Strider

Dual loop system build.

299 posts in this topic

Well, as interesting as those big commercial systems are with all their formulas and plumbing my system is as far removed from those as can be.  Mine, like Mr. McMurtry's, is a small scale back yard endeavor only designed to work to my specifications. When it stops working to my specification, or maybe I should say expectations, I will change it. For now I am plugging away at the smaller problems like filtration and flow rates. 

Please keep comments pertinent.  I don't really care if people disagree on types of systems and those systems worth, but keep it positive.  Comparing, for example, Sand systems with dual loop, NTF, or other types is silly, as they all work if properly built and maintained. It is really a matter of preference.  

I mean really, what do I care if another system produces 20 times better? I can not eat what I am growing now at a hobby level. It is all irrelevent. My I suggest that forums be split between the small scale hobby types and the commercial types? Just a thought. 

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21 hours ago, Strider said:

Well, as interesting as those big commercial systems are with all their formulas and plumbing my system is as far removed from those as can be.  Mine, like Mr. McMurtry's, is a small scale back yard endeavor only designed to work to my specifications. When it stops working to my specification, or maybe I should say expectations, I will change it. For now I am plugging away at the smaller problems like filtration and flow rates. 

Please keep comments pertinent.  I don't really care if people disagree on types of systems and those systems worth, but keep it positive.  Comparing, for example, Sand systems with dual loop, NTF, or other types is silly, as they all work if properly built and maintained. It is really a matter of preference.  

I mean really, what do I care if another system produces 20 times better? I can not eat what I am growing now at a hobby level. It is all irrelevent. My I suggest that forums be split between the small scale hobby types and the commercial types? Just a thought. 

I think you hit the nail on the head here.   As long as your system performs for your needs it's ok.   My personal benchmark is "can I beat the grocery store?"  That makes it worthwhile.  It has also been a very difficult endeavor due to buying equipment and feed at retail and trying to produce at wholesale prices.  It's very easy to add bells and whistles and bring the cost of production to 10 times the grocery store if not careful.

For what it's worth, there is a commercial section in this forum for that very reason.  This seems to get lost in the fervor of posting.

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I know it’s the schoolyard thing all over again.

I guess personality clashes play a role in this too.

Back to the research paper, I personally question some of the statements in this work, and some of the practices are not such a great idea (for example; using condensation water from coolers, the use of a lamellae clarifier etc ).

I like it that all data are nicely quantified, thus lot to gain from this.

Interesting thing is that the trials were done back in 2009....

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On 19 September 2016 at 2:31 PM, Strider said:

Well, as interesting as those big commercial systems are with all their formulas and plumbing my system is as far removed from those as can be.  Mine, like Mr. McMurtry's, is a small scale back yard endeavor only designed to work to my specifications. When it stops working to my specification, or maybe I should say expectations, I will change it. For now I am plugging away at the smaller problems like filtration and flow rates. 

Please keep comments pertinent.  I don't really care if people disagree on types of systems and those systems worth, but keep it positive.  Comparing, for example, Sand systems with dual loop, NTF, or other types is silly, as they all work if properly built and maintained. It is really a matter of preference.  

I mean really, what do I care if another system produces 20 times better? I can not eat what I am growing now at a hobby level. It is all irrelevent. My I suggest that forums be split between the small scale hobby types and the commercial types? Just a thought. 

Hi Jim,

While not wishing to take your decoupling thread further off-topic, you may need to re-read some of Dr McMurtry's work (available absolutely free on the iAVs website) if you believe that his systems were "a small scale backyard endeavor.  The ratio trials, for example, were conducted in a battery of sixteen 500 litre fish tanks each with its own bio-filter with relative v:v ratios ranging from 1:0.67 through to 1:2.25.  While it was not a commercial system, it did facilitate the single most comprehensive aquaponics research program ever undertaken.

If your system is not ever performing to your expectations, then you need only examine any/all deviations from the iAVs model.....because that did exceed everyone's expectations....including some of the most prominent research horticulturists of their day.

While I did not invite the comparisons, I would like to just venture the the view that comparing systems is very important.  While, as you suggest, they all work - but what does the word 'work' mean if you are not comparing performance variables.

I'm the first to suggest that you should be able to care, think and believe what you choose, but I humbly offer that if something performs 20 times better than something else, it makes sense to aspire to that....on the grounds of cost effectiveness and sustainability - if nothing else.

And how would you know that something really performed 20 (or whatever) times something else......unless you compare it with the alternatives.

In my humble opinion, efficiency is not confined to commercial undertakings.....it's relevant regardless of the size of the operation.....but I agree that, if you want to lose money, waste energy and juggle risk, then you should be at liberty to do so.....for as long as you are free to do so.

