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  1. ande liked a post in a topic by Strider in Hello from Indiana   
    I know. Most here are passionate about aquaponics and that is generally what leads to the occasional friction.  This is a good place to get all sorts of advice. All one needs to do is decide what advice to take. 
  2. ande liked a post in a topic by Strider in Dual loop system build.   
    Update:  Everything is working great!  I have too many tomatoes from planting all at the same time. Lesson learned. These tomatoes are big and much better than the tomatoes in my last system.  I had a Zucchini that made Godzilla look like a small garden lizard.  My bitter melons are flourishing and growing many and big. So I notice that my plants are growing better as time goes on,, not sure if that is because the mineraliztion tank is finally kicking in or what. I am now able to grow multiple cucumbers on a single plant whereas in my old system I was limited to one big one and many small ones. 
    Here is a pic of me holding that monster zucchini and a couple bitter melons.  And no, I did not wet my pants! That was from cleaning my filter socks. lol

  3. ande liked a post in a topic by Strider in Hello from Indiana   
    I know. Most here are passionate about aquaponics and that is generally what leads to the occasional friction.  This is a good place to get all sorts of advice. All one needs to do is decide what advice to take. 
  4. ande liked a post in a topic by Strider in - the Integrated Aqua-Vegeculture System   
    I have no side. I am in this discussion for the science of it and how iAVs can improve aquaponics.  For me, iAVs is just one more way to grow stuff using fish. Nothing more nothing less. As much as I respect Mark for his study in this field and his dedication to making this work for those in need by teaching in remote challenging places I think he is not the best ambassador to sell this.  He can get very defensive (at seemingly the most innocent phrases) and his offense is always insulting and results in name calling.  I just do not want to see this thread devolve into that....again. 
    The only way we, you, and me, will know if the claims made concerning iAVs are true is to build it and see. I for one am confident sand would be an excellent media and certainly no worse than any other. I base that strictly on my aquaponics experience using lava rock and hydroton, hydroponics experience over many years, and playing with both single and dual loop aquaponics systems. 
    So when Mark or Gary claim A, B, and C about iAVs my reaction is OK, why not? Sounds reasonable so far. Who am I to challenge them considering our respective experience levels?  But I am also a show me kind of guy.  
    In the end, Gary is to be commended for his hard work on setting up the web page and furthering something he believes in so passionately. His dedication to iAVs is most apparent in all he says and has done to bring it to the attention of others. What is wrong with that?  
    No Mr. crsublette, I am on no one's side in this debate or any other. My opinions may agree with other's opinions but that does not mean I am on their side. I would encourage you to continue to challenge if the data and science seems prudent to do so. 
  5. Strider liked a post in a topic by bigdaddy in - the Integrated Aqua-Vegeculture System   
    A good feed of fish and chips should satisfy your hunger Gary ...Who said that?...
    I've been away for a while...Just a few thoughts...Looking at this thread, it appears a lot more large scale trials need to be undertaken if we can justifiably say sand bed construction works well commercially. I guess that would entail substantial investment from a number/numbers of people. I guess that could well fall out of the scope of this forum.
    I appreciate the work both Mark and Gary are putting into the website and look forward to seeing the results of more home based trials as they come to hand.
    Keep up the good work folks this stuff is very interesting to say the least.
  6. ande liked a post in a topic by Strider in - the Integrated Aqua-Vegeculture System   
    While I for one do not think you have made this a personal assault your certainly combative concerning this topic. My question is why couldn't you look up this data as Gary did? You seem to make these claims or cast doubt on other claims and then when you are given supporting data you act as if it was the fault of the provider who went out of his way to teach you.
    I do not find the iAVs yeild claim in doubt one iota. In fact others have done similar systems with dirt bed media (wicking beds) and are showing very impressive results. They also use aquaponic water as the main nutrient source. So why would sand not perform as well?
    I just took one of the largest zucchinis I ever saw out of my hydroton media bed in a dual loop system experiment and I can only imagine how much bigger it may have gotten had I used sand with its larger surface area.
    IOWs, sand would improve my results because it is simply a better media in terms of SA, filtration capability, and water retention/conservation ability.
    Where do you see the downside to using sand?
  7. Strider liked a post in a topic by kellenw in Tilapia with HITH disease   
    Hi Strider,
    The best and easiest source is a quality commercial ration that uses a stabilized vitamin C supplement in the food. Many of the lower cost foods use cheaper forms which break down over time.
  8. crsublette liked a post in a topic by Strider in - the Integrated Aqua-Vegeculture System   
    Yes. I could of swore I read where Mark stated that the sand had to be scraped after every crop. On a commercial scale that is an enormous amount of sand removal and change.  Just because it is something that commercial growers are geared up to do does not change the labor involved. 
    I saw a large system (hydroponic) that was modular and easy to change out the grow media between tomato crops.  Remove one bag, insert the new bag w/ tomato plant.  That is what the sand system lacks...
  9. Jarrad liked a post in a topic by Strider in Do you cycle your system with or without fish?   
    It is good you don't kill lessor animals for no good reason....that would be the first sign of a sociopath. Remember, fish are food, not friends. Lol
  10. Strider liked a post in a topic by GaryD in Cunning's outdoor system thread   
    Hi Jarrad,
    Rectangular tanks are the worst of all possible options……even square tanks can be set up to deposit solids in the centre of the tank within reach of the pump or solids lifting outlet.   And it's not like the maker of that kit hasn't been told enough times.
    What are the dimensions of the tank?
    Here's an idea that I've applied on other rectangular tanks.
    Take short length of PVC pipe…..a bit less that the depth of the tank……and push a 90o bend on one end.  Suspend this arrangement in the corner of the tank by an eyelet ( with the eyelet screwed into the fitting).  Hang a small air stone down into the pipe…..just short of the bottom…..with the horizontal outlet on the bend about half way out of the water.   What we have here is a simple air lift set up to discharge along one side of the fish tank.
    Repeat this operation for the other three corners.  What you'll end up with is four little airlifts each taking water from deep in the tank and discharging (all facing in the same direction) at the surface.
    This simple idea not only stirs the tank from the bottom to the top but also creates a stirring motion that will "swing" the tank in a circular motion (for as much as that's possible)…….while at the same time aerating the tank.  You'll know if it's been successful because the solids will start to accumulate in the centre of the tank…..within reach of the pump.  
    It will still be good for your tank regardless of whether it focuses the solids simply for the fact that it will turn the water in your tank more effectively.
    You can fine tune the placement of these airlifts…..up and down…….subject to to the build up of solids.
    The same idea works very well on circular tanks and almost as well on square ones.
    You can actually buy an air pump with four outlets (click here) or buy a splitter and drive the four airlines off of a single outlet pump (of sufficient capacity).
  11. ande liked a post in a topic by Strider in Do you cycle your system with or without fish?   
    I am not that funny.
  12. Cecil liked a post in a topic by Strider in Oh the humanity! 40 Rainbow Trout dead in less than 24 hours....   
    Yeah I agree. But something in me says that cycling without fish is the more prudent thing to do, especially for those new to aquaculture. Getting an established bacteria colony is probably a better way to go just to play it safe. Who knows how much I am stessing my fish...
  13. crsublette liked a post in a topic by Strider in Oh the humanity! 40 Rainbow Trout dead in less than 24 hours....   
    Sorry about your loss...  Just as an FYI, you could use a car 12V to 120VAC converter to run a small air pump with an air stone in the cooler next time on the way home. It is cheap and just plugs into your cigarette lighter. 
  14. Strider liked a post in a topic by Xpim in MY base Idea coming up:   
    random report!
    - my tilapia started "doing it" but I'm out of space, food and 'know how' to have newborn fry...
    - more information about my pump failure sensor (pressure switch) is yet to be made (but ongoing)
    - air line still not finished but my DO is now at 8ppm (finally got the tester!)
    - my calcium is a bit high so I'm not adding any more or it until it drops (160ppm)
    - magnesium is about 60ppm so not adding it either!
    - earthan beds made, one with plants growing (and weeds... lots of weeds since my compost was under siege by the wind and others! I don't mind cos' I like to pull the weeds )
    - I'm yet to get a potassium tester "just to check it" since I'm not adding it in any way.
    - my PH is still high even with more fish... I can't fix it right now but that crappy expanded clay will have to go!
    - I have no fish deaths in I don't know how long now. but I guess I have a digested fish. one of the smallest ones vanished (ornamentals)
    - my filters are doing a pretty good job! some solids pass the radial flow filter, get trapped in the swirl filter and most of the fine solids are trapped in the trickle filter. I can't afford to place K1 media in the moving bed biofilter right now.
    I did not find any ammonia or nitrite present in the system at any time so I actually don't need the K1 for the fish, just for helping out on the cleaning if the (pretty clean) water
    I may be just nagging about it but I would love to have/build a filter to capture all the fines in the system...
    - I have to clean out the sump bottom since it has some debris building up there...
    upon checking the sump I've noticed:
    part from the bloodworms breeding in there...
    - I have a colony of seed shrimp (I can't see them since they are minimal but I guess its ostracods)
    - another black'ish' worm that is eating all the unfortunate insects that drop to the bottom (unidentified)
    - and some really tiny surface "bugs" that I can't identify due to being really small and quick!
    I did not add any of those critters but I guess their OK to be there...
    I hope I have some more news soon
    wish me luck in finding some appropriate clay aggregate! (I've found hydrocorn that buffers the PH to 7.9 after about an hour. I'm going to test some others to check for the cheapest/best substrate to use.
    good night all!
  15. crsublette liked a post in a topic by Strider in plant nutrients in ap vs organic soil gardens   
    I have to concur with Gary. Home grown taste better mainly as a function of freshness and being natural. How many commercial foods are picked prematurely to avoid rotting in transit andLlowed to rippen on the way off rhe vine? It definately affects the taste.
  16. TheDictator liked a post in a topic by Strider in Ravnis' Sand Bed #1   
    Hi SA, I put a venturi tube in my min tank pointing down at about 45% to try to keep things moving in the tank. Not sure how good it is working as it has only been a couple days of stuff added. But sometime in the near future I will look to see what is going on in there...
  17. Strider liked a post in a topic by Xpim in MY base Idea coming up:   
    I've got (about) 100 tilapia today!

    little more news for now...
    I've made an earthan bed on one of the half barrels and I'm adjusting it to have "just about" the right amount of wicking capacity without becoming a swamp...
    in a few days I'll get to know if I have enough fish to pull the PH down (without building up to much nitrates) and then I'll consider changing out the leca in some GB's. I need to lower the PH bt (at least) 1 unit. its running "locked on" 8.0 right now. I can't make pretty much anything about it... as long as the water passes on all that leca (and maybe some left over carbonates in the rocks) it just buffers up.
    I did find a local store with hydrocorn but I'm yet to evaluate if it is really PH neutral.
    I've also found another store in Spain with (claimed) PH neutral hidroton.
    I'm evaluating if I really need to replace the leca and the options available...
    all for now! read you soon!
  18. Strider liked a post in a topic by RupertofOZ in Confused on PH, KH, GH, Carbonates, Hydroxides   
    The use of carbonates or hydroxides raise the ph alkalinity.... kh & gH are often referred to or measured in degrees of "alkalinty", or more correctly Calcium Carbonate
    They refer to the ability to buffer pH...
    It is commonly the case that source water with high kH and/or gH... also has a high pH.... and are often referred to as "alkaline", as opposed to "acidic"...
    Carbonates will raise kH in conjunction with pH... and could raise gH.. if used in very large quantities... but both your pH and kH would be off the scale, and your fish and plants probably dead...
    General hardness (although expressed in degrees of carbonate)... is a measure of the "mineral" content of the source water... (usually described as "hard" water)... and usually reflect Calcium, Magnesium and/or Iron.... and any others
    Nate's video was somewhat confusing.. and taken out of context... he was referring to how high carbonate content in high pH/hardness source water systems can be problematic.. as often seen.... and frequently posted..
    It's not so much the "carbonates" that are esential in a low pH situation.. such as when buffering is required.... but more the provision of a "carbon" source for the nitrifying bacteria...
    In low pH scenarios... (which by definition essentially mean very low, or near nil carbonate buffer capacity)... the bacteria don't have the carbonate as a carbon source... (as they would in a higher pH).. instead utilising the CO2 in the system being produced by the fish.. which otherwise would form carbonic acid.. and drive pH even lower... (again related to the fact that there is no buffer capacity)
    People suggest "hydroxides" for pH control... as commonly used in RAS... for the reasons posted above... and because that leaves the pH within a preferred range for plant nutrient uptake... 6.2 - 6.8...
    Others prefer "carbonate" compounds.. or even quantities of "shell grit" or even limestone... to maintain both a more "stable" pH... but also a more "neutral" pH closer to 6.8 - 7.4...
    Diurnal swings in pH are more a feature of algae... and significant in pond based aquaculture... but negliable in most backyard aquaponic systems...
    But yes dosing with excessive hydroxides (or carbonates for that matter) in a single dose could certainly result in large pH swings... and the "Kalkwasser" drip methodology was invented as a means of constant pH buffering (equated to feed levels).. for this purpose...
    Many ornamentals, corals and marine crustacea, molluscs etc... require a "hardness" content.. that's more related to Calcium for shell integrity...
    And as such it's "normal" for aquaria circles to recommend "minimum" kH levels... but that's also in conjunction, even if not expressed... with pH ranges above what is typically used with freshwater fish... and certainly in AP systems...
    (Quick and nasty off the top of my head.. I'll come back and review later)
  19. Strider liked a post in a topic by Xpim in MY base Idea coming up:   
    with to low pressure pumps this could be hard to make work. with high pressure pumps we could damage the membrane.
    for low pressure systems we could just use 2 pumps if one fails, the other keeps going until we fix the problem on high pressure we could use a flow switch.
    I can make a more detailed "article" with schematics and drawings and post it in a new thread for everyone to see and discuss (I don't really know when I could do it but...)
  20. Xpim liked a post in a topic by Strider in MY base Idea coming up:   
    So if the main pump fails, that decreases the air pressure in the tube and that triggers the switch? 
  21. Xpim liked a post in a topic by Strider in MY base Idea coming up:   
    Hello,  This is a day for filters.  You are the second person talking about cleaning the fish tank.  I built a sand/sock filter that was easy.  It is to get out the small micro solids that discolor the water. It seems to be working well but it has only been a day and a half. I am using a small 70 gph fountain pump. I put it up on You tube so if you can't find it I can put up a link in case you are interested.  I plan on cleaning the sand every so often by exchanging it with new sand and sterilizing the old sand. 
    I had to laugh at your comment about your fish being like your dog..can't eat that!  I sometimes feel the same way. I have not eaten any of my Talipias yet because they are just a battery to grow the plants. 
    Your system is looking good.  I like your use of the washer sensors...that is really cool.  I may have to get you to tell me a little more about the technical way it works.
  22. Xpim liked a post in a topic by Strider in MY base Idea coming up:   
    Well there ya go Xpim, that is two people that want more info on those sensors...
  23. Strider liked a post in a topic by GaryD in Dual loop system build.   
    Hi Jim,
    You'll quickly begin to experience dropping pH as a normal feature of operating a recirculating aquaculture system.  While it also happens in an aquaponics system, decreasing pH is largely offset by the denitrifying impact of the plants in the system.
    Without plants, you'll discover that pH drops much the point where you'll be adding something like calcium hydroxide (builders lime) at very regular intervals.  In fact, the easiest way to way to manage pH in a RAS is to do it on a daily mixing it with your fish food.  
    The amount of lime is proportionate to the fish food being fed each day.
    If, however, your source water is alkaline, that might help to maintain your pH....but unless you're drawing water off your RAS (to supply your plant system) at fairly frequent intervals, you'll find that the pH will drop over time.
  24. Strider liked a post in a topic by bigdaddy in Critique of the latest suggested "vertical tower" implementation   
    Hi TF

    From a purist point of view... The problem from recirculating any unfiltered water anywhere in an RAS is you are grinding up any solids to finer and finer solids....The idea is to remove as much solids as possible in the first place to stop this happening...

    Lots of people will try and convince you otherwise...I say give both the theories a try and come to your own conclusion of what you like...Or just choose the one that stacks up to what you like...For me...I like to remove as much solids as I can ASAP...

  25. Strider liked a post in a topic by Converse in Critique of the latest suggested "vertical tower" implementation   
    In the application we have in our greenhouse at an orphanage in Honduras, the goal is to produce as much food as possible in the space we have where it is located.  72' X 22'.  There is a 52' X4' , 4500 gallon fish raceway. The vertical towers for the most part are suspended over the raceway.   This way there is little space not used for growing food, and it also shades the raceway a bit while providing some aeration.  The rest of the greenhouse is filled with growbeds  containing gravel media, which is what does the bulk of the filtration.  We have redworms in all our growbeds and the 60 towers. The towers are only 3' long to fit the shorter stature of the Hondurans, so they can safely reach out and lift and replace towers over the raceway.  This all provides balance and filtration needed.   
        Towers alone would not work well in our situation, but they are important in being able to grow more food per squarefoot, taking advantage of the vertical spaces. We have a combination of towers and growbeds to form an operating system that remains healthy. The towers have remained rather easy to maintain, using Nate Storey's method of daily procedures. 
        The vertical tower debate I am sure will continue.   But in our application, they are a great component to our system, and perform well. They are not towers that were bought.  We fashioned them out of gutter downspouts on site.  We could have used matala media, but opted for the black fish pond filter media ( Comes 2" thick, and in 4' wide rolls - it is light) so we could fit A LOT of it in our luggage to transport to Honduras. 
       Hope this information adds another constructive bit of input to the discussion.
    - COnverse