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Snypie

Need some advice about NFT

Posted (edited)

I have got a NFT system. It is looks like exactly the GT100 just a bit smaller. It is 90 cm x 90 cm, or 3 'x 3'. It has the same res, tray, feeder bar. I bought an adjustable pump too. I read several topics but i didn't find answers for my questions.

 

1. Is the spreader mat some kind of geotextil? I have this on a large roll (i think it is 1.5 m x 100 m roll and maybe 1-2 mm thick and white). I assume it is good (it's not chemically treated), isn't it?

2. I read that the mat is good to drop to the res because it eliminates the dripping water sound ( i will use air stones in the res). But how much? Below water line is fine? In this case the mat not will be too wet due the capillary action?

3. I really really hate rockwool. I tried it several times but always failed (salt build up, Ph problems and overwatering). I found an alternative which called easy plug and easy block. The plug is 3,5 cm x 3,5 cm x 3 cm and the block is 7,5 cm x 7,5 cm x 6 cm. It has been made of organic materials like root riot, rapid rooter. It has an 1.0 EC and a steady PH of 6.0. But it's bottom is flat. Can i use this in NFT? I can't see why not the NFT instruction says i can put a well rooted coco or even soil plant onto it. What do you mean?

4. I am very afraid of overwatering on the NFT tray. Should i put something below the cube? Just to raise a bit from the mat. I read several opinion about water pump running time also. Run constantly but adjust the flow. Run on timer. Even one post said in the beginning not use the pump the plant get some moisture due the capillary action of the mat (if it is in the res).

 

Can you give me some solid advice? I don't want to fail just in the beginning :D

Edited by Snypie
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Stick your plants in to 4 inch Rockwool cubes,give them a good rinse in ph correct mild ec solution,let them develope a root structure first by hand watering them . Your spreader mat is fine to go straight on the bottom of your nft tray  no need to wash . Cut a hole 4 inch in your top tray cover and place your plants on top of your spreader mat . Leave the pump on 24/7 your roots would dry out in no time, it doesn't need to be running hard just a trickle. You will have to watch the rez temps in nft especial at the start when theres no plant cover . Keep a eye on your ph it will swing in nft . And also check your ec , if its rising in the rez lower it a tad and vice versa. Hope that helps a bit

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1) I thought it was a roll of fibreglass/rockwool type material, never bothered to look into over all the years i've used it, i've just used it and not questioned it! Or I looked and forgot, it just works, it's Ronseal.. although I do like using the thinnest parts I can find. Some bits are like carpet!

2) I like the drop, gives more oxygen to the water and keeps it fresh, it's noisier this way though! Don't turn your pump off, I never turn mine off. Just get the flow rate right and keep it on ;)

3) In NFT, they are barely in the rockwool for anytime at all. You can put rooted up soil plants in NFT if you want, I've done it before but it annoyed me with soil being in my tray. It did not cause issues, just annoyed me in a pure white 2" thick root mat. I can't see why the root blocks you are talking about would not work but i've never tried them. It should work okay but I start lower at 0.8 EC (background 0.3-0.4) in rockwool for the first week in the tray/tank but they soon eat more within days!

4) if there are roots coming out your rooting block/rockwool/soil, don't raise it up.. just sit it on the mat, the roots will do their thing. Turn the pump down nice and low, make sure their is no pooling in the tray and have a nice steady slope for the water to run away. Get the spirit level out and make sure the water is flowing the right way just to be sure, it will save you a headache later.

 

 

Get some duct tape out and cover the topside of that corex cover or invest in a small bit of Celotex for a more rigid top. Let as little light as possible get into the tray, it will save you a headache later and help roots develop quicker.

Keep the water tank temp at 19-20c.

 

 

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Rockwool cubes of 4 inch are ideal for NFT as it anchors the plant a bit better. You will not get ph or ec issues if the tanks levels are fine. Most roots will go down into the spreader mat.

 

I never liked the noise of the drop so did lower the mat and put in a simple air pump.

 

I'd rate NFT as one of the best hydro systems for its simplicity and the very low cost of start up.

 

I used a variety of nutes way back so I know there are tons more now. Ionic one bottle was my preference at the time plus some pk.

 

Always found NFT worked fantastic IF you gave it a good flush. To do this I would lift up the black cover and flush those roots and make sure the EC was down to 0.4 or so at least. That final flush would be two weeks from harvest. I started off flushing every week but found 2-3 flushes on each flower period was more than enough. My reasoning was that EC meters just measure an EC but this does not tell you much and might mean there is no P or K in there but plenty of nitrogen, for example. A flush levels it all out so you know each various chemical or salt is there in the right proportion.

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Posted (edited)

Thank for the answer.

In my country it is called geotextil. I buyed it for another purpose. I will give it a try. In pictures the spreader mat looks like the same as my geotextil.

And i don't like the water dropping sound, because my tent is next my bed. Approx 1 m :D I can't sleep and drives me crazy. I can tolerant the air pump noise (it is very silent model but very strong -> 3600 l/h). So if i will use this air pump with 6 stone can i hang the mat into the res? Is this a disadvantage for the plant?

I give a try this easy plug + block. Is it a problem thats block's bottom is flat? Because rockwool bottom has a "pattern".

The NFT tray has a good slope but i will watch the water movement.

I bought a diamond mylar too. I want to cover the corex with it.

 

I have a Haliea water chiller also so i can keep the water temp perfect.

 

As the summer is coming i will use LED. I bought a 375W Samsung strip kit from @diyleduk.

 

Actually i have all except the starter plugs + blocks. I must cut some holes in the res for the chiller's hoses. That's not much work.

 

I will use RO water because my tap water has an EC of 0.6-1.0. In summer it is lower. The nutes will be GHE flora series. And the seeds will be Malawi :)

Edited by Snypie
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Just now, MyDisplayName2000 said:

Always found NFT worked fantastic IF you gave it a good flush. To do this I would lift up the black cover and flush those roots and make sure the EC was down to 0.4 or so at least. That final flush would be two weeks from harvest. I started off flushing every week but found 2-3 flushes on each flower period was more than enough. My reasoning was that EC meters just measure an EC but this does not tell you much and might mean there is no P or K in there but plenty of nitrogen, for example. A flush levels it all out so you know each various chemical or salt is there in the right proportion.

 

So do you mean when it is time to exchange the res you pour some tap/RO water through your roots then drain and fill back the res with new fresh solution?

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42 minutes ago, Snypie said:

 

So do you mean when it is time to exchange the res you pour some tap/RO water through your roots then drain and fill back the res with new fresh solution?

That's right bud. Plain water through it all. You get a lot of salts trapped in the roots and mat zone. Try emptying the tank then flushing with plain water.

 

The EC will often be up there still.

 

I'd put 20-20 litres through (check the EC)  THEN refill the tank with the water/nutes solution. My taps EC is less than 0.1 so I could simply attach a hose and flush that way.

 

Hanging the mat into the reservoir is fine.

 

Best of luck with the grow. DIY LED would be the place to go to buy a decent LED that carries a guarantee.

 

I'd sooner see a new grower go into it a bit nervous and unsure then some boastful idiot who thinks he is the new Jack Herer because he or she has seeds, a light and will surely grow 3 grams per micro-watt.

 

You will be a winner. If one crop lasts till the next, everyone wins ;-)

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I started a grow diary here:

 

I'd be very happy if you'd like to follow me.

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