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PostPosted: Mar 11th, '15, 17:06 
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I've only started getting cucurbits to work since I upped my potassium input and occasionally supplemented with small amounts of MKP. I don't think my standard F&D systems mineralise particularly well and have found available K and P to be deficient in them. Maybe one day all those solids in the growbed will release their goodness - though I'm still waiting!

I think that was a good call on your wifes part - good to have a reasonable amount of carbon in the mix and then feed it via mulches.

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PostPosted: Mar 16th, '15, 14:39 
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8.02 tons of 20mm river gravel arrived today, actually I asked them to tip ~25 or 30% of smaller 10mm blue metal in as well, to increase the surface area available for bacteria, without too much volume change.
I see a lot of shovelling in my future, at least for the next week or so ;)

Attachment:
File comment: over 4 X 3m at the base, and just over a metre deep
8ton-gravel.jpg
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Rather more of a worry than blisters on my hands is the amount of foamy stuff that has appeared in the temporary ~2000 litre sump tank, and to a lesser extent, the FT. I've been circulating water through the 2 round beds with lime trees since the middle of yesterday, mostly CF with the first hour or 2 up to the top of the soil and straw layers, to ensure they had a good soaking. The water is now fairly turbid due to the fines in the potting mix and 3 in one sandy loamy stuff, but my wife suggests the foaminess may be due to the lucerne hay. I might increase the water volume and see how much of it I can skim off the ST. I did a bit of that this morning and decreased the foaminess, but it has increased again since.

Attachment:
Foam20150315.jpg
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I'll filter the water through some polyester insulation to try and clear it up a bit in the next day or 2.
Currently pH is 6.11, and I'll do some water chemistry testing shortly. There is one barrow load of media from the other AP sysm in the 2nd GB, and I pumped a couple of thousand litres of water from there too, so I'm hoping for the bacteria to increase rapidly, fed by some pee to get them going :)

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PostPosted: Mar 16th, '15, 15:18 
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A little while back I put up a link to a koi pond freshwater foam fractionator. Basically it was a sort of bakki shower, ie a pipe filled with bio balls dropping water down it into the pond with an outlet just above the waterline to take off the foam and crap.
Can't find it atm, my memory is not to bad but my filing system is stuffed. :)


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PostPosted: Mar 17th, '15, 08:41 
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Can't find it on my computer but the original was called the Green Dragon and its on the koiphen forum. :)


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PostPosted: Mar 17th, '15, 10:21 
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Sounds similar to what I'm doing anyway- ATM 2 pipes flowing into the ST creating the foam, and I'll just raise the water level to the lowest point of the lip of the sump so I can easily scrape off the foam.

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PostPosted: Mar 17th, '15, 17:00 
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I've been scooping some of the foam off, and it is much reduced on how it was a couple of days ago :)

I've got 2 completed beds finished now, and one with just gravel in it.

I did my first water test late today
NH3 ~5ppm
NO2 5+ ppm
NO3 not much above zero, apart from the tomato, which seems to be about 40ppm ;)

Attachment:
AP2-20150317.jpg
AP2-20150317.jpg [ 142.32 KiB | Viewed 3281 times ]

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PostPosted: Mar 17th, '15, 20:52 
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Gunagulla wrote:
I've had the temperature probe in the tank for a while now, starting off with 5000 litres of water, but added another 4000l on the morning of 24/2, which you can see as a 0.3C jump in temp. In the afternoon of 28/2 I started pumping air as I could see from the temperature plot that the water was stratifying, and that gave an almost immediate jump of 0.4C.
Lately, a couple of cooler nights have seen the water dip below 22C for the first time, I'd like to see it stay below that before I introduce the trout, meanwhile I need to get enough beds filled and plumbed to support the potentially 250 fingerlings.
For a super-fast cycle, I'm thinking of pumping some water from my Murray Cod system through this system for a few days, hopefully a few bacteria will take up the opportunity to move to a new home ;)

Attachment:
AP220150307.gif

Hey Gordon, great to see your 2nd epic system taking shape. Love the reo mesh fence with the cutouts with circles (bike rims?). Rust is my decorator colour of choice :thumbright:

My OH is looking at setting up some monitoring for 'The Fish Farm' with a raspberry pi and probably an arduino thingy. Just wanted to know what temperature probes you use for your water and air temp and any recommendations for what to use and where to find them. He is also looking at monitoring water level in the ST which will show if the bell siphon is working and give an alarm if the water level is getting too low. I imagine he will also play around with some CCTV to monitor the fish and yabbies too.
Any advice will be gratefully considered :notworthy:

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PostPosted: Mar 18th, '15, 04:40 
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Yes, bike rims in rusty reo, it's all my wife's doing :) Actually it has changed a bit, there's a really big rusty reo circle to walk through now, which will be covered in vines when they grow.

I wirelessly monitor both system's water temperatures with these:
http://www.filesthrutheair.com/product/ ... ture-Probe
which connect to my house wireless network. I picked mine up from rs-online, and there are a few other places selling them in Oz, but rs-online were the least expensive.

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PostPosted: Mar 21st, '15, 18:35 
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There was very little diurnal temperature variation in the water until I plumbed in the 1st bed and started pumping water on the morning of the 15th. The rate of temperature change is generally greater when the pump is running, and I only just managed to keep the water temperature below 26C yesterday when it got to 37.3C air temperature, by not running the pump a fair bit of the time. Most of the pipework, the uncovered dark green ST, and FT are all in full sun at this stage.

Attachment:
AP220150321.gif
AP220150321.gif [ 33.34 KiB | Viewed 3229 times ]


The ST is temporary, as is most of the 25mm pipework from SLO to beds, and bed drains to sump, until I get my 48V DC pump operating, although that has to wait until I can get a suitable tank for the sump, so I can directly plumb the pump inlet to the sump.

Attachment:
AP2-20150321.jpg
AP2-20150321.jpg [ 336.26 KiB | Viewed 3229 times ]


The water is still filthy- most of the colour seems to be coming from the potting mix and 5 in 1 used around the citrus trees, of when there are now 9 planted.

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PostPosted: Mar 22nd, '15, 19:35 
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Busy time ahead, as I need to collect my trout within the next week!
Water is too warm due to the recent heat, but should cool down enough by next weekend if I pump more at night and less during the day, NH3 is still high, not far off 8ppm, NO2 is still ~5ppm, but NO3 was about 10ppm tonight, which is a good sign. I filled one of the rectangular beds with gravel today, and put the drain in, and will add plumbing for the water inlet tomorrow, which will involve adding a 2nd 50mm SLO to the FT. I'll get another 2 rectangular beds done in the next couple of days as well, and will steal as much media from the old system as I can, in order to speed up cycling progress.

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PostPosted: Mar 22nd, '15, 21:15 
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that little temperature sensor and data logging kit is pretty awesome, doesn't seem to available up here though

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PostPosted: Mar 23rd, '15, 05:12 
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PostPosted: Mar 23rd, '15, 06:00 
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Guna'...... with that foam.. did you work out what it was... was it from something in the potting mix. Eg. Wetting agents,
Or was it Protein Froth.. (can't imagine that in a new system)

One technique I used with my neighbours tank was to use two people and spray the foam into one area using a light fanning action, and then push a drum down into the foam and use it like weir and all the surface floaties fall into the drum..
..
.


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PostPosted: Mar 23rd, '15, 10:42 
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I can't really tell for sure, but as I mentioned earlier, the lucerne hay does get a bit of foaminess in top when hosed on gardens. I've been collecting it in a container with poly insulation at the sump water returns, and it is much reduced now, but the water is still filthy brown- I can only see about 25cm into it.

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PostPosted: Mar 23rd, '15, 19:19 
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NH3 still ~5ppm
NO2 still ~5ppm
NO3 close to 40ppm, so I'd better get some more plants in ASAP!
Wallabies ate off most of an orange the other night ;( A fence will have to go around the lot of it if we want much produce- it's so dry that some lush greenery is going to be very attractive to the wildlife.

Attachment:
AP2test-20150323.jpg
AP2test-20150323.jpg [ 122.96 KiB | Viewed 3185 times ]

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Larger 2nd system: http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=24153
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