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  1. Just got introduced to iAV system for Aquaponics. Could someone tell us whether one needs a bio filter with sand or its works like one and we can avoid having a bio filter completely. How does one calculate the size for a bio filter for say 3000 ltr tank with 60 fishes each around .5kg.
  2. New Garden iavs for ORGANIC veggies....circular fish tank with sand bed around the perimetre..(7/8 area) Simple design and easy to construct... Also minimises equipment, time and cost....
  3. Dear all, I have created this topic to document our own IAVS progress and findings.. In brief, we have over 2+ years of hands-on experience working with various commercial-scale Aquaponics systems.. media beds, NFTs, DWCs, etc. We are now building our first batch of sand beds believing in the IAVS vision. This is to apply as an extension to our current systems. Next, I will update you the progress with some pictures. I look forward to your support. Please share your questions, comments, suggestions.. Thank you.. Kind regards, vkn
  4. I'll update this thread with information about my iAVs build in San Isidro, Costa Rica. I am interested in exploring a relatively simple iAVs system so will be using an IBC tank for the fish and building a simple wooden box with a plastic liner to hold the sand. Still locating some of the components but I will update as I make progress.
  5. An experimental iAVs used is river sand...powered by 20 tilapia. Designed for easy understanding and educational purpose....
  6. comparing my old gravel bed aquaponics with new iavs beds 10 key points: growth 2.ammonia 3.pH change 4.water turbidity 5.plant diseases diseases 7.nutrient uptake 8.nutrient deficiencies 9.solid waste management
  7. My quick and dirty setup of an indoor IAVS. I repurposed one of my cement tubs. It has an overflow that should hopefully never be used, but it's there to prevent overflow onto the carpet that might result in being kicked outside without a doghouse. I'm using a 1 1/2" drain using a uniseal from Allied Aqua. The hole is covered with carbon fiber window screen material. It holds the sand in the grow well. Light is a Galaxy Hydro led grow light I found on clearance. Growth is 2 weeks and a few days. I had planted mesclun in the other row, but it did not come up. The seeds were about 4 to 5 years old, so that may have something to do with it. I replaced with more spinach seeds yesterday. Spinach seeds popped up 2 days after planting. I could never get spinach to grow outdoors, so I'm just tickled to death to get some to actually grow. It just would not come up in my gravel beds when I had them. Timer is digital timer and pumps 1 minute every 2 hours. Can see the algae layer growing even with just LED light. The bed does not get natural sunlight. I had the light to low at first and some of the leaves burned. It's hard to tell from the pics. I rigged up a hanger and have it about 6" from the plants and plants are still growing.
  8. Version 1.0.0


    Fish Increase Greenhouse Profits An aquaculture study in North Carolina shows that fish and vegetables can be good companion crops. By Doug Sanders and Mark McMurtry February 1988
  9. Version 1.0.0


    Aquaculture in Greenhouses: Fish and Vegetables Grow Together by Dr. Mark R. McMurtry This article was featured in NCSU Research Perspectives 7:3
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    IAVS Folio Reprints from Inside Dr. Mark R. McMurtry's Research Greenhouse by Dr. Mark R. McMurtry This document includes numerous photos of the inside of Dr. McMurtry's research greenhouse, the growbeds, plants, fish and more. Some production data concerning both plants and fish is also included, as well as some growth rate data pertaining to the tilapia.
