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BrianP_09

Commercial Biopod

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Hi all,

I am looking at getting a BioPod shortly & am after some advice regarding which unit to get. I can actually get myself a brand new 4 foot commercial BioPod for $250.00 + freight which is cheaper than the residential unit. I have access to a limitless supply of fruit & vege waste so can handle the required feeding rate for the the big boy. I only have 6 chooks & I may get too much of a good thing. I have also approached a few pet stores who sell reptiles & they are very interested in getting some 100g containers of BSF larvae from me. If anybody is using a commercial size unit for home use, can you please post some pics or contact me via PM as I am keen to know which way to go.

regards,

Brian

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Hi Brian,

I don't know of anyone who has a large BioPod.....but I have a domestic one.

Year round (and making use of a frozen stocks during the cold months), we can grow enough larvae to keep our chooks and a few fish going.

We find that our BioPod can cope with the food scraps (largely bread and vegetable peelings) from our kitchen. I large unit would require the output from several households.

If you have neighbours in close proximity, I'd think twice about the large unit. These things can get on the nose when at various times.....and contrary to what the sales pitch might say, it is not a nice organic kind of smell. It's as rotten as a chop.

The leachate is even worse.....we discarded the plastic bottle on the bottom of ours and allow the leachate to drain into the soil.

Another issue is the unloading of the unit once you've managed to fill it up.

I think if I was going to go bigger with BSF, I'd think about the concrete pit (with a harvesting ramp) idea that they use in places like China.

Once you start handling loads of the larvicast, it would be a hassle digging it out of a BioPod......particularly a large one.

Gary

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Thanks for the info Gary.

Due to having a limitless supply of fruit & vege scraps, in excess of 200 kg a week, if need be, I was toying with the idea of the bigger unit as a few people with the residential unit have noted crawl off can be a little poor at times. I am looking at selling quite a few larvae to some pet stores & could probably get rid of around 6kg of larvae weekly. Thats 60 x 100gm containers. The residential unit wouldnt give me those numbers or would it?

I have a pretty good spot for the big unit & can get one cheaper than the residential unit, so need to think fast & make up my mind.

Any additional thoughts.

Brian

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Hi Brian,

If you can shift the larvae consistently, and you have access to a suitable feedstock, then the large unit might be the way to go.

When I looked at them, the large unit came without a lid. Is that still the case.....and would it impact what you're doing?

I assume that you're somewhere that neighbours won't be an issue.

Gary

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Hi Gary,

I do have neighbours on both sides of me so i will have to take that into consideration. The commercial BioPod does not come with a lid or a stand so some DIY mods will be required. I am situated approximately half way between Ballina & Coffs Harbour, NSW, right on the coast & probably have similar temps as you. I guess I am a little concerned about asking shops to purchase larvae & finding out I cant keep up with what they want. Thats the primary reason I am looking at the bigger unit. In ideal conditions, what would you estimate your collection of larvae would be for a week in KG/ Gms, cups etc. roughly. I am looking at getting rid of 6kg a week & thats only the start really. If I get too many, I will simply seed my yard or keep quite a few in a rearing bucket for them to reach the fly stage. I really would like to boost the population around here, although I see a few wild ones occasionally hanging around.

Brian

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Hi Brian,

In ideal conditions, what would you estimate your collection of larvae would be for a week in KG/ Gms, cups etc. roughly.

It varies widely from nothing up to a half a litre......and it's dependent upon the rate of feeding, the protein levels in the feedstock, the ambient temperature and other factors I haven't even thought about.

Once you've harvested larvae, you can keep them alive in a suitable container for weeks. If they were mature larvae (as distinct from juveniles who walked out because it got too hot) they won't have functional mouthparts and their gut will have been emptied on the trip up the ramp.....so they should keep well.

As with all things, experience is your best guide.

Gary

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Thanks Gary,

I might get the residential unit & see how I go. The commercial unit has no lid or stand & might be a bit more of a pain to get up & running. I tipped about 25kg of food scraps in my open compost bin two days ago & today witnessed two mature BSF crawling around on the scraps. They seemed to be busy looking for somewhere to lay & I like the idea of the egg laying disc on the residential unit. If I can keep the mature BSF larvae for a week or two without any dramas, that would work for me to get numbers up for sale.

Brian

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I got one of the commercial units as a christmas present !! and finished setting it up about 3 weeks ago.

I kept avidly looking for any femals hanging around but did not see any. I was quite surprised one day when i heard the contents moving. A quick dig around inside showed me that i had a healthy colony that was getting underway.

I am now starting to see the first of the self harvesting BSF larvae come forth - probably in the order of 100 or so per day at the moment.

I am feeding every 2nd days worth to my chickens, the rest are going into the veggie garden next to the bin so hoepfully hatch into new adults and continue the cycle.

I too have access to a nearly unlimited quantity (about 200Kgs per week) of vegetable waste - the local green grocer even delivers it to me !!

My process now is to take the good stuff off the top for the chickens, then next layer in each bin goes into my normal compost bins and the bottom 1/3 of each bin which is just starting to liquify goes into the BSF - so i estimate they are getting about 10Kgs each day of stuff that is starting to rot. They seem to like it !!

Hopefully the crawl off will increase to the point where i will be getting a good 1/2 bucket full each day or so. Time will tell.

I have found the drains blocks very easily and have removed one of them today to try and dry out the bottom of the unit.

Highlyrecommend the unit - i have not found the smell to be strong until the waste is truned over - it is undetectable from any more than 5 metres away - although mine is down the back of my block and a long way from any neighbours.

It will be interesting to see what happens with output as the weather cools - Gary - how do you find your residential unit over the cooler months ?

Craig

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My unit is into full production now - probably not populated densely enough yet, but am getting probably a couple of hundred crawl off each morning.

I also found another colony in two of my seperate compost bins - so all seems to be good.

I estimate that they are eating about 10KGs or so of food each day at this point

There is no odor from the bin until it is turned over - i guess once the grubs are into full swing the stuff will not have time to go rotten.

Craig

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Hi Craig,

My unit is into full production now - probably not populated densely enough yet, but am getting probably a couple of hundred crawl off each morning.

One occasions that will become a couple of thousand......particularly out of the larger unit.

I estimate that they are eating about 10KGs or so of food each day at this point.

The bio-conversion aspect of BSF is vastly under-rated. That's 10kg per day that would be stinking up some landfill otherwise. Now, it's being turned into high quality chicken or pig tucker.....or bio-diesel.

There is no odor from the bin until it is turned over - i guess once the grubs are into full swing the stuff will not have time to go rotten.

Don't speak too soon......there will be times when your stomach will nearly turn.

Gary

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Hi Fwoor,

I am a firm believer in not making assumptions on small sample sizes and conversely accepting proven (even if subjective) results from larger sample sizes.

So am I. I've been around a few of these things and some had less of an odour about them than others. Mine goes through stages where the odour it gives off is yeasty and almost sweet (like now when it's got some spoiled bananas in it)......but other times it's really on the nose.

My unit has been cleaned and re-started several times (usually because I've moved it around) and I've experimented with a variety of feedstuffs.

It depends a lot on what you put into it.....fish and meat scraps will really send it off.......but, at the end of the day, the process is "putrefaction"....and it will give off odours.

I've found that my BioPod is better having removed the plastic leachate bottle on the bottom of the unit. It now just drains into the soil below the 'Pod. The leachate, said to be a powerful attractant for the female BSF (has the opposite effect on female humans) is really strong.

Gary

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