Wavemaker? Airstones? Waterfall filters? Best dissolved oxygen production

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ColoradoDreaming420

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Dec 3, 2018
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Good evening all and thank you for reading. Well as the title says which of the 3 or any other methods are best for aeration of your reservoir? Do all 3 also remove smaller compounds (filter) the water? Which do you personally use or suggest and why your choice over the others? Help me decide!
 
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ChroToker

DWC Gardener
Oct 15, 2017
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Hey @ColoradoDreaming420 , I have tried 2 different types of 4 inch airstones, 6 inch air stones and also an air injection diffuser, for me the 6 inch stones are the best. I would like to try the nano but don't know if possible in DWC as I would imagine the roots would get stuck in it!
The 4 inch airstones I tried got clogged fairly quickly especially the ones with the plastic casing, the open ones were better and the air injection diffuser ring, well this caused all my problems this grow and caused root rot as got clogged way quick, I like low maintenance lol
Here are pics of the ones I've tried
71Zr0wfle9L._SX425_.jpg
61T5XH5zbBL._SX425_.jpg
Hailea_6_inch_(150mm)_Flat_Circular_Airstone.jpg
s-l300.jpg
 
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Muddy

Proud deplorable!
Jan 7, 2011
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I find it's hard to beat air stones. My system came with round diffusers which I replaced with the black round ones like the one above. They sucked big time. The washers used to weight them down are cheap Chinese galvanized that quickly erroded left stains where ever they touched. Then the hoses started to disintigrate. I've since replaced those with two 4" air stones in every bucket. I use an 8" air stone in my epicenter and a 6" one in my top off res.
 

jER

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Dec 13, 2018
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I've tried a few different styles of airstones and while they all "work" some are deffinately better than others. I would avoid any that have a plastic base. These foul up easily if exposed to sediments or algea. Cylinder or stick shaped ones have the advantage that if sediments settle on top they can still emit air around the sides and bottom. I had an algea bloom that completely stopped all air from getting out of 4 puck shaped ones with plastic bases, could have completely lost my crop if I hadn't caught it right away. Get relatively cheap ones and replace them every grow. Also smaller ones maintain a higher pressure and stay cleaner longer.
 
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Boradan

We don't need no stinking Badges!
Oct 27, 2017
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I've tried a few different styles of airstones and while they all "work" some are deffinately better than others. I would avoid any that have a plastic base. These foul up easily if exposed to sediments or algea. Cylinder or stick shaped ones have the advantage that if sediments settle on top they can still emit air around the sides and bottom. I had an algea bloom that completely stopped all air from getting out of 4 puck shaped ones with plastic bases, could have completely lost my crop if I hadn't caught it right away. Get relatively cheap ones and replace them every grow. Also smaller ones maintain a higher pressure and stay cleaner longer.
No need to dump them.
After a grow, I soak mine in an H2O2 solution overnight, then I rinse them and place into a large pot of simmering water for a few hours.
Once complete, I attach them to the Air pump and pump air through them for 24 hours so that they become nice and dry.
Works a treat and they are good as new afterwards.
 

Simplicio

Auto Warrior
Aug 19, 2017
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Good evening all and thank you for reading. Well as the title says which of the 3 or any other methods are best for aeration of your reservoir? Do all 3 also remove smaller compounds (filter) the water? Which do you personally use or suggest and why your choice over the others? Help me decide!
I'm running two GH Ecogrowers, which have no airstones, and whose aeration is done by 6 top feed sites.
As an experiment, I put two 6" airstones in one, but not the other.
Also 4 of the 6 sites were filled with hydroton in netpots, and the drippers dripped on them.
Although not a scientific experiment, because the strains are different, in two separate tents, I got exactly the growth I expected in both.
I now believe that continuous top feed is just as effective as air stones.
 
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jER

Auto Warrior
Dec 13, 2018
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I'm running two GH Ecogrowers, which have no airstones, and whose aeration is done by 6 top feed sites.
As an experiment, I put two 6" airstones in one, but not the other.
Also 4 of the 6 sites were filled with hydroton in netpots, and the drippers dripped on them.
Although not a scientific experiment, because the strains are different, in two separate tents, I got exactly the growth I expected in both.
I now believe that continuous top feed is just as effective as air stones.
Do your buckets still hold water or do they drain back to the rez right after trickling down the roots?
 

Simplicio

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Aug 19, 2017
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Do your buckets still hold water or do they drain back to the rez right after trickling down the roots?
The bottom 1/2 inch of the netpots are in the fluid, and the pots are filled with clay pellets, so the dripped nutes quickly flow thru the netpots back into the res.
 

jER

Auto Warrior
Dec 13, 2018
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What size net pot? So once the roots grow out of the netpot they grow into the res and are submerged in the water? I wouldn't have though you'd get enough oxygen from the top feed alone to keep the roots from drowning. Most top feed only systems I've seen drain back to an external rez and the buckets supporting the netpots don't keep any water. Do you get any issues with salt buildup in the clay or hard water deposits? It sure would be nice not to have any airstones.
 

Simplicio

Auto Warrior
Aug 19, 2017
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What size net pot? So once the roots grow out of the netpot they grow into the res and are submerged in the water? I wouldn't have though you'd get enough oxygen from the top feed alone to keep the roots from drowning. Most top feed only systems I've seen drain back to an external rez and the buckets supporting the netpots don't keep any water. Do you get any issues with salt buildup in the clay or hard water deposits? It sure would be nice not to have any airstones.
The roots quickly grow into the water, and the top feed keeps everything moist during the seedling phase.
I would also have thought there wouldn't be enough oxygen, but I was wrong.
General Hydroponics sells their Ecogrower without airstones, and my experience is that General Hydroponics doesn't include them with Ecogrower because they aren't needed.

The no-airstone tent has a Zambeza Super Silver Haze and a Mephisto Fantasmo express, both near harvest.
The SSH is over 4 ft tall, and the Fantasmo is over 5 ft tall after topping and LST, and it's a jungle in there.
I am having some nute burn issues, and haven't decided on the cause.

Next time I'll try no reservoir changes along with no airstones.
Both tents are now hooked up to an external res that keeps Ecogrower water levels constant via gravity feed without recirculation.
The goal is to have a DWC system that's easier than Hempy or AutoPots, and that uses only 1 external air pump to drive the top feed.
 
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