Here is a question for everyone. I am an engineering student looking at building a food computer. I am looking at different irrigation systems trying to minimize cost and long term maintenance. Looking at the basic design of the food computer it looks as though the roots sit in a water reservoir that is aerated with a pump and air stone.I am concerned that the air stone clogging with nutrient deposits overtime. Has anyone had experience with this, did you have any solutions? Are there ways to minimize this? Also, if you did have this problem how frequently did you find the stone needed to be replaced? I have more experience with ebb and flow hydroponics and I am considering modifying the design to encoperate this but I would like to hear from people who followed the original design. Did you encounter other problems like root rot? I know aerating and circulating the water should solve the issue but did you run into that problem? Also how large was your water reservoir, how many plants did you grow and how long did it last?
I don’t remember anybody mentioning problems with air stones here before, but your concern about clogging sounds plausible. You might have better luck asking some place where more DWC hydro growers hang out.
When you say, the “original design”, if you mean the official MIT food computer designs, I think only a small number of people managed to successfully build them and get them working well enough to grow crops. The MVP design has been pretty successful for growing, so maybe @Webb.Peter or @webbhm would know about clogging and good cleaning procedures.
Not sure what to say, I have never had any problems. I also dry it out between growth cycles. You might try vinegar or another mild acid (assuming it is a calcium build up or salts).
Try blowing through the tube and see what resistance you get, and make sure the tube is not kinked or blocked.