As the front gutterbed set, this I do the same by planting in pots. It will be much easier doing it this way, but it will be limited to smaller plants. Oh well.. win some lose some...
These pots that I use is for orchid and they work really well in aquaponics, they have slots for root growth and not as wide to allow LECA drop through.
Slotted pots above ideal to be use with LECA
Eighty pots in total 20 pots per 4 meter of gutter, I maintain the CRAFTS setup with water returning to left and right return tank. It works why change.. :)
That's how much LECA save for same or even more area for planting, 3 growbed full. The trade off is I can't do large plants with the potted system. I estimated that the potted gutter system uses 75% less LECA as compared to traditional style growbed.
Siphon empting the gutters, it works like a charm. I monitor for first couple of days to see any problem, it only need minor tweaking to ensure optimum performance.
Not only did I save on LECA, the pump is replaced with a much lower power requirement. Above pump is for the four traditional growbed.
This pump above is smaller for the four gutterbeds. The reason for a smaller pump is due to the smaller size siphon. This same siphon can be use on traditional growbed thus saves power as well. So this power saving is because of smaller siphon needed on the gutterbeds.
All it is left now is to continue planting, build a shade since hot weather is round the corner. I will try going off-grid with setup since the power requirement is very low.
I sow these rice seed on Nov 20th 2015 in the gutterbeds as a trial to see whether aquaponics can support this plants.
Rice needs lots of water, so it's a good candidate to try doing it in Aquaponics
I transplanted it to individual pots and place them in the #gutterbed, after two and a half months only did I realise it started to flower and produce rice grain.
I only keep four pots to try, and all the plant produce rice
Some reported empty husk, this I need to see in few weeks time whether it is empty or not.
Kids will love to see Rice plants, since these are grown far away from the busy cities.
Started by removing all the old growbed from the set.
Gutter tested for leak, only one leak due my mistake for not noticing the slight damage part on the gutter.
Gutter placed at an incline, reducing water and make it easier to do a leak test.
I use the standard Solvent Cement for PVC and it does work really well. Use a fresh bottle and apply generously, it will seal good. As stated one leak but easily fix with a hot glue.
Once the old growbed out, a new racking needed for the gutters. Gutters are 13 ft each (4 mtr) the Dikson bars or angle iron is 10 ft long. I'll put additional length on both ends to support the extra gutter.
Using these angle iron is easy to custom make the needed rack, took me close to four hour to make it.
The rack need to be level to ensure water do not spill out from one end before the siphon operates.
Those white tubes is needed to ensure pots didn't topple and for root to hold on to something. The tubes is the electrical conduit which I often use as plants support.
Siphon use is the 15 mm mini, I need to see how it perform. On some installation siphon need to be tuned, usually the outlet pipes adjusted to make it works better.
Inflow is from one pump rated 2000 liter per hour flow at 30 watt. The power requirement for 15 mm siphon is very much less, about 1/3 of that 25 mm siphon.
Water from the pump is divided by four since there are four gutters, each with its own siphon. Easiest way to divide and distribute water in Aquaponics is by splitting it by two and four. It will divide evenly and most of the time we don't need any tap or valve to adjust.
Siphon outlet is best to be as far away from the inlet, a pair of gutter emptied into one of the left return tank while the other into the right tank. Water feed taken from the feeded tank with a single pump as stated above.
Took the above photo at 21:30 hrs, the set completed at 19:00 hrs. Need more pots.
This #guttergrowbed is mainly for small plants and leafy vegetable. It is not recommended for large plants. I will further my Aquaponics trial using this method and hopefully it can evolve into something cost effective to operate commercially.