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    Food Value, Water Use Efficiency, and Economic Productivity of an Integrated Aquaculture-Olericulture System as Influenced by Tank to Biofilter Ratio M.R. McMurtry, D.C. Sanders, B.C. Haning, and P.C. St. Amand Includes the original text as well as supporting data tables. (2 documents)
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    Sand Culture of Vegetables Using Recirculated Aquaculture Effluents M.R. McMurtry, P.V. Nelson, D.C. Sanders, L. Hodges Department of Horticulture Science North Carolina State University This appeared in Applied Agricultural Research Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 280-284
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    Yield of Tomato Irrigated with Recirculating Aquaculture Water M.R. McMurtry, D.C. Sanders, R.P. Patterson, A. Nash Featured in Journal of Production Agriculture, Vol. 6, no. 3, 1993
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    Yield of Tomato Irrigated with Recirculating Aquaculture Water M.R. McMurtry, D.C. Sanders, R.P. Patterson, A. Nash Featured in Journal of Production Agriculture, Vol. 6, no. 3, 1993
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    Water Quality Maintenance and Mineral Assimilation by Plants Influence Growth of Hybrid Tilapia in Culture with Vegetable CropsM.R. McMurtry, R.G. Hodson and D.C. Sanders University of North Carolina Sea Grant College Program and Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695 This is a multi-file document. Please download all associated files for proper cross referencing. Main Document: J. WAS 94 Text_alpha Cit.pdf Supporting data, tables and figures: J. WAS 94 Tables.pdf J. WAS 94 Table 3 final.pdf J. WAS 94 Figures.pdf
  16. A very good post of what is IAVS was submitted recently by Dr. McMurtry. I felt it deserved it's own thread. VKN - and anyone else who may benefit/care: I’m going to attempt to smooth your ruffled feathers. I DO want very much for you - and everyone else - to succeed ‘beyond your wildest dreams’ (exceed expectations). If I didn’t, then I wouldn’t still be typing, or otherwise infecting APN with my demonic ‘attitude’ - or ‘putting up with’ hostile lying trolls. I hesitate to craft the definitive ‘definition’ of iAVs at this time, but I’ll ‘give a shot’ at listing what I consider to be the basic requirements: Water: fresh (non-saline), clear (non-turbid), non-polluted (no biological pathogens or ‘chemicals’, metals or nucleotides). Basically, potable water. Rain water is strongly advised for the vast majority of applications/locations. Its also free. (collect and store securely in advance of need). Sand: well-draining, no clay/slit, and chemically inert (does not raise or lower pH of water that comes into contact with it). We’ve been all over this topic in detail repeatedly. “Sand†is a specific range of particle size, not a specific material/mineral composition. Quartz (SiO2) is recommended if/where at all possible, but some other inert minerals and glasses may work well also. Others certainly will not. Operating beyond the scope of our recommendations is at the sole responsibility/risk of the operator(s). Furrows: on the sand surface to distribute ‘water/waste’ evenly across surface and also to keep aerial plant material dry. Pristine sand furrows are stabilized by bacterial films, detritus and/or alga. Attempt to maintain as much ridge area (mound between furrows) as wide as possible. Furrows include both between all rows of plants and around the entire perimeter. Flood/Drain: Saturate filter substrate and then allow it to drain completely once every 2 hours (approx.) during daylight. Leave drained overnight. In the tropics, first ‘cycle’ can begin somewhat pre-dawn and the last start at dusk (finish draining just after total darkness). Since drainage also occurs during the pumping interval, presuming sufficient drainage, one can pump 1/4 up to even one-half of a FT volume per cycle without reducing the FT volume by more than 10 to 15% at any given time. ‘Tank’ (fish containment), Its capacity, proportions, shape (especially bottom slope) and the pump type/location need combine (‘work together’) to effectively allow solids to settle, and collect in a region/zone that the pump will readily extract/remove when it comes on. Try to schedule irrigation volumes sufficient to exchange (turnover) the FT at least twice each day. More might be ‘better’ - which can be accomplished several ways (not described here to avoid confusion) but not recommended to do so by shortening the on cycle interval significantly. Fish/Feed: Sufficient fish biomass and feed input consumed to satisfy fish and generate sufficient ‘waste’ to fertilize the number and species of plants being grown - not feed/stocked more than the filter/microbes can process continuously. This will vary by fish species, age (size), density, DO, pH, Temp, of water, and feed composition/conversion. Do not feed in the evening (allow for complete tank volume exchange between the last feeding of each day and dark). Sustainable fish load and feed rate also varies somewhat depending on type of plant species grown (e.g. leaf vs fruiting) and somewhat on the stage of development/maturity. Too many fish eating too much feed and respiring too much TAN for the size of the biofilter bed in current use is not advised. One could get away with this in the short-term but not over the medium- or long-term. pH; iAVs is dominantly (90-95%) Horticulture - by mass and economic value in most markets). Maximal fish production is NOT a goal nor advised. Vascular plants strongly ‘prefer’ (grow best) in range of pH 5.5 to 6.8 (extremes) and optimally 6.4 +/- 0.4 (variance range depends n specific species). Believe it or not. If one is satisfied with the results of one’s efforts, then that’s wonderful, really!. If one wants to improve one’s circumstance further, then consider accepting best-intentioned advise. Soil microbial ecology. Microbes evolved along with the plants they sustain/interact with, meaning they too benefit from pH in the ‘optimal’ range. In a ‘controlled environment e.g. greenhouse Pests and diseases: Take every prevention precaution possible (too many to describe here). A common vector is humans: limit and pre-sanitize all visitors and workers. Monitor for any/all developing problems continuously and have appropriate remedy available immediately. A gram of prevention yields many kilos of cure. Use integrated pest management strategies extensively (employ beneficial insects, bacteria, and plants). Use insecticidal soaps (Potassium salts of fatty acids) and plant-based extracts with care (minimize/eliminate contact with filter substrate) Maintain air temperatures and humidity levels appropriate to the plant species being grown. Shade, fogging, evaporative cooling can each be effective for cooling, either individually or in various combinations. Always provide ample ventilation and continuous air movement within a greenhouse. Above May Not be stated the best way possible: Its just what keystrokes I activated this morning. Any remaining gaps, errors or omissions are not intentional and regrettable.