Hydroponic Systems Webinar
Questions & Answers
- Does the NFT system use a growing medium?
You need something in your system that holds the seed. Normally we recommend a 1-1/2" inch grow cube with a net pot to hold it in the channel. It is important to remember that when you start your seeds you should water from the bottom. This will encourage the roots to grow down towards the bottom of the net pot and the grow cube which is essential for hydroponic success.
- What is the square footage of the GT50-672 system?
The system is approximately 6' wide by 12' long by 3' tall. The reservoir for the system is installed under the channels. This system can be utilized in a greenhouse, warehouse or basement, but remember that in a warehouse or basement you will need to add full spectrum light so that your plants can grow properly.
- How do you prevent algae in an NFT system?
There are a few methods for controlling algae in an NFT system. First make sure that your water reservoir is covered. Also, when you harvest plants take a piece of Styrofoam or duct tape and cover the hole in the channel that the plant was harvested out of. This prevents sun from hitting the water in the system and prevents algae growth.
- Are there any systems for root vegetables?
Yes. Carrots, beets and other root vegetables can be successfully grown in a Dutch bucket hydroponic system. Finding the right seed-starting medium is the key to growing root vegetables hydroponically. If you have any questions, please call one of our knowledgeable hydroponics specialists for help setting up your system.
- Are there any hydroponic growing options for growing alternatives to hay?
Yes. FarmTek sells a system specifically designed for growing fodder, a fresh, living food designed to be a supplement to any animal's diet.
- Do clay pellets have any certain requirements as a media for plant roots?
Clay pellets make a very good medium for plant roots. Because clay pellets are often used more than once, you can run into problems if you have an algae or bacteria problem as these algae or bacteria can be stored in the clay pellets. Other than that, clay pellets make an excellent medium.
- What is the ideal temperature for growing hydroponically? What are some options for cooling my greenhouse if I live in Florida where it is over 100°F?
The temperature depends heavily on the crop that you are growing. Lettuce, for example, will tolerate cold weather better than hot weather. Tomatoes, typically a warm-weather crop, will stop flowering at about 80°F. While many people worry about heating a greenhouse because of high costs, it actually can be more expensive to cool a greenhouse. Luckily, there are many different options for cooling a greenhouse. Cooling pads, wet walls, fans and shade cloth are all options for cooling a greenhouse. Shade cloth should not be thicker than 50% shade because the plants still need light from the sun to grow. An overhead sprinkler irrigation can also be installed that automatically switches on when the greenhouse gets too hot. Roll-up or drop-down sides or exhaust fans with inlet shutters can also be effective means of cooling a greenhouse because they allow air to flow through the greenhouse. With this method just make sure that you use insect screening on your greenhouse to prevent bugs from getting to your crop!
- What is the best water temperature?
The best temperature is to stay within a 65° to 75°F range. A water chiller can be used to help control the temperature of your water.
- What is an important nutrient to use other than the main three when producing lettuce?
Cal-Mag is highly recommended as a micronutrient producer for lettuce production. You will avoid tip burn which is often a sign of a calcium deficiency.
- Is the PVC used in your systems BPA free?
Our PVC is BPA free, otherwise they would not have the NSF certification for human consumption. We'd be happy to provide you with documentation regarding this as it is something we are very proud of.
- What additional components do you need to deliver the nutrients through the GT80 channels?
The easiest way to do this is to run a straight PVC line and then tee off of that on to a 3/4" poly line. From there you tee off into a 1/4" or 1/8"spaghetti tube. The spaghetti tubes are then placed into the NFT channels at one end. Pull them back so they are only touching the unit at about 1/4" and the water should flow evenly. You only want about 1/8" of water to flow down the channels.
- What is square footage of the GT50-672 Lettuce System?
This system is approximately 6' wide, 12' long and 3' tall. It can very easily be used in greenhouses, warehouses or basements, but keep in mind that you will also need to supplement with lighting.
Read our Hydroponics Systems Buyer's Guide
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