Aufin

iAVs in Florida

82 posts in this topic

Hi Aufin,

The likely explanation is that the algae (the most visible aspect of the detritus layer) has died off due to being shaded by the plants in the larger bed.  This is what happens.  

So long as you don't disturb the sand in the bottom of the furrow, the water still still run out along its length - just as before.

Gary

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31 minutes ago, GaryD said:

Hi Aufin,

The likely explanation is that the algae (the most visible aspect of the detritus layer) has died off due to being shaded by the plants in the larger bed.  This is what happens.  

So long as you don't disturb the sand in the bottom of the furrow, the water still still run out along its length - just as before.

Gary

Well, the water not flowing the full length as it did with a really nice detritus filled furrow is what first got my attention.  Doesn't seem the water flow is carrying the stuff I need to be deposited along the furrow.  I know it is, tho because the other biofilters have nice little poop-filled furrows.  With the weather shifting slightly I'll uncover the bed and see what happens. 

Any progress on your iAVs beds? 

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Hi Aufin,

Was wondering if you have an update on your system and the issue with the lack of deposits in the furrows. 

Also, I was considering using one of those 4" toilet flanges to make the drain connection. Think that would work? I'd screw it to the end over the plastic, with some sealant underneath (against the plastic) and then cut the hole through the plastic when it's in place. Now though, I'm wondering about 2 or 3 drains, like you suggested...

Jeff

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7 hours ago, JeffH said:

Hi Aufin,

Was wondering if you have an update on your system and the issue with the lack of deposits in the furrows.

This is what they look like right now.  Have seeds just starting off in the large bed.

Also, I was considering using one of those 4" toilet flanges to make the drain connection. Think that would work? I'd screw it to the end over the plastic, with some sealant underneath (against the plastic) and then cut the hole through the plastic when it's in place. Now though, I'm wondering about 2 or 3 drains, like you suggested...

Jeff

Don't know about the toilet flange.  A threaded pvc galvanize to pvc converterm piece should work fine in any size you can find and feel comfortable with as long as you use the converters on both ends of the galvanized nipple going through the wood frame.  Use plenty of sealant on both piecs.  2 inch seems to work just fine for my beds.  3 or 4 inch if it makes you feel better.  Or multiple drains if the only hardware you can find is in a small pipe size.  Doesn't seem to matter how fast everything drains as long as it drains.  Your sand will be the major determining factor there.

As to the furrow deposits, it doesn't seem to be making a lot of difference.  The FT gunk is still getting into the sand and plants.  Have no idea why it doesn't build up, although the furrows do have a crusty surface.  I'll know more as thinges progress with the new fall vegs.  One thing I did, tho, is add another water supply to the large bed.  I now feed water to both ends to make sure everything is watered/fed.  

Gary, please correct me if I'm wrong.

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So did you add the second water supply (other end) to the main bed because the water wasn't flowing all the way down the furrows? I've been wondering about that and if it is just a matter of adjusting the rate of flow. I remember reading on the iAVs site that the water might not initially flow all the way down until a crust had formed. But you obviously have that already. Was the water still not making it all the way down?

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For some reason, after my additional smaller beds came online, the schmutzdeke (sp?) In the large bed started disapearing although I have good buildup in the smaller beds.  The furrows still have a light crust, but not as heavy as I'm happy about.  Maybe because I lost some fish (my fault), I don't know.  But, everything still seems to be chugging along.  The second supply line is mainly for my comfort level.  Rain storms also washed my hills down a bit and washed the sand into the furrows.  

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9 hours ago, Aufin said:

For some reason, after my additional smaller beds came online, the schmutzdeke (sp?) In the large bed started disapearing although I have good buildup in the smaller beds.  The furrows still have a light crust, but not as heavy as I'm happy about.  Maybe because I lost some fish (my fault), I don't know.  But, everything still seems to be chugging along.  The second supply line is mainly for my comfort level.  Rain storms also washed my hills down a bit and washed the sand into the furrows.

 

 

Our students discovered the same situation. Unless if all the beds are the same, then distribution is a problem. So reviewing again the instructions that Dr Mark stated they saw their mistake. What he used, and explains how to distribute the effluent evenly into the furrows can also be used the length of the furrows, problem solved.

Aufin, the students wanted me to tell you that what they see of the plant growth in your iAVs system is some of the best pictures they've seen to date.

But they wanted to say about your rain washing the furrows, think of using some plastic underneath the shade cloth, it works for them.

