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Hydroponic Experiment with my economical DIY Setup

#1 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 09:18 AM

After been inspired by several members here, especially sthh's hydroponic journal, I would like give it a shot!!

Been trying to maintain a 'non-stagnant water rule' within my planting area (balcony) so as to be very very sure there isn't any chance for those mosquito to habour/breed.... where now i've decided to try experimenting growing plants/crops hydroponically (hence proving again that rules are meant to be broken  :hysterical:/>  ) nonetheless, will DEFINITELY monitor/check the water EVERYDAY :hitmyself:/>

And since there isn't any direct sunlight at my balcony, I will only go for the lowest cost & economical way as much as possible for the setup... in case :unsure:/> ... and since this is only an experimenting journey.

This post has been edited by LimSan: 29 January 2015 - 09:37 AM

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#2 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 09:25 AM

So, finally sharing here my learning journey, hydroponic here I come... :hysterical:/>

Container tub :  ($0)
Went to the wet market to collect a used vegetable foam box container with cover, approximately 350mm(W) x 500mm(L) x 300mm(H).
Cut off about half of its height (used normal pen-knife) to reduce water needed and hence it's total weight!

Cover for tub : ($0)
Mark and cut out (used normal pen-knife) six circular opening (approx diameter 70mm) with almost equal distance apart between each hole (approx 120mm apart).

Netted pot : ($0)
Collected six disposible plastic cup and make holes on its bottom and side with a soldering iron.

Potting media : ($5)
Bought a pack of clay ball from world farm.

Nutrient Solutions : ($18)
Bought the two 1litre hydroponic LUSH Gro solutions A & B that consist of 17 minerals mined nutrients for vegetable/crops planting that indicated to be safe to our body, from Hydroponic & Plant Care

Epsom Salt : ($5.80)
Have not purchase this yet as i'm not sure if need this since I'll be using the hydroponic solutions. Can some expert advise me please?

White sponge/filter : (cut a small corner from the spare filter for cooking exhaust, so ~$0)

Seeds : (thanks to the sponsor Sthh, so the only cost is the 2 stamps on the SASE)

Water, time, effort, love, luck, hope, etc! oh and yes the natural indirect sunlight for mine :(/> (invaluable!)

So, here are the pictures

Dwarf tomato seeds (Florida Basket) from Sthh, seeds in filter/sponge enjoying 'spa'!! Lol
http://i1371.photobucket.com/albums/ag294/AhLimSan/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps328d9b23.jpg

Homemake 'Tyko' netted pot :hitmyself:/>
http://i1371.photobucket.com/albums/ag294/AhLimSan/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpse8c6ed7f.jpg

Whole DIY set-up
http://i1371.photobucket.com/albums/ag294/AhLimSan/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps319c0ee7.jpg

This post has been edited by LimSan: 31 January 2015 - 08:13 AM

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#3 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 09:38 AM

Wow, you can cut styrofoam with penknife very well. Those 6 holes looks perfectly round. Hope the seeds sprouts for you soon. Epsom salt is useful, esp for pepper plants, but if you are already using the lushgro A and B solution, you don't need that. If you buy your nutrient solution from the nursery opposite world farm, it is Oh Chin Huat hydroponic nursery.

This post has been edited by sthh: 29 January 2015 - 09:43 AM

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#4 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 09:46 AM

View Poststhh, on 29 January 2015 - 09:38 AM, said:

Wow, you can cut styrofoam with penknife very well. Those 6 holes looks perfectly round. Hope the seeds sprouts for you soon. Epsom salt is useful, esp for pepper plants, but if you are already using the lushgro A and B solution, you don't need that.

Thanks for the seeds Sthh :flowers:/>

Hahaha..., the picture is taken from a distance that's why you can't see the irregularity :hysterical:/>
Arhh, and so I shall save my $5.80 at the moment...
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#5 User is offline   lazearus 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 09:49 AM

:hysterical:/> your vegetable foam box is freaking funny!!! It looks like it has frozen fish in there! Jiayou jiayou!
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#6 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 09:50 AM

Attached is a link to my previous thread on direction of the sun. During different period of the year, the sunlight could actually be direct to your balcony. So you may reap max gain if you position your setup in that position then.

http://www.greencult...un-application/
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#7 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:03 AM

View Poststhh, on 29 January 2015 - 09:38 AM, said:

Wow, you can cut styrofoam with penknife very well. Those 6 holes looks perfectly round.

I've tried to cut those circular holes in such a way that their edge is with some slope/slant, so that I can close any one hole that is not in use later to avoid exposure to mozzies... :hysterical:/>
http://i1371.photobucket.com/albums/ag294/AhLimSan/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps73d22784.jpg
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#8 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:08 AM

View Postlazearus, on 29 January 2015 - 09:49 AM, said:

:hysterical:/>/> your vegetable foam box is freaking funny!!! It looks like it has frozen fish in there! Jiayou jiayou!

