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General Hydroponics EcoGrower Drip Hydroponic System
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- Can be used to grow very large plants
- Air driven spider drip system
- Includes Flora nutrients
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Hydrofarm Net Cup, 3-Inch, 12-Pack
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Oxcellent||TOPSELLER INC||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||23 x 26 x 18 in||—||—||6 x 4 x 4 in|
|Item Weight||30.99 lbs||—||—||3.2 ounces|
The Eco Grower incorporates an air driven spider drip system and uses the same revolutionary hexagonal reservoir with removable six inch lid inserts. Each lid insert will accommodate one 6 in net pot that can easily grow very large plants. Includes: 17-Gallon reservoir, spider drip assemble, pumping column, insert lid, six - 6 in lid inserts, net cups, CocoTek liners, Elite 800 air pump, 1/4 in air line, clay pebbles, Flora nutrients.
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:1. The growing media must be thoroughly rinsed before placing in the unit. Otherwise small chips and dust could block or restrict flow of nutrients/water through the tubes;
2. It is recommended in setup directions that the 17 gallon reservoir which holds water & nutrients be drained & replaced every 1 to 2 weeks depending upon plant growth. If you don't have the time or desire to commit to this maintenance schedule than this is not for you. There is also the minor costs involved with replacing nutrients. For example I'm using my unit to grow habanero peppers & a couple of tomato plants. If I buy the three types of required nutrients in the 32oz size, my cost to drain & replace nutrients four times a month is about $4.00 dollars US. Considering the maintenance schedule to drain & replace water & nutrients, you should plan on where you intend to place your unit so maintenance can be done easily.
Coming from Aerogardens, the price is certainly right when you consider the growing capacity this offers. The downside, compared to Aerogardens is that you have to roll your own lighting solution, and while LED panels are easy to find and cheap, finding a way to mount them or hang them or... whatever, has been an ongoing issue.
The hardware feels solid, and given that the only moving part is the air pump, reliability seems to be a given. I'd like a larger hole in the top to run a hose through for refilling, but you can easily remove one of the six panels for quick access.
The biggest ongoing logistical problem is draining and refilling this every 7-10 days. The filled capacity is 13 gallons, which is well over 100 pounds of water. Draining is made mostly easy by the combination level gauge/drain tube, assuming that you have the pot elevated so it can drain into something, and finding a stand or table (or bench) that can support the weight can add significantly to the overall price. My weekly refill schedule means draining to a 5 gallon bucket, 3 times, then mixing three buckets (of 4+ gal each) worth of nutrients and finding a way to pour or siphon those buckets into this thing without spilling it all everywhere. It has been a learning experience.
And the final piece that subtracts the fifth star: Aside from being large (basically 2'x2'x2') and heavy (figure 140 pounds when full), it offers six fairly generous grow sites which nevertheless are a bit too closely spaced for growing six full sized pepper plants. I am constantly having to trim my plants back to keep one from literally overshadowing another. At least the 6" net pots are large enough to accommodate some trellis systems to help support the plants.
I have tried three different drip/DWC "bucket" solutions and this is by far my favorite. Unlike GH's single site "Power Grower," there is no spash from this drip system - the floor under and around this is perfectly dry. The only change I've felt the need to make is the addition of an airstone. I just don't trust the air-pumped column to oxygenate the water enough. This, of course, necessitated buying a new two-outlet air pump.
But, if you want a cheap, reliable six-grow site drip/DWC bucket, and don't mind spending your weekends hauling around 5 gallon buckets of water, this is certainly the answer you're looking for. I am seriously considering buying another.
I wasn’t impressed by the drip setup, as the tubes and central assembly had to be perfectly placed to work properly. Since I was worried about my plants dying I wanted a more predictable setup, so I used it for deep water culture by removing all the tubes and just placing an air stone in the reservoir. It worked nicely until it sprung a leak and flooded my grow tent.
Save yourself the hassle and buy something else.