Wise and knowledgeable expert advise for DWC at altitude.

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Moe.Red

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Well, that was another question I had, roots and pluggung up a circulating DWC. I was/am hopeful that a slowly circulating system might work with the small return lines, something like this from Amazon, here
71iW19v3ILL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
If you grow trees, this will be a problem. Small plants will be fine. You may find yourself outgrowing this system to.

Constantly spraying the hydroton will likely result in a salt build up. Not terrible, not ideal.
 
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IamN2pot

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I sure hope that the dripper ring running constantly isn't a problem, but like you say, I'm no expert. It's easy enough to turn off.
I see Moe just checked in, and trees won't be a problem, well, bonzi maybe,,,,LOL!
 
SweetLeafGrow

SweetLeafGrow

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I sure hope that the dripper ring running constantly isn't a problem, but like you say, I'm no expert. It's easy enough to turn off.

Knowing what I have learned in the past few months, I would steer clear of a system like this. Have you heard of Fallponics? Very similar to what you have here but IMO, much better. If you can't afford a pre-made system and are a bit handy, you can make your own. I'd be glad to help you in any way I can if you decide to go that route.
 
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IamN2pot

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Knowing what I have learned in the past few months, I would steer clear of a system like this. Have you heard of Fallponics? Very similar to what you have here but IMO, much better. If you can't afford a pre-made system and are a bit handy, you can make your own. I'd be glad to help you in any way I can if you decide to go that route.
That's weird. I was just looking at DIY 'fallponics'. Here is the picture. Interesting he has 2" bulkhead fittings in 5 gallon buckets. Hmmmm?
Would additional air being pumped into this system be needed?
It would be nice to build something similar to this with the resivoir (and chiller) outside the tent.
20191007_164041-jpg.2694555
 
SweetLeafGrow

SweetLeafGrow

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That's weird. I was just looking at DIY 'fallponics'. Here is the picture. Interesting he has 2" bulkhead fittings in 5 gallon buckets. Hmmmm?
I have seen these type of systems. I think they even sell a bulkhead that has that curvature to fit a bucket but I wouldn't know where to find them.

I do not like the fallponics the way they have that in this system. My fallponic stream runs into the plant site through the side of the bucket using a 3/4" bulkhead fitting. But yea, that is basically the fallponic set up. You can see my system in my current grow here-


There are easier ways to run that plumbing, but yea, that works and would be fine. Another thing, a lesson I learned the hard way, stay away from those large net pots, especially if you go in 5 gal buckets. You want your water level 1" below the bottom of the net pot and big net pots don't let you use as much water in the system, which is key to helping control the ph.

Would additional air being pumped into this system be needed?
Yes, you want to use an air pump with an air stone in each plant site and perhaps two in that large res.
It would be nice to build something similar to this with the resivoir (and chiller) outside the tent.
It can be done. Let me know if I can help in any way bro.
 
M

Moe.Red

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That's weird. I was just looking at DIY 'fallponics'. Here is the picture. Interesting he has 2" bulkhead fittings in 5 gallon buckets. Hmmmm?
Would additional air being pumped into this system be needed?
It would be nice to build something similar to this with the resivoir (and chiller) outside the tent.
20191007_164041-jpg.2694555
If you are growing smaller plants 2” is fine. On the system SLG is talking about the plant sites are 13 gallons and the roots can get big. You are gonna need to control that.

If you are dialed in on hydro and veg over a month you will completely stuff those 5 gallon pots with roots. You will want to limit to a couple weeks max once you have a couple nodes. How much space do you have above the pots?
 
SweetLeafGrow

SweetLeafGrow

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On the system SLG is talking about the plant sites are 13 gallons and the roots can get big.
I actually have the 8 gallon version of these buckets. I think I can get 6.5 to 7 gallons in each one, somewhere between 13 and 14 gallons in the system.
 
