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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 1st, '15, 16:41 
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Damian,

Check this site out. If nothing else the pics will answer your manifold question

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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 2nd, '15, 01:33 
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Perhaps set up a diversion valve that allows you to switch the outlet from your fish tanks between the grow beds and sump. That allows you to still save energy when water is going to grow beds, and still be able to isolate them when you want your beds dry.

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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 2nd, '15, 06:34 
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Thanks for that video Damian. I really enjoyed it. Would be great to see you current setup in photos and maybe show the plan against that. Good work.

Regards, Martin.


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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '15, 00:40 
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@cookie only coconut husk in the beds and it works wonders.

@MartinC there should be pics of the system in this very tread. i document everything i do in these forums. i dont have a cam right now so i cant get recent pics. the place needs some maintenance though.


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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '15, 00:42 
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lol cool i like that idea.. have u eva tried growing sweet potatoes and ginger in there.. I bet it may come excellent.? oh btw how often do u change the coconut husk.?

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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '15, 03:58 
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Damian,

I don't know what keeps happening, stuff I post keeps disappearing. Here is the link again http://www.adpipework.com/purpose-built-skids

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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '15, 05:03 
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Thanks Damian. I will try and go through the earlier part of the thread.

I like cookie's question - how often do you change the coconut husk. In the clip you say that you make compost out of it. How often do you do that?

Have you ever tried media beds to compare to coconut husk, like clay balls, gravel or scoria (volcanic rock)?


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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '15, 21:59 
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I think the higher up in water volume you go the more your system design will change from a single loop to a double loop. With a single loop you have to move 100 percent of the water through your grow beds, but with a double loop you filter a smaller percent of the dirtiest water....... all of the tanks are circular with solid lifting overflows at bottom center, all water flows are directed to swirl around the tank so in essence i am only moving, and filtering, the dirtiest 20-40% of the water volume.

What makes the difference is that my grow beds are organic. If you look at your grow bed as a battery for the plants and the fish waste as a charger then organic media has exceptional nutrient retention/release properties. The water coming out of the grow bed is nutrient poor regardless of the plant component. The media will store that energy until you plug in your plants and nutrient uptake can begin.

To say its coconut husk may be a bit misleading because the end game is to create Humus. It starts out as coconut husk but after 2 or more growing seasons it breaks down into humus which carries the physical real estate of a soil "like" media and yet excellent water retention qualities as a hydroponic media. Once it reaches the humus stage there is no need for any maintenance, humus does not degrade. it just takes 2+ years and 3+ times the volume of coconut husk to create the volume of hummus you need.

Root crops would mean that i would have to dig and disturb my soil food web i assume they would do well but that would require too much labour at the moment.

I make a conservative guestimate that my island produces over 100m3 of coconut husk every given sunday and its not being used for anything. I can have 4m3 of processed coconut husk delivered to my door for the shop price of 200L of hydroton. Never really tried imported media at scale, it's cost prohibitive, i do use bottle caps in the swirl filters and water lettuce for filtration.

There is this local guy that is using a clay media, i am watching to see how it works out.


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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '15, 22:23 
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From looking at the pictures floridafishin and some experience with irrigation i believe i am going to set up the four pumps in parallel. And go pump 3in main feed>2in>3.4 feed ring>growbed>2in>3in,main drain>2in>pump.

will do up a parts list later and see what it might cost. almost forgot pre pump filtration. probably will get a pool pressurised filter.


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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 4th, '15, 03:13 
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Damain, that is an interesting take on the media. I am glad you have had success with it. Plus, as odd as it sounds, I like to be proven wrong. So when it reaches hummus stage, do you keep it in the grow beds, or do you use it to enrich soil?

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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 4th, '15, 09:03 
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Hi Ron and Damian,

Is coconut husk and coconut coir the same thing? The reason I ask is that Ron and I both argued with Koos not to use coconut coir. He did and his system was running really poorly until he removed the coconut coir, once he moved to gravel his system fared much better.

So I am wondering what are the differences/similarities between those two systems? :dontknow:


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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 4th, '15, 10:53 
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I would advise anyone trying this media to read the book "Teaming with microbes" (there is a free pdf online) as you must supplement the plant component with compost teas, FPE's, LAB's. etc.....Some media here is in constant use going a decade. I usually start smaller projects with aged media because its easier to use than the fresh coconut husk or supplement potted plants every now and again. The husk i use has in a little wood because the grinding machine gets clogged if only coconuts are used, the wood keeps it from jamming. These are young "drinking" coconuts and have a lower lignin content than usual, that helps. Coco-coir is the stringy fibers extracted from the coconuts. Coco-peat is the stuff in between the coir fibers that holds them together and it looks like peat moss when extracted, it's used extensively in hydroponics, one of the more popular brands is "canna-coco".

I just use ground up coconut husk. but you have to understand it, it doesn't play by the same rules as inert media.

I just took a look at the pics in Koos tread. grow beds are too small, too shallow, he would've had to build a manifold to distribute the water evenly throughout the grow bed, and he should of "bagged" the bottom layer in a net bag. fish-less cycling and forget about pH. i would of run water through that for a week and then shut off for 2, after that once a week until the roots have populate the media, then and only then can you water often. That is from the pics i would have to read the tread.

It takes awhile to get the husk "charged" and in the beginning the plants will show deficiencies until the charge is complete. you know when the tannins in the water disappear.


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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 4th, '15, 11:20 
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Thanks Damian, that is a lot of information to digest.

So then is coconut husk the actual hard shell of the coconut broken into small(?) pieces?


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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 4th, '15, 23:34 
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Young huh? Are you sure they are of "drinking" age? Again thank you. When I first read the post I thought you meant coco peat. Coconut husks looks like it behaves quite differently. It looks like a fantastic media for people in tropical climates where getting other medias is already challenging. Though, from what you are describing, it takes a little more patience.

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 Post subject: Re: Damian's system.
PostPosted: Mar 4th, '15, 23:36 
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Do you have any close up pictures of the media?

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