Misc. Hydroponic Gardening FAQ

Many hydroponic gardening questions I get do not fit into any of the general categories I have set up for Q&A. This is a section just for them. Here I will take any question not specifically dealing with nutrients, lighting, temperature/humidity control, or troubleshooting plant growth problems. This includes questions on cloning, pest problems, sterilizing your hydroponic system, starting seeds, and many other little topics. Answers to these questions can be found at the bottom of this page.

 

I've put a LOT of information on this site over the years. Most questions have already been addressed on one page or another, so please check out my sitemap and the other FAQ pages before you ask. If you still have a question after checking out a few pages, simply use the form below....I usually answer all questions within 48 hours.

 

Got a Question?

Most simple questions come from visitors getting ready to start their first indoor garden. Once your garden is started, however, unanswered questions can become horrible, nagging problems that prevent you from getting the results you want! Believe me, I've been there! Drop me a line and tell me your story....my experience can help you avoid or fix those problems.

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Questions from Other Visitors:

Click below to see questions from other visitors...

Changing Hydroponic Nutrients in Mid-Growth 
I am using some nutrients, but am really struggling with pH. I am wondering if I can flush the plant then change to another brand of hydroponic nutrients? …

Hydroponic Grow Tent with Too Much Exhaust? 
Is there such a thing as too much exhaust in a tent setup? My tent looks like its getting sucked pretty hard! I just added an exhaust to my grow tent setup...it …

Garage Grow Room CO2 
My question is about adding CO2 to the grow room. I'm running your most successful homemade hydroponic system . I'm set up in a garage that is apx. 25 …

High pH - Hard Water Hydroponics 
My well water has a pH of 8.2. I have tried lowering the pH so I can use it for hydroponics, but it bounces back (less than 24 hours). In reading, it seems …

Preventing Plants from Sitting in the Hydroponic System Water 
I have a NFT hydroponic system. I can't seem to find away to stop the plug (in which I started the seed off in) from sitting in the flow of water. Please …

CO2 from Fermentation (Sugar and Yeast) 
I have read that adding yeast and sugar will produce CO2. If so, would using a 5 gal bucket with a small air pump in it create a constant flow of CO2? …

Let's Get to the Root of This... 
I have my main crop of veg and flowers from which I take my main food supply and flowers for the missus and home. After I harvest I shake the root balls …

Beginner Advice 
Hi Jason, Lee here from Durban South Africa. Firstly, your site has been invaluable. Thank you. There are a few questions that I need to ask before I get …

Hand-Picking the Bugs Out 
I'm attempting to grow specimen roses and I'm not doing too badly as it happens - thanks to your good advice here. However, during my regular checks I …

CO2 and Flushing Air 
In regards to CO2 enrichment; If the temperature and humidity is completely controlled in your grow environment and appropriate CO2 levels are maintained …

DC Power for Backup 
I made an aeroponics system and am 1 week into it. I've been concerned about power outages. I have a box from at&t that has an AC input and converts it …

Cloning Questions 
You're article on the homemade cloning setup and the article on preparing the clones leave some questions: when putting 4 or 5 clones in a 1/2 gal milk …

Hydroponic Vegatables in a Two Story Metal Building 
I work for an agency that provides services for folks with disabilities. We have a 5000 s.f. , two story metal warehouse attached to the back of our offices. …

Seedlings and Rockwool 
Would this work if I germinated the seed in a paper towel, then placed it in rockwool, then (last) take the little rockwool plug and put it in a cup and …

Hardwood Cuttings 
My husband is getting ready to make me a bubbler (rubbermade tote, air stones,..) The primary use for this is for me to propagate mostly woody shrub and …

Getting Rid of Fungus Gnats 
I've noticed tiny black gnats flying around my house plants even though it's January....I READ ON YOUR SITE ABOUT sm90, but would strong tobacco water …

Airing a Problem Out? Air-Sacks 
I suppose like many people I am feeling the penny-pinch and so I look at cheaper ways of achieving similar results that 'high-end', expensive gardening …

Predatory Nematodes and Composting Redworms 
Will predatory nematodes have a negative or harmful effect on redworms used for composting? I figure on adding them, as long as they're not harmful. Could …

Hydroponic Plants Grown in a Car 
I want to find a kind of plant which can be put in the car to purify the air and decorate the car. You know the air in the car is very poor, especially …

How to Grow Carrots in a
Hydroponic System
 
HOW do you grow carrots in hydroponic gardens? I want to grow some inside and would like to know the best equipment to get started with doing that. …

Dissolved Oxygen Metering 
Since dissolved oxygen is important, is it a good idea to measure dissolved oxygen and maintain a certain level? I have never seen anything posted about …

Which Plants for which Type of System? 
I'm just getting started in hydroponics. I can build/buy any type of system, but... First question after reading everything I can find... What types of …

Excess Algae in NFT Channel for Lettuce 
Manually cleaning the NFT channels of algae has become a problem. Is there an algaecide labeled for food crops that can be added to the nutrient solution? …

Rapid Rooter plugs - Don't they hold too much moisture? Not rated yet
I have used rapid rooter plugs this year for the first time. The seeds started and rooted in no time. BUT, when I put them into the soil filled pots, …

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Hydroponic to Soil Transplant Not rated yet
I'm new to hydroponic gardening and I'm trying to understand how you grow plants in a hydro system and then transplant them to soil with out damaging the …

Designing a Hydroponic Garage Garden in Alaska Not rated yet
I live in Alaska and started growing tomatoes outside in the Summer of 2009. My first crop was surprisingly very good with little maintenance on my part. …

