Ravnis

Moderators
  • Content count

    2003
  • Joined

  • Last visited


Reputation Activity

  1. Cecil 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.
  2. FoxWoodRunFarm 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 $$$.
    For low cost, solar water heater works out to be the cheapest, but you have the least control and amount of heating can vary widely.
    You're in a place that can get pretty cold in the winter.  How warm are you trying to keep the water over outside temps?
    Points to consider.
    1.  copper coils in heaters/water heaters can  release copper ions into the water and become toxic to your fish.  There are variables such as water hardness, pH, and the kind of fish your raising that makes the copper more or less dangerous.  You might do fine with copper or you might start loosing fish one or two at a time to poisoning. 
    2.  If you flood and drain a grow bed filled with large pore media such as gravel or hydroton, the bed will act as a radiator and radiate your heat, so limiting flood cycles at night is very important if you want to retain heat.
    3. If your not real careful , your fish can cost you $100 each due to heating.
    Best of luck with your adventure.  
  3. FoxWoodRunFarm liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Heaters?   
    Electric heaters can cost you in electricity/money considerably,   
    A propane instant water heater can be rigged to circulate through pipe in the fish tank and that can give you precise control, but again $$$.
    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.  
  4. ashleyg9 liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Maintaining Water and Air Temperature During Winter   
    I found the link to the guide I used  here.
  5. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by vkn in Our experiments with IAVS..   
    Received this from Team Circle of Life Aquaponics, Chennai.   I hope you all would like it.
    They are now 4 months old and their best stories are yet to come.. Let us wish the team all the best!
     
  6. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by Krishna in Our experiments with IAVS..   
    @vkn This is an impressive list of projects and good innovations. 
    I have only recently stumbled across aquaponics and iAVS (took me a while to understand the differences) ! These seem to be the need of the hour in water scarce countries like India which have helpful climate to grow all year round, provided the right techniques are applied. 
    I am closely related to a NGO in Hyderabad, India which shelters orphans and victims of domestic abuse, human trafficking and social abandon. They currently take up seasonal activities like handicrafts for festival seasons, to sustain their living. I am proposing this system for them to grow their own produce and sell any surplus to aid their livelihood. I have researched a bit on the availability of quartz sand in their area which is positive. 
    I will be visiting India for 40 days from Nov to Dec 2017 during which I will setup a small scale 40sq.m. system for them to try out. If it works out, I plan to help them setup the system on their premises and their branches nationwide. You are an inspiration to learn from !! Thanks a lot for posting the updates for the younger generation to get inspired  
  7. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by vkn in Our experiments with IAVS..   
    NARDC's Aquaponics yield and variety trials at Nanniode.. this is what we have this season. I am feeling a wee bit better today than over the past week or so.







