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PostPosted: Nov 12th, '15, 03:45 
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[*]hey guys

I'm planning on building a vertical tower AP system out of PVC. I have a tight budget and was looking to emulate something like the zip grow towers. Would AC filters work ok? I live on an island and there's no place I can source pond filters as the tower media for the plants to grow in. Plan B is to fill the towers with gravel but I'm trying to avoid that as it will make the towers super heavy. I would be using gravel from an existing system.

I was planning in getting ideas from this DIY walk through:

http://www.grozine.com/2015/04/07/diy-v ... cs-system/


Thanks in advance


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PostPosted: Nov 14th, '15, 06:05 
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Interesting concepts in the whole process..

I lust have a go at building the propagation tank..

I like the idea of the ZIP tower.. much better than the horrid process of drilling and moulding.
The ZIP uses a square or rectangular tube and a long slot in one face,.
Blocks of shaped material like scotch-brite have plants inserted and then stacked in the tube.. this seems far more
serviceable to me, as the whole thing can be disassembled and restacked..

AC filter material could work, but many that I know.. have oil soaked into the material to help trap particles..
I am also looking for a suitable and cheap material of suitable size
.


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PostPosted: Nov 17th, '15, 09:06 
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Hi buidoi

Thanks for your thoughts... I stumbled across Murray Hallum's "gropockets" and in his system he doesn't even use media. An aeroponic aquaponic tower. I love both of these methods of growing so I think I'm going to take this route..just need to figure out what sprayers won't clog and whether I'll need to build some prefilter bins.


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PostPosted: Nov 17th, '15, 09:43 
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I've used a bunch of different pond filter media, and it all works.
As long as you have a lot of surface area, and aren't putting in anything that may hurt the fish, give it a try. We actually have a horizontal starting bed using knitted acrylic yarn for media (an old blanket), and it's working fine.


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PostPosted: Nov 17th, '15, 12:49 
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Jebbas wrote:
Hi buidoi

Thanks for your thoughts... I stumbled across Murray Hallum's "gropockets" and in his system he doesn't even use media. An aeroponic aquaponic tower. I love both of these methods of growing so I think I'm going to take this route..just need to figure out what sprayers won't clog and whether I'll need to build some prefilter bins.


I've pondered this as well, and have some negative experience with my trial system. Your system will almost certainly clog the sprayer. I have clogging issues with a 6mm irrigation distribution block fed from my sump, and the openings are probably almost 2mm. I installed a wye trap with a screen, but it requires very regular cleaning.

Rather than filtering fine enough to spray, I'd suggest running a flow of water in the top, and having it splash through a few cm of K1, or plastic pot scrubber, or anything that will turn it into more, finer, better distributed droplets. This should work almost as well.

If you are interested, there is an AP grow in hong kong or taiwan, I think, that uses aero spray behind large Aframes for walls of lettuce.

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PostPosted: Nov 17th, '15, 13:40 
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I wonder how you would go getting something like a cooling fan from a microwave, and strip it down until you only have a fan/shaft and bearings.. a fan that will just free spin..
Aim a fine-ish jet of water at the fan blade and it will spin, splashing water in all directions???

I am not convinced about the idea of what seems to have been described as an NFT tube turned vertical and with no media.. if - the roots draping down inside.. I just not convinced that you could guarantee all roots remain wet all the time..
..


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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '15, 01:55 
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I've used this sort of system with orchids while doing hydroponics and it worked with no media using sprayers and corrugated drainage pipe. I have to agree with the sprayers being likely to clog in AP so some sort of filtration or adaptation is needed but otherwise it should work fine :thumbright:

I think others have probably solved this problem. I'm not certain of what's been done but I'd check TCLynx vertical zip grow tower setup.


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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '15, 06:04 
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If I ever do any towers, I'm probably going to stuff them with bird netting from Home Depot

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '15, 18:47 
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Old bird netting is what I have in my towers. Just don't stuff it in too tight. Old fishing net may be availabe on your island? Because it was free, it doesn't matter much if I have to replace it when replanting. I may have to cut it out... Towers are pretty high maintenance - they can block and overflow, get wicking leaks out planting holes, and the inlets can block. They look pretty though.

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '15, 19:41 
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Bird netting.. bloody brilliant.. and absolutely perfect.. Thanks Thanks..

The benefit... you can.scrunch a.short lenght, insert the. Plant, slide into position, and when spent, you can.easily unravel the length to remove roots and reuse.. brilliant ..
This is better than the original foam like material that I wonder HOW you could ever reuse..
..
.


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PostPosted: Nov 26th, '15, 00:07 
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Thanks all of you for the advice and tips...

@DavidG do you have a thread of your system I can check out?

@Budoi Now that is an interesting idea man! if the water inlet is postition right...that could def work.

@Ginerbreadman that is a genious idea....I've been chackinh out a few vertial tower AP builds..."Donald Porta" is a really great guy on youtube and he just melts a PVC inlet to deform and dribble water into the tower. That might be the best way in combination with the scrubber you spoke about. Do you have the link for the Taiwan grow?

@scotty435 Cool I will deffo check out TClynx. Still trying to stay away form Zipgrow and do my own thing. Cosgt prohibitive living in the Caribbean :/

@mwdesign @joc Cool idea about bird netting/fishing wire...I can see the towers clogging easily and running out the holes...I guess I would have to stick with plants with shallow roots. I can see leaving a basil or mint plants in there would just take over. I heard the 'Matala' filters work great and is similar to what they use in zip grow.


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PostPosted: Nov 26th, '15, 02:57 
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I'm pretty sure that i originally saw this linked from elsewhere on this board.




There are four videos in that series. Camera work is a bit nauseating, but the subject matter is good, I think.

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PostPosted: Mar 27th, '16, 16:51 
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Hi there.

I am in South Africa and matala is expensive. If I have the continuous flow vertical grow towers draining into horizontal flood/drain grow beds with gravel or similar media, do I need the vertical pipes lined with the matala or similar media, or could I just stuff chicken wire or bird netting down the vertical pipes for root growth support?

Are there two primary purposes for using matala being root growth support and bacteria growth?

Thanks for the insight :-)

-Thomas


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PostPosted: Mar 28th, '16, 17:43 
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bump

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