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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '16, 04:28 
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TCLynx wrote:
If making your own walk in cooler, definitely read up on the cool bot site before spending any money.
This the one? https://www.storeitcold.com/

Thanks for the feedback. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '16, 10:24 
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TCLynx wrote:
I think it will be a while before this SCiO product is really helpful to our wet chemistry needs.

The K meter I have is this one http://www.pikeagri.com/products/plant-testing-meters/potassium-ion-testerIt can work with a really small sample and it is really simple to operate, calibrate and take care of. Only drawback is you probably have to get a whole separate meter for each specific Ion you want to test.

The Mg meter I got is actually a Star sensors 320 meter with a Mg Ion specific sensor (it is a portable pH/ORP/Ion Meter.) It looks as though I could get like 6 different ion specific sensors for the meter but I probably have to run the calibration each time I change sensors so the "money savings" would come with the drawback of having to spend time calibrating before each test and needing to have more of the calibration solutions on hand. Lifespan of the sensors is listed at like 7 months and they cost around $200.

I went with checking out the K and Mg meters because they are a couple of the ones that are really helpful to track and that don't seem to be as easy to test for directly via wet chemistry tests.



TCLynx,

How are you liking your Horriba K+ meter so far? Now that you have had it for some time, I'm curious if you would buy it again. I have been wanting a potassium meter of some sort for a LONG time. There aren't many option that are affordable for the backyard AP gardener. Thanks for your input.

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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '16, 22:45 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Yes, since potassium test kits are reportedly difficult to read accurately, I do like this meter. It is SOOO easy to use. It is really hard for me to judge it's accuracy since the only other way for me to test for K is to send samples off to the lab and that takes several days to get results back. But it does give me an indication about how the K drops off over time after I supplement so it is a useful tool for helping me judge when I need to add more. I just wish they had a good Mg meter like that. I bought a mg meter elsewhere and I can't seem to get an accurate read on the calibration solutions let alone a water sample.

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PostPosted: Jul 18th, '16, 04:55 
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TCLynx,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Are there any plants that grow well in this Florida heat and winter that has a good potassium deficiency indicator?


Also, what is growing well for you this time of year. I can't get any lettuces to grow, tomatoes stay cherry sized, bell peppers stay cherry sized, mints, pineapple, basil, oregano, chives, culantro, melons are doing well for me now. OKRA did amazingly well the past 2 summers. Just planted okra this week and waiting for them to crack the media.

Do you shade your garden at all? I'm considering shading my growbed if it helps with this scorching Florida heat.

Thanks for any advise.

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PostPosted: Jul 19th, '16, 06:31 
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TCLynx,

Who do you use to do a complete water analysis? I'm considering doing a test on my water to get a baseline of all nutrients. I think the hot Treasure coast heat is whats hurting the most though during the summer.

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PostPosted: Jul 19th, '16, 06:33 
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TCLynx,

Who do you use to do a complete water analysis? I'm considering doing a test on my water to get a baseline of all nutrients. I think the hot Treasure coast heat is whats hurting the most though during the summer.

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PostPosted: Aug 1st, '16, 04:18 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Sorry I haven't logged in lately.
JR Peters Inc is who I'm sending water samples off to for a complete analysis. $40 a pop which is actually pretty good.

I use 40 % aluminet over most of my system. I need to get it over the rest of the systems since it really helps my lettuce though the summer and I think the peppers would appreciate it.

Basil, Cuban Oregano, Water Chestnuts, Okra and Eggplant seem to be my stars for the summer heat lately.
I do manage to grow lettuce through the summer in rafts under 40% aluminet in summer but I have to harvest a bit small.

I always do summer harvesting as early in the morning as I can.

Tomatoes like a bigger differential between day and night so they are hard here in the dead of summer.

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PostPosted: Aug 1st, '16, 08:59 
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Thanks for the tips!!!

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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '16, 03:26 
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Hey TC,
Do you think a duraskrim bed would hold up with a depth of 4' without side supports and with the bottom sitting on the ground?
Thank you,
bk

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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '16, 03:34 
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TC,

I see you have gaps on the edges of your rafts in a picture on raftmaster site. Do you have issues with algae in the trough?

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PostPosted: Aug 19th, '16, 10:55 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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ShoestringAP wrote:
Hey TC,
Do you think a duraskrim bed would hold up with a depth of 4' without side supports and with the bottom sitting on the ground?
Thank you,
bk

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A depth of 4'?????? Why on earth would you want to build a bed that deep?
The pressures pushing out on the sides of a bed that deep are going to be very strong, I don't know if the snap clamps would support that kid of depth even with tech screws holding them. The side posts would need to be stronger and deeper and you would need more structure to keep the water from pushing the sides out (and I don't think that has much to do with the liner at all, just the weight of water pushing against anything trying to hold it in. The way I was buiding my raft beds before the raft master kits will not support much more than 14 inches of water depth, the one I have that does get deeper is definitely pushing out.

