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About Ravnis

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    APHQ Ambassador

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  • Biography
    Worked in plastics and for defense contractors primarily aerospace for 20 years. Now in nursing trying to give back to humanity.
    Aquaponics is my hobby and started in '08. I experiment more than produce trying to learn and the more I learn the more I realize how much there is left to learn.
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    computers, video games, renewable energy

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    Texas, near Dallas

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  1. Update on the all purpose sand. There is big variance between sand bags and the last ones I bought had a lot of shells in them and compacted. I had moved the system outside for the summer. Drainage became slower till the point it would take an hour to drain and with Daytime temps over 100F it started killing the plants and killed the nitrifying bacteria. This answered by personal question for myself, can flow rate be adjusted to compensate for sand that drained less that ideal. The answer in this particular scenario of high temperatures is a resounding NO. I have since replaced it with pool filter sand from the same company and nitrification has restarted and the plants are rebounding and putting of fruit. So to recap, quickcrete all purpose sand --- too much variation from bag to bag and some bags had high amounts of fines in them. quickcrete pool filter sand -- bought 10 bags so far- appears to be finely ground and sharp quartz crystals- good drainage, no alteration of ph, no visible signs of shells. The roots expand better in the pool sand than the all purpose sand , so growth is definitely better in the looser sand.
  2. After cleaning fish in the 100s at a time camp, I tried the "brain spike" method after watching some videos. If you're just doing a few , say 10 or less at a time, it's probably a good way to do it. The spine and thus spinal cord of tilapia is so close to top of the head, that a good quality cleaning knife cuts though it in about the same amount of time as the spike does anyway, so I quit trying to do it. I've seen other members use clove oil. I've used ice. It slows down their movements, as well as slows down any spoilage while cleaning. Downside is your fingers get very cold.
  3. Is ash clean out any trouble? Really impressive setup.
  4. I had problems with my LED grow-light burning the leaves of my plants, but I had gone from 12 hours light to 24 hours of light and the plants had grown up and were within 18" of the light. I raised the light higher and that stopped the burning.
  5. I'm not a disease expert. Have you considered it might be this. White rust What is your pH. I've found high pH to cause all kinds of problems.
  6. Hey Bigdaddy, Our economy has suffered almost every time a "businessman" has become president. The job of promoting welfare of a country is almost a complete opposite of the mindset of running a business. I found this article interesting. Businessman presidents.
  7. The only way the gubmint is getting mah shark is if they pry it from my cold, dead hands!!!
  8. You can't expect the donald to know what comes out of a "Shole" country now can you If he could only be informed.
  9. David, I would invite you to read or reread about a very similar president of the United States. I won't tell you what to think, but rather ask you to draw your own conclusions. It has been said that history repeats itself if we don't learn from past mistakes. Never before has information been so easily accessible by the masses. This might just make the difference this time. Herbert Hoover As far as news, I would invite you to examine Brainwashing of my dad. A video on tactics the media uses to reprogram the brain. I work in psychiatry and can tell you there are truthful facts in that video. As to the conclusions that are drawn, I believe it is important for everyone to evaluate and draw there own conclusions. This quote is old , but I do believe it applies today. Hear me, people: We have now to deal with another race- small and feeble when our fathers first met them, but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possession is a disease with them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break but the poor may not. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule. Sitting Bull
  10. Cecil, This divide you speak of is it the cause or a symptom of a greater problem. For the last 40 years, our education system has been under attack. Finding people who even pretend to think critically is getting harder to find. I was talking with someone about there values. They were smearing people they classified as Liberals. Yet there values were pretty liberal, but I didn't argue with them. They said they voted the way they did because the church they went to supported that candidate. I just shook my head in disbelief. To me it's an alarming trend that people want others to think for them. Then gripe about the "guvment" cause it wants to tell them what to do. This kind of cognitive disconnect seems to be growing at an alarming rate. Bigdaddy, One of the big problems is that Trump did not win the majority of the vote, but won by the Electoral college votes. He only won the vote by a little more that 25 percent. The electoral college math was messed up when they capped the number of representatives almost a century ago. The number of representatives was supposed to increase with population increase. Since capping it, it gives rural voters almost a 5 to one vote ratio as Urban dwellers. The electoral college's original purpose was to keep a demagogue from being elected, but twice in my lifetime it has caused it to happen. It's an outdated concept that needs revision, but due to our present system it won't. I think eventually we well either have our own version of Hitler or another civil war, That is if global corporations don't render our government systems moot as they take over the world's resources.
