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Old 07-12-2017, 01:25 AM #4931
Jhhnn
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I'm not sure that I agree with your rationale that the perlite water content is what causes the problem, I've always thought that it was due to the chunks of perlite disrupting the "fit" between the media and the spike.

I use Botanicare ReadyGro Aeration Mix, but bed the spike in straight coco (no perlite) and it has been effective in reducing the number of runaways.
That seems right. I may try it next time around. I had more trouble than usual getting them dialed in this time. Now that they are, I'm sure as Hell not fussing with it.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:48 AM #4932
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That seems right. I may try it next time around. I had more trouble than usual getting them dialed in this time. Now that they are, I'm sure as Hell not fussing with it.
The easiest way that I've found to do it is to pull the spike out, tamp the hole full with the straight coco, reinsert the spike, repeat. After doing this several times the media gets pretty tightly compressed around the spike, which also seems to help.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:17 AM #4933
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Hey Rives

I was looking through your albums (totally not creepy) and was amazed at the duct work you built for the blumats.

Im considering dabbling with Blumats under a 315w cmh in a 3'x3' tent. Where did you find that drip tray for your tent? Any tips for a beginner setup so I can try some spikes with only small upfront cost?

Planning on building a shelf to hold a 5gal bucket.
Picking up a small or medium kit from sustainablevillage.

Growing in 1-2g poly bags of coco.
Feed with maxigrow in veg and V+B in flower.

EDITED TO ADD: This is Rives' photo, not mine

Last edited by budelight; 07-12-2017 at 03:19 AM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:41 AM #4934
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Originally Posted by rives View Post
The easiest way that I've found to do it is to pull the spike out, tamp the hole full with the straight coco, reinsert the spike, repeat. After doing this several times the media gets pretty tightly compressed around the spike, which also seems to help.
Having read your previous mention of this method, I tried it the last time I ran my Blamats and it worked well for me. I use quite a bit of perlite in my mix, so having the nice tight uniform coco coir contact with the spike seemed to work very well.

Thanks for the tip.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:23 AM #4935
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Originally Posted by budelight View Post
Hey Rives

I was looking through your albums (totally not creepy) and was amazed at the duct work you built for the blumats.

Im considering dabbling with Blumats under a 315w cmh in a 3'x3' tent. Where did you find that drip tray for your tent? Any tips for a beginner setup so I can try some spikes with only small upfront cost?

Planning on building a shelf to hold a 5gal bucket.
Picking up a small or medium kit from sustainablevillage.

Growing in 1-2g poly bags of coco.
Feed with maxigrow in veg and V+B in flower.

EDITED TO ADD: This is Rives' photo, not mine
View Image
I'm glad you were checking out the albums - that's why I put them up!

The Blumats are fed with the regular 8mm line and attached to the PVC pipe with tyraps. The pipe is all graded so that it allows any entrained air to rise to the center of the back, where a solenoid is T'd in to purge the air when a timer activates. The purged flow is then dumped back to the lower reservoir. At the time I did all of that, I was running a self-topping, water only system and was having a hell of a time with air bubbles vapor-locking the Blumats. I doubt that it is necessary with the dual-reservoir system that I've been using since then, but it's all in place...

The drip tray is a washing machine drip tray from Home Depot. There is a drain hole in the center of it, and the tent sits on top of a piece of plywood covering a bathtub, so any runaways are drained off to the sewer system. I also have a 4x4 tent, and use a flood and drain pan in it.

This tent is a 30" x 30". I usually run 4 plants, so a minimum number of spikes are needed. The kits usually don't have enough fittings, I'd pick up an extra half-dozen of each, and enough 3mm line to give each spike about a 3' whip hose. With 5 liter air pots, Botanicare ReadyGro Aeration Mix, V+B all the way through, and a 315 CMH, I average a bit over a gram per watt. The system is set up for a minimum of work. I am frequently gone about 10 days at a time, and it just motors along...
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:00 AM #4936
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rives View Post
I'm glad you were checking out the albums - that's why I put them up!

The Blumats are fed with the regular 8mm line and attached to the PVC pipe with tyraps. The pipe is all graded so that it allows any entrained air to rise to the center of the back, where a solenoid is T'd in to purge the air when a timer activates. The purged flow is then dumped back to the lower reservoir. At the time I did all of that, I was running a self-topping, water only system and was having a hell of a time with air bubbles vapor-locking the Blumats. I doubt that it is necessary with the dual-reservoir system that I've been using since then, but it's all in place...

The drip tray is a washing machine drip tray from Home Depot. There is a drain hole in the center of it, and the tent sits on top of a piece of plywood covering a bathtub, so any runaways are drained off to the sewer system. I also have a 4x4 tent, and use a flood and drain pan in it.

