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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '10, 21:04 
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Some more pics...


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File comment: 2 tanks to remove...
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File comment: Ahhh... destruction. Love big machinery!
_IGP1783.JPG
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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '10, 21:15 
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Frame is up! Hubby has started leveling the ground while we are waiting on solarweave plastic to be delivered for the greenhouse. Pics of frame nearly completed...


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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '10, 21:26 
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gee

thats a smashing way to get going :wave1:


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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '10, 22:09 
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hehehe... Tanks very much Shaker! :D

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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '10, 22:12 
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A smashing way to get smashing I say! Great work with the heavy machinery :thumbleft:

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '10, 07:46 
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Oooo big toys :D way to go :thumbleft:

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http://www.backyardfarming.com.au/phpbb ... f=24&t=270

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '10, 20:34 
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Thanks guys :headbang: , yup - love them big toys!

Have finally pH tested my media I grabbed last week: a bag of river pebbles, and a bag of quartz.

I did as was suggested and rinsed both off first, then tested them along with straight river water (water is pipelined straight out of Murray River) results were:

water only : 7
quartz : 7.
river pebble : 6

will leave a couple of days and test again to make sure media is stable.

Also, we got the sump in today!


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File comment: Just thought I'd throw this in... Its only a baby compared to some weve found - they are more like blind snakes in size! but I found it today while I had the camera in my hand so thought what the hell!
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File comment: Ahem... hose was just a LITTLE bit too short...
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File comment: Just to clarify pic. 5 strips: 1 = water only, 2 & 3 = quartz, 4 & 5 = river stone. ended up doing quick dip 1st test, then rechecked 2nd time leaving strip in water for about 5 mins. Only real noticeable diff was the river stone showed a bit more acidity.
_IGP1834.JPG
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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '10, 20:38 
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lol
nice progress. I have no time to get mine up to speed. Maybe machinery will help :)


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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '10, 20:52 
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It is always good to have heavy machinery to do the work...

By the way, I believe I have read somewhere before that the testing strips aren't that accurate. I am sure someone else could also advise, but it might be a good time to get yourself a master test kit that would do ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph and high ph.

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '10, 22:31 
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ivansng wrote:
By the way, I believe I have read somewhere before that the testing strips aren't that accurate. I am sure someone else could also advise, but it might be a good time to get yourself a master test kit that would do ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph and high ph.


Ah hadn't heard that! thanks ivansng. :wave: My son actually has a junior ph test kit for his fish tank - I might give that a try tomorrow and compare. I had actually tested our house water compared to our rainwater when setting up his tank and the house (river) water was 7 then, so the strips may not actually be that far out.

Am going to get one of the master test kits soon, am building up a shopping list atm. Have seen professional ones that also have hardness (& calcium hardness). Are these useful in any way for aquaponics? ($139 tho) Havent heard of anyone testing for this so far. Would also love to test for DO down the track but have only seen testers for up around the $800 mark! :shock: must be cheaper options!

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '10, 23:05 
netab32 wrote:
Am going to get one of the master test kits soon, am building up a shopping list atm. Have seen professional ones that also have hardness (& calcium hardness). Are these useful in any way for aquaponics? ($139 tho) Havent heard of anyone testing for this so far.

spme people have used them to test... but unless you totally understand the concept of "hardness"... and/or how to manipulate it... it's more of a nightmare than assistance..

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Would also love to test for DO down the track but have only seen testers for up around the $800 mark! :shock: must be cheaper options!

Nope... well maybe around $600... :lol:


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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '10, 23:14 
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Ok... have just read that hardness would actually be a beneficial test but bloody confusing! (ah just read your post rupe - thank you for the confirmation! :notworthy: ) so please disregard that part of my last post! Still unsure about the diff between pH and high pH tho. :?

Will leave ph test for a couple of days tho so that water can air a bit. Am also going to do vinegar test which will be interesting! hoping the quartz is not too limestoney as id love to use it!

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '10, 23:23 
Might as well repost it here... not sure where I posted it before...

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We need to be a little careful when discussing "hardness" ... for it's oftened confused and/or confusing...

There are two types of water hardness: general hardness (GH) and carbonate hardness (KH).