    Noteworthy new stuff under aquaponics sand culture trials are the carrots, pumpkin, and colocasia bog filter (last picture). Arka Rakshak Tomatoes under a very old trial are now being removed and replaced with stevia, strawberry, cauliflower, various amaranthus, spinach, and beets.
    FYI.. We at NARDC intends to provide direct unbiased yield comparisons and results of our various heirloom vegetables and hybrid varieties/species produced in many different aquaponics sand culture environments, irrigation, nutrient distribution, plant scheduling, fish/feed input schedule, balanced fish growth, risk management, etc. Hopefully NARDC's legal status would soon be confirmed (fingers crossed) and most of our data will be posted online soon after that.
    I appreciate all our followers. Thanks for following NARDC's facebook page "aquaponicsfuturist."
  8. bigdaddy liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Maintaining Water and Air Temperature During Winter   
    I had the similar thoughts a while back. What I found is the amount of heat to heat the air is close to 1/4 of the amount needed to heat the water. I even tried to heat the water by running water through pex pipe and blowing hot air from a forced air kerosene heater and it had little effect.  What I did have success with was heating the water with a solar water heater and would get between and 8-12F degree rise in water temperature.  There is a guide on how to make such an animal out of pex pipe and radiant heater aluminum panels. I used that and painted the panels with flat black spray paint.
    Another simple way of cooling the greenhouse during the day was to run a fan from a high point in the green house and direct the air flow onto an open section of water. The air cooled as it hit the water and the water gained some of the heat. This helped the greenhouse to keep from over heating during the heat of the day.
    There are many options to choose from, good luck to you.
  9. bigdaddy liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Maintaining Water and Air Temperature During Winter   
    I had the similar thoughts a while back. What I found is the amount of heat to heat the air is close to 1/4 of the amount needed to heat the water. I even tried to heat the water by running water through pex pipe and blowing hot air from a forced air kerosene heater and it had little effect.  What I did have success with was heating the water with a solar water heater and would get between and 8-12F degree rise in water temperature.  There is a guide on how to make such an animal out of pex pipe and radiant heater aluminum panels. I used that and painted the panels with flat black spray paint.
    Another simple way of cooling the greenhouse during the day was to run a fan from a high point in the green house and direct the air flow onto an open section of water. The air cooled as it hit the water and the water gained some of the heat. This helped the greenhouse to keep from over heating during the heat of the day.
    There are many options to choose from, good luck to you.
  10. Jake Levi liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Is Aquaponics really the most economical way to grow anything ?   
    http://www.greenhousecanada.com/content/view/965/38/
    Interesting read.
    The fact that a FORD motor company plant may turn into an aquaponics plant also makes one wonder. Vermiponics is probably the way to go if you dont want fish. But if you want fish or know people that do... then aquaponics is better, hands down.
  11. Jake Levi 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.
  12. Jake Levi 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.
  13. Jake Levi 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.
  14. early liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Thoughts on heating a greenhouse   
    http://www.worldcat.org/title/northlands-winter-greenhouse-manual-a-unique-low-tech-solution-to-vegetable-production-in-cold-climates/oclc/435438027
    That link will provide you with a way to get the book from a library if you wanted to read it before you bought it.   It sounds very similar to the Sunny John subterranean heating/cooling system.  Beware those type of systems loose efficiency in damp/moist environments typical of an aquaponic setup , so your mileage may vary wildly depending on local climate and solar exposure.
    For your convenience a link to solar map is provided.
    The link that OP posted did have some useful information, but it's not spoon fed and was really similar to the preface of a book. The name of the book is provided and a simple google search yielded multiple hits.
  15. early liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Thoughts on heating a greenhouse   
    No problem with soot, but my greenhouse was not air tight being it was just plastic secured to  a wooden frame.   I used a carbon monoxide monitor in the greenhouse, but never got a detectable level above it's preset set point.   You will need at least 4 ft of clear space in front of it.  I had to tweak the fuel rate to keep the flames from extending past the metal casing.  I had an adjustment on it that could be set with a screwdriver and it took a little trial and error.   I've heard of models that output infrared heat that are supposedly more efficient, but have not really looked into them as this heater was easily purchased at a hardware or feed store.  You will need some method of ventilation if your greenhouse is airtight.  Carbon monoxide is no joke.
    Also, don't overlook the importance of setting up a solar water heater to heat the water. Just keep in mind that heat loss from the water goes up as the air temp goes down. 
    I had looked into the radiant heater thing, but could not justify the added expense in zone 8, but in 5 it might be worthwhile.  You could lay the insulation and radiant heating lines and build a wooden pallet type support over it to hold your system. You could make the wooden support rest on the concrete and the foam board cover the concrete in between depending on how large a system you built.
  16. bigdaddy liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Ravnis Indoor IAVS   
    My tank is buried right now.  It's just a standard 75 gallon aquarium.  I do have two hang on the back(HOB) filters going.  I've got to restock my test chemicals before I cut them loose, so I can monitor parameters.  I've got 7-8 tilapia in the  tank around 3/4 to 1 lb in size.
    Noticed my spinach going to seed, so had to hurry and harvest everything.  I'm still in the learning phase of the LED light and botched  this growth cycle with lots of burned leaves.  Had  a little over 1/2 lb of greens after harvesting and separating the stalks from the leaves in  a 30" x 20" growing area.   Nothing to brag about, but gives a bench mark to improve upon.   I did find out some things.  My aquarium had  been running for about a year as just an aquarium, no growing component.  The nitrate levels were 160 ppm plus.  I kept having problems with the pH jumping up due to the plants raising the pH as they sucked up the nitrate. Once the nitrate dropped  to the 10 to 20 ppm range the pH stabilized.  I kept getting worried as it was heading toward 7.6, but it's back down to 7.0 to 7.2.  I can live with that for a bit. 
     

