vkn

Our experiments with IAVS..

707 posts in this topic

JFYI that I am taking a "clean break" effective tomorrow November 9 for a month or more, a sabbatical from all things I do here.

Meanwhile I would be busy completing some aquaponics assignments in hand and working on my new book, You Can Grow.

For any emergencies, you can reach me at my email info.vkn at gmail.com.  I would post any relevant news or updates at my blog www.aquaponicsfuturist.com

I'll be back soon with updates and regular stories!

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11 hours ago, mattyoga said:

You'll need a source of carbon for them, so I would imagine if you added enough Organic Matter  to the sand you could grow them.  I'm just trialing a king stropharia (KS) woochip grey water filter at present, which if successfully inoculated will move a section to my RAS system.

KS thrive in a bacterial rich environment and have been shown to improve some veg species production in convectional beds (see mycelium running by Paul Stamets).  

Reading it..I should tell you that I got hooked :)  Thanks again, mattyoga!

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Have a great sabbatical VK! Look forward to more stories when you return.

Cheers,
Jeff

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@ Vadakara Aquaponics (Project I), we are at the last leg of this project.

Vadakara Aquaponics 231116.jpg

I am 'live' again after a short break. You may shoot your comments/questions, if any.

PS: iAVs Projects J and K are simultaneously rolling on.  Project K is a POC for our government's fisheries department.

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Broad beans (vicio faba) in aquaponics

Several yield trials of this super tasty beans have been successful at NARDC. Pictured is our new season broad bean direct seed germination in a pristine aquaponics sand filter.

Fava beans 191116 (2).jpg Fava beans 191116.jpg

Other bean varieties that are suitable for growing in sand filters include but not limited to black, black-eyed pea, black turtle, broad, butter, chickpea, cowpea, fava, dark red kidney, garbanzo, great white, green, kidney, lima, navy, pinto, red, red kidney, string, etc.  Anyone growing these?

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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One of our sand filters recently saw a clogging problem.  There were some overflows and beds remained saturated for days.  I tried backwashing today and found these old tomato root sediments coming out.  

Clog 261116.jpg

Once they were removed, the system resumed to normal working again.

Edited by vkn (see edit history)
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20 hours ago, vkn said:

Broad beans (vicio faba) in aquaponics

Several yield trials of this super tasty beans have been successful at NARDC. Pictured is our new season broad bean direct seed germination in a pristine aquaponics sand filter.

Fava beans 191116 (2).jpg Fava beans 191116.jpg

Other bean varieties that are suitable for growing in sand filters include but not limited to black, black-eyed pea, black turtle, broad, butter, chickpea, cowpea, fava, dark red kidney, garbanzo, great white, green, kidney, lima, navy, pinto, red, red kidney, string, etc.  Anyone growing these?

I attempted to grow broad (fava) beans in my early gravel flood and drain beds.  I found that I could produce magnificent foliage - and even flowers - but the system lacked the nutrients to set pods.  

19 hours ago, vkn said:

One of our sand filters recently saw a clogging problem.  There were some overflows and beds remained saturated for days.  I tried backwashing today and found these old tomato root sediments coming out.  

Clog 261116.jpg

Once they were removed, the system resumed to normal working again.

That's amazing.  Where did the blockage occur.....in the drainage pipework.....or the bed itself? 

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13 hours ago, GaryD said:

I attempted to grow broad (fava) beans in my early gravel flood and drain beds.  I found that I could produce magnificent foliage - and even flowers - but the system lacked the nutrients to set pods.  

That's amazing.  Where did the blockage occur.....in the drainage pipework.....or the bed itself? 

Beans yields have been good in several sand culture trials here.

Gary, I have not come to a conclusion but we assume this blockage was at the return drainage outlet.

 

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Here is sharing another well water analysis report.  There is a rainwater reservoir lake nearby.  The site is near a sea and other water sources are found extremely alkaline. This report looks comparably better than the two other reports I have (one source is a bore-well and the other a deep natural well) at this new site.

Water test new 281116.jpg

Can your well-trained eyes catch something else as a problem in this report other than the high pH?

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Good bye, gravel culture!

Gravel culture is one of the other methods of growing plants without soil in several aquaponics systems.

We have been working with gravel media since our humble beginning way back in 2012. There are several reasons for moving away from gravel media. When compared to sand culture, the surface area available for microbial attachment is several orders of magnitude greater than even the smallest gravel. The aquaponics systems using sand culture are able to be 'driven harder' (being more productive); we have been witnessing it in our experiments with iAVs.  Furthermore, similarly sand pore size is orders of magnitude more effective at physically (mechanically) filtering suspended solids for far more effective filtration with each cycle/pass.

So, we have repurposed all our gravel beds and switched to sand filters at NARDC Nanniode. Pictured is a recent inside view of a 3+-year-old aquaponics gravel culture bed.  This was the last one.

Good bye Gravel culture 091116.jpg

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Another perfect camouflage..

Praying mantis 011216.jpg

Spotted this baby praying mantis in our recently replanted spinach plants @ project A, NARDC Nanniode.

