Experimenting with fogponics, could you help?


#21

Atom,
That is very smart. Can do me a big favor and take a picture for me of the inside of your container.
Thanks


#22

Theres no way to lift the lid after a certain point in the season, its just too heavy :wink: i may be able to generate enough of a gap to get my hand in with a camera but the pics will be pot luck as i`ll be shooting blind and there will be a lot of roots in the way…


#23

That is understandable. Can I trouble you with a build of Material? Would you be so kind to help me put together a list of all the material that is needed? I know you are a perfectionist so I want to bother you :slight_smile:


#24

These chambers are big but quite basic really. .I tend to use whats cheap and easily available. I`m not in the states so sourcing identical parts (especially the accumulator) and/or materials could be a challenge. Its very likely you will have to adapt to what is available. Are you planning to make a chamber with the same dimensions/planting layout or will it be something smaller or with different layout.?. .


#25

I am trying to do everything the same exactly as your buildout first. If any modification will be done after I can duplicate what you done. So, if you can tell me your dimension, number of pumps, nozzles, etc… So i can build the exact same one. That would help me out so much.


#26

The dimensions of the big chambers are 5m long x 0.6m wide x 0.5m deep, they can be made any way you like as they are just a huge box that is reasonably waterproof inside and out. I used 9mm upvc hollow soffit board for the top, sides and ends, i have used it for raised chamber floors when i needed a raised floor. Its pretty cheap, lightweight and rigid. It comes in 2.5m and 5m lengths and various widths from 100mm to 400mm with a tongue and groove profile that allows you to mix and match to make a wider board. You hit it with a hose or pressure washer at the end of the season and its just like new again, The hollow soffit is basically just weatherproof cladding for the outside of the chamber. Its supported by a simple timber frame, i used 1.75" x 1.25" (45mm x 32mm finished size) pressure treated but it doesnt have to be anything too major. The space between studs can be used to hold rigid insulation board (xps/styrofoam) if desired. The inner skin of the chamber is simply 5 mil greenhouse poly attached to the timber frame, its fitted to the frame first and the soffit goes over the top to protect the timber. Thats more or less all there is to the chamber,apart from fitting draught strips or drilling holes for netpots. This chamber sits on concrete which slopes towards a drain so any run off naturally runs to the back corner of the floor where a tank connector fitted into the poly routes it down into the drain…
Note that these chambers are geared for toms, cukes and other plants that grow an extensive root system. You can grow shallow rooting plants in it by using a simple chamber mod but a smaller chamber would be more space efficient.
I guess i better split this into a few posts ')


#27

The next thing is the nozzle manifold. I use something different in each chamber so you can choose which one suits your needs best… The common theme with the big chamber manifolds is they`re all attached to the centerline of the lid and they all use 15mm P-EX tubing. Option one: single 12v dc solenoid at the end of the chamber feeding an internal manifold attached to the underside of the lid (with 15mm nylon pipe clips). Nozzles not accessible from outside the chamber but fewer holes in the lid.
Option B: Single 12v dc solenoid at the end of the chamber feeding an external manifold attached to the top of the lid, nozzles accessible from outside the chamber but more holes in the lid… Option C: External manifold with multiple 12v dc solenoids. Most expensive but better mist response. All options have a pressure reducer (caleffi) fitted in the line behind the1st or only solenoid. The pressure reducers maintain a constant 80psi pressure Without them the pressure would track the accumulator pressure (80-140psi) and affect the nozzle flowrate.
The nozzles i use in these chambers are netafim coolnets, purple ones with 4 bar anti drip valves (adv) which have an orange pin. The nozzles are a quad assembly with 2 positions blanked off using the optional orange blanking caps. I have 6 quad assemblies (12 actual nozzles) in the two 5m chambers and 5 assemblies (10 actual nozzles) in a smaller 4m chamber. The nozzles are arranged to fire mist bi-directionally down the centerline of the chambers and between the 2 rows of plant sites/slots. I cant remember what depth i have them withiout checking but i guess its around 6" from the lid to the nozzle. .The big chambers are 7 years old so those build pics are long gone but i find a few of the 4m which is similar except it has decking instead of hollow soffit on the sides.


The rest of the hardware consists of a Propump DP-160 12v dc diaphragm pump,

(160psi, rated 5 LPM but averages 4 LPM from 80psi- 140psi) and a 100L lowara (10-bar) vertical accumulator with a replaceable bladder.

I dont use a pressure switch or relief valve as these tanks hold around 40L each. I run to waste and charge the tanks manually with the pump as they run down. The pump is a little noisy so i wouldnt recommend it for a recirculating system with a small accumulator where it could fire up at 3am :wink:


#28

This is really good information. I am going to CAD this up soon.
Thank you


#29

Thanks for sharing Atom!

