I am looking for better cannabis but without having to go hydroponics, if I take my hydroponics buckets and load two high quality air stones per bucket, that is per plant, and then the air stones running off of a 100 watt vivosun air pump. One air stone is at the bottom and one is half way. I am mixing perlite and charcoal into a happy frog soil medium and on the very bottom layer all the way throughout, I am going to have clay pebbles. Is that worth it? Or is it a waste and the extra 100 is totally not worth it?
I have seen a video on YouTube about this method and for what i seen it looked to be good ,have a look on YouTube for it and have a look for ur self
I have done this before and it will boost your yield and rate of growth. The system I had built was a bit higher in performance than anything I saw on YouTube but expensive and a huge pain in the butt compared to a living soil IMHO. What I had trouble with was the drowning of my living soil in this system of growing. It’s a delicate balance. I even had an evacuation tubing for flushing. If you go this route you’ll be feeding more with soluble nutes than the soil itself by far
What do you mean, ‘the drowning of my living soil’? And what is an evacuation tube? It seems like it should work.
I added an additional tube with a strainer at the bottom that I attach to a pump to remove excess water when I’m flushing the roots at end of bloom cycle. This is in addition to the airlines and irrigation lines. Hope this helps.
Oh yeah this system of growing requires a lot of extra nutrient rich water as it works somewhat similar to a rdwc system which is usually too much for a true living soil, so it’s usually more like a normal soil medium that is swamp like muddy with lots of water
Here is what I put together to make an elevated air injection bucket. This thing kicks ass, but as @Medicineman33 said be prepared to use a good nutrient schedule, (I am running Mills light schedule with this bucket).
Here is picture of the bucket and the parts that I started with.
Here is the root control disk in the bottom, and the bottom view of the bucket. I fill with perlite to above the air injection tube. Then top the bucket with 3 parts Roots Original Soil and 1 part perlite.
Here is the air injection tube. I became concerned about copper leaching from the copper tube and changed it to plastic.
I use a 1 gallon ziplock to measure the pump’s output, and set the pump so that it fills the bag in about 1 minute. There are many advantages to this bucket, and if you want more info or see some pictures of it’s results, just tag me.
Looks like a decent setup. I used an air diffuser in the bottom of bucket with a grit guard over it to allow some space for just nute/water and bubbles. On top of grit guard I used a fine net bag to hold soil but let water nutes and bubbles pass thru and I ran my tubing down the sides from top so I didn’t have to drill holes and put up with possibility of leaks. I used a piece of pipe down the side to insert my evacuation tube down thru
After adding this drip ring attached to a 12 gallon reservoir, and setting the pump output and timer to give a gallon in 10 minutes per day. This system did better when leaving it for 7 days than the hydro system that I am running.
Probably simpler to go with autopots, spring pots, coco with perlite and air stones or air dome.
@beardless, you are correct, and if you have read my other post about my air bucket. I state that anyone may want to consider the AutoPot before building the air bucket. I think it was about a $30-40 dollar investment in each bucket including the little air pump.
But there are advantages and disadvantages to the bucket compared to the AutoPot.
The bucket can free drain allowing it to be flushed or it can bottom feed/water. The drain line can plugged, or better yet strapped to the outside of bucket, so that a liquid level can be maintained in the bottom of the bucket. This would bubble the nutrient solution in the bottom of the bucket.
But I have had such good results by top feeding and just letting it free drain. That is what I presently do.
Missed your comment re autopots.
I use them but not with supplemental air.
I do run into an occasional issue requiring flushing. It is a bit of a pain. However, I have the trays sitting in a 3" deep overflow tray. I simply turn off the reservoir, remove the valves and wash the coco to to extent necessary. I only run 2 at a time so it isn’t that big of deal.
The bucket and the AutoPot are very close to one another. But I wanted to be able to flush when putting it together. The drain line makes life much easier, it is very easy to collect run off samples for testing, and makes it able to control how much liquid is in the bottom. I like to hook the drain outlet just above the bottom of the bucket, after watering. This holds the water in the bottom long enough for the soil to absorb what it can. After a hour or two I drop the drain tube to free drain.
I think my next run with these buckets will be with coco/perlite in them. And using the auto watering system set to feed daily. I am lucky, my tent is on an elevated platform that is above a floor drain. I have it fixed so that the bottom of the tent drains to the floor and then to the floor drain.
Here the present grow in one bucket, it is a Skywalker clone. It is in 5th week of bloom. Have a hard time getting a good picture here, the real thing looks much better than the picture.
Last time with Black Widow & Bruce Banner
O ya I almost forgot to tell you that I also supplemented my air lines with oxygen generator using a “y” fittings and check valves
I am using hydroponic buckets, so I have drains. How often should I drain them through veg and flower?
I liked to like drain but not really flush at the end of veg because I like a sudden effect when I flip lights and nutes. Then fill with bloom nutes and keep your fluid level up through bloom cycle till you’re ready to flush after initial flush go to straight water or maybe with just some molasses and I always like to flush with ice water
@justinsloan, I am sure you will like the air or oxygen injection method. This is the only method that I have used that did not burn the leaf tips, while giving great results. The plastic makes much more efficient use of water and nutrients compared to fabric bags.
But be prepared to keep a close eye on things, as things happen fast. Last week I was in rush, and gave the pictured plant a gallon of just RO water. A day later some of the larger leaves margins started to turn a little pale.
Good luck and keep us posted!
@Medicineman33, Oxygen generator huh, I wonder if Medicare would - - never mind! Don’t want to start a new scam here, I think we have enough already.
But serious business now, as I said the air pump is set to deliver a gallon per minute into a ziplock bag. So that would be 8 cubic foot of air into a bag per hour. Now I realize that the pump has more resistance pumping into the soil than the bag. If this number was cut to 25% it would be 2 cubic foot per hour. I would think this would be plenty of oxygen for a 5 gallon pot.
Does anyone know what the optimum air injection rate is? Is there such a thing as too much air?
There is a saturation point for oxygenated water. I’ve not seen detrimental effects from it though like an oversaturation of CO2 to the leaves can be. To much air at a time can kinda mess your soil up or bypass it mostly. The smaller the bubbles the better
Also slow and steady don’t remember numbers it’s been a while since I went back to having living soil
You will definitely be making some adjustments at first to get things right on track
So would stacking one container up with high powered air stones cause problems? Say a 100 watt air pump, pumping 4 air stones that are in one bucket, that should help, shouldn’t it?
edit: and for this one bucket the air stones are placed at different levels, with the pocket on the bottom that the perlite or clay pebbles make