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Old 05-18-2009, 03:15 AM   #11
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I am curious what will happen after harvest. I mean what do you do with the rhizomes? And then there is the whole thing about the roots of hops being hardy and potentially large (after a few seasons). If you cut them off after every season will they ever produce a lot of hops without the large root system you often get with mature hop plants?


And the marijuana jokes...I'm sure there are plenty of people who have thought about them but just haven't posted yet.

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Old 05-18-2009, 05:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by eriktlupus View Post
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 red worms in the gravel runs to convert the fish effluent to usable forms for the plants.
Right on the money! I have 12-14 Shubunkin goldfish in the tank and am waiting on red wigglers for the tubes.

Also to the other questions, water is cycled through very slowly (.5 gpm). No maintaining nutrients, just maintaining healthy fish water. It is a closed system (I must really like closed systems and ()'s LOL). Basics are, fish make ammonia. Ammonia is turned into nitrites and then nitrates by naturally occurring bacteria that lives in the 1/2" granite gravel growing medium. Nitrates are then filtered out by the plants as fertilizer, which cleans the water for the fish. Worms live in the grow-tubes and eat the solid waste from the fish tank, and their poop (castings) are some of the best fertilizer on the planet. These provide the other nutrients needed for flowering and fruiting. The Egyptians used aquaponics so it isn't new. I'm mobile so I'll write more later.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:05 AM   #13
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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?
It grows normally, the roots are finer and feathery. I will remove the rhizome and half it for two next year (or another experiment for cloning bines I haven't decided yet).
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:48 AM   #14
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This is really interesting. I was thinking this is a hydroponic set up but you say its a aquaponics. I have never heard of this system before but it is very kewl. I would imagine if you feed the fish organic foods you would be producing orgainic aquaponics.
Does this sytem have the same growth speed as hydroponics?

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Old 05-18-2009, 02:53 PM   #15
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This is hydroponics, the only difference is the fish and worms instead of the bottles of chemicals. As far as organic, yes everything I produce will be organic. In an aquaponic system, you can't use anything bad or it will kill your fish and worms. I wanted to raise tilapia to eat, but the goldfish will do much better for my system in Oklahoma. Since most people eat the fish they raise in one of these systems, you also wouldn't want anything bad in the system. So, you can see that it is hydroponics and organics all in one simple ecosystem. The golden ratio for aquaponics is 1 pound of fish per 2 gallons of water per 4 gallons of grow bed. I have twice as much water as I need as a buffer, but I could just go buy some more fish and 4 more grow-tubes and be just as productive. There is a ton of info on the internet, but I have found backyardaquaponics.com to be very informative. You guys should check out their members systems pages. Some of these guys set up acres of greenhouses with aquaponic systems. As with brewing, it is the Aussie's that are doing all the whacky stuff in that forum as well, lol.

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Old 05-18-2009, 04:01 PM   #16
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that's really interesting, I've never heard of such a setup, it seems a lot simpler and cheaper than any of the other hydro setups I've seen

thanks for the link, I'll look into this for next year

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Old 05-18-2009, 04:23 PM   #17
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Very interesting indeed.

I am curious how this could be incorporated for a mature hop yard as I expect this system would (edit) not be very conducive to the large root/rhisome system.

I also wonder how well the would handle the rigors of such tall plants constantly pulling against the tubes trying to uproot itself.

Lots of questions on a great idea. I'd expect if hop plants can tolerate the system they would be very happy indeed.

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Old 05-18-2009, 04:24 PM   #18
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this is sweet. Im also excited to see how the hops fare but i love the idea of using fish

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Old 05-18-2009, 04:36 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
Very interesting indeed.

I am curious how this could be incorporated for a mature hop yard as I expect this system would be very conducive to the large root/rhisome system.

I also wonder how well the would handle the rigors of such tall plants constantly pulling against the tubes trying to uproot itself.

Lots of questions on a great idea. I'd expect if hop plants can tolerate the system they would be very happy indeed.
Honestly, if I were just raising hops I would do a true NFT (or nutrient flow technique) and have little buckets with holes and temporary growing medium along the PVC grow-tubes. The tubes would have the same flow, just not all the gravel. You would have to have the gravel somewhere else to keep filtration going, but the roots would be easier to get at for splitting into more rhizomes (for commecial sale). These hops will only be here a year. They might be back next year after halfing, but the roots get way to large to let them stay. As for the tallness of the plants pulling to get out of the tubes, I'm going to use tomato cages and a pole and string. Just like the BYO potted hops write-up, only with the tomato cage addition to swirl the plant around for limiting its overall height. If that doesn't work, I will just run a pole outside the garden and attach string to the tubes between them. I have a ton of yard to work with for the hops length.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:39 PM   #20
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Wow, amazing project. Looks awesome. I am curious as hell to see the status on the hops. I've often thought of trying hops in one of our aerogrow gardens.

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