First time hydro, going to try Ebb/Flow - is this a reasonable plan?

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by Larry3215, Feb 2, 2018.

  1.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

  2.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    Not arguing but

    I think the results will largley be the same

    And the meniscus IS the membrane lol

    Its the membrane like lens of water surface tension

    if im understanding it correctly :)

    I just think the material will add to complications

    Like trying to adequately suspend some big plants on just the material? Somthing is going to warp from the weight.

    Unless you have some type of support of the material.

    Unless it just lays right on the mat
    In which it would sag into the water,no?

    Unless you can find a capilary material that can support wieght lol

    Which in my set up all you gota do is rip the roots out, give it a scrub and drop new batting in and let it rip .

    But if your systems does even better with the material i will try it as im a man of logic .....most of the time lol

    But i will definitely be down to watch your set up develop.

    Id go start building mine but then i still have to wait several weeks before i can use it .

    So im going to build and led light for the first few weeks then ill build the system before my new run is done .
     
  3.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    Also in "my" version the batt isnt necessarily "holding" water as much as it is makeing sure it

    Can form film of water .. as in the water would just flow to whichever point that gravity takes it

    In other words unless your table is perfectly level and stable the water will pool where gravity allows it.


    The matting through surface tension and capilary action keep the water in a continuous
    "Meniscus membrane ".

    In your version your material would have to be the same if what you say is true .

    Which i doubt it will stay flat

    Lol its all in the nomenclature
     
  4.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    I havent downloaded the file yet

    let me know if there is any details that make the dracon material more necessary :)


    And even though you have a smaller area results are results in my book it will be easy to see how well it works even in a smaller scale system
     
  5.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    I can see your point and I think its a perfectly valid way to look at it. I think the biggest detail is he (Andrew) is using the words a little differently. He is an engineer, so precise definitions of terms are critical. The 'membrane', is the dacron fabric and it is used to create the meniscus effect in the roots. So, from his point of view, there is no 'membrane meniscus', or maybe it would be better to say the water meniscus that forms isnt the membrane he is talking about. They are two separate things. One is a tool and one is the effect. He explains the details in the book.

    BUT - I agree its mostly a matter of degree. We will have to see how it works in practice for our type of growing.

    I emailed the pres of that Australian hydro club where Andrew came up with the original idea. He is the one who sent me the book. They seem to be the main ones using this technique. Ive asked him the same question I asked the other guy - how well does this really work and what are the down sides - if any.
     
    Cold$moke likes this.
  6.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    Oh - about your other points above.

    The capillary material he is recommending is perlite, hydroton, etc, so it could support weight easily I think. Also, he keeps the water level below the Dacron membrane. No water ever directly contacts the dacron membrane. Even if it did, the membrane, and the roots above it, will never be as "wet" as roots growing in batting would be when directly in contact with the water.

    Then, he also has the option to use more perlite etc on top of the membrane - the disposable layer. So far, it looks like that is to help the roots build a thicker layer and help wick more water up higher into that thicker root layer. All the time with the roots never actually in any water that is more than the very thin 'meniscus' layer formed by the capillary action. Every root is surrounded by air - not water.

    In the NFT setups, at least a portion of the roots are covered by a much thicker layer of water at all times. Only the roots above that water layer are getting the true meniscus effect - at least according to Andrew.

    I think you are right though - its mostly a matter of degree and nomenclature.
     
    Cold$moke likes this.
  7.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    I agree

    The membrane in mine is the batting thus forming the meniscus. Im pretty sure the batting would fall under the definition of membrane

    Just cause the roots permiate it. Does it not make it a membrane.

    Sorry im not an engineer nor very educated :)
     
  8.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    I think you're right about that for sure. Adding the decron membrane is an extra step and it will need to be done with at least some care and attention to detail. The big question is - is it going to be worth it :)
     
    Cold$moke likes this.
  9.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    [QUOTE="Larry3215, post: 14070676, member: 984113" All the time with the roots never actually in any water that is more than the very thin 'meniscus' layer formed by the capillary action. Every root is surrounded by air - not water..[/QUOTE]

    Thats where i have to disagree though

    I believe that would be impossible unless in high pressure aero ponics.


    If i recall i thought the main reason for this system is water conservation and to be able to grow hydroponics whithout electricity
    Like in the Australian bush?

