Manual Ebb and Flow

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I was taking pictures all the while. Taking the photographs from exactly the same position was sometimes unexpectedly difficult. Instead he used his eye. To get a really precise match, Levene also plugged his camera into his computer at his tide-watching spot to overlay the original picture with the new image revealed by the camera.

Levene learned that the Creekside Discovery Centre runs weekly walks on the mysterious mud of Deptford Creek in London, which gave him an interesting picture.


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Keen observers may spot the barge is a different colour at high tide: The Guardian picture essay. Viking Bay tidal pool, Broadstairs, Kent. David Levene Mon 24 Sep Arnside in Cumbria Arnside in Cumbria. Christopher Thomond Thomond relied on his naked eye to line up each high- and low-tide image.


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  • Christopher Thomond Thomond says people probably imagine taking pictures of tides at beautiful coastline spots to be a rather lovely holiday job, but the reality was he had to squeeze in the work between more mundane tasks. David Levene Levene tried to begin with a compelling low-tide picture. David Levene Blackpool beach Blackpool beach. David Levene Levene was often too busy trying different photographic positions or checking tidal apps to experience the meditative beauty of the ebb and flow of the tide. Crosby beach in Merseyside Crosby beach in Merseyside. The rooting medium will require washing to remove root debris and accumulated precipitates as well as sterilization before reuse.

    The fundamental principle of hydroponics relies on fertilized and aerated water which provides both nutrition and oxygen to a plant's root zone. It often involves relatively sophisticated mechanization processes which can be daunting to casual hobbyists. Nutrient solutions must usually be below the temperature at which pathogen growth can begin, yet not so cool that root activity is suppressed. Active aeration of the fertilizer solution is common, since root systems themselves remove oxygen, creating conditions which also can promote pathogenic bacteria and water-borne molds.

    Instead it relies on characteristics of root function to provide passive oxygenation at a high level which tends to suppress pathogen growth. Simplicity is maintained through usage of a single, two-directional path for the solution.

    Water flows in and out using the same tube. When the pump has raised water into the tray, briefly submerging the roots, the pump is rendered inactive using a switch, typically a timer, and the water flows back down the same tube. This eliminates the need for more than one sealed fitting and reduces overall complexity of the system. Ebb and flow systems come on according to the water-holding capacity of the medium in which the roots sit. Highly water-retentive media can require watering only once a day, while others require two to as many as six floodings, with each "flood" stage only lasting a few minutes.

    EBB & FLOW

    The time it takes to flood the roots is not a critical parameter, which means that pumps are often moderate in capacity and can be small for systems sustaining indoor plants. This makes the method popular with amateur and urban gardeners. Gravity acts as drain pump, and aeration is accomplished through thin-filming and positive displacement of air as it is forced out of the root zone by water. Aeration of an ebb and flood system is an important aspect of its operation.

    Ebb and flow

    Automatic displacement eliminates air which has been de-oxygenated by the roots as the water rises to its highest flood stage. When the pump turns off, gravity pulls the water downwards, which re-exposes the space around the roots to the air. The film of water left around the roots during ebb has a high surface-to-mass ratio, which means that even as the roots absorb oxygen, its high surface area facilitates re-oxygenation, which can sustain the roots as long as their surfaces remain damp.

    The high oxygen content of water filmed in this way suppresses most harmful lifeforms, keeping the root zones disease free. In other types of hydroponics this function must be performed by cooling the solution to protect it from pythium , a form of water mold responsible for a condition called 'root rot', in which the outer cells of the roots die, turn brown and slough off when handled. Need for supplementary oxygenation using air pumps is also eliminated, which increases reliability and reduces complexity.

    Ebb and flow: Britain's tidal coastline – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

    Ebb and flow hydroponic systems are also quiet, while using less power than other hydroponic systems, which means that they can be used in environments where acoustic signature and excessive plumbing is objectionable, such as residential or classroom applications where space is at a premium. Ebb and flow systems are flexible, with few practical drawbacks.

    Though typically known for compact cultivation of plants having smaller stature, it has been used for growing large plants, using buckets ranging in size from 1 gallon to 5 gallons, making use of high-volume pumps such as those in large aquariums , decorative fountains and koi ponds.

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    There are facets to these systems that present some labor investment in large-scale applications. These are primarily management of media between uses, such as washing and sterilization. This can be done by dumping into the tray and filling with a sterilizing solution such as hydrogen peroxide or chlorine solution, temporarily plugging the drain, with hand removal of root fragments.

    Larger containers require transferring the media to a suitable surface after sterilization to permit removal of leftover plant material. A second drawback is that the roots tend to grow together, meaning removal of harvested or damaged plants can be somewhat problematic in plants having well-developed root systems.


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    Commercial crops harvested at one time are somewhat immune to concerns related to that aspect of the system, but in the event of pathogenic invasion the problem can quickly spread, as all the roots share the same flood source. Also, most ebb and flow systems use a recycling reservoir to flood the table. Over a period of time the pH of the nutrient solution may fluctuate to a range which is unhealthy for the plant. If the pH is not corrected, various problems may occur, including but not limited to poor nutrient absorption and leaf cannibalization. As the name implies, leaf cannibalization occurs as the plant takes nutrients from one part of the plant and uses those nutrients in a different part of the plant.

    Leaf cannibalization appears as yellow or brown spots on leaves. During Flower pH rises quite a bit each day. It is best to adjust first thing and last thing each day. Also, during Flower nutrients and water absorption increases, while root exudate gets carried back to the reservoir.