Hydroponics

My wife and I are trying to grow plants hydroponically (water only, no soil) and just starting out with a few types of systems recently purchased and set up. Just curious if we can get a convo started with others that may have more experience (wouldn’t take much, we have nearly zero), or would care to share do’s and dont’s.

Any forumosans into hydroponics?

I used to be really into it before my daughters. It was not too hard on the states, you could buy most of your nutrients n supplies online. Here I have trouble ordering the right dog food… So . Unless you Chinese is excellent, it may be… mafan.
That said, a basic setup isn’t too complicated. Just keep regular circulation to avoid stagnation. And I would suggest using filtered water, as the water here has loads of gunk in it.
Direct sunlight may lead to greening of your pipes

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I got the Chinese part covered (my better half is Taiwanese).

One of our systems is a tubes with a reservoir continuously pumping water so it shouldn’t stagnate. But we did use Taipei tap water. Did you have bad results using tap water or did you always use filtered water?

I think you need to filter the water first to make it chemically neutral, than add nutrients. Chlorine is not that good for hydroponics.

I did aquaponics in my living room with goldfish. Grew salad greens and tomatoes.

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in virginia we used tap water, in Playa del Carmen, we used filtered water (from the big jugs) bc the water there is highly calcinated.

here, i havent tried, however, our toilets turn brown whether or not we use them, and i can taste a huge difference from tap (oops) and my filtered water.

before I had the filter installed we used water from the filter stations on the street. not expensive.

i would recommend using it so you have more control of what is in your water, esp since it is not expensive.

I’ve done two rather unconventional variants.

I had a smallish aquaponics setup with about 300L of water, half a dozen fish, and about 100L of expanded clay media. It didn’t work particularly well and I never found out why. Eventually the neighbour’s ducks ate my fish, so that was the end of that.

I had much better success with ordinary planting containers filled with wood, sand, and gravel. I kept a big plastic container filled up with water and kitchen scraps, which fermented to a sort of liquid compost, and once a day I’d flood-and-drain the planting containers (I had a tube installed in the corners so that they’d fill upwards, and they drained from a hole in the bottom into a large plastic tub). The water was mostly just cycled through and topped up with tap water as it was transpired or evaporated away. I added a tiny amount of synthetic fertilizer (with micronutrients) to the compost tub about once a week. The intention was to feed the bacteria and fungi rather than the plants.

I grew lots of nice leafy vegetables with this method, including basil, lettuce, and various brassicas. Does it count as “hydroponics”?

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If you didnt have a middle container settling out the solids (fish poop), or somehow filter them, that is likely why you had trouble using expanded clay. Those types of setups might be best usin floating setups with a non root eating clean up crew in the grow outs. Clams and that work, but more mobile filter feeders work better.

The nice thing in taiwan is tht extremely pure and high quality chemicals can be bought ultra cheap. And the gov has lots of useful info on things like nutirtion, hormones, control measures etc. They arent awesome at healthy or sustainable but are exceedingly great without those 2 considerations.