Ask the Professor – Prev. Questions 4

Dear Professor –

I have a simple question. I am considering buying a h.p.s. light fixture, I’m figuring on buying a 400w lamp, but I keep seeing 430w lamps sold with 430w Son Agro bulbs, my question is: in your experience is it worth it to spend the extra $50 and if I’m not satisfied with the results of the Son Agro bulb will I have a difficult time finding a 430w HPS bulb to replace it? thank you for your kind assistance.


Chris –

At Simply Hydroponics the 430 agro bulb is a $20 upgrade from a standard 400 HPS bulb. In my opinion the extra money is well worth it. The 430 puts out more light than a standard 400 (53,000 lumens Vs. 50,000 lumens) and has 30% more light in the blue spectrum as well (which helps with the vegetative growth of your plants). The 430 watt HPS bulb was designed from the ground up specifically for agriculture. We have had many customers that have switched from the 400 to the 430 and they all rave about the results, and NONE have gone back to the straight 400. To be honest we haven’t sold a straight 400 HPS system in months. If for some reason you are unhappy with a 430 SonAgro, a straight 400 bulb can be used in the same system.



I’m working with hydroponic forage, have you some information about it? I’m producing hydroponic forage (Zea mays, Sorghum, Lablab purpureus). Thanks.

Carlos R.

Carlos R.-

I have to apologize and hang my head in shame, I don’t have any information to share about the crops that you are growing. I can only give you some very obvious advice that you find out what conditions these particular plants like and then duplicate these conditions with your hydroponic system(s). I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help, but I will post your question on our website and ask that anyone with the information you need can contact me and I will pass it along to you. How about it people? Anyone have any information for Carlos?


Professor –

Would fiberglass work for a green house?


Martin –

I have seen many greenhouses that use corrugated fiberglass panels. They come in many different colors and varying degrees of transparency. These fiberglass panels cost more than some other methods of greenhouse covering (like plastic), but they last for years. You will need a pretty good structure to attach these panels to, usually constructed of wood.


Excuse me Mr. Professor –

Could you please give me some information on how to grow lettuce using a hydroponic system which can be made out of things like ice cream containers, and also some general information on how to grow a lettuce and possibly even a tomato.


Snowpea –

You can grow lettuce in just about anything that holds water. Make a “float” out of Styrofoam that fits the container that you plan to use. CLICK HERE for general info about water culture. If you want to do another method of hydroponics you could use the containers in a hand-water bucket system. This type of system will also work well with larger plants like tomatoes. CLICK HERE for general info about this type of system.


To the oh so smart Professor –

What do you do when there is a leak in your hydroponic system and all the water comes out? Just out of curiosity- not that it’s happened to me.


Darcy –

What do you do if your hydroponic system springs a leak? Most people cuss, get a mop, cuss some more, clean up the water (while cussing) and after that most people would fix the leak and get on with their lives.