Ravnis

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  1. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by ande in Poor Donald so uninformed   
    Hi

    I would call the D. uninformed, rather than misinformed.
    cheers
  2. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by Cecil in Poor Donald so uninformed   
  3. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by Cecil in US Government Shutdown   
  4. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in US Government Shutdown   
    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  
     
  5. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in US Government Shutdown   
    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  
     
  6. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in US Government Shutdown   
    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  
     
  7. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by Cecil in Hybrid Crappies it will be!   
    Got to speak with Bobby Glennon biologist at Malone and Sons fish farm in Lonoke, AR USA. This is where a significant amount of research has been done on hybrid crappies both by the hatchery and by a university. Great person to talk to btw and not only does he know his stuff, he is professional, polite, and was happy to answer my questions. Wish I could say the same for some others in the aquaculture field both farmers and academics. 
    It appeared to me there was a contradiction with the sexes used of each species as the SCRAC pub says to use female black crappie and male white crappie, but Malone and Sons lists along with Mississippi Game and Parks lists the opposite. Bobby told me they prefer the White female but getting them in sync with the blacks wasn't that easy and the black crappie female worked just fine.  He also said research elsewhere has shown F1 recruitment is so poor for just the hybrid crappies, Malone and Sons no longer goes to the trouble of producing triploids. It's just not needed and it's tough to get the numbers they need producing just triploids. 
  8. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by ande in US Government Shutdown   
    Hi all
    IMO  this article gives a good description of what is happening, not only in the US, but more or less, across the hole western world. 

    How Wobbly Is Our Democracy?

    By STEVEN LEVITSKY and DANIEL ZIBLATT        JAN. 27, 2018
    President Trump hasn’t destroyed the republic. This should not surprise us. Our democratic institutions are strong. And Mr. Trump, despite his reckless attacks on democratic norms, is a weak and inept leader.

    But that doesn’t mean democracy is safe. The problems we face run deeper than the Trump presidency. While Mr. Trump’s autocratic impulses have fueled our political system’s mounting crisis, he is as much a symptom as he is a cause of this crisis.

    We should not take democracy for granted. There is nothing intrinsic in American culture that immunizes us against its breakdown. Even our brilliantly designed Constitution cannot, by itself, guarantee democracy’s survival. If it could, then the republic would not have collapsed into civil war 74 years after its birth.

    To function well, democratic constitutions must be reinforced by two basic norms, or unwritten rules. The first is mutual toleration, according to which politicians accept their opponents as legitimate. When mutual toleration exists, we recognize that our partisan rivals are loyal citizens who love our country just as we do.

    The second norm is forbearance, or self-restraint in the exercise of power. Forbearance is the act of not exercising a legal right. In politics, it means not deploying one’s institutional prerogatives to the hilt, even if it’s legal to do so.

    We rarely think about forbearance in politics, and yet democracy cannot work without it. Consider what American presidents could legally do under the Constitution. They could pardon anyone they want, whenever they want, undercutting congressional and judicial oversight.

    They could pack the courts. With a congressional majority, a president facing an unfriendly Supreme Court could expand it to 11 or 13 and fill the new seats with allies. Or a president whose agenda is stalled in Congress could make policy unilaterally, via executive orders or proclamations. The Constitution does not explicitly prohibit these acts.

    Or consider what Congress could do. It could, under the Constitution, routinely refuse to fund the government, effectively shutting it down. The Senate could exploit its right of “advice and consent” to block all of the president’s cabinet nominations. It could prevent the president from filling any Supreme Court vacancies. And a congressional majority could impeach the president on virtually any grounds.

    America’s constitutional system thus requires forbearance. If our leaders deploy their legal prerogatives without restraint, it could bring severe dysfunction, and even constitutional crisis. Mark Tushnet, a law professor at Harvard, calls such behavior — exploiting the letter of the law to undermine its spirit — “constitutional hardball.”

    Look at any failing democracy and you will find constitutional hardball. In postwar Argentina, when President Juan Perón encountered Supreme Court opposition, his congressional allies impeached three of five justices on grounds of “malfeasance” and replaced them with loyalists. In 2004, when Venezuela’s high court proved too independent, congressional allies of President Hugo Chávez added 12 seats to the 20-member court and filled them with loyalists. Both Perón’s and Chávez’s court-packing schemes were legal, but they nevertheless destroyed judicial independence.

