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Old March 1, 2016   #1
Uncle Doss
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Default hydroponic lettuce

I am very new to hydroponics. In fact, I have never attempted it, yet. Making plans to and gathering parts and supplies.
Eventually, I want to convert any hydroponic systems into aquaponics.

for now, I am getting ready to start a couple hydroponic lettuce beds, likely Kratky method. I have some 24-15-36 hydroponic lettuce fertilizer, 2 pounds of it.
my question is with my water. I ordered a PPM tester and Ph tester, but they haven't arrived yet.
I see where a lot of people use RO water for their systems. Is this a "need" be, or is this more for people with chlorinated water? I live on a farm with well water. I know our water is somewhat hard, consisting of calcium and iron.

Will this be a problem for any hydroponics systems, or should I just buy a lot of bottled water?
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Old March 1, 2016   #2
PureHarvest
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If you use RO water, you still need to use some of your well water to keep some minerals in there so that there is a charge and the nutrients will mix.

I would not want the chore of bottled water unless the system is tiny. That is just me, I'm too busy.

I would send your well water to a lab and figure out exactly what the mineral load is, and then you can, with help, figure out how to adjust your nutrient mix.

The meter you have coming will tell you total dissolved solids, but will not tell you what specific the elements are.

If your source water is under 100 ppm, you could skip the test if you want to save money.

Approaching 500 ppm, it is a must.
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Old March 1, 2016   #3
Uncle Doss
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that's the type of info I was looking for, thank you
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Old March 1, 2016   #4
Cole_Robbie
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I'm not a kratky fan. I like aerated systems. Either pump air into the water, or use a water pump to aerate the root zone.

As far as your water goes, I know General Hydroponics makes a separate micro-nute product for hard water. You will have a lot of trace elements already, so they are trying to not duplicate them and give you too much.

Most people have chloramines now, instead of chlorine. It's a much bigger pain to get out. It stays in the water until it hits something organic to react with. Humic acid, from what I recently read, works for that purpose. It's also a great supplement to increase nutrient uptake. A bag of it from kelp4less would be a lot cheaper than an RO filter.
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Old March 1, 2016   #5
PureHarvest
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Hey Uncle, this will answer some questions for you, but probably open up a can of worms for your brain. Don't get too hung up on all the details, but use it to get the gist of one way of doing lettuce. There are multiple ways to do hydro lettuce. This guide is more complicated than kratky if that is the route you want to take.

I had good success the 2 times I did the Kratky table like Bobby does from MHP gardener on youtube. 1st time was Green Towers (or Forest, I cant remember) Romaine, second was Adrianna Butterhead. If I did it again I would aerate the water as Cole mentioned.

What's cool about the Kratky, is that you can go small scale and do it in things like an old plastic pretzel barrel, coffee container, 2-liter bottle, etc...

http://esquibb.com/wp-content/upload...tuceManual.pdf
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Old March 1, 2016   #6
Uncle Doss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
Most people have chloramines now, instead of chlorine. It's a much bigger pain to get out. It stays in the water until it hits something organic to react with. Humic acid, from what I recently read, works for that purpose. It's also a great supplement to increase nutrient uptake. A bag of it from kelp4less would be a lot cheaper than an RO filter.
Since I am on straight well water, what would I need this for? Chloramine is used as a disinfectant to treat municipal water supplies, I am not on municipal water
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Old March 1, 2016   #7
Cole_Robbie
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You're right. That wouldn't apply to you.

You should try to find out what metals are in your water. I had well water when I lived in Macon, Georgia. It was high in iron.
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Old March 1, 2016   #8
Uncle Doss
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mine is high in iron as well
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Old March 7, 2016   #9
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Just saw this thread and thought I would give my 2 cents. For whats it worth.

Last year I gave Kratky a try. Had pretty good luck with it. I had 13 or 14 five gallon buckets set up in my greenhouse. I grew peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. Everything did fine, with the exception that the heat got to my lettuce. It bolted. But other wise everything grew fine.

Like you, Uncle Doss, my operation is on well water. I have never had it tested. It tastes great, but no idea as to metals.

The only issue, is refilling the 5 gallon buckets. You have to be diligent. Once those plants start drinking, its game on. But with that being said, I have every intention of growing all my cucumbers Kratky style this year in the green house.
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Old March 7, 2016   #10
Uncle Doss
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Thank you FourOaks for that information.
I finally received my TDS and Ph testers so I can try to get started. I have to admit, the instructions for calibrating the Ph tester are about as clear as mud, so this might take some trial and error.

Please keep me posted on your plants this year
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Old March 7, 2016   #11
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Once those plants start drinking, its game on. - FourOaks

Rise up tomato nation, the challenge is upon us!
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Old March 7, 2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Doss View Post
Thank you FourOaks for that information.
I finally received my TDS and Ph testers so I can try to get started. I have to admit, the instructions for calibrating the Ph tester are about as clear as mud, so this might take some trial and error.

Please keep me posted on your plants this year
What brand and model. We can probably clear that up for u
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Old March 7, 2016   #13
Uncle Doss
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Quote:
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What brand and model. We can probably clear that up for u
this set (yes, I know it is an el cheapo set)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Digital-P...4AAOSwpRRWpQIt
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Old March 7, 2016   #14
Gerardo
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I'll be joining you on the lettuce and greens. Gonna set up a RGGS tube with big rootpots (relatively close to hydroponics) at a beachside garden. Hopefully the cold breeze will keep some of them from bolting. Red leafs, butterheads, little gem-tango-tom thumb, 5 types of spinach, and about the same of kale, plus three different salad greens mixes. It'll be a pilot of sorts for a much bigger sowing during fall-winter. I'm sure I'll find some good ones.

Hope yours are healthy, large, and in charge.
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Old March 15, 2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Doss View Post
this set (yes, I know it is an el cheapo set)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Digital-P...4AAOSwpRRWpQIt
I have a similar one. seems to work fine. need lime in my dirt every so often and it gives me a gauge if I need more.
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