    The roots not touching water seems a little far fetched

    Edit i re read it and get what you said better

    Only a few roots touch a thin layer:)
     
  10.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    Totally agree
     
  11.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    That does make more sense with the material laid on a bed of perlite a lot better

    Sorry im a visual learner lol
     
  12.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    This will be an excellent comparison as to the degree of differences the little things will make.

    Should be awsome

    Now if i can only fast forward 8 to 10 weeks lol
     
  13.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    LOL! Im closer than you are - maybe 5 or 6 weeks to go, but I cant hardly wait. Ive even thought about up-rooting some weeds from my yard to test it out. I briefly considered sneaking one of my wifes house plants and transplanting it, but I dont think she would go for that :)
     
    Cold$moke likes this.
  14.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    Indeed ive been vegging these bitches for so long i just want em outa there lol

    Long story but this run is made up of monster cropped plants i saved from dying in the green house when winter hit lmao

    Little girl busted her 5 inch cup sometime within the last week or so.

    I hope she caan make it for the rest of the show lmao. 20180212_083845.jpg
     
    HotWaterKarl and Larry3215 like this.
  15.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    I know i cant wait to try the set up out im really excited to see how it does.

    I might even try the material route .

    I just was hoping to make a media free system
    And i would hate to have to clean a few inches worth of perlite every few month's

    I even though about just plopping clones in it without rockwool to see how they do :)

    Would be great not to have to buy any consumables every grow like rockwool and perlite.

    I wana figure out a way to do it with no batting but the only way i can figure is straight nft which the water level would have to be much higher thus negating some of the air benefits untill the root mass grows so big most of it is in the air?
     
    Larry3215 likes this.
  16.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    Wow, that girl looks to have some serious roots on her :)

    Im having second thoughts on the MM technique. I just finished a quick read through of the book. It was written in 2014 and the patent drawings were done in 2011, so there are a number of changes or 'improvements' in the book over how he has it in the original drawings.

    Unfortunately, most of those changes make things more difficult or at least more finicky to set up. Plus, the materials are more difficult to find and/or more expensive. He is no longer using easy to find and cheap stuff for the capillary mat, barrier membrane and associated parts.

    If I cant come up with a way to make this cheaper and easier, then Im going back to the mat idea. I think if you lower the water flow, you will get many of the benefits he claims for his technique - and it sure would be easier to set up.

    Or - I may just go back to the patent drawings and try it that way. That is easy and cheap to do - at least for me.

    Still pondering........
     
    Cold$moke likes this.
  17.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    Indeed it would have to come with substantial benefits to justify a big bag of perlite and the mess that comes with it

    Though i like its concept
     
    Larry3215 likes this.
  18.  
    HotWaterKarl

    HotWaterKarl Well-Known Member


    In my experience res temps don't matter much in Ebb and Flow. Of course if you are constantly cycling water into the root zone, that may be different. In my standard Ebb and Flow using Grodan cubes or slabs, cycling a few times a day (when lights are on), my res temps have been well up into the 80's without using any beneficial bacteria or chlorine in the reservoir. I do not find using a subpump to add heat. In fact, I have an extra 1000L/hr one in my tub that does nothing but recirculate/aerate the solution and I don't have added heat problems.

    Just a tip about air lift pumps though, you are going to be drawing in Pythium and other bacteria into your reservoir from the air in the room, but anyways I've never had root rot problems using Grodan, not sure what medium you will use.
     
  19.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    Thanks for the feedback!

    I am constantly surprised at the wide range of recommendations from different growers. Your temps are pretty far up on the hi side of what I have seen suggested by most, especially with no use of sterilizers of beneficial bacteria, but you're probably not alone :)

    As far as sucking in bad bacteria with the air lift pump, would that not be true of anyone using air stones as well? The air lift pump uses no more air than a typical air stone.
     
    Cold$moke likes this.
  20.  
    HotWaterKarl

    HotWaterKarl Well-Known Member

    Yes it is true of airstones and why I use a pump now that sucks from the bottom of the res and shoots it back into the res with about a 2 inch gap between the output and the top of the res water (think high powered waterfall).

    I also don't run these temps all the time but I had one grow this summer where the temps were up to 85 in the tub and no issues at all. You can see the results in my sig, it is the first grow #1 (~4lbs off 8x4 table 3 months total grow time)
     
    Budley Doright likes this.

Share This Page