(and correctable). Questions to ask yourself - OR better yet, to share your responses to here: Is your water ‘clean’ or is it contaminated? (e.g. nitrates, phosphates, pathogens, …) DO you have/use an inert, well-drained sand (sharp SiO2 preferred) DO you flood saturate and then leave drained on 2+/- cycle during the day? Are you maintaining ‘system’ (water) pH in the range preferred by plants for optimal growth? Above pH 7.0 is NOT recommended. Do you have a ‘balanced’ fish load and sustainable feed input rate? Are you growing nutrient demanding crops (solely lettuce is not advised)? If you answered Yes to ALL of the above questions, then congratulations … you’re amazing and quite unique. I say that in spite of the fact that I will always insist that AP is a disease. Some diseases are curable, others are not. You’re Welcome. ============ PS: Yes, I am fully aware that focusing on plant production (minimizing fish to plant ‘ratios’) is viewed as blasphemy by many, if not most, aqua-holics. This is not a concern I have. No one is attempting to prevent anyone from doing precisely whatever they feel like, be that rational or otherwise. Don’t freak out or invent fallacies. I am describing what iAVs was intended to do, aka how it ‘works best’ (to date). What anyone who is NOT literally doing/using iAVs “feels†about claims and goals thereof is irrelevant to me. Do it or don’t. Your choice. Your life. ....... BTW: Not seeing is not believing ... and vice-versa If you do undertake iAVs, then please accept our advice in the spirit intended. My/our intention is for you to realize the best outcome possible, with the greatest cost:benefit possible. There is and never has been anything (positive) ’in this’ for me. iAVs has always been exclusively about you (others). That is all. No fee, No exchange, No refund. No apology.
  17. Found this at another forum.. thought of sharing here. Good to see world universities are picking up Commercial Aquaponics as a subject for research but I wonder why Draud has not even heard about iAVs and is now trying to re-invent the wheel and inventing new technologies. What do you think?
  18. Looking thru the old literature on hydro sand culture. Assumption being some research there might provide insight into the bed design for IAVs. Ran across this that might be of interest -- Pure sand can be used in trough or trench culture. However, in desert locations, it is often more convenient and less expensive to cover the greenhouse floor with polyethylene film and install a system of drainage pipes (PVC pipe 5 cm in diameter, cut one third through diagonally every 45 cm along the length of the pipe, with the cuts facing downward) and then to backfill the area with sand to a depth of approximately 30 cm. If the depth of the sand bed is shallower, moisture conditions may not be uniform and plant roots may grow into the drainpipes. The area to be used as planting beds may be level or slightly sloped. Supply manifolds for nutrient solution must be sited accordingly. Various kinds of desert and coastal sand with different physical and chemical properties have been used successfully by the University of Arizona workers. The size distribution of sand particles is not critical, except that exceptionally fine material such as mortar sand does not drain well and should be avoided. If calcareous sand is used, it is important to maintain a nutrient solution with a neutral pH, and increased amounts of chelated iron must be applied to the plants. Sand growing beds should be fumigated annually to prevent the introduction of soilborne diseases and nematodes. Irrigation practices are particularly critical during the high-radiation summer months, when crops may have to be irrigated as many as eight times per day. Proper irrigation is indicated by a small but continuous drainage, 4-7% of the application, from the entire growing area. Evaporation of water around small summer tomato transplants is often high, which can lead to a slight buildup of fertilizers in the planting bed. Extra nitrogen causes excessive vegetative growth, and reduces the number of fruits. This can be avoided by reducing the amount of nitrogen in the solution from the time of transplanting until the appearance of the first blossoms. Drainage from the beds should be tested frequently, and the beds leached when drainage salts exceed 3000 ppm. The principal crops grown in sand culture systems are tomato and cucumber, and yields of both crops can be high. Seedless cucumber production has exceeded 700 mt/ha.
  19. Here in West Texas, frac sand is everywhere; it's common to see a few bushels dumped on the side of the road, where some idiot trucker decided to clean out the bottom lines on their trailer. Most of the sand arrives already mixed with additives, but some vendors have clean sand available - washed, dried and in bulk. Fairmount Santrol has a location here in town, (I actually worked there years ago, when it was a different company) and I thought their "BEST SAND SILICA SAND" would be a good fit for an iAVs sand bed. FM-0557_BestSand_SilicaSand_Sheet.pdf Frac sand was mentioned in the Ravnis Sand Bed post a while back, and Gary Donaldson suggested that the rounded grains might work well at a smaller particle size since it is so precisely graded. I had been looking at the 1020 and 1220 as candidates for this "sub-angular" sand, but now I'm wondering if a finer grade would be better suited to this application. Any Recommendations?
