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Old 05-16-2009, 04:26 AM   #1
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Default Aquaponic Hops

Well, I finally got up off my butt and built an aquaponic growing system this year for veggies. I have wanted to do this forever, and finally had a stable enough place to complete my endless thoughts. I saw on Modern Marvels, Space Farm Enterprises, growing hydroponic hops and thought I would just go ahead and incorporate them into the system this year.

So, here it is from the beginning. I ran out of daylight today and will take pictures tomorrow of the planted grow-tubes. I used 6" PVC schedule 40 tubes. I had to saw off the flange at the ends for them to fit the end caps, so they are now only 9.5' long. They were fluted out to fit easily on one another, which would be great for longer grow-tubes in a bigger system one day. The tank is a 110 gallon stock tank from Tractor Supply Company, just $59.99+tax, not bad!!! Here is a close-up of the cuts made for planting holes (and yes, I de-burred them). My Crocodile Saw made short work of these holes, man I love that thing. There are only 9 planting holes per tube, with one hole for drain clean-out.


Here's the stand almost finished. I had to ad two more bracing 2X4's for extra support for the droopy PVC tubes.


The grow-tubes placed for showing the spacing.


I am so fricken tired from hauling gravel and mowing lawns today that I didn't get any photos today, but they will be here for your weekend enjoyment tomorrow, lol. Hope you guys enjoy so far, and tune in tomorrow.

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Old 05-16-2009, 07:26 AM   #2
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OH no, another WortMonger thread. This is going to be interesting, for sure!

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Old 05-16-2009, 04:44 PM   #3
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Very cool!

The problem I would have is my wife would plant tomatoes in it

Looking forward to see how it works for you.

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Old 05-17-2009, 04:32 AM   #4
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Default Finished Pictures

I finished, yea!!! It took till dark again, due to unforeseen work I needed to do elsewhere. Pictures, pictures, pictures, and then I will just continue to update from here.

Here's the setup without the plants.



Here's the plumbing going into the grow-tubes. This is pumped by a simple aquarium air pump, which still needs some fine tuning.



Here is the grow-tubes planted, FINALLY!!!! All sorts of veggies here; Roma tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, cayenne pepper, jalapenos, zucchini squash, yellow squash, some okra and my single cascade hop plant.



Here's a close-up of a tomato (sorry, just a little fuzzy). These were very easy to get into the gravel with a hand garden spade. The gravel was very damp at just a few inches deep, so I am very hopeful for the veggies and a lot curious about the hop rhizome.


I will get more pictures tomorrow of the setup and hopefully of the cages for the viney veggies (toms, cucs, and squash). I know, I know, only one hop plant??? Well, they are expensive and harder to get at a whim, so I decided one was good enough for this test. I have 3 more in the ground I can get clones from next year to continue more test if necessary. I hope this turns into a great thread, but it will be honest and may not be very much information... I simply don't know yet. I do know it is fun as crap and can't wait for food and hops.

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Old 05-17-2009, 09:44 PM   #5
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Default daylight pics

I seem to have lost some plants (which I figured on) but the ones still there are happy. I will do more when it grows up a little so stay tuned.




This is sooooo much fun!!!

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Old 05-17-2009, 10:38 PM   #6
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What an interesting project. I am curious to see how the hops does. If it survives and thrives I wonder how large the rhizome will get? I am imagining you cutting the tubing apart at the end of the season to get the rhizome out.

I know nothing about hydroponics. Does a plant grow the normal size/amount of roots or are the roots smaller because everything is perfectly presented to them?

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Old 05-17-2009, 10:43 PM   #7
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When do you add the nutrients? Did your plants start out in dirt? How often are you cycling the water through? Is there a timer for the cycling? Just curious.

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Old 05-18-2009, 02:38 AM   #8
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in addition to crystalcabot's questions, what is your growing medium? I'm not a hydroponic expert by any means (a friend's grandpa had a hydro setup for tomatoes and another friend's father in law showed me his ebb and flow setup for various plants (none of the illegal variety)) but it looks like just some plain rocks to me, will the plants be able to entangle their roots in that?

i'm guessing you did your homework, the setup looks nice I've been toying with the idea of a hydroponic setup in the backyard (I've been gardening in the soil much longer than I've been drinking, let alone making beer )

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Old 05-18-2009, 02:45 AM   #9
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most setups are designed to use an animal in the system to provide nutrients for the plants. usually fish(koi or tilapia) in the stock tank and redworms in the gravel runs to convert the fish effluent to usable forms for the plants.

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Old 05-18-2009, 02:45 AM   #10
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Waiting for someone to make a marijuana joke here.... any one? any one?

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