Tuesday, September 6, 2011

H2O2 & Hydroponics

Thought this may be of interest to people who have experienced mold and fungal problems with sealed hydroponics systems.

My problems with black mold in the shelter began when I tried to run a small hydro lab down there in an experiment to grow strawberries underground. I really think this was when the humidity "baked in" because the solution circulating began to off-gas into the air to foster the growth of mold. The experiment to grow strawberries was a failure. I had a few sprouts the size of buttons but my lights weren't strong enough to promote any serious growth and bloom. I had begun to notice a funny odor in the air when I dismantled this tiny factory and brought it out.

In my next iteration, I am moving way ahead of my original little setup with a fully automated lab that will trap humidity levels inside a plastic vapor barrier inside the shelter. This time around I realized the need to be able to assure disinfection of nutrient solution at regular intervals.

I was exploring the use of iodine but now I am firmly in the camp of H2O2, a few drops a day every day on a schedule, supplemented with a small bubbler to keep it oxygenated. The iodine may still come in handy when the system is flushed and rinsed out to prepare for a new crop.

My goal is a hydroponics lab that does everything but plant the original seeds and pull them up when it is time to harvest. I want the machine to do everything else.

My lighting this time around will be extreme low power red-blue LEDs right over the surface of the plants with two hours a day of bright intense Luxons to kick off bloom. I am trying to keep the energy demands so low they could be powered by a single 24 AH 12 volt battery for an entire month with a recharge.


Anonymous said...

Now this is interesting. If you get it working do share. I'd love to have a rice paddy in the basement.

A single acre can produce five metric tons, 11,000 pounds of rice.


Many ago I experimented with growing "hemp" in hydroponics, and experienced problems due to lack of humidity in the summer, and too much (resulting in mold) in the winter. This was in the Los Angeles area. Other concerns were maintaining a proper pH of the H2O-nutrient solution. I had just started a new job as shift leader in a mainframe shop, so I finally abandoned the project, after one stunted crop. No longer had much time for sampling herb, at any rate.

Anonymous said...

Have you experimented with mixing in UV LEDs for plant growth or as a sterilizer for your water?

Texas Arcane said...

The UV Leds have just this year begun to reacher higher frequencies of great use in both disinfection and plant growth. I want to buy some as soon as they are cheap enough to sell in waterproof strips.