly be an issue without either of those.

Week 1 maybe 100ppm cal mag if needed and 150-200ppm of nutrients.

Week 2 again maybe 100ppm cal mag if needed and 200-300ppm

Week 3 same cal mag 300-400ppm

Week 4- week 7 same cal mage 400-600ppm
And adjusting ratios if you are inclined to. Personally I don't change my ratios much.

Week 8 no cal mag and 300ppm
Ah okay, thank you for helping me better understand. So would you typically flush the entire system when ppm raises too high? Or just as a routine every 3 weeks flush.

For preventing root rot, how does botanicare hydroguard work for that? Loved using it in soil. Or is there a better option for hydro.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Ah okay, thank you for helping me better understand. So would you typically flush the entire system when ppm raises too high? Or just as a routine every 3 weeks flush.

For preventing root rot, how does botanicare hydroguard work for that? Loved using it in soil. Or is there a better option for hydro.
Hydrogaurd is a great option.

This is a bit more complex the alot do but it has a big benefit of steering the system and maintaining more stability. For complete water changeouts you do them once you have added back the volume of actual water... so when they are young you may go 3+ weeks with just tops ups. Once they start chugging the water it may be every week or sooner. This may get a bit confusing but once you do it a few times it's easy as can be and gives you a really go idea of plant health and how much they are eating which you can then use to let the plants tell you when to increase your nutrient concentration.

 
highguy777

highguy777

Hydrogaurd is a great option.

This is a bit more complex the alot do but it has a big benefit of steering the system and maintaining more stability. For complete water changeouts you do them once you have added back the volume of actual water... so when they are young you may go 3+ weeks with just tops ups. Once they start chugging the water it may be every week or sooner. This may get a bit confusing but once you do it a few times it's easy as can be and gives you a really go idea of plant health and how much they are eating which you can then use to let the plants tell you when to increase your nutrient concentration.

Great link! I bookmarked that one earlier when stalking this website for a week lol.

Ah okay so when you say "you have added back the actual volume of water" for my system a 8 site 13 gallon buckets and 13 gallon resiviour the maker says each bucket holds 10 gallons, so you would measure to 90 gallons total in the system... This meaning I would flush when I have topped up 90 gallons?
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Great link! I bookmarked that one earlier when stalking this website for a week lol.

Ah okay so when you say "you have added back the actual volume of water" for my system a 8 site 13 gallon buckets and 13 gallon resiviour the maker says each bucket holds 10 gallons, so you would measure to 90 gallons total in the system... This meaning I would flush when I have topped up 90 gallons?
Yeah... thats a large system and going to be very very stable even with 8 plants. When you need to increase the nutrients concentration as they grow you will simply add more and not need a change out. Just log how many gals you add back as you do it and when you hit 90 then do a complete change. Depending how big the plants get the will likely end up drinking a touch over 1 gal a day each at the peak uptake. So I'd say at peak you probably will only even need to do a changeout at most every 10-14 days... and early on I'm going to say prob not for atleast 4 weeks.
 
highguy777

highguy777

Yeah... thats a large system and going to be very very stable even with 8 plants. When you need to increase the nutrients concentration as they grow you will simply add more and not need a change out. Just log how many gals you add back as you do it and when you hit 90 then do a complete change. Depending how big the plants get the will likely end up drinking a touch over 1 gal a day each at the peak uptake. So I'd say at peak you probably will only even need to do a changeout at most every 10-14 days... and early on I'm going to say prob not for atleast 4 weeks.
By the way thank you so much for the help, really appreciate it!!



For my veg tent though the system is a tad smaller, an 8 site 8 gallon and 8 gallon reservoir but same exact system. Awesome, so top off as they drink and log how much then when the magic number hits flush time. Wow so not very frequently, which is nice because i am trying to make this as hands off as possible.


Which dynagrow is the one to use? There are a few on amazon, trying to plan ahead here lol.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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By the way thank you so much for the help, really appreciate it!!



For my veg tent though the system is a tad smaller, an 8 site 8 gallon and 8 gallon reservoir but same exact system. Awesome, so top off as they drink and log how much then when the magic number hits flush time. Wow so not very frequently, which is nice because i am trying to make this as hands off as possible.


Which dynagrow is the one to use? There are a few on amazon, trying to plan ahead here lol.
Grow.

I use mega crop 2 part but that is a dry fert so no go on the dosing system... the dynagro will work easily in it.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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This... can use thier protek silica also and that will give you a ph buffer asi believe it's potassium silicate.
 

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