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About DaveWick

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    Advanced Member

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  • Biography
    I'm an IT professional with a lifelong hobby of gardening. I currently have a 45 tree orchard along with small fruit and vegetable garden. Recently I became aware of aquaponics and I am now working on a greenhouse with the intent of growing food for myself and possibly exploring entering the commercial arena.
  • Interests
    Computers, Gardening, Growing Stuff and of course Aquaponics

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  • Location
    Bellflower, IL
  1. So I've wandered into availability of several RBC filters and was wondering if anyone had experience with these (Cecil, I think I saw a post of yours referencing these on another forum)? Mine are about 6' long and 2' diameter. I'd like to get an idea of sizing these and how they compare equivalency to MBBR (other than how much space they take up, which isn't an issue for me right now). Also what the optimum rotation rate is and how deep they should set in the water.
  2. Primary advantage to standpipe on all exits is that in case of any equipment failure which causes loss of water flow to the tank, you don't drain all the water from the tank. If you do a bottom drain with no standpipe, you could potentially drain your entire tank in a few hours if you had a pump failure or power loss. If you are 100% confident in your water flow into the tank, then you don't need to bother with it.
  3. From where I got my screen filter, which was an existing AP operation, they said they used a swirl filter ahead of the screen to eliminate the majority of solids, thus less cleaning of the screen. To me, dual outlets is more about getting the necessary flow through the tank, and just enough flow to pick up solids in bottom of the FT. I don't get combining them ahead of the screen unless you have a ton of suspended solids. No personal experience here though, I haven't hooked it up yet
  4. What my store has is new, never been used.
  5. As I mentioned on the Facebook page for UVI, I don't think they really care about anything but somebody copying their turn-key system and selling it commercially as a turn-key system. I'd probably want to do the same if I were doing what they are doing. I doubt this ever makes it to a court case because they would have difficulty proving the validity of their patent. Anyone doing custom design is going to fall outside of what the patent is intended for. What it does is gives them a strong arm against somebody duplicating their model.
  6. I get my blue barrels from Rural King. No issues here, they are empty for $20/each which I've always considered pretty inexpensive.
  7. I think the short answer is that no-one will develop these multimedia assets or backyard kits unless there is money to be made off of selling equipment or training people to build and use it. An entrepreneur with an opportunity for profit will invest what is necessary to market and sell his product. After further perusal of the web site and many blog posts, I think the main issue with getting information from the site is the blog format. After spending time clicking through a multitude of individual posts I was able to get a more complete picture of the system. Organization of this information into a traditional web site would go a long ways toward making iAVs more accessible, simply due to being able to quickly drill down to the subject matter quickly.
  8. I for one would love to do some testing with iAVs, however I am currently lacking the space to do so unless I did it in temporary space outdoors during the summer. I'd be more than willing to convert entirely over if the system works in my environment, I'm just not in the position financially right now to make the investment into a total change. An observation on the iavs.info site, is that while there is much information on promises, benefits, history, what it is, and why one should do it, there is very little in practical how-to. If people could see photo or video documentary on the building of the system, layouts, and then see how it matures over 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, 6 months, etc. that would be invaluable. A YouTube channel covering every component of the system from build to operation would be great. One of the factors that has driven awareness of aquaponics are the many "peddlers" who are making a fast buck teaching the basics of RAS and making grandiose promises. Another factor is commercially available kits that a novice can set up in their back yard very easily. It seems that while you question why iAVs has not taken off, you also want to avoid the marketing methods that have made systems like CHIF PIST popular. I think you can achieve a balance in that, and market small scale systems via people who have realistic projections of performance and production, and can make a few dollars off of sharing that knowledge with other interested people. If you can build a marketing plan based on ease of use vs. other gardening methods and specifically vs. aquaponics, I think you will automatically drive interest for those already interested in aquaponics.
  9. Good question. Pine needles lower pH so no idea what needle ashes would do.
  10. Good fertilizer, just remember ash will increase alkalinity of soil so it's great for acidic soils. I wouldn't use it much if your pH is already over 7.
  11. You can't break law of conservation of energy. I can see this working indoors in RAS by utilizing unused extra oversized pump capacity to power a generator to reclaim some percentage of lost energy. But you are always losing energy to friction, machine inefficiency, etc. That said, there are enough places with free fall in a system that there could be a spot for a mini mill. I'd be concerned as with anything else in aquaponics that you'd constantly be dealing with solids buildup, algae, plugging up, etc. I am interested in seeing what your ideas are.
  12. I've always felt that if you can minimize shipping costs you have more room for margin, so I believe in the potential. And if LED light systems cost continues to drop it becomes more and more viable. The only other facility like this that has seemed to survive is FarmedHere in Chicago; I wonder if they have turned a profit yet after 5 years, and I don't know how much of what they are doing is aqua vs hydro. They just announced a new facility in Louisville KY though so something must be working.
  13. I throw weeds in mine all the time. I try to avoid getting seeds in there though. The theory is that the heat from composting kills the seeds, but I have other experiences
  14. What I do know is that conventional farmers pay top dollar for fish emulsion for fertilization. I just ran across someone this past weekend that was selling excess solids waste water for $2/gallon. Personally, I take my extra solids and run them through a vortex brewer for about 48-72hrs, and this gives me a rich solution to re-introduce to the system or to use on my fruit trees, veggies, etc.
  15. Thanks, I may pick up a model 3 for this.