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I have been thinking trying a verticle hydroponic tower made of thin plastic. My worry is that the roots will get to much light. Does anyone have any experience with this?

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What kind of thin plastic?

There are many tower methods out there. 

I suspect that if the plastic is sturdy enough to support the media, plants and water, you will probably build up enough of an algae layer to probably protect the roots from light thought the algae will be steeling some of your nutrients.

Interesting thought. Algae seems to be the reason people give for exposed roots being a problem to begin with. I will be using the same material greenhouses are made with. 80ism light transparency.

 


TCLynx said:

What kind of thin plastic?

There are many tower methods out there. 

I suspect that if the plastic is sturdy enough to support the media, plants and water, you will probably build up enough of an algae layer to probably protect the roots from light thought the algae will be steeling some of your nutrients.

Are you talking about greenhouse film or some sturdier plastic?

What sort of media would you use?

It sounds like you are doing a verticle bag system. Light does not harm roots that I know of. If you are doing this to save money, I suggest spending a bit more to get "Panda" film; an opaque plastic with white on one side and black on the other. I think a transparent bag system is looking for trouble. However I hesitate to comment coz I haven't tried it. In pure hydroponics, we try not to grow algae due to lost nutrients and oxygen depletion which may suffocate your plant/s . And depending on what type of media you use, you could find yourself not too satisfied because the bottom is always too wet while the tops too dry. The third point I'd like to refer you to is that thin plastic does not insulate the roots from the sun like solid PVC can and tends to collapse on itself, squeezing out any extra air.

 

Cheers

In my experiences light pruning can and does hurt most roots. I would steer away from clear or opaque unless a media is used that light cant penetrate.

@ David W: I know about air pruning but light pruning?...really? I grew a monster bush type tomato that lived for almost four years straight out of a meter cube fish tank on my lawn. Snails, pacusamus (common sucker fish for cleaning tanks), mosquito fish and goldfish (carp) ate up a lot of algae to produce nutrients. The roots were exposed to sunlight.

 

Besides, I don't know of any way to grow bag columns without medium, esp. transparent medium. hehe...just ribbin ya.

Carey your tomato grew due to the roots were in the dark. Yes your aquarium was in full light but the media kept the roots sheltered from direct sunlight which is what Scott is asking. Can roots be exposed to direct sunlight and thrive the answer is no. All Hydro cloning tables keep the roots in the dark to prevent root pruining by sunlight which kills them. Would love to see a pic of your aquarium set up. Oh thats right no pics hehe. Back at ya Carey.
No media...water only as in pure hydroponic deep water. The fish swam around the roots.
so what kept the plant from falling all the way down into the water?  Was there some sort of raft or was the plant suspended from over head with even the crown and top of roots out in the sun?

Suspended with 3/4 inch plywood then straps from the ceiling as it got really big. I had to build a makeshift greenhouse around it as it got bigger. I don't have a pic of mine but I do have one from a consulting project. It was originally a very exhilarating example of AP. However it did turned out to be too difficult for them to manage so they took out the fish and used bricks and a tarp. So maybe light doesn't kill roots but maybe the algae could suffocate them or fish sucking at the roots may damage them? 

That picture is amazing. One thing I love about this discipline is that there does not seem to be any limits. Everytime I hit a wall I simply innovate out of it. I am a EX-NASA guy who really needed a hobby.

 

Thanks for your replys,

 

Scott

 

Carey Ma said:

Suspended with 3/4 inch plywood then straps from the ceiling as it got really big. I had to build a makeshift greenhouse around it as it got bigger. I don't have a pic of mine but I do have one from a consulting project. It was originally a very exhilarating example of AP. However it did turned out to be too difficult for them to manage so they took out the fish and used bricks and a tarp. So maybe light doesn't kill roots but maybe the algae could suffocate them or fish sucking at the roots may damage them? 

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