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Need HOW TO help with changing water/nutes in Bubble System

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by Florida Girl, Apr 14, 2008.

    Florida Girl

    Florida Girl Well-Known Member

    Hey everyone,

    I’m getting ready to try my first indoor garden using a bubbleponic system that I made myself. I’ve tried to give detailed thought to the entire cycle and I think I have MOST of the details worked out.

    One thing I’m not certain of is the “HOW TO” change the water/nutes solution in a bubbleponic type bucket (also using ScROG).

    I’m thinking the best way is to have a backup reservoir bucket that I can prepare the fresh water / nutes in and then just move the Lid (with plants in net pots) & Screen over to the new bucket (which will also have a water pump and air stones setup). Then I can remove the old bucket and rinse / sanitize it and have it ready for the same type of swap at the next change. Does this sound correct?

    Also, I’ve been reading about how it’s key to not let any light get to the roots… so when should I do this? During a night cycle with a green bulb in a small lamp fixture so I can see? Seems it shouldn’t take more then a few minutes to do the swap…. So maybe I should do it during the light cycle and not worry about the roots getting a few minutes of light on them???. When do you all do this chore?

    Lastly…. I’m thinking moving the lid with the screen and plants together could be tricky. How do you all do this?

    Basically I’m asking you if you could provide me with details on exactly how & when you do this chore of changing the water / nutes in a bubble type system. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks much :D

    VivaLaOvergrow.com Active Member

    Hi FG, Glad to see ur still on the DWC wavelength for growing in, it's super easy!

    You have, however, brought up the one thing that is my biggest pain in my current grow. My Scrog is about 2 weeks into 12/12, and I'm going to need to change my water here in the next few days, so here's what I'm thinking about doing. I have a cheap method and an expensive one, I'll be using the cheap method for this grow, but I'll explain the more expensive way I thought of.

    Cheap method~ Siphoning~

    While I was at petco getting new air pumps, I saw this fish tank siphon with a gravel head attachment, and knew this $5 tool would help me in my dilemma. The extra wide head really does a good job picking up the heavier particulates that sink to the bottom of your res. If you don't know how siphoning works google it, I'm not going to try and explain gravity to you...

    Total cost = $5

    More expensive method~ Ebb & flow pump

    Sitting there waiting for the siphon to do it's thing, I thought of a faster way to do what I was already doing. This requires 2 sections of tubing, an ebb & flow pump, and a bucket that is the same size as your res. All that you have to do is plug the pump in, insert one end of the tubing into your res, attach it to the pump, insert the other section of tubing into your EMPTY bucket, and attach it to the second open hole on your ebb & flow pump, and now your solution should be pumping from your res into your empty bucket. Now just go empty your bucket, and fill it with clean water because you can mix your new solution in this bucket and pump it back into your res. No need to mess with lifting the lid, or exposing the roots to light, Just slide the air tube between the netpot and the lid, and try to make sure that when your sucking from your res, that your roots don't inadvertently gat sucked in too...

    Total cost = around $60

    Hope this was helpful, let me know if you want a photo of that siphon thing, I'll go take one next time im in the growroom...:peace:

    Florida Girl

    Florida Girl Well-Known Member

    Hey VLO...

    Thanks for the post! I guess I'm really over-thinking the issue because I did think of siphoning .....

    But then I was thinking I'd have to change the bucket itself to scrub out any slime or nutrient deposits that might grow / cling to the bucket.

    I'm glad to hear this is not necessary because it does sound like a lot of work.

    I love the ebb & flow pump idea!!! If you do get a picture of it I'd love to see it.

    Thanks again :D

    VivaLaOvergrow.com Active Member

    Black buckets = No slime
    Clingy nutes = add fresh water & re-siphon. the small amount left over after the re-siphon I really don't worry about.

    All of this could be moot if you just don't secure the screen that your growing into to the sides of your grow space. This would allow you to raise and lower the plants out of the lid of your res, without putting undue stress on them from the secure screen. I was thinking of designing some kind of table that would slide in, under my raised netpots, and hold them there, while I removed and cleaned my res, but this is going to have to wait til next grow, as my screen is fastened in like 10 places...