Just a thought! ;)

On 18 September 2016 at 8:04 AM, crsublette said:

Phri, as I think all consultants and small businessmen are aware, the marketing tactics utilized to promote one's services... and this applies to everyone equally... I have yet to encounter a doctorate nor consultant that has not utilized marketing tactics to their advantage, such as suggesting one's systems "can produce 20x of another" without evidence along with another saying "he has been the first to successfully employ a design on a quite large, commercial scale". I am just using the content available due to particular participants that "which won't be named" (lest the wrath employed by moderators).

Charles, it's alway a pleasure to hear from you.....even if you are coming back from the dead more often than Lazarus with a triple bypass. ;)

When I refer to 'bullsh!t' I can think of no better example than your statement quoted above.  If someone uses "marketing tactics" which can't be evidenced, then they are bullsh!tting.....pure and simple!  And to suggest that all holders of doctorates or consultants engage in such "marketing tactics".....or that it is in anyway justified because (as you claim) they all do it....is also bullsh!t

Phri, like you I was particularly interested to discover that the research was undertaken in 2009 and I liked the fact that the researchers provided data to support their  conclusions.    Most of us seemed to be under the impression that de-coupling (by design) was a much more recent thing?  Perhaps we were confused by all of the "marketing tactics" that were flying around.

Getting back to de-coupling.....we know that oxidisation (sometimes incorrectly referred to as mineralisation) does not make all of the nutrients in fish waste available to plants in a form that they can use.....so, one of the things that interests me about the German research, is the role of heterotrophic bacteria (in anaerobic conditions) in converting fish wastes into plant-available nutrients.  

Nelson and Pade (of recent patent infamy) say on their website....

Quote

 

Mineralization is the breakdown of organic matter into individual elements (macro nutrients like potassium, calcium, sulfate, phosphorous, magnesium and micro nutrients like iron, copper, molybdenum, zinc, etc). Mineralization is done by heterotrophic bacteria in anaerobic conditions.  In our Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems®, the netting in the mineralization tank serves as a means of collection of the fine suspended solids.   We do not aerate this tank to encourage heterotrophic bacteria to thrive and break down the solids into all of the elements the plants need. The dwell time in that tank gives the heterotrophs time to break down the solids.  What is released are the actual elements (minerals) that the plants need.

Both nitrifying and heterotrophic bacteria exist everywhere and do these same processes whether in the water or soil.

Emphasis is mine...GD

 

This proposition is interesting for two reasons.  The first is that it speaks to a more comprehensive approach (than mere oxidisation) to extracting plant-available nutrients from fish waste.  

The second aspect that is interesting is that Nelson and Pade didn't discover this process (and nor did the German researchers) but they are both clearly attempting to assimilate the process into their aquaponics endeavours.  

I remember reading, some years ago, about an integrated aquaculture operation that employed a series of aearobic and anaerobic vessels in their filtration system - with a view to obtaining the most complete recovery of nutrients from fish wastes.  I can't remember exactly how long ago I read this.....or where....so the idea, while not new, warrants consideration.

Where the effluent from fish production is being used to irrigate soil-based plants (as distinct from aquaponics), anaerobic mineralisation is probaby not necessary since the soil microbiology does it anyway.....as also happens in iAVs.

Gary

Edited by GaryD (see edit history)

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4 hours ago, GaryD said:

While not wishing to take your decoupling thread further off-topic, you may need to re-read some of Dr McMurtry's work (available absolutely free on the iAVs website) if you believe that his systems were "a small scale backyard endeavor.

Nah, I think Jim got it right, since there is no evidence to the contrary (only suppositions and theories aided by prediction models based upon quite short academic trials and one apparently meaningless "stamp of approval").

 

4 hours ago, GaryD said:

When I refer to 'bullsh!t' I can think of no better example than your statement quoted above.  If someone uses "marketing tactics" which can't be evidenced, then they are bullsh!tting.....pure and simple!  And to suggest that all holders of doctorates or consultants engage in such "marketing tactics".....or that it is in anyway justified because (as you claim) they all do it....is also bullsh!t

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=73&v=Y_Pn1i65Eik

Yes, all profit and non-profit outfits do dishonest marketing... only difference here is... You believe your bullsh!t to be truth, founded in McMurtry's facts, to sell (i.e., " persuade someone of the merits of" ) the iAVS.

 

Edited by crsublette (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, GaryD said:

Getting back to de-coupling.....we know that oxidisation (sometimes incorrectly referred to as mineralisation) does not make all of the nutrients in fish waste available to plants in a form that they can use.....so, one of the things that interests me about the German research, is the role of heterotrophic bacteria (in anaerobic conditions) in converting fish wastes into plant-available nutrients. 

Heterotrophic bacteria still exist in an environment that is saturated with oxygen; this is why Phri made mention in one of his posts (http://aquaponicsnation.com/forums/topic/9339-dual-loop-system-build/?do=findComment&comment=75937) that (even in a Trickle Tower) heterotrophic bacteria populations are still monitored.