  11. Working just fine. I've had a problem with my furrows not staying formed, but I think I have too much force of water from my pump and need to redo the output so it doesn't erode it. It states astm c33 in its listing and plants grow well in it. It's easy to get and works. I did not do a bucket test. I had lost too much sand from replanting the short term crops and needed something fast. After reading Mark's post on ASTM C33 spec that confirmed what I had suspected , I just went with it. I really think some of us have gotten way too hung up on "the right sand" as long as it's inert and "sharp" sand. I've used the original less than perfect sand (read more fine than specified) and was satisfied with growth and Just had to adjust pump time due to slower drainage. I have to say again. I really like your new forum Gary. Though I haven't had as much time to read through it as I would like.
  12. Wow, has it really been a year since I posted this thread, Time flies when your getting old. I moved the system in front of the window a couple of months ago when I had some help. I don't move like I used to, so need help moving bigger things. It ran without the growlight during that time and it got really sad looking. These pics are after hanging the grow light about a week ago. I have new flowers on the pepper plant and a few tomatoes going now. The overflow drain has yet to be used, but still like having it in an indoor setup. It's a pain to get water out of carpet.
  13. My main thought was to fish-less cycle with ammonia if you can find pure ammonia. The biggest cost saving is the sand vs the hydroton media. You will need a stand and a container for the fish. A 20 gal aquarium will handle a few fish. Since it is still likely cold where you are, would be good to consider and research a little more and ask questions I think. If you haven't read about IAVS. I invite you to check here for some member threads. IAVS in florida VKN IAVS (lots to read , but worth it IMO.) My indoor setup My setup is an improvised setup of old pieces I had laying around. Certainly not the best one on the forum, but will give you some Ideas.
  14. I was watching two dogs going at each other. One was in a fenced yard and the other on the outside. The sound and ruckus coming from both of them was loud and frightening. They continued growling and barking at one another and moving along the fence till they came to the gate that had been left open and confronted each other with nothing between them. Suddenly it became very quiet and looked like they were surprised. Instead of lunging at each other as I was sure would happen from the sounds and growling since nothing was stopping them from fighting now, they instead looked as if they they were saying " Oh... hello. Nice to meet you". They backed up and both took off to a fenced area and resumed barking at each other. The current political arena reminds me a little of that. If the political fences were removed, I wonder how hard the Leaders of the US and N. Korea would go at each other? We all know what a mess a charismatic leader can make. Alas, Babylon was require reading when I in high school. At the time I thought it was metaphorical. I sure hope it doesn't have to turn into a field guide.
  15. Hi Wes, Welcome to APN. Since you don't want to eat the fish, maybe I can recommend a cheaper alternative that can be built in stages. I don't know what size aquarium you are considering, but systems from a 10 gallon to a large aquarium can be done. I have a 75 gallon system I run with astm c 33 sand going at the moment. I don't recall what I paid for the sand , but it was in the 5 to 10 dollar amount for a bag. The last time I bought hydroton it was 55 dollars to fill the same amount and its performance was not near as good. Hydroton is great for growing worms in the system. One of the many problems beginners have cycling the first system. I would encourage you to read up on fishless cycling or cycling with fish if you haven't already. From my own experience and the descriptions from others, systems work better if the fish tank has been going a month or so before adding the plants. It is certainly not a requirement, but I tend to see a lot of "my plants aren't doing well" or have poor growth with "add fish and flood growbed." The pH swings and other problems that happen during the initial cycle play havoc with cheaper test kits. I personally like an aquarium with hang on the back filters and then pump to the growing system from there. Since I use sand it's overkill, but I like it for the times that small pumps get stuck as the filter still helps process and clean fish waste. I would strongly recommend basil or green onions as a first plant choice. They are really easy to grow in these systems. If you decide to go with sand I would invite you to read up on IAVS. Best of luck to you with whatever route you choose.