FAQs

The measurements of Herbert are (height x width x depth): 102cm x 56cm x 11,5cm

An empty Herbert weighs approximately 7kg. With a full water tank and plants inside Herbert weighs approximately between 13kg and 14kg.

Every Herbert package comes with a profile rail that you mount to the wall and on which Herbert can be easily hung up. Mount the profile rail with two screws and corresponding screw anchors to the wall. Choose the screws and screw anchors based on what type of wall you have (e.g. reinforced concrete, brick wall, sheetrock, etc.)

Since Herbert has an integrated waterlevel sensor that signals the pump when to start running, you can do this procedure in both ways:

o   First add water and then connect Herbert to a power outlet

o   First connect Herbert to a power outlet and then add water

The integrated water pump in Herbert is currently the most silent water pump available on the market, it produces around 35dB from 1 meter away. This is approximately comparable to very silent fridges. 

Yes, the pump is running constantly. This is to ensure that the nutrient solution is always evenly distributed in the watersystem.

Altogether, Herbert requires approximately 60W when running on maximum light intensity. If you have the light turned on for 13 hours per day at maximum light intensity, Herbert will require between 280kWh and 290kWh per year.

o   If you have just freshly sown seeds in all the sponges and filled approximately 6 liters of water, Herbert should work for approximately 30 days before the water tank is empty.

o   The time to refill can reduce itself based on how many plants you have in Herbert and how old they are. If you have older plants inside that have a lot of foliage, it can also be necessary to refill Herbert every 5 to 7 days. The more foliage a plant has, the more water it will require.

o   You can refill Herbert in any of the slots in the growing module as Herbert is one entire closed water circulation system. We recommend leaving one slot free of plants for refilling and covering the free slot with one of the intransparent caps.

o   The first step is to unplug Herbert and wait for around 20 minutes, until all the water from the growing modules has drained into the water tank.

o   The second step is to let out all the water from the water tank, unplug the waterlevel sensor from the PonixControl and unplug the water tank from the water circulation system

o   Take Herbert down from the wall and remove the water tank from the back.

o   For further details on maintaining the system, please refer to the manual

A small service is recommended once every half year. A small service means unplugging Herbert from the power source, let all the water drain from the growing modules into the water tank (this takes approximately 20 minutes). Then clean the growing modules on the inside with a kitchen cloth, let out all the water from the water tank and flush Herbert with foodgrade hydrogen peroxide solution afterwards for an hour. Once complete, let the hydrogen peroxide solution out of the system and refill with fresh water and fertilizer and continue growing. For further details, please refer to the manual.

o   A large service follows the same steps as a small service, with the addition of removing the water tank from the back and cleaning it manually.

o   When flushing Herbert with a foodgrade hydrogen peroxide solution it is recommended to do so with 5 liters of liquid and have the hydrogen peroxide diluted down to 5%.

If you have any additional questions or require direct support , you can send an email to office@ponix-systems.at where someone will help you.

You can download the Herbert App for free in the Google Play Store and in the Apple App Store. Here are the links:

o   Google Play Store

o   Apple App Store

The seeds that we have to offer are produced in Austria. Some of our seeds are organically certified, some are not. Whenever our seed producers have organically certified seeds, we choose organically certified seeds over every other option.

Yes, you can use other seeds. Seeds from other producers may vary slightly in germination rate and days, this is dependent on the genetics of the plants that the seed suppliers use to produce their seeds with.

There are up to 15 slots in Herbert that can be used to grow plants. We recommend to leave one slot free and cover it with one intransparent cap. Use that free slot to refill Herbert when the water tank is empty.

In one slot you can have more seeds depending on which plant you want to grow. You can find a recommendation of how many seeds to put on one sponge on each seed package (e.g. up to 5 seeds of basil on one sponge)

Harvesting plants regularly is highly recommended. Older and larger leaves may die off at some point and if not removed, may become moldy.

Yes you can but you have to be sure that it is a hydroponic fertilizer.

It can happen that some seeds require longer time to germinate or do not germinate at all as there are many factors which are responsible for germination and the biological processes that occur are complex and cannot be fully controlled. We test our seeds for germination and quality regularly.

When germinating seeds, we recommend to use the transparent germination caps to simulate a higher humidity.

Some seeds require light to germinate, others require darkness to germinate. When a plant type requires light to germinate, use the transparent germination caps to simulate a higher humidity, when a plant type requires darkness, use the intransparent caps to block light from shining on the seed.

If the seeds have not germinated after 5 weeks, we recommend to dispose of the seeds on the biodegradable sponge, wash the sponge and sow new seeds on the sponge again to start a new germination process.

Mold growth on seeds can occur and is no sign of the quality of the seeds themselves. In such a case it is recommended to remove the seeds on the sponge that show mold growth. If this occurs more often with one specific type of seed, try germinating the seeds without the transparent germination cap as there may be too much humidity.

To ensure a proper growth we suggest a minimum of 12h of light on maximum light intensity per day. Ideally, we recommend setting the light to shine 14-16 hours per day on maximum light intensity. On this setting plants will grow very quickly.