Ryan Chatterson's system, utilizing only very cheap DWC as the grow method, is able to grow his large volume of Tomatoes, Cucumber, Melons, etc, with ONLY aerated mineralisation tanks and ZERO nutrient supplementation. His aeration depends upon what he is growing. Less aeration (even though maintains oxygen saturation) encourages more heterotrophic bacteria growth (to release more nutrients) whereas higher aeration encourages less heterotrophic bacteria growth.

Talked about and demonstrated in great detail on Chatterson's training course. www.collegeofaquaponics.com

 

Edited by crsublette (see edit history)

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On 9/18/2016 at 11:31 PM, Strider said:

Well, as interesting as those big commercial systems are with all their formulas and plumbing my system is as far removed from those as can be.

Actually, your system is not that far removed... just smaller.

 

Hydraulic loading coefficients are still the same per surface area or per volume of media...

Filtration devices still captures particulates the same...

Fluid dynamics of water is still the same in pipes.

Fish density and FCR is still calculated the same.

Fish still consume oxygen and expel carbon dioxide the same.

Aeration still allows oxygen to penetrate the water the same.

 

Strider, only difference between a commercial system and a backyard system is cost of materials...

Edited by crsublette (see edit history)

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We getting a bit of topic but what the heck..

Innovative media as used in some MBBR (beside having lots of aerobe activity) enable protected anaerobe areas in the filter and can promote growth of particular types of bacteria, all aiming at process control & desirable water-quality. In some of my newer filters I aim to enhance growth of  bacteria involved in AMMONOX in some of the filter parts. If you measure oxygen tension in those filters it can be 2-3 mg/l still ammonia is removed without forming nitrate.

IMO difference between a commercial system and a backyard is in general focus of the commercial one on minimizing inputs to reduce production costs (big one is labor). Thus most likely cheaper per kg production compared to backyard. To put it in perspective for a commercial farm establishment cost play only a very small part in production cost.

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9 hours ago, GaryD said:

Hi Jim,

While not wishing to take your decoupling thread further off-topic, you may need to re-read some of Dr McMurtry's work (available absolutely free on the iAVs website) if you believe that his systems were "a small scale backyard endeavor.  The ratio trials, for example, were conducted in a battery of sixteen 500 litre fish tanks each with its own bio-filter with relative v:v ratios ranging from 1:0.67 through to 1:2.25.  While it was not a commercial system, it did facilitate the single most comprehensive aquaponics research program ever undertaken.

If your system is not ever performing to your expectations, then you need only examine any/all deviations from the iAVs model.....because that did exceed everyone's expectations....including some of the most prominent research horticulturists of their day.

While I did not invite the comparisons, I would like to just venture the the view that comparing systems is very important.  While, as you suggest, they all work - but what does the word 'work' mean if you are not comparing performance variables.

I'm the first to suggest that you should be able to care, think and believe what you choose, but I humbly offer that if something performs 20 times better than something else, it makes sense to aspire to that....on the grounds of cost effectiveness and sustainability - if nothing else.

And how would you know that something really performed 20 (or whatever) times something else......unless you compare it with the alternatives.

In my humble opinion, efficiency is not confined to commercial undertakings.....it's relevant regardless of the size of the operation.....but I agree that, if you want to lose money, waste energy and juggle risk, then you should be at liberty to do so.....for as long as you are free to do so.

Just a thought! ;)

Charles, it's alway a pleasure to hear from you.....even if you are coming back from the dead more often than Lazarus with a triple bypass. ;)

When I refer to 'bullsh!t' I can think of no better example than your statement quoted above.  If someone uses "marketing tactics" which can't be evidenced, then they are bullsh!tting.....pure and simple!  And to suggest that all holders of doctorates or consultants engage in such "marketing tactics".....or that it is in anyway justified because (as you claim) they all do it....is also bullsh!t

Phri, like you I was particularly interested to discover that the research was undertaken in 2009 and I liked the fact that the researchers provided data to support their  conclusions.    Most of us seemed to be under the impression that de-coupling (by design) was a much more recent thing?  Perhaps we were confused by all of the "marketing tactics" that were flying around.

Getting back to de-coupling.....we know that oxidisation (sometimes incorrectly referred to as mineralisation) does not make all of the nutrients in fish waste available to plants in a form that they can use.....so, one of the things that interests me about the German research, is the role of heterotrophic bacteria (in anaerobic conditions) in converting fish wastes into plant-available nutrients.  

Nelson and Pade (of recent patent infamy) say on their website....

This proposition is interesting for two reasons.  The first is that it speaks to a more comprehensive approach (than mere oxidisation) to extracting plant-available nutrients from fish waste.  

The second aspect that is interesting is that Nelson and Pade didn't discover this process (and nor did the German researchers) but they are both clearly attempting to assimilate the process into their aquaponics endeavours.  

