Adventures in hydro #3 - AAA or Air Atomized Aeroponics - for sure!

Yup, thats the basic theory behind it all.

I rate the different forms of hydro based on how good a job they do as far as aeration. They all are different ways to increase oxygen at the root level. I think HPA and especially AAA are at the peak as far as that goes and all other forms are a step down to one degree or another.

Now, dont all you DWC guys get your panties in a bunch. I know any form of hydro or even soil growing can produce great results. Im talking small steps down and small differences.

You soil guys on the other hand… :wink:

And yes - the grower has everything to do with the final success. Just look at @ReikoX and @Howard.Crane, just to name two. Both are using “inferior” techniques by my rating system, but to look at their plants compared to mine you would think Im growing my plants in the dark, in my toilet and feeding them toxic gator aide and fertilizing with my daily crap dumps :smiley:

It sounds like you are using some form of aero growing? Have a thread? Im always curious to see how other folks are growing. I get many of my best ideas that way :smiley:

So its the alcohol. Interesting. I dont know if I want to wait that long though. Im not usually that patient :slight_smile:

Thank you sir! I am looking forward to it as well. More on that in a bit.

Here are some better pics of how the roots at the net pots turned out on each plant. This is mostly for my reference down the road. These are all 3" net pots.

The babies for the next run are doing well, but growing fast! I need to hurry up and get the chamber re-built.

It doesnt take long for the fine roots to dry up and turn brown! They compress into a pretty small ball too.

Right now Im agonizing, and flip flopping over how to lay out the 4 nozzles. The only thing Im certain of is that they will be up top this time. At the moment, Im leaning toward Option 1, but two has some advantages. In both cases, the plan is to have the nozzles pointed down at aprox a 30-45 deg angle and oriented so that they create a swirling, or rotating action inside the chamber. Im back to my cyclodroplatron :slight_smile:

Part of my delima is deciding how many plants am I going to grow? Based on this last grow, I need 3 plants to fill the screen - BUT - if things went better Im pretty sure two would be enough. On the other hand, four would add some insurance, but might end with severe over crowding - maybe.

With option 1, three plants is easy, but doing one or 4 would be difficult to get uniform coverage.
Option 2 has similar issues, but it favors two or four plants.

We will see how Im feeling in the am. Im gonna sleep on it before cutting holes.

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You going to use those roots for a topical cream?

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Not this time. There were some signs of rot in a few places, and I dont want to mess with that. Plus, Im rushed at the moment. I was really tempted to save a section of that thick tap root, but decided not to at the last second.

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Ive decided to go with the three nozzles in the triangle formation around the edges, with the fourth one in the center. The outer three will be angled for the swirling action, and the center one will point straight down. There were a number of small reasons that option works best - routing tubes, placing the siphon tank, the access hatch, etc. However, the biggest reason is I really like the idea of a center nozzle. I think it will help a lot with getting even mist coverage.

This option also allows me to place the net pots equidistant from the fabric chamber walls and each other. That should allow for maximum root volume before they start getting entangled. Im still worried about that one plant that had the really small roots from last time. All three pots will have the exact same mist coverage and distance from the nozzles and the walls and each other…

We will see how this works compared to having the nozzles in the bottom of the chamber.

Even if there is no improvement in this next grow, as long as I dont totally screw it up, I should still be able to fill the screen and get a decent yield over time = grams/day. Of course, at this point this is all theory :slight_smile:

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My check in time for getting these stones removed isnt until 230PM today. Im sure many of you know what thats like. Im sitting around hungry and thirsty and bored. So this morning I cobbled together enough parts to do a quick test of the new siphon tank arrangement.

It seems to work great so far. It needs some more testing with all four nozzles running at the same time, but Im optimistic.

It didnt turn out exactly how I pictured it though. I have almost no room to adjust the water level with this tank. Right now it looks like my siphon “height” is under 1" and I have no easy way to increase that. I want to test heights up to 4" or so to see how that effects the droplet sizes and flow rates. Im going to need a different container to do that ot rig it under the top of the root chamber. I really want it accessible from above, so I need to look for a taller container.

The way these nozzles water feed works, Im forced to rout the water tube up above the chamber roof, then down into the nozzle. Seems to be virtually zero delay in time between the start of air flow and the mist forming.

Some ugly pics…



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I finally have three new babies started in the re-built system. I think I will start a new thread for the new grow though as things have changed a good bit.

I’ll post a link when I get it started.

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Ok, Here is my mini review of @ReikoX Ghost toof#2x SBR.

I just finished making my first ever dry ice hash from the bud. I started with almost 3000 grams (wet) and netted 35 grams of hash. Not a great yield ratio, but thats ok for my first try. Its also OK because it was waaaay cheaper than doing the EverClear thing.

Plus, I think this will last me a loooong time! Whew it sure seems potent. I mixed the 35 grams of hash into aprox 2 cups of coconut oil and heated it to 220-240F for about 45 minutes.

I popped a single capsule with a single drop of the oil in it about 30 minutes ago, and Im getting a nice mellow buzz! For sure a strong body hi. This stuff is gonna be great for sleeping - which was my main goal with this grow. The pain relief feels pretty good too, so Im giving this stuff a 5 out of 5!

Thanks you again for the seeds and all the help. You are one of the good guys for sure!

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Oh man. This stuff is still kicking in! Im gonna have to dilute it down for sure… good stuff!!

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Did you freeze the wet bud for the bubble hash?

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Yes I put the freshly cut bud directly in the freezer and left it in there for maybe 3 weeks. However, I think that was a big mistake. I didnt break the buds down very well before freezing. Most were golf ball/ping pong ball sized. It would work better if it had been broken down more, but breaking it down wet squished all the trichs as you handle it. That seems counter productive to me.

It turns out you cant break up a frozen wet bud by hand. They were all just like ice cubes. After adding the dry ice, and shaking for a while, the buds all were worn smooth - like they had been sanded smooth almost, but they didnt break up much at all.

On the other hand, the bud I left just sitting around on trays dried out a lot and was easy to break up by hand as I put it in the bag. It also didnt seem to make my gloves as sticky as the fresh bud did. The dry ice further broke it up into a fairly fine grade of pretty small pieces as it got shaken up in the bag.

I got a lot more hash from the dry stuff than I did from the wet frozen stuff. It was also less green for some reason.

I was tired and sore when I gave up messing with the wet stuff and stupidly threw the remaining frozen bud in the trash - maybe 1/4 or more of the total harvest. I SHOULD have set it aside to thaw, and then let it dry out and re-did the dry ice thing. That did occur to me the next day, but the trash bag it was in had ruptured in the garbage when I dug it out, so I left it in the trash.

Next time I Plan to let it all dry some first, then do the dry ice thing.

My other mistake was thinking the dry ice would sublimate away really fast, so I was in a big hurry to finish before it was all gone, but it actually lasts a long time if you keep it in a small ice chest. The dry ice came in two small slabs maybe 8"x8"x1" thick. One slab did almost all the bud with fairly large pieces still left over. I messed around for well over two hours from the time I bought the dry ice until I quit, and there was still at least 1/2 of it left when I finished. The local Albertsons carries it in 5 lb slabs which cost me $18. Its $2 something a pound around here.

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@Larry3215 thank you for such a wonderful journal! I’m doing my research on aeroponic for I believe more than 3 weeks already, having this thread opened in one of browser’s tabs for quite some time and happy I finally read it and didn’t just close. And it’s like a breath of fresh air: seems that almost everybody either think that all they do is obvious or that it’s sacred knowledge has to snuff out with its holder.

I’m struggling to find any useful info about AAA, especially regarding nozzles.

It’s impossible to attach information I’ve found so far about these Chinese nozzles you tried to use before so here is the link to the pdf. I believe they try to copy Spraying System CO. nozzles: just compare the KMECO AA nozzles data with the one from spray.com. I’ve got an offer for $36 with free delivery for JCO body assembly (with clog clean needle) and around $20 for 1/4J + SU13 caps or 1/4J + SUE28B caps. For JAO version they ask $120 which I believe is way too high. Don’t know if it worth to go this way after this thread. Could you remember what troubles did you have with this nozzles?

But still can’t decide how many nozzles do I need and how to properly position them.

I’m going to grow strawberry. I live in a place where temperature is below 0 C for almost half a year and would like to find a way to grow strawberry indoor the year round. I hope to be able to scale but want to start with a small setup.

I have a lot of unanswered questions.

The first one as I’ve said is nozzles. I can’t find any useful info about strawberry’s roots length for aeroponics, but for soil its under 12". I’ve decide to start with a 120L plastic chamber with around 16" depth (29" x 22.5" x 16"). I thought to begin with one flat fan nozzle per box at around 14" from the top on the short dimension (spraying in parallel to the bottom): I remember Atomizer said he was able to mist 700L chamber with just one flat fan nozzle. It might be that rotating nozzle he showed somewhere though. Don’t know if mist be able to go up. My calculations show that I’ll need to mist 0.84 seconds to throw ~1.9ml of liquid max (lower at earlier stages). Later I want to make a custom build of longer and wider stacked boxes to be able to scale but first I need to understand roots and crown lengths.

Do you think it worth to try? Will mist go up, especially to the side where the nozzle sits? Another option is to use two nozzles on opposite walls and start one first and after it finishes - start the second.

I understand that I don’t give much information but I don’t have it either. Hope yet only. I don’t even know how far from each other it is better to put rootstocks: I’ve found that it’s better to have ~24" gaps, but every video I’ve seen so far they sit much denser.

The second thing is nutrients. There are a lot info about hydroponic strawberry growing but almost nothing about aeroponic. Currently have no idea about nutrients combination and proportions.

The next one is light. I believe it’s a good idea to go with LEDs and actually ready to build something by myself from scratch but don’t know where to start. I need 19-20 DLI for strawberry, so need pretty strong and consistent light. Or may be it’s better to go with something like QB288?..

I’m going to use raspberry and solid state relays to work with solenoids and sensors. But again: what sensors are better? What parameters to control at all? I thought that it might be useful to control liquid flow per nozzle to control clogging but all the sensors I’ve found so far are much less accurate than necessary to be able to control so low liquid amounts. By the way, did you face any nozzles clogging so far?

And so on… have a lot to search.

But again let me thank you for this thread and a lot of useful information!

P.S. Sorry for bad English.

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Hello @heathen! Welcome to Over Grow and thanks for dropping in to my thread!

I had the same problem. The few who have been doing AAA long term just dont want to share the most critical information - nozzle details. I think its an ego thing. Most people come to the forums looking for information and help, but also to help others. Thats the whole purpose of these forums - to share information and help each other. So why would some one come on to the forums and NOT share? The only reason I can see is so they can feel smarter than anyone else.

I think that makes them small people.

The taller the root chamber the better - I think - but 16" should be a good place to start. I would consider 16" a minimum though. Roots seem to be able to fill what ever space you give them, and the larger the roots, the larger the plants. At least thats how it seems to work for cannabis.

Designing an aero system is a matter of trying to match up the nozzle details to the chamber size and the number of plants. Its a complex problem in some ways as you are finding out. You need to balance out air flow rates and pressure, liquid flow rates and siphon or pressure feed, throw distance, chamber size, On time and OFF time, droplet sizes, do you point them up or down or sideways, what type of nutrients, clogs, root zone temperatures, etc etc etc.

One important thing to look at is the throw distance of the nozzle or how far the mist travels. In those PDF’s you linked, its distance “D”. The problem I had with the nozzles from Spray.com, and the cheap ones from Amazon, is that the shortest distance D was over 2.5 meters, and that was at the lowest air pressure. At higher air pressures, where you get better atomization, the throw distances increased far more. The problem with long throw distances in short root chambers, is that droplets dont bounce. Any mist that hits a wall of the chamber stays there, so long throw distances wont work well in small chambers.

The other problem for me was air use. Those nozzles all have much higher air consumption and also require much higher air pressure. The charts seem to list a minimum of 10 PSI (0.7 bar), but they work much better at 30-40 PSI (2 to 3 bar) and up as far as atomization - but that also increases throw distance.

The Delavan nozzles Im using now will work down to 3 PSI (0.2 bar) but work much better at 5 to 6 PSI. I cant find the throw distance numbers at the moment, but it is closer to 1 meter than 2 based on what it looks like to me.

Those things plus cost are the reasons I chose the nozzles Im using now.

In your situation, I think the Delavan would work much better, but if you do expand to where you are using large/long grow chambers, then the others may work better.

You can get the Delavan nozzles for around $25 each on Ebay. If you want the adaptors, they cost an extra $20 or so. I made my own crude adaptors for almost no cost - just some scraps of 1/2" PVC pipe and hot glue. The other big advantage of these nozzles is they are virtually clog free. The air and water passages are very large, but it might depend on the nutrients you use. If you have a filter before the nozzles, you will probably be fine either way, but organic nutrients tend to clog up filters. Im using non-organic nutrients for that reason as well as to limit bacterial growth in the reservoir.

