The term ‘Run to waste’ refers to a method in horticulture where a plant is irrigated and its waste or “run off” is collected and disposed of or simply runs to waste, most large scale commercial Hydroponic operations will utilise run to waste systems.

Our RTA (Return to Anywhere) kits are unique, they are automated, dripper-fed, Run-to-waste systems. They can be used on a single plant and expanded to suit the largest indoor grow rooms . RTA systems are the perfect upgrade for those looking to leave hand watering behind and implement an automated system and a fine substitute for those hydro growers who wish to cut down on maintenance and keep the yield. It can be used with soilless media such as coco fibre and pebbles so there is no exclusion of substrates. There are a range of air-pot sizes to choose from ranging from 1ltr to 38ltr so we have you covered for whatever size plant you wish to grow and we also have the XL version of the RTA kit for the bigger gardens. The delivery system can accommodate any nutrients although it is not advisable to use thick organic feeds that are likely to block your drippers and filters within the Topspin manifold! Also for those who tend to load up on additives and run a higher EC, you also will have to be diligent in your dripper and filter checks. The more salts you put in the mix the more likely you are to incur a blockage in the filters. I can’t stress this enough…check your drippers and filters, regularly. We advise customers to always have spare dripper line and dripper for the Topspin manifold, so if a dripper line or dripper is blocked it can simply be removed from the manifold and replaced, giving you time to soak and clean the blocked line.

So, what are the advantages of the RTA?

Using an RTA system you can be sure of perfect nutrient delivery every time!
When you make the nutrient mix in the reservoir it will then be pretty much stable the entire time until it is used. So, you can rest assured that no matter what happens, your plants will be receiving the correct level PH and EC every time it feeds. You can also test the run off from an RTA stand to see how the plant is responding. This can allow you to adjust your nutrient mix according to the plant’s needs.

You don’t have to worry about working out nutrient solution intervals!
Within the RTA kit is the Nutrimatic Timer. This is a very special timer that controls the amount of nutrient the plant receives per day, applying more regular intervals when your lights first come on, spreading out as the daytime light cycle comes to an end ensuring plants are not overly watered for the night time period. You simply dictate how many seconds the plant is fed per watering (from 1 to 99) the timer will then apply 20 feeds for either a chosen vegetative or flowering cycle. So, all you have to do is set the seconds and the timer takes care of everything else.

Super low maintenance.
After you have made the nutrient mix and you are happy with the EC and PH levels, that will be the last time you need to check it until you need to refill the reservoir. After that there are only a few things that are mandatory – check filters, drippers and run-off waste to maintain 30% running to waste…that’s it! It doesn’t get much better than that in terms of low maintenance.

Easy to clean and store.
All you are disposing of will be your chosen substrate by the end. Everything else collapses and disconnects very easily. All components are durable plastic and super easy to wash, so whether it’s a hose and broom or all thrown in the bath tub, it will take you 10-15mins to have everything looking clean and ready to use again. Also, all the trays and airpots stack nicely so it doesn’t take up too much space as some Large Nutrient Film Technique systems might, making it inconspicious, easy and compact to store.

Drawbacks of the RTA
I can only honestly think of one and that would be the disposal of your substrate. However, you can even get around that by reusing coco. Washing your coco in a zyming agent can make it reusable if that’s something you wanted to look into. To some people it can be fiddly to initially set up, however if you are competent with a Stanley blade, a tape measure and understand the concept of pre-planning then this is no harder to set up than any other system. We will ensure all those that use our RTA systems fully understand how to set the system up and use this incredibly productive system to its maximum potential. Both of our shops have working models of these systems so if you are curious about our RTA system then feel free to come and see it in store, we will be more than happy to show you how it works.