Aquaponic Gardening

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A 10-foot grow wall of V-Tower planters. The advantages here over another well known tower planter is that these are more friendly to use under grow lights due to their shorter length, yet provide more space than their 3-foot towers. Also, there is no need to pull the media in order to plant a V-Tower, simply spread out the slot and media with your fingers and drop your starter plants in. The miniature DWC tube makes up for the difference in length between the V-Tower and their 5-foot tower. This grow wall also utilizes a gravity fed overhead reservoir that delivers a constant 7 gallons per hour flow to each tower...Some people call it knocking off their design, I call it an improvement upon their design.

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Comment by Jake Yu on November 15, 2014 at 3:01pm

So you're pumping the water up to the overhead reservoir from the aquarium? I want to make a system similar to yours, I've attached a picture to show you what I'm thinking. Do you see any major flaws in the design, or do you think it will work? (I only drew one tower, but I'll have more.

Comment by Max Gfx on November 13, 2014 at 5:28pm

They just connect with a push-together compression fitting used for connecting 1/4" tubing to an ice maker in a refrigerator. The overhead reservoir is vented and has an overflow pipe to the bottom tube with the cups. Gravity maintains the flow rate. It wasn't planned at 7 gallons per hour, that's just the way it worked out. As I say about all of this, it just works by accident.

Comment by Jake Yu on November 13, 2014 at 3:42pm

How do those black tubes coming out of the towers connect to the overhead reservoir? And how do you ensure the constant 7 gallons per hour flow?

Comment by Jim Fisk on September 21, 2014 at 7:13am

Once again I think you should sell detailed plans for this as well. People, including me, would always like the DETAILS in step form at a reasonable price. The Devil's in the details after all. That was my main frustration when I was starting out in AP. Generalizations were everywhere but details were hard to come by. I have sold my plans for various items all over the world for years now. You won't get rich but it adds up. Now these towers might be worth making and selling for you as well. Competition is a good thing. I have had 2 people now buy my bell siphons and then copy them and put them up on Ebay. I have sold over 500 and they have each sold 1. Just get the head start. First out the gate generally wins regardless of patent worries and remember that a patent only gives you the privilege of protection but whoever has the deepest pockets wins. Weedeater lost that battle after going broke defending their patent. That same money put into production and R&D would have made them millions.

Comment by Max Gfx on September 20, 2014 at 12:46pm

Yep, as a matter of fact I just got done pulling down 4 towers and planting them *all without the need for a special media pulling tool* in less than 45 minutes. Labor costs? Well, let's look at it like this...I could have bought 10 of his for $590 plus shipping costs, but I built 10 in one weekend for $185 instead. Never had to clean out roots yet, as a matter of fact, I never plan to. Why clean out roots that create more biological surface area?

Comment by Averan on September 20, 2014 at 10:34am
Labor costs add up exponentially in commercial large scale operations. Nate's zip concept drastically reduces the time planting, harvesting, cleaning and reinstalling. Are your towers easy to disconnect, carry over to a harvesting table, clean out roots, replant, carry back and hang up?
Comment by Max Gfx on September 20, 2014 at 10:20am

Actually, I could just as easily set up my towers in sets of rows and columns just as easily in a greenhouse. I just don't have a greenhouse at this time, so that's why mine are set up against the wall. Mine will last just as long as the commercial alternative as well. I would honestly like to hear a logical explanation as to why my towers can't do anything that the others can. So far, I'm still waiting for that explanation.

Comment by Jim Fisk on September 20, 2014 at 8:36am

Well said Averan and I meant no offense toward Nate. There is a huge market for the hobbyist as well (as Steve J would say "The rest of us") and I am not sure who was throwing stones at Larry but I wanted to lend him my support.

Comment by Averan on September 20, 2014 at 8:30am
Apples and oranges. Nate's towers are designed for commercial use. In other words, designed to last and to minimize the time it takes to plant and harvest. And designed to be able to set up easily in a variety of locations.
Your towers are great too, but better suited for the low budget hobbyist or home garden and against a wall. Every design has it's strengths and weaknesses.
Comment by Jim Fisk on September 20, 2014 at 8:27am

Some research and some do.

BTW I added drip waste oil to 2 of my woodstoves last Fall and went thru about 60gal of oil. A slight odor in the air at times but it sure helped us get thru a doozy of a Winter with temps at Minus 20F. I was going to use a squeeze tube pump on a T-stat but opted for a needle valve in an effort to follow my own rule KISS and it worked great. Running 4 woodstoves does get a bit old I must say but the alternative is more than I care to afford and think of all the great exercise we would miss. Speaking of which we have a 100' oak to cut up today so I better get rolling. Looking forward to the pics.

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