Active hydroponic disaster prevention

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by HydroLynx, Sep 6, 2017.


    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    Bad pump? Mine generally failed when they were trying to start up. I could take it out and whack it and it would run, but it wouldn't come on reliably while unattended with a timer.

    My RDWC runs its pump constantly so no such startup issue exists. Also the pump draws from the control bucket with a cooling coil in it and then pushes that water to waterfalls in each tub, thereby both oxygenating and agitating the water in each tubsite.

    Why am I explaining all this? Because I've been through similar failures as you describe and I went through a process of driving out complexity, increasing reliability and taking advantage of a final failsafe feature of RDWC; the plants will stay alive for a day in the tubs even without water circulation, long enough for me to discover the problem and address it.

    If the pump is reliable, ebb n flood tables work fine. Ya just gotta check it every day to make sure it's getting its water.

    NFT runs continuously, same as RDWC. I've seen some that were cooled and others that weren't. Not much failsafe time in case of failure it clogging, though.

    Aeroponic systems have the intermittent pump issue again- and all but zero buffer time to discover that it isn't working. No failsafe.

    I had terrible luck with root rot in DWC, so I never tried to pursue it further; I just went straight to RDWC.

    A system I set up for a friend with medical needs is as simple and robust as I could make it; ebb n flood tables get filled once a day on a timer. Plants are in 3 gallon buckets full of Tupur. They'll go an extra day without complaint and there's plenty of buffer to help ensure the plants survive a dry spell.

    Hope this helps!
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    HydroLynx Active Member

    Nah, I think because I'm so used to DWC that I literally forgot to switch the pump back on in my new active hydro system. Complacency.

    No. What I mean is surface area of the water vs oxygen transfer rate into that water. Like can O2 dissolve quickly into a hanging wet root mass, say for a 15min drain period, before the root mass gets flooded again. I have a feeling to answer this I will have to lick the "gaseous transfer" formula, where O2 dissolving rate is a function of few variables like surface area and I would assume temp too. Unless there are ubiquitous surface-to-area vs O2 dissolving rate figures lying around somewhere here.
    OldMedUser likes this.

    rkymtnman Well-Known Member

    @ttystikk @SwitchHitter

    this jerk off J Henry is trying to play you. read his quote again. you get the same amount of O2 either way. air is 21% O2 no matter if it's from a waterfall or a air stone

    i figured him out awhile ago. he is somehow connected to he's the Biff Loman of the sales world though and couldn't sell a heater to an Eskimo. if his product was any good, they could afford to advertise here instead of him plugging his shit for free.

    and as a person, he's an absolute piece of shit. and so stupid that he uses his real name here. and he doesn't grow to top it all off!!

    right J Henry??
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    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    Way cool setup!
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    J Henry

    J Henry Active Member

    Hey there Rocketman, clean up your potty-mouth, could make your mama proud maybe.

    I read it again and fact has not changed a bit in the last few hours. This fact will still be correct this Christmas too, “you get the same concentration of O2 either way [when the little bit of O2 in air is bubbled through air stones or dissolves in falling water, the O2 concentration in air is 21%] air is 21% O2 no matter if it's dissolved in a waterfall or dissolved by bubbling through an air stone”

    Fact: And you also get the same 21% O2 out of a high pressure SCUBA air tank @ 2200 psi tank pressure.

    Fact: And you also get the same 21% O2 in ambient air whether you are at sea level on a beach in in Hawaii or at the top of Mt. Everest 29,000 feet elevation and change… that’s nearly 5.5 miles above sea level dude.

    Fact: When you bubble 2 X as much air through a bubbler you do not get 42% oxygen, you only get 21% O2.

    Fact: When you bubble 3 X more air through a bubbler, you do not get 63% O2 you only get 21% O2.

    Now you have another learning opportunity. Learn some new facts about ambient air and the steady state concentration of O2 in air. Put out the joint and try to pay attention this time dude.
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    rkymtnman Well-Known Member

    Hi Ms Henry,

    My mouth is quite foul, I"m sorry about that.

    Put up a pic of your cannabis plants in DWC with 105% DO saturation at 80F . It should be easy, sounds like you have all the equipment necessary.

    Aufwiedersehn, Jabroni.

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    The thing of it is, is that you don't need all sorts of extra O2 in the water to grow huge plants. I used to grow just fine with one 12" airstone in each tub but started using two a decade ago with no noticeable increase in growth or productivity.

    While true that at any altitude the O2 percent remains the same the ambient air pressure is much lower and makes it hard for lungs to absorb it so less is delivered to starving muscles trying to surmount peaks like these. I took this pic a couple days ago on the drive back from Kelowna, BC.


    The only way to get big O2 increases in your nutrient soln's is to supply a higher percentage of O2 to the air pump to displace some of the almost 80% nitrogen that makes up our atmosphere. This is something I plan to experiment with soon by adding O2 to my air pump feed so the bubbles in my tubs is more like 50/50. N2/O2. That will definitely increase the percent of O2 in the water. The roots can't utilize N so why not get rid of some and replace it with extra O2.

