Bubbleponics – What you Need to Know
Bubbleponics is also known as top fed deep-water culture hydroponics. Using this method, you should expect much larger yields if you have everything setup properly. Another benefit is a faster growth cycle so you’ll be able to harvest faster. We’ll go over the basics of a bubbleponics setup to help you get started.
With bubbleponics you’re using nutrient-filled, oxygenated water instead of perlite or soil. The oxygenated water flows over the roots, rather than having them sit in moistened soil. You’ll need an air pump and airstone for the reservoir that catches the water run-off.
Raised Bubbler Platform
To help prevent root rot and overwatering, you’ll want a raised bubbler platform. This means that you’ll want to use a table or hanging structure for your plants. It is best to have the setup at least 2-feet off of the ground to leave room in case of incidental flooding in the grow.
It is important to use high-quality lights for bubbleponics grows. What’s different here is that the space has to have 12 hours of complete darkness every day during the flowering stage. It’s ideal to have the hours of complete darkness during the evening and overnight hours since you won’t have to do anything extra with the space to keep the light out.
High-pressure sodium lights are ideal for this setup, but CFL and LED lights can also be used. Using CFL or LED lighting may not provide the best results though.
Plants per System
Here is where bubbleponics gets a little tricky – you can’t put your whole grow on one system. With top fed deep-water culture systems, you can only run about 3 plants per system. It really is best to run no more than two per system though.
Feeding your Plants
It is vital that you use nutrients that are specifically for hydroponic grows. Nutrients mixed for growing tomatoes also works well since these plants have both flowering and vegetative states – just as cannabis plants do. A good option to provide your cannabis plants everything they need to grow is Flora Trio Nutrients.
How do you know if you’re feeding the right amount? Follow the feeding schedule suggested on the packaging. You can even feed a little bit less than what is suggested, but never more because the suggested amount is the maximum your cannabis plants should be fed.
You must maintain a proper pH level to ensure that your plants have the proper mix of nutrients.
Maintaining your Reservoir’s Water Level
You shouldn’t use just any old container for a bubbleponics reservoir. Make sure you are using a reservoir that is strictly for deep water grow setups and hydroponics. You’ll need to replenish water in the reservoir up to the fill line as you notice that it is low. Your plants will drink more water as they grow. Bubbleponics, however, helps recycle some of the water back into the system to help keep water usage as minimal as possible. The water needs to be completely drained weekly.
A bubbleponics setup may seem too high-tech for you. It may seem too expensive. Yes, it can get expensive, but it really does pay for itself because it is very energy efficient. We’ll go over what you’ll need on your bubbleponics shopping list next week.