I remember reading, some years ago, about an integrated aquaculture operation that employed a series of aearobic and anaerobic vessels in their filtration system - with a view to obtaining the most complete recovery of nutrients from fish wastes.  I can't remember exactly how long ago I read this.....or where....so the idea, while not new, warrants consideration.

Where the effluent from fish production is being used to irrigate soil-based plants (as distinct from aquaponics), anaerobic mineralisation is probaby not necessary since the soil microbiology does it anyway.....as also happens in iAVs.

Gary

Gary, this is a dusl loop thread, not an Iavs thread. I have read all of Mark's posts and comments.  I was referring to the car parking stall sized systems, u know, the whole reason for developing Iavs....to enable poor villagers to produce crops and harvest fish cheaply. You have a very distasteful tendency to talk down to people.  You need to work on that. 

One commercial sized study does not a validated system trial make.  

 

Enough of that...

So I have now replaced my large external pump for a smaller in tank pump to hopefully lower water volume and use only venturi tubes for fish tank and bio filter.  So no more air pumps. Should cut my electric bill and simplify things. The experiment goes on.  

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Also like to mention that I lost power for two hours and was in a panic. Although electricity outages are rare, they do happen here.  So I ran an extension cord from my truck to my air pump in the fish tank.  Reduced output but it did work. Guess I need to invest in a portable generator.  

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Hi Jim,

I only mentioned the iAVs thread because you raised it....and appeared to be under some misconception about it.

2 hours ago, Strider said:

You have a very distasteful tendency to talk down to people.  You need to work on that. 

I'm sorry if you have that perception.....but that could be more an issue of comprehension on your part than anything else.

Just to be clear.....iAVs is infinitely scalable.   As long as you can get water to flow along a sand furrow and have it drain back into a fish tank, the system can be as big as you like.  That's not hype.....or "marketing tactics".....that's simple logic.

Gary

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9 hours ago, crsublette said:

Yes, all profit and non-profit outfits do dishonest marketing... only difference here is... You believe your bullsh!t to be truth, founded in McMurtry's facts, to sell (i.e., " persuade someone of the merits of" ) the iAVS.

Charles.....so much bitterness, anxiety and misinformation directed at something that has only ever been given free to anyone who wants it.  I guess it's really true that no good deed goes unpunished.

9 hours ago, crsublette said:

Heterotrophic bacteria still exist in an environment that is saturated with oxygen; this is why Phri made mention in one of his posts (http://aquaponicsnation.com/forums/topic/9339-dual-loop-system-build/?do=findComment&comment=75937) that (even in a Trickle Tower) heterotrophic bacteria populations are still monitored.

Ryan Chatterson's system, utilizing only very cheap DWC as the grow method, is able to grow his large volume of Tomatoes, Cucumber, Melons, etc, with ONLY aerated mineralisation tanks and ZERO nutrient supplementation. His aeration depends upon what he is growing. Less aeration (even though maintains oxygen saturation) encourages more heterotrophic bacteria growth (to release more nutrients) whereas higher aeration encourages less heterotrophic bacteria growth.

Talked about and demonstrated in great detail on Chatterson's training course. www.collegeofaquaponics.com

I never claimed that heterotrophic bacteria lived exclusively in anaerobic conditions.   My interest was based on the suggestion that heterotrophs in an anaeobic environment make nutrients (that are not otherwise plant-available) available in a form that the plants can use them.

I wasn't aware of Ryan's course.  Have you done the program?  By the way, it's good to see that you have changed your opinion of Ryan.  I recall there was a time when you thought very differently about him.

7 hours ago, phri said:

We getting a bit of topic but what the heck..

Innovative media as used in some MBBR (beside having lots of aerobe activity) enable protected anaerobe areas in the filter and can promote growth of particular types of bacteria, all aiming at process control & desirable water-quality. In some of my newer filters I aim to enhance growth of  bacteria involved in AMMONOX in some of the filter parts. If you measure oxygen tension in those filters it can be 2-3 mg/l still ammonia is removed without forming nitrate.

IMO difference between a commercial system and a backyard is in general focus of the commercial one on minimizing inputs to reduce production costs (big one is labor). Thus most likely cheaper per kg production compared to backyard. To put it in perspective for a commercial farm establishment cost play only a very small part in production cost.

Phri....I agree....the nature of bacterial activity in an integrated aquaculture system is intriguing.  What's interesting to me is the way that people are achieving similar things in different ways......bird netting, anaerobic vessels and even the MBBR media to which you referred.

In my view, the simple determinant of whether a system is commercial is the intent of the operator.  If the fish and vegetables from a system are sold then it's commercial.  Thereafter, viability is the big concern and that will be determined by a range of factors.....including labour.

Gary

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Disclaimer : None of this is written with malice nor to be offensive nor derisive to ANYONE.

