vkn

Our experiments with IAVS..

831 posts in this topic

We have made some progress at Nanniode Aquaponics commercial facility installation. (Project D)

 

We dug the fish culture tank. Leveled and sloped the land for the exclusive iAVs sand beds. Here are the latest pictures.

 

post-4243-0-00316800-1452919999_thumb.jp post-4243-0-66819800-1452920065_thumb.jp

 

The facility dimensions are length 31 m x width 16 m. Fish tank is a parabolic cross-section and linear grow-out canal with each end a semi-circle. Multiple cohorts with movable netting planned for staggered fish harvest on an as needed basis, daily/weekly, etc. and to sell them locally within our village.

 

We want to start this facility with less money spent on capex. It would be in-ground sand beds. We are yet to finalize on the sand.

 

We are now waiting for the rain shelter installation to be completed. There is more work to do. I will keep you posted on the progress.

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Here is a YouTube Video we made showing the fish feeding frenzy at Project B and lessons learned/tips.  Please add yours.

 

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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Ash gourds in Aquaponics/iAVs.. update (project B)!


 


post-4243-0-61979800-1452943202_thumb.jp


 


They put on weight very fast. You can literally 'see' them growing every day. smile emoticon


I got the seeds from my son who got it from his school. Can someone ID this ash gourd species? Will this grow to a very big size? Or, is this small winter melon variety?


 


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"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"  - Lao Tzu -

 

This video is to document the Commercial Aquaponics journey of Turquoise Aquaponics Farm, Hoskote, Bangalore. (Project C)

 


 

We at NARDC are proud to have been associated with Turquoise Aquaponics as their startup consultant/mentor with a vision to grow it further to next levels.  We wish all the best of luck to the Turquoise team.

 

Any thoughts/comments are appreciated.  - vkn -

Edited by vkn (see edit history)
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Great video, VKN.

 

Congratulations on getting the project to this stage.  Best wishes for the operating phase.

 

Gary

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Just curious, how does the water drain back to sump from sand beds? Seems some sort of filter is used in bed and pipes are ran under ground. Interesting !!! 

 

Also, where can I learn system design regarding this method, especially sand beds? I may set up a small sand bed in my currant backyard system. More interested in sand beds that are built directly on top of ground eliminating cost added by additional vertical structures for support if thats possible. 

 

Thanks in advance

Edited by spinfactor (see edit history)

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Just curious, how does the water drain back to sump from sand beds? Seems some sort of filter is used in bed and pipes are ran under ground. Interesting !!! 

 

Also, where can I learn system design regarding this method, especially sand beds? I may set up a small sand bed in my currant backyard system. More interested in sand beds that are built directly on top of ground eliminating cost added by additional vertical structures for support if thats possible. 

 

Thanks in advance

 

Hi spinfactor,

 

You can learn more about the iAVS.....HERE.  Feel free to ask questions, too.  With respect to layout options, there are several to choose from.  The basic iAVs has a fish tank buried in the ground with sand beds located on the ground.  That's the easiest and most cost effective way to do it.

 

Every situation is a bit different, so you can design and build an iAVs to take account of your preferences and resources.

 

Gary

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Thanks Gary, time to do some research.

 

VKN please continue reports regarding your experiences, most interesting indeed. Particularly interested in temperature stability, production yields and labor cost analysis verse DWC. Thank you for bringing us along on your journey.

Edited by spinfactor (see edit history)
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“Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.†- Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching -


 


Times has changed and we are witnessing the internet era of information explosion.  If those who know do not speak now I do not see a problem at all.  i hate those copyright claims.  Do you?


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Just curious, how does the water drain back to sump from sand beds? Seems some sort of filter is used in bed and pipes are ran under ground. Interesting !!! 

 

Also, where can I learn system design regarding this method, especially sand beds? I may set up a small sand bed in my currant backyard system. More interested in sand beds that are built directly on top of ground eliminating cost added by additional vertical structures for support if thats possible. 

 

Thanks in advance

Spinfactor, nice nick!  First, there is no sump in the system video you saw.  Sand beds are the filter.  There are no other filters deployed for the sand beds.  For DWC, there is a clarifier and a separate biofilter.  Yes, pipes are under ground but the grow bed drain is made at the closest end of the fish tank using a tank connector, we call it tank nipple, an FTA and PVC pipe.  

 

Thanks Gary for answering the latter half.

