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    Tweed Coast Hinterland - Australia
  1. Hi Moses, Sorry for my delay in reply, ive been hospitalised and have just returned from overseas. Before a system is fully cycled, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate will (should) all rise to high levels before they drop to acceptable levels. Only after this RISE and FALL in readings, is your system cycled. Your stated pH of 7-8 is not an accurate (nor acceptable) result. The test colour corresponds with an accurate pH. Some times it can be hard to distinguish the exact colour. Hold your test sample above a white card or paper. When testing for Iron, the colour change can be very slight and difficult to see. Any coloured objects near the test can interfere with what you see...Put the test tube on white paper and look down from the top. Any slight difference in colour from the white paper indicates Iron. Further regarding Iron... Iron available for uptake by the plants decreases as the pH rises above pH6.0. Above pH 7.0 Iron begins to be locked out. The fact that your PO4 reading is so high could (will) be having a negative impact. You need to get the pH down in the order of 6.5 - 7.0 to make all nutrients available to the plants, see attached chart. The newer larger leaves are growing closer together and the stems are not so stretched... this indicates the additional installed lighting is having the desired effect. I hope this helps a little. Cheers Joe
  2. Hi Moses, I have never professed to being an academic expert in any field, though have had great interest and experience in many. Thanks for this info and article. It is exactly the type of material I have referenced over the years of my life's learning experiences. As you have pointed out, technically, Yes, it is possible to have too much light, for any given requirement of any particular species. In practice, more often then not, for home indoor purposes, I would suggest that maximum saturation of light is rarely an issue. I would go as far as to suggest that 90% of failed or poor indoor vegetable crops are due to insufficient quality and quantity of light. How we deal with these failed or poor indoor crops, in regard to lighting, will continue to develop as technology advances. Check out this picture (posted in another thread), and combine the info and article you linked. The picture goes a long to way explaining; led ratio and layout per square meter, the number of leds would indicate to me they are perhaps only 1-3 watt each, which in line with required lighting periods (saturation), that would dictate (allow) the leds to be only 10-12 inchs above the crop. The same principal applies if you were to start with a 1000watt High Pressure Sodium light to grow 20 lettuce. They would explode in size very rapidly, but I suggest they would then bolt to seed before they were dense - full size, crop lettuce. This is standard nature for outdoor lettuce here in mid summer... the over saturation of sun light stresses the biological clock and the result is the plants immediate instinct to reproduce before it dies... bolting to seed. Cheers Joe
  3. Hi Gary, Yes, initial cost as well as ongoing power costs and heat production are main areas of concern with various lighting types. The other main areas are O2 and CO2 exchange, and humidity within a contained grow room. I have read a fair bit about commercial nursery experiments supplementing daylight with specific types of lighting solutions... both, during the full sun of day, and at night. I agree, well worth another thread... i'll hunt some info up and post later tonight. Cheers Joe
  4. Hi again Moses, An important fact I forgot to mention that we need to keep in mind when trying to reproduce sunlight indoors, is that the sun lights the earth at the rate of 1000watts per square meter. So even if you increase the lighting with another 2 x 30w globes... you are still 10x under the light intensity of the sun. This is why having the correct 'spectrums' of light is paramount.. and utilising every watt produced is just as important. Growing food indoors is not impossible, but it is not as simple as putting a light over plants. Cheers Joe
  5. Hi Jake, With respect, you are incorrect. T5's are the smallest diameter of the old style florescent globes. Although you can get T5 globes in "red" "blue" "green" and "white", they do not come close to the spectrum accuracy of led's. T5's are great for small aquariums and general home use, but in my opinion, that is where they stop. Hi Moses, 1) In most instances the distance between the light and the crop is very small, yes 30cm or there abouts. The rule of thumb is if the outer margins of the leaves begin to curl / burn... then increase the distance by 5cm-10cm. 2) Yes, plants do need a 'night' period also. Lighting periods of 18 hours on / 6 hours off is not uncommon. 3) Yes, seedlings that have a poor start are less likely to thrive to maximum potential. However, I use to have access to as many 'poor quality', 'sparse' or 'leggy' seedlings as I wanted from a local nursery. They still grew, and produced eatable food. *EDIT*... in my outdoor system *End Edit* 4) Again, Yes. Aluminum foil will reflect more light back onto the plants and direct some of it to lower leaves that may be in shadows from leaves above. With indoor growing, every watt of light produced should be directed on to the plants. If those new lights equal 36watts in total, in your picture ... an educated guess would suggest that perhaps 10% - 15% of the light produced is shining on the wall... that is 3.6watts wasted. With indoor growing, you can never have too much light. Cheers Joe
  6. Hi Bcotton, Ive always had the same issue with bok choi and pac choi. It seams that even during summer that a couple of low light overcast days is enough to send them to seed. Looking good mate ! Cheers Joe
  7. Hi Jake, A larger grow bed will empty his fish tank during the flood cycle. Wattage has little to do with indoor lighting. The essential criteria are Spectrum & Intensity. You can replace a 1000w high pressure sodium light with a quality 300w led light and still get the same intensity BUT with a more accurate required spectrums AND with a HUGE saving on power to run it. Cheers Joe
  8. Hi Jake, T5's wont cut the mustard. They would need to be 3-5 times the wattage of led's. IE: 50w of led's is similar light output to 150 watts of T5. Cheers Joe
