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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '15, 09:24 
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Just2many, thanks for the heads up, I'll see about getting a small amount of vinegar snuck into Lowes to try out the pH of the rock :roll:. I did use that quickrete gravel in my small system, and I like it, but I'm mainly wanting to get a media that is more a more conducive habitat for the micro bacteria to grow and do their thing.

Thanks for the advice Martin, I thought it had that other name, but I wasn't sure. I'll keep that in mind for when I do my official research, calling, and final consensus on what I'll be using. :)

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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jun 16th, '15, 09:54 
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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jun 17th, '15, 10:03 
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thsdragoon wrote:

This is the gravel I'm going to buy, http://m.lowes.com/pd/Greensmix-0-5-cu- ... l/50125625 this is what I used in my smaller system, and it works great.


Tested your gravel here and Lava rocks from lowes too. Both passed the vinegar test. Just thought I'd let you know.

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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jun 18th, '15, 02:19 
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nautiboi wrote:

Tested your gravel here and Lava rocks from lowes too. Both passed the vinegar test. Just thought I'd let you know.



Awesome, thanks for the information.

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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jun 21st, '15, 07:02 
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thsdragoon wrote:
I bet. Though that sounds like it's pretty rewarding, especially with all the natural vistas and such you get to see. So are you done with school, or do you still have more to go?


Yes it is very rewarding work. While doing block layout I get to decide where the boundary goes and which streams/ecosystems/wildlife get protected within and adjacent to that boundary. A lot of people are in the field just to make money, but I'm more of a naturalist and so I really enjoy being paid to be a steward of one my country's finest natural resources.

Also, the natural vistas are quite stunning. I'm originally from Southern Ontario, which is pretty much just a series of flat, rolling hills. Northern BC is sandwiched right between the Coastal Mountains and the Rocky Mountains, so the landscapes we are working in are quite a change for me.

And the wildlife is pretty awesome too. On Wednesday while walking through the block I came across a spruce grouse protecting her soon to be filled nest by pretending to be injured. She tried to lead me away from it but because she's so slow while faking an injury I ended up just walking with her at my side for about 30m. About 1km later I came across another spruce grouse sitting in a tree giving me a serious eyeballing. I looked down and at the base of the tree was her nest, with 3 big eggs in it. And then about another km along my way I saw a third grouse, but this one had 4 little baby chicks flapping around behind her, and one of them even managed to fly up into the low branches of a tree. It was a great day seeing those three different stages of development all in a row!

I've finished the first year of the two year program. We generally spend about half our time in class and half our time in the bush, which is nice. Sitting in a room from 8-4 every day isn't my idea of fun haha!

You are currently in school as well, no? I thought I read something about being a paramedic? I've got a buddy who is a paramedic in the Canadian Armed Forces. Paramedics deal with some pretty grisly stuff. I don't think I could hack it!

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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jun 21st, '15, 11:32 
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That is pretty awesome! I wish I had the time and money to travel to places like that, but that won't be happening for me for quite some time. It's really cool how nature has developed animals to survive as well as they do.

And yes, I am still in school. I am two years into my program, and going into my third year. This year I will be getting my acutal paramedic classes taken for the first half, then in the winter I will be doing my "ride alongs" with working Medics, as well as getting hands on training in hospitals (starting IV's, helping with baby birth, emergency room work, and what ever else they need my help with). So I'm looking forward to it :) , just not the sitting in the class room part of things (I'm going to be in class from 8 AM to 5 PM), so I'll know your class room pain.

As for an AP update, I got my grow media of choice; red lava rock. I chose this media 1) Nautiboi mentioned that it was OK with the pH, 2) when I did my price checking at Lowe's it was the cheapest media there, 3) when I compared it to the stuff I could get at a landscaping store, it was cheaper at Lowe's (I looked at a few different landscaping suppliers in my area), 4) my wife is starting to get impatient with how long it's taking to finish this system, so she said I should just go with the lava rock, 5) in comparing the lava rock to the gravel I'm using in my small system, it is far more ideal to use (more pourus for the micro bacteria, lighter, and more attractive in sight). Tomorrow I will be washing it and getting it into the system after I've cleaned my firearms. And hopefully here in the next 2-3 weeks or so, I will be adding in fish to the system as it cycles, or if not then be seeing awesome growth coming from the plants as the system continues to cycle! :cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '15, 08:33 
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Today I got the grow media into the beds only to find that I am 3 bags of lava rock too short. But as for what I was able to get done today;

Image

Image

I also got some lettuce and carrot seeds sown into the bed that is filled. Tomorrow I get the last three bags put in. I ran into some troubles with getting the siphon to break after I got the media put in, but with some slight adjustments to the in flow, it works almost flawlessly. Aside from that the system is basically done!