:hysterical:/> something fishy in the box?!? Lol

Hey, maybe I should rare few little fishes in there with an air pump (currently have one in my storeroom!!) to aid the plant growth lol... :hitmyself:/> I think the fish will die soon after due to the nutrient solutions :unsure:/> hahaha...
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#9 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:08 AM

You worry too much about mosquitoes. It is actually very difficult for them to squeeze into your hydroponic reservoir to lay eggs. They have to borrow themselves thru the clay balls, which is quite impossible for them. And even if they succeed, their larvae takes 7 days to mature, a quick glance at your solution will show you if you have larvae. And when the larvae matures into flying mosquitoes, they cannot fly out. Futhermore, mosquitoes don't like nutrient rich water to lay eggs.
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#10 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:10 AM

View Poststhh, on 29 January 2015 - 09:50 AM, said:

Attached is a link to my previous thread on direction of the sun. During different period of the year, the sunlight could actually be direct to your balcony. So you may reap max gain if you position your setup in that position then.

http://www.greencult...un-application/

Cool! Thanks ... will check it out ...
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#11 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:18 AM

View Poststhh, on 29 January 2015 - 10:08 AM, said:

You worry too much about mosquitoes. It is actually very difficult for them to squeeze into your hydroponic reservoir to lay eggs. They have to borrow themselves thru the clay balls, which is quite impossible for them. And even if they succeed, their larvae takes 7 days to mature, a quick glance at your solution will show you if you have larvae. And when the larvae matures into flying mosquitoes, they cannot fly out. Futhermore, mosquitoes don't like nutrient rich water to lay eggs.

Ya... really worry as I don't want to jeopardize anyone's health because of my plant/hobby... which I deliberately bought few aluminum 'U' channel (install in gradient) just for all my plant to sit in it so as to direct those excessive drip-water to the drain inlet... :hysterical:/>

This post has been edited by LimSan: 31 January 2015 - 08:14 AM

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#12 User is offline   Flyinmysoup 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:34 AM

LimSan,

You're so creative and experimental!

Those holes you cut in the box are really neat.

Best of luck to your experiment!
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#13 User is offline   Jesse 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:40 AM

very nice setup you have there. Would be interested to seeing future development. :)/>
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#14 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:46 AM

View PostFlyinmysoup, on 29 January 2015 - 10:34 AM, said:

LimSan,

You're so creative and experimental!

Those holes you cut in the box are really neat.

Best of luck to your experiment!

Buahaha... Thanks :flowers:/> and hope it work out well...
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#15 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:50 AM

View PostJesse, on 29 January 2015 - 10:40 AM, said:

very nice setup you have there. Would be interested to seeing future development. :)/>

Thanks Jesse :flowers:/> hope I don't have to leave the whole box (with everything in it!!) in the rubbish bin.. :hysterical:/>
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#16 User is offline   GraceS 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 11:01 AM

Wow, you are very skilful with the pen knife. I did a mini setup with a small foam box afew months ago and it leaks after too much handling and exposure to hot sun. You may want to consider to add a plastic bag to your setup to prevent any mess.
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#17 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 11:10 AM

View PostGraceS, on 29 January 2015 - 11:01 AM, said:

Wow, you are very skilful with the pen knife. I did a mini setup with a small foam box afew months ago and it leaks after too much handling and exposure to hot sun. You may want to consider to add a plastic bag to your setup to prevent any mess.

Good advice! Maybe should put a black trash bag filled with the solutions inside the box... Thank you GraceS :flowers:/>
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#18 User is offline   Jesse 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 12:10 PM

View PostLimSan, on 29 January 2015 - 10:50 AM, said:

Thanks Jesse :flowers:/>/> hope I don't have to leave the whole box (with everything in it!!) in the rubbish bin.. :hysterical:/>/>


Why would they be in the rubbish bin. I can only foresee that certain plants may not make it in your environment and there is only one way to find out. I had tried to planting in my house and many germinate but become leggy and die off. Have to stop cause there is just not enough light. Nothing wrong in failing but good that you tried.
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#19 User is offline   LimSan 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 01:00 PM

View PostJesse, on 29 January 2015 - 12:10 PM, said:

Why would they be in the rubbish bin. I can only foresee that certain plants may not make it in your environment and there is only one way to find out. I had tried to planting in my house and many germinate but become leggy and die off. Have to stop cause there is just not enough light. Nothing wrong in failing but good that you tried.

Well, I'm facing the same problem as you, not enough sunlight :(/>
That's why it could end up in the bin! :lol:/>

This post has been edited by LimSan: 29 January 2015 - 01:30 PM

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#20 User is offline   sthh 

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 02:29 PM

View PostLimSan, on 29 January 2015 - 01:00 PM, said:

Well, I'm facing the same problem as you, not enough sunlight :(/>/>
That's why it could end up in the bin! :lol:/>/>


My tomatoes only get 2-3 hours of sunlight in the morning. I have 1 chilli plant growing and fruiting in the shade, lol. But I suppose they will do better and fruit better if they get more light. Don't worry about your dwarf tomato becoming leggy, it won't. It's a dwarf anyway, lol.
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