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Fertilizing hardware ?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Orchid' started by KellyW, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For the past 6-7 years I have been using an EZ-Flo system for fertilizing orchids in my greenhouse. The tank has sprung a leak so I am looking at 1)replace the tank, or 2)get another system. I was looking at the Dosatron injectors. In the past I tried one of the brass hose siphon systems (can't remember the brand name) but I didn't like using the required water pressure.

    Any suggestions or critiques out there for a reasonably priced system for an 8x16 greenhouse. I think the $200 for a Dosatron is the maximum I would pay.
     
  2. orchidnick

    orchidnick Member

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    On the 'Required water pressure' it may not be what it sounds like. I use a siphonex system which gives me MORE than the suggested 16/1 ratio. 16/1 is the ideal situation, what comes out of the end of your hose is a totally different story. City water pressure, length pf hose, diameter of hose, watering device all affect the ultimate ratio. Only if you have insufficient pressure and no fertilizer is picked up is the system unsuitable for you. Any other circumstance just requires adjustment of the amount of fertilizer added.

    I use a ppm metering device which tells me the ppm of the tap water.Then I measure the ppm of the exit water from the hose after passing through the Siphonex. Using that information I use more or less fertilizer totally disregarding the 16/1 ratio the system is supposed to produce. Our city water pressure is very high, about 60psi, sometimes more and I get more than 16/1 because of that.

    I use the Siphonex for the backyard, have used the EZ-FLO for the greenhouse for years and am very happy with it.

    Nick
     
  3. Forrest

    Forrest Really Neat

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    I have a chemilizer that I am getting ready to sell. Message me if you are interested.
     
  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Get a Dosatron. You won't regret it.
     
  5. This_guy_Bri

    This_guy_Bri weirdo

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    what she said
    (but i've had a good experiences with Dosmatic too)
     
  6. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    I have used both Dosmatic and Dosatron pumps. I decided to sell Dosmatic over Dosatron only because they are made in the USA, so if you need parts (I never have) they could be potentially easier to come by.

    Incidentally, I rejected the EZ-Flow system because it works by injecting water into the concentrate tank in order to force it into the irrigation stream. I spoke to the president of the company that manufactures them, and as they recommend filing the tank with a powdered fertilizer, the outgoing concentration is supposed to remain stable until very close to the end of the supply, but in actuality, it decreases over time. If you use a liquid concentrate in the tank, the output fertilizer concentration decreases constantly from the moment you start using it. That's certainly not a problem in a lawn application, where 100% of the output is spread over a finite and constant piece of turf, but in an individual-plant-watering scenario, the first gets the most and the last gets the least.
     
  7. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the input, everyone.
     
  8. orchidnick

    orchidnick Member

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    My experience with the EZ-Flo is as follows. After recharging it with the same amount of powdered MSU, the ppm output is around 250. Switching to the lowest of the three settings brings it to 150. I water for about 45 minutes, the ppm stays the same during this time. The ppm slowly begins to drop and after about 2 weeks I switch to the middle of the three sections, eventually to the maximum, this keeps the ppm around 150. After about 4 weeks the ppm is hovering around 120 and I recharge the unit. It is a bit of a pain as I check the ppm at least every 3 to 4 days. Marnie's Dosatron sounds good, I'm rebuilding and will consider it.

    Nick
     
  9. orchidnick

    orchidnick Member

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    I reread the thread on EZ-FLO and realized I did not address the fluctuation in the ppm as one waters. I'm so used to it I never think of it anymore. What happens is that as one starts watering, the ppm is at least double the baseline. If the system is calibrated at 150ppm, as I start, the ppm may be as high as 350 for about 1 minute. Then it falls to the 150 level and stays there unchanged until I stop. If after a few minutes I start up again, the process repeats itself.

    Knowing this, I always start watering the Bulbophyllums and Vandas who seem to appreciate the higher concentration and then do the rest. Once I'm doing the cloud forest plants, Pleuros, Dracs etc, I never interrupt but water continuously. If for some reason I need to stop, on restart, I give the Vandas a second hosing and then return to the more sensitive plants. This has become second nature to me hence I stated that the ppm level stays the same. This is a correct statement if you discount the first minute of watering.

    Nick