I just started three of @Sebring Earth Lover CBD plants into my Air Atomized Aeroponic system - AAA for short.
I popped the seeds on 27 Nov, and put them in the AAA system today - 5 Dec.
There are now 4 nozzles shooting down from the top of the root chamber, which is also the floor of the plant grow tent.
Before, I only had two and they were shooting up from the bottom of the chamber. That worked very well - until the roots got down to the bottom of the chamber and over grew the nozzles. That forced me to move them to the top but caused some stress and was a lot of trouble in the middle of a grow.
The other big change is the water is now siphon fed to the nozzles. Before, I had positive pressure from the rez being elevated aprox 24" above the nozzles. That required me to use solenoids in the water side to prevent the rez from just draining out.
Now I have a separate small siphon tank situated in the root chamber ceiling. The siphon tank has a float valve to control the water level. The nozzle tips are positioned exactly even with the root chamber ceiling. The siphon tank holds the water level aprox 1/2" to 3/4" BELOW the nozzle tips. Thats just enough height difference to prevent siphoning all the water out of the rez.
When the air turns on, it creates a suction on the water side and lifts the water up to the nozzle pretty fast. In practice, the water actually has to travel aprox 8" (3" up and then a turn of 2", then 3" down. That only seems to take 1/10th of a second or so.
I played around with more siphon height, but the flow rates were too low and there were odd things going on with large droplets as the water had to get sucked up higher. Higher siphon heights might work better if I was running higher air pressure, but Im trying to save on air flow to reduce the number of cycles on the compressor.
So far, it looks like around 5 PSI is going to work well. Previously I had to run the two nozzles at 7 to 9 PSI, so this is a good bit less pressure. However, I doubled the number of nozzles, so the total flow may be more. Im still timing things to see how it compares.
Ive positioned the nozzles so that three of them form a triangle with the fourth dead center. The outer three are all angled to cause the mist to circulate in a clock wise direction to some degree. The center one is just straight down.
You cant really see any details from the top. I spent at least two hours hunting light leaks. Thats why all the aluminum foil tape covering everything. If I have to do any work on the nozzles, or siphon tank, its gonna be a bitch.
Here is what it looks like from below.
There is no direct mist hitting the net pots this time, other than a very small amount of side spray from the nozzles. That has me a little worried about the transition period while they try to adjust to the new system from the Dixie cups. The mist environment looks good to me, but its asking a lot to change from a hempy bucket environment to this misty chamber. I left as much perlite stuck to the roots as I could in the hope that will help keep them from drying out to drastically too fast.
Im starting out with a very aggressive timing cycle of 1.2 sec ON and only 15 sec OFF time. I’ll be checking very frequently and adjusting things a lot over the next several days trying to dial things in to what these babies want.
They look pretty droopy, but Im hoping they pull through.