A question on inputting air to the plant roots
(Plainfield, Il. USA)
I have a 30 gallon resevoir with 4 five foot, 4" pvc pipes connected to it. These pipes contain my pots & growing medium, with a pump within the resevoir sending the nutrients to them. That part of the system works, however, I need to get more air to the plant roots. In this situation, is it possible to run a line from an external(to the resevoir) air pump to an 'air stone' on the bottom of resevoir which would send the 'oxygenated' nutrients to the pipes? Or would it be better to run air lines to 'air stones' in each of the pipes themselves?
Thanks for your advice!
Answer from Stella/Simon:
What a nice hydro setup! It looks like you are doing a type of NFT (nutrient film technique) system, am I right?
EVERY reservoir needs to be aerated, to cut down on anaerobic bacteria as well as to deliver fresh air to the plant roots. If you haven't done that, then do so. It can be done cheaply by buying a small aquarium pump, airline tubing and an airstone. Then just drop the airstone into the vat to keep it bubbling (try to get a wand, 5" long or longer, or a large disc type stone). Alternatively, you can use a submersible HyDor aerator like that you will find in the "cheap supplies" link to the left.
Aerating the vat should supply all the oxygen you need, as long as your system circulates often. I do think it would be much too hard, and not as helpful, if you tried to put an airstone into your PVC pipes.
Hope I understood your system and your question right. If not, write again and we'll go from there. Good luck...
Hope this helps!
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