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About bcotton

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    Moderator Team

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  • Location
    dallas, tx

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  • Interests
    aquaponics, brewing beer, woodworking

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  1. Its in my front flowerbed (not in my aquaponics) but i am thinking banana's in dallas (zone 8) is noteworthy... now it's a race to ripen before first freeze....
  2. Some pictures of the bluegill tank at feeding time.. theres about 300 bg and res in this tank give or take
  3. A bit of drama over the weekend... i have been harvesting 1-2 pounds of greens a day, juicing, eating raw, making sauerkraut.. i was working around the rafts and i saw something black with a tail under the leaves slip into the water.... It really messed with my mind, i wasnt going to be able to harvest anymore greens until i figured out what it was... so i took out each raft one at a time until i caught him. In this area there is a very poisonous water viper named water moccasin or in this area that are often call "cottonmouth". As it turns out it was something harmless.. I let him go out on the easement after explaining to him he was not welcome. Does anyone have any experience with these vibrating/inaudible snake repelant solutions? like https://www.amazon.com/Vensmile-Repellent-Repeller-Control-Waterproof/dp/B01N5JRXEH/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1497894749&sr=8-2&keywords=snake+repellent+for+yard Sorry some of the pictures are blurry i was working in water , plus it was 95 degrees outside hot sweaty and humid and i think i got the lens wet.
  4. I have never lacto fermented before... so this is all new experience... but as my dad used to say, "you wont learn any younger"...
  5. I just had to click a tab.. Yah, just needs to pass the house then signed by governor. Maybe next year =/
  6. The pak choi seemed to have gotten ready overnight... This morning when i wen to feed the fish I saw one of them starting to make seed pods. I will cut them down asap and i may let the ones starting to go to seed go to seed. The other stuff is still behind and not bolting so they may end up being true to type. These are the first cucumbers of the season. 3 of them from the aquaponics and one from the raised bed. (i know i am like 2 months behind, trying to catch up!) The plan is to try some lacto fermentation with the pak choi and the cukes.
  7. after working to get the PH down below 7, the peppers are getting better.. they look like hell because they are dropping all of he yellow leaves but the new growth is dark green.. i estimate it will take a couple of weeks for them to start looking normal but everything else is growing great. With the exception of the pak choi the greens are a little leggy, presumable from the heat. I have ordered some more heat tolerant varieties of greens to start rotating into the rafts as i start to harvest what i have grown
  8. i dont really know completey i dont really know how state governemnt works.. i know it has to be voted on and passed by the house.. then i think the gov signs it and its passed
  9. The bill passed house committee without amendments... man, i am really starting to get exciting thinking this is going to happen http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=85R&Bill=SB1620 The only bad news is this bill didnt make the highlight real on the Legislature special session that has been called http://texasfarmbureau.org/gov-abbott-calls-legislative-special-session/
  10. correct me if i am wrong but my understanding of the nitrifying bacteria at PH 6 isnt the same bacteria working at 7.9. He said that there's bacteria at 6.0 that would perform the nitrifying function. Or at least that is how i understand it. Anyway. that;s what i meant by the possibility of having to cycle again if i move ph too drastically. It may or may not really be an issue, i dont know. Wouldnt any aquapoinics system, (not just iavs) regulate PH to some extent? The nitrification would lower ph and the plants uptake of nutrients would raise ph? The issue i have right now is just the substrate i am using in the ferrocement bed but i could decouple that from the big system if i wanted to It would just require an addtional (small) pump. My system is designed in a way that could could decouple the fish/filtration from the DWC beds and do dual loop but I dont plan to do so.. i just figured to design it that way in for optionality in case i change my mind later
  11. this is roughly two weeks growth on the greens grow beds (kale, chard, bok choi, pak, choi, lettuce, cabbage, etc.) There's been uneven growth and a lot of caterpillar damage to some plants.. specifically the kales. I have treated with liquid BT and most plants seem to be recovering. I am not sure on the uneven growth. The ones on the sides are growing much slower than the ones in the middle. I am thinking it may have something to do with air stone placement. Also, inspired by rob bob. I am experimenting with root pouches in 4x4 foot grow beds. in the future i will call them "modular wicking beds" cause that's how i view them. I plan to grow some small trees, potatoes, sweet potatos, herbs , etc in the root pouches. Things that can be a pain to manage or harvest in a large soil grow bed or in the ground. Because of the liners, i have a lot of options. If i end up not liking the root pouches i can always fill them in like real wicking beds. Also, i plan to try "kratky method" hydroponics in them. I am putting these in a lot of the open places that dont have aquaponics or other projects.. In total i expect there will be 12 throughout the yard.
  12. i am still dosing a cup or so every day... PH bounces around a lot because of the alkalinity of the shale i added. It was down to 6.6 last night but based on how its been so far, i expect it to be back up to 7 by the time i get home today. been trying to keep it around 7. I am just concerned going from 7.9 down to 6.5 will cause the bacteria to cycle again ,.. ( i am not sure they wont do so anyway) and i am feeding heavily right now. but yah. i hear yah. I have just always been hands off on adjusting ph cause i didnt want to mess with i t.. but as long as i am messing with it, i might as well do it right.
  13. Lowering the PH seems to have helped in some areas. The new growth on the cucumbers are very green. The tomatos never really "looked bad" but i think they look better. The pepper plants however have not improved and are even getting worse with wilting leaves and brown spots. I do see ants on the raft so maybe its aphids, i will try to investigate better but i didnt have a lot of time this morning. If anyone knows what the issue is from the pictures, i am open to ideas.
  14. Here you go gary, i finally trellised up the wine grapes on the fence.. since they have been neglected for so long they are all at different stages of trellising... some i am on the second arm and some still on first year 1 arm pruning.. so i am still a couple of years from significant grapes.. The wire is 30 inches off the ground.... next year i will add the 3 top wires 12" above the 30" then each other. the soaker hose on a timer is new too.
  15. The plants in my rafts are starting to show yellow. Generally i think this is iron deficiency but I had added a couple of tablespoons of iron chelate about 3 weeks ago so i didnt think that was the cause... i tested ph and nitrates to find was 7.9 and nitrates are 5ppm. i know plants like ph lower (high ph can inhibit plants from uptaking iron even though there is iron in the water) but i usually dont worry much about my ph being a little on the high side... however. 7.9 is high even for me. I think i must have added a bunch of limestone or whatever when replanting the gravel bed because (when i added in a lot of new expanded shale.) I have started dosing with muratic acid to start bringing down the ph.. i will try to get PH stabilized in the 7.2-7.4 range over the next week. I also added another tablespoon for iron chelate but this time more local to the raft beds than in the sump like last time. 5.0 ppm nitrates was also surprisingly low to me. But i guess the system is still maturing. In the test kit that is an orangish color but in 8 years every nitrate test i have ever done my aquaponics systems have always been some shade of red (20ppm or higher) ... So i have moved the rest of the fish from my indoor/garage rearing tanks outside and I have started trying to feed more. I still feed twice a day and no more than they will eat in 5 or so minutes... The good news is Is the temps are still warming up and the fish have been getting more comfortable coming to the surface when i am standing near the tank so they have been eating more. I have also ordered some organic magnesium sulfate but i havent added it yet. I want to see if lowering the PH and increasing feeding solves the problem.. I am already changing two variables i want to still have kind of reasonable idea of what step solved the problem as opposed to changing a bunch of variables and having no idea.