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PostPosted: Jul 12th, '10, 22:54 
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Well, I'm glad I didn't pull that plant because it gave me my first AP tomato on July 2. It did have some rot on the top but others seem to be rot-free. My first 2 beds are covered in gravel now but there is still 2" of coco coir and I'm running drip irrigation. I've finally given in and tried to direct sow in this bed (lettuce & bunching onions).
Attachment:
GB 1 July 12, 2010.jpg
GB 1 July 12, 2010.jpg [ 109.14 KiB | Viewed 2233 times ]

Next shot shows the growing jungle and my attempt to "lay down" a tomato vine. I'm afraid of breaking it so it's not quite at ground level.
Attachment:
GB 6 July 12, 2010.jpg
GB 6 July 12, 2010.jpg [ 122.16 KiB | Viewed 2235 times ]
.
My gold fish are fine but even with a bit of Maxicrop now & again I felt like I wasn't getting enough growth. So I rigged this up:
Attachment:
Ammonia dripper.jpg
Ammonia dripper.jpg [ 73.33 KiB | Viewed 2232 times ]

I add 2 tbsp ammonia in 10L water twice a day after the pump has run. It goes into the GB right after the FT which drains into the ST. It takes about an hour to drain and during that time the pump kicks on for the ST. In 12 hours the ammonia is at 0 and my nitrate are stay around 10. Keeps the water level topped up.

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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '10, 09:50 
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Good evening.
My name is Rick and I'm new so be gentle.LOL
Not only am I new to the board but new to aquaponics. I am extremely interested though.
CJ I have about 50,000 questions to ask. :dontknow: Do you have a few.... years? :think: LOL
I live in a little place called Lubbock, Texas and NO ONE that I can find knows anything about this. I work for a living so I dont have the $$$$$ for these ready made lovely systems. :(
Normally we have a very hot dry summers, so far though 13 1/4" in the last couple of weeks, and mild short winters, last year we had more snow days than I have ever seen here, so bottom line you never know. LOL :shifty:
I do not have a green house, I do have a area that I think a med. sized system would fit.
Can you help point me in the right direction on how to put one of these things together, Or anyone here as far as that goes. :thumbleft:
Goal, Garden, fish, Possible crawfish or freshwater prawns. :?
I am glad I found my way here. :notworthy:
Thanks.
Rick


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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '10, 09:56 
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There are quite a few Texans on here. Most of which I'm sure would welcome a visit. The rubbermaid stock tanks that you can get at your local feed store make both good fish tanks and grow beds. Also blue barrels can usually be gotten pretty cheap (like $10 or so). You can also check out craigslist for free stuff. I see bathtubs and hottubs on there for free all the time. This hobby does not have to be expensive, there are plenty of people that have done systems totally free! Just use your imagination and start dreaming - that is the fist step in the addiction!

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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '10, 19:10 
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Westtexasdustdevil wrote:
Can you help point me in the right direction on how to put one of these things together, Or anyone here as far as that goes. :thumbleft:
Goal, Garden, fish, Possible crawfish or freshwater prawns. :?


Hello Rick.
I recommend reading some Member System threads to get a feel for the ups & downs.

Start small (I have my 20 gallon system still going). If you want crawfish have a sump tank (ST) & if you have a ST I recommend CHIFT PIST (Constant Height in Fish Tank, Pump in Sump Tank). I would have pumped all the water out of the FT my mistake if it hadn't been set up CHIFT PIST.

And start your own thread even while just in the planning stage. People may be able to correct your mistakes before they happen.

DejaVoodoo can help with Texas specific issues - like the municipal water that killed all his fish!!!

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PostPosted: Jul 19th, '10, 08:36 
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Nearly an HSM today (saved by CHIFT PIST).

I went into the HH and heard the sound of a pump running dry. I had to fill it and run it to figure out what the problem was. Roots were clogging up the 2 NFT setups. The water was backing up and running out the holes for the plants.

