As a busy family man and hydroponic enthusiast, finding ways to save time is always on my mind. That’s why I decided to invest in automating my hydroponic setup, and I’m glad I did.
First off, let’s talk about the different types of hydroponic setups available. From my experience, I’ve found that setting up an RDWC, recirculating deep water culture, works best for a small grow tent or grow room setup. I use four 4 8-gallon buckets all connected to the main reservoir.
Adding fresh water to your hydroponic system
One of the first steps in automating your setup is to ensure your plants receive a consistent supply of water without manually topping it off. During the flowering stage, plants can consume 2-3 gallons a day! The easiest solution is to use a simple float valve, It works by using a float that rises and falls with the water level in the reservoir. When the water level drops too low, the float triggers a valve to open and allows fresh water to flow in until the water level reaches the desired level. You can find them easily on Amazon.
Using a timer for controlling the light cycle
For the light, the first thing I did is to replace my HPS light with LED. LED lights use significantly less electricity and generate less heat, making them a more efficient and cost-effective choice. Automating the LED light cycle in your hydroponic setup can be a breeze, as it only requires a few adjustments throughout the growth cycle, mainly during the vegetative and flowering stages. I used a simple digital timer.
Simple hack for creating a constant airflow
Temperature control is another important factor in growing plants in an indoor hydroponics setup. Here in New Mexico, the temperature can fluctuate quite a bit. I use a fan that is controlled by a temperature sensor. However, another option to save some extra dollars is to connect the fan to the same power timer as the lights so that every time the lights are on and the temperature starts to rise, the fan will work.
Let’s talk about pH and why it is so important to automate it
Maintaining proper pH levels in hydroponic systems, especially in recirculating deep water culture (RDWC) systems, is critical for successful plant growth. In RDWC systems, the nutrient-rich water continuously circulates through the plant roots, and any changes in pH can quickly affect plant health.
If the pH level is too high or too low, it can cause a nutrient lockout, which means the plants are unable to absorb the essential nutrients they need for proper growth. This can lead to stunted growth, yellowing of leaves, and even plant death.
On the other hand, maintaining the correct pH range promotes optimal nutrient absorption, increases nutrient availability, and promotes overall plant health and growth. This is why monitoring and adjusting pH levels in hydroponic systems are crucial for success
I used the new smart pH controller by Growee. Spoiler alert, it is an amazing product
Automating these processes using a reliable hydroponics controller with dosing pumps is key. I’ve tried several products over the years, and recently discovered a new company called Growee that has smart products for automating pH and nutrient dosing. It has been a game-changer for me, taking the guesswork out of dosing and pH control. With this system in place, I’m able to focus on other aspects of my setup and save a few hours a week.
Last week I was on a vacation with the family, I was able to keep an eye on my plant’s using the Growee app. I was able to check on the pH and nutrient levels and adjust them as needed. It felt good to know that my plants were being taken care of even when I couldn’t be there physically, finally.
I highly recommend the Growee system to any hydroponic grower looking to save time and increase efficiency. It’s a reliable and convenient solution for automating pH and nutrient dosing, and the ability to monitor and control the system remotely is a major bonus.