The raft masters are only 12 inches deep.

And as to the question about the edges on my raft master bed. My rafts are smaller than the normal 48 inches wide (because my original beds were only 48 inches wide overall I had to make my rafts a little smaller.) I just stuck with the same size rafts so that they could be interchangeable from bed to bed. There is a gap at the edge. I haven't had a big problem with algae in that bed so far, at the moment there is duckweed. I suppose if I do find a problem forming, I can add a strip of foam at the edge (I have some 4" strips I used to use as spacers.) Or since my rafts are 16" by 44" I found that I can actually fit 3 of them in that bed if I turn them 90 degrees and that will fill the bed up completely. Around the edges and between rafts there is often a little light hitting water and sometimes string algae starts to form. I haven't found it to be too big a problem as it is easy to grab out when harvesting a section.

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PostPosted: Aug 19th, '16, 20:45 
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TCLynx wrote:
ShoestringAP wrote:
Hey TC,
Do you think a duraskrim bed would hold up with a depth of 4' without side supports and with the bottom sitting on the ground?
Thank you,
bk

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk


A depth of 4'?????? Why on earth would you want to build a bed that deep?
The pressures pushing out on the sides of a bed that deep are going to be very strong, I don't know if the snap clamps would support that kid of depth even with tech screws holding them. The side posts would need to be stronger and deeper and you would need more structure to keep the water from pushing the sides out (and I don't think that has much to do with the liner at all, just the weight of water pushing against anything trying to hold it in. The way I was buiding my raft beds before the raft master kits will not support much more than 14 inches of water depth, the one I have that does get deeper is definitely pushing out.

The raft masters are only 12 inches deep.

And as to the question about the edges on my raft master bed. My rafts are smaller than the normal 48 inches wide (because my original beds were only 48 inches wide overall I had to make my rafts a little smaller.) I just stuck with the same size rafts so that they could be interchangeable from bed to bed. There is a gap at the edge. I haven't had a big problem with algae in that bed so far, at the moment there is duckweed. I suppose if I do find a problem forming, I can add a strip of foam at the edge (I have some 4" strips I used to use as spacers.) Or since my rafts are 16" by 44" I found that I can actually fit 3 of them in that bed if I turn them 90 degrees and that will fill the bed up completely. Around the edges and between rafts there is often a little light hitting water and sometimes string algae starts to form. I haven't found it to be too big a problem as it is easy to grab out when harvesting a section.

Thanks TC,
I am starting my second system and my plan is to run 2 4' deep DWC doing side by side studies while raising fresh water prawn.

After I sent my question to you I had a design change. I have plastic pallets 56" x 44". I am going to bury about 6" in the ground and have wood framing with cross supports top and bottom and EPDM liner.

Anyway, thank you for your reply.
I was away for a long time so very much belated congrats on the little farmer!

Brian

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '16, 17:56 
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TC,
Do you have water chestnuts to sell? I didn't find them on your site.
vk

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '16, 23:12 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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ShoestringAP wrote:
TC,
Do you have water chestnuts to sell? I didn't find them on your site.
vk

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I sell the water chestnuts locally through the produce market sites.
PM me if you want to arrange a special order since I do not normally ship live plants or fresh produce.

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '16, 23:24 
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Quick farm update.
Been struggling with the heat more this year than last year I think. Things seem to be a bit out of balance and I haven't managed to have enough surplus produce to warrant traveling to Orlando for the past few weeks. I think next year I need to plan to take August Off from lettuce production.
I have Eggplant coming out my ears and the Cuban Oregano is a beast. Too bad they don't seem to be very popular items relative to their production this time of year.

Currently changing over at least one part of the system to be Decoupleable.
Was having an argument over on facebook with some one who insists that if the system can be decoupled that it is decoupled no matter if it is running that way at the time or not?????
Decoupled is a State not an ability.

Anyway, main reason I'm doing this change is because the way my systems grew, it actually makes more energy efficiency sense to break up and use multiple pumps. At least for the tower/raft system, I can save on electricity by switching to some new more energy efficient pumps better suited to the specific purposes instead of trying to make a single pump handle fish tanks and towers. The added aeration needs for the mmbr is less than the pump electricity savings.

Biggest challenge I have is that I tend to try to do all this while everything is still running and I slap everything together using materials I have on hand so the PLART can get intersting.

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