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Everything posted by Ravnis

  1. My quick and dirty setup of an indoor IAVS. I repurposed one of my cement tubs. It has an overflow that should hopefully never be used, but it's there to prevent overflow onto the carpet that might result in being kicked outside without a doghouse. I'm using a 1 1/2" drain using a uniseal from Allied Aqua. The hole is covered with carbon fiber window screen material. It holds the sand in the grow well. Light is a Galaxy Hydro led grow light I found on clearance. Growth is 2 weeks and a few days. I had planted mesclun in the other row, but it did not come up. The seeds were about 4 to 5 years old, so that may have something to do with it. I replaced with more spinach seeds yesterday. Spinach seeds popped up 2 days after planting. I could never get spinach to grow outdoors, so I'm just tickled to death to get some to actually grow. It just would not come up in my gravel beds when I had them. Timer is digital timer and pumps 1 minute every 2 hours. Can see the algae layer growing even with just LED light. The bed does not get natural sunlight. I had the light to low at first and some of the leaves burned. It's hard to tell from the pics. I rigged up a hanger and have it about 6" from the plants and plants are still growing.
  2. Sorry took me so long to respond. My dad is 85 and has had to have a basketball sized tumor removed from his chest and that's been taking up most of my free time for the last few months. Lucky for me that my little system is back to throw a handful of feed a day to fish and pick some bell peppers every now and then. The bags are 50 lbs bags by weight, not sure of the volume. I was able to fill up my 3ft x 2ft tubs about 6 inches deep with 9 of them. I have one bag for make up sand left over. The bags were $5 dollars and some change US. I don't know if there are volume discounts, got it at home depot locally. Comparing the 5 dollar bag that fills about as much volume as the $55 dollar hydroton bag I first started aquaponics with 10 years ago, it's a steal in comparison. If I could find a little bit coarser sand I would go with that. Since the last post, I've had to slow down the flow a little as roots started compacting the sand together. Here is a link from the manufacturer. I hope it helps. Quikrete pool filter sand
  3. I had an Idea (quick everyone run and hide)... My understanding is that tilapia are prolific breeders and that catfish are omnivores. So I was wondering about throwing the excess fry as food to the catfish. I would basically have a 500 gallon tank with catfish and a 300 gallon tank with tilapia. Since tilapia are vegetataion eaters they could be fed pretty cheaply. I could have breeding tank setup to just produce fry and put the best ones in a grow out tank and then feed the rest to the catfish. Is this just insane or does anyone think this might work?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. It's been a four year project, but preliminary results are encouraging. I have steadily been letting the water temperature get lower each winter and spent a lot of money on utilities to keep the tilapia warm enough to get through the winter. The last few months have been colder than normal and with minimal sunshine the last 3 weeks the water temperature has been hard to keep up. Water temperatures have been 46F to 52F for the last month with 46-48F this last two weeks. Solar water heating and a forced air heater set at 50F have been the only source of heat other than a single 300 watt heater in a 4000 gallon tank. The water temperature has climbed since last wendsday and the fish are biting my fingers as I check the water temperature now that it's 56F. It peaked at 60F and I threw a little food to them and they ate it within seconds. I don't want to overload the biofilter that is sure to be weakened by the cold as well. I will feed minimally and monitor for ammonia buildup. I did loose 4 fish during this, but do not see any signs of having lost more. I know the cold weather has wreaked havoc on fellow ap'ers, but wanted to let you know there is hope to reducing utility bills and overwintering fish. I doubt howerver that they would have had time to acclimate in a smaller volume system. Temperature changes occur over days due to the system volume close to 5000 gallons.
  7. Is ash clean out any trouble? Really impressive setup.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. The only way the gubmint is getting mah shark is if they pry it from my cold, dead hands!!!
  12. You can't expect the donald to know what comes out of a "Shole" country now can you If he could only be informed.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Camic, it looks to me like your dealing with new tank syndrome. The bacteria take some time to grow big enough to process the waste. Typical time at your temp is about 30 days as a WAG (Wild A.. Guess). The best thing you can likely do for your fish now is add some potassium chloride. A tablespoon or 2 should do it. Small quantities can be bought as salt substitute. Lowering the pH might help a little, but at the stage of cycling that you are in , it would likely be counterproductive. Add the salt and then sit on your hands and watch. By the way. How long did you let the silicon sit that you used to secure your outlet pipe? Was it fish safe aquarium silicon? Some of the cheaper grades release nasty things in the water during the curing process. To Camic and Jojo81023. I can just not bring myself to recommend hydroton anymore. For a good growth medium , find some ASTM c33 sand easily found at home depot or lowes. Some fine mesh plastic screen material to cover your outlet of your grow bed will keep the sand in as you pump to it every hour or two. Best of luck to you both.
  21. One thing that members have done in the past successfully is raise a cold water fish in winter such as trout and then switch to a warmer water fast growing fish in summer. Then they only have to keep the water from freezing point. The plants that I've tried to grow, don't do well in water temps below 55F, so also consider what plants you wish to grow in the winter if minimally or not heating the water.
  22. Electric heaters can cost you in electricity/money considerably, A propane instant water heater can be rigged to circulate through pipe in the fish tank and that can give you precise control, but again $$$. For low cost, solar water heater works out to be the cheapest, but you have the least control and amount of heating can vary widely. You're in a place that can get pretty cold in the winter. How warm are you trying to keep the water over outside temps? Points to consider. 1. copper coils in heaters/water heaters can release copper ions into the water and become toxic to your fish. There are variables such as water hardness, pH, and the kind of fish your raising that makes the copper more or less dangerous. You might do fine with copper or you might start loosing fish one or two at a time to poisoning. 2. If you flood and drain a grow bed filled with large pore media such as gravel or hydroton, the bed will act as a radiator and radiate your heat, so limiting flood cycles at night is very important if you want to retain heat. 3. If your not real careful , your fish can cost you $100 each due to heating. Best of luck with your adventure.
  23. I'm sorry, I didn't make it clear. The fish tank was the swimming pool. It was the solar water heater that I placed over the fish tank which was a 15 ft intex swimming pool.
  24. Not a silly question at all, very astute actually! I had a big fish tank (a 15' diameter swimming pool) so I just placed it on top of the fish tank inside the greenhouse. With it inside, I never had to worry about it freezing. If I had to do it over again, I would make sure I painted all pex pipe that was exposed black as some of my feeder lines were not painted and I had some trouble with algae growing in the exposed section and shrinking the inside diameter and thus decreasing flow. I could flush periodically, but a little more time and effort in the building stage would have saved me some headache. I had rushed it together due to time constraints and cut corners that later I regretted. If you put it outside the greenhouse you will have to be concerned with it freezing or have to put it an an elevation where it will drain back to tank. If you can find a way to position it in the greenhouse , it will make it much simpler to use. I do realize that greenhouse space is at a premium, so that is a judgement call the user will have to make.
  25. I found the link to the guide I used here.