I started another experiment, I am testing a fogponic system vs a kratky system, both growing cherry tomatoes. The fogponic system consists on a single fogger. I used FloraGro, FloraMicro and FloraBloom in equal amounts for both methods. The ppm for fogponic system is 824 and kratky is 668. In retrospect, I should have mixed both solutions to get a uniform ppm in both systems.

here is a pic

I started having problems tho. White dots appeared on the leaves, I am hoping it not serious. Any idea what it can be?


#30

Hi Juan
I would try equal perts of micro and grow but 50% less for the bloom (!-1- 0.5). I`d also dilute the fogponic to half strength and adjust ph to around 5.9 :wink: Where are the root pics? lol


#31

Hi Andy,
I dont use CAD, usually just a rough sketch on paper, then reach straight for the tools :wink:


#32

It’s okay. I’ll CAD it so it’s easier for everyone to understand. And you can see if I fully understand what you are trying to teach me. Please be patient with me if I am a little slow. I was introduced to Aeroponics by Peter. I will try to have the CAD done by next week.


#33

Ahh, i thought you was going to build one :wink: Im not sure many folks would have the space available for a chamber this size, especially indoors. I only use these chambers during the outdoor growing season which is typically april thru october here maybe november if im lucky and then shut them down for the winter.


#34
  1. This thread is an absolute gold mine of information.

  2. @andy I wouldn’t worry about getting too detailed with a CAD. I do see value though in doing it though, this is a HUGE system to build. If I’m not mistaken you do still plan to build it right? Honestly, building this system would in many ways be easier than another aeroponic system that is indoors. There are less variables to worry about, plus it isn’t really practical to ever grow tomatoes or most higher plants vertically. That being said, down the road, this type of a system is very practical in a hydroponic greenhouse, and even more in an aeroponic greenhouse.

  3. Interested to see root pics on aero/fog. Are you doing anything to cool off the fog (wasn’t that a major concern?). @Juan1 are both plants getting white leaves?


#35

Yeah thanks for all the info, it really helps!

The white spots dissapeared thanks for asking! It was residue from a chemical in the soil they came when I bought them. The roots are pretty small but here are pics:
Fogponic

Kratky

I hired a programmer to write down the code for the fog computer, but its based the FC so I will share it with all of you of course. The programmer is asking me for a storyboard for the UI, do you have any storyboards I could develop?


#36

Hey atom,
I am beginning to build my HPA.

![IMG_0978|375x500]

After building the finishing the skeleton of the box. I had to go to Home Depot to purchase the covers and other stuffs.

Came home and started to put everything together.
This is what I got.


![IMG_0987|666x500]

Yes the dog is helping out too :slight_smile:

Ran the hose right through the center.

This is the result that I got.

Can you let me know what I did wrong:
What I could done better?

Also, Where did you purchased this nozzle? I been spending days trying to locate it but unsuccessful.


#37

Hi Andy
Im not sure where to begin really as there are a lot of unknowns. The frame looks solid and well built. I wouldnt use timber for the 2 cross braces as they are inside the chamber and difficult to protect from the mist. For lid support and cross bracing purposes i normally use what are known as herringbone joist struts which are made of 1mm thick hot dip galvanized steel. Im not sure if you have them in the states or whether they go by another name. Depending on the size of the chamber and the lid material you might not need the braces. You will need to use a waterproof liner to protect the timber from the mist.Something like 5-6 mil greenhouse polythene works well. You basically create a box liner using some creative folding. The top edge of the liner extends over the top of the timber frame and is trapped between the top frame member and the external cladding. Incorporating a drain may be required depending what the chamber is sitting on. Most of mine are on soil (ex lawn) so the entire floor of the chamber is the drain (air and water permeable floor) .
Your foggers are 0.8gph according to the packet but beyond that are an unknown quantity so youll need to measure the mist pattern, cone angle or cone diameter along with the throw distance to get an idea of the coverage. The pattern information will give you a good idea of how many nozzles youll need and where best to position them.
The nozzle in the pic is a special type which uses compressed air and pressurised water to create the mist.


#38

Id cut the bottom out of the fogponic netpot so the roots arent bunched up. Itll make it easier to see the new developments too. The plant has a fair amount of top growth so it`ll be quite a test for the roots as they make the transition from soil to fog.


#39

HI Atom,
I been looking around for nozzles. Do you recommend the one with higher gph or lower? I found this one

These nozzles are really expensive. Let em know your though


#40

Hi Andy
i would recommend using hydraulic nozzles for your first system, especially if it`s outdoors where you dont have much control over the environmental variables. Hydraulics are 100x cheaper and a lot more forgiving for learning the basics with. The thing to remember is the nozzles are matched to the chamber and the planting layout. Substituting a different nozzle is like substituting sausage meat for flour in a cake recipe and expecting it to produce the same cake :wink: