Monday, November 17, 2014

Fogponics

Fogponics - Hydoponics

Fogponics is a form of Aeroponics. It is basically the same concept, except you are using vaporized nutrient solution in the 5-30┬Ám particle size range. This form of Hydroponics is not as popular as Aeroponics, but that is only because this is a relatively newer form of Hydroponics. These systems are typically made up of an ultrasonic fogger, a pump, water, and the system to hold the roots above the fog. One thing to note is your plants do not actually have to have their roots touching the fog you see since it is actually sucking it up. There are a lot of people who have messed up perfectly good systems by adding a fan because the roots were not touching the fog.

Fogponics Advantages:
  • The plants grown typically grow faster. This is because more O2, and CO2 to the roots assist in the plants growing faster. Also, the nutrients are easier for the plants to absorb.
  • You use less nutrients and water in an Fogponics setup, since you are misting the plants, and not diluting them in the solution. 
  • Not very much space is needed, if the Fogponics setup is completed correctly. 
  • Great learning experience. This method has a lot of things that help you learn more about Hydroponics in general. 
  • This is semi-mobile. Depending on how it is built, it could be very mobile, if you move you growing space around. (Maybe your wife likes to change the look of you basement a lot.) 
  • Fairly cheap to build.
  • Depending on setup, disease is cut down from other forms of Hydroponics. 
  • Saves a significant amount of resources such as water/nutrients. 

Fogponics Disadvantages:
  • Dependency on all of the parts working 100% of the time. If anything fails such as a pump, sprinkler, timer, or gets clogged, your plants will suffer, and fast. 
  • Regular cleaning and sanitation is required. You have a dark, moist, air prevalent environment, what do you think will happen? Bacterial growth! You must also note, that you have to make sure that your sprinklers are going to need regular cleaning so they do not build up with mineral deposits, and stop  working properly. 
  • High maintenance. These systems need almost constant attention. If a fogger fails, well you have mere, few hours to get something in place to resolve the issue.  Plants die very quickly when something wrong happens in a Fogponics system. 
  • This system needs to be cleaned often. Since the foggers are creating such sized nutrient solution vapors, you have to make sure that the foggers are clean. Salt buildup is common, and it can stop a system from functioning properly. 
  • Roots develop over time smaller, thinner, and weaker than Aeroponics. 

Suggestions for best use: Cloning. Fogponics is very cheap to build, plants grow very fast, they are getting vapors at almost the size of what they need to absorb them. This means that the plant has to work less. You can build a quick easy setup from a rubbermaid storage box, pump, and vaporizer from Ebay as a beginning DIY on the super cheap. 

Keep posted, we will be posting some of our DIY stuff soon. We will outline an entire Fogponics build. 

3 comments:

  1. Can you tell me what brand of nutrients you use and what dosage you use thru the veg and bloom stages? Are you using the manufacturer's suggested amount, or less? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hey RBig, Thanks for the question!

      So really quick, I really only use fogponics for cloning, and some veg.

      The real reason for that is due to the way in which foggers work. Most styles are the "ultra sonic" style. They are oscillating at high frequencies to create the fog. This creates heat. So the issue becomes for anything really beyond cloning/ light veg, the nutrients will start breaking down, or building up on the ultra sonic foggers.
      The other downside is the particulate size of the nutrients that become vapor are very tiny. This will create roots that are very weak. They will be super tiny hairs almost. This is good, again for cloning and such, but no so much anything beyond in my opinion.

      With all of that being said though, you can buy very expensive foggers meant more for this style of growing. One idea I have been kicking around for a while is doing some type of "super" ponics setup in which incorporates either a Ebb and Flow, or top feed drip system with a Fogger.

      So in my use cases, anything above 300-400 PPM for the fogger it was just constant cleaning. So that is where I kept it.

      If I were to build something like the above mentioned superponics setup, I would likely have 2 reservoirs. I feel like something like the Flood/Drain and fogponics would be good since you get strong roots, and you could then have it mist in between floods. This should help keep the root zone moist between the floods as well.

      Or maybe a recirculating DWC with foggers. (Under water culture style)

      As for nutrients, I used this on tomatoes/hot peppers/lettuce/basil, so I was just using the General Hydroponics Trio. (Specifically the Veg/Micro nutrients of the three. RO water at a base of ~50PPM. Enough given to take it up to 250PPM)
      *Special note though, definitely use RO(Reverse Osmosis water, or Distilled water for this. My faucet comes out with 150~ish PPM) which does not leave much room for adding anything.

      Sorry for the lengthy response, but let me know if you need anything else!

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  2. Hi,I'm just about to try out some Fogoponics,I thought the tiny hairs on the roots were a good sign? & what about root temperatures? Isn't the fan to move the fog around & keep the nute temps down?..cheers

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