That is a very difficult question to answer, but you need to consider throw distance first. If the throw distance is too long, most of your mist will just stick to the sides of the chamber. In general, I would try to position the nozzles so they have the longest distance possible before the mist hits anything - roots or walls. I think shooting up from the bottom of the chamber is more efficient as far as mist coverage and use to the plants, but that means the roots can cover them up easier as they grow. Shooting from the top down makes it dificult to get the roots started when they are small. They dont get enough mist in the very early stages to survive the transition from seedling.

Look above for the link to my new thread. I have made several changes to the system and where the nozzles are placed. Im still not 100% happy, but it seems to be working fairly well. I now have the nozzles near the top of the chamber shooting sideways.

Yes, the droplets will float around on the air currents for a long time if they are small enough. I just posted some new videos in the new thread that show how that looks with the nozzles in the new locations. You can also see some of that in the videos early in this thread.

Yes. I think this will work fine. You can probably just use very short ON times. I also like the idea of having the nozzles on separate timers and alternating like you said. I have been thinking about doing something like that as well - one timer for each nozzle and have them fire at different times. Its worth trying I think.

That is another trade off I think. If they are too close together, one set of roots might block mist from getting to another plant, or block the mist from getting to all parts of the chamber. I have had that problem each grow so far. On the last grow, it looked to me like one plant was stunted because the roots from two other plants crowded too close. This time, I have more space, so we will see how that goes.

I strongly recommend you stay away from any nutes that have organic components. Thats not because of the plants, but because you will want to keep the PH of the nute water within a narrow range. Organic nutes grow bacteria that can make the PH almost impossible to control. I now only use Jacks 321 and its working very well for me. Jacks is sold all over the world I think or you should be able to find something similar. Its also very inexpensive to use.

I have no idea what EC levels or PH strawberries will like though.

LED’s are the best way to go in my opinion, but which ones you use depends on your budget. The QB’s are supposed to be very good, but are $$. Or you can build your own LED lights for a much lower cost if you know some basics and dont mind doing the work.

Here are a couple of threads to give you some info on DIY lights.

You need to control lights - ON/OFF timing and you may want to dim them as well.

Temperatures - you need to monitor temps in the root zone and in the plant zone. You also need a way to control those temps up or down.

I dont know about strawberries, but you may also want to monitor and control humidity.

I would not try to control or monitor flow rates for air or water. The nozzles will take what they need based on air pressure and siphon height or water pressure.

You do want to monitor and control air pressure closely though. Thats a key way to control flow rates and droplet sizes. If you are pressure feeding the nozzles instead of siphon, then you will want to monitor water pressure too. If you are siphon feeding, then the water level in the siphon tank would be good info.

You probably also want to monitor the rez water level and temps.

Not with the Delavan nozzles - the openings are all quite large - at least 2 MM or larger.

You are very welcome and thank you for the compliment!

Good luck with your project and please feel free to ask any other questions.

Also, when you get started on it, post your progress here on OG. Even if it is strawberries :slight_smile:

P.S. Your english is just fine by the way.

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I’m actually not growing Cannabis! But We’re experts in Strawberry Cultivars and crops like lettuce, chard, basil, and baby varieties… First of all let me CONGRATULATE to all of you enthusiasts and NerdFarmers to bring all of you to the Aeroponics World…
We’re now growing OUTDOOR with HPA and with Vertical Farming, Biology and Water Technology with Big Results here in Mexico.
We are LATIDO VERDE Co. and you can find us on FB.

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But the pic you’ve attached is hydroponic or soil and not aeroponic, right?

Just a doubt… what is the material tha you use, seems like some resin or silicin?? The part with the valves.

The picture it’s one of the first setups that we made and uses misting pulse each 4 hrs with hydroponics soliles media. We want to share more pics but the forum didn’t allowed.

Our first prototype MVP presented in Morelia Fair Bluebox Ventures. 3-4 years ago.
1542334535438

it’s difficult to see the actual construction and plant roots. Do the forums let you post more now? Seems like a polymer tube with more tubes angling upwards with the plant inside. Hard to see the misting system. We can definitely feast on more details :slight_smile:

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Of course that’s our misting pattern for one of the selected nozzles that we use in the past years… enjoy!!!
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1UlFcygRkyZvWploMdFHIwNoEzmQXEX5s?usp=sharing

hmm sorry, it says there is an email authorization to view the google drive.