Farbulous

iAVS Questions

6 posts in this topic

Hello fellows. It's been a few years since I've posted on this site, but I am now possibly in a position to build and install an AP system at my current workplace.

We operate a moderately sized indoor greenhouse (concrete slab floor). There are so many options out there in terms of systems and components, but I've been looking into AP for many years, and have read these forums many times. The consensus these days seems to be iAVS as the go-to system for ease of design and operation. I can totally get down with that. We want something that is not too large, but can be potentially expanded upon in the future. At first, we will probably be using non-food fish such as goldfish just to test it out and get a feel for regular maintenance and operation. I'm sure I will have more questions over time, but for the moment, here are the two that have been top of mind:

1. Since iAVS uses a sand bed as a biofilter, do folks using this type of system, (ideally if you're using it indoors,) find that there is much odor from the decomposing fish waste?

2. Do people use worms in their sand beds to help break down the fish waste? What are your thoughts about having worms in the sand bed?

3. Can the design of the system be modified to incorporate other modules such as NFT troughs, DWC rafts, (non-sand) media beds? I would assume that any of these would be placed after the sand bed for the purpose of filtration. If one or more of these modules were part of the overall design, would that necessitate a sump tank?

Thanks in advance!

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Hi Farbulous

On 8.4.2019 at 10:23 PM, Farbulous said:

It's been a few years since I've posted on this site, but I am now possibly in a position to build and install an AP system at my current workplace.

Welcome back :)

The forum have been very quiet for some time, but hopefully @Aufin @GaryD @Ravnis will chime in and give some insights on your IAVS Q's 

If not, you could try to post the same Q's on Garys "new" forum https://www.havemoreforless.com

cheers

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On 4/8/2019 at 4:23 PM, Farbulous said:

Hello fellows. It's been a few years since I've posted on this site, but I am now possibly in a position to build and install an AP system at my current workplace.

We operate a moderately sized indoor greenhouse (concrete slab floor). There are so many options out there in terms of systems and components, but I've been looking into AP for many years, and have read these forums many times. The consensus these days seems to be iAVS as the go-to system for ease of design and operation. I can totally get down with that. We want something that is not too large, but can be potentially expanded upon in the future. At first, we will probably be using non-food fish such as goldfish just to test it out and get a feel for regular maintenance and operation. I'm sure I will have more questions over time, but for the moment, here are the two that have been top of mind:

1. Since iAVS uses a sand bed as a biofilter, do folks using this type of system, (ideally if you're using it indoors,) find that there is much odor from the decomposing fish waste?

This has been asked before and I went out and tried to detect a foul odor from my beds.  No foul or rotting odor.  But ..... I think the iAVs system could be effected by a heavier than prescribed fish load.  Too many fish = too much "stuff" laying around on the surface = possible odor ...... and bugs.

2. Do people use worms in their sand beds to help break down the fish waste? What are your thoughts about having worms in the sand bed?

I had occasion to dig into one of my year-old sandbeds (biofilters).  The sand below about 4 inches looked pretty clean.  Not sure there would be enough to support a small worm family and the plants.  I remember when I repotted some plants that had some worms in the soil, the soil/worm casting mixture at the bottom was pretty solid and didnt allow the soil to drain properly.  Personally, I dont think the worms would be beneficial enough to worry about.

3. Can the design of the system be modified to incorporate other modules such as NFT troughs, DWC rafts, (non-sand) media beds?

Short answer ..... no.  Long answer- The sandbeds are saturated for only a short period of time every couple hours in daylight hours, whereas the other systems need clean running water 24/7.  The different styles "could" be mixed, but additional pumps and one-way valves and complicated plumbing just doesn't seem worthwhile. You would still need the filtration and biodigesters to keep the water clean when the iAVs is at "rest".  IAVs should be a stand-alone system. 

I would assume that any of these would be placed after the sand bed for the purpose of filtration.

Again, think about how iAVs works.   You "could" use the sandbeds as a filter, but not your primary filter.  And, any filtration running when the iAVs is resting would remove the solids that iAVs depends on to produce. 

If one or more of these modules were part of the overall design, would that necessitate a sump tank?

Thanks in advance!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi, Farbulous

A couple of thoughts on your questions.

1. Since iAVS uses a sand bed as a biofilter, do folks using this type of system, (ideally if y ou're using it indoors,) find that there is much odor from the decomposing fish waste?

I asked this question some time back and the answer was no smell, the answer is somewhere in this forum ATM my time is limited but if you were to search for subject matter like iAVs questions or the like,I think either Gary or Mark did answer that one for me. 

2. Do people use worms in their sand beds to help break down the fish waste? What are your thoughts about having worms in the sand bed?

Whilst I can't see anything wrong with this, I don't use them even in a gravel bed biofilter. I tried in the early days but found they disappeared. When growing worms separately, I found 22C or 23 C is the ideal temp for worms to be working at their best, 

3. Can the design of the system be modified to incorporate other modules such as NFT troughs, DWC rafts, (non-sand) media beds? I would assume that any of these would be placed after the sand bed for the purpose of filtration. If one or more of these modules were part of the overall design, would that necessitate a sump tank?

I can't see anything wrong with adding NFC, DWC or any other forms of growing systems to your original and yes after the sand biofilter. The sump question would depend on your design but I would think to add a sump would be the easiest.  Remember adding anything to the iAVs sand filter will complicate things more and that is veering away from Marks idea of keeping the system as simple as possible.  But give it a try and let's know how you go.

Cheers.

Edited by bigdaddy (see edit history)

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Hi Farbulous...great to hear from you again. 

1. Since iAVS uses a sand bed as a biofilter, do folks using this type of system, (ideally if you're using it indoors,) find that there is much odor from the decomposing fish waste?

There's little information on indoor iAVs's, so it's hard to give a definitive answer.  When you talk about 'indoors'...how indoors do you mean?  

2. Do people use worms in their sand beds to help break down the fish waste? What are your thoughts about having worms in the sand bed?

No.  There's no need.  iAVs relies on a decomposing detritus layer on the surface of the sand...in the furrows.  Worms would only drag the decomposing fish wastes into the sand - not what we want.

3. Can the design of the system be modified to incorporate other modules such as NFT troughs, DWC rafts, (non-sand) media beds? I would assume that any of these would be placed after the sand bed for the purpose of filtration. If one or more of these modules were part of the overall design, would that necessitate a sump tank?

If you had a Ferrari, would you want to put Nissan badges on it?  In any case, you would only know the extent to which the hybrid works if you had a standard iAVs against which to measure it.  Start off with an iAVs and then experiment from there.

I see you've registered over on my HMFL forum.  If you want the latest information on iAVs...go HERE.

Gary

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