Grow Room CO2 on a Timer Not rated yet
Using the timer method with CO2 tanks, what is the recommended cycle for boosting the levels? 4 times a day? 5 times a day? I have a 5x5 grow tent. …

General Grow Media Advice Not rated yet
I am setting up an Aquaponics system utilizing multiple types of hydroponic systems (Ebb & Flow, Deep water Cult, NFT...). I want to grow Lettuce, Carrots, …

Algae in My Homemade Hydroponic System Not rated yet
I'm about 3 weeks in on the hydroponic setup you describe as your best homemade system, and I'm starting to see some algae build-up. Is some algae typical, …

Algae Growth on Rockwool Medium Not rated yet
How to cure algae growth on rockwool? Answer: Phil- Unfortunately, prevention is the best answer for dealing with algae. Once you have algae, …

Transplant Seedlings to a Hydroponic System Not rated yet
Hydroponics sounds like an excellent way to grow tomatoes. I am only confused about one step. After I have grown from seed my plant and it is ready to …

When to Start Seeds for
Different Garden Plants
 Not rated yet
How long do you use the grow lights on the seeds from start till you take them outside? Answer: Pat- the answer depends on what you are growing. …

Grow Box Outside, in Heavy Rain...... Not rated yet
My neighbor and I were wondering what happens to rain when a grow box is outdoors? I suspect not much would get inside the container, due to foilage and …

Light During The Dark Cycle Not rated yet
My partner isn't sure how important the the dark part of the day actually is. I say it's absolutely important that not even a pin hole of light get in. …

A Hydroponic Mold Problem Not rated yet
I set up a hydro system as in the article "My Most Successful Homemade Hydroponics System". Into day 7 and it appears that mold is growing on the roots, …

Is Marijuana a Woody or Soft Tissue Plant ? Not rated yet
Is Marijuana a Woody or Soft Tissue Plant? This question refers to the dip-n-grow program. Answer: Larry- Marijuana is mostly illegal in the US, …

What Grows Best? Not rated yet
What grows best in a DWC? That's what I want to do. I'm interested in salad greens, herbs, spinach, collard greens....basic veggies....what do, and to, …

Water Tests and LED Grow Lights Not rated yet
I'm gearing up to start my first aeroponic system thanks to your site. I've been reading up on the water aspect that you've talked about and found davistestkit.com, …

Can't Seem to get my Indoor Hydroponic Garden Started Not rated yet
My question is basically: What am I doing wrong? I have an indoor grow box that is 2ftx2ftx3ft, with 200 watts of cfl's, now I have germinated my seeds …

CO2 levels Not rated yet
Is there a gauge I can use to check the CO2 levels in the room where I am growing plants? Is there a magic number that relates to CO2 levels? …

Using a Greenhouse with Aeroponics Not rated yet
I'm just starting to read and plan for my garden, but I was thinking of using a 10' x 22' greenhouse for my growing. I live in the southern part of Alabama, …

Soil Planting Not rated yet
I have a few questions actually. The plant is 3 months old, the humidity levels are normal, and the lighting is fine 6500k fluorescents (dual bulbs), plants …

Start Germinating the Seed Not rated yet
I wish to germinate the seed and don't know if I should start in Aeroponics Cloner and then to Aeroponics System #1, or start in Aeroponics System #1 only? …

Keeping Clones in Clay Pellets Not rated yet
I was wondering, what is the best way of keeping clones under fluros. I have built a hydro set up like the one in "My Most Successful Homemade Hydroponics …

Growing Tomatoes in a Sunroom Not rated yet
My sunroom only gets to 19 C during the winter. It faces West so it does get afternoon sun. I would like to be able to grow tomatoes in this room during …

Hydroponincs for NGOs in Laos Not rated yet
I am currently undertaking initial research on a development program in Laos PDR in which we are hoping to supplement coffee farmers income and vegetable …

Removing Chlorine and Chloramines from Water Not rated yet
Is it safe to use aquarium de-chlorination chemicals to remove chloramines and chlorine from tap water for plants that will be consumed, and is water so …

Describe Tomato Pollen Not rated yet
What does tomato pollen look like? If I vibrate the branch with an electric toothbrush, will the pollen be obvious. Answer: Tomato plant …

Pollinating Tomatoes under HPS and MH Grow Lights Not rated yet
I have a Better Boy tomato that is growing under indoor grow lights. It is blossoming now and has been for about 2 weeks. Will an oscillating fan cause …

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Easy Hydroponic Fertilizer and Easy Plants Not rated yet
I really want to learn to grow food primarily. Flowers will do too as a distant second. I have a good fluorescent light (3- each 4 foot shop lights) and …

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Leave the Misc. Hydroponic Gardening page and
Check out the Hydroponic Systems page

 

How to Grow Hydro
(how to maintain your hydroponic nutrient solution)

 





All of the items that I personally use and recommend!

AffordableGarden Design&Setup

(10 week update below)


Find out the cheapest and easiest ways to garden productively in this article.

Hi everyone, Jason from Jason's Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 24 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients....and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden....but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people...


Epic Nutrient Change



I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as possible....and in the last 24 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!

As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol)...


Homemade Cloner



And, regarding the cost of the nutrients....I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas....like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-Sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.

Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 24 years and I have only just recently mastered this difficult skill....and even then, only because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole year! If you can master the technique, I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food production system.

And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients...



High Efficiency
Hydroponics

The ultimate solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants! Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system--->

Aquaponics

Click Here to learn more!

This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 24 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.


Produce garnden vegetables AND fish together. Eliminate fertilizer costs!

Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!



The Same System/ 10 Weeks Later!




If you've found this site helpful at all, I would really appreciate it