Ravnis

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  1. GaryD liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Ravnis Indoor IAVS   
    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
  2. MaisieHolmes liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Aquaponics without the fish (NOT hydroponics)   
    The whitish cloudiness is probably a bacterial bloom, especially since you report an increase in ammonia levels after disconnecting. These problems you are reporting are very common in new systems i.e. less than 6 months old.
    Oddly enough I found out with the missus goldfish aquarium that after I added worms to the filter element the cloudiness and problems you report went away. A good detritus eater will likely solve your problem as well as decreasing the feed rates. I feed my goldies once every other day. I also have a plecostomus and two loaches. I rarely have to clean the tank now, but the first 6 months ... I lost a lot of hair on my head.
    The ph will drop on it's own without you adding anything unless you have something buffering it like limestone. It usually takes up to one year to drop, but it's more a matter of when it uses up the alkalinity in the water and this is more a function of feed rates.
  3. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Ravnis Indoor IAVS   
    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.  
  4. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Ravnis Indoor IAVS   
    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. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Ravnis Indoor IAVS   
    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.  
  6. vkn liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Please don't feed the Bears   
    There have been numerous threads that have been derailed by people with an agenda to make others look stupid, cast doubt on others abilities,  or just cause strife.  I don't claim to know what motivates people to attack others, but it happens.
     
    I know, I know,  Moderators are supposed to fix everything.  I wish we as moderators were omnisicient , wise , and beings of great intellect, but alas we are just ordinary folk trying to keep the peace the best we can figure out how to.
     
    This is where we as the Moderation team have one simple request.   When insulted by someone that is trolling, please don't respond and feed their ego.  Most of us have much better things to do with our time than participate in backyard tinkling contests.  Don't feed the bears and they will starve or find new hunting grounds.
  7. NilliamSuby liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Heaters?   
    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.
  8. NilliamSuby liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Sand Culture hydroponics, prep for IAVs   
    LInk should work now. 
     
    I once had the idea to just bottle the water and sell it as liquid fertilizer.  When I tried it on potted plants, I did not get the same results as plants in the growbed.  I'm no horticulturist by any means, but to me there was something more to the growth than just what was in the water.  Other members have cited Dr. Ingraham and her work in microbial interaction.  A pdf on the subject I am currently perusing http://aglifesciences.tamu.edu/rootbiome/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2015/06/2014-Huang-et-al-review-cjb-2013-0225.pdf
    Much of it is over my head, but I've had enough microbiology to understand some of it.
     
       I am not impressed with clay balls either and ever increasing media size  and thus decreasing surface area appears to be detrimental to the process.  There was a time when AP hobbyist attempted to ever increase the media to  improve drainage times.  After giving sand a go, I'm convinced this was in error.  I believe the original usage of clay balls was to hold root and plant support in DWC, where the nutrients were in solution and needed to easily get to the plant roots.  To me they are insanely expensive and poor performers in ap growbeds.     
     
    Being in china, I would think you would be in one of the birthplaces of integrated farming. I recall references to fish growing in rice paddies during the flood stage.
     
    Bioremediation of the farm waste you described is likely a huge economic opportunity.  I know in the states , a few pig farms have used duckweed to capture waste out of lagoons of pig dung and that has been successful. The duckweed can be used as poultry feed or green manure.    Through history fortunes have been made turning a waste product into a commodity.  Good luck with your fortune.
  9. NilliamSuby liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Heaters?   
    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.  
  10. FoxWoodRunFarm liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Disptching?   
    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.
  11. FoxWoodRunFarm liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Disptching?   
    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.
  12. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by ande in What have you harvested lately?   
    Hi 
    My first asparagus harvest, out of the hugelkultur bed 

     

    cheers
  13. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by vkn in Our experiments with IAVS..   
    It all starts with a seed..

    After you've dropped a seed in its place directly at the aquaponics sand culture ridges, you can go back and do other things. No more seed care needed. No moistening of the newly planted seeds with misters or watering cans. No fertigation efforts. It germinates and the cycle of life begins.  
    @ CSAF #1 demonstration cum commercial facility, near Oachira, Alappuzha.
  14. Mon liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in iAVs in Florida   
    I've posted these for aufin, maybe he can tell us more about them in a subsequent post
     
    A.    
     
