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Craiggy
09-29-2006, 09:38 PM
Hey Guys,

This is my first post, and I have lots of questions for the experts. I am an electrical engineer and want to design a super effiecient plant system thats more or less automated. Here is some of my ideas and questions.

I was thinking of a system to optimize C02, Oxygen to roots, nutrients, and light. My idea for a system so far is an aeroponics system with roots being suspended but also in water that is being oxygenated. I was thinking of using a humidifier or sprayers for the roots that are not submerged. For the top of the system, (it will be a closed system) I want to have some sort of way to put in controlled C02, I need a way to bring it in, measure ppm, and get rid of it/add more if needed. Also for lights I was thinking flurescent just to save money. If you guys could give any advice on what should be in the system for optimal growth, and how like a humidifier is hooked up (is it through a pump?). I eventually want everything computerized, temp and humidity readings will be taken and monitored along with C02 and O2 and everything adjusted to the specific plants needs by microcontroller (computer controlled).

Please tell me what you think, any advice/links that would help, aim handles anything.

Thanks Guys,
~Craig

hexar
10-01-2006, 05:53 AM
sounds like a nice idea, and you may have the skill and interest to build something like this... but have you any experience with hydro? it's with good reason that people start with drip or ebb and flow systems and as one columnist I've read says, "first focus on room ventilation, temp and humidity, nutrient and pH, and healthy insect free growth".

you would definitely not want to invest in some of the things you mentioned and try to save money on lights. CO2 is a key resource for the plant, but light could be called the main resource so maximize it. automation sounds great to me right now tho so good luck.

Craiggy
10-01-2006, 11:08 AM
Hey Hexar,

Thanks for the info. I have not worked with hydroponics before, the best I can do is read and build something to make it work. I have ordered the recommended Gardening Indoors: The Indoor Gardener's Bible from amazon and hope to read more about it. I figured out that I probably cannot use the flurescent tubes unless I was just using them to start the seedlings. Do you recommend using both MH and HPS or should I change them depending on whats happening with the plan say flowering? Also what would be your best recommendation for allow C02 to be added to the system. I would like to control it the best I can so that there is not to much nor to little. I have read about the yeast and sugar, but can you use say one of those paintball C02 tanks? Im not sure, and I'm also not sure if it would come out to cold for the plants.

Thanks Again,
~Craig

dhill
10-03-2006, 05:58 PM
Craiggy,

I have to agree with Hexar, the kind of setup you are looking at creating is going to be quite expensive. Most newbies to hydroponics will start off with a simple easy to use and maintain system like an ebb & flow or a drip system. After using such a system and realize how easy these systems are they stay with it and never go on to aeroponics. With aeroponics the results can be great or devastating (if a pump fails or sprayers get blocked and you are out for the weekend). PPM and pH fluctuations can also influence the results in an aeroponic system. To eliminate the chances of having fluctuations in your nutrient reservoir it would be highly recommended to use an Intellidose (http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/Itemdesc.asp?ic=TEMDOINTD&eq=&Tp=) System. You can set the Intellidose System (http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/Itemdesc.asp?ic=TEMDOINTD&eq=&Tp=) and have peace of mind that the nutrient dosing will be at optimum at all times. You can do the same with your climate control, you would need an Intelliclimate (http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/Itemdesc.asp?ic=AACIC) to do this. The Intelliclimate (http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/Itemdesc.asp?ic=AACIC) will be able to control your temperatures, humidity, CO2 etc. Both Intellidose and Intelliclimate (http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/Itemdesc.asp?ic=AACIC) systems connect to a PC which can log and graph all recorded data (ppm, ph, temp, humidity etc), these two systems will make life much easier but it does carry a large price tag.

As for lighting systems, what size area are you growing in? how many plants?

Craiggy
10-03-2006, 06:24 PM
Thanks for the post so far guys. I have been reading alot, but keep in mind this is for school and I want to be super efficient while growing crops fast. I don't know how many plants I will be growing thats what Im hear to ask you guys. I was thinking of a totally enclosed system...so this would be a cabinet or something instead of dedicating a whole room. I know there maybe problems with to much humidity, or heat etc. But I would like to carry to school when Im finished. It's not necessary but would be great if I could do that. As for the number of plants etc I'm calling on you guys. If I did attempt the aeroponics, what would be the things that would screw me up. I would like to use humidifiers instead of sprayers, and what would be the best plant to start with first maybe something not to tall so that I can make an enclosed system that isn't gigantic. I've been reading alot and yes I haven't built a system yet, but I would like to keep reading and then finally give it a go. Let me know what you think. And yes the equiptment that you suggested would be super expensive, to expensive in fact for me. I was hoping to do alot of that myself. I may not be able to monitor everything but it will be cheaper doing it on my own.

Thanks for your input guys,
~Craig