Ravnis, good to see we have similar timing on spinach.  All the best! I am seeing some curling disease but could not confirm anything.. will post pictures on that later.  

 

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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No clue as to what that is.      The grains seem large, what size media is that?   I'm most curious as to how your doing with the Macrobrachium as I plan to use them as well.  Theres a juvenile supplier only 2 hours drive from me.     Seems we think a lot a like on at least some things  :D

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On 12/3/2016 at 11:28 PM, Ravnis said:

No clue as to what that is.      The grains seem large, what size media is that?   I'm most curious as to how your doing with the Macrobrachium as I plan to use them as well.  Theres a juvenile supplier only 2 hours drive from me.     Seems we think a lot a like on at least some things  :D

They are potato sprouts for a transplant.  

Regarding sand, the particle sizes that I am working on these days are as below.  Less than 0.25 mm - zero, 0.25-0.5 mm - 20%, 0.5-1 mm - 40%, and 1-2 mm -40%.  It is working, so far so good!

On Macrobrachium rosenbergii, we don't have those giant freshwater prawns in culture now. Those tanks are used for climbing perch. Some facts.. They grew to sizes quickly but found them reaching in varying sizes (16-20 count per kg) and hence mortality had been huge, 30% +/-5%.  No disease issues.  We wasted a lot of sinking feed.  We were also trying to feed them wholesome grains.  When we culture them again, we would add more shelters (more pvc pipes/nylon mats) for them to hide on.  They need a lot of surface area to avoid/reduce infighting/kills.  Some river sand at the tank bottom also helps.  Ravnis, go for it.  They are pretty good tasting fish.

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Chinese potatoes in Aquaponics

FB_IMG_1480920225821.jpg

They are being harvested from our sand culture today @ project A.  Yield from this batch is roughly 3-4 kg from 12 plants per m2.  We need to work on spacing and to see if better yields than this is possible.  This is the first tuber crops we got from sand trials.

l will try to get a better picture once the harvest is completed and washed/cleaned/dried.

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Cow pea in Aquaponics

We have no clue what cow pea variety these are. Can someone id this please?

Cowpea in Aquaponics 051216.jpg

We got this heirloom cow pea on request from a recent agricultural show and to our luck some seeds germinated. Yield looks very good, already harvested 5-6 kg per plant, still growing strong in sand culture. No diseases encountered. Weaver ants are helping.

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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On 12/2/2016 at 0:32 PM, vkn said:

Another perfect camouflage..

 

Spotted this baby praying mantis in our recently replanted spinach plants @ project A, NARDC Nanniode.

Ravnis, good to see we have similar timing on spinach.  All the best! I am seeing some curling disease but could not confirm anything.. will post pictures on that later.  

 

Great photo VK! And I'm envious of your sand... My first batch of sand is quite sad in comparison. However, since it's a prototype, I'm moving ahead with some plants and fish. I'm updating my system notes today.

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Strawberry in Aquaponics 031116.jpg

Strawberry in Aquaponics

Our strawberry trial in aquaponics sand culture is over 6 months old. Growth of some plants are great and others had a few issues. Here is the first small berry size fruit from this trial. There are several flowers blossoming. Disease and insect incidence was fairly low overall. Hopefully we would soon see some nice size fruits this fruiting time.

Edited by vkn (see edit history)
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Very common mistake of strawberry growers is to get the first berry the plant produces.

If you would remove the flowers, and let the plant develop, you would have a lot  more berries per plant by this time.

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Wow! That potato harvest looks amazing. What is the difference between a Chinese potato and a potato i get in my grocery store here in the United States? I didn't know potatoes would work in sand culture.

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On 12/5/2016 at 10:41 AM, Old Prospector said:

Very common mistake of strawberry growers is to get the first berry the plant produces.

If you would remove the flowers, and let the plant develop, you would have a lot  more berries per plant by this time.

What's a good rule of thumb for how many of the first flowers to remove? Or do you go by plant size?

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1 hour ago, JeffH said:

What's a good rule of thumb for how many of the first flowers to remove? Or do you go by plant size?

STRAWBERRY CULTURE

 

Strawberry production in home gardens is an interesting phenomenon. More people are happier with strawberry plants that produce less fruit than any other crop they grow. Why? If a tomato variety produced only one serving every two weeks -- which is common for the ever-bearing strawberry types -- gardeners would rapidly abandon it.

The right time to plant strawberries is beginning in September-- NOT in the spring or after the Poteet Strawberry Festival in April. Gardeners who procrastinate until late November reduce yield potential. Poteet strawberry producers use an 8-month system -- plant in September, harvest in April and destroy the plants in June. This system differs from the conventional strawberry production system used by our northern neighbors who plant in February and enjoying the best harvest 14 months later in April or May. Again, that term "efficiency" pops up. Which is more efficient, the 8-month or the 14-month system -- especially when yields are the same?

 Just be sure to remove all blooms, fruits and runners that are produced in the fall until Christmas so that strong "Mother" plant growth is encouraged.

 Strawberries are commercially produced in sandy soil and yield more, and sweeter berries, when growing in slightly acidic soils high in organic matter.


 

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