I hate to write this down, but I will do it anyway: The system is dead, and I am not going to replace any plants anymore. I will try to pot the last couple of plants if they survive the day, and then I am going to shut this project down. When your plant roots start to smell like a swamp, you know it will go down pretty quickly. And if slimer started to invest the pump and clogging up the internals, you know its game-over. So, I decided not to continue this project anymore and consider it a total bust. I might reboot this project when i have a new house, my girlfriend supported me on this idea, so not all hope is lost, however I will do it with a better setup and a better understanding of my failures.
Couple of things for those that want to follow in my footstaps, here are some things that I have been running into and the fixes I have done:
- Ultrasonic misters will heat everything up to a nice 45C, killing all plantlife.
- NPK in an aeroponics system can kill plants pretty quickly
- Be aware that caterpillars will infest your system and eat everything before you had the chance to spot them.
- Keep everything clean. I constantly faced brown goo in my pipes clogging everything up
- Get yourself a decent cooling and water pump, preferrably one with a filter in front.
- Slimer will always lurk in the dark corners, waiting for you to not pay attention and then strike
- Make sure you can carry the water, or have a drainage pipe.
- Be prepared for water leaks. They WILL happen!
- "flexible" pipes are not that flexible as it seems when they are constantly under water.
- Have a backup plan. You will face the problem that stuff starts dying.
- If you cannot keep plants alive for more than 2 weeks, then you are doing something wrong.
- Get someone with experience on board first, before trying something that does not work.
Feel free to comment, discuss and give me ideas for a new project (either aquaponics, vertical garden or aeroponics using a water mist, anything that does not need ultrasonic foggers). I am absolutely sure that the next project will be in a new house, with a new garden and most likely will have a greenhouse so I can try out new things. So, if you happen to stumble on my project, please DO read all my logs, they contain a great source of information and can be really helpful if you want to pursue my dreams...