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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iAVs Project A: Easy Planting 

Cauliflowers update @ Day 30

 

post-4243-0-79562700-1453130587_thumb.jp

Click to enlarge the image

 

There is visible growth in most all plants. Seen some yellow to orange lice under the leaves of some plants and those leaves are wilted.  It could be some aphids. Starting Neem oil + bar soap 2% foliar spray under the leaves.  What else can we do?

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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If they are aphids, be sure you control for ants (who like to farm the aphids for their honeydew). Also, consider beneficials like ladybugs or assassin bugs (or whatever your local insect population has in the way of predators) who will happily consume them.

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We have an update from Turquoise (Project C)

 

DWC system seems to have cycled very well.  Current water chemistry reading shows Ammonia at 0.25, Nitrite at 0, and Nitrates >160.  pH came down to 8.0.   Fish mortality during cycling: One.

 

iAVs Nitrites are still at peak 2.0 ppm for over 6 days.  Ammonia is at 0.25 and Nitrates >160.  The pH is at 8.2 and not coming down.  Source water had a pH of 7.4.  Fish mortality yesterday: 10

 

What would you advise at this juncture?  I am looking at three interventions - 1) reduce feeding, 2) add more plants, 3) add some salt to the system.  What else can we do?

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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If they are aphids, be sure you control for ants (who like to farm the aphids for their honeydew). Also, consider beneficials like ladybugs or assassin bugs (or whatever your local insect population has in the way of predators) who will happily consume them.

Thank you, Neighbor.  Those are good tips.  Not seen any ants in this unit.  Since Easy is kept outdoors and not inside a GH, adding beneficial bugs won't work.

 

I have plenty of ant issues in other systems.  I have seen some ants stealing my new seeds from the sand beds.  There are ants nurturing aphids in our snake gourd, bitter gourd and ridge gourd vines.  Also, in the ash gourd.  I tried cinnamon powder but did not help much.  What else you do naturally to dispel ants?

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Kani vellari (Golden cucumber) put out sprouts. Seeds were sown directly in a patch of coir pith kept in both sand and gravel media culture beds of Project A and B

 

post-4243-0-09835800-1453173541_thumb.jp

 

This is the first time we are trialing Golden Cucumber in Aquaponics/iAVs. We hope to get these harvested much before April 14th. This fruit realizes a 300 to 500% market price premium fruit during Vishu festival week in Kerala.

 

post-4243-0-14027200-1453173514_thumb.jp

 

Oriental pickling melon (Cucumis melo var. conomon) is a unique vegetable of Kerala in India. The long oval fruit's rind is golden yellow in color but the flesh color is white. The potential for high yields over short intervals (less than 3 months) make this crop an ideal choice for Aquaponics growers within Kerala. Moreover they spread in less area and has less pest attacks. With this trial, we also want to investigate its spacing optimization in Aquaponics. For now, we sow 8 seeds per square meter and would remove some unhealthy saplings.

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We have an update from Turquoise (Project C)

 

DWC system seems to have cycled very well.  Current water chemistry reading shows Ammonia at 0.25, Nitrite at 0, and Nitrates >160.  pH came down to 8.0.   Fish mortality during cycling: One.

 

iAVs Nitrites are still at peak 2.0 ppm for over 6 days.  Ammonia is at 0.25 and Nitrates >160.  The pH is at 8.2 and not coming down.  Source water had a pH of 7.4.  Fish mortality yesterday: 10

 

What would you advise at this juncture?  I am looking at three interventions - 1) reduce feeding, 2) add more plants, 3) add some salt to the system.  What else can we do?

 

Hi VKN,

 

I'd suggest that you stop feeding and add non-iodised salt at the rate of 0.5kg per 1000 litres of fish tank capacity.  This won't bother the plants, the fish will like it and it will mitigate against nitrite toxicity......then add plants.  That will help to get the pH travelling south.

 

If you pump some of the nitrate-rich water from the raft system to the sand one that will help to establish nitrification faster.

 

Gary

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Hi VKN,

If you pump some of the nitrate-rich water from the raft system to the sand one that will help to establish nitrification faster.

 

Gary

As discussed before, we would like to continue looking at iAVs and DWC systems independently. We would allow the nature to take its call for a day or two before adding salt. Reduced the feed already. Adding some more plants today.
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Hi VKN,

 

I just re-read the last few posts.....and I must have been sniffing pixie dust when I responded.  Forget everything I said in my last post.