    B.    
     
    C.    
     
    D.    
     
    E.     
     
    F.     
  15. Mon liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in FAQ - What is IAVS   
    A very good post of what is IAVS was submitted recently by Dr. McMurtry.  I felt it deserved it's own thread. 
     
    VKN - and anyone else who may benefit/care:
     
    I’m going to attempt to smooth your ruffled feathers.  I DO want very much for you - and everyone else - to succeed ‘beyond your wildest dreams’ (exceed expectations).  If I didn’t, then I wouldn’t still be typing, or otherwise infecting APN with my demonic ‘attitude’ - or ‘putting up with’ hostile lying trolls.
     
    I hesitate to craft the definitive ‘definition’ of iAVs at this time,  but I’ll ‘give a shot’ at listing what I consider to be the basic requirements:
     
    Water: fresh (non-saline), clear (non-turbid), non-polluted (no biological pathogens or ‘chemicals’, metals or nucleotides).  Basically, potable water.  Rain water is strongly advised for the vast majority of applications/locations. Its also free. (collect and store securely in advance of need).
     
    Sand: well-draining, no clay/slit, and chemically inert (does not raise or lower pH of water that comes into contact with it). We’ve been all over this topic in detail repeatedly.  “Sand†is a specific range of particle size, not a specific material/mineral composition.  Quartz (SiO2) is recommended if/where at all possible, but some other inert minerals and glasses may work well also.  Others certainly will not.  Operating beyond the scope of our recommendations is at the sole responsibility/risk of the operator(s).
     
    Furrows:  on the sand surface to distribute ‘water/waste’ evenly across surface and also to keep aerial plant material dry. Pristine sand furrows are stabilized by bacterial films, detritus and/or alga.  Attempt to maintain as much ridge area (mound between furrows) as wide as possible.  Furrows include both between all rows of plants and around the entire perimeter. 
     
    Flood/Drain:  Saturate filter substrate and then allow it to drain completely once every 2 hours (approx.) during daylight. Leave drained overnight.  In the tropics, first ‘cycle’ can begin somewhat pre-dawn and the last start at dusk (finish draining just after total darkness). Since drainage also occurs during the pumping interval, presuming sufficient drainage, one can pump 1/4 up to even one-half of a FT volume per cycle without reducing the FT volume by more than 10 to 15% at any given time.
     
    ‘Tank’ (fish containment), Its capacity, proportions, shape (especially bottom slope) and the pump type/location need combine (‘work together’) to effectively allow solids to settle, and collect in a region/zone that the pump will readily extract/remove when it comes on.
    Try to schedule irrigation volumes sufficient to exchange (turnover) the FT at least twice each day.  More might be ‘better’ - which can be accomplished several ways (not described here to avoid confusion) but not recommended to do so by shortening the on cycle interval significantly.
     
    Fish/Feed: Sufficient fish biomass and feed input consumed to satisfy fish and generate sufficient ‘waste’ to fertilize the number and species of plants being grown - not feed/stocked more than the filter/microbes can process continuously.  This will vary by fish species, age (size), density, DO, pH, Temp, of water, and feed composition/conversion.  Do not feed in the evening (allow for complete tank volume exchange between the last feeding of each day and dark).
    Sustainable fish load and feed rate also varies somewhat depending on type of plant species grown (e.g. leaf vs fruiting) and somewhat on the stage of development/maturity.  Too many fish eating too much feed and respiring too much TAN for the size of the biofilter bed in current use is not advised.  One could get away with this in the short-term but not over the medium- or long-term.
     
    pH;  iAVs is dominantly (90-95%) Horticulture - by mass and economic value in most markets).  Maximal fish production is NOT a goal nor advised. Vascular plants strongly ‘prefer’ (grow best) in range of pH 5.5 to 6.8 (extremes) and optimally 6.4 +/- 0.4 (variance range depends n specific species).  
    Believe it or not.  If one is satisfied with the results of one’s efforts, then that’s wonderful, really!.   If one wants to improve one’s circumstance further, then consider accepting best-intentioned advise.
     
