Ebb and flow to a Continuous Flow NFT/DWC

ColoradoDreaming420

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Dec 3, 2018
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Alright gang. So I am finishing up my first successful grow (2nd effort) and I am beginning to look at all the pros and cons of my current setup and look at ways to improve. With brainstorming and tinkering I have came up with a rather good idea in my mind at least lol. But before I show it to you. I want to explain it a bit as it will give a better understanding.

I am currently running an ebb and flow setup with some modifications and unconventional methods. Mainly it is set on the ground flat and doesn't use gravity or overflows, rather a 2 pump system on timers. I am also using straight clay pebbles as a medium with smart pots (fabric) as a container.

The Pros:
  • Hydroponic growth rate is fantastic
  • Its low to the ground (this a must)
  • Clay pebble medium doesn't restrict the roots and allows excellent drainage and airflow
  • Containers prevent roots from growing out of control into my pumps + air pruning

The Cons:
  • Timers. Complicated configuration and syncing 2 timers is a pain. And if one fails, it drowns or starves the plants.
  • Salt/mold buildup on outside of smart pots. It didn't cause any major issues but it has the potential too and its unsightly.
  • Algae build up in bottom of flood table.
So...my solution is below. The idea is basically to convert my ebb and flow into a NFT system. The idea is to eliminate each con and keep all the pros via:
  1. Completely eliminates the need for timers.
  2. Still hydroponic
  3. Since I already have 2 pumps I have a back up if one fails
  4. Still on the ground
  5. The Air pots give me all the benefits of smart pots without collecting salts or mold worries.
  6. Clay pebbles ensure good water flow and ability for roots to breath.
  7. I plan to add a Correx top around the air pots to eliminate algae growth and protect the root zone.
  8. Roots are still contained to a degree.
The issues I am worried about is providing too much water to those lower roots. However I already have roots that sit in water 24/7 and haven't rotted. Im assuming with fresh rolling water being oxygenated it wont be a problem. I would be curious to hear feedback from all the stoners here at AFN. Especially those with experimental experience and hydroponic experience. Chime in! Bad idea..? Great idea...? add or take away from it?

Happy growing mates!

Continous DWC Idea.jpg
 
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RivetGrrl

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That looks like it would work just fine.
I am attaching an image I lifted off the interwebs because I never took one of my own, but in my hort program we had this set-up only it was not aeroponic, it was set like yours was only the plants were in the tubes just like this.
I never got to play with it much but I imagine a drawback would be the roots plugging the tubes and a flood occurring. Your design eliminates that flaw.
There was a pipe on both ends like shown on the front here, and the water drained into it and down so it was a passive drain, but pumped to the pipe in the front and distributed to each tube to run down through.
Hmmm does it make sense?
I was taking a break growing at the time and never payed much attention (we never had a hydro module anyway it was just part of one of the greenhouses, shame).


AP.jpg
 
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ColoradoDreaming420

Almost type I on the Karashev Scale
Dec 3, 2018
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That looks like it would work just fine.
I am attaching an image I lifted off the interwebs because I never took one of my own, but in my hort program we had this set-up only it was not aeroponic, it was set like yours was only the plants were in the tubes just like this.
I never got to play with it much but I imagine a drawback would be the roots plugging the tubes and a flood occurring. Your design eliminates that flaw.
There was a pipe on both ends like shown on the front here, and the water drained into it and down so it was a passive drain, but pumped to the pipe in the front and distributed to each tube to run down through.
Hmmm does it make sense?
I was taking a break growing at the time and never payed much attention (we never had a hydro module anyway it was just part of one of the greenhouses, shame).


View attachment 1038061
It defintly does make sense. Thank you for your reply. Thats much closer to what I am going for vs most the other NFT systems I see others doing in pvc pipes. Id say the deeper water should work as long as the upper roots are getting air.