Special set designed for watering in shallow dishes such as used for Bonsai plants, for depths of over 2.5 cm, also suitable for small pots of 10 or more cm.
Water supplied from elevated reservoir tank.
- Water connection: Tank
- 5 Tropf-Blumat Bonsai (TB-Bonsai), without drip tubing and T-connector
- 7 m water supply tubing, black, 8mm
- 5 m drip tubing, 3mm
- 3 T-connectors, 8-3-8 mm
- 3 Mini-branch-connectors, 3-3-3 mm
- 5 end caps, 3 mm
- 1 end piece, 8-3 mm
- 1 Bonsai corer, 15 mm
- 1 elevated tank connector, 8mm (12mm drilled hole)
Set is suitable for (alternative examples)
- 5 shallow Bonsai dishes, 15-20 cm
- 2 shallow Bonsai dishes, up to 50 cm
- 5 small pots
Setting-up Tropf-Blumats – number requiredThe TB-Bonsai has the same features as the normal size Tropf-Blumat; however, the form and the set-up are different. Watering is regulated primarily by the ‘drip spacing’; for example, it can be adjusted in a range from 2-5 cm (see suggested set-up).
1 TB-Bonsai is enough for a 15-20 cm size dish. Large dishes (up to 50 cm) should have at least 2 TB-Bonsai depending upon the arrangement of the Bonsai plants, and also as a back-up for a malfunctioning sensor.
Larger dishes can often be adequately watered by extending the drip spacing – for instance, 10-15 cm.
Unique Features of this SetThe unique feature here is the shortened clay form of the TB-Bonsai which is designed specially for use in shallow dishes. The normal Tropf-Blumat form is too long for this purpose.
The drip tubing is individually cut to the desired length and is attached to the watering head at the desired spacing (see Drip Spacing).
The mini-branch connectors make it possible to create a branch in the drip tubing, so that two dishes or two TB-Bonsai in one large dish can be supplied using one drip tubing connection to the water supply tubing. Using the end caps for closing a 3 mm nozzle, it is possible to remove a dish for maintenance purposes and care of the plants. The Bonsai corer allows for the creation of an exactly fitting hole for the short clay Tropf-Blumat cylinder.
Connecting to an Elevated Reservoir TankThe connection onto the elevated tank (connection spigot) should be mounted towards the bottom of the tank, about 5 cm above the tank floor (12 mm bore hole).
The elevation of the tank should be at least 70 cm (50 cm) above the watering level (top of pot) to the bottom of the tank, in order to produce the necessary minimum pressure. Overly low pressure can result in clogging of the tubing!
The tank can be purchased at a local hardware store to meet individual needs. It should be impenetrable to light and should be cleaned occasionally.
Tubing InstallationThe 8 mm-water supply tubing should be placed alongside the Bonsai dishes or possibly a bit further away for the purpose of hiding the tubing under an edge. For each dish or between two dishes, the tubing is cut and a T-connector is inserted into the two ends of tubing (for the last Tropf-Blumat at the end of the tubing, use an end piece instead of a T-connector). The drip tubing is connected at these locations.
The length of the individual drip tubing should be at the most 1 m in order to keep the loss of pressure at a minimum (see Connecting to an Elevated Tank). If the height difference is only 50 cm, the tubing lengths should be shorter, also possibly without the use of mini-branch connectors, rather attach directly onto the TB-Bonsai.
The water supply tubing can also be mounted using any wire fasteners or nail clamps, depending upon the specifics of the location.
System"Tropf-Blumat" (Tropf = Drip) works using pressure as its basis, it requires a minimum pressure for the correct functioning of the watering head and to avoid cloggage.
The Tropf-Blumat is the heart piece of the entire system and acts as a moisture sensor and dripper at the same time. Every dripper location is therefore sensor controlled according to the tensiometer principle. Also included in the system are fittings to connect the tubing.
ProcedureFill the Tropf-Blumat with water (part of the sensor function only!) – see Directions for Use – and insert into moist soil. As the soil becomes drier, water is sucked out of the feeler which is a porous clay cone. This creates a sub pressure (partial vacuum). As the pressure develops, a membrane in the watering head is released (before then it is squeezed together), opening the thin dripper tubing; the tubing begins slowly to drip. The water seeps through the soil once again to the clay cone, causing a lessening of the sub pressure, the valve closes; the dripping slowly stops.
AdjustingThe Tropf-Blumat is adjusted using the brown knob; it should be set so that when the soil is optimally wet, the dripper has just stopped dripping. When first using, the sensor requires a certain settling period. Therefore, adjusting should be carried out only after a day of use. The general recommended adjustments are described in the Directions for Use or in our Recommended Settings. It is important that the adjustment is correct from the beginning!
MaintenanceThe water being used must be clean (there is no filter in the system), it can contain completely water soluable fertilizer. It is recommended to treat water that is extremely hard (over ca. 30°dH) by softening or to use rainwater, if possible. Light lime deposits in the tubing can be removed by rubbing.
The water inside the sensor should be occasionally checked. However, in general, the water will not need to be topped off during the watering period. Under certain conditions, winter operation is also possible.