    Soil microbial ecology.  Microbes evolved along with the plants they sustain/interact with, meaning they too benefit from pH in the ‘optimal’ range.
     
    In a ‘controlled environment e.g. greenhouse
     
    Pests and diseases:  Take every prevention precaution possible (too many to describe here).  A common vector is humans: limit and pre-sanitize all visitors and workers.  Monitor for any/all developing problems continuously and have appropriate remedy available immediately.  A gram of prevention yields many kilos of cure.  
     
    Use integrated pest management strategies extensively (employ beneficial insects, bacteria, and plants).  Use insecticidal soaps (Potassium salts of fatty acids) and plant-based extracts with care (minimize/eliminate contact with filter substrate)
     
    Maintain air temperatures and humidity levels appropriate to the plant species being grown. Shade, fogging, evaporative cooling can each be effective for cooling, either individually or in various combinations.   Always provide ample ventilation and continuous air movement within a greenhouse.  
     
    Above May Not be stated the best way possible:  Its just what keystrokes I activated this morning.  
    Any remaining gaps, errors or omissions are not intentional and regrettable.(and correctable).
     
    Questions to ask yourself - OR better yet, to share your responses to here:
     
    Is your water ‘clean’ or is it contaminated?  (e.g. nitrates, phosphates, pathogens, …)
    DO you have/use an inert, well-drained sand (sharp SiO2 preferred)
    DO you flood saturate and then leave drained on 2+/- cycle during the day?
    Are you maintaining ‘system’ (water) pH in the range preferred by plants for optimal growth?  Above pH 7.0 is NOT recommended.
    Do you have a ‘balanced’ fish load and sustainable feed input rate?
    Are you growing nutrient demanding crops (solely lettuce is not advised)?
     
    If you answered Yes to ALL of the above questions, then congratulations … you’re amazing and quite unique. 
    I say that in spite of the fact that I will always insist that AP is a disease.  Some diseases are curable, others are not.
     
     
    You’re Welcome.
     
    ============
     
    PS: Yes, I am fully aware that focusing on plant production (minimizing fish to plant ‘ratios’) is viewed as blasphemy by many, if not most, aqua-holics.  This is not a concern I have.  No one is attempting to prevent anyone from doing precisely whatever they feel like, be that rational or otherwise.  Don’t freak out or invent fallacies.
     
    I am describing what iAVs was intended to do, aka how it ‘works best’ (to date).  What anyone who is NOT literally doing/using iAVs “feels†about claims and goals thereof is irrelevant to me.  Do it or don’t.  Your choice.  Your life. .......  BTW:  Not seeing is not believing ... and vice-versa
     
    If you do undertake iAVs, then please accept our advice in the spirit intended.  My/our intention is for you to realize the best outcome possible, with the greatest cost:benefit possible.  There is and never has been anything (positive) ’in this’ for me.  iAVs has always been exclusively about you (others).   That is all.  
     
    No fee, No exchange, No refund. No apology.
  16. emma liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Overwintering tilapia with minimal heating   
    The topic of solar water heater has arisen again.  This site is a treasure trove of ideas.
     
    <a data-ipb="nomediaparse" data-cke-saved-href="http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimental/PEXCollector/Construction.htm" href="http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimental/PEXCollector/Construction.htm'>http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimental/PEXCollector/Construction.htm" "="">http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimental/PEXCollector/Construction.htm'>http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimental/PEXCollector/Construction.htm'
     
    The solar heater I used in this thread was a 16 foot long version. I got around 4C or 8F degree rise with it.   I used 1/2" pex, but it constricted flow , so if I was to do it again I would consider 3/4" instead.
  17. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by WillsC in Thoughts on heating a greenhouse   
    It is a bit awkward.  The stove comes with a long handled ash scoop, in fact mine came with 3 of them:)   They were wrapped together and I assume the employee doing the packing did not notice??  So picture a metal dust pan welded to the shaft of a metal golf club.  It works and there is not that much ash.  In the aprox 30 days I burned it I believe I cleaned it out 3 - 4 times, took a couple minutes each time.  I might have got a 5 gallon bucket of ash total from all the clean outs, wasn't much.  Not like a normal wood stove where you are burning a lot of volume of wood.  Each fill is like 3-4 pieces of 5" wide 5" thick and 15" long pieces of wood so low volume so low ash. 
  18. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in US Government Shutdown   
    Heres my 0.02,
     
    I worked in insurance for a while and left it because it was not the kind of work I wanted to do.  Lying for living just isn't appealing to me.
     