    As O2 is a powerful oxidizer too much could fry tender root hairs so it will be interesting to see what happens.
    ttystikk likes this.

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    Thanks! Been working on it for awhile now.
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    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    The Atmospheric concentration of O2 actually gets poisonous to humans at depths below about 140 ft, which is why the deep diver's air mixes have lower percentages of oxygen in them.

    The oxygen is driven into the water to make it a less hospitable environment for anaerobic life, stuff we think of as root rot and slime, etc. It also needs to be dark.

    I doubt you'll see much difference by increasing O2 in the water. Circulate the water around more aggressively and I bet that would show results.
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    weedemart Well-Known Member

    I have done several experiments in hydroponics and the most flexible medium has always been rock wool, with a very high performance above the other culture. Rock wool provides some security because it can contain a good supply of water and nutrients, leaving a margin of error if the pump stops operating. The behavior of the medium during the culture is predictable what is a plus.its completely sterile, also reduces the problems since it adds nothing organic to water.easy to rinse, its , in my opinion, the ideal choice for hydroponics. The cost of wool is relatively low and it is easy to get rid of, some reuse it. It's clean, low maintenance.

    the problem with rockwool is that most people do not use it properly and they quickly jump to the conclusion that it is a bad medium. it is a medium that demands more work than the others, there is no doubt, but use it correctly and this work will be largely rewarded. :)
    OldMedUser likes this.

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    You have valid reasons to promote RW but for my use I have valid reasons to not use it tho using it is also a very valid option.

    After 16 years of doing all sorts of growing in all sorts of media I've settled on a soilless media to sprout seeds and root clones regardless of their destination whether pots or hydro. I run something like ProMix HP or Sunshine thru a 1mm mesh to get finer particles and get almost 100% with cuttings tho sprouts %age depends on a lot of factors like age etc.

    I initially wet the media with RO water with about 5% being 3% hydrogen peroxide made from 35% food grade H2O2 to eliminate any pathogens. Then some 1/4 strength Thrive, seafood ferts etc is added to feed a bit as they grow. Under a CFL or two they grow and/or root really well.

    For me there is no advantage to using RW over peat moss and I fail to see how it will make any difference to performance in the long run.

    ttystikk likes this.

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    My gripes with it boil down to two; it's nasty and potentially dangerous to work with and it has to be replaced every run.
    OldMedUser likes this.
    J Henry

    J Henry Active Member

    The Old Med is quiet, educated and the brightest on this block that I see, (no disrespect toward The Rocketman and his small band of brothers).

    The Old Med knows about the profound effect of gas partial pressures (Henry’s Law) and has probably applied the gas law many times in his life. He also know that the partial pressure of O2 in air at sea level is only 159 mm/hg. I also bet he knows that increasing the partial pressure of O2 (the molecular driving pressure of the O2 molecule that is responsible for moving the molecule of O2 from point A to point B, commonly called simply “gas diffusion”). Increasing the partial pressure of O2 up to 300 mm/hg can be done easily by adding an additional 19% O2 to air increasing the concentration of oxygen from 21% up to 40% oxygen. This is commonly done when the biological oxygen demand in the res life support system exceeds the oxygenating limitations of ambient air (air pumps, air bubblers or water falls). When the collective root mas becomes massive and benny colonies are thriving and growing, at a point all the aerobes may need more oxygen to remain within the “safe” DO range within the life support system. Need more O2, just increase the partial pressure of the oxygen, that’s all there is to it and so simple and easy to do.

    You certainly do not need an O2Grow machine to do this. By the way, again 1 more time Rocketman… I am not affiliated with the O2Grow Company in any way, nor do I own it. I have never been associated with the company contrary to the Rockets and his flock’s beliefs or false promotions that I am part of the company, Rocketman is no more than a common street liar.

    I am quite impressed elemental O2 gas and how people can manipulate the concentrations within a life support systems DWC res system to guarantee the prevention of the dreaded low oxygen crisis, frank hypoxia, the predictable aerobic suffocation, root death ad decay that (root rot) that is requires for fungal outbreaks to happen.

    I like the Old Med, he’s not vulgar, he’s savvy and he knows that if and when his root mass and microbial mass in his res grow and exceed the oxygen demands of all the roots and all the benny’s collectively, that’s a big problem when his oxygen supply is limited by using air. When that happens the sickness, dying and death begins because there is insufficient O2 for everything is his life support system and results are imminent. He has probably paid close attention, took good growing notes over years of trial and error and learned not to overstock his life support res system. He understands the oxygenating limitations of environmental air. Not unlike a welder knows that his torch will not cut iron or steel when using high pressure compressed air to fuel his torch, eh?

    Oxygen gas is a powerful oxidizer when the O2 gas comes in direct contact with iron or delicate organic tissue for extended periods of time. Tiny micro oxygen bubbles in res water that imbeds in root balls or direct contact with microbes’ delicate cells can certainly be toxic, very corrosive actually causing chemical burns/tissue mortality. On the other hand dissolved oxygen in water is for less corrosive than direct gas contact with pure O2.