 

6 hours ago, GaryD said:

That's not hype.....or "marketing tactics".....that's simple logic.

Nah, it is spin... You call it "logical", others see it for what it is.

 

5 hours ago, GaryD said:

I never claimed that heterotrophic bacteria lived exclusively in anaerobic conditions.   My interest was based on the suggestion that heterotrophs in an anaeobic environment make nutrients (that are not otherwise plant-available) available in a form that the plants can use them.

Sigh... point is... these environments are created well enough by other means... to make nutrients plant-available... and yes... they are plant-available... Otherwise, Chatterson would not be growing his various fruits and vegetables so incredibly well...

 

 

5 hours ago, GaryD said:

I wasn't aware of Ryan's course.  Have you done the program?  By the way, it's good to see that you have changed your opinion of Ryan.  I recall there was a time when you thought very differently about him.

 Yep, going through it at the moment (on week 5)... It is a 11 week ONLINE course with an incredible amount of videos, powerpoint presentations, and quite technical information.... The contents cover actually building a professional aquaculture system (including pure oxygen if necessary at proper fish densities, also teaches DIY devices to do pure oxygen), a variety of DIY devices, Insect Protocol Management, horticulture production techniques for a variety of plants including pruning, teaching fish spawning, marketing and all sorts of other material I have not gotten to read yet.

My initial beef with Ryan was (which means not now) that I thought he was acting like all of the other "aquaponic sheisters" with yet another high priced training course, due to the quite poor record of Aquaponics in that arena.  Ryan's work history with Pentair AES and his collaboration with other incredibly knowledgeable influential characters is the only reason I gave him the benefit of the doubt by actually purchasing his online course. I dived into this adventure as a quite pure and true skeptic.

However, after just going through the first 5 weeks of his training course, my mind has significantly changed with an absolute positive impression. Ryan has basically helped to give me the confidence to finally start building my own system, which is soon to come. I was wishing and was hoping others would give me the same confidence that Ryan has created for me, but they haven't, at the moment. Ryan is the first to achieve this for me within this Aquaponic arena.

The amount of patience Ryan gives during his videos to help teach the mathematical formulas of mass balancing, water velocities, initial planning, hydraulic loading of the various parts of a system, choosing equipment, how to properly construct (according to aquaculture industry standards) a fish system and the various devices. I am only on Week 5 so this is all I can say. I bet the remainder 7 weeks will be quite stellar quality. I have realized how Ryan has been incredibly generous.. I am honestly surprised and I am quite proud of how I was proven wrong and experiencing how outgoing Ryan has been with the information he has shared about his own business, which his business has now operated for a couple years quite successfully. I imagine he still keeps some secrets, but the other 99% I do believe he is sharing through this training. Chatterson Farms is actually successful as a profitable business, and, after 2 years of business, he has already paid off his capex debts and making plans to expand his business. I hope another 7 good years for him, to overcome that infamous 5~7 year small business hump, so that he knows what he is doing is an absolutely a winner, and I bet he will achieve this.


Gary, as you recall, I thought you were actually an incredibly stand up guy when I first came to this forum, rather than... well, objective people know what I am talking about... Everybody has a "merit bank account" with me... This account, driven by action rather than feelings, can either be full of merits or demerits or a mixture and each merit/demerit have varying weights... The final balance is how I judge people, as should be... and... You're pushing it buddy... Just not giving up on ya yet... Only reason I have not flat out given up is that I have actually enjoyed reading about your Permaculture and Quail and, in general, "microponics" adventures, which an update is long overdue to keep your account with me in the black.

 

5 hours ago, GaryD said:

Phri....I agree....the nature of bacterial activity in an integrated aquaculture system is intriguing.  What's interesting to me is the way that people are achieving similar things in different ways......

Too many Aquaponic businesses have vested interests in their system designs and vested interest in the future success of their specific system designs and ideology, much like McMurtry with his absolute dedication to iAVS. McMurtry is not alone with this quite restrictive mentality. Other Aquaponic businesses, as well like Nelson and Pade and Friendly Aquaponics and UVI and Bright Agrotech and others, have essentially "concreted" them self into a particular design. ... McMurtry's work being "peer reviewed" has shown to be quite irrelevant to industry practitioners... From what I have read, most serious industry engineers (not talking aquaponics) more or less view these "peer reviewed" projects as an optional guideline, rather than a requirement nor recommendation toward the engineering of a system.

Quite astounding that... took McMurtry's appearance on this forum... for people to finally be aware of the correct formulation of sand beds... If people weren't so narrow minded about using gravel/clay balls/DWC/etc rather than sand grow beds, then people would have already found nearly the exact same sand specifications, that iAVS uses, in hydroponic literature predating the 1980s. Then, if aquaponic practitioners were actually open minded, then they would have tried using properly formulated hydroponic sand beds (per industry literature), instead of clay balls or gravel, in their closed looped, recirculating aquaponic systems...

