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PostPosted: Nov 30th, '17, 01:21 
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Too early to tell on my DWC. I tried the ziplock bag germination method, but it didn't go too well, so I made a little gravel garden with a slow drip water feed and a heating mat, and have had better success with that. I'll probably tranpslant some Romaine and Kale in the next few days, and then we'll see. that being said, It's not exactly peak growing season, even in Phoenix. I have terrible timing, but whatever!

As far as pots vs grow grips, 1" vs 2", I haven't found much info, so I'm just experimenting at this point to see what works best. I have some 1" gg, 2" gg, and some 3 inch pots with media. I have some rockwool somewhere too, might as try that as well. Of course I'll post some progress pics.

In other news...
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Got my fish in!! 30 tilapia. Already eating and exploring. Happy fish I hope.

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PostPosted: Dec 7th, '17, 03:54 
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A few quick videos of stuff so far. Fish have been in for a week, no floaters so far!! Nights are getting pretty chilly here in Phoenix, we added a 300 watt warmer to see if we can bring temps up. Lowest we saw without the warmer has been 58 degrees, so the plan is to leave the insulation off during the day for sunshine, and then on at night. Fish are still eating though, so that's good.










Squash, zucchini, peas are all showing some real growth, which is exciting, but I know they're gonna suck the nutrients right out, so I'm hoping these fish start eating and growing more!

I finished a tray of worm composte so I put a big handful in each growbed under the spout, complete with some startled red wrigglers, so I'm hoping that helps things along. Vermicompost has a really nice soluble nutrient content.

This mornings readings 8.0pH, 0 Nh3, 0 No2, and 20 No3. Really like to see that pH around 6.8 -7.2, but whatcha gonna do?

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PostPosted: Dec 8th, '17, 03:53 
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Glad things are going well. The videos did not show up for me, just blank squares. Probably my browser.
Nights are getting cold here too. I have a 1000watt heater for my tilapia tank and it's working hard. Currently set for 70, but I need set it lower.

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
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9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Dec 19th, '17, 02:14 
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Sorry about the videos. They show up fine when I use a chrome browser, but if I use internet explorer I can't see them.
Go figure. Dang net neutrality. (jk)

Some update photos. DWC coming along. Learning some lessons. I need to leave the seedlings in the germination station a little longer I think. I get excited. The Red Russian Kale is looking pretty good though!

Image

We built a small solar heater. So far it's been turning 57-60 degree water into 80-90 degree water, so if the sun is shining it's doing a pretty great job!

Image

A little night photography
Image


Couple questions:

How do you control string algae in your DWC? All of my grow grip plants seem to collect it. I'm started aerating more in the DWC, hopefully that will help. Does anyone put fish in their DWC? Like comets or some other sacrificial type?

Also, interestingly, my cilantro which grows through a netcup with hydroton, seems to collect no algae whatsoever.
Image

Riddle me that!

Also last question.

We have well water outside (city water inside), and it comes out of the tap at about 8.8 pH or higher. My system, which is now 2 months old, has been consistently 8.0 - 8.2 which is causing stunted growth I think. I've had consistently negligible ammonia and nitrites, with 20-40 nitrates in the system, so I know I have some nitrification taking place. I saw little to no bump when I added the fish (30-35 2-4 inchers), and they've been feeding well and happy for almost a month now (haven't lost one).

Here's my question. How can I lower my pH? I'm not excited about adding ph lowering agents, but as i'm topping off with pretty alkaline water, I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle depending on just nitrification to drive ph down to plant-happy levels. I suppose I'll start hauling 5 gallon buckets in from the kitchen, but not crazy about that either (lazy, chlorine, messy).

Any ideas?

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PostPosted: Dec 20th, '17, 06:22 
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If you have fish in the system, the best way to gradually lower the pH is to adjust the pH of your top up water every time you top up the system. To do this use HCl (Hydrochloric aka Muriatic acid) to lower the pH of your top up water to 6.5 and then let it sit for a few hours. Sometimes the pH will drift back up and you'll need to readjust and let it sit again. Once it's close enough and seems stable then add the top up water to your system. You don't want to change the system pH more than about 0.4 pH units at any one change (to prevent stressing the fish). Each time you top up you do this and gradually it will bring the pH down where you want it.

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PostPosted: Dec 21st, '17, 05:31 
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Forgot to mention that you can remove portions of system water and adjust the same way, then add back in - keeps the fish safe this way and you don't have to wait till it's time to top up the system.


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