    One of the things I learned was the secret govenment funds that bail out insurance companies during extreme losses, only insiders know about the fund and it not on the official books. There are backroom deals going on frequently in our government. 
     
    For decades, the cost of insurance has skyrocketed and companies  count that as part of the pay given to employees. Before the afordable care act, it was equivalent to a 50% tax on income for the lowest wage earners. The employers had to have complete enrollment, so employees don't have the option to opt out.   For middle income workers with higher wages, this percentage dropped to 25%. The poor basiclaly subsidize the wealthy by paying more of their income to insurance.   
     
    Health care costs too are part of the equation, they go up  hand in hand with insurance cost. Big pharma  charges 10 to 20 times in the US what it charges in other countries. How does it get away with it? One reason is insurance. People don't worry about the cost as long as they can afford the copay.   I forget the source, it's not mine, but health care is the one thing that free markets will not control, because unlike buying a car or a tv and waiting for the price to fall, with healthcare you can't wait if you need it.  
     
    That the insurance costs is going up due to covering the uninsured now  is ludicrous.  They are already paying out, through higher fees, the cost of taking care of the uninsured as hospitals have the EMTALA law that require them to treat anyone that comes within 150 ft of the hospital.  The insurance companies are railing against the cap of a maximum of 20 % profits, due to a requirement to refund the excess.  .  This is a very, very good profit margin for a business, as fortune 500 companies celebrate 10%.   The insurance companies dropping out, are not dropping out of all of ACA, just select markets. They have figured out how to game the system would be my guess and just be in select markets.
     
    There are people that went hungry and were only able to get food from charities due to the shutdown.  If anything is bound to trigger a civil war in the US.... I'm betting it's hunger.,
  19. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by WillsC in Thoughts on heating a greenhouse   
    Early,
     
    I apologize for invading your thread but Andre wanted some pics of the setup.
     
    The heater inside the tote.
     

    The surround I mentioned, before the gap was filled with perlite.  Btw i filled it with loose perlite, not perlite cement.  From memory I think it took 16 cf.   

    Looking down in the burn chamber.  The air enters between the side wall and that metal plate and the plate extends to about an inch from the bottom so air is forced under the fire, though there is no bottom grate. 

  20. Cecil liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Poor Donald so uninformed   
    You can't expect the donald to know what comes out of a "Shole" country now can you    If he could only be informed.
  21. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by Cecil in U.S. Steel Tax.   
    How many of you knew the last time we had a trade war on a global basis is it was followed by the Great Depression? Experts say it my not have been the entire reason for the GD but it sure contributed to it. 
    Look up the Smoot Hawley Act if you want to read more. 
     
  22. bigdaddy liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in U.S. Steel Tax.   
    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.
  23. mhaigh liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Ravnis Indoor IAVS   
    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. 
  24. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by bigdaddy in U.S. Steel Tax.   
    That reminds me of the joke.
    A plane was about to crash there were 4 passengers on board but only 3 parachutes.
    The first passenger gets up and says 'I'm Steph Curry, the best NBA basketball player...The Warriors and my millions of fans need me I can't afford to die."....
    He took the first pack and left the plane...
    The next passenger gets up and says "I'm Donald Trump, the newly elected U.S. President and I'm the smartest president in American history, my people don't want me to die"...He took the 2nd pack and jumped out the plane...
    The 3rd passenger, the Pope said to the 4th passenger, a 10 year old schoolboy" My son, I am old and don't have many years left, you have many mores years ahead of you, so I will sacrifice my life and let you have the last parachute" The little boy said "That's OK your Holiness...There's a parachute for you....America's smartest president just took my school bag"
    Ande, You are onto the exact same stuff I'm on about
    Hey Rav, interesting list...I'm not so sure Donald Trump is particularly successful either, considering the silver spoon he had in his mouth growing up and upon his inheritance.
    Cheers..
  25. bigdaddy liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in U.S. Steel Tax.   
    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.