    But yea, black buckets, attention, and time. Thats all ya need!

    Mr Green Man

    Mr Green Man Well-Known Member

    Well, I have 4 plants in a Rubber made. I make up mix in a spare one and then swap the lid with the plants in it, from one to the other. There is no way I could take the plants out indoviduly, not without ripping the roots apart. It's anoying but pretty simple.

    In actule fact the roots are only exposed to the light for a few seconds, I take this time to give them a good check for any signs of rot.

    bigwheel Well-Known Member

    Hey I was reading up on this topic just today. While you fiddling with the water let them roots get exposed to real air for about an hour (Supposedly took a tomater plant 3.5 hrs to show stress. You give em an hour to breathe you doing good. I would do it in the dark that is how them periodic mister aeroponic things work anyway. How can anybody argue with a periodic upside down aereoponic/DWC combo method with a manifolds and spray heads? It's how the big boys do it. Whut mo can I say..or could be said at this point?

    Big Wheel
    White Widow Woman

    White Widow Woman Well-Known Member

    Co-Sign to that!
    I have recently switched over to Hempy Buckets, but Mr Green Man's method is exactly what I use to use...


    Rep Love Rules!!! - http://www.rollitup.org/toke-n-talk/56625-whats-rep-points-do-i.html
    Have you checked your trichomes today... RadioShack.com
    Lots of good info in the GROWFAQ

    bigwheel Well-Known Member

    Hey Mr Green Jeans that is a smart thing to just swap them lids. I got an old joke about a funeral home where they just change heads on the bodies instead of putting Leroy into a White Tuxeudo ect..that just change heads with him and Rastass who is wearing the white tux. I like the concept. Smart thinning there Senor Queeks Draw.

    Big Wheel


    GreenHog Active Member

    Get the aquarium siphon and hook it up to a wet dry shop vac. You will empty the res in less than 3 seconds and get all of the left over particle matter! Just keep it away from the roots.

    Knally Well-Known Member

    You might want to consider adding a drain tube similar to the Hydrofarm one here Drain Level Tube | Plumbing Materials & Fittings=. You don't have to use the water level indicator or adjust it to your container's depth. However you will still have to deal with the particles and residue left in the bottom. No matter how close to the bottom you install the drain, it just isn't low enough.

    Hope this helps.

    InMyLab Active Member

    IM super super lazy when it comes to filling the buckets, also you want to try and keep the water consistant.

    So, i bought a submersible pump for $20 / £10 and a lenght of hose pipe. I fill my bath with water and nutes, adjust the PH and set the CF to what i need and then just water the plants as normal with the pump, pumping my pre-mixed water into the buckets.

    I use deep small pots, so the roots are covered by plenty of clay pebbles so the roots are always under the light but the ligght doesn't penetrate that deep, so i can just pump the water over the pebbles.

    To empty I never move the buckets, i just put the hose into the bucket and suck on it eventually the water pressure keeps the water flowing.

    patjack Well-Known Member

    I use the 5 gallon black buckets and the lucas formula (the newer one) and with that you never have to change the water, just refill and adjust nutes if neccesary. This is my first bubble bucket experiment and I have to say with the lucas formula this has been sooooo easy. If I had know about this formula I would have been doing it all along instead of soil. It is super easy, very clean and the plants look great and are growing faster than I have ever seen. I just lift the lid of the bucket for water refill and about every day or 2 or 3 depending on how lazy, I will take the lid and set it on an empty bucket while I adjust nutes. I am only about 5 weeks into veg (just flipped to 12/12) so i will see how this works when plants are even bigger (they are about 2 feet now)

    good luck

    in fact when I built my buckets I built them with a drain, a refill spigot and a water sight tube (to see how high the water is) I think depending on how this goes I may switch to just a bucket with the holes for the airline tubing and that is it

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