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    Thread: NFT-Flood and drain system conversion.....

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      Default NFT-Flood and drain system conversion.....

      I have always had the dilema in my small mother/clone room whether to hand feed the clones/mothers or to put them on a drip system. The trouble is that I have always got differing numbers of plants in there each week so can never make a manifold that will always have the right number of drip stakes on. So I have decided to turn a small GT205 grotank into a mini flood and drain system, the advantage being that I can simply place as many, or as little plants on the trays as I please without adjusting anything and I know that they will all get fed/watered when needed.

      On top of the GT205 resevoir sits a top tray, which is on a slight incline as the system is made for use as an NFT.
      I have basically sat another tray in which I have made a few drill holes and a drain and feed tube (the bottom from a large un-heated propagator) on top of the 205. The Drain is a 25mm tank joiner situated in the middle of the tray that acts as an overflow for when the nutrient being pumped into the tray reaches its maximum point. There is another smaller 15mm (Hose size) grommet fitting mounted flush with the bottom of the tray with garden hose attached underneth leading through a hole in the NFT slope and into the resevoir where its joined to a pump that delivers the nutrient up to the top flood tray. There is also small drain holes in the flood tray that slowly and constantly allow nutrient to trickle back onto the slope, the purpose of these is to allow all areas of the tray to drain off completly when the pump switches off. The pump fills the tray faster than these small drain holes can drain it so it still fills up fully.

      How it works is the pump delivers nutrient up and onto the top tray that has 3,1/2" raised sides. As the tray fills slowly the nutrient soaks into the pot/cube from the bottom pushing stale air out as it rises. Extra holes in the side and at the bottom of pots can help absorbtion, or use nett pots. Once the solution reaches a maximum point the pump stops (Timed on a minute timer) and the solution drains away from the tray (back down the pump line and the other drain holes), sucking in fresh air into the media as it goes. The plants in this kind of system are flooded and drained 1-6 times a day depending on the media used..clay balls more feeds, rockwool less feeds etc.

      These systems are ok for just short term plants cuttings and mothers, but I wouldn't choose to use this method for production as it can have its disadvantages like pooling of water, stagnant water and fungus gnats etc.


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