  17. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by bigdaddy in Bigdaddy's Giving iAVs a Go   
    Hi Folks,
    Heres a couple more pics of my work in progress.
    ATM (until I change my mind again lol) I think I will build one system with one only 1x 300 litre grow bed. I will also use one of my 200 litre drums from my filter systems as the fish tank.
    I can fill that to the 150 litre point put an old pump and plumbing into it and that will solve my water inlet transfere issue. I have also found some old modular shelving I had laying about, and brought an end which I didn't have, cost $30.00 ..This shelving is ideal for what I want to do...The drum fits nicely under the top shelf  which will provide protection from the elements...I have also bought some builders film which they print as also being ideal for fish pond liner for $26.00..Which is a great deal cheaper than buying the proper fish pond liner material...
    One of the issues I had previously with my board(base for the grow beds) cut to 1800mm x 1200mm would of been when I came to maintaining the veges and sand...
    I would not of being able to easily reach to the other side of my grow bed, unless I was a giant,  because I would of only been able to access it from two or three sides in the position I want my system, now with just one grow bed, I can have full access and the system would be reasonably protected from the elements because of the proximity of the house...The other thing is I also have a few hundred mm of space between the fish tank and house so water from the system getting to the foundations of the house is minimized.
    You should be able to see what I'm talking about when looking at the pics.
    Here's the pic showing the space I have. It also shows you the water and electricity supply.The drain of the fish tank is facing towards us because there is a drain behind where I took the pic.

    This pic shows where the inlet comes comes up...I will probably have to direct it so the water comes into the grow bed from the point closest to us. There is some wood under this end, which will change to two smaller bits 1 under each foot to give the grow bed a slope back to the tank.
    The fish tank is where it is rather than at the opposite end to try and protect it more from the weather.


    Cheers.
  18. bigdaddy liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Heredia, Costa Rica Prototype Build   
    Changing the water  out 10 to 20 percent probably won't  hurt the fish... but you'll be loosing whatever nutrients you have in the system as well as slowing down the cycling process.   Though at that high pH the plants are going to have a very tough time nutrient or not.  If  ammonia  and nitrite levels are staying 0 then it is more likely the stress from putting them in the system in the first place. It can take several days for damage to internal organs to translate fish mortality.   Just keep testing, I've read many posts where they had 0 readings and suddenly a spike.
    There are several "salts".   I personally like either calcium chloride or potassium chloride.  Either of these are elements used by the  plants.  Low levels of salt won't harm plants and the level BD mentioned will provide some protection without harming anything.  Some parasites will be less likely to spread with salt in the water. 
    Dr. McMurtry recommended sulfuric acid for bringing down the pH if you do add acid. I've used everything from vinegar to hydrochloric acid(muriatic) as it was easy to get.  Vinegar will "bounce"  and muriatic acid has been the  most reliable method for me.
  19. kellenw liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Thoughts on heating a greenhouse   
    I used something similar to this.     It's a different brand, but they are all the same manufacturer.  I used diesel fuel  to heat my 24' x 32' greenhouse as it was a lot cheaper than kerosene, but did smell worse.   WIth nightime temps in the 20's, it typically cost around $60 or so dollars to heat a month if I set the thermostat at 45F.   It's pretty loud though.
  20. kellenw liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Thoughts on heating a greenhouse   
    I used something similar to this.     It's a different brand, but they are all the same manufacturer.  I used diesel fuel  to heat my 24' x 32' greenhouse as it was a lot cheaper than kerosene, but did smell worse.   WIth nightime temps in the 20's, it typically cost around $60 or so dollars to heat a month if I set the thermostat at 45F.   It's pretty loud though.
  21. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by vkn in Our experiments with IAVS..   
    NARDCs on-farm research and yield trial of Chinese potatoes in aquaponics Easy sand filters is nearing its completion.
    Here is a picture update from project A.

     

  22. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by vkn in Our experiments with IAVS..   
    Good bye, gravel culture!
    Gravel culture is one of the other methods of growing plants without soil in several aquaponics systems.
    We have been working with gravel media since our humble beginning way back in 2012. There are several reasons for moving away from gravel media. When compared to sand culture, the surface area available for microbial attachment is several orders of magnitude greater than even the smallest gravel. The aquaponics systems using sand culture are able to be 'driven harder' (being more productive); we have been witnessing it in our experiments with iAVs.  Furthermore, similarly sand pore size is orders of magnitude more effective at physically (mechanically) filtering suspended solids for far more effective filtration with each cycle/pass.
    So, we have repurposed all our gravel beds and switched to sand filters at NARDC Nanniode. Pictured is a recent inside view of a 3+-year-old aquaponics gravel culture bed.  This was the last one.

  23. bigdaddy liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Ravnis Indoor IAVS   
    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.


  24. bigdaddy liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Ravnis Indoor IAVS   
    Oh, it's nothing fancy,   just a chain and an eye hook.  The hanging kit came with the light.
     
     

  25. bigdaddy liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Ravnis Indoor IAVS   
    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.