This tent is a 30" x 30". I usually run 4 plants, so a minimum number of spikes are needed. The kits usually don't have enough fittings, I'd pick up an extra half-dozen of each, and enough 3mm line to give each spike about a 3' whip hose. With 5 liter air pots, Botanicare ReadyGro Aeration Mix, V+B all the way through, and a 315 CMH, I average a bit over a gram per watt. The system is set up for a minimum of work. I am frequently gone about 10 days at a time, and it just motors along...
I think You're onto something about entrained air, something I remember from Aquariums. Cold pressurized water has a lot more air in it than warm water at room temp, so when the pressure is relieved microbubbles form over time. It's not good for the fish.

https://www.spirotherm.com/sites/def...mination_3.pdf

The way aquarists deal with it is to let the water age for a day while using an airstone & a heater. It drives off excess gas molecules because of broken surface tension. I may try it in my plain water res, see if it helps. I wouldn't recommend it in hydro nutrient solutions because bacteria would go wild & gunk up the works.

You're also right about the kits being somewhat of a tease. The whole thing works better & is much easier to manage with fixed 8mm lines & longer 3mm whips. The 8mm line is also a lot easier to deal with after some time in an oven set to warm.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:48 AM #4937
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhhnn View Post
I think You're onto something about entrained air, something I remember from Aquariums. Cold pressurized water has a lot more air in it than warm water at room temp, so when the pressure is relieved microbubbles form over time. It's not good for the fish.

https://www.spirotherm.com/sites/def...mination_3.pdf

The way aquarists deal with it is to let the water age for a day while using an airstone & a heater. It drives off excess gas molecules because of broken surface tension. I may try it in my plain water res, see if it helps. I wouldn't recommend it in hydro nutrient solutions because bacteria would go wild & gunk up the works.

You're also right about the kits being somewhat of a tease. The whole thing works better & is much easier to manage with fixed 8mm lines & longer 3mm whips. The 8mm line is also a lot easier to deal with after some time in an oven set to warm.
You've described our municipal water system to a "T". The water is glacial melt, drops from a much higher elevation over steep country causing turbulent flow and further aeration of the water, and it operates at pressures that are substantially above what would be considered normal. Once I moved to the current system, my problems with vapor lock ended. Luckily, V+B is very stable both from a pH standpoint and staying in solution, and since it is a chem nutrient, it has few issues with bacteria growth. I never change out the nutrient solution, simply adding to it as required.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:08 AM #4938
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Thanks for the advice rives & Jhhnn

Are you feeding the same strength v+b throughout growth?

A gram per watt would be wonderful, but are you using dialed in clones?

I just ordered a washing machine drop pan off Amazon because, believe it or not, it was cheaper than home Depot!

I won't need to worry about the solenoid it sounds, what do you recommend for an 8mm layout with long 3mm runners. Bleed valve? Sounds like the kit might not have the best set of pieces for work I want to accomplish...
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:47 AM #4939
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Thanks for the advice rives & Jhhnn

Are you feeding the same strength v+b throughout growth?

A gram per watt would be wonderful, but are you using dialed in clones?

I just ordered a washing machine drop pan off Amazon because, believe it or not, it was cheaper than home Depot!

I won't need to worry about the solenoid it sounds, what do you recommend for an 8mm layout with long 3mm runners. Bleed valve? Sounds like the kit might not have the best set of pieces for work I want to accomplish...
I use a lower strength during veg, kick it up a week or so into flowering, and cut it back 3 weeks or so before harvest. The last couple of weeks are at a very low strength for the flush.

Yes, I run clones and am pretty familiar with what makes them happy.

I have both single-ended systems and one that is fed from each end. You should be fine with a single-ended one making a loop around the perimeter of tent, with the T's on each side so they are accessible. A bleed valve on the end is handy for purging air, pulling samples, hand-watering, and flushing the system out.

You either need to have a drain or the ability to catch the volume of your reservoir - you WILL have runaways. A flood & drain pan has much higher walls than the washing machine drip pan and might be a better choice if there is one available that will fit in your tent.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:47 PM #4940
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Originally Posted by rives View Post
I use a lower strength during veg, kick it up a week or so into flowering, and cut it back 3 weeks or so before harvest. The last couple of weeks are at a very low strength for the flush.

Yes, I run clones and am pretty familiar with what makes them happy.

I have both single-ended systems and one that is fed from each end. You should be fine with a single-ended one making a loop around the perimeter of tent, with the T's on each side so they are accessible. A bleed valve on the end is handy for purging air, pulling samples, hand-watering, and flushing the system out.

You either need to have a drain or the ability to catch the volume of your reservoir - you WILL have runaways. A flood & drain pan has much higher walls than the washing machine drip pan and might be a better choice if there is one available that will fit in your tent.
You're right about runaways. It happens to me more often when I'm first dialing them in but it'll happen right out of the blue, as well. I think one of the advantages for hydro growers using blumats is that they can size a catchment basin to hold all the liquid in a worst case scenario. It can't be done with plain water systems like mine where mains water is constantly supplied. My grow is in the cellar where overflow of the catchment basin wouldn't destroy anything & the fact that I'm a homebody lets me catch problems early on. If I were away regularly, I'd figure out a way to use a water detector & a N.C. solenoid valve as an emergency safety.

As it is, I'll add purge valves on the ends of my two runs of 8mm & purge the whole thing really well before the next batch.
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