  9. Hi all, LED Lighting for indoor aquaponics is becoming more popular every year, as the prices drop and the efficiency increases. I recently replied to a fellow members thread about his selection of LED lighting, you can read it Here. A quick search of the APN Forum for "LED Lighting" returns a number of member discussions, you can read them Here. Though I am no expert in led lighting, I feel I have a reasonable grasp of the physics of light. My personal most significant experiences with led's was for lighting highly planted show aquariums and coral reef aquariums. I have not needed to use led's for growing food indoors, my climate is great for outdoor systems. Doing a quick internet search, most people see vast rows of LED's being used in commercial grows, tightly stacked on top of each other with the LED lights being only 6-12 inches above the plants. For those really keen DIY people, or those that simply want to read more about "Lighting"... there are many dedicated LED Lighting Forums. I am not a member of any, but a quick search and glance found these two; To sum up; Artificial lighting is a complex matter. It can be (is) expensive to install enough light, of the most suitable spectrum's for your intended crop. It can be (is) expensive to power for 16-18 hours per day. Without sounding harsh or discouraging... The many small home hobby scale attempts that I have seen, end up producing 8-10 low quality, half size, leggy lettuce that end up costing $20ea to grow. You need HEAPS of artificial light to successfully grow food indoors. Instead of paying top dollar at the food store, this cost is offset by paying top dollar on your power bill. Cheers Joe
  10. Hi again Moses, Here is an overview of light, lumens (Intensity), kelvin (colour range), nanometers (exact colour spectrum) & led's. Cheers Joe
  11. Hi Moses, The easiest most natural explanation is to look at a rainbow. When the "white" light of the sun passes through rain, the water drops break (refract) the "white" light into separate spectrums... thus the colours of a rainbow appears. When you mix all the colours of the rainbow, you get white. LED's are the first light source that can be manufactured to reproduce a very specific 'spectrum' of colour. Colour spectrum is measured in "Nanometers". Color Wavelength violet 380–450 nm blue 450–495 nm green 495–570 nm yellow 570–590 nm orange 590–620 nm red 620–750 nm Light spectrum can be very complicated, much like water chemistry. The light you have selected would be suitable in my opinion, but it is not intense enough. You may need 4-6 of those lights for the grow area you have. Cheers Joe
  12. Hi VKN, The reports are filled out, you need to zoom in. Essentially, over the 2 year period the paddock improved dramatically, not only in stock carrying capacity but in green biomass production, insect species, fungi, water retention, soil coverage. Surface soil movement has been halted, the hillside is regenerating not just regrowing grass. My neighbor says the paddock is now 75% more productive then before I began the course. Thats what all food production is about, working with nature to increase fertility and productivity. Cheers Joe
  13. Hi Moses, Those led chips were for a do-it-yourself project lighting system and required a bit of wiring and other components. The main purpose I posted those details was a guide for, A) Spectrum of led's and B) Intensity required of led's per meter. That is a proven ratio of required spectrums of light, and intensity, to cover 1 square meter. Full spectrum leds are white leds, as listed above. They can range from 1000k-20,000 kelvin.. and all look "white". With each of the 4 types of "white" covering several different ratio's of "specific spectrum of colours". Commercial units often have a couple "white" led's to help fill blank areas not covered by the "specific spectrum" led's. Cheers Joe Here is a commercial example of what I would consider to be a minimum for your grow area.... Serious growers use 500w, 800w or 1000w units. LED 150W Grow Light UFO Full Spectrum Hydroponic Plant Veg Flower Lighting Lamp Description: *Full Spectrum 9 Bands Ratio to provide the full energy what plants need. These Led Growing Lights make vegetable and plants fast growth - big blooms, buds and flowers *Professional color proportion-Perfect 9 bands spectrum(IR & UV included) *Full Spectrum Red (620-630nm;650-660nm); Blue(440-450nm;450-460nm); Orange(610-615nm);Yellow (580nm) IR(730nm); UV(410nm);White(3500K;12000K) *With low power consumption, high luminous efficiency, our LED plant light generates the least amount of heat in a long time for safety. And prevents any damage to your Garden Plants and keep your temperatures down perfectly. *Ideal for all phases of plant growth, can be used in house garden, pot culture, garden, sowing, breeding, farm, flower exhibition, bonsai, garden, green house, sowing,breeding, farm, greenhouse cultivation, water soluble breeding, greenhouse cultivation, pipeline cultivation and so on. Specification: -Item type: led grow lights -LED Quantiy: 50pcs*3W Epileds LEDs(37 Red+7 Blue+2 white+2 Yellow+2 Orange+1 IR+1 UV) -Wattage: 150W -Voltage:AC85-265V -Material: Aluminum and Iron housing, glass lens -Size: approx 175*60mm/7inch*2.3inch,150cm/59inch Cable Length -Lifespan: >50,000hours -Working environment : -20~40℃,45%~95%RH -Color Ratio: Full Spectrum Red (620-630nm;650-660nm); Blue(440-450nm;450-460nm); Orange(610-615nm);Yellow (580nm) IR(730nm); UV(410nm); White(3500K;12000K) -Certified by CE,ROHs Application: -Only for indoor and greenhouse use,not waterproof -Suitable for growing flower,fruit,vegetable commercial crop etc -Widely used in greenhouse,hydroponics,horticulture,potted plants, pipeline cultivation,tissue culture,indoor plants growing
  14. Ow, here are some site monitor reports from last year. Cheers Joe Unit 3 Site Monitoring Report.pdf
  15. Hi Ande, Coincidental timing indeed. I recently graduated a government sponsored 2 year holistic management course, based on Savory's system. I managed to get the local dairy farmer let me use a 'poor quality' hill side paddock for my course and exams. He was extremely amicable allowing me to plan to grazing of this plot, in all aspects of herd numbers, frequency and duration of grazing time. In 18 months I have documented excellent increases in; biomass production of grasses, overall ground coverage from 63% to 96%, from 1 dung beetle species to 5, grasshoppers, spiders, insects, birds... not to mention that the cattle forage more evenly, plants regrow with vigor even now during our winter... and the list goes on. Great read for anyone on the land. Thanks for sharing. Cheers Joe