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PostPosted: Apr 10th, '07, 20:09 
Stuart and SS.... the pH at around six is what I thought it would be... all my data sheets (for various grades) show pH at 5.5 - 6.5....

From what others have observed it would seem normal for pH to drift even lower as the system matures....

This may not be true for cocopeat but even Murray apparantly only uses his cocopeat bed as a satellite type bed now, so it's hard to say.... I'm going to re-read his thread to see if he posted any pH readings when he had it hooked up to the fish tanks and other growbed.

However based on most other peoples systems you are almost certainly going to need to buffer your system with shell grit or calcium carbonate...

Please keep testing at regular intervals... Im interested to see results of pH in a straight cocopeat system

PS... my coco blocks and husks are rated EC <0.50... what brand are you using SS?


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PostPosted: Apr 10th, '07, 20:59 
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B’s 10kg blocks, broken when dry and sieved out fine particles and then expanded and washed.

Have nothing running yet, except five goldies in a water lily tank feeding on mosquito larvs.

Will be away next week so will stock on yabies and some fish on return, then will continue with tests.

Any data on scoria, must be rich in Fe, but is it available to the plants?

Already got some shell grit, will try to find suppl. of calcium carbonate.
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PostPosted: Apr 10th, '07, 21:05 
Just check they don't have an added "fertiliser" SS....

I was in there the other day and noticed some on special but they had a fertiliser additive... can't remember the name though....

Edited :

Stand corrected SS... they were 5Kg blocks from memory....

Haven't seen the 10Kg blocks at B's.... how much?


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PostPosted: Apr 10th, '07, 21:17 
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Not really sure$, got some few months ago,

they are “mulch” coco blocks,

didn’t notice any fertilizer added, but will check.

edited: B had plenty of 5kg blocks, different color, style packaging.

edited: Mega Mulch Block Organic Coir Mulch (no fertilizer)
............Natural Coir Fibres India

............10kg blocks, $13.98 each at B

Brunnings brand 5kg blocks do have fertilizer added "Feed and Mulch"


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PostPosted: Apr 11th, '07, 05:35 
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they would say something like "Slow Release Fertiliser"

Shell grit and Calcium carbonate are much the same thing. The CaCO3 (a powder) is just in a form that is taken up a bit quicker by the system. The shells will slowly dissolve over time.

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 Post subject: Re: SS barrels
PostPosted: Apr 16th, '07, 20:21 
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Already packed my bags, leaving early tomorrow for Hobart,
will be AWOL till next Saturday,

Got barrelfull packed tight with washed cocopeat, soaking (marinating),
did add a cup of a seaweed concentrate,
hope some biological process will have effect on remaining tannins.

Will give it another wash on return before using it.

Last Saturday talked to Jim Fah from Garden Smart, got jades and silvers in his tanks,
is getting some others as well, but not selling as yet.

May have to go to Glenwaters for silvers. ???- would they have yabies?

Went to a lake, (Blue Rock Lake) but its half empty,
couldn’t get to the water because of all that mud
and local creek doesn’t look healthy at all. SS


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PostPosted: Apr 17th, '07, 19:02 
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Go to Lindsay and Glynis at Kangaroo Ground Fish Farm. Ph 9712 0500. They will hook you up with 12 month old silvers of 20cm for 2 bucks each. You can't go wrong. The ones at Glenwaters are about 80c each, but they are only 50mm long. I figure buy the bigger ones for a little more, save the food cost getting them to that size, and your system will fire up quicker growth wise. Go on a Satdy, take the wife and have brekky at Watsons Creek antique shop 5 minutes down the road.
Lindsay will show you thru his system and answer any questions. Really nice people. He also had yabbies in the past, so would be able to give you good advice there.


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PostPosted: Apr 17th, '07, 19:20 
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[quote="twintragics"]Go to Lindsay and Glynis at Kangaroo Ground Fish Farm. Ph 9712 0500. They will hook you up with 12 month old silvers of 20cm for 2 bucks each. You can't go wrong. The ones at Glenwaters are about 80c each, but they are only 50mm long. I figure buy the bigger ones for a little more, save the food cost getting them to that size, and your system will fire up quicker growth wise. Go on a Satdy, take the wife and have brekky at Watsons Creek antique shop 5 minutes down the road.
Lindsay will show you thru his system and answer any questions. Really nice people. He also had yabbies in the past, so would be able to give you good advice there.[/quote

Glenwaters buy from him and sell on

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 Post subject: Re: SS barrels
PostPosted: Apr 26th, '07, 21:51 
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Returned home last Saturday night to find a message to confirme surgery Monday morning.
Nothing serious, only to release pressure on a nerve on my wrists.
One done, the other yet to go.

Not able to play with water for a while.

Had great time in Tasie, even met briefly The Great Peter Cundall during a shoot break
in the Hobart botanical gardens.

Today were playing with one of the cheep solenoids, still got one hand OK.
got it working at a reduced pressure.

Drilling the center hole bigger opens the solenoid faster but may cause hammering.

Cutting the spring shorter does make the big difference.

Couldn’t try it with a pump yet, just blowing trough it and comparing it
with one unmodified solenoid.

Re cocopeat, my first idea was to mix it with scoria to help draining,
but after sieving out all the fine dust realized it will not be necessary, drains perfectly.

Local supplier got plenty of 14 mm scoria I would like to try as well.
Will it be OK or is it too big?
Should I mix it with cocopeat to fill in the spaces?

TT, FF, were considering Glenwaters because it’s pretty close,
Kangaroo Ground Fish Farm may be a nice day trip when I get to it.

Will have to take it easy for a while.


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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '07, 22:00 
14mm scoria would be just fine I reckon SS

If you worrying about it being too free draining, consider that most people with a flood and drain system operate a "fast" drain cycle anyway to both drain the water and to pull air into the grow medium.

If you worried about it drying out, just increase the frequency of your timer cycles.

You can also take advantage of the drain characteristics by utilising plants that prefer fast, good drainage....?


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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '07, 23:30 
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SS i absolutely LOVE your work with the valve!

Good one!

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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '07, 04:35 
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yay! you met Peter Cundall! who cares about the silly solenoids! ;)
Glad you had a good holiday, hope the surgery goes well :)

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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '07, 07:01 
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Go SS.....good to see another project kicking off to rival the automatic door openers :lol:

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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '07, 17:54 
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LOL, how funny is this, had to replace the plunger in one of those valves today! thought about you, ss.

Oh and before anyone asks "Why bother replacing the plunger" the answer is because i had a few busted up valved in the car and it was the nly thing wrong with it ;)

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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '07, 18:00 
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Peter wouldn't look the same if he didn't have compst or manure on his knees... Nice pic SS...

And good luck with the wrists...

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