J

Jimbo9414

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Couple years ago I was toying around with DWC and Kratky, and as I knew nothing about them I started out with leafy green veggies and GH nutes. Yep, kale, spinich, lettus, basil and cilantro. The DWC easily won out. I didn't want to make major mistakes starting off with $25.ea cuttings of cannabis, so I did regular veggies. Talk about weird looks in the grow store when I started asking about nutes for basil. I'm in Colorado, LOL!!! Anyway, after some real success with the veggie DWC garden, I started my cannabis cutting in DWC. You can see both the veggies and the cutting in the picture below. So for the cutting I started using a line of nutes that I won't name, but are local from here in Colorado, and in one of the bottles were solid pieces. The phone # was listed, so I called. The advise I got stopped me in my tracts. I was first ask what kind of hydro system, so I told him DWC. He told me that I could/should strain out the solids and it would/should work fine. Then he ask where I had purchased my DWC and named a manufacturer, "X" in Cal. I said nope, I made it myself. He said that "X" had done a commercial trial of DWC in Denver and it didn't work. Reason was "because of the altitude", the water couldn't hold enough oxygen. I was in the early stages and it was easy to transplant them into soil and that's exactly what I did. No need to beat my head against a wall, I knew dirt works, LOL!!!

Now it's 2 years later and I've been given some conflicting advise. At 4700' I am slightly lower, than Denver, but only 500'? Is that enough to really make a differance? I understand a tiny bit about how a chiller/cooler can help as well as adding Hydrogen Peroxide I'm told can raise the oxygen saturation level, but is that enough??? Help! Is it a general waste of time to do a DWC at altitudes over 2500'-3000' as was suggested to my by the nute manufacturer?

Thanks for your input.
View attachment 1315786 View attachment 1315787
Couple years ago I was toying around with DWC and Kratky, and as I knew nothing about them I started out with leafy green veggies and GH nutes. Yep, kale, spinich, lettus, basil and cilantro. The DWC easily won out. I didn't want to make major mistakes starting off with $25.ea cuttings of cannabis, so I did regular veggies. Talk about weird looks in the grow store when I started asking about nutes for basil. I'm in Colorado, LOL!!! Anyway, after some real success with the veggie DWC garden, I started my cannabis cutting in DWC. You can see both the veggies and the cutting in the picture below. So for the cutting I started using a line of nutes that I won't name, but are local from here in Colorado, and in one of the bottles were solid pieces. The phone # was listed, so I called. The advise I got stopped me in my tracts. I was first ask what kind of hydro system, so I told him DWC. He told me that I could/should strain out the solids and it would/should work fine. Then he ask where I had purchased my DWC and named a manufacturer, "X" in Cal. I said nope, I made it myself. He said that "X" had done a commercial trial of DWC in Denver and it didn't work. Reason was "because of the altitude", the water couldn't hold enough oxygen. I was in the early stages and it was easy to transplant them into soil and that's exactly what I did. No need to beat my head against a wall, I knew dirt works, LOL!!!

Now it's 2 years later and I've been given some conflicting advise. At 4700' I am slightly lower, than Denver, but only 500'? Is that enough to really make a differance? I understand a tiny bit about how a chiller/cooler can help as well as adding Hydrogen Peroxide I'm told can raise the oxygen saturation level, but is that enough??? Help! Is it a general waste of time to do a DWC at altitudes over 2500'-3000' as was suggested to my by the nute manufacturer?

Thanks for your input.
View attachment 1315786 View attachment 1315787
I can debunk the idea of DWC not working at elevation. I grew in DWC and later RDWC for over a decade in Denver. When I first started I did some research and understood that water can not hold as much dissolved oxygen, DO, at elevation compared to seal level. So, I decided to do some experimentation. Before putting my plants in the DWC, I filled 2 5 gallon buckets with water and ran a 1200cc air pump between the 2 buckets, temp at 65F. I had access to a DO meter and the reading was 6ppm O2, a bit on the low side. I bought another 1200cc pump so each bucket had its own air pump. The DO METER THEN READ 7.5 ppm. And with the addition of H2O2 I hit 8 ppm, a very healthy DO level. When I switched to RDWC I had even higher levels, I suspect circulating water can hold more O2 than basically stagnant water.
Haha, I grow herbs, basil, parsley, etc in hydro and know about the strange looks you get at grow shops. Take care and happy Growing.
 
