The #gutterbeds completed few days back, after letting it cycle for couple of days, it is time to start planting. As any new set it is best to try simple plants first.
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.