Articles, Blog

aquaponics and cannabis cultivation

December 6, 2019

I am here with Roland Birner in his shop in Salzburg. Roland is very innovative in cannabis and knows a lot about new canna technologies, so last time we have talked about aquaponics. Can you tell us more in three words? Aquaponics is easy, there is no grow medium, we only use hydro correls to prop the plants, these are known also in hydro cultivation… … it is only to support the plants, not to buffer nutrients and it offers a lot of opportunities. The biggest advantage is that… you don´t need soil any more, soil that you have to throw away, there are less bugs and pests. There is one point, you have to be carefull about… … that´s nutritonial values. You have to be carefull with ec-value, ph-value, water temperature shouldn´t be too warm, these are the three aspects, that you should be focussed on. But in generell, you´ll see it life in our shop, … … the plants explode! We have also tested aquaponics on our motherplants. We use huge 40l to 60l pots, after one month they were full of roots. You get a block of roots, appx., 40x40x60cm in dimension and have a faster growing, too. You mentioned the pros of aquaponics, but tell me, why should a home grower use it and what are the advantages and do you need any special skills? You don´t need special skills, just get started, we help people with information and our experience in growing. The worst thing for home growers is to drag soil. With aquaponics you don´t need soil any more, just some hydro correls, after growing wash it with water in your bath and that´s it. For aquaponics we use different types of fertilizers, they are for aquaponics only, Soil is like a bumper, so if you make a mistake soil can balance that better than aquaponics. When starting with aquaponics, be carefull at the beginning, so you don´t make mistakes, but advantages prevail. Do you think aquaponics could be the next trend in cannabis? So folks will prefer this system? That´s hard to say – some customers prefer soil, want to grow with cocos as they allways did. The trend is similar to LED lightning, three years ago, it was only a few, that asked for it. Most customers prefered gas lamps but last year this trend exploted. Today 50% of our clients buy LED lights. The same will happen with aquaponics, and good information is hardly to find on the Internet. When you have made first steps with aquaponics, you can easily go on holidays up to 14 days and leave the plants alone. That is not possible when using soil. Well, let´s put theory into practice and have a look, how it works? This is a typical home grow for a 80cm tent, here I can put four plants or with another cover also up to nine plants, too. Some systems allow 4+4 combinations, for different tent types. On 7th of June we planted this clone, it´s one month old and grows under a 250Watt gas lamp. Here I need more oxygen, so this plant is a little bit smaller… and now have a look to this huge roots… and the plants are in good shape, too. This is a deep water culture system, advantage is to use any kind of aquaponic fertilizers, why… … because there is no fertilizer cable, there is an oxygen bubbler only. Why does the plant absorb nutrients better than in soil? It´s due to flushing the roots with water permanently and with the water the nutrients can be absorbed…. … but it´s also because of the provided oxygen. Let´s have a look to the industrial production system… … it´s called rush and it´s the biggest system on market. This is rush, the biggest system, as with all systems you can expand the modules… …the pots are the biggest on the market, where we also produce motherplants in it. This is called rush RDWC and is a deep water system. For bigger plants we need bigger pots, so the roots have space to spread. The marijuana plant by itselfs only need a small pot, filled with hydro correls. Why? To give the plant more stabillity. RDWC means re-circulation, that means we have a separate tank for fertilizers and a controll tank. In the controll tank we have a pump to circulate the water and the fertilizers. As the system grows we also need a chiller, to regulate water temperature, too. 21°C is perfect. At the beginning of the grow, we turn ower the disk, to make sure the cannabis plant gets enough water. When the roots grow you change the disk once, keep on growing and that´s it. Also after cutting the plants, they regenerate faster, as oppose to planted in soil.

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