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NFT FAQ’s

How do I add my soil-started plants to NFT Gro-Tank?

If you’ve started in soil in pots tip the plant out of the pot and place the plant directly on top the planter tray.

Check there are lots of roots on the outside of the soil which prevent soil from falling away before transplanting to NFT.

Can I add aeroponically started plants to NFT?

Yes! If you’ve started plants in an X-stream aeroponic propagator the net pots can be placed straight onto the planting tray.

Check the roots are 10cms below the clone collar before transplanting to NFT.

What timings should I use for the pump?

For the best results keep you pump going 24/7.

When running constantly ducts deliver nutrient solution in a constant slow trickle all day every, day, so plants always have access to optimum amounts of water, nutrients and oxygen. 

What temperature should I keep the reservoir at?

Maintain a consistent temperature in your NFT Gro-Tank and we recommend keeping reservoir temperature between 19oC and 21oC.  You may want to use a heater for when grow lights are off and the temperature in the grow room drops.

What plant spacings should I use?

1 square foot per plant is ideal. Don’t overcrowd the plants in your NFT system.

The plants will become much bigger than those grown in soil or coco, so you don’t need to grow as many as you have done in pots.

How many NFT options are there?

There are 6 Gro-Tank varieties that will accommodate from 1-25 plants. They’re available in sizes to fit the most common grow room sizes.

For more information check out our Gro-Tank and Multi-Duct pages.

I want to grow 3 plants, which NFT Gro-Tank should I choose?

For the best results and to provide your plants with extra space to grow, we recommend using the GT424 system. 

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IWS Flood & Drain Q&A with Hyjo Hydro

This week we caught up with Cliff & Dani from Hyjo hydroponics, who’ve been good enough to do a Q&A with us on the UK’s favourite modular system, the IWS Flood & Drain.

Nutsystems: 

What type of media do your customers use in their IWS Flood & Drain?   

Hyjo: 

In general we get a mix, but the most popular are: clay pebbles, coco, grow stones. Coco offers a good buffer, whilst they clay pebbles and grow stones give better drainage and access to oxygen for roots.

Nutsystems:

What room temperature should growers look to maintain to maximise the success of their IWS Flood & Drain use?

Hyjo:

We’d recommend a range of 27oc – 30oc maximum. We’d also encourage growers to make sure that there is no less than a 7oc drop in room temperature when lights are turned off. We’d possibly recommend using a heater at lights off to maintain a consistent room temperature.

Nutsystems:

How often would you recommend feeding your plants in the vegetative stage?

Hyjo:

Really it depends on the plants and your media, but as a rule of thumb we’d recommend 4-6 feeds per day in the vegetative stage.

Nutsystems:

How often would you recommend feeding in the flowering stage?

Hyjo:

Oooh, good question! Again, it really depends on your plants and media but if we’re guiding our customers we’d say 6-8 times per day.

Nutsystems:

Are there any tips/tricks that you know of that might help customers to get the most from their grow?

Hyjo:

Here’s our top tips for how customers can get the most from their IWS Flood & Drain system:

  • Make sure to keep the water temperature around 19 oc. We find that the easiest way of doing this is by using a chiller. We feel it’s even more important in hot weather, like we’re getting at the moment.
  • We recommend flushing the system once per week to avoid a salt build up.
  • Another thing we’ve found has worked well for our customers is putting an air stone into the reservoir tank. It’s gives the solution a little extra oxygen which can be fed to your plants
  • Another of our top tips is to keep an eye on the pH. We recommend keeping it in the range of 5.2 – 5.5 in grow and 5.5 – 6.0 in flowering 
  • Our last top tip is to keep EC at 1.2 in grow and 2.2 in flowering. If possible, we recommend you check this daily.
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Holland Hydroponics – Oxypot tips

At Holland Hydroponics we’re often asked when growers want to switch from hand watering, usually in a soil or coco grow medium, into a fully automated hydroponic system, what would we recommend?

There is only one answer really and that’s the Oxy-Pot. Although a completely different principle to hand watering as it’s DWC (Deep Water Culture), the Single (1 Pot) chamber is similar to an 18L square pot, which most soil and coco growers can relate to. This means the change won’t be as big, daunting, or confusing, as going straight to something like an NFT system.

To help get the most out of an Oxypot, Holland Hydroponics has the following tips:

  • Always use dedicated hydroponic base nutrients, under no circumstances should you use a soil or coco feed
  • Always measure the pH of your nutrient solution, never assume it’ll be OK as it can differ depending on your geographical location and/or if using a silicon based supplement, as these are known to raise the pH, sometimes by as much as 2.
  • It’s important to also measure the EC, this determines the strength of the nutrient solution, too strong or too weak, could have a detrimental effect on overall plant health, along with the quality and quantity of the harvest
  • Change the nutrient solution approximately every 7 days, as elements get used up, the EC can rise, or fall. Regularly changing the nutrient solution, along with keeping an eye on pH and EC levels, will push plants to grow and flower at their optimum
  • Once mixed, the nutrient temperature should be kept to between 20-22° Celsius, if not problems such as algae can develop, which will also reduce the amount of available oxygen, or a worst case scenario Pythium, which can potentially destroy an entire crop
  • Oxypot’s don’t need to store nutrients in the substrate, a substrate is only needed to support the plant as it grows. With this in mind, we always recommend that clay pebbles are used, as unlike coco and soil, once the plants have been harvested, the pebbles can be washed and used again
  • Clay Pebbles are however porous, therefore it’s important to keep an eye on the nutrient level in the Oxypot chamber as not only will the roots be absorbing it, so will the clay pebbles and the last thing you want is the system to run dry
  • Healthy roots mean healthy plants so make sure the air pump is kept on 24/7, this helps to not only circulate the nutrient solution, but also replenishes the oxygen levels, keeping the roots white, healthy and strong
  • Oxypot’s also have an air-stone locator fitted to the chamber, this eliminates any guess work as to where the air stone should be placed, keeping the oxygen within the nutrient solution at the optimum level