First and most important, fruiting plants require pollination. We doubt that you will have bees buzzing around in your home, so pollination has to occur by hand. This is best done by using a small paintbrush. Simply brush on the flower and then brush on other flowers to pollinate them.

Growing fruit requires a lot of energy both in the form of light and in the form of nutrients. If you have pollinated the flowers and no fruit are growing (most often this goes along with yellowing of leaves which means that the plant has a nutrient deficiency) it is recommended to increase the fertilizer dosage to 4mL – 5mL of fertilizer per liter of water. It is also recommended to have the light duration set to 16 hours per day at maximum light intensity setting.

Yellowing of leaves is usually a sign of a nutrient deficiency. Depending on which leaves (younger or older) and where exactly the yellowing occurs (between the veigns, the veigns themselves, on the inside of the leaves or on the edges) it is usually possible to draw conclusions which nutrient the plant is lacking. In such a case it may be necessary to add 1mL of fertilizer per liter of water to the system additionally.

If the growth is white and crystalline then what you are seeing is minerals from the fertilizer.

If the growth is white and fluffy, it’s most likely some form of mold. The risk of mold growing can never fully be mitigated as it can already be airborne in minute quantities in the air. Mold growth can occur in soil and in hydroponic systems, usually when the plants are still small as mold requires light and humidity to grow. Once the plants are larger and the foliage covers the sponge, then mold growth should stop on its own as the mold does not have any light source anymore.

In hydroponic systems mold growth is much easier to take care of compared to mold growth in soil. We recommend to take out the sponge with the plants out of the net pot, wash the sponge with cold water and remove the mold manually to prevent it from growing further.

If the growth is green then you are seeing algae growth. Algae growth usually does not have a negative impact on plants, unless you have sown seeds that require light and the algae is covering the seeds. You can take the sponge with the plants out of the net pot and wash the algae off manually with cold water.

We recommend cleaning Herbert regularly as per manual to keep the system clean.

Over time, a biofilm may grow on the pump wheel and the inner surface of the pump or debris may be blocking the impeller. This may lead to friction and the pump may lose in performance. If this is the case, you can disconnect the pump from the water circulation and remove it from Herbert. Open up the pump, remove the impeller and clean it and the insides of the pump. Then reassemble the pump, connect it to the water circulation system and you can continue growing.

Air may be trapped inside the pump, this can sometimes occur if you have done maintenance work to the water tank. This should be noticeable by the pump making a bit more noise than when running regularly. In such a case you can disconnect Herbert from the power source, reconnect it again and what for the pump starting cycle to finish. Repeat as often as necessary until you can see that water is pumping again into the top growing module.

You can also increase the pump power by holding down the red button on the PonixControl for approximately 4 seconds. You can repeat this step up to 10 times to increase the power supply to the pump to its maximum.

Usually, insects that require soil to breed are no issue in a hydroponic system such as Herbert. The most common insects that can be encountered in a hydroponic system are thrips, aphids, and/or spidermites. Since some of these are very tiny, it can be easier to identify the type of insect by looking at the symptoms that the leaves are showing. If found at a very early stage (only very few insects are visible/minor symptoms are visible on the leaves) take out the sponge with the affected plant and wash them off manually to remove insects. If found at a later stage wash of plants manually and spray with a mixture of rapeseed oil and water (1 part oil, 4 parts water) once per week.

It is advised not to reuse sponges. Once a plant has been harvested from a sponge, parts of the root system will still remain in the sponge. If reused, the remaining roots will grow mold.

The vacation mode in the Herbert App will keep the light time settings but it will dim the light intensity to a lower level. The less light a plant receives, the less water it will require. Do not keep on the vacation mode for too long as the light shines in such a low intensity, that the plants will start to etiolate over a longer period of time.

EU

Norway, Switzerland

HK, JP, SGP, AUS, USA, CAN

In the EU, shipping cost will lie between €10 and €60, based on the country. In Austria and Germany, shipping is free. For Norway the shipping cost are €37 and for Switzerland €25.

Shipping for one Herbert without additional accessories to the USA is €99 and to Canada €93.

Shipping to Australia for one Herbert without any additional accessories is €111.

Every Herbert package comes included with a starter package (seeds, fertilizer, biodegradable sponges) so you can get growing right away. All the included accessories and seeds can be seen on the product page of Herbert.

You can withdraw from your purchase within 14 days after having made the purchase. In such a case, the amount you have paid will be refunded in full either in the original method of payment or via bank transfer.

In any other case (after 14 days of the initial purchase) the returned item must be in its original condition. As soon as the return has been received and inspected you will receive a notification from us on whether a refund has been approved, partially approved, or rejected. In the case of approval or partial approval, a refund will be issued in the original form of payment or via bank transfer.

Items can be returned without reason within 14 days after the purchase has been made. In such a case the shipping cost for returning the product to Ponix Systems will be paid for by Ponix Systems.