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I was thinking it might be a distribution issue, but don't know how to solve it.  Large bed is fed from a t fitting in the main supply line.  2 smaller beds are at the end of the line.  Guess the "stuff" just blows by the corner going into the large bed.  

Tell ur students thanks.  Using a simple Samsung S5 phone camera.

I have a hard plastic roof covering both beds.  Pretty high, tho so the rain blows in from the sides.  Probably higher than necessary, but didn't want to cramp anything that might want to grow up 6 feet.

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3 hours ago, Old Prospector said:

Our students discovered the same situation. Unless if all the beds are the same, then distribution is a problem. So reviewing again the instructions that Dr Mark stated they saw their mistake. What he used, and explains how to distribute the effluent evenly into the furrows can also be used the length of the furrows, problem solved.

Seems I might learn something from your students.

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Newest iAVs on its way.  B&S-in-law have been intrigued by the whole AP thing.  Been watching mine pretty close since I converted to iAVs.  Finally pulled the trigger and started building their own.  Yowza....  4 beds 10' x 2'.  

 

 

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On 18 September 2016 at 3:31 AM, Aufin said:

Have a situation I don't have any ideas as to why:  the detritus layers in the furrows in the larger sand bed/filter have gone away and aren't forming any more since I put in the two smaller beds.  Both beds are fed by the same pump and supply line, so I don't understand what's happening.  The smaller beds supply lines are throttled back to maybe 60% flow, so there's pressure backup to feed the large bed.  Can't imagine everything just blowing by the line to the large bed.  Small beds have plants in them and the detritus furrows seem to be doing just fine, so turning them off for a while isn't an option.  Changed the supply manifold a little to not have so much turbulence coming out of the line and scouring the sand.......made no difference.  As much as I don't want to, I'm about ready to add another pump and supply dedicated to the large bed. 

Hi Aufin,

I've spoken to Mark about your situation and here are our thoughts:

  • The water flow rates to....and the dynamics of the movement of the solides to your various beds.....are the most likely explanation for a preponderance of solids in one bed over others.   If it bothers you, put individual pumps into your fish tank for each of your your various beds....sized to match the beds.  This will ensure that each bed is getting a proportionate share of everything.  It's also a useful redundancy measure.
  • Every organism has waste products which eventually build up and inhibit its development.  There are many dynamics at play here.  The only stability that applies within an iAVs is in the growth of the fish and the plants.....the micro-organisms, however, in a state of constant change......of waxing and waning.
  • The fact that the water does not travel the full length of the furrows does not mean that the plants along that entire furrow are not getting their fair share of water or nutrients.  By the end of each flood cycle, the bed is saturated and the furrows are full of water.....so the water and nutrient needs of the plants are being met.

At the end of day, the best way (short of having access to a laboratory) to determine the overall health of your system is to observe your fish and plants.  Are your plants or fish suffering?  Is there any evidence of nutritional deficiencies?  If not, everything's probably fine.....and the various visible changes that occur in your system are evidence of the self-managing soil microbiology at work.....and can be viewed with interest rather than alarm.

Gary

 

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On 14 October 2016 at 7:21 AM, Aufin said:

Newest iAVs on its way.  B&S-in-law have been intrigued by the whole AP thing.  Been watching mine pretty close since I converted to iAVs.  Finally pulled the trigger and started building their own.  Yowza....  4 beds 10' x 2'.  

 

 

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Great.  Another convert to the dark side.  We're on the ascent.

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14 hours ago, GaryD said:

Hi Aufin,

I've spoken to Mark about your situation and here are our thoughts:

  • The water flow rates to....and the dynamics of the movement of the solides to your various beds.....are the most likely explanation for a preponderance of solids in one bed over others.   If it bothers you, put individual pumps into your fish tank for each of your your various beds....sized to match the beds.  This will ensure that each bed is getting a proportionate share of everything.  It's also a useful redundancy measure.  A second pump is starting to get away from one of the attractions of iAVs. I prefer to stay as true to Mark's original basic idea as I can.  Going to reconfigure the way the water is divided.  Instead of having the supply to one bed set up as  "side street" coming off the T, I will set the T as an end where the water must go either left or right. 
  • Every organism has waste products which eventually build up and inhibit its development.  There are many dynamics at play here.  The only stability that applies within an iAVs is in the growth of the fish and the plants.....the micro-organisms, however, in a state of constant change......of waxing and waning. Waxing?!  Bikini wax? Aren't they too busy for such foolishness?  Waning?  What do they have to whine about?    Nevermind ..... Saturday morning with nothing better to do.
  • The fact that the water does not travel the full length of the furrows does not mean that the plants along that entire furrow are not getting their fair share of water or nutrients.  By the end of each flood cycle, the bed is saturated and the furrows are full of water.....so the water and nutrient needs of the plants are being met.

