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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '18, 00:21 
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Has any testing been done to compare vertical towers with and without media?
I think I read they work 15 minutes on a timer per hour. Could they be run 15 minutes on per every two hours if they are filled with media (hytroton,etc) ? The media would naturally hold a tiny bit of water and more bacteria.

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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '18, 00:43 
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If media could get them through once every two hours, then a failsafe could be made alternating two separate pumps on alternate hours. I think alternating for 15 minutes every 30 minutes would still keep them waterlogged. Are there any outdoor digital timers that could be programmed for less than 15 minutes per hour on a 24 hour cycle? That seems to be the major constraint right now.

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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '18, 07:19 
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I've only run towers without media when I was growing orchids and that was inside. Orchids are a special case and don't need to be watered that often so they were only watered once or twice a day (they have a coating on the roots that helps them hold water since the ones I was growing were epiphytes).

I know there are some mechanical timers that will allow you to setup cycles at 30 minute intervals. This one lets you do 24.... 1/2 hour cycles per day and might be good enough for what you're trying.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Woods-15-Amp-24-Hour-Outdoor-Plug-In-Heavy-Duty-Dual-Outlet-Mechanical-Timer-Black-50012/203638979


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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '18, 07:28 
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Running water half the time (30 on, 30 off) is bound to still water log the roots. I was interested in spreading it out more.

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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '18, 07:34 
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Hmm :?, I don't know that water logging would really be much of an issue because plenty of oxygen would be getting through that thin layer of water left on the roots, are you concerned about that or about disease organisms or is it something else?


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PostPosted: Feb 19th, '18, 06:19 
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I ran water in vertical towers 'always on' and and wouldn't go beyond sprouting due to water logged roots. They need enough time to absorb the water on the roots, and then a little more time to absorb air, before water hits them again.

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PostPosted: Feb 19th, '18, 16:37 
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Interesting, I've never run into this but I've only tried this with orchids and with wide watering intervals.


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PostPosted: Feb 23rd, '18, 23:53 
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I was thinking this could be more of a failsafe method running alternate pumps in case one pump/timer fails, the roots wouldn't completely dry out before getting the next surge of water. Honestly, I don't do a system check every day. I do try to ensure water is running (and current growbed siphon working) when I feed the fish (which is most days) (which may get changed to an automatic feeder at some point). Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Feb 24th, '18, 01:39 
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Couple of things to think about -

How would the two pumps be connected to the same line without having the flow short circuit back through the pump that isn't operating? Should be doable but you'll have to figure that out. A back flow preventer on each might do the trick.

I still like to manually feed. The automatic ones are OK but you still need to see the fish and check that they are eating the food. Sometimes how the fish behave is your first clue that something isn't right.


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PostPosted: Feb 24th, '18, 04:14 
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For failsafe, it would be a separate timer/pump on each line going into the same vertical tower. My fish like to hide so I don't get to see them much. I think birds got to a few before I put the shadecloth over it.

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PostPosted: Feb 24th, '18, 16:38 
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That pump scheme sounds like it would work well and probably wouldn't break the bank for the extra pipe as long as it's a short run and smaller diameter.


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