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It's been 8 weeks now since I ventured into the world of hydro... I got a few emails from people here who wanted to see my 240 gallon setup. So here are some pics, they're not great but I haven't rtfm on my new camera yet.


I'm open (and desire) your comments and suggestions to make anything better. I started out with quartz-halogen shop lights (900 watts total), but just yesterday received my 1000 watt HID and HPS lights (now pictured)


I got them through Access Discounts, $282 (U.S.) for a dual ballast, swichable, reflector hood and one each of the lamps.

Their URL is http://store.yahoo.com/accessdiscounts-sto...oinone10me.html



The tank is 8' X 2' X 2'



An overflow is drilled through the far right side and dumps into a sump. It is then pumped back into the left side of the tank. This eliminates the need for air pumps, as the air/water interface is constantly skimmed.



Another shot of the overflow and sump.



Got root?



I just used styrofoam panels for the floatation base, with styro cups (with holes cut in bottoms). I needed to tie it up a bit because the fan kept pushing it into a corner.


If anyone wants me to post DIY plans for this setup just say so. :huh:



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I'm IMPRESSED!...and have to admit it's the first time ever I see a setup like this.


Please continue with your photo-rapport, it's VERY interesting, and I'm wondering how it works out untill the end of your grow.

one thing that I'm wondering about is the weight of the plants if they are growing is not puching them into the tank?

tanx for the pics mate.


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2 full sheets 3/4" plywood, A-C grade, the A side is for tank interior. If you wish to fill the tank the entire way (240 gallons) you will need 3 sheets, in order to make a brace to keep the top (open) of the tank from bowing outward.


A sh*tload of coarse thread drywall screws, half should be 2" long, the other half 1-1/2" long. Alternate lengths when assembling. Figure about 300 screws total.


Epoxy paint, this is a 2-part paint, I used some by a company named Klenk's Epoxy Enamel, it's used for finishing bathtups and kitchen appliances, porcelain, etc. This was necessary because the tank was used to hold fish. For plants you could probly just use any kind of boat paint. You need about 3 quarts and EXCELLENT ventilation. Believe me, this stuff reeks bad.


If you want a glass front, use 1/2" plate or 3/8" tempered. Tempered is lighter, but more expensive and if it breaks you have 240 gallons of water on your floor all at once. Plate glass is heavier, but cheaper, and if it cracks you'll have time to make rescue efforts.


(1) 1" PVC bulkhead fitting. Available online through aquarium supply stores.


Screwgun, circular saw, tape measure, construction adhesive.


Cut one sheet of plywood in half lengthwise. Use the other sheet to form the bottom and two sides. Since this can be easily altered to make any size tank, I'm not gonna give exact measurements. If you use glass, allow 3" between all edges of glass and the inside dimensions of the tank.


Pre-drill all screwholes about 1/2" short of total screw length. Use construction adhesive during assembly. Screws should be about 1-1/2" apart from each other throughout the assembly.


If using glass, cut a big friggin' hole in the front (long side, whatever one you wish to be the front) allowing 3" all around to edges of plywood.


Paint the inside of the tank and top exposed edges. Lay it on thick and heavy (follow directions), and you'll need 3 coats total (or more, if you're paranoid).


If you're using glass, lay tank on it's face, run a thick solid bead of silicone around the edge of the wood cut-out hole, and another around the edge of the glass (not the actual edge, but on the glass right next to it) and set it in the tank. Do not put bottom edge of glass on bottom of the tank floor. Leave 3" all the way around. Pile a bunch of books on the glass and let it dry thoroughly for at least 3 days.


Silicone seal (after 3 days) all interior edges and corners and go around the perimeter of the glass inside the tank again. Any silicone that bloops can be easily cleaned after drying with a razor blade and windex.


Let everything dry 3 more days, then water test outside. Place tank on something high enough to see any leaks coming from underneath. Water weighs about 8lbs per gallon, keep that in mind when choosing support for the tank. I use concrete blocks.


Fill tank slow. Cover bottom with about an inch of water, then wait for 15 minutes to look for small/slow leaks. Continue adding, stopping every few inches to check for leaks. If you find any, mark it and keep filling. When done, drain the tank and re-silicone inside the tank where the leak area originates (if you have any at all).


It'll be easier to show you better pics for the bulkhead fittings than to try and explain. Those of you mechanically inclined will find this very simple.


