Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: My first set up with pics

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default My first set up with pics

    Hi all, first post. Just threw together a little system for lettuce to see how it would go. Any thoughts on improving it would be appreciated.

    Its a 10 gallon cooler, had it laying around and seemed like the perfect container because it should keep the temp more constant and also it has a drain so its easy to replace the water. I have an aquarium pump with a big air stone in it, and the water I'm using is water out of an aquarium I have, with no real way of knowing the levels of nutrients I have been using a 1/4 of the recommended amount of Maxigrow. I have a T5 HO 4 bulb 2 foot grow light I'm using on a 15 hour cycle.

    I bought a pack of random lettuce seeds, so I don't even know which varieties they are exactly. I grew the seeds out in rock wool and then put them into 2 inch netpots in a block of Styrofoam.
    These 2 pics are from day one of the setup.


    Here is a pic after 2 weeks

    And after 3 weeks


    I have 8 holes in the foam, but only 6 have lettuce in them right now. It looks like its time to harvest them, maybe salad for dinner tonight. I probably should have spaced them out a little better, but so far the growth seems good. Any tips or thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I harvested 2 plants worth yesterday, made a huge tasty salad for the wife and I. I can't wait to see how fast the two I cut grow back, I would assume with thegiant root structure established they would grow even faster than they did at first.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Just an update on my little system. So far its working very well. I don't really have any way to test the nutrient levels of the aquarium water, but it seems to be working. I change the water out every couple weeks or so using fresh dirty tank water and I am still only using about 1/4 of the recommended fertilizer. I have harvested most of the plants multiple times and had to replace a couple that were getting their roots clogged up with algae. When I do the water change I take the plants out briefly and give the cooler a quick scrub to get rid of any algae build up, I also used some Duct Tape to block of some spots where the light was shinning on the water, and this seems to have helped with the algae a bunch as well. So far I'm thrilled with the setup, my wife and I are eating a lot more salad with the fresh stream of tasty lettuce, so much so in fact I'm going to expand the system some time this winter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Beautiful Lettuce You have there Bashiba, congrats! I too am just starting out with hydroponics so take my advice with a grain of salt but I have been watching a lot of youtube videos about hydroponics, and one guy in particular, MHPgardener suggests instead of floating your foam on top of the water, cut the foam large enough to sit on the edge of the cooler like a lid. Or, if you have, or can borrow, a 2" or other size depending on net pot, hole-saw, then you could even drill some holes in the top of your cooler and set your netpots down in there. This will be a more permanent solution to your algae problem.

    Myself, I purchased a medium plastic tote with a lid in which I cut my holes to support the net pots.

    It is great that you are using the aquarium water, I am sure that is contributing the amazing growth! I am interested in aquaponics, the merging of fish farming, and hydroponics, myself and I hope to get started on a small scale similar to yours. Anyway enjoy your fresh greens and I hope your success continues!

  5. #5

    Default

    Well done, your system looks great. Using the water from the aquarium is probably less than ideal versus something like RO water but people do aquaponics all the time and it seems to be working for you. My main concern would be introducing alge and bacteria and so on.

    1/4 strength nutrient salts is all you need for lettuce types like that, they don't eat much and really don't need much light. The other piece of advice I'd give you is be careful how close you move your light towards your plants. That ice chest is insulated and will hold in the heat from the light and cause bacteria/fungi growth and root rot/slime type issues. I'd cut the foam so it fit perfectly on top over the water so no light can get through to my reservoir water too. My 2 cents...

    Looks like a really nice grow though, hoping I can get going myself.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •