robbmatt

Affnan Bell Siphon

36 posts in this topic

Swiss Chard AKA silverbeet grows a root much like a beet which could easily outgrow a 2" net pot in 5-6 months.  Kale is not so large so I would think you would have less of a problem in DWC.

After a quick Google-y about chard, peppers, and tomatoes, appears 4~6 inch net pots for DWC should be used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you mean by "plants rapidly out grow the net pots"?

That got answered above. The 2" nets were choking off the poor root system. Rather than use 4-6" net pots I will just use media. At that rate I would have to use 2" foam board to support the weight:-) I had not heard the term Sub surface ... before. It really sounded to me like constant flow thru media beds without ebb and flow. Thanks for the clarification.

As to Kale, it can grow into a tree. Take my word for it. Again I'll stick to media. My forays into DWC leave me asking why bother, in my case. I am happy to say I built the bed so it can go either way. I'll decide by Spring.

Thanks for all the feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That got answered above. The 2" nets were choking off the poor root system. Rather than use 4-6" net pots I will just use media. At that rate I would have to use 2" foam board to support the weight:-)My forays into DWC leave me asking why bother, in my case.

 

Appears 2" net pots for large growing plants was the problem rather than your "forays" with DWC.

 

Must use the correct material for the correct crops. Same goes for the grow method. Obviously, DWC would not work well at all for tuber and root crops.

 

From what I have seen, gravel or hydroton media filled grow method is slightly successful for small tuber/root crops, as long as the tuber/root crop do not stay wet for too long. Tuber/root crops do not tolerate saturated mediums very well. Often, for tuber/root crops, then wicking beds are utilized due to the low moisture environment desired for tuber/root crops.

 

 

It really sounded to me like constant flow thru media beds without ebb and flow.

 

Yep, pretty much. There are also folk that have been successful with constant flow through media beds due to the wicking (i.e., capilary) action of water through media without entirely saturating the root system as is done in ebb/flow systems.

 

 

As to Kale, it can grow into a tree.

 

Indeed. Tomatoes and peppers can as well. "Indeterminate" plant species, which many heirlooms are "indeterminate", are actually perennials that continue to grow for much more than a year in proper temperatures.

 

 

I am happy to say I built the bed so it can go either way. I'll decide by Spring.

Thanks for all the feedback.

 

Flexibility is good. I'm simply sharing information.

 

I have not yet read a single grow method being the "king" of growing all crops and some are better than others for good reasons beyond "hype".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally think the biggest advantage to the DWC - at least in a typical UVI long, narrow construction - is the ability to grow out a set of plants on a continuous basis, transplanting in one end of the bed and harvesting an entire plant out the other.  This of course depends a lot on the scale of your operation.  If I am growing a plant which I intend to continue to harvest for months at a time, I don't want it bogging up my DWC beds.

I have not yet used a SSCF but will be doing so via a series of wicking beds once my construction is finished.  This is where I'll be growing this type of yummies.

 

In any case I'm loving all the ideas!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

.......BUT for the homesteader that simply wants to produce for their own table you cannot beat bell siphon or timed media beds.

 

Subsurface continuous flow is simpler, costs less and is more reliable than either bell syphon or timed standpipe methods.....and there is no discernible difference in plant growth.

 

While what Charles says is true about SSCF having been around in hydroponics, for a very long time, the idea was introduced  (for aquaponics' purposes) by Martin O'Dee in 2009 and popularised subsequently by us.

 

No one growing system is suited to every type of vegetable.  For uniform production of lettuce, Asian greens and soft herbs, DWC is without equal.  For tomatoes, peppers and vine crops, media grow beds are good.  For root crops, wicking beds are the clear favourite.  If I could only have one growing system, it would be wicking beds.......period!

 

Swiss Chard AKA silverbeet grows a root much like a beet which could easily outgrow a 2" net pot in 5-6 months.

 

Its leaves (with some varieties) may be similar to sugar or fodder beets......or beetroot......with which you may have confused them.....but silver beet (Swiss chard) does not have a large solid beet-style root.  It can develop a stumpy looking crown through continuous harvesting of the bottom leaves.....but this occurs above the surface.

 

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting on the Asian greens. Bokchoy was a total disaster in the DWC while it thrived in the media beds.

There is a reason that newbies are generally advised to go media for at least the first couple of years. It is darn near foolproof and in my case cheapest by far. Granite gravel here is 18.00 per ton pu at the quarry. Beautifully sized and washed. That means 9.00 per 12" media depth in a 14" deep IBC. And as the granite slowly, very slowly, breaks down it supplies valuable minerals to the system. Far better than the expensive river gravel I started with. Clay balls: not in the budget. And siphons are plug and play while timed requires a bit more thought and planning. Newbies have enough to learn.

