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Stephanie

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About Stephanie

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    Midwest USA

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    Aquaponics
  1. I couldn't say it any better Rupert. The USDA is mostly a product of lobbyist efforts. It's not really a regulatory body now. It's just an organization that picks winners based on who pays the most money for it.
  2. Thanks for the replies Gary and Rupert. You guys are awesome and I appreciate you putting up with my newbie questions. Do you worry about excess sodium causing nutrient lockout though. I would think calcium and potassium chlorides would be "consumed" better by the plants and still leave elemental chloride for the benefit of the fish, while sodium chloride, even in the form of a more diverse salt mix like sea salt, would end up stockpiling sodium and possibly magnesium, causing issues.
  3. Thanks for replying Rupert. This is starting to make more sense now. I'm trying to figure out this quote thing so I hope I don't mess it up too badly. This has always been a source of confusion for me. It seems like "buffer" and "alkalinity" are used in so many different contexts and yet sometimes in the same, that it's always hard to tell exactly what someone is trying to really say. So, is it best to say "carbonate hardness" for KH, "mineral hardness" for GH and "alkalinity" or "acidity" for PH? Where does "buffer" really fit in there? I so often hear people say "buffer" for KH and PH. Is it appropriate to use the word "buffer" for both? So carbonates mainly raise PH and KH but pretty much have minimal impact on GH? I figured that they would raise GH too, if using potassium or calcium carbonates, since my assumption is that GH is "mineral hardness" and there's a lot of Ca or K in those carbonate compounds. I may be confusing myself here. Like as in nutrient lockout? It seemed like he was saying he preferred to avoid adding carbonates though, not just voicing concerns about source water with high carbonates. This rings a bell with me. I used to have a 110 gallon planted aquarium that I dosed CO2 in. It was always very low in KH, but maintained acceptable GH and a stable PH in the 6.4-6.8 range. I also added Flourish, which is a carbon additive. I frequently removed and rotated plants in and out of the aquarium. Sometimes I had zero plants in the aquarium since I frequently "aquascaped" it just for fun. Nitrates were always pretty high, but never ammonia and nitrates never registered, so I assumed that the CO2 and carbon additive kept the bacteria propped up. Does that sound right? This is where I start to question why we'd use hydroxides in aquaponics. It seems like carbonates are easier to dose, less reactive and provide better stability over the longer term. Is this a bad assumption? But, maybe it's better to dose hydroxides daily during feeding instead of trying to dose carbonates weekly or bi-weekly? This may be a silly question, but could you theoretically control PH with hydroxides and provide the "hardness" required by crustaceans for shell development with calcium chloride? I assumed that I should try to keep a PH pretty close to neutral in my AP system. Would it be better to be slightly acidic instead, for nutrient uptake? I'm really sorry for all these silly questions. Thanks for taking the time to help this newbie out.
  4. Count me as one of the jealous people. I have been looking for a conical bottom tank that I could afford for months without any luck. I want one for a solids settling tank.
  5. As an avid aquarium hobbyist, I understand the benefits of maintaining salinity at .5-1% and even more with certain types of fish to prevent nitrite poisoning risks, but would it make more sense to use potassium chloride or calcium chloride instead of sodium chloride, since the plants would benefit from the potassium and calcium? It seems like this would be a better strategy but maybe I'm missing something?
  6. I have been trying to wrap my head around the differences between PH, KH, GH and how carbonates and hydroxides change them. As I understand it, carbonates like potassium carbonate and calcium carbonate raise PH, but they also raise alkalinity (also called KH) and general hardness (also called GH). It seems the word "buffer" is used interchangeably for raising PH as well as raising KH, but I would think it is more properly used when describing KH, but it's extremely confusing reading what some people say on blogs and youtube when they use the word "buffer" because of the differences in carbonates and hydroxides. I would think you "buffer" KH and you "raise" or "lower" PH. I admit, this is from my years as an aquarium hobbyist, so maybe I'm off here. Can someone give me some clarity on this please? I've also read a lot of conflicting information on the need for carbonates in the system water. Nate Storey claims the presence of carbonates are problematic and best avoided. Rupert of Oz and most other people say carbonates are essential for the beneficial bacteria and must be amended from time to time, or you will eventually have a collapse of your bacteria. Both of these guys are extremely smart people, and I respect both a lot, but how can both be right? I'm confused. As I understand it, Hydroxides raise PH and GH but not KH. If that is the case, why do experts like Lennard recommend and use hydroxides for PH control? I would think that there would be drastic swings in PH throughout the day if the system water is lacking KH, unless the hydroxides are used in a continuous drip system, like a kalkwasser drip. It seems like hydroxides are excellent for using to adjust and dial in PH, but carbonates would be needed to keep the PH from quickly declining after treatment. Am I making the wrong assumption? Thanks for any input you can provide. I love this forum!
  7. Hi Everyone, I am an aquaponics newbie. I just started a small constant flow system, and it is doing well. I have been reading and reading on here and I am absolutely amazed by the knowledge of all you guys. Hoping to learn lots! Thanks!
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