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Better control of Crazy Roots with new bioreactor

Dutch horticulture consultant Peter Klapwijk recently attended a users meeting of the new Triton bioreactor from Aqua Terra Nova and Moor Filtertechniek.

“This is an interesting development in a market segment which I expect will become very important in the future,” he writes in his blog. “Water quality, intake of nutrients and micro-organisms are an undeveloped area, but a very important production factor.”

The Triton Bioreactor
“The Triton filter is a bioreactor that removes organic pollution out of the water by means of micro-organisms that are bred within the reactor. The filter also provides a proper oxygen supply for a balanced micro-flora at the plant roots in the substrate. Water supply system, substrate and roots are not cleaned anymore through a chemical process that also kills the micro biological system. Through Triton this is done by means of a biological system and balance in the water system. This is quite a change for the modern grower, because it was done in a different manner over a long period. However first results are promising.” 

Test set-ups for various crops
“The first test set-up was tested at Greenbrothers for the growth of eggplants, and this new concept worked! Crazy root growth was better manageable and in the next year testing was extended to a complete nursery section. The same year Triton was tested in a large tomato nursery as well.”

“In 2017 several Triton installations are working in several crops: tomatoes 4x, eggplants and phalaenopsis orchids. The results are generally positive, however all enthusiastic users and involved parties realize that growing on the basis of a biological balance in micro-flora and root environment requires a lot of study.” 

Users meeting to share know-how
“For this reason the above mentioned suppliers decided to take the initiative to organize the first users meeting. Aim of the meeting was through exchange of know-how and experience learn more of this exciting and (for most of us) new world of roots, micro-flora and intake of nutrients.”

“The main topics and findings about the various crops are:
  • Eggplant: crazy roots are better manageable and production growth is estimated at 5%;
  • Tomato: crazy roots better under control, better crop quality and increase in production. It is difficult to assess whether this increase reached through Titon;
  • Phalaenopsis Orchids: organic pollution of the water due to the longer period that the roots remain in the water requires attention. The pollution level is higher, but improvement in crop- and root growth and quality were noticeable.
Issues for the future
“During the discussions with the users it became evident that key figures and references about water quality and disease levels are needed. The agro-bacteria is hard to analyze and its presence does not give a complete picture of the degree of crazy roots in the root system.”

Questions posed during the meeting were:
  • What analyses are relevant for the determination of water quality and root environment?
  • Which micro-organisms are essential and what quantities need to be present in the water?
  • How to determine the raise in crop quality, better product quality and increase in production?
A short report was presented to the Phalaenopsis Thinktank that, through sample taking from a number of test fields, researches the relationship between soil, water quality, nutrient intake and crop quality.”

To develop know-how together
“During the users meeting arrangements were made to meet on a regular basis, to exchange information, to analyze and to invite experts to further develop know-how regarding nutrient intake and water quality.”

“The meeting proved to be a good start and there is much to do and to learn. We are at the start of a new development and a different thinking mode is required. During the meeting a comparison was made with horticulture in the Seventies. At that time a hesitant start was made with biological pest control. This required a different mindset and a lot of study, but nowadays the phenomenon is completely accepted. A good comparison in the realization that we are living in the 21st century and that things develop faster than ever before”.

For more information:
Peter Klapwijk
Galjoen 15
2401 NB Alphen aan den Rijn
Tel : +316 50 20 26 52

Publication date: 2/16/2017



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