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Bato buckets clogging up

Posted by Ricksindoorgarden 5 (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 18, 14 at 23:19

I have been using bato buckets with a 3 part perlite and 1 part vermiculite blend. The buckets siphoned quite a bit of the growing media into the sump to the point where it made a mess of things. I tried screening over the siphon drain but the screen clogged up and caused the buckets to stop draining and overflow.

I use a row of bato buckets full of the expanded clay balls with no issues but the row I use the perlite and vermiculite in is for root crops so I wanted something more "root friendly" so to speak. I was thinking one fix may be to use the clay balls deep enough to cover the siphon tube and fill up the top with the perlite and vermiculite. Has anyone else had this issue and if so what is a good way to solve this issue.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Bato buckets clogging up

should give a few of the videos by MHPGardener on youtube a watch. he has developed a very nice bato bucket setup in his greenhouse using just perlite. in one video he shows how the perlite was kept out of the system using 5 gallon paint strainer bags with extremely good success. apparently has had no clogging problems for a season or so with that.
Im trying something similar but using red lava cinders and a prayer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dutch Bucket Hydroponics - How It Works & How to Make Your Own

RE: Bato buckets clogging up

I have been messing around with hydroponics for over 40 years using nearly all the materials known to mankind.
Just kidding , I have found that perlite or vermiculite will break down over time with it compacting making it difficult for plant roots to penetrate.
As I mentioned earlier I have been experimenting with all kinds of mixtures , and only this week had one tub with a hydroton mixture with vermiculite and perlite , and it took me hours to wash out this tub and , and block off any of the perlite and vermiculite entering my 200 litre nutrient reservoir, to overcome all the gunk getting into my nutrient reservoir I added a a diverter to waste, never again, just plain hydroton and lava rock will do me.
PS I also have a filter from my pump to eliminate blockages in the hoses to the planting tubs, which seems to work very well and occasionally I look at the filter, give it a flush and back in business again,I think it is a wise move to avoid block ups or impurities fouling up the feeder lines if you are using a drip system , ebb and flow or an NFT system to eliminate all that gunk sitting on the bottom of your nutrient tank.

RE: Bato buckets clogging up

I seem to have solved the issue of particulates from perlite and vermiculite clogging my drio tubes. I have installed in-line strainers which do pick up the particles before they can cause problems. The strainer I chose allows easy flushing and I use the flush opening to pump out my nutrient when changing the solution so every 2 weeks the nutrient gets changed and the screen gets flushed.

I also filled the bottom of the buckets with clay balls so the perlite vermiculite does not float up to the siphoning level then I add the perlite vermiculite mix on top.

Together these two steps seem to have made enough of a difference to solve the problem.


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