vkn

Our experiments with IAVS..

685 posts in this topic

Planting saplings.. Here are the updated pictures.  

 

Planted 156 tomato saplings. It took me less than 30 minutes in the sand media culture beds.. It takes a full day for an operator to plant similar number of planting in gravel media culture beds..  That saved a lot of time. 

Density is close to one plant per square feet.

 

Fish look more happy with the cascaded/aerated water flow coming from the drain.  We have put off the aerator during the day and want to watch DO later in the evening today.

 

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vkn,

 

Nice looking project!

 

I would think that starting plants is a good thing, even before the bacteria has begun to populate.  I prefer to hold off on introducing the fish until the system has cycled and the NO2 & NO3 have gotten established....but I can't see that early planting will do anything but good.  The plants will be a bit starved for nutrients to start, but should do okay.

 

One thing that I have noticed in my just built iAVs 3' x 16' sand beds is that my sand drains so well (good thing) that I can only get the water to flow about 4-5' down the furrows, so I am just planting a few tomatoes & kale down in the end of the bed that is getting good saturation.  According to Dr Mark once the demetrius and algae get a foothold in the furrows the water will progress down the entire length of the bed......I have been adding a bit of AP system water from a friend's system to get some additional food for the system.  Just yesterday my NO2 dropped from 1.5ppm down to .25ppm so I think I am about to get things established!  Then I'll add the fish.

 

I would make sure that you are getting good saturation in the areas that you are planting.....just to be sure that you don't lose any plants due to no water!

 

Saturation is fine here throughout the bed area, mh.  No problem with that.

How big is your drain pipes?  Maybe water drains out rather quickly.  Improving the flow rate should help.  

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Planted 156 tomato saplings

 

Why so many plants?

 

Dr. M&M planted 4 per sq/m.

 

You planted them at 13.1 per sq/m.

 

Does your household require that many tom's each day in their diet?

 

What other vegetables do you use daily?

 

Are you going to plant other short term crops in the same beds?

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Why so many plants?

 

Dr. M&M planted 4 per sq/m.

 

You planted them at 13.1 per sq/m.

 

Does your household require that many tom's each day in their diet?

 

What other vegetables do you use daily?

 

Are you going to plant other short term crops in the same beds?

 

One tomato plant per square feet is what we follow in other systems we have.. this is achieved using stakes or vertical rope support.  A few plants are added extra for redundancy, weaker ones will be removed.

 

We sell our veggies.. these sand beds are now part of our 2-1/2 year old commercial Aquaponics system.

 

We also grow cucumber, cowpea, okra, eggplant, clove beans, mint, coriander, spinach etc. in our gravel media and NFT systems.

 

Short-term, not thought of yet.  Good that you brought it up.  Which plants do you suggest as short term crops?

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Day 4.. there is one tomato plant that is dying.. don't know why?

All others are doing great but cotyledons have gone yellow in some plants.

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I would wonder if you have enough nitrogen built up?   What are your nitrates running?

 

Sure seems like a lot of tomatoe plants for such a small area.   I do look forward to seeing how you manage that density.

Edited by Ravnis (see edit history)
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Vkn,
In addition to Ravnis' thoughts, sometimes the seed leaves will wither when transplanted, if the rest of the plant is healthy I would just pinch them off and monitor the rest of the plant.

Regarding the dead plant, I wonder if the roots didn't get properly compacted during transplanting on this one. A little air pocket in the root zone can be deadly....

My two cents....mh

Edited by mhaigh (see edit history)
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I would wonder if you have enough nitrogen built up?   What are your nitrates running?

 

Sure seems like a lot of tomatoe plants for such a small area.   I do look forward to seeing how you manage that density.

Hi Ravnis, this week's Nitrates are hitting at 60-80 ppm range.  We increased feeding since last week.  I hope it stays fine in the system.. Picture attached.

Density of plants.. let us see their growth and to plan accordingly.

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Vkn,

In addition to Ravnis' thoughts, sometimes the seed leaves will wither when transplanted, if the rest of the plant is healthy I would just pinch them off and monitor the rest of the plant.

Regarding the dead plant, I wonder if the roots didn't get properly compacted during transplanting on this one. A little air pocket in the root zone can be deadly....

My two cents....mh

Mh, yes it could be the air pocket with that unfortunate one.  It looks like other plants have settled down.

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Here is the digital timer and a contactor we installed recently.  We never had one in our old system.

 

The flood in the sand beds are fully saturated in about 15 minutes.. This is approx. 1/8th of tank volume..  so the timer is programmed to 15 minutes on and 45 minutes off for now.  Thinking of 16 such events during the day and want to put off the pump for 8 hours in the night.  There are old media beds (flood and drain) and NFT channels to take care too.  This gives us close to 2.5 tank exchanges daily.  We want to fine tune the cycle over this week.  Any thoughts appreciated.

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Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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What variety of tomatoes are you planting?

Are they indeterminate?

No, they are determinate ones and hybrid F1 seeds..Mh.. These grow to about 5-6 feet height and then stop growing... not a busy-type but we get a small group of concentrated fruits.  Pruning is easy in these plants..

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Here is sharing with you a new layout for a commercial project starting next week.  It is going to be a GH facility with focus on local fresh food production for the Bangalore city in India.  We plan to grow tilapia, seabass, tomatoes, pepper, some selected greens such as pak choi, spinach, lettuce, mint, etc.

 

One major change is the removal of gravel beds from our routine commercial layout and the inclusion of sand media culture beds.  So I am posting this here for Dr. Mark McMurtry and Mr. Gary's kind attention and any guidance they could offer in this project.

