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John & Amy's Garden  

John's11Plant.jpg (11378 bytes) I built this 17 plant version of your system as a little experiment / hobby and am really amazed at the results! The plants (Tomatoes, Squash, Bell Peppers, Lettuce) have gone crazy since I transplanted them and learned how to control the pH
John's11plant2.jpg (10564 bytes) I'm using phosporic acid to lower my pH. Works well. My Rubberwmaid container holds exactly 15 gallons to the horizontal line.
John'sPlants.jpg (13700 bytes) For my solution, 3 drops of acid from the medicine dropper lowers the pH .12 points. Easy enough to keep up with except that I have to adjust it every other day.
John'sTimer.jpg (11103 bytes) I built a dirt cheap astable (fancy word for oscillating) timer from some electronic components at work (555 timer IC, capacitors, resistors, solid state relay, ect) (Note: the metal can is grounded) It looks like a bomb so I won't be carrying it through an airport! It turns on for 3 min, and is off for 40 min and can be adjusted for most any time cycle by changing a couple of parts. It runs 24 hrs a day but could be turned off at night with another timer or a photocell circuit. No moving parts or computer to fail, will probably just run on forever.
John'sMeter.jpg (12385 bytes) pH and EC are measured by a Hanna Instruments AgriTest pocket meter. It is both meters in 1 and is only 80 bucks direct from hanna instruments. (www.hannainst.com) Comes with meter, case, calibration solution, small adjustment screwdriver. One hell of a deal!
John'sWire.jpg (10244 bytes)

I took your advice on the airstone and am convinced that it's really important. The grow rocks work well except that I didn't rinse them before the first use and wound up with grit all in my solution. I dumped it and started over.

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