Under Current Water Level variation possible?

Discussion in 'Grow Room Design/Setup' started by rw3iss, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Hey all,
    So I'm about to start building a classic undercurrent system, except I was wondering if it would be possible to create the system so that the water level in the buckets remained closer to about 2" above the pipes instead of almost to the top (ie. level with the reservoir).
    The only way I can think to have the bucket water height different from the reservoir, is obviously to raise the buckets (and not the reservior), but doing this would break the whole idea behind under-current (where the bottom pipes sit lowest so gravity allows the flow of water through them, which gets pulled back through the negative pressure pump).
    So as an alternative, I'm wondering if this would work:
    Cut an overflow hole on each bucket, and have it drain into a secondary reservoir, which has a smaller pump that brings the water back to the main reservoir.
    Would this work? Would the water level be maintained? Would the compromise in water pressure with the overflow holes also compromise the flow of water from the under current?
    I'm wondering if anyone has any better ideas...

    Also, I'm only wondering this because I would rather have less of the roots submerged in water all the time, and I am also am thinking of putting a fogger inside the buckets to create some fog/mist during the early stages of development.

    Just trying to think of some possible alternatives...

  2. Sounds like a good idea but you need some expert advise i suppose.

    Someone who knows what they're talking about will come along and help you.

    Just give it time.
  3. So I emailed cch20 and he recommended:

    "Seems what your looking for would be best served via a Multi Flow system from Greentrees in San Diego."

    That system uses some advanced tech to control the flow rate to the different modules. So, not an ideal solution (in the sense of cost efficiency), but I'm going to play around with the UC setup and see what can happen. Will post any interesting findings.
    If anyone else has any ideas, I'm all ears!
  4. yes, the system would work with much less water like your looking to do... but why would you want to????

    in full flower a plant can consume a half gallon of water in a single day.... now even using the smallest system of four plants... that's two gallons a day, more than i think your looking to have in the whole system

    FYI... with those under current systems you need a reservoir with additional water to top off your nutrient solution with water every day... this way every time the plants drink its replaced with water... it helps thin out the nutrients

    a float valve... called a stealth float(my personal fav) helps maintain the height of the nutrient within the under current....

    so basically you mix up a batch of nutrients in your UC.... then open your RES ball valve... then you only need to top off the RES for a whole week with just water... at the end of the week you drain your UC and start over....

    its easy...

    if your really lucky you'll have a floor drain you can just drain your UC right into... then fill up your UC with water, mix your nutrients... top off your RES, open the ball valve on the RES and check back in a week
  5. #5 rw3iss, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2012
    Yeah this is basically what I'm going to do. I'm fully learned in the ways of the under current systems at this point, and all the peripherals like float valves, cooling, top offs from R.O., etc.
    My setup is 3x3=9 plants in a ~4x4ft area, and each set of 3 plants will be sitting in a 4ft long, 1ft wide, 2ft tall homemade reservoir, so the current will be flowing past three plants at a time, inside each of which will contain aeration, and I'm thinking of whether to include a timed mister/fogger in each 1x3 container during the earlier stages, and having the undercurrent primarily used to keep things circulating, displacing the fog more easily (aeration), and eventually giving the roots something to reach for. I don't know exactly, but I'm wondering if a system like this might be more efficient, and am trying to figure out if it's even possible, without sacrificing the gravity needed from the main reservoir.
    Maybe let's say I put a float valve in each 1x3 channel/module that opens when a water level reaches a certain height, pouring the excess into a secondary reservoir. If somehow this reservoir contains some sort of trigger which only enables a water pump when the height reaches a certain level, that might solve the problem. The challenge being that this would require all of the modules, including the epicenter/main reservoir, to be located higher than the secondary reservoir, in order for the manual push of excess runoff to be collected effectively. Maybe even the secondary pump could be hooked to a divider which is connected to all the module runoff float valves, which only pulls in water (and pushes back to main) when the valves are open. Same problem though, actually two: Would the water pump burn out if it's running without actually pulling in water (but theoretically most of the time it should)? And alternatively, is there a way to only enable the secondary pump when the water level reaches a certain height (do they make pumps that do this?)

  6. the whole point of a UC is the DWC

    removing all the water is going to create more problems than its worth... your now considering adding a second pump just in case one pump burns out or water levels drop too low...

    your spinning your wheels in the mud

    if your planning on removing all the water and just using a fogger, just switch to a aero setup... this is really what your trying to do

    its like your trying to buy a Lamborghini and turn it into a pinto.... why?

  7. I think I wanted basically an aero design, but with the ability to have a moving current inside of each module.

    Yeah I suppose it probably isn't worth doing this.

    Lamborghini sounds nice tho ;)

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