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About bcotton

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    Moderator Team

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    dallas, tx

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    aquaponics, brewing beer, woodworking

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  1. perfect, thanks!
  2. Apparently not all minerals require mineralization to be unlocked for plants. It depends on what form the nutrients are in. They could be released into the aquaponics system through the fish gills and in urine. maybe I was oversimplifying the process in my head? I always thought gills, and urine = ammonia.. all other nutrients and micronutrients =solids. Does anyone (glances at ande) know of any books or papers on what forms and types of nutrients are released by fish through respiration, which through urination and which solids? maybe it'snot so cut and dry. I will revisit some of the mineralization threads... its possible some of this info is in there i just wasnt "ready to listen" at the time.
  3. Through my general browsing I was reviewing a fish food i buy online (and use)that is specially forumlated for growing bluegill. I noticed that this said company has recently added an "aquaponic" formula. It says that they add chelated iron and a few other minerals for fish growth that you wouldnt typically put in fish food. Maybe i have been living under a bubble but i have never seen this before. is this a matter of goodness and convenience for us backyard aquaponic growers? or should i be concerned about the fish eating stuff that isnt considered a normal part of their balanced diet? I would like to get thoughts, opinions and links to any scientific information on this while i research this more. How available would these nutrients even be to plants? I assume we will have to mineralize solids instead of removing to see any of the benefit? I think its really interesting and i cant imagine i wont try this soon. " <redacted brand name> is a specialty feed that utilizes the same unique formulation approach as our other <reacted> feeds – designed for superior health, performance and water quality. In our Aquaponics feed, we add several critical modifications targeted to promote more rapid plant growth, improved plant budding and fruiting, as well as preserving organic standards. We achieve this through the use of essential chelated minerals (copper, manganese, iron), as well as optimized phosphorous and potassium supplementation that assist in plant performance without adversely affecting fish growth and health. <redacted> Aquaponic Feed is designed to satisfy the specialized needs required for growing healthy and sustainable fish and produce in your aquaponics systems. " it would be easy for someone to google this brand name and find it, i just didnt want to advertise it or sound like i endorse it I specifically want to talk about the plant additives to fish food strategy and not discuss the brand (at least in this thread). Guaranteed Analysis Crude Protein - not less than 38% Crude Fat - not less than 8% Crude Fiber - not more than 4% Phosphorous - not less than 2% Moisture - not more than 10%
  4. i wouldnt hesitate to use any fish that i could grow in an aquarium in the same environment. Technically tilapia are tropical fish and closely related to oscars, jackdepsey etc. why would water chemistry fluctuate more in aquaponics than it could/does in a closed loop aquarium system?
  5. The first of [hopefully] many loads of "free" mulch for the backyard conversion
  6. Some bonus footage.. The overwinter fish tanks and whats left of my old fence. The pickets were really beat up but functionally the wood was only about 4 years old.. So its cleans up nice and has good character. That seedling table wont be the only project these pickets get used for.. For instance. my neighbor used some to make a deer blind..
  7. we had a really hard freeze over the weekend. it got to 19 degrees at night. Which is cold for dallas. anyway.. i have all my plumbing next to the ground and the plan is to cover it in mulch to help insulate but that hasnt been done yet.. so the plumbing exiting one of the 1500 gallon tanks broke... because of aeration and i guess the size of the water body.. the water in the tank didnt freeze and all 50ish channel cats were still alive today sitting in 6 inches of water.. so i netted them out and put them in the other tank.. no casualties... Its also possible the ecoplus 7 air pump i use was putting a bit of heat into the water bubbles cause that is where they were all huddling... next to the air stones. I am not too upset about the damage. i had already decided to do a major rework of the plumbing this spring when i try to bring the DWC grow beds online (finally). man i am embarrassed at how lazy i have been and how long this is taking, but i am promising better results. meanwhile.. since it was so damn cold outside, this weekend i started work on my indoor seedling starter tables... This is inside my garage.. it takes up about one quarter of the garage.. the other quarter of the garage is my indoor fish tanks... the other half of the garage is basically a woodworking shop. The seed tables are made completely out of scrap wood and the fence pickets from my old fence that was destroyed by the hail storm we had last year. The lights are 8 foot T5 bars.. I got these for free when my work remodelled an office space and they were going to throw away the old light fixtures. (ps, i set them all up like that last year when i was just putting pots on the floor, i am only going to power 6 lights for the grow tables.. The other lights i will be moving around the garage for better lighting over my different wood workstations The fish tanks is where i overwinter a few tilapia and work with feed training and reproducing native fish. I will put up some lights on that side so i can take some decent pictures to post .. That is basically 3x 100 gallon tanks.. they are different types 1x aquariun, 1x chopped ibc and 1 x stock tank. just kind of pieced together with with stuff i used in other projects as well. I am just taking a break right now but i am working on the drain holes and adding the plastic liner right now.. I am already probably 2 months too late on my pepper starts but hoping to get seeds started for my winter early planting stuff and peppers this week.