 

As to "siphon failures" I am 3 yrs and counting and I have yet to have a failure since I found my error in installing the first 3 back when (poor hasteful plumbing and nothing to do with the siphon itself.) Those 3 are 2.5yrs and counting and the other 2 are 3yrs and counting. The only maintenance is rotating the GG about every 2 months or so to cut off roots and perhaps a quick wash of the bell if company is coming. They are adjustable (takes about 10 seconds) for different water levels for seeding or seedlings or flooding for a variety of reasons. This is a siphon thread after all.

 

I am hearing 2 very different scenarios here. Growing for one's own table is very different than commercial growing and harvesting. I spend an average of about 10 min. per day feeding and checking the fish, placing another feeding in the auto feeders, checking temp and water level in the sump and checking the plants. Most days about 5 minutes while pruning and bug control might take about 30 minutes weekly. That is a far cry from the time I would be spending in a commercial operation. To me DWC is far better suited to commercial due to root rot issues, aeration and even ozonation. Now wicking beds are my next interest when I get caught up on life in general, but for now media is a no brainer. I just finished the last 3rd of the GH this Fall so I have a 24 x 8' area to play in and soon I will have to decide what to put in that area (other than the hot tub;-). It might just be wicking beds so I am all ears on that.

Not sure how we got on root crops. I still find they do best in the dirt garden during Summer. They take up too much space for the resultant crop in our small 2500g system. I would rather use that space for the 6 foot tall Basil we grew in the media last Summer as an example not to mention the 4-5" tomatoes that enjoy an extended season in the GH. Both steadily harvestable crops. Pull a beet and you will not get another beet :-) Now beet greens maybe. Yum!

"No one growing system is suited to every type of vegetable.  For uniform production of lettuce, Asian greens and soft herbs, DWC is without equal.  For tomatoes, peppers and vine crops, media grow beds are good.  For root crops, wicking beds are the clear favourite."

And media will do all the above very well, save for some root crops, for the casual Aquapon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This forum has always been inhabited by aquaponicists.... not "aquapons"...

 

Which as far as any one can tell.. are some sort of female hygiene product... :D

Edited by RupertofOZ (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL , rupe.

 

Smoky you might want to give sand a try as well.   I am trialing a sand bed and it is out performing  my beds with scoria, hydroton, and one with charcoal, (big wood type, not powdery briquettes).   Only needs to be watered once every 2-3 hours, but I water it once an hour.

 

Now back to regulary scheduled program with siphons.. Have you not had any trouble with plant roots trying to get into the siphons and stop them up(tomatoes are really bad at that)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This forum has always been inhabited by aquaponicists.... not "aquapons"...

 

Which as far as any one can tell.. are some sort of female hygiene product... :D

:D :D Mermaids perhaps??? I wonder where they get them??

 

LOL , rupe.

 

Smoky you might want to give sand a try as well.   I am trialing a sand bed and it is out performing  my beds with scoria, hydroton, and one with charcoal, (big wood type, not powdery briquettes).   Only needs to be watered once every 2-3 hours, but I water it once an hour.

 

Now back to regulary scheduled program with siphons.. Have you not had any trouble with plant roots trying to get into the siphons and stop them up(tomatoes are really bad at that)?

Sand we could try. But it seems that it would have a harder time aerating perhaps? Keep us up to date on that.

The way I make the GG it will cut off any roots very easily with a back and forth rotation until it will rotate 360deg. That typically takes about 30 sec every month or two. The chop saw cuts are so sharp at the ends of each cut that it is easy. I then just reach in and remove the roots. Our tomatoes were growing out onto the roof of the fish room at nearly 10' this Summer and last but roots were never a problem. When I see the plastic mesh GGs I cringe just thinking how clogged up they will become and what then?? No way to cut off roots!!!. I see a lot of bad designs on eBay but the newbie has no way of knowing so they purchase and leave pos feedback because the item arrived on time but what about down the road? It can take months for the pitfalls of a bad design to show up. Therein lies the rub. I see vids on Youtube that suffer the same problem. Rarely will a poster revive their vid months down the road after the real pitfalls show up. Always makes me reluctant to post new ideas until they have worked out over time. (not to mention I hate producing them!) Back to building the wood gasifier boiler. My wife is cold and wants it finished!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This latest wood gasifier is for the house and I could have built 5 of my GH style water/air gasifiers in the time it has taken for this one BUT it will be worth the effort. I am taking stills so I will have quite a slide show when all is done. I just got the plazma cutters on line for cutting the ss 7" pipe and 1/4" plate and set the mig up for ss so that is on cue for today. This model would make one hell of a GH/AP heating system. Low cost but high labor build. Especially since it is the first of this radical design so much of the engineering is on the fly. I will try to start a thread as soon as I get the pics ready. Better suited to a site like Permies perhaps but certainly AP related.

DaveWick and ande like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now