 

System components

Fish culture tanks (f1-4), sand media culture beds (s1-10), deep water culture beds (d1-5), azolla culture (a1), clarifiers (c1-2), biofilters (b1-2), pump room (m1), store room (r1), seedling area (t1), and packing/distribution/office area (p1)

 

Total land area - 500 M2

Fish culture tanks - 20 kL x 4

Plant growing area - 294 m2

 

Hopefully I've given you a bird's eye view of this system.  Any questions on this, I shall try and elaborate.

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Edited by vkn (see edit history)
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I am genuinely curious about your project.  I sure do hope that you periodically keep us posted on how the sand beds perform, and what interesting challenges you faced as you operated the system.

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Fish culture tanks - 20 kL x 4

 

 

So me being in the USA. Is "20 KL" the same as 20 cubic meters = 20,000 L? 

 

Are these tanks "In the ground or above"?

 

Are the FT's interconnected with each other? Or do each have a dedicated pump and return?

 

Why are the FT's at one end of the GH, and the Pump room at the other end of the GH?

 

 

Plant growing area - 294 m2

 

What sizes are your "Sand Beds" and the "DWC beds"  Are you including the "azolla culture" in that total area also? 

 

Hopefully I've given you a bird's eye view of this system.

 

 

It looks like a nice layout, but without measurements of tanks,  walkways, room, etc. there is no prespective to it.

 

 

 

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I am happy to answer your questions.  Please scroll down and find them side by side.

I hope this answers your questions.
 

So me being in the USA. Is "20 KL" the same as 20 cubic meters = 20,000 L?
Yes. 
 
Are these tanks "In the ground or above"?

In the ground. 
 
Are the FT's interconnected with each other? Or do each have a dedicated pump and return?

They are interconnected for leveling the overflow.. yes, dedicated pump and return.

 
Why are the FT's at one end of the GH, and the Pump room at the other end of the GH?
Pump room and other structures are outside the GH.. yet to decide its placement. 
 
What sizes are your "Sand Beds" and the "DWC beds"  Are you including the "azolla culture" in that total area also? 
 Azolla culture beds are also outside the GH.  Total plant growing area is divided equally to DWC and sand beds.  Promoters want to include and focus on the DWCs especially for their lettuce and other greens/herbs production plan.  It was me who have been successful in convincing them of the merits and benefits of sand beds. 
 
It looks like a nice layout, but without measurements of tanks,  walkways, room, etc. there is no prespective to it.

Fish culture tanks approx. 50 m2 (average 5 feet water body), plant growing area 292 m2, clarifier/biofilter roughly 16 m2, and rest are walways inside the 500 m2 GH.

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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So with a ratio of 1 FT of 1:1 of the SB would be 10 SB's 4' x 130' ea.?

 

Why make a Pump Rm, just put the pumps above ea FT, way less piping, etc.

 

Put the FT's in the middle of the GH, 1 for the SB's. 3 for the DWC beds

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So with a ratio of 1 FT of 1:1 of the SB would be 10 SB's 4' x 130' ea.?

Keeping in view of the staggered production, we have kept it at 4' x 40' x 10 sand beds and 8' x 40' x 5 DWCs.

 

Why make a Pump Rm, just put the pumps above ea FT, way less piping, etc.

Pump room is essential.  Though we are using submersible pumps, we need timers fixed etc.. a one-for-all control room.  No piping.. only the wiring go the pump room.

 

Put the FT's in the middle of the GH, 1 for the SB's. 3 for the DWC beds

I did not get this.. can you elaborate?  For now, it is going to be 2 FTs for sand beds and 2 for DWCs.

 

Plus, edited to add. we are looking at weekly fish harvest and veggies.  Maybe daily routine harvest depending on how the organic food market is developed.

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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Are these arrangements okay?  We are starting to build this project on September 17, 2015, this Thursday.  Start-to-finish, the implementation time is expected to be in 20 days or so when we start adding our fish and planting. 

 

I would very much appreciate any advise or guidance Dr. Mark McMurtry or Mr. Gary may consider useful with this project.

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Pump room is essential.  Though we are using submersible pumps, we need timers fixed etc.. a one-for-all control room.  No piping.. only the wiring go the pump room.

 

 

 

only the wiring go the pump room

 

So your submersibles don't use electric??

 

You are inside a climate controlled GH,

 

Timers, etc  can be next to the pumps mounted on a Unistruct rack, elimanting the pump room.

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Hi vkn

 

 

I would very much appreciate any advise or guidance Dr. Mark McMurtry or Mr. Gary may consider useful with this project.

 

Gary is on tour http://aquaponicsnation.com/forums/topic/9381-dr-paul-olivier/?p=74255 

and might not be able to respond before project start.

As for Dr. M. McM I think, he mostly comunicate in private, so try a PM

 

good luck with yet another system cheers

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So your submersibles don't use electric??

Sorry, I did not get your question.. Submersibles do need power.

 

You are inside a climate controlled GH,

Yes

 

Timers, etc  can be next to the pumps mounted on a Unistruct rack, elimanting the pump room.

I never did this before.. let me see if I can incorporate this.. but then there are external aerators to look into as well.

Thank you so much for your inputs, Old Prospector.

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Thanks Ande!  You have always been so supportive so far.  

This commercial project installation happens over 20 days to a month's time staring day after tomorrow Sep 17, 2015..

 

I shall be trying to incorporate any wise inputs on sand beds I could get into this project.. a dream project for us all... also because it is the first time we are going to mentor and execute a mammoth project of this nature in this part of the world according to our experience.

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Hi vkn,

 

Very interesting system that you have. How do you prevent clogging in the drains of your sand media beds?

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