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Have a great invention to help with gardening? Are you the self-reliant type that prefers Building It Yourself vs. buying it? Share and discuss your ideas and projects with other members.

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Old March 11, 2011   #46
rwsacto
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Default float valve

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Originally Posted by acorn View Post
Raybo, out here in the desert there is a type of cooler that is used extensively due to the low humidity called a swamp or evaporative cooler. It uses a simple float valve for filling the water reservoir that could be easily adapted as another option for automatic filling of the reservoir on your ET to the appropriate height without having to worry about filling every few days. If I ever get around to building some of these I will likely use one of those to keep them topped off. Any thoughts?

btw, here are a few example images


Thanks,
- Aaron
I and others before me have investigated the evap cooler float valve. The biggest issue is the small height of the reservoir compared to the clearance needed to operate the valve. Others have also tried and use the more expensive mini float valve.

I tried an EC float valve in a shallow wide container and connected it to several SWC's with siphon tubing. It worked as long as the siphon did not go dry.

I now use a drip distributor with line to each SWC. The flow of each line can be manually adjusted. Extra water just dribbles out the overflow.

I'll have to sell some tomatoes or something so I can buy the AWS system.

Good Luck,
Rick
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Old March 11, 2011   #47
rnewste
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Rick,

Agreed. The height available for the float valve is minimal. Regarding the cost of the EarthBox AWS cost, at $6.25 per plant, this is one of the best bargains available out there!

Raybo
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Old March 19, 2011   #48
Tim76
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Do you stuff the landscape fabric down in the pond basket? If so, couldn't anything be used in its place as long as same height?

It seems that the landscape fabric would prevent mix loss.
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Old March 19, 2011   #49
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Tim,

The Grow Media goes in to the wicking basket BEFORE the Landscape Fabric is installed:



Next, 2 layers of the Landscape Fabric are installed:



Then the Grow Media is placed on top, up to the rim of the container.

Do you have the latest Rev 3.1 Construction Guide?

You can get it here: http://earthtainer.tomatofest.com/pd...tion-Guide.pdf

Raybo
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Old March 19, 2011   #50
Tim76
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Just got the materials yesterday,except for the pond basket. Guess i had better not skimp on it . Yes, i'm using the III guide but will probably go with an X pattern staking instead of pea fence. In my area the totes are $15+ a piece and i'm trying to be as economical as possible.

Thanks for making the design so available and all the pics!
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Old March 19, 2011   #51
rnewste
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Tim,

I was at Lowes yesterday. They have reduced the price of the 31 gallon RuggedTotes to $13.29. See this link:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_314141-61896...Drugged%2Btote

You can order them online then pick them up at your local store.

Raybo
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Old March 19, 2011   #52
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Ray,
I don't know if it's just an East Coast thing but when I checked the specs on those containers they were described as navy blue. They're going to get a little hot in July.
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Old March 19, 2011   #53
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Ray,
I don't know if it's just an East Coast thing but when I checked the specs on those containers they were described as navy blue. They're going to get a little hot in July.
It may be different around the Country, but at the Lowes of San Jose yesterday, they had both the Tan and Blue 31 gallon RuggedTotes available at the same $13.29 price. I did just search the Lowes Lexington, KY store however, and the pricing there was $15.38 for the SAME container. First time ever I can recall where a U.S. manufactured product was cheaper in California!!!

Raybo
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Old March 19, 2011   #54
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In New York they're $14.58.
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Old March 19, 2011   #55
Tim76
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Lexington isn't local but that is the same price that the three store's i visited has. I wonder if they will price match Ca. and Ny?



Just got back from a search for a pond basket with no luck, i wonder if a person could use a 10"x10"x7" with a 3.5" hole?
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Old March 19, 2011   #56
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Quote:
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Just got back from a search for a pond basket with no luck, i wonder if a person could use a 10"x10"x7" with a 3.5" hole?
Nope. It is too big and will waste growing space by its 7" height vs the 4" high Net Pot.

Do you have a Hydroponic Shop in your immediate area? If so, ask them for a "5 inch Net Pot". ALL Hydroponics stores carry them. About $1.25 each.

If not, you can take a Deli Counter soup container or Potato Salad container, cut it down to about a 4" height, and drill a bunch of holes in it to let in the water from the reservoir.



Strongly suggest you get yourself to a Hydro Shop.

Raybo
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Old March 19, 2011   #57
Tim76
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There's a worm's way about 1hr away in Hendersonville,Tn.. I bought some vermiculite there ONCE, swore i'd never be back , don't think i fit in too well there.

What sucks is i'll have to spend about $40 in gas to purchase an $1.25 item so i'll have to wait until i'm planning a trip to Nashville. Have you used other things with as much luck as you'r pictures show? I always follow the original recipe and then tweak it according to my needs.


Can you give me the measurements of said net pot?
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Old March 19, 2011   #58
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Tim,

By all means, don't spend $40.00 and your time chasing down the wicking basket. Find a Soup Counter in the Supermarket (or elsewhere) as what they use for these containers is even thicker than the Deli potato salad type clear containers shown above. You want something in the 4 inch to 5 inch height, with an upper diameter between 4 and 5 inches.

So, if you find a 4-1/2 inch high soup container, you will need to make the aeration support bench support assembly about 4-3/4 inches high. You get the drift...

Raybo
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Old March 20, 2011   #59
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Tim,
It's not worth wasting the gas to drive all over to get the baskets. Have you tried Amazon? That's where I get mine. Sure,it's costs for shipping but my truck only gets about 14 mpg. It's cheaper to pay the shipping.
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Old March 20, 2011   #60
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If you are going to build more than a few units, here is a link on Amazon where they cost about $0.90 ea, plus approx $.60 ea for shipping (12 basket purchase).

http://www.amazon.com/Round-Pots-inc...0599066&sr=8-4

Single unit quantity turns out to be $1.00, but the SAME $7.00 shipping, which is NOT a very good deal. So, it would appear the "crossover" qty is 4 baskets.

http://www.amazon.com/Round-Pots-inc...0599066&sr=8-1

Raybo
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