    Norms of forbearance have not always been strong in the United States: They were weak in the republic’s early years and they unraveled during the Civil War. But for most of the 20th century, Democrats and Republicans accepted each other as legitimate and exercised power with forbearance.

    There were no partisan impeachments or successful court packing. Congress routinely funded the government, obstructionist tools like the filibuster were used sparingly, and the Senate used its power of advice and consent with prudence, routinely confirming qualified nominees. There were instances of executive overreach (Franklin Roosevelt, Richard Nixon), but the most egregious abuses were checked by Congress and the courts.

    History suggests, however, that democratic norms are vulnerable to polarization. Some polarization is healthy, even necessary, for democracy. But extreme polarization can kill it. When societies divide into partisan camps with profoundly different worldviews, and when those differences are viewed as existential and irreconcilable, political rivalry can devolve into partisan hatred.

    Parties come to view each other not as legitimate rivals but as dangerous enemies. Losing ceases to be an accepted part of the political process and instead becomes a catastrophe. When that happens, politicians are tempted to abandon forbearance and win at any cost. If we believe our opponents are dangerous, should we not use any means necessary to stop them?

    This is how democracy died in Chile. Before the 1973 coup, Chile was Latin America’s oldest democracy, buttressed by vibrant democratic norms, including a well-established “culture of compromise.” Chileans liked to say that there was no political disagreement that could not be settled over a bottle of Chilean cabernet. But beginning in the 1960s, Chile’s culture of compromise was shattered by Cold War polarization. Mutual toleration eroded, and political parties eschewed forbearance for a “win at all cost” strategy. Chilean democracy fell into a death spiral, culminating in a bloody coup. (The intervention of the United States accelerated but did not cause this death spiral.)

    Could it happen here? It already has. During the 1850s, polarization over slavery undermined America’s democratic norms. Southern Democrats viewed the antislavery position of the emerging Republican Party as an existential threat. They assailed Republicans as “traitors to the Constitution” and vowed to “never permit this federal government to pass into the traitorous hands of the Black Republican Party.”

    Norm erosion alters the zone of acceptable political behavior. Partisan violence pervaded Congress. Joanne Freeman, a historian at Yale, counted more than 100 incidents of violence (including fistfights, canings and the pulling of knives and pistols) on the floor of Congress between 1830 and 1860. Before long, the republic would be broken — and Americans would be killing one another in the hundreds of thousands.

    America today is not on the brink of a coup or a civil war. Yet our parties are more polarized than at any time during the last century. Whereas 50 years ago some 5 percent of either Democrats or Republicans said they would be displeased if their child married someone from the other party, today 49 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats say so. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 49 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Democrats say the other party makes them “afraid.”

    This is not a traditional liberal-conservative divide. People don’t fear and loathe one another over taxes or health care. As political scientists have shown, the roots of today’s polarization are racial and cultural. Whereas 50 years ago both parties were overwhelmingly white and equally religious, advances in civil rights, decades of immigration and the migration of religious conservatives to the Republican Party have given rise to two fundamentally different parties: one that is ethnically diverse and increasingly secular and one that is overwhelmingly white and predominantly Christian.

    White Christians are not just any group: They are a once-dominant majority in decline. When a dominant group’s social status is threatened, racial and cultural differences can be perceived as existential and irreconcilable. The resulting polarization preceded (indeed, made possible) the Trump presidency, and it is likely to persist after it.

    Extreme partisan polarization had already begun to eviscerate our democratic norms long before Mr. Trump’s election. By the time of Barack Obama’s presidency, many Republicans had abandoned mutual toleration. Prominent Republicans attacked Mr. Obama and the Democrats as anti-American. And of course, in 2016, the Republican Party nominated for president a man who questioned Mr. Obama’s citizenship and insisted that his rival was a criminal.

    Polarization also encouraged politicians to abandon forbearance, beginning with the Gingrich-era government shutdowns and the partisan impeachment of Bill Clinton. Other examples include proliferating filibuster use, congressional refusal to raise the debt limit and President Obama’s use of executive actions to bypass Congress.

    Perhaps the most consequential was the Senate’s refusal to take up Mr. Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Since 1866, every time a president had an opportunity to fill a vacancy before the election of his successor, he was allowed to do so (though not always on the first try). The Senate’s refusal to even consider an Obama nominee violated a 150-year-old norm.