At the end of day, the best way (short of having access to a laboratory) to determine the overall health of your system is to observe your fish and plants.  Are your plants or fish suffering? Nope.  Fish seem happy as if they had good sense.  Is there any evidence of nutritional deficiencies?  Not that I can tell.  Bugs sure like them. If not, everything's probably fine.....and the various visible changes that occur in your system are evidence of the self-managing soil microbiology at work.....and can be viewed with interest rather than alarm.  Yep.  In the AM, enjoy my coffee, feed the fish, watch everything grow.  Pm, same dance ....... with a cold one. 

Gary

 

 

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Hi Aufin,

Was wondering what pump(s) you are using for your system. I hadn't put much thought into the fact that they need to move some solids in my system and suddenly am wondering if my pump (EcoPlus 728320 Eco 1056 Submersible Pump, 1083GPH https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012V3Q2U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1) will do the job. This pump supports an inline installation, which is what I intend to do so it won't be using the filter guard. Thoughts?

Jeff

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58 minutes ago, JeffH said:

Hi Aufin,

Was wondering what pump(s) you are using for your system. I hadn't put much thought into the fact that they need to move some solids in my system and suddenly am wondering if my pump (EcoPlus 728320 Eco 1056 Submersible Pump, 1083GPH https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012V3Q2U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1) will do the job. This pump supports an inline installation, which is what I intend to do so it won't be using the filter guard. Thoughts?

Jeff

This is the pump I'm using.  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FKDLBU/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0007Q3RQ6&linkCode=as2&tag=dril-20  

Made a cage with 1/4" hardware cloth to keep out trash, small fish and anything else that might clog.  

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Been doing a little cleanup of the beds getting ready for new plants.  Started pulling tomatoes that weren't looking very healthy and look what I found ............ I think I have been invaded by nematodes.  Any second opinions?  Any ideas as to how to get rid of nematodes without killing everything?  Pretty sure all my beds have been invaded by these nasty critters.  Needless to say, I'm not very happy.

 

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Some research and talking to local plant nursery operators confirmed what I suspected .... Root Knot Nematodes (RKN).  The advice I got mainly involved solarization to rid the beds of the  RKNs.  I have one 4x8 ft bed, two 2x8 ft beds, one 2x4 ft bed and a blue barrel left over from the dark days of gravel F/D, and I confess to not being patient enough to cover my beds with plastic and wait weeks for results.  So, I looked around some more for a quicker remedy.  Neem seemed to be pretty effective against RKNs, so I tried to figure a way to treat the beds.  The neem suppliers I talked to had trialed neem on crops with RKNs and had very good results, but all were trialed on crops grown in the ground, not in a situation with recirculating water and fish.   So, not much help there, other than being told that neem is not toxic to fish if used sparingly.  I suppose the customer service people have to operate in CYA mode when talking to strangers on the phone, so I got no suggestions as to what "sparingly" means, so I intended to find out for myself.

  I expect all beds are infested with the RKNs, but decided to treat only the large bed directly, and the small beds indirectly. I stripped everything out of the bed, capped the drain and filled the bed with water and Neem oil mixture and stirred the sand as best I could without risking tearing a hole in my liner, and let everything stand for 24+ hrs.  The Neem water was allowed to run out on the ground and the bed got a pretty good rinse with fresh water.  Didn't think the diluted residue would effect the fish, so everything got reattached and started cycling everything through the system.  No ill effects noticed in the fish for a few days, so I poured a very small amount of full strength Neem oil around the roots of the plants I suspected would be susceptible to the RKNs.  Still no ill effects.  I expect any full strength Neem oil will be washed down to the roots and diluted with each cycle.  Neem also degrades pretty quick in the environment, so I will treat my beds in the future with both direct application to the sand around the plant base and as a diluted spray on the foliage. 

  Maybe this will work, maybe I'll need to find a more aggressive method.  Time will tell.  Tomatoes seem to be the most vulnerable, so they'll be my "canary". 

.............................................................

Took the opportunity to see for myself how deep the fish stuff penetrates the sand.  This bed has been set up for almost a year.  Doesn't look like it goes too deep so I don't expect to need to replace any sand any time soon. 

