The purpose of the Hydroponics Apparatus is to create structure that has a large amount of thermal mass, is sourced from local materials, and allows the root zone of all plants being cultivated to be exposed to the nutrients it needs to maximize growth, while minimizing risk factors posed by disease, pest infestation, and prolonged removal from the fluid interface. Additionally, it should be as handicap-accessible as possible.
This greenhouse module will be tied in to the Spirulina/Crayfish/Aquaponics pools recursively; the waste cycles of the Spirulina/Crayfish/Aquaponics pools will not flow directly into the hydroponics apparatus, but the fertigation fluid in the hydroponics apparatus will flow into a biofilter assembly and then, via a 12 inch drop to reoxygenate the fluid, into the spirulina/crayfish and Trout/Perch. The vast majority of the hydroponics apparatus will be an "aquaduct" style floating raft system for cultivation of leafy vegetables, 3 compressed earth bricks wide, 2 deep approximately 32 inches above the floor. Another significant part of the aquaponics assembly will dutch bucket systems for cultivation of taller fruiting plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, and the like.
LED lighting (Red and Blue spectrums) Compost Tea Fertigation mixture Seedlings Vermiculite Rockwool Diatomacious Earth Ladybugs Praying Mantis Bumblebees Cat (Rodent control) Vinegar Garlic
A complete hydroponic nutrient solution contains the following elements:
- Nitrogen (N)
- Potassium (K)
- Phosphorus (P)
- Calcium (Ca)
- Magnesium (Mg)
- Sulphur (S)
- Iron (Fe)
- Manganese (Mn)
- Copper (Cu)
- Zinc (Zn)
- Molybdate (Mo)
- Boron (B)
- Chlorine (Cl)
Some beneficial but non-essential elements include:
- Nickel (Ni)
- Cobalt (Co)
- Silica (Si)
- Selenium (Se)
Managing nutrient concentrations and pH values within acceptable ranges is essential for successful hydroponic horticulture. Common tools used to manage hydroponic solutions include:
- Electrical conductivity meters, a tool which estimates nutrient ppm by measuring how well a solution transmits an electric current.
- pH meter, a tool that uses an electric current to determine the concentration of hydrogen ions in solution.
- Litmus paper, disposable pH indicator strips that determine hydrogen ion concentrations by color changing chemical reaction.
- Graduated cylinders or measuring spoons to measure out premixed, commercial hydroponic solutions.
Year-round vegetables, including Tomatoes, Kale, Celery, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, Peppers, Ashitaba, Spinach, Basil, etc.