...Eventhough N&P was quite aware of it, Nelson and Pade (N&P) was not going to do that cause it went against their business model... So, up to other enthusiasts to do their due diligence... but too many wide eyed, gullible people out there just ran with N&P and, eventually Joel Malcom's, Hallam's, and Bernstein's ideas and that was that.... until a couple years ago.

The type of narrow thinking, thinking aquaponics is unique by definition, can only be operated a particular way, has hindered innovation and prevents practitioners from learning, or even considering, the research from the aquaculture, hydroponic, and sewage treatment industry.

Unfortunately, there are just too many quacky system ideas in the Aquaponics industry that I think has ruined the industry and insane niche marketing is what keeps them going... but... I think this is finally changing...

 

5 hours ago, GaryD said:

....bird netting, anaerobic vessels and even the MBBR media to which you referred.

In my view, the simple determinant of whether a system is commercial is the intent of the operator.  If the fish and vegetables from a system are sold then it's commercial.  Thereafter, viability is the big concern and that will be determined by a range of factors.....including labour.

There are actually better ways of doing things.... Otherwise, Chatterson would have continued with UVI's design approach in context of their devices, but, with his experience in actually studying horticulture/aquaculture industry research, as well as working for Penair AES and having good relationship with professional people involved in the industry (outside of aquaponics), Chatterson chose to use different devices for cost effectiveness reason.

Chatterson is a fella that does "what works best" to make his business successful rather than maintaining a narrow thinking to promote a particular ideology. From what I can tell, he is continually adapting his operations and is open to trying different approaches so that his business is successful.

N&P, UVI, Friendly Aquaponics, Bright Agrotech, and others like them are in business to sell their own system products, research, and ideology... not to primarily sell crops... This is why they don't do quite obvious improvements to their systems, that would help them tremendously.


I don't simply consider someone to be a "Farmer" if they just sell a carrot or tomato from their backyard garden or only just engineer systems that achieve this. To me, takes much more than expertise to consider someone a Farmer.

In my forage & grain agriculture industry, I know many very intelligent agronomists, entomologists, land owners, and custom farm equipment operators attempt to be a farmer and they failed... and this is with an incredibly easier wholesale forage & grain market to deal with...

Farming involves frugality, common sense, and knowing how to manage risk... (knowing when to get out, knowing when to get back in)... this may entail higher capital expenditures upfront or at a risky time abandoning half of your crop (pay contract penalties) in the middle of the grow season... This isn't something that is taught from literature nor from talking to advisors.

If people expect "experience" to teach them this, then they better hope their "screw ups" do not irreparably doom the business....

 

I am truly quite impressed by Ryan Chatterson. His bank account with me is quite full with merit.

 

Edited by crsublette (see edit history)
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8 hours ago, GaryD said:

Hi Jim,

I only mentioned the iAVs thread because you raised it....and appeared to be under some misconception about it.

I'm sorry if you have that perception.....but that could be more an issue of comprehension on your part than anything else.

Just to be clear.....iAVs is infinitely scalable.   As long as you can get water to flow along a sand furrow and have it drain back into a fish tank, the system can be as big as you like.  That's not hype.....or "marketing tactics".....that's simple logic.

Gary

Lol, I rest my case.

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3 hours ago, Strider said:

Lol, I rest my case.

Hey Jim....glad you got a laugh from my observation.  I live to serve. ;)

6 hours ago, crsublette said:

Sigh... point is... these environments are created well enough by other means... to make nutrients plant-available... and yes... they are plant-available... Otherwise, Chatterson would not be growing his various fruits and vegetables so incredibly well...

 

6 hours ago, crsublette said:

There are actually better ways of doing things.... Otherwise, Chatterson would have continued with UVI's design approach in context of their devices, but, with his experience in actually studying horticulture/aquaculture industry research, as well as working for Penair AES and having good relationship with professional people involved in the industry (outside of aquaponics), Chatterson chose to use different devices for cost effectiveness reason.

Charles, I previously thought that mineralisation of fish solids for a predetermined amount of time happened in an aerobic digester....so I was interested to discover that some people create an anaerobic environment in which to extract plant-available nutrients.  Why would they do that if they could achieve exactly the same outcome from aerating the solids?  I'm not arguing with you, I'd be genuinely interested to learn whatever it is that you know about this subject....by whatever (aerobic/anaerobic) means.....if you're at liberty to share.

6 hours ago, crsublette said:

Gary, as you recall, I thought you were actually an incredibly stand up guy when I first came to this forum, rather than... well, objective people know what I am talking about... Everybody has a "merit bank account" with me... This account, driven by action rather than feelings, can either be full of merits or demerits or a mixture and each merit/demerit have varying weights... The final balance is how I judge people, as should be... and... You're pushing it buddy... Just not giving up on ya yet... Only reason I have not flat out given up is that I have actually enjoyed reading about your Permaculture and Quail and, in general, "microponics" adventures, which an update is long overdue to keep your account with me in the black.

