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Thread: Hydroponic System

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Bohannon View Post
    Energy required for ‘ grow lights’ which you would need in the basement to support 10-14 hours of light a day of the correct wave length will be expensive. You are also limited in the variety of plants due to size of the plant, you’re not doing watermelons in your basement, corn would be a challenge . Can’t imagine a full grown tomato plant in my basement either,so you end up growing things like lettuce and herbs maybe carrots . Cost benefit analysis says plant outside spend the money on defending your garden.
    Now if you want to do marijuana in a basement you would be golden on a cost benefit analysis. Not to mention the smell of fertilizers and what not. I would not enjoy that inside my house, outside yes not inside.
    Those are old style grow lights. New LED grow lights use very little power. And a standard 4' LED shop light works as a grow light! They are fairly wide spectrum as far as light goes.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryB View Post
    Those are old style grow lights. New LED grow lights use very little power. And a standard 4' LED shop light works as a grow light! They are fairly wide spectrum as far as light goes.
    They "work", but not very well. You have to position them so they're basically touching the foliage to have any chance of decent yield. They're also not great for tall things because they don't have enough power to penetrate the canopy very deeply.

    A couple years ago, I made a DIY LED light for my wife to use for starting her cutting flowers indoors in the late winter. It's mostly white LEDs with some additional reds to boost that end of the spectrum. It provides fairly decent coverage for a 4'x4' tent. At full brightness, it draws 200W. Running that on a 18-6 cycle, plus the fans, is definitely noticeable on the power bill. Yeah, it's efficient, but it's still noticeable power. Build cost was a little over $600 for that one lamp.

    To grow enough veggies to be meaningful, you'd need a lot more space than the 4'x4' tent, which means a lot more lights. More lights and more space means more fans. It all adds up.

    Plus, if you're not in a legal state, you'll eventually draw some attention from LE. This is especially true if you buy the old-style "blurple" grow lights some have mentioned here. That's old tech, anyway...Not nearly as efficient as full-spectrum LEDs. Nobody that does indoor growing for real uses blurples anymore.

    It's fun to screw around with, but it's cheaper and easier just go to buy all the veggies you need at whole foods...

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTANG View Post
    Following. Been toying with trying some hydroponics (Fish Aqua-culture) for the last five years. Lot's of "Success Stories" on the inter web; but my observation is those using natural light do so in the states below the Mason Dixon Line and the southwest where we see somewhat moderate Temps.

    I have not pulled the trigger on Fish Aquaponics because of the dang Federal and State Governments finger, fist, entire arm up the wazzo in any project with a Fish in it. Initial discussion for doing it at the Moapa Nevada House - Too close to the Muddy River (What if the get loose - get up and walk out one night? Initial discussion for doing it at the Kalispell Montana House - Too close to the creek nearby (What if the get loose - get up and walk out one night?)

    Suppose I could go and put in a $1M grant request with the Fed/State/s and they might consider it a worthy research project - with kick back for State/Fed inspectors.
    You have to prove to the powers that be:
    Flooding is nearly impossible, so outside the 100 year flood plane
    In the case of a wash out the distance to any moving water is so far that those waters will never reach it.
    The threat of invasive species has most fishery biologists looking at any such project with microscopes. Near Twin Bridges there are a lot of private irrigation ponds that have been inundated with perch that are now less than two inches long because of flood waters. I don't think there are many perch in the Jeff, but they have driven out the possibility of any trout reintroduction in those private ponds.
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  4. #24
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    Here is a system we prototype for use in space. This one uses aerobatics. https://science.nasa.gov/technology/...rdens-in-space

  5. #25
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    My system works best of all, I drive 4 miles down the road and buy produce from a farm owned by four older women……I like that a lot better than my back.
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  6. #26
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    It sounds like OP has tabled the idea anyway, but when I was thinking about an indoor setup, it seemed like an attached greenhouse off one wall of the house would be the best way to get enough sunlight without a million dollars in lights. Just supplementing should be enough. Hydroponics was also on my radar but it does require a lot of attention to water quality (chemistry, temp PH, etc) and can go south quickly.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerplode View Post
    They "work", but not very well. You have to position them so they're basically touching the foliage to have any chance of decent yield. They're also not great for tall things because they don't have enough power to penetrate the canopy very deeply.

    A couple years ago, I made a DIY LED light for my wife to use for starting her cutting flowers indoors in the late winter. It's mostly white LEDs with some additional reds to boost that end of the spectrum. It provides fairly decent coverage for a 4'x4' tent. At full brightness, it draws 200W. Running that on a 18-6 cycle, plus the fans, is definitely noticeable on the power bill. Yeah, it's efficient, but it's still noticeable power. Build cost was a little over $600 for that one lamp.

    To grow enough veggies to be meaningful, you'd need a lot more space than the 4'x4' tent, which means a lot more lights. More lights and more space means more fans. It all adds up.

    Plus, if you're not in a legal state, you'll eventually draw some attention from LE. This is especially true if you buy the old-style "blurple" grow lights some have mentioned here. That's old tech, anyway...Not nearly as efficient as full-spectrum LEDs. Nobody that does indoor growing for real uses blurples anymore.

    It's fun to screw around with, but it's cheaper and easier just go to buy all the veggies you need at whole foods...
    1.4kwh a month... at 14 cents a kwh that is 28 cents... I would never notice it on my bill. And I cheated and just figured 24/7 and 30 days and 2 amps versus 1.66 amps(200 watts at 120 volts)...

  8. #28
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    Check your maths...

    200W at 18hr/day is 3.6kWh per day.
    30 day then becomes 108kWh. That's $15.12 per month at $0.14/kWh.

    That's just one lamp...Doesn't include the circulation fans or any pumps if running hyro. Add that stuff and scale it beyond 4'x4' and you're talking about real money.

    And this is just running cost. Buying all this equipment as well as the consumables will be well into the thousands of dollars. How many carrots can you buy at Whole Foods for $5000?

    Unless you're growing weed, this is hole to pour money into. I mean, even massive scale, commercial hydro veggie grows have trouble turning a profit.
    Last edited by kerplode; 07-22-2022 at 01:03 PM.

  9. #29
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    I must have screwed something up when I was using the calculator LOL *doh* still, I go thru $50+++ a month in veg easy

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