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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '15, 16:04 
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Great work.

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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jun 23rd, '15, 10:45 
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Exciting Man. I am at the finish of my build and just can imagine your excitement too :cheers:

How many times did u wash/rinse the lava rocks?

I just picked up 2 bags today and had to wash them like 3 times and now have them soaking. I took out all the floaters and have the in a separate place soaking and being agitated to help them sink. I still think that I am going to use a heavier top dressing to help with stability of plants due to wind and rain.

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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jun 26th, '15, 12:04 
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nautiboi wrote:
Exciting Man. I am at the finish of my build and just can imagine your excitement too :cheers:

How many times did u wash/rinse the lava rocks?

I just picked up 2 bags today and had to wash them like 3 times and now have them soaking. I took out all the floaters and have the in a separate place soaking and being agitated to help them sink. I still think that I am going to use a heavier top dressing to help with stability of plants due to wind and rain.


Oh yeah, I'm super excited and happy to have it finally done! Especially since the system is already acting like it's half way done being cycled after 3 days of running solid. :bigsmurf: :cheers: :brilsmurf:

I didn't really wash it as much as I rinsed it 2-3 times in a wheel barrow, before enlisting my brother and sister as extra hands to get the rock into the GB's. I agree completly with your descision to use another top to help with plant stability, when I got my tomato and pepper seedlings put in I had a b**** of a time. It made me really second guess my desire to go with lava rock. Then trying to direct sow seeds into the system..... I won't even go there. So lets just leave it at with my next larger system (when I finally move into a house of my own), I will be using either hydroton, or gravel specifically for ease of planting.

Image

This is after 3 or so days of running the system, I'm not exactly sure why it's doing this well, because my last system took FOREVER to cycle through. But I'm not complaining, as it will let me get fiish in the system sooner rather than later :D I will say though, the pH is ridiculously high. So the next time I go to my parents, I will be using the muriatic acid I picked up to help lower the pH to about 6.5-7. I think the pH is only that high because of where my parents water comes from (not sure where, but the water at my apartment is MUCH lower).

My question at this time is; how many goldfish should I stock for a system this size? I'm planning on using the super cheap feeder goldfish, so cost isn't an issue for me at the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jun 28th, '15, 13:01 
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It looks like things are coming along nicely! That's awesome!

At what kind of rate do you add muriatic acid? My pH is also quite high and I was thinking of using the same method, but I wasn't sure how much to use.

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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jul 2nd, '15, 12:17 
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HoneyBadger wrote:
It looks like things are coming along nicely! That's awesome!

At what kind of rate do you add muriatic acid? My pH is also quite high and I was thinking of using the same method, but I wasn't sure how much to use.

I don't really have a "method" per-sey for how I add it in, for the small system I did one capful of the acid for each gallon of top off water I added; I had added 3 gallons, so I added 3 caps. As for this larger system, I still need to figure out how I'll do it :P. For now though, I'll just add a cap a day until I get the pH to where it should be; around 6.8-7.

And as a quick update on the system; it has been running smoothly for about a week or two now, and I have noticed that the biological microfilm has begun to grow inside the tank :D, the plants I put in are going a little slower than I would like due to the high pH but that should be fixed soon, most of the seeds I sprinkled into the system have sprouted, I took a grape cutting and stuck it in there next to the tomato trellis to see if anything would come of it (that was on Sunday, and its looking pretty sad), and today my dad and brother caught some fresh water lobsters (Crawdads as we call them here) and dropped them into the system (one died shortly after, I think due to high nitrites). So all in all the system is doing well :).

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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jul 2nd, '15, 12:23 
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Here's a few photos, these are a couple days old, but they are mainly to give an idea as to how it's doing :)

Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jul 2nd, '15, 15:54 
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Awesome work dude.


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 Post subject: Re: New second system
PostPosted: Jul 4th, '15, 10:01 
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Good progress !!

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