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MicGrow

Transition from coco auto drippers to Flood and Drain, diy build or IWS kit?

Posted (edited)

Hey everyone.
For a while now I've been running coco in fabric pots with drippers on timers, draining to waste in a 80 x 160cm space.
It's lovely, and I learned it all on here! Get in! Thank you!

 

However, the new set up I'm working on is in a very hard water area and I'm concerned about 4mm lines and dripper spikes getting blocked.

Maybe I can top feed from 12mm hoses and still drain to waste? (Using much shorter pump times?)

It's also a larger 240 x 240cm space so I'm considering Flood and Drain, I love the idea of pulling all that oxygen into the root zone! Mmmmm.

 

If I do go Flood and Drain I'm torn between making my own plastic lined plywood trays with a rain water butt, some pumps and fittings.

Or shelling out on a proper kit like the IWS with a "brain bucket." £££?

 

After purchasing the plywood, fittings, hoses, pumps, timer, water butt etc for DIY I might be racking up the cost anyway and regret not just buying a system. 
DIY or kit?

 

Also, a problem I see with DIY flood and drain trays is that the reservoir has to be below the trays and will rob my headroom, unless I also use a "brain bucket" with the trays?

 

I'd start Flood and Drain with coco, or maybe a coco perlite mix to give me more of a buffer and more time between floods until I get used to it but going forward I'd consider a transition to clay pebbles where the floods can be more frequent. 

 

I'd appreciate any help or advice here.
Thanks everyone!

Edited by MicGrow

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I use a 12mm feed. But I have ring dripper on the end. Might be easier to buy a controller and turn the pump down as well.

 

I built my own system. Weir, or as drip systems call them a `BRAIN` like you mention. Bucket with a float switch basically, pretty crap brain if you had to depend on it for thinking lol 

 

I designed the pipework, use an Arduino to pump out from the weir when it's full. I manually water or pump, but just about to go to an IWS dripper. Tested it and it controls awesome. Going to run it to my 12mm lines, same diameter across the whole system upto the ring drip feeders.

 

At some point, I want to change and buy something instead of drilling holes in 25 Litre wilma trays and making my own multi pipe weir. I welded frames to lift the pots up, so the water can drain from the 25 Litre wilma pots, into the tray, down the tube and into the Weir.


Save yourself the hassle and buy something mate! It's a pain to dedicated drains and trays as you say, steal head room.

 

You could always use smaller hosing on the ends of the pipework to regulate the flower. I prefer just Coco. See mixed views on adding both perlite and clay pebbles to that substrate.

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Thanks @mrevolve I also use 12mm supply line with my coco drain to waste. I then use nipples taking it down to short sections of 4mm line with drippers (three in each pot.)

I like the idea of using the 12mm supply with short 4mm "tails" and then just take the drippers off if they get blocked up.

 

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Hopefully it works for you mate!

 

51o5KtY52vL._SX425_.jpg

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Progress is being made. Coco, drippers, drain to waste.


I've constructed two ply wood trays which are going to be lined with white plastic sheeting. 

Fitted with 40mm waste drain.

 

Are there any resources on here for reservoir sizing? (Although I think I'm just going to get the largest i can, 350 liters!)

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NFT or Flood and Drain I use 1 litre per 10 watts of light minimum so a 600watt set up would have 60 litres of reservoir capacity. 

In reality you lose a bit of active solution as you have a bit of tank that doesnt 'work' which is the bit your pump sits in so for one light I would probably give it another 5-10 litres ....with multiple lights theres not so much need the tank will be bigger ...so as my maths teacher would say ' as the solution tends to infinity the unworked solution tends to zero' 

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23 hours ago, MicGrow said:

I've constructed two ply wood trays which are going to be lined with white plastic sheeting. 

 

 

 

If those trays are to hold water then use pond liner, dont use the black and white sheeting for walls etc. The pond stuff is cheap and very tough so pots are very unlikely to rip it.

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On 13/08/2019 at 11:00 AM, lasouris said:

If those trays are to hold water then use pond liner, dont use the black and white sheeting for walls etc. The pond stuff is cheap and very tough so pots are very unlikely to rip it.

 

Thanks for the recommendation, that's a good point.
The trays are not going to "hold" water, they're just run off trays that drain away immediately to waste.
I got a sheeting that is white both sides bonded to a black core, it's not exactly pond liner but it is slightly thicker than the normal black/ white sheeting.

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On 12/08/2019 at 3:31 PM, cf said:

NFT or Flood and Drain I use 1 litre per 10 watts of light minimum so a 600watt set up would have 60 litres of reservoir capacity. 

In reality you lose a bit of active solution as you have a bit of tank that doesnt 'work' which is the bit your pump sits in so for one light I would probably give it another 5-10 litres ....with multiple lights theres not so much need the tank will be bigger ...so as my maths teacher would say ' as the solution tends to infinity the unworked solution tends to zero' 


Perfect! It's 4 x 600w and I've got a 250 litre reservoir. 

I'm planning 12 plants

1000l/p/hr fluming/ mixing pump.
3700 l/p/hr irrigation pump.

12mm irrigation line with inline filter, reducing to 4mm "tales" for each pot.

 

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Cool ! Please post pics when it's all done.

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