The worst offenders were the cucumber & beans.

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PostPosted: Jul 31st, '10, 00:28 
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Here's a pic of the cucumber roots, after fishing them out:
Attachment:
Cuke roots.jpg
Cuke roots.jpg [ 72.41 KiB | Viewed 2107 times ]

It hasn't really recovered that well but the cukes in the main system are going gang busters. Here's an over all shot:
Attachment:
July 30, 2010.jpg
July 30, 2010.jpg [ 94.26 KiB | Viewed 2107 times ]

Lastly, I may have to rethink the drip irrigation - AGAIN. This time due to a clear imbalance not algae:
Attachment:
More water.jpg
More water.jpg [ 88.41 KiB | Viewed 2104 times ]

Gee, can you tell which leek is getting more water

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PostPosted: Aug 3rd, '10, 22:00 
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I'm having some tomato trouble. My cukes are doing great so I'll assume it's not a nutrient issue. I've been pruning to one main stem and though I've gotten (very early) tomatoes, growth isn't spectacular. I'm starting to have to pull a few dead plants but I think it's a variety specific problem (the 2 earliest varieties). This is happening in the dirt garden too.

I'm not seeing huge amounts of green tomatoes like normal so I'm guessing this is due to pruning. I'll hold off a bit but there is evidence of blight. Should I try to root the vines as I lay them down?

Other thoughts?

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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '10, 05:13 
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Hey CJ, you mentioned nice looking setup you have here, you mention cocunut choir a bit back, from what I've read about it it causes quite a few problems froms water discolouration to rotting and staying too wet, you cansearch it on the forum there are a couple of good threads here as well.

Heres hoping your teething problems work out :thumbright:

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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '10, 05:19 
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Hi Abdul.
I think the issue is over-zealous pruning because I'm having the same issues in the dirt garden.

I've covered the coir with gravel and below it there's 6" of gravel. Oh yeah, half the GBs don't have any coir at all! I'm just going to have to put the clippers down and slowly back away...

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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '10, 05:32 
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So the choir is working out fine?

So having a GB full of choir with a top layer of gravel or hydroton would actually work out quite well you think?

Also I reread your thread and saw that your threads was one of the threads I read when i was looking at coconut choir :drunken:

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PostPosted: Aug 4th, '10, 08:56 
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At this point I don't think it's hindering anything but probably not helping either.

4" gravel, 1" or 2" coir, 1" gravel.

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PostPosted: Aug 5th, '10, 04:55 
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I may have the same over zealous pruning habits as you as well, forcing myslef to keep hands off the leaves, at least the green ones ;]

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PostPosted: Nov 28th, '10, 02:50 
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Well, the season is now officially over. I haven't done a finally tally but the results were not spectacular due to over pruning the tomatoes.

I did sow some greens but I think the tomatoes & cukes blocked too much light. Here's a pic of something I don't think anyone else has grown:
Attachment:
Tobacco.jpg
Tobacco.jpg [ 93.16 KiB | Viewed 1935 times ]

Tobacco!

It's starting to look a little saggy because I've taken out the fish & turned off the pumps. I'm going to let the leaves dry on the plant then cure for a bit. My husband will do the taste test I quit several years ago.

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PostPosted: Nov 28th, '10, 02:57 
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Lessons learned:

1. CHIFT PIST is definitely the way to go. Several times I discovered the pump running dry but no fish died.

2. The sump tank had no water do to clogging. I think I've given up on growing plants in those hydroponic pots. They clogged up the 1 1/2" pipes too quickly.

3. I had some clogging of the 1" drains in the GBs I think exclusively from cucumbers which love AP. If I grow them again it will have to be in a GB with bigger drains.

4. Coco coir (peat) was a no go. I'll have to learn to plant in gravel.

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PostPosted: Nov 28th, '10, 06:31 
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That tobacco is a great experiment, hope it tastes great :D

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