New Project: Automated Hydroponic System Build
I just published a new project with an article and video detailing the build of an automated hydroponic system.
Wow! That's a great setup and really extensive write up!
Would you do such a setup for something like tomatoes or other fruiting plants (besides scaling up the size) or just stick to leaf crops? Do you have thoughts/experience dealing with insect pest control in such a system (mites, aphids, etc)?
For tomatoes, a flood and drain system would be more suitable. However, similar automation techniques can be applied with Mycodo to run it. I tried to be very detailed to replicate the NFT system in the video/article, but it was more about demonstrating the concepts and applications of automation techniques using Mycodo, so hopefully it helps people develop their systems whether it be NFT, flood and drain, or non-hydroponic projects. Regarding pests, I didn't have an issue since this in a tent indoors, but if it were to be outside, it may become an issue. I would recommend running a hydroponic system in a greenhouse to have a bit more environmental control, and with that comes more pest control as well.
@kylegabriel Gotcha -- yeah that makes sense.
I've had some insect problems with my mushroom projects (either fungus gnats or mites or both) and while with mushrooms I can just toss anything contaminated outside and start over, that's a bit trickier with plants that take a while to grow, and without predators or pesticides to control them it seems like it would be pretty difficult to stop them from remaining established as soon as the first one got in and laid eggs somewhere in the hydroponic setup.
This reminds me of an idea that I had during a previous frustrating event in which I discovered that some of my spawn jars (using polyfill filters) had apparently allowed gnats to somehow lay eggs that resulted in larvae going to town on the previously-sterilized and innoculated rye/bird seed ...
To avoid handling jars as much as possible during colonization (to minimize chances to contaminate or spread contamination) I was imagining having rows of jars in a blacked-out incubation chamber, and have an IR camera try to detect movement on any jars, and then notify me of a possible insect/larvae problem?
I don't know if the larvae or insects would have enough of a heat signature to stand out against the jars at 75F, or if they would be too small to reliably detect motion, but I was thinking of using something like ZoneMinder's motion-detection system to try something like that out if I ever got around to it.