A third term commonly used is total hardness which is a combination of GH and KH. This is the test that most "hardness" test kits test for...

Since it is important to know both the GH and KH, the use of total hardness can be misleading and should be avoided.



GENERAL HARDNESS

General hardness is primarily the measure of calcium (Ca++) and magnesium (Mg++) ions in the water.

Other ions can contribute to GH but their effects are usually insignificant and the other ions are difficult to measure...

GH will not directly affect pH although "hard" water is generally alkaline due to some interaction of GH and KH.

GH is commonly expressed in parts per million (ppm) of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), degrees hardness (dH) or, more properly, the molar concentration of CaCO3.

One German degree hardness (dH) is 10 mg of calcium oxide (CaO) per liter.

In the U.S., hardness is usually measured in ppm of CaCO3. A German dH is 17.8 ppm CaCO3. A molar concentration of 1 milliequivalent per liter (mEq/l) = 2.8 dH = 50ppm.

Note that most test kits give the hardness in units of CaCO3; this means the hardness is equivalent to that much CaCO3 in water but does not mean it actually came from CaCO3.

Water hardness follows these guidelines:

0 - 4 dH, 0 - 70 ppm : very soft
4 - 8 dH, 70 - 140 ppm : soft
8 - 12 dH, 140 - 210 ppm : medium hard
12 - 18 dH, 210 - 320 ppm : fairly hard
18 - 30 dH, 320 - 530 ppm : hard


General hardness is the more important of the two in biological processes.

When a fish or plant is said to prefer "hard" or "soft" water, this is referring to GH. Incorrect GH will affect the transfer of nutrients and waste products through cell membranes and can affect egg fertility, proper functioning of internal organs such as kidneys and growth. Within reason, most fish and plants can successfully adapt to local GH conditions, although breeding may be impaired.



CARBONATE HARDNESS

Carbonate hardness (KH) is the measure of bicarbonate (HCO3-) and carbonate (CO3--) ions in the water, it's "buffering" ability... or "alkalinity".

In freshwater systems with neutral pH, bicarbonate ions predominate and in saltwater aquariums,carbonate ions begin to play a role.

Alkalinity is the measure of the total acid binding capacity (all the anions which can bind with free H+) but is comprised mostly of carbonate hardness in freshwater systems.

Thus, in practical freshwater usage, the terms carbonate hardness, acid binding, acid buffering capacity and alkalinity are used interchangeably.

In an AP system, KH acts as a chemical buffering agent, helping to stabilize pH. KH is generaly referred to in degrees hardness and is expressed in CaCO3 equivalents just like GH.

In simple terms, pH is determined by the negative log of the concentration of free hydrogen ions (H+) in the water.

If you add a strong acid such as nitric acid to water, it completely dissociates into hydrogen ions (H+) and its "conjugate base" or "salt", NO3- or nitrate.

The hydrogen ions freed in the reaction then increase the concentration of hydrogen ions and reduce the pH. Since nitric acid is the end product of the nitrogen cycle, this explains why AP system pH tends to decrease and nitrates tend to increase over time.

When an AP system has some carbonate buffering in it, the bicarbonate ions will combine with the excess hydrogen ions to form carbonic acid (H2CO3) which then slowly breaks down into CO2 and water.

Since the excess hydrogen ions are used in the reaction, the pH does not change very much. Over time, as the carbonate ions are used up, the buffering capacity will drop and larger pH changes will be noted.

From this it is clear why AP systems with low KH seem unstable, and can drop rapidly to pH 6.0 - as acid is produced by biological action, the KH is used up; when it is gone, the pH is free to drop rapidly as H+ ions are generated.


Clear as mud??... :lol:


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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '10, 23:37 
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netab32 wrote:
Still unsure about the diff between pH and high pH tho. :?


Well not rocket science actually... pH test only tests from 6.0 to 7.6 (from memory)...
high pH test only tests from 7.4 (from memory) and above...

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '10, 23:56 
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Thanks ivansng.

I was confused because the test strips I bought were 0 to 14 which seemed to be all that would be required for pH - didn't think about other test kits only having a small test range. Oh well, another bit of info to store away! :)

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