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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Aug 28th, '13, 12:23 
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At least trim off the bad leaves. I don't think that it is from the ph. What variety of cucumber?

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Aug 28th, '13, 18:50 
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Love the build!
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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Aug 29th, '13, 00:08 
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Ronmaggi wrote:
At least trim off the bad leaves. I don't think that it is from the ph. What variety of cucumber?


That's what I normally do but it is too many leaves. They are marketmore 76.

Like I said, it normally happens to my dirt garden also. The hotter/dryer it is the sooner it sets in. I still get good growth and production but it takes over it seems when the plants start to stress from the heat. Watering and mulching helps but not much.

It's a dang conspiracy! Monsanto has me surrounded by beans and corn. The bugs, viruses and weeds have no where to go but to us poor gardeners.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Aug 29th, '13, 00:36 
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Out of about 10 cucumber plants, I have two that actually survived. But one of them puts out a tremendous number of cucumbers. It grew into the grape vines, and has been spreading out ever since.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Aug 31st, '13, 20:59 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Are there fish in the system yet?

I would be using the HCL to adjust the pH of the top up water and aerate it for a few days to make sure the pH stabilizes before you use it in the system. As in you might add acid to your volume of top up water and mix it a bit then test the pH and see a level that is way low. BUT, the carbonates in that water haven't had a chance to dissolve and bring the pH back up yet. This is what causes pH bouncing. Once those carbonates dissolve and the pH comes back up, you might actually find that you need more acid to use up all those carbonates to actually get the pH down to some particular level. The first time you adjust a volume of top up water it could take days to figure out how much acid you need to adjust a given amount of your top up water and have the pH stay stable for a day before you use it. Be sure you record how much you use so that next time you adjust your top up water in that volume of container, you will know how much acid to use in the first place and hopefully you only dose once and then let it bubble for a day and a half or so to make sure the pH stabilizes at about the right level before you use it.

Then you can use that pH adjusted top up water to gently bring your system pH down when you top up or if you need to make it happen a little quicker, do some small water changes with the adjusted water. You don't want to move more than .1-.2 per day.

Now one point about your soil plants suffering when it is really hot and dry. Take into account what water you are having to use to irrigate them, the soil plants might be suffering some from the high pH water too. I know I see it here with blueberries that get irrigated with hard well water, the commercial blueberry growers actually have to add sulfur to their irrigation water to keep from causing their plants distress since the primary production season for blueberries here is during our dry season and they mostly use overhead irrigation to protect the buds and blossoms from hard freezes too. Anyway, my point is that the water used for irrigation has a huge impact on the soil and plant growth.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Aug 31st, '13, 21:24 
Blueberries also prefer a low pH... and the sulphur additions will be lowering the pH...


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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Aug 31st, '13, 23:07 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Exactly (and I was only using the commend about the blueberries as an example, I guess I just didn't make it clear that the sulphur is used to lower the pH or at least keep the hard well water from elevating the pH of the soil.)

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Sep 3rd, '13, 02:22 
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I have been adding 1 tsp HCL to 5 gal of top off water every day for almost a week. It sounds like I need to wait a couple days instead of a couple hours before adding it to FT. After almost a week of this the ph is starting to drop slightly. Maybe 8.2 to 8.0 but doesn't want to drop past that so far. The fish are still feeding heavily so that's a good sign. The bluegill are free and an unlimited supply so I am not as concerned with keeping them alive as making the plants grow healthy.

I have mentioned before about my dirt garden suffering when it turns hot and trying to irrigate with high ph well water. I have always been overrun with veggies by the time this happens so it's not a great concern. I might try and add some soil acidifier which is sold around here for blueberries and hydrangeas next year. Maybe then I can grow lettuce that is not bitter. I have tried for years and lettuce has never worked. This includes cooler weather growing, picking early am, putting in the fridge overnight and every other trick out there.

I will admit to getting impatient and putting a couple gluges of HCL directly to the FT. I tried searching here but never really found much of a formula or method for adding HCL other than treating top up. I just used a pool calculator and came up with a teaspoon which drops the ph of 5 gal from 8.2 to around 7 in 1/2 hr.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Sep 3rd, '13, 03:33 
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Yea, you need to wait and let the acid mix and settle in the 5 gallons at least overnight and see if that pH stays at 7 or if it is actually bouncing back up before you use it.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Sep 4th, '13, 10:29 
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Is there a way to add a siphon drain in the existing GB? I pulled some plants and the loop drains are clogged and not draining the beds. They are still half way full.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Sep 4th, '13, 10:32 
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How big is your media guard?

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Sep 4th, '13, 10:36 
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Just looked back... There is no media guard. That is likely your problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Sep 4th, '13, 12:17 
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I also looked back to the beginning and see the problem. I think that maybe you can pull off the outside line and push a rod or smaller hose in to the drain line to clear it out. If you have plants that create lots of roots quickly you will never be able to stop the root plugging problem for any permanent solution.

If you get lucky you could disconnect the inside line and put in a gravel guard in place. I have found that you can use a shop vac to suck up the gravel inside the gravel guard and push the gravel guard down in the gravel. It is pretty easy really to put in a piece of pipe into a gravel bed. If you use a pipe of say 2 or 3 inch size it should be fairly easy to do. Cut a piece about 2" longer than the depth of the gravel. Drill some holes in the bottom for water flow. Try to put a big notch on the bottom to line up toward the drain line. Start trying to push in to the gravel and then use the shop vac to vac up the gravel from inside and continue to push the guard down at the same time.

I found this method when I accidentally pulled out a gravel guard on my system. I tried everything but removing all the gravel from the end of the barrel to put it back. The last idea before the shovel was the shop vac. It worked easily. I was really surprised how easy it worked. You will not have to get yours all the way to the bottom of the bed as you have your drain on the side though the bung hole. Just get it down to the drain hole so you can keep the roots out.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Sep 4th, '13, 20:40 
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Thanks Don. Sounds like a plan. The ends are to bulged to put in a half pipe grave guard and be effective like you mentioned previously.

I might try this with a piece of 6 in pipe. Then I can drain GB completely and drill a hole in the bottom for a uniseal and larger drain. Then put a gravel guard inside the 6 in pipe and pull out the 6 in. My side hole drain is just not big enough and is just going to get worse.

I bought the panels for a 6x12 lean-to green house. I already had all the galv. hat channel and misc framing parts laying around. It was less than $250 for the basic shell. I still need to figure out the door. The end walls will be screened and the panels can be removed in the summer for a flow through design.

MENARDS has 6mm x 4 x 8 twinwall polycarbonite panels on sale for $37 until the 8th.

The GB needs to go inside the green house and all the plumbing re-routed so I want to get the drains figured out. I was also planning on adding a radial filter in the green house. Water would pump up to the filter and gravity feed the GB's.

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 Post subject: Re: Rairdog's AP venture
PostPosted: Sep 4th, '13, 21:10 
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