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Any one used Aquacrop/hydroponics for growing barley grass.

honetpot

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Joined
27 July 2010
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5,701
Location
Cambridgeshire
I bought a second hand Aquacrop last year and have not got around to setting it up, the chap I bought it from showed me how it worked. I have taken my oldies rugs off today and I think they need some docter green, so I am looking for some tips to start growing. A quick google and you seem to be lead to sites that are interested in growing a whole different sort of product:D
 

JillA

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1 May 2007
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8,156
Location
Shropshire
I did, and bought whole untreated barley from a neighbouring farmer to grow in it, I didn't set up the lights and heater because I just wanted a little green stuff for my old mare. She didn't like it! I have done some in plastic trays in the house in the past and it did germinate well, most horses do like it.
Soak the barley for 24 hours then spread in the tray, leave it in water with optimum temperature and lights, then on day 2, repeat for the next tray. I think the ideal in a good machine is an 8 day cycle, so you have 9 days (including the 24 hour soak) to wait for the first tray to be ready for them to eat.
Hope this helps.
 

YasandCrystal

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27 April 2009
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5,590
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Essex
I think they are a brilliant idea. I had the small sized Aquacrop and tried it out only briefly years ago - we only have small acreage at home and this hydropincs system growing barley grass was teh ideal solution for me. I decided that it worked well but I would do it in ernest when I had more time. I think you can find the Aquacrop growing guides online - you need to be rigorous in the cleaning of the machine and seed trays daily to revent contamination by unwanted fungi.That always eluded me so I regretfully sold the machine.

The horses loved it and I am told it is very popular for guinea pigs too being rich in calcium.
 
Joined
25 October 2014
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14
Location
West Sussex
Picked up a second hand Aquacrop 20 System last weekend to feed all my guinea pigs fresh grass through the winter. Got it set up today and hoping it all goes to plan and germination goes well and some lush barley grass in a few days. 1kg of grain per tray seemed an awful large quantity, is this what others use?
But as the company is no longer about , where can I get spares?
Green as Grass, can you suggest alternative places for the parts like solenoid and water spray nozzles etc.
 
Joined
30 September 2014
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Somerset/now,Northamptonshire
Hi Kinder, 1kg of dry spring barley per tray is correct. Day one Pre-soak the barley for 4 to 6 hours in cold water then drain. Repeat this on day two, the seed will increase in weight and show signs of germination. The Aquacrop 20 requires 2kg of seed every day for the two trays. Normal heater setting is between 6 & 7. The water jets came from Elspa ltd in Evesham, I don't know if they are still trading, they are green bow jets which deliver 2.8 litre per min. The water solenoid is standard for a washing machine. Other parts like the controller are still around. I hope this help you? green grass
 
Joined
25 October 2014
Messages
14
Location
West Sussex
Hi

Thanks for asking, they love the fresh grass and it is demolished very quickly, and seems to be a very healthy option.
The soaking of the barley now very much part of my daily routine, so doesn't feel like another extra job to do.
Only worry is these colder nights this week, the water pipe might freeze, even though insulated and then when the water cycle started I could damage machine, so I do switch it off on the real cold nights and drain the pipe. Better to be safe than break it.
 
Joined
25 October 2014
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West Sussex
Machine is in a wooden shed, just the water hose that is run from outside tap, so likely to freeze at some point, but just switching off overnight doesn't hurt, just a slower growth on grass for those days.
 
Joined
22 June 2013
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8,401
hmmmmmmmmmm thought this was about growing grass for profit! I had a discussion with Thunderbrook Oats recently and they seem to think that sprouting oats will do the job. I have been out doing my gardening today, and the grass is just producing green shoots now, and I am well North of the M25.
 