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Carrots seem to do good in the sand beds.  Potatoes are in my 2x4 bed and I expect good results from them, too.  Too bad I had to pull these before more were ready.

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I really enjoyed your posts regarding this Aufin,

Thanks for posting.

Cheers

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2 hours ago, bigdaddy said:

I really enjoyed your posts regarding this Aufin,

Thanks for posting.

Cheers

Didn't you start an iAVs?

 Just thought everybody should know what to be on the lookout for if they're considering an iAVs of their own.  Root Knot Nematodes are something that I never considered in an iAVs setting ........till I discovered them.  Now I'm waiting to see if the neem works as well as I hope it will.  Other than the RKNs I've been quite happy with mine.  

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9 hours ago, Aufin said:

Didn't you start an iAVs?

 Just thought everybody should know what to be on the lookout for if they're considering an iAVs of their own.  Root Knot Nematodes are something that I never considered in an iAVs setting ........till I discovered them.  Now I'm waiting to see if the neem works as well as I hope it will.  Other than the RKNs I've been quite happy with mine.  

Yeah, I started....Got my bits and pieces ready...Got well into trying to find the correct sand, then hit stop...It's for the better... When I started iAVs... I aimed on continuing living where I am now but, since then I have put my energy into purchasing another property and will be living there after the middle of next month. I'll be mentioning all  that on my thread next month. Until then, I won't be doing any other iAVs work. I'm still very interested in what you found and how you are treating it.

As I say, thanks for posting I find it very interesting.

Cheers.

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If patience is a virtue, I guess I'm virtueless when it comes to growing things.  Been keeping an eye on everything and seems my tomato plants are doing better.  They're looking stronger with better color and a little new growth popping out.  But..... I ran out of patience watching the potatoes.  They also look better, but since they are a root crop I wanted to see if any were effected and get any effected spuds out of the system.  I got a little over 5 pounds in just over 60 days from 4 plants.  Don't know if that's good or bad, but I'm satisfied for now.  Capped the drain from the small 2x4 ft. bed, filled with water and stirred neem oil in, and let it stand overnight. Don't expect any RootKnot 'Tode bastards can hold their breath that long.

Everything's been reconnected and running.  Replanted the small bed with spuds and keeping an eye on things.  Hopefully veg sets will be in the stores soon so I can get things going again

 The fish show no I'll effects, colored up quite nice and running around pestering each other doing what I take as some kind of mating behavior.  And they're eating everything I toss in for them.

So, I'm guessing the Neem  has done it's job.  I intend to keep dosing my system with a small amount of Neem to deal with any eggs that may hatch as the growing season progresses.  

The larger bed is replanted with 2 rows of beans and 2 rows of carrots along the edges.  

 

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The pic above was taken 4 Apr after a complete tear-down and replanting due to the nematodes.  Today I harvested a very nice Broccoli and am on the fence about a couple tomatoes and cabbages.  So, to the point, my beds have done a complete 180 turnaround since treating everything with Neem.  The new bean plants and carrots are coming along nice, the broccoli, cabbage, tomato and onions I left in the beds during the treatment have made a complete turnaround and are starting to produce.  I've also started planting companion plants such as marigolds, catnip, chives and lemongrass in and around the beds to help control pests as natural as possible (we'll see how that works out as summer progresses) along with a periodic inoculation with Neem, both as foliar spray and a Neem/water maintenance level mixture poured around the roots.  The RKN's all but ruined everything and caused much trouble I don't want to go through again.

  A word of advice to anyone working with an iAVs system would be to inoculate any plant you bought from the nursery or big-box store and intend to put into the beds.  Root Knot Nematodes are sneaky little bastards and can ride into your system in any plant soil (and survive the F/D cycles and proliferate) and cause a lot of problems before you figure out what's going on.  So, everything I put into my beds from now on will be flooded with Neem and quarantined for a few days before being planted.  If you find RKN's in your beds, treatment may not need be as drastic as I did, but my level of patience doesn't allow for much time consuming  trial and error/wait and see procedures, so I did what I did for my own satisfaction. 

Taken today.  3 week old beans and carrots in larger bed, smaller bed plants went through the treatment and recovered.  As soon as some seeds I'm sprouting get large enough, the Collards will get replaced.  Eventually the marigolds and mums will be divided and planted in all 4 corners and along the edge rows of the beds.  Mums and Marigolds are supposed to control nematodes.  Don't know the radius of their influence, especially in a system that gets "rinsed" on a regular basis, so I'll "sprinkle" a few around.  Plus, I enjoy the color splash, and they attract pollinators.  

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