Geez Charles, I'm deeply moved......and I'm truly impressed with the fact that you still haven't given up on me....and, to demonstrate my appreciation (and restore my merit account to a positive balance), I will endeavour to get something happening in the Microponics/Permaculture/Quail department.....as soon as possible.

6 hours ago, crsublette said:

The type of narrow thinking, thinking aquaponics is unique by definition, can only be operated a particular way, has hindered innovation and prevents practitioners from learning, or even considering, the research from the aquaculture, hydroponic, and sewage treatment industry.

I agree wholeheartedly.  It was the ability to think outside of the prevailing models that caused me to embrace iAVs.  Now, that's as much as I want to say about iAVs in this post.....particularly since I've just got Strider smiling and I don't want him ripping me a new one.   You may be interested to know (and I hope Strider will be similarly excited) that I have just completed building my latest system.....and, contrary to popular expectation, it is not an iAVs....but rather something much closer to the topic of this thread.  It's actually a design that I drew up, years ago, for a former member called Pugo.  I've had the fish tanks and filtration barrels (purchased brand new) lying around for about five years....so it was a sense of shame (rather than any belief that it was better than iAVs) that finally moved me to put it together.

I mention that new development here, not only to support your contention, but also looking to satisfy Strider that I'm genuinely trying to get back on the topic of "dusl loop" (sic).....and, to that end, this new (old) system facilitates decoupled operation.  

Gary

Edited by GaryD (see edit history)
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17 hours ago, GaryD said:

I never claimed that heterotrophic bacteria lived exclusively in anaerobic conditions.   My interest was based on the suggestion that heterotrophs in an anaeobic environment make nutrients (that are not otherwise plant-available) available in a form that the plants can use them.

See below for abstract of relevant publication;

The Effect of Anaerobic and Aerobic Fish Sludge Supernatant on Hydroponic Lettuce

Goddek, Simon; Schmautz, Zala; Scott, Ben; Delaide, Boris; Keesman, Karel; Wuertz, Sven; Junge, Ranka  (2016)

Abstract

The mobilization of nutrients from fish sludge (i.e., feces and uneaten feed) plays a key role in optimizing the resource utilization and thus in improving the sustainability of aquaponic systems. While several studies have documented the aerobic and anaerobic digestion performance of aquaculture sludge, the impact of the digestate on plant growth has yet to be understood. The present study examines the impact of either an aerobic or an anaerobic digestion effluent on lettuce plant growth, by enriching a mixture of aquaculture and tap water with supernatants from both aerobic and anaerobic batch reactors. The lettuce plants grown in the hydroponic system supplied with supernatant from an anaerobic reactor had significantly better performance with respect to weight gain than both, those in the system where supernatant from the aerobic reactor was added, as well as the control system. It can be hypothesized that this effect was caused by the presence of NH4+ as well as dissolved organic matter, plant growth promoting rhizobacteria and fungi, and humic acid, which are predominantly present in anaerobic effluents. This study should therefore be of value to researchers and practitioners wishing to further develop sludge remineralization in aquaponic systems.

Full paper: http://www.mdpi.com/2073-4395/6/2/37

Edited by phri
new info (see edit history)
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I keep going.......

more to read for the real believer:

Water 2016, 8(7), 303;

Navigating towards Decoupled Aquaponic Systems: A System Dynamics Design Approach
Simon Goddek 1,2,*, Carlos Alberto Espinal 3, Boris Delaide 4, Mohamed Haissam Jijakli 4, Zala Schmautz 5, Sven Wuertz 6 and Karel J. Keesman 1
 
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Phri, if you noticed, Simon Goddek is the common denominator in each reference. He has posted some interesting information on Facebook as well.

His website is..

Developonics - Research and Development of Aquaponics

http://www.developonics.com/author/simoneke/

 

He also has a facebook page.

 

Some interesting stuff.

Edited by crsublette (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, GaryD said:

Charles, I previously thought that mineralisation of fish solids for a predetermined amount of time happened in an aerobic digester....

I don't want to say too much, because, as a small business operator myself, I understand how "saying too much" can undercut another's services. So, I'm not going to say too much. If people want to know, then they need to do business with Chatterson. This is the only way agriculture will improve, with monetarily support, to ensure the research and education continues to improve the industry.

 

Chatterson talks about the "predetermined amount of time" dependent on many variables including water temperature, oxygen saturation, and carbon/carbohydrate feeding.

He goes into much more specifics about all this as well as proper designs and talks about what he does himself.