So there you have it, a few reasons as to why Holland Hydroponics love the Oxypot DWC hydroponic system. Not only are they easy to understand, use and maintain, but will help produce impressive yields, not only in terms of quantity, but also quality. Believe us when we say, you won’t look back after using an Oxypot and hand watering will become a thing of the past.

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The benefits of aeroponic growing.

What is aeroponics?

The idea behind aeroponics is so simple. Basically it’s a process of growing in air with a fine mist being sprayed directly to the roots.

How aeroponics work

Plants are placed into net pots and held into position over a fine mist of water and nutrients, directly to the roots. The roots have access to all the food they need as well as the oxygen they need to thrive.

Who’s aeroponics suitable for?

The speed of growth and need to manage pH accurately makes aeroponic growing a technique that better suits an intermediate or advanced level grower, rather than a newbie.

But if you are experienced and think you’re results are falling short of what you’d expect from your efforts, this really is a technique for you.

Potential issues

Because using aeroponics helps roots to grow rapidly, some growers unfortunately get blocked sprayers. This means nutrients can’t feed the roots and the plant can’t thrive. This is a problem that is easily sorted by checking on the sprayers frequently and gently moving any roots that could block them. With this in mind the Amazon aeroponic system has built in access points to help growers to quickly and easily check that their sprayers are moving freely.

The big benefits of aeroponics

In a word, speed. There’s no quicker method of growing and many growers who have looked to squeeze in an extra grow each year have done so by using an aeroponic grow system like the Amazon.

Environmental considerations

Whether you’re using Aeroponics to develop cuttings or for the full cultivation of plants, getting the correct environment is critical to your success.

Temperature – For cuttings an environmental temperature of 21oC is when they’ll be happiest and thrive along with 70% humidity.

Whether developing cuttings or full plants, try and keep the nutrient solution in your reservoir to 20oC. Any higher and the levels of dissolved oxygen decrease. Much colder and it can shock the plants, slowing down their growth.

pH level – Look to maintain a pH range of 5.8 and 6.2 to help your plants develop quickly and healthily. For those looking for perfection, maintain as close to 6.0 as possible.

Our speed test

We couldn’t end without highlighting the speed of growth in our own trials where we saw 7ft of growth in just 5 weeks using our Amazon hydroponics system.

If this is something that you could do with then make sure to check out our X-Stream Aero propagator and Amazon system.

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The warmer months are almost upon us.

So we’ve put together some tips on how to keep your grow cool this summer.

Max headroom

Keeping a room cooler is so much easier, if you’ve got good headroom. Anything around 6ft or higher is ideal. It’ll allow for more air movement and enable better temperature control.

Keep the air moving

Try using an oscillating fan, to keep the air moving around your grow room. This is a great way of cooling the room. Where you position the fan is important though. Make sure it’s below the plant blowing through, rather than above the leaf canopy. This will avoid them getting ‘wind burn’.

Keep solution cool

If you’re using a hydro system, then you need to keep the nutrient solution cool. There’s a number of ways to do this depending on your budget.

  1. Connect your system to a chiller. This will enable you to keep the solution cool and at a consistent temperature, maximising oxygen availability. Chillers can be quite expensive, but are perfect in some months.
  2. If you’re looking to keeps your costs low, whilst also lowering solution temperatures try putting an ice pack or two into your reservoir. This works particularly well on NFT systems. It helps to lower the temperature of warm nutrient solution, so it can be recirculated over the plants roots. The best thing is, this’ll only cost you a few quid to try.

Remember, in most hydro systems if the solution temperature gets higher than 21oc, you’re going to find that oxygen levels reduce, which will affect the growth of your plants.

Put ‘em up

Your lights that is!

Try and keep your lights 10-20cm higher than you would normally. Not too much light will be lost, but can help to keep your plants cooler. You’ll know if your lights are too close to the plants as the leaves can develop rusty marks.

Release the fans

Using a temperature controlled fan speed regulator you can ensure that your exhaust fans are working as hard as they can to make sure they cool the air in the growing environment. They work by increasing the speed of the fan if the temperature rises and falls when the temperature reaches your desired level.

Take the cool air

If using an intake fan, try to draw air from a place cooler than the grow room. This cooler air will dilute the warm air and bring the temperature of the grow room down.

Follow our tips, keep your grow cool and enjoy your best summer yields yet.