    High DO supersaturation in res water is not the point at all and is unnecessary. I cannot think of any reason why for high DO supersaturation. Effervescence is for Alka-Seltzer and Champaign hot beer when you pop the top. High DO super-saturation is certainly not for DWC res water for any reason I can think of other than just wasting O2 for nothing or, maybe the O2 gas bubbles used for protein skimming if there is a lot of decaying organic matter and debris in the res water.

    Plenty of dissolved oxygen in DWC res water simply means staying with the “safe” DO range continuously 24/7 for the duration of the growing season, that’s all that is necessary when minimal safe DO is the point of the exercise. Plant roots and microbes are usually quiet healthy if the grower maintains the DO within the “safe” DO range for the drop season. After all, the grower is in control of the artificial life support environment, right? And, you also know that things can and often do go real bad, real quick when the grower loses control of the life support environment in a DWC/RDWC grow you know. Root rot is discovered 1 morning! Electricity went off, air pump failed, roots suffocated.

    Things go real bad real quickly when any DWC grower fails or loses control of the life support systems environment. Plant roots die, microbes die, the fungi thrive and the crop fails or becomes irreparably damaged and harmed negatively affecting the harvest volume and quality of the buds that might survive this crisis. If you have ever had a dose of the root rot along with a fungal infestation, then you know the routine. It's worse than a dose of clap.

    The incessant problem is the collective low oxygen insults and hours of hypoxia during the growing season that suffocate the roots and killed the beneficial microbes. Suffocation (hypoxia) resulting in sick, dying, dead and decayed organic material. Then fungal outbreaks can be predicted and should be expected. Hypoxic cell death happens in seconds and minutes, not hours, days or weeks. And the grower is scratching his sphincter making up excuses why this happened to his crop, does this sound familiar?

    More root mass + larger beneficial microbial colonies always require more O2 to be healthy and normal, be in the "safe" DO zone. If a grower fails or choses to provide insufficient DO saturations and a low O2 crisis results for any reason, the low O2 crisis is always the same… sickness, death, decay and fungal outbreaks. Low O2 insults are the same deal for people too.

    Of course this never happens to a savvy hobby grower (like the Rocket), eh Rocket?

    Growers claim they never worry about root rot or fungal outbreaks because it never happens to them, right?

    The point of insuring minimal “safe” oxygenation is the same for all strict aerobes, plants, animals, people, and oxygen loving microbes. If the grower cannot, will not, refuses to absolutely insure a continuous supply of O2 within the “safe” DO concentration range and there is not enough O2 available for all the rhizome mas and microbial colonies, the low oxygen crisis and result is always predictable.

    It is clear to me that the vast majority of hobbyist are not interested in low oxygen crisis prevention or being pro-active, but always waiting for the low O2 crisis to happen, being reactive and routinely wait until they see roots dying and rotting or actually smell death in the grow room before the crisis mode is activated. Then, as usual, the race is on for the “cure” to kill the fungi (considered the “culprits” that always consolidate to feast the rotting roots, thieve and multiply, that's right eh?

    If the rhizomes are healthy and thriving in a safe environment, there is nothing for the fungi to eat and no fungi infestation. The ubiquitous fungal colonies in the res water remain in check and fail to thrive. Healthy roots that are not suffocated are the best prevention for uncontrolled fungal outbreaks. Keep the DO within the “safe” range, that easy and a very a simple thing to do. Keep the plants healthy and the roots will thrive and be healthy too.

    How simple can it be?

    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    Definitely simpler than all that.

    'Waterfalls and temperatures in the mid 60s work.'

    One sentence. How about that?
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    rkymtnman Well-Known Member

    where's that pic of YOUR dwc grow with 105% sat at 80F???

    i bet you have a working perpetual motion machine too huh J Henry?

    J Henry's Law: Your full of shit dude. Put up or shut up.
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    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    That too, lol
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    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    Lots of growers use the waterfall effect with lower temps and do as well as any other method. My nutes lie passively in the tub without getting pumped anywhere so it wouldn't work for me. My new 1300gph air pump should keep O2 levels topped up fine tho.
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    J Henry

    J Henry Active Member

    Hey-hey… It’s the Rocket man and one of his boy aimlessly sitting around the “honey pot” just a shuck’in and Jiv’in and telling tall tales… pour another 5 gallons of diesel in the honey pot small-stick and stir that pot it again and breathe in that black smoke.

    Any of you old timers remember that unmistakable chronic “honey pot cough” from too many SB Details?

    I recall some of the S Burners claiming they could get high breathing that “honey pot” smoke (the Rocketman type dude). Glad I never was on that detail. I’d rather crawl down a small, dark, wet VC tunnel full of spiders, snakes and little VC’s with a flashlight, a clean 45 with a ½” line tied to my left foot at 4 AM than be on that SB Detail.

    rkymtnman Well-Known Member

    so you aren't a grower and you don't have a dwc grow at 105% saturation at 80F water temps????

    Ms Henry, I've lost all confidence in you. I thought you were a cutting edge hydroponics grower and now I realize you are a charlatan.
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    ttystikk Well-Known Member

    I put a water pump in a DWC bucket and placed the outlet just above the waterline. It really did great, even with warm water.
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