For Chatterson, he achieved complete mineralisation of fish waste (from time it enters the tanks and leaves the tank), and the mineralisation is complete. The mulm settlement on the bottom of the mineralisation tank is very minimal and the water exiting this mineralisation tank is very clear, negligible Total Suspended Solids, with only just a quite slight pale yellow turbidity as a result of the various decomposition acids.

Ryan maintains quite a high density of fish. So, his mineralisation tanks process hundreds of pounds of fish waste every week. After 3 years of doing this, Ryan talked about how (moreso out of curiousity) he wanted to clean out his mineralisation tank and he discovered only a few inches of mulm settled at the bottom of this tank.  Only this small amount of mulm, after processing hundreds of pound of fish waste after 3 years. Now, to reiterate, he did not need to clean his mineralisation, but he did it just out of curiosity since is a very curious cat and likes to know what's happening.

I have not yet witnessed anaerobic digestion accomplish this by any small operator. I do not think they will accomplish this because pure anaerobic digestion creates byproducts that require further processing; thus, notable amount of fish waste nutrients may or may not be sent to the plants. Byproducts can also be created with aerobic digestion as well, as livestock feed for shrimp or fish, if carbo feeding is at a particular level, except this is entirely optional, but these byproducts remain in the system to specifically grow plants.

His aerobic mineralisation is very complete into plant soluble nutrients.

He also mentions there is absolutely zero smell emitting from this mineralisation process.

 

5 hours ago, GaryD said:

I'm not arguing with you, I'd be genuinely interested to learn whatever it is that you know about this subject....by whatever (aerobic/anaerobic) means.....if you're at liberty to share.

To reiterate, Chatterson goes into tremendously more details, formulas, about exactly how to do all this as well as proper designs, but I do not want to say too much since I think people should cater to small business if people want to see small business, especially small farmers, thrive to improve the industry.

 

5 hours ago, GaryD said:

so I was interested to discover that some people create an anaerobic environment in which to extract plant-available nutrients.  Why would they do that if they could achieve exactly the same outcome from aerating the solids? 

(((this is just me answering)))

Well, there are many more byproducts, as a result of mineralisation not as complete, from anaerobic environment so they are not achieving exactly the same outcome from aerating solids. If they were, then 99% of the waste would be in the water as plant available nutrients.

My guess the reason is more likely due to business costs, regulations, and the final purpose of the waste is what makes the final determination on whether choosing anaerobic or aerobic decomposition.

Proper anaerobic digestion also involves much more more fine tuning.

I am assuming the context here is liquid fish waste... and not something more complex like livestock manure...

 

5 hours ago, GaryD said:

I will endeavour to get something happening in the Microponics/Permaculture/Quail department.....as soon as possible.

I look forward to this. My dad is big into guinea fowl, but I am trying to convince him to do Quail as well and I have learned quite about from your Quail adventure observations.

 

5 hours ago, GaryD said:

I mention that new development here, not only to support your contention, but also looking to satisfy Strider that I'm genuinely trying to get back on the topic of "dusl loop" (sic).....and, to that end, this new (old) system facilitates decoupled operation. 

Chatterson also talks about the quite practical, applicable merits of decoupling operations. He made mention he is also experimenting with the idea to see if he can grow different fish and/or plants that is not exactly conducive with his coupled operations. He mainly chose to do a coupled operation due to his specific context. Context is king.

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Chatterson also talks about how to control his mineralisation process... to obtain a proper nutrient profile for the crop he is growing...

To help cater to his fruiting vegetables, he changes the injection to his aerobic mineralisation process to better cater to the nutrient profile for this crop. Talked about in detail in his material.

To help cater to leafy vegetables (like lettuce) and to avoid early bolting due to wrong nutrients, he changes the injection to his aerobic mineralisation process. Talked about in detail in his material.

Edited by crsublette (see edit history)

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8 hours ago, GaryD said:

Hey Jim....glad you got a laugh from my observation.  I live to serve.

I mention that new development here, not only to support your contention, but also looking to satisfy Strider that I'm genuinely trying to get back on the topic of "dusl loop" (sic).....and, to that end, this new (old) system facilitates decoupled operation.  

Gary

Laughter makes the world go round.  Get me back? I never left.

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Lol... I think Gary was referring to himself as getting this thread back on topic, not you Strider :)

So... To be more direct and as "I have lost my thread" here...Where are you currently at with your dual loop system mate?  Could you perhaps rehash a few things for me please? Maybe a few pics again or new ones etc, with a bit of commentary etc.

Cheers.

Edited by bigdaddy (see edit history)

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I must have misunderstood Gary's meanong....probably the accent.. 

Well Daddy, I put a new in sump tank pump in my system to reduce the flow and eliminate the need to vent extra water.  But it is still too much volume. I am running all on venturi tubes and leaving the air pumps for emergencies.  I need to rebuild my RFF (add a cone bottom) and redesign my sand and gravel filter.  Busy as Hell lately even working weekends but will try to post some pics Sunday. 

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