How Many Gallons Of Water Per Hour Per Zipgrow Towers Keep Your Plants Happy?

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How-to & DIY

Published on March 7, 2014

Author: aquaponicsexpert

Source: slideshare.net

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For aquaponics systems, a higher flow rate is necessary to keep a substantial amount of volume through your towers in order to promote good nitrification and well as good bio-filtration and mechanical filtration.

How Many Gallons Of Water Per Hour Per Zipgrow Towers Keep Your Plants Happy? Today we’re talking about flow rates for your ZipGrow vertical farming towers. Just to be clear, when I say “flow rate” all I’m referring to is the specific rate or velocity at which the volume of your aquaponic or hydroponic system solution (i.e. water + fish waste or water + nutrients) drains through your ZipGrow tower Matrix Media. In other words: how fast you pump water through your towers. Vertical Farming Media = Mostly Air One of the first things to mention is the exceptionally high void space of the ZipGrow Matrix Media. In fact, our specially-designed Matrix Media is 93% void space, or 93% air. This is important in both aquaponic and hydroponic systems because it dictates how fast your solution trickles down through the tower (this is also called the percolation rate). Because of this high void space (i.e. a fast percolation rate), it means we as Upstart Farmers need to be irrigating fairly constantly. Proper ZipGrow Tower Flow Rates Flow rates different from aquaponics systems to hydroponics systems because of the nutrient concentration of the solution.

Flow Rates for Aquaponics Systems For aquaponics systems, a higher flow rate is necessary to keep a substantial amount of volume through your towers in order to promote good nitrification and well as good biofiltration and mechanical filtration. ZipGrow towers of basil growing in our hydroponic farm in Colorado. We recommend 7-10 gallons per hour per ZipGrow towers.

This flow range will keep your plants happy and keep your system’s mechanics working smoothly. Flow Rates for Hydroponics Systems With hydroponic systems, you don’t need to worry about nitrification or worry about solids filtration (i.e. getting rid of the fish solids in your system). That said, for hydroponics, you can get away with a much lower flow rate because commercial hydroponic nutrient solutions typically have a much higher concentration of nutrients compared to aquaponics. We recommend somewhere between 1-3 gallons per hour per tower. Exceeding These Flow Rates Now, like many of our recommendations, they are just that… recommendations! Knowing that all systems are different, feel free to experiment with YOUR system and find the best flow rate for you. If you do start to get excessive dripping from the front of your ZipGrow towers or you notice you’re losing a lot of solids in your AP system, you are probably pushing the upper limits of that flow rate range which could adversely affect your system’s health. Delivering Lower Flow Rates You can definitely deliver a lower flow rate to your towers than we recommend as well as long as you’re delivering enough solids to be captured by the towers, your plants aren’t wilting in mid day and that your plants are generally healthy. Bonuses of Matrix Media:  One big bonus of the high void space of this media is that is makes the ZipGrow tower itself lightweight and easily transported from your greenhouse to a local supermarket, restaurant or local farmer’s market.  Another bonus of having your plants rooted in a media with high void space is the fact that it helps maintain a highly aerobic environment for your roots. This will ward off any potential anaerobic zones, a common danger in raft systems or gravel media-based systems. With Matrix Media, you’re less likely to have anaerobic conditions than any other technique on the market. Nothing gives you the type of aerobic environment that our media does.

  Finally, because our ZipGrow towers utilize a media-based approach, growers can regulate root zone temperatures that can be detrimental to your plants. For more information, visit Verticalfoodblog.Com

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