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IamN2pot

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OK friends and fellow forum menbers, time for an update. I've been spending far to much time searching different systems and wondering about putting a recirculating systen into a 4x, 5 gal bucket layout? I watched "Gary" in a video, linked to here, from PA Hydro and learned alot about 5 gal systems. In that build video, from the 29 minute mark, he talks about only using a 75gph circulating pump because the 1" return line can't handle much more than that. Fair enough, now I know what pump to order and the little slick adapter/expander piece. And I 'THINK' I've come up with a solution to allow a higher gph flow, ........if it's needed????? Experts, weigh in!
Anyway, my idea is 2 fold. First I think it would help if the supply line came through a 3rd 1" bulkhead in the resivoir bucket, ran to the back 2 buckets and T'ed into the 1" line between those 2nd and 3rd buckets. That would have the return load halved?? or am I losing it 🙃 ? Rather then 1 line out and 1 line in, you would have 1 line out and 2 lines in, right?
Second, speaking of 2 return lines into the resivoir, what if one ran a 2nd set of 1" lines from bucket to bucket and 4, 1" return lines into the resivoir? How much more recirculation flow could that accomidate? Is it needed???
See. I told you I'd been spending to much time researching this, LOL!!! I know, if I decide to equip my 2nd tent with R-DWC, I'll move up to the 8 or even 13gal EZ Stor buckets and a 3" return, but for now, this is what Ive got, so what do you think about splitting and/or doubling up on the 1" return lines for the 5gal buckets with resivoir?
 
SweetLeafGrow

SweetLeafGrow

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TBH bro, I don't know enough about fluid dynamics to say either way about your ideas, they may be good, maybe not. Test it out and let us know how it goes for you!

I guess my question would be, why do you want a higher gph from your system? I'm not sure what benefit that would be.
 
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IamN2pot

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TBH bro, I don't know enough about fluid dynamics to say either way about your ideas, they may be good, maybe not. Test it out and let us know how it goes for you!

I guess my question would be, why do you want a higher gph from your system? I'm not sure what benefit that would be.
I'm not sure if there is any benifit either? It just seems that in most RDWC or FallRDWC, they always seem to be trying to move as much water as possible. @Jimbo9414 was saying, he "suspect circulating water can hold more O2 than basically stagnant water". Maybe that's why?

Believe me, if it only needs to circulate at 75gpm, and anything more is overkill, I'm good.
 
SweetLeafGrow

SweetLeafGrow

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Believe me, if it only need to circulate at 75gpm, and anything more is overkill, I'm good.
I would think more is better but you have to consider the limitations of your system. You can try your ideas and they may work great! I just don't know enough about the fluid dynamics to be of any help in problem solving.

At any rate, 75 gph is far from stagnant and I would think would work just fine for what you are trying to do.
 
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IamN2pot

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Well, I tested my little Eco66, 75GPH pump today with an 8 port manifold attached that I hoped would be enough for my 4 x 5 gal RDWC phallponic system. Testing the pump it took almost 10 minutes (9:25) to empty 5 gallons. That's more like 30'ish gph, devided by 4 buckets is about 7.5 GPH per bucket. Hmmm, that seems more like a "trickleponic" system? 🙁
I guess that's better than nothing, but it's below my expectation. I was hoping for at least double that. LOL, I guess that the bright side of a trickleponic system moving water that slowly would be a very low likelyhood of any overflow issues because of roots clogging the 1" return drain?
Here's a couple pictures...... advice and comments are welcome!
IMG 20230124 102003
IMG 20230124 102031
 
SweetLeafGrow

SweetLeafGrow

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FWIW, I think those 1/4" lines are too small. My fallponics runs 3/4" lines which I think would be your minimum. 1/2" maybe.
 
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IamN2pot

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Is there a flow control on the pump?
Wide open.


FWIW, I think those 1/4" lines are too small. My fallponics runs 3/4" lines which I think would be your minimum. 1/2" maybe.
I just got back from another supply run with 1/2 tubing and ordered a 400gph pump from Amazon.


I think I can use that tiny pump in a 1 x 5 gal w/ 5gal resivoir. I picked up 3 of these last night at Lowes. WHAT!!!!!! 5 gal squares. One of them will be my resivoir in the 4 x 5gal (round bucket) system. Those "could" hold a 3" bulkhead quite nicely for a 4x or larger 5gal RDWC system!!!
 
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IamN2pot

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Futher test results are that with an unrestricted 1/2 tube from the pump, it will empty a 5 gal bucket in about 4 1/2 minutes. That's a bit over 60gpm, much better and likely all I will want for a 1 bucket w/reservoir and 1" return line. Oh, and FYI, it took about 45 seconds to empty 5 gallons when I pulled the 1" plug from the bucket and it gravity emptied (video). If I'm thinking correctly, I should have plenty of return capacity for something in the range of 60-70 gph input feed through 1/2" tubing with the 1" return line. Fingers crossed.

 

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