Silos Growbed Flood & Drain Aquaponics

What is Silos Growbed.

This is the term that I'm going to use to describe the potted media base flood & drain aquaponics. It is a mouthful to say and giving it a short name will be easier for me. Furthermore it's good to be able to identify a planting method by a reference term.

What I am trying to do now, it making the aquaponics less costly and more efficient, that's the reason for the gutter growbed flood & drain system that I am currently experimenting. Taking a step further, why not make a new style by using cylindrical tubes or containers that is filled with media and stick it into a flood and drain system.

The container can stand in either media or on its own in a flood & drain water. Each containers for ease of reference I called it a Silo from that tall cylindrical silos or those missile silos. Each functioning silos is a mini growbed on it own and thus will be treated like any growbed.

There are 3 type of silos.
  1. Growth Silos, this is a silos that have plants growing in it.
  2. Dormant Silos, is a silos filled with media in the flood and drain system without any plants. This is to provide a ready planting area and also to increase media surface area.
  3. Blank Silos, this is an empty silos that being use to take up space within a growbed in order to provide support for other silos or to gain access to certain area in the growbed.
Figure below is a simplified diagram of the Silos Growbed System

For trial I am using 4 inches uPVC pipes with its venting cowl as a silo unit. Each of this unit will take up space within a growbed or a gutter system, if gap are required they could be filled with a Dormant or Blank Silos.

Silos are filled with hydroton initially up to the strainer top.

Plants, I am testing and use the existing cili plant as a trial and Basil from cuttings. Once the plants or cutting has been place inside the silos, top up hydroton to full.

Testing Basil from cuttings apart from cili transplant.

Cili below, these are old plants that I redo to these silos.

I do not have a dedicated growbed for the Silos, temporarily I place it in the present set.

This is a trial, there will be areas that I need to look at, for example the tube size and using media filled silos with only water on the outside. This style are suitable for plants like Tomatoes, where they don't have rhizomes and tubers constrain by the silo tubes.

Updates 26 July 2015

Silo Clips

  • A clip that I made to hold the silos together, so that it can be individually work on without much disturbance to the other free standing silos within a growbed.

The whole idea of this experiment is to make aquaponics cheaper and easier to do. I'll update the progress, 

4 comments:

  1. Am down in KL and have just set up a 4x bed system based on your videos and blog. The silo system is a great idea. Definately going to give that a try, looks much easier to plant up as well

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    1. Still testing, since the tubes are small. Eventually I'll try without LECA on the outside.

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  2. Hello there sir Affnan, been following your post and tried the siphons you created, so far so good and reliable. I'm also intrigue about your silo planter, nice idea. May I suggest that you can also use large net pots for these as they encourage more root growth and it's also much recommended to be use on your rosemary plant, instead of plastic pots with bottom holes only as net pots allows air circulation on the root zone much better than pots with holes at the bottom. Cheers and more power.

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    1. Hi Rowena

      Thanks for the suggestion, I did use similar to net pots on the gutter system and the potted system, It works great, only on the #SilosGrowbed I am trying to reduce the pot size. It is still on the testing stage.

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