 

Your first job is to reduce that pH.......NOW!  

 

We recommend that you use dilute sulfuric acid......testing frequently as you go to ensure that you drop the pH gradually and don't overshoot the target of around pH 6.6.  Add small quantites (100ml) acid to a 5 gallon bucket of water.  This will give you a dilute solution of around pH 5.0.  Add that to your fish tanks at teh rate of around a gallon every three hours.  Test as you go.

 

That's your first priority......Period!

 

Once you get that sorted, we can begin to look at other aspects of the systems.

 

Gary

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VKN,

 

Gary is correct, with your pH @ 8.2 and much Ammonia or NO2 (add to that equation 80+F water temp) and the fish will be struggling for sure. 

 

Just checking, do you think your sand has a bit of limestone mixed in.....?

If I remember correctly this job had granite sand.   With a source water of 7.4 and now your pH is 8.2.....sounds like the "sand" may have some influence.

 

In the boiler business, we use a condensate neutralizer downstream of the condensing boiler drain to raise the pH of the 2.5 pH (yes, it is really can discharge out of the boiler as low as 2.5).  The condensate neutralizer is just a PVC tube packed with limestone chips.  The drain water goes in one end of the neutralizer, has about a 10-15 soak in the rocks and flows out of the discharge end (about 1 meter long) with a pH of at least 6.5, typically above 7.0

 

Just a idea, hoping you figure it out quickly!

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VKN,

 

We have an update from Turquoise (Project C)

 

DWC system seems to have cycled very well.  Current water chemistry reading shows Ammonia at 0.25, Nitrite at 0, and Nitrates >160.  pH came down to 8.0.   Fish mortality during cycling: One.

 

iAVs Nitrites are still at peak 2.0 ppm for over 6 days.  Ammonia is at 0.25 and Nitrates >160.  The pH is at 8.2 and not coming down.  Source water had a pH of 7.4.  Fish mortality yesterday: 10

 

What would you advise at this juncture?  I am looking at three interventions - 1) reduce feeding, 2) add more plants, 3) add some salt to the system.  What else can we do?

 

 

Your test readings generate more questions than they provide answers:

 

1.  Your system has been going for one week.  Correct?

 

2.  You are relying solely on the fish for ammonia.  Right? 

 

Assuming YES responses to Questions 1 and 2, then it's highly unlikely that either system has cycled.....and that brings all of your test readings into question.  

 

3.  Have the operators of the system been trained in the correct use of the test kit?

 

4.  How much feed are you putting into the system.....and for what number of fish?  Unless you are using large amounts of fish food (relative to the size and number of the fish), there is no way that you would be getting nitrate readings of >160.

 

5.  If I recall correctly, your source water was pH 7.4.  Correct?   If so (and assuming that the operators have measured the pH correctly)....and the water is actually now at pH 8.2......then your sand contains something that is driving pH up.  Did you test that the sand was inert prior to buying and taking delivery of it?

 

We need to get a much more accurate picture of what is happening in your systems if we are to assist you in any meaningful way.....and that starts with you ensuring that the numbers you provide are accurate.

 

Gary

Edited by Gary Donaldson (see edit history)
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I just noticed another anomaly in the readings.

 

In post #160, you stated that your source water was pH 7.4......and then, in the past 24 hours, your reading is 8.2.

 

Closer scrutiny of your figures reveals that you have had high pH readings in both system.  That would seem to eliminate the sand as being a factor......and we should be thankful for that small mercy.

 

The only remaining explanations are that you (or the operators) added something to the source water to increase its pH.....or that they have measured it incorrectly.

 

The most urgent thing is to get an accurate measurement of the pH.   I'm wondering how long your new test kit has been sitting on the shelf in the place where you bought it from.

 

Gary

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Thanks a lot gentlemen for your kind attention to this topic, Gary, Mh, et al. and to those quick solutions.

 

PH swings in Aquaponics are not that uncommon in a newly cycling tank.  I would just leave it alone for now and Just wait for a few days more till the system is stabilized before start adjusting pH.  No mortality yesterday, that is good news.

 

I feel it is too early to define any performance gap.  However, working with the team I am investigating the underlying causes before selecting and implementing appropriate solutions.  I will surely share my findings and results in a separate post, asap.  Thanks again.

Edited by vkn (see edit history)

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