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Hydroponics bardge

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Picture of hydroponics bardge
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THIS IS SO COOL!!
these tiny plants grow 4 times as fast!! (lentils about 4 days after sprouting)
and it's really easy. With some basic construction scraps you will off and running
Soon i am going to try corn on a few much smaller barges

PLEASE read on!.
and here's something cool! look@ the farthest plant to the right see how it's leaning to the sun!
 
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Step 1:

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okay the materials you will need are:
1 piece of blue board foam!
#? uncooked beans!
1 fish tank or rubbermade container
(any thing with a pump and clear sides)
a ruler (or eye ball it ) it does not have to be perfect the plants will not care!!
1 thin stiff object to poke holes with
be creatative! all it has to do is make a hole for the seeds to fit snugly in.
1 pinch of miracle grow (i didn't use any but my water was all ready saturated with nutrients from decaying plants.

Step 2:

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GO FOR IT!!!
start poking holes! start with just one and see how well the seed fits.
you may need a smaller poking device.
Better to have slightly larger holes than slightly smaller holes!!!!!!
depending on you poking device you should end up with cone shaped holes;
turn it over when you done to check

Step 3: Go CRAZY!

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Experiment!! that's the purpose!
Try mini barges with small anchors like Aluminum weights and fishing line to hold them in place!
Try any thing! just go for it! You could even add a small amount of yeast to the water (plenty of co2)

Step 4: Results

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Just some cool pixs of the same plant every few hours i can get a shot or two it grows crazy fast!
soon i will be doing an Instructable about growing plants in a large magnetic field!! some in a constant some in an oscillating one!
william46324 years ago
 do you have to add soil?
that is a good system. 

sciman1 (author)  william46324 years ago
 not one bit but adding chicken wire one inch from the base allows the plant to "grab on"      fertilizer would be a good idea!
 ok i get it.
history3234 years ago
yeah I was wondering the same thing I made one and it is awesome but I was wondering if The seed should be at the top if the hole or the bottom? I tried both and since I just made it today I dont know but please respond!
sciman1 (author)  history3234 years ago
doesn't really matter as long as long as it gets wet
Thanks
Great instructable!
safebat5 years ago
Glad to see this laid out. I saw a large version of this years ago at one of the Disney parks in Orlando and miniaturized it like this for my daughters science project. We cut foam rings and added a cotton ball in center. This gave a medium to support the roots, wick solution up via capillary type action and made it able to easily lift the baby plant out to transfer to soil pots after the science project was over. I used veggy seeds that I would normally be planing in my garden anyway to make mutually beneficial for both of us.
sazuki124445 years ago
awesome mer-plants there so cute
YotaTruck5 years ago
So the goal is to have the seed suspended in the hole, skimming the surface of the liquid? Or is the foam becoming saturated to keep the seeds damp?
pleabargain5 years ago
Interesting idea but I've got questions about the ultimate goal here... are you going to raise them entirely in the water or will you be transplanting to soil? Germinating seeds is easy but bringing them to harvest is another thing. Certain varieties of lentil plants get quite large... and a quick search on the web of harvesting lentils in a hydroponic set up turned up zero to little. So, if you're using hydroponics for germination for later transplanting then more experiments for increasing survivability will be required. Why do I go on so long about this? Because I've done similar and I lost 1/3 of a growing season because none of my hydro seedlings (broccoli, okra, swiss chard, basil, beans) survived going into the dirt. Lettuce and tomatos do ok in hydro ...not much else AFAIK.
Going from hydro to soil is rarely successful. I've grown with every aspect of hydro (aero, TAG, fog, NFT etc). The ultimate goal is for faster growing, larger plants. The produce is usually very good also. Hydro is very involved though, you must check ph, nutrient and water levels every day. Some people can tell the difference between a hydro grow and a soil grow. That's fairly rare though, as most people eat produce that is chemically grown and will find hydro has a much crisper taste. If you want organic, you don't want hydro. Organic is simply not feasible with hydro. A few things to point out, so the plants don't die. The roots must have oxygen, and will deplete the water of it. That means you need to have some way to put more in. An aquarium pump works well for that. The ph levels must be maintained at proper levels for the plant, hydro ph levels are far different from soil ph levels. Nutrient levels must be maintained at proper levels also, again, this is strain specific. The water must be completely changed out at least once per week, or ph and nutrient readings will be off. As an example, I have 3 different strains of strawberries. Strain #1 requires ph to be 6.5, strain 2 requires 5.0 and strain 3 requires 7.5. The nutrient requirements (which change based on plant stage) range from 500ppm to 1500ppm. If you have no way to read ppm (or EC) and ph, and do not have the desire to spend at least 30 min per day, every day, with the plants, then hydro is not for you. The plants will die.
I don't know why you say organic is incompatible with hydroponics. I have seen several people online having success using teas made from compost, and aquaponics systems using the fish waste as fertilizer certainly qualifies as organic.
I didn't say it was incompatible, I said it wasn't feasible. For most people, that is true.