Reacher

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24 February 2010
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1,443
Hi GreenasGrass, please could you give me an idea of the setup and running costs , I have 2 15.2 TB type horses. Thanks
 
Joined
30 September 2014
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Location
Somerset/now,Northamptonshire
hmmmmmmmmmm thought this was about growing grass for profit! I had a discussion with Thunderbrook Oats recently and they seem to think that sprouting oats will do the job. I have been out doing my gardening today, and the grass is just producing green shoots now, and I am well North of the M25.
Hi Bonkers,

You might have miss read the thread? I am now north of the M25. Please feel free to talk to me regarding The old Aquacrop machines.
 
Joined
30 September 2014
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Somerset/now,Northamptonshire
Hi Reacher,

Just a thought it maybe worth you looking at a secondhand Aquacrop machine? Although the machines were designed and produced in the 1980's to early 1990's there seems to be machines still out there and working. Running costs are dependant on the cost of barley or any other seed, power consumption, labour time should be included and water used. Hope this helps.

Green as Grass
 
Joined
22 July 2019
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2
Hi Green as Grass, Sorry for digging up this old thread. I’m new to the forum. After researching aquacrop machines on the web. I found your posts. Hopefully you can share your advice and experience further regarding the aquacrop machine. I bought a secondhand machine and it appears to have one or several operating faults. Water is constantly spraying out of the two waterjets. However the manual water button still works as the solenoid can be heard powering up. Can you please tell me if the built in circuit board has a timer included in the design and if so, how long should the water jets operate for under a normal running cycle? I didn’t get a instruction manual with this secondhand machine and there is evidence someone has opened up the control housing lid before (screws missing, screws ground off) I’m wondering if this is related to the problem.
Can you please briefly describe the machines running cycle/operating mode? The red/green led power and heater lights work, the heater element/thermostat works, the interior fluorescent light works. It’s just the water jets are on continuously and water is constantly pouring out of the drain pipe. I would love to find the instruction manual, but hoping you can set me on the right track. The machine is quite large with 8 trays.
 

YasandCrystal

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Joined
27 April 2009
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5,590
Location
Essex
I may still have an operating manual for the Aquacrop. I recall my model had 6 trays. The water should come on for a specific time at timed intervals. I had great intentions to use mine regularly as we have little land at home, but in reality the overhead of the soaking of barley and cleaning the trays and machine with bleach was too much. I remember is that untreated whole barley had to be soaked in water for 24 hrs before being put in a tray in the machine. The horses loved the barley grass. I will search for the manual for you. There are hydroponic outlets around so you may be able to get your machine overhauled.
 
Joined
30 September 2014
Messages
13
Location
Somerset/now,Northamptonshire
Hi Green as Grass, Sorry for digging up this old thread. I’m new to the forum. After researching aquacrop machines on the web. I found your posts. Hopefully you can share your advice and experience further regarding the aquacrop machine. I bought a secondhand machine and it appears to have one or several operating faults. Water is constantly spraying out of the two waterjets. However the manual water button still works as the solenoid can be heard powering up. Can you please tell me if the built in circuit board has a timer included in the design and if so, how long should the water jets operate for under a normal running cycle? I didn’t get a instruction manual with this secondhand machine and there is evidence someone has opened up the control housing lid before (screws missing, screws ground off) I’m wondering if this is related to the problem.
Can you please briefly describe the machines running cycle/operating mode? The red/green led power and heater lights work, the heater element/thermostat works, the interior fluorescent light works. It’s just the water jets are on continuously and water is constantly pouring out of the drain pipe. I would love to find the instruction manual, but hoping you can set me on the right track. The machine is quite large with 8 trays.
 
Joined
30 September 2014
Messages
13
Location
Somerset/now,Northamptonshire
Sorry for the delay answering,
The Aquacrop 20 sprays for aprox. 4.5 mins every 4 hours. The temperature should be set between 6.5 and 7.5. Each tray should contain 1kg of a good quality of spring barley dry weight. Soak 2kg for 4 to 6 hours drain and stand over night , repeat. This on day 2. Day 3 share seed between 2 trays and place on the base of the machine. This needs repeating each day to harvest aprx. 9 kg of feed from 2 trays per day. If I can help further please let me know. I didn't get a notification sorry again.
 
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