Hello urban gardeners!
(German text below videos in some time)
I want to introduce You to my idea of soilless urban gardening. The entire System is based on modular and also replacable parts (like pump, sump tank etc.) and delivers the important parts as STL's.
First of all, why did I build this or why should You follow and build one too?
Well, in our lifes we're all pushed to the limits. Everybody is stressed and this results in more and more people that don't have the time and often not even the space for standard soil based farming or gardening. Hydroponics solves different problems at once. You need less time to care for Your plants, also less space and it does'nt need soil at all. Basically for a basic system, you need a reservoir and an alternative medium like correls or even rockwool. It's called the kratky method, but it is not the best option if You ask me.
I decided to combine the 2 most efficient ways to grow and those are NFT (nutrient film technique) and ebb&flow aka flood&drain.
To reduce the amount of power needed to keep the system alive, i decided to place the NFT rails above the flood&drain bed. So i have only one 15W 1500L/hr pump that pumps the nutrient solution into my NFT. After passing about 5m it flows directly into the flood&drain bed, where it fills up the bed to 80% until the bell siphon kicks in and drains the solution again.
To copy my system, i'll give You a parts list and some build images. Questions always welcome =)
[EN] VLOG Week 2
[EN] VLOG Week 5
[GER] VLOG Woche 5
The water outlet to the flood&drain bed
cut a hole into the end cap of the DN75 pipe. It will be the baseplate of our bell siphon and help to place and fix the outer filter pipe in a removable way.
Now cut a hole in the same diameter into the bottom of Your respana planter kit where You want to have the drain later. I used a 48mm roundsaw as we have a 1 1/2 inch stainless steel gastro valve as main fallpipe.
As You see, the 1/2 inch drain valve fits perfectly into the DN75mm cap.
Put sealant like silicone between the cap and the bottom of Your planter bed and stick everything toghether.
tighten the plastic nut.
Now let us make a filter pipe. I just decided to make relatively big holes and add a finer net at the end. But You can decide Yourself, like ake smaller holes and this way no need for a additional net around the pipe.
Same pipe after drilling and adding my net. Again, You can kick the net and just drill smaller holes, the holes should be at least 20% smaller than your smallest clay correls to prevent them falling into the bell siphon and be the reason for interruption of the flood&drain rhytm later.
This image shows the idea of the filter pipe. As You can see now, the real bell of my siphon is made of the next smaller sized pipe DN50 which has some holes at the bottom to allow the water to enter the bell.
This image shows the DN50 pipe with removed cap. You can see the stainless stell downpipe that leads to the outlet. Note: this pipe is loose, no need to fix it in any way. After several tests I drawed a venturi pipe You will have to put into the stainless pipe additionally. It helps to guarantee the bell siphon to kick in and suck the air out of the bell, because it reduces the inner dieameter of the pipe and causes a higher flow rate.
The filled growbed with installed bell siphon.
Top view. Inbetween I have cut the outer pipe to a lower height and designed a cap for optical reasons ;)
This part can also be found in the parts list as STL. It is just a 90° 1 1/2 inch connector for our now installed outlet of the bell siphon below the respana planter.
bottom view after installation (use sealant!)
To be able to use a bigger water reservoir, i designed some kind of shoes or feet extensions for the respana planter kit. This way we lift the bed a little higher and so we also have a higher outlet of the bed. -> bigger reservoir possible.
I built a U-design with the 110x55mm pipes around my balcony.
View of the other direction. See the Ikea table legs below my planters legs? hehe...
First flowing water impressions =)
Drill holes and add netpots =)
Parts and sources