It is typically cheaper, less time consuming and easier to use chemical based nutrients in hydro. One of my favorites is Pure Blend Pro, I've been using it for years (Pure Blend Pro is not organic, Pure Blend is organic, it confuses a lot of people)

Hydro is not tolerant of mistakes, and depending on the type of hydro system, a simple mistake will kill the plants within hours. Organic nutrients tend to bring in far too many variables to be worthwhile. Organics also clog the filters with bacterial growth.

I have used aquaponics, it is a PITA to do properly. The filtration system and circulation, along with the amount and type of fish per gallon of water make it a very high maintenance hydro setup. It's not suitable to most applications. It is also an expensive way to grow. The fish require a huge amount of food. The # of fish per gallon can get you in trouble with the law as well. The only successful aquaponic grows I've seen involve illegal grow operations. The fish are packed so tightly that they can barely move. People willing to break the law to grow plants are willing to break the law with having to many fish per gallon of water.

Aeroponics have been my main setup for better than 20 years, I have also worked with fog setups for the past 15 years.
I am far from an expert on the subject, so I won't contest your Hydroponics experience. I have however seen the Aquaponics setup at the University of the Virgin Islands, and with a couple of 12' diameter tanks of tilapia they manage to feed enough crops to fill a good size vegetable market every day. I don't know how hard it is to keep going, but apparently a few Ag students have been able to keep everything running for several years. I have also heard that feeding the fish is a lot cheaper if they have duckweed as their main food with other fishfood as a supplement. Finally if you look on youtube there are dozens of aquaponics setups that seem to do quite well even though the builders have no experience and just info from the web.
Fish species has a lot to do with aquaponics. Guppies are the typical fish used, since they are easy to get. Tilapia is native to South America and Africa.
One other thing, the roots must be totally isolated from any source of light for optimal growing. If they are exposed to light, they will try to become vegetation instead of roots.
Co2 kills roots, don't put yeast in the water the plants are growing in.
wck65 years ago
and would an aerorator work?
wck65 years ago
srry i mean for not foe
wck65 years ago
do you need the pump to foe the water?
charlieb0005 years ago
what does a magnetic field do? i have heard it somewhere before they were simulating what the environment was like some time ago. how do i water them? sprinkle or let em soak? got avacardo seeds to grow by soaking in a cup suspended with two toothpicks stabbed in the side (water level below the stab else they rot) Charlie.
sciman1 (author)  charlieb0005 years ago
let the seeds soak!! yah lead weights not a good idea if you plan to eat it but it could be any heavy object like an acrylic block
reuseking5 years ago
I would be leery of lead weights in a hydroponics system.
yes, I too was a little concerned about the presence of lead in the hydroponics fluid...
chuckr445 years ago
I actually did this exact same thing in my fishtanks with lettuce seeds, thinking the fish waste would provide nitrogen for the plants. Well the lettuce plants grew too leggy and fell over because my fish room never got cool at night. If you put it outdoors you couldn't not put tropical fish in the tank, though goldfish might survive the cooler temps.
awang85 years ago
Yeast in the water for carbon dioxide? Plant roots survive on oxygen, water and nutrients, not carbon dioxide, water and nutrients. Also, clear container? Algae will take over your system in no time. Lead weights? Not something I want in my beans.
Broom5 years ago
OK, the instructable shows how to sprout seeds in a floating barge. It claims we need clear sides, which will result in algae growing on them; it calls for a pump, but we don't know why. As NightFire pointed out, there's probably not enough nutrients (in the right balance) to sustain these plants through to harvest; it's not even clear that they won't capsize in a wind. Finally, the suggestion to put yeast in the water is a clear indication that the author doesn't actually understand much about what plants need to grow.

So, it's more of a "look at what I did" than an instructable. If you had success with this method, then you should publish those results - but I suspect you haven't (and won't), for the reasons listed above.
Jackn75 years ago
My Pothos was started from a clipping in a Clear Glass Bottle of Tap water, this bottle sat in the shade of the room on a shelf but the leaves received generous sunlight. I would change the water (completely) on a week cycle. Once the root structure was sizeable, I transfered it to a 1 gallon pot and it responded to that by exploding in size and length. So, out of curiosity mainly would this have qualified as a hydropnoic beginning? :)
uldics5 years ago
Nice ideas, though some are more like 1st april story. Lead is a no-no for such things. Magnetic field? Maybe you could do some large tesla coil on both sides of it? But nice idea about yeast, probably smells like hell now, hehe. 1. What is this miracle grow product exactly? 2. Is it growing without chemicals? I mean, with natural stuff, maybe old grass/water mixture, but I warn you, it smells STRONG! Why I ask, is I want to grow some salad, but I have no possibilities of getting any hydroponics food and I dont want any chemicals mixing myself.
Miracle-Grow is just a range of plant foods, some are like salts you add to watering cans, some are pellets you pop into the compost in a container... :)
This is a really cool idea. Are you just floating these in a tub of water outside?
At the beggining when you say a "a fish tank or rubbermade container" and then "anything with a pump and clear sides" ; are you suggesting that we need to have a pump in the water? if not can I take an old fishtank fill it up with water and 'Miracle Gro' pop a barge with a seed on and expect for results?
Bardge, think you mean Barge, other than that it's a nice 'ible, cool idea to make hydroponics more appealing to the eye...
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