  20. Sand, sample 1

    From the album small iAVs in California

    what has been described to me as "playground" sand, quartz-silica. First sample.
  21. Hi all, many wishes for a bountiful new year! In previous posts I've admitted to my utter lack of experience with aquaponics/iAVs and though I'm quite a ways off from building anything, I am still intrigued by iAVs. I find, though, that I have a hard time following some of the technical details (here on the forums or on the iAVs site) BECAUSE I'm not starting from a place grounded in AP experience. Seriously, I have a betta in a one-gallong jar and a guppy (soon to be plural) in a planted six-gallon tank (filterless, I'm aiming for biological/ecosystem help). I use tank water on my houseplants, which is "half-aquaponics" but not in the way most people conceive of it. That's neither here nor there, I suppose… my point being: Is it recommended that I research and try out typical AP systems first so I can get a handle on the specifics of iAVs (esp. the tech involved - I know nothing about tanks and pumps for example)? That seems counterintuitive to me (learning what I don't necessarily want to learn so I can learn what I think I want to learn). Would any of you kind APN folk be able to recommend a direction for me to start with? I'm ultimately aiming for low-tech, resilient systems but I have to start small due to financial constraints. I'd be fine starting with, say, goldfish or guppies and enough space for 2-4 plants. Conversely, I don't even know where to look to find out the smallest workable system that can support edible fish - as maybe it's more cost effective to start there (unless I can sell goldfish or guppies…) After being waylaid in some of my efforts in the last quarter of 2015, I'm still at a point where mealworms and quail are in the planning phase, so I'm not sure I'll get to iAVs soon --- just still poking about trying to figure out how I can do this. Many thanks!
  22. At indubitable risk of ridicule, 'reputation' (alleged), and subjection to virtual-tsunamis of unrestrained laughter, offered for your viewing delight tonight: iAVs pro forma US profit potentials.tiff "Ninety percent of the time things turn out worse than you thought they would. The other ten percent of the time you had no right to expect that much." - Augustine "As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls." M. Cartmill I also chose to point out that iAVs is economically dominated (denominated, you might say) by the horticultural product value(s) achieved (yield x price). Tilapia production valuations (under reasonable/prevailing market conditions in US) represent a minor fraction (4-6%) of the total economic return (potential), virtually regardless of fish yield rate realized (within 'reason'). For example, at median expected yield rates and product ratio, increasing or decreasing either the fish yield or the price attained or any combination of these factors in the aquaculture component by plus 10%, or minus 10% changes the composite gross margin and IRR by +/-1% or less (similar sign). Whereas, 'adjusting' tomato yield (or other crop(s)) and/or the unit value(s) realized by plus 10% could have a plus 15 to 20% impact (change, aka delta) on the bottom-line. Decreasing fruit yield and/or price received by 10% results in a negative 20 to potentially negative 30% effect (delta) on margin/return. Therefore, it is my unwavering conviction that ALL potential profitability (commercial success) 'lays' almost exclusively in the horticultural aspect - in 'pure' economic terms. From my remote observation post, I detect an overwhelming interest/efforts devoted to maximal aquatic productivity and in addressing the dominant factors thereof, with relatively little consideration given to optimal plant performance parameters (environmental, cultivar and cultivation/management techniques). But, undoubtedly I'll be informed as to just how wrong I am (again, nay still). IMO, tilapia marketed in the US would almost (but not quite) be a loss-leader. I've even considered (and still do) giving the fish production to charities that feed the destitute and needy rather than absorb the processing, distribution, and marketing costs aka hassle of timely made sales. OTOH, at significant (efficient) scales, this would likely soon overwhelm any would-be charitable organisation (w/ possible exception for Catholic Relief (CRS) on Friday). In my asinine, heretical opinion, it is (or would be) a mistake to primarily focus on aquatic production intensity, especially in advance of and/or constraints on optimization for the horticultural production factors. "What you risk reveals what you value." - Jeanette Winterson "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin
  23. Water Quality Maintenance and Mineral Assimilation by Plants Influence Growth of Hybrid Tilapia in Culture with Vegetable Crops M.R. McMurtry, R.G. Hodson and D.C. Sanders University of North Carolina Sea Grant College Program and Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695 This is a multi-file document. Please download all associated files for proper cross referencing. Main Document: J. WAS 94 Text_alpha Cit.pdf Supporting data, tables and figures: J. WAS 94 Tables.pdf J. WAS 94 Table 3 final.pdf J. WAS 94 Figures.pdf