Managing Nutrients (Drain-to-waste & Recirculating)


I’ve been reading a lot of opinions on drain-to-waste vs. recirculating, and they always seem to exclude some basic info for noobies. So, I’m wondering if someone can take some time to answer some basic noob questions. Stay light on opinion and high on substance please, I don’t learn as much when everyone is wagging their dicks around :smiley:
Here goes…

  1. So I feel like recirculating makes sense as the water is acting as a thermal buffer and helps to keep the root zone temperate more stable.If you are using drain-to-waste how are you keeping your roots nice and cool? Are you relying solely on the misting? If so, how are you keeping the water cold enough to regulate that temperature? Is it being chilled as it leaves the accumulator? Or is the accumulator itself being chilled? Are you relying on a physical air conditioner? Do you still use an insulated build chamber?

  2. In terms of drain-to-waste, I’m not sure if this is just a frequently used misnomer for ‘I empty my nutrients on a scheduled basis’. Or did you actually modify your aerokit to allow for drain-to-waste, and if so, where are your pictures? What was your build process. What is your current maintenance schedule like?

  3. Lastly, if you are running an stock aerokit or a similar recirculating system and you are emptying your nutes on a scheduled basis, what does your schedule look like? Can you share your schedule & your process? ie. Every x number of weeks I run the pump on drain until… at which point I… and then I add X ml of nutrient A, B, C… etc…



Oh, god. This is going to be hot topic. :slight_smile:

Certainly there are different ways of growing the same plants, and different designs might aim for different goals and with different priorities. Just for aeroponics, close-loop and open-loop systems both exist for a while. There are pros and cons of each, and there are legal restrictions too. Some countries ban the open drain because of the pollutions etc, but then again how much political factors are there are unknown.

Here is the design rationale for Bifarm Aeroponics. Again, not saying other ways are bad. But this is how we built and patent around our way to achieve certain goals that we feel important.


i’m using…aquarium cooler and recycle

@wanjun Thought is right.


I would say try both and decide which you like best.
Designing a plug and play aeroponic system for the masses is no easy task. It becomes easier when your only building it for yourself with fewer constraints :wink: I respectfully disagree with some of the things in the design rationale, for example, short mistings needing to be aimed directly at the roots and localised wet or dry areas. Here is one second of mist delivering 0.5ml (1/10th of a teaspoon) of liquid into a 24gallon chamber. It isnt enough to wet anything directly on its own but the cumulative effect of many 1 second mistings causes the roots to become consistantly damp over time, When the optimum dampness is acheived you simply adjust to maintain it. With longer, wetter mistings, the roots are constantly cycling between a relatively wet and relatively dry state. The optimum root dampness will be acheived fleetingly somewhere during the interval between mistings, much like perfect soil moisture between waterings.