    Democrats are beginning to respond in kind. Their recent filibuster triggering a government shutdown took a page out of the Gingrich playbook. And if they retake the Senate in 2018, there is talk of denying President Trump the opportunity to fill any Supreme Court vacancy. This is a dangerous spiral.

    American democracy retains important sources of strength, including vast national wealth, a vibrant media and civil society, and a robust judiciary and rule of law. But the norms that once protected our institutions are coming unmoored. President Trump has accelerated this norm erosion, but he didn’t start it. Intensifying polarization, driven by an extremist Republican Party, is making constitutional hardball a new norm for party politics.

    The lessons of history are clear. Extreme polarization can wreck even established democracies. America is no exception. As long as Americans do not overcome their deepening partisan animosities, democracy remains at risk — President Trump or no President Trump.

     
     
    cheers
  9. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in US Government Shutdown   
    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.
  10. bigdaddy 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. 
  11. bigdaddy liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in US Government Shutdown   
    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.
  12. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by Cecil in US Government Shutdown   
    Well we are closer now to a Hitler or a Civil war Ravnis. We have a president that would love to be a dictator and acts like one at times. And he's very good at inciting hostility and violence. HIs party will not rebuke anything he does because party comes before country.
    As far as the churches I was livid the last presidential election. Churches are supposed to stay out of politics to keep their tax free status. I saw several church yards in my area that had political signs for one particular candidate. Got an email once from a deacon at a Catholic church I once attended that basically told me who I should vote for in a subtle way.  I read him the riot act and told him never to send me an email again. 
  13. Ravnis liked a post in a topic by bigdaddy in US Government Shutdown   
    Hi Folks,
    I don't know much about U.S. politics so it's difficult for me to comment much, suffice to say I really do not understand them. I certainly do not understand why the majority of the U.S. people voted for Donald Trump.
    This time round I heard there was an shutdown but haven't bothered to follow it much or even think about it a great deal. I'm very disillusioned with Australian politics. We have the most anti worker government in power ever and what's worse, the alternative is no better. I have looked for years and seen bad things that could happen to Australia that even blind Freddie could see and no government or opposition did or will do anything to stop them. I don't think U.S. politics are any better so lately I've chosen to watch more educational programmes like Hogans Heroes instead
    I have noticed The U.S. have chosen to ignore potential flare ups around the world for decades. Think the Iranian hostage crisis and after, ignoring the treatment of the people of Iraq by it's leader. Afghanistan, the withdrawal of Russia and after the Taliban getting stronger and so on...Fast forward to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and the willingness of the U.S. and her allies to ignore North Korea. Even now whilst the U.S. are focusing on North Korea they ignore China.
    I can tell you, there is feeling in Australia that we are very vulnerable to invasion by a myriad of countries who envy us, and covert our land and resources. China has just about invaded Australia by owning almost every major producing industry, particularly produce and mining.
    I digress... "The Post" a Steven Spielberg film starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks looks like a good film to watch. I've heard a very detailed description of it by a friend who has gone to the cinemas and watched it.
    Cheers.
     
  14. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Ravnis Indoor IAVS   
    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.
     
     


  15. bigdaddy 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. 
  16. bigdaddy liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in US Government Shutdown   
    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.
  17. GaryD liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Newbie from Washington state   
    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. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Newbie from Washington state   
    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. 
  19. GaryD liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Newbie from Washington state   
    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.
  20. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Ravnis Indoor IAVS   
    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.
     
     


  21. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Newbie from Washington state   
    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. 
  22. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Newbie from Washington state   
    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. 
  23. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in US Government Shutdown   
    After thinking for a while, why does the money have to come from premiums. Why not from main fund taxes. If main fund taxes can be used to kill people  in other countries and that's ok, whats wrong with it being used to heal and care for people here in the states.
     
    I'm not sure if your old enough to remember, but we used to do just that. Hospitals were supported by local taxes and were not private enterprises just a few decades ago. Then the call came to privatize the hospitals and end government waste and taxes. How is that working out for us. A week in the hospital might cost a weeks paycheck for an unskilled laborer, now you almost have to file for bankruptcy.
  24. ande liked a post in a topic by Ravnis in Help!   
    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. 
  25. 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.