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Capillary Hydroponics - Maintenance Instructions

Capillary Hydroponics - Maintenance Instructions

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Water levels

Basin and water levels

The system shall be fed with clean water without impurities or excessive levels of minerals or salts. Check that water meters move when the system fills up, and always check the water supply by manually starting the float valve for filling.

Set the correct maximum water levels in the plant bed by adjusting the outlet of the air-lift pumps by manually pulling them up or down. It is the outlet of these pipes that always determines how high the water levels end up in each plant bed. 

Set the desired level for evacuating excess water by manually pulling the two pipes up or down from the two smaller chambers. These pipes should be set as high as possible without the grass surface becoming soft and too wet in heavy rains.

Adjust the desired start and stop of water filling by adjusting the yellow float (start) and the lower weight (stop). Remember that the lower the weight, the greater the water saving and utilization of rainwater. 

Air and air-lift pumps


The system is operated with an air pump (Alita) that sits in the control cabinet together with the valves. By setting the valves, the desired period for filling and emptying free water in each plant bed can be adjusted. The best effect is obtained if each cycle is set so that it is allowed to completely empty each plant bed, usually about 2-4 hours per cycle but depending on the size of each plant bed area. 

When the valves switch, the system switches air supply to the second air-lift pump. Check that there is good flow in the outlet of the air-lift pump by opening the well and inspecting the outlets. Only one of the air-lift pumps should deliver water at a time. 

Highlight specifications

The air-lift pumps are operated with the Hunter Hydrawise control system, which controls which pump gets air and for how long. This is normally used to control water flow and irrigation, but in we use it to control the air-flow. Here is a short list of what this controller enables us to do, but full instructions can be found at the support website to the right here. 

The Home screen provides a summary of your air-flow system. Here, you will find information about your schedule, manual operations, connection status, and sensor configurations.

Zones and Schedules is where you set up the program for your air-flow. Hydrawise offers two styles of programming: Standard and Advanced. Most users find that Standard Mode is perfect for the needs of their Capillary Hydroponics System. Advanced Mode provides additional programming options.

Controller Settings lists important information about your controller. This section allows you to change your controller name, edit or remove the serial number, select your desired programming mode (Standard or Advanced), change weather stations, and access other advanced settings.. 

The Alerts section allows you to better monitor your air-flow system and stay informed of potential problems. 

Hydrawise supports a range of sensors that provide direct communication to the controller via the sensor ports. The software supports standard open/closed contact sensors, such as rain, soil moisture, and other ON/OFF sensors. 

You can learn more about it here: 

Water quality and nutrients

The system can be managed by so-called fertigation, i.e. the supply of liquid fertilizer directly into the water in each chamber, or by traditional fertilization of the grass surfaces directly.

Water quality and manure levels can be measured directly in the water in the well and each system has its different levels that relate to the unique place where the system is installed. Please contact us for more detailed information about metrics related to your specific plant zone. 

PH is important to control and monitor as it has a major impact on the quality of the turfgrass. The PH level should be monitored in the basin as well as in the turf root-zone. The PH level will be higher in the basin due to effects of the Capillary Concrete layer high calcium content, but monitoring levels is important for consistency over time. 

Remember that Hydroponic cultivation means "grow in water" i.e. without any soil in the traditional sense. The sand in which the grass grows has a minimum of organic matter and has a very low cation yield capacity, which means that the water has a major impact on vegetation. It is therefore not recommended to make significant changes in the PH, EC or similar of the water, rather a slow gradual change if need be. 

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