I'll keep editing this post as I take more pics and fill in the gaps.



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Wouldn't that setup allow the roots to be exposed to the light?

one of the reasons I'm so damn curious about the whole cyclus,..and the alges too, with that light in the tank there can start a lotta stuff living in there.,..

but as far as I know this is a uniek project and thumbs up for fishee :huh:


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Would probably be best off adding some mylar foam to the top of the water to stop the light causing algae etc... apart from that should work fine until late flower when they will need extra supports or the ship will sink :huh:


Another easy option would be to build a small box frame around the plants till 30 cm from the light then add a screen and do a semi scrog grow

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Very interesting set-up, please keep us posted on how it goes, good move getting the new lights as halogens are pretty useless for growing.


The plants are showing a lot of stretch, most likely due to having been grown under the halogen. Have you gone 12/12 yet? If not it is a bit late as they have used most of their available grow space and you will need to tie them down. As the flowers develop, the branches will then probably need be supported as the stretched stems may find it difficult to support the weight.


From the pictures it also looks as though the light is fixed in position, are you able to adjust it's height as this is pretty important?



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Actually, the alge (or lack thereof) hasn't been a problem. The styrofoam platform all the cups are in blocks most of the light and only about 2% of total root growth extends beyond the styrofoam platform. Mind you, I did start with the halogen lights, so I don't know what effect the HPS will have on algae growth now.


As for the dissolved oxygen content in the water, it so happens that I'm quite well acquainted with water chemistry and I can give y'all a brief lesson on air and water....


Water "absorbs" oxygen via the air/water interface. When you add a bubbler to the water, you are not only agitating a small surface area promoting this absorption, but also the small interfaces around each buble act to add oxygen (I'm trying to keep this simple in case there's some anal-retentive scientists reading this, :huh:). Bubbling via conventional means will rarely get your dissolved oxygen levels above 6.0 ppm...unless you "roil" the water.


So, why bubble to begin with? Because many compounds, specifically protein molecules, gather near the water's surface. The do this because one end of their molecule is hydrophillic, the other is hydrophobic....in other words, one end of each molecule attempts to stay in the water (hydrophyllic) and the other end is trying to get the hell out (hydrophobic). As a result, they orient themselves at the air/water interface and in heavy concentrations you can see the film on the water...an easy test is to gently poke the water surface with your finger and look for the disturbance in the surface, like an oily film that moves away from your finger.


So, bubbling agitates a small area of the interface, allowing some oxygen to get in. But, if we skim the entire surface, we can increase the dissolved oxygen levels to upwards of 7.0 ppm (sometimes higher under proper conditions but this may result in a supersaturation state, producing air bubbles around/on the roots themselves). This is a common practice amongst experienced aquarists who need to keep their dissolved oxygen levels high in their reef tanks.


So, not to argue with y'all, but bubbling is a rather innefficient way of allowing the water to absorb oxygen (in fact, the bubbler itself adds little to no oxygen, it is the agitation it creates that allows the water to absorb it naturally.) Surface skimming is the best way, and it's quite simple to do. If anyone needs help converting their system, post your pics here and I'll step you through it. You can use your existing pump (submersible or external) and all you'll need is a second container to act as a sump and maybe a few inexpensive pieces of PVC plumbing.


You can purchase dissolved oxygen test kits from your local fish/aquarium store or online.


Now, the lighting....my new lights are adjustable in height and at the current moment maxed-out, unless I lower the water level in the tank (my plan), lower the tank (not my first choice due to weight) or cut a hole in my office floor above the grow room. I'm also guessing they are spindley due to the halogen lights, but it was all I could afford at the time. They are just starting to bud now (been about a week) and I've been running the new 1000 watt HPS light on a 12/12 cycle. As soon as this crop is done I plan to lower the tank, make the light more easily adjustable, and use live fish living in the tank to add nutrients for the plants (fish emulsion) as opposed to pre-packaged stuff (a personal experiment, if anyone has done this before please say so, I'd love to discuss this with you).


I'm still a bit confused about adding nutrients during budding (should I or shouldn't I) and this whole concept of "flushing". What does that entail?


As for plant support during budding, I'm taking a wait-and-see approach; I know they won't sink but I'm pretty sure I'll have to tie them up or provide some sort af additional help for them. I have more (and better) pics, I'll post them after breakfast, coffee, shower....(hey, us yanks are on a different time zone than you Ozzies).





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