And there's Peat's way of oxygenating... if you don't mind the warranty issues.
I see cross-posting is up and running already.
Gisette - it would be best to get them wet everyday, they will appreciate it much more.
Heh. Hooking an aerator to an airstone is less maintenance than submerging a water pump, tho.
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You are right, there are two types.
The preferred method is actually bottom up, the system floods the media (but not all the way to the top, you must maintain an air gap), and then drains back down. The act of draining draws large quantities of air back down through the medium - in this case hydroton rocks are best.
Bottom up is easier, but it needs setting up to flood at the correct depth - once you have it all sorted it's really simple, and one of the best ways to grow hydroponically.
There is that re Ann's systems. I wonder if it wouldn't be fine to just top off the pots and leave them wet for a few days. I'm sure they'd be happier getting an air dose twice a day, but they'd probably be OK for a few days without?
Or... there's Aerogarden's way, where you just leave the water-nutes in the reservoir and add an aerator to oxygenate the water. I've seen lots of homebrews on that theme.
I've eyeballed her setups and love her imaginative use of everyday things, I've gotten some great ideas from her. I'm lazy plus sometimes we're gone for two or three days so want to go as automatic as I can.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I see two ways to do hydroponics - top down with sprayers and drains or bottom up like ebb & flow or a wick. Top down seems to be the best since it flushes the grow mix while bottom up seems to let salts and other bad things accumulate, but top down is more complicated and bottom up is relatively cheap and easy. Am I on the right track, Peat?
Edited, Peat replied while I was cogitating. That's probably what I'll do but how to automate watering it? I've also got some Rapid Rooters coming with my order so am going to give them a try also.
Well, you probably all know my recommendation - rockwool.
Grow your plants in this medium first, let them get big enough (4-6 weeks) so the roots to come out of the bottom/sides. Once you have this, place them in a hydroponic growing basket and surround with hydroton rocks.
Alternatively, grow them in the sponge/peat that comes with the AG, do the same with the hydroton rocks as above.
Whatever you grow them in afterwards, make sure it is lightproof to stop algae growth. You could have a water pump on a timer, every 3 hours the pump can send water up to the top of the hydroton rocks, oxygenating and feeding the plant roots...
Lots of possibilites.
I haven't used any hydroponic media yet, aside from water... But my plan when I got the Deluxe was to try some of Drann's systems for growing greens around the Aerogarden: Ann's Air Gardens. She seems fond of hydroton grow rocks, so I got those to try. This project hasn't gotten off stall yet, though, because the seeds I wanted to grow in them haven't arrived. (Next to the Deluxe, was only going to try to grow greens - komatsuna, amaranth, lettuce.)
Hers are fully manual systems, though - no pumps, just water the plants 2-3x per day.