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MT Mind

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MT Mind last won the day on November 26 2016

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About MT Mind

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 09/01/1982

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  • Location
    West Texas, USA

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  • Interests
    Science, Sustainable Agriculture/Horticulture Especially iAVs and Bamboo, Mechatronics/Automation

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  1. I've thought about the same idea myself, especially when I overloaded my sand bed and the Nitrates continued to climb. I have to agree with Mark though, you're not likely to be improving on what you're already building. If you already had a DWC system, I would highly recommend adding a sand bed in line to capture solids. This would keep the DWC troughs cleaner and improve mineralisation, and you would have a place to put some tomatoes or something else that doesn't do as well in DWC. One problem with operation is the fact that DWC systems usually run continuous flow, but iAVs is an inter
  2. Indeed, the water simply disappeared into the sand and never flowed laterally on the surface. I'm sure this is because the sand was too coarse, which prevented solids build-up on the surface. I wanted to see if I could "convince" the sand to flood by loading it with excessive solids, effectively reducing the drainage of the sand, and it appeared to work. It is possible that the system would have begun flooding on it's own eventually, as biofilm built up in the sand, but with air temps around 105F and water temps over 90F, the bacteria were working just about as fast as they could to bre
  3. I built a small iAVs system and sifted my own sand from a batch of "decomposed granite" by hand. I ended up with a mix that was larger than recommended, but still smaller than 3-4mm. I should have included smaller sand because the system drained to fast to work properly. Only by overloading the system with 50 goldfish being fed at 3%/day did it finally "flood" as intended, but I didn't have nearly enough plants to assimilate this much nutrient, so when the Nitrates got over 150 and stayed there, I started losing fish. Even then, I was using two pumps to get the necessary flow, which was way ov
  4. You are correct, and this is part of what makes the sand bed work so well. Instead of a pile of muck in the bottom of a gravel bed, most of the solids are captured in the upper part of the sand, and only water and dissolved nutrients pass through and back to the fish tank. IMO - Large aggregate flood and drain should not include solids in the grow bed; mineralization should be done before the water is sent to the plants, so the media remains open and oxygenated. Large aggregates are used in hydroponic flood and drain as a support for plant roots because the nutrient can flow into and thr
  5. If they're using Sodium Chloride in their softener, I wouldn't add anything with Sodium to it; there will probably already be plenty of sodium ions in the water.
  6. In the U.S. the federal government establishes the regulations concerning what can be certified as organic, but the government doesn't do the actual certifying of an operation. The inspection and certification of a given operation is done by an independent organisation, which is authorized by the government to perform certifications. Different certifying organisations have different policies regarding what they will certify; many will not certify an aquaponic system of any design, saying that if it isn't in soil, it isn't organic. The regulations don't actually require soil for organic certif
  7. I did, and it was on the shelf at home being used in the indoor aquarium for an undetermined amount of time. I picked up a new bottle shortly thereafter, but the system had cycled by then.
  8. I used API Quick Start for my patio iAVs, but I'm pretty sure it had expired.
  9. Yes, a pool skimmer will usually only handle a small percentage of the pool effluent. If the skimmer handles 10%, then the other drains will handle the other 90%. The Cornell dual drain design does not use a skimmer; it uses a side outlet and a bottom outlet. When the side outlet is handling 80-95% of the effluent flow, the bottom drain is handling 20-5% respectively. In order for the two drains to be handling less than 100% of the flow, there would have to be another drain added somewhere, which would be handling the remaining portion of the 100%. I think I'm getting an idea where
  10. That's kind of how percentages work. With two drains, if the bottom drain is handling 10% of the effluent, then the other 90% of the effluent is going out the side drain.
  11. I'll second this. The merit of the Cornell drain is that the solids from the bottom drain can be filtered more efficiently because they've already been concentrated somewhat, if you mix that back together with the side outlet flow, you've defeated the purpose. My understanding is it would normally be set up something like this: Obviously, this is not to scale, just trying to show the logical flow sequence.
  12. I'm not looking for an argument either, but I am honestly interested in your input. The bulk of my personal experience has been with small plots of an acre or less. While I grew up on a large farm as a kid, We moved out of the business just as I would have started running machinery in the field. I am legitimately interested in your insights as a large scale operator, and if you would prefer to PM me, that would be fine. I apologize for being off topic; I apparently missed the point. I'm having a lot of difficulty interpreting your sentence structure, and I'm not sure what "in lieu wit
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