  8. yah all of my systems have small pond snails. I am sure it came in when i bought fish from a pond stocking place and they are prolific. I cant keep them out of the plumbing and the filters but at least once a year i will put some red ears in each tank and they will annihilate all traces of snails in that tank. in my experience bluegill and tilapia also eat snails but they are more opportunistic as i dont think they can just crush a snail on a wall from behind like a RES can. Personally, i dont get worked up about the ebbs and flows of the snail population. In 3-4 years i havent really had any huge issues, just periodical RES control. I do think it causes extra wear and tear on my water pumps . I do try to filter the big snail shells and such from going through the pump, but i do not doubt i am getting less pump life because of this. On the other hand they do seem to do a decent job of controlling surface algae and they seem to feed on solid sediment if some settles in the bottom of the fish tank, in a filter or in a grow bed, they seem to have a place in an ecosystem. They just need to still be a part of the food chain to keep them in balance. I know that doesnt help you cecil, just diatribing a bit of empathy i suppose. How does the assassin snails work? What do they do once they control your snail population? Do they leave your system? Are you trading one nuisance for another? swallow the bird to catch the spider to catch the fly?
  9. and i dont think the issue has been not able to find the sand.. you can get exactly what you want if you are willing to buy 25+ cy at a time.. But when you only need 4 or 5 yards... you are restricted to what is popular enough for resellers to carry
  10. yah, there shouldnt be detectable silt or clay. the chart i saw was ~3.x% very course and ~6.x% fine
  11. My cousin works at a golf course here in dallas. He referred me to "a guy" that has really good compost for my raised beds. But it turns out "a guy"'s bread and butter is golf course sand. So when i go to get my compost in a couple of weeks, i will grab a sample of his very course silica sand. and test it out. He said it has almost no silt or fines. he said it usually scores PH at the 5.5-6 range but he thinks that is just because it is acid washed and believes that is probably the only reason it tests that low. Looking at the particle size evaluation it looks like 90% of the sand is in the medium and course categories. .25mm and .5mm. with <1" silt or clay with the other 10% very coruse or fine. This is pretty good, no? any concerns? I left a spot in my yard to experiment with IAVS once i get my other projects under control. It wasnt at the front of my mind because other people in the dallas and east texas area seemed to have to make more compromised on their sand attributes than i really wanted. If this works out i may move up my iavs project timeline to this upcoming spring.
  12. yes , ammonia might have been too high. Especially if the tank was not cycled (biologically mature) before adding that many fish. Your teacher should invest in basic test kits for PH, ammonia and nitrite so you could say for sure.
  13. it sounds like good results for a first attempt. I hope to get back to my work with feed training and breeding sunfish in aquariums.. I did buy a couple of hundred crappie in october but i lost them all. They had been handled a lot from hatchery to a pond stocking retailer and moved from a big tank to small tank at that facility.. on top of since they are not feed trained they had not eaten in a week.. well, it was a loss. The time i had good results i drove to louisiana and bought form the hatchery and that may be what i need to do in the spring to ensure i get strong enough fish to last through the feed training stresses.
  14. I made a couple of underwater feeding videos today. There's two 1500 gallon fish tanks. one has 150 channel catfish fingerlings and the other has 100 hybrid striped bass and 50 channel cat fingerlings. I think the speed and agility of the HSB is really neat and fun to watch. And the way catfish swarm and weave around the food reminds me of sharks. Right now, all the fish are eating the same high protein fingerling starter food. But as they grow i will moved the 1) HSB/catfish tank to high protein predator feed 2) the catfish only tank to a lower protein omnivore catfish grower feed Lower protein typically means lower cost. but high protein typically means faster growth. But from my understanding the catfish shouldnt grow any faster on the predator feed because the grower feed is nutritionally balanced for optimal growth already. So lets see!!! These are fast growing fish and barring unfortunate circumstances i expect/plan for them to be in the 3lb range by fall 2017. I will probably start harvesting some of the fish when they reach 1.5-2 lbs to help manage the fish load in the tanks. Channel Catfush https://youtu.be/K3ibpdX5znI HSB+channel catfish https://youtu.be/RSryUquSGm8