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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 05:44 
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I have a 250 gallon CHOP IBC system with a 5 gallon swirl filter, a half buried 55 gallon barrel for a sump (about 40 gallons available), and 50 dutch bucket type pots connected to a 30' ground level 1.5" drain pipe.

The IBC is under a gazebo to shade it and as a result the water temperature is steady around 85-90 Fahrenheit.
I have heat tolerant fish so this temperature is acceptable to me for the time being, but I think the high temperature is contributing to evaporation.

The REAL PROBLEM is that I'm replacing 10-20 GALLONS a day. I fill 5 gallon buckets up with water the night before and I use ascorbic acid to dechlorinate it.

I've checked that the dutch buckets aren't leaking, and I'm close to digging up the short section of drain pipe that is underground to investigate for any leaks.


Is this amount of evaporation normal in summer time?


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 06:41 
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50 Dutch buckets sounds like a lot, how many and what time of plants do you have? Transpiration is probably your big sapper of water.

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 06:57 
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earthbound wrote:
50 Dutch buckets sounds like a lot, how many and what time of plants do you have? Transpiration is probably your big sapper of water.


https://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycletranspiration.html

How much water do plants transpire?

Plant transpiration is pretty much an invisible process, since the water is evaporating from the leaf surfaces, you don't just go out and see the leaves "sweating". Just because you can't see the water doesn't mean it is not being put into the air, though. During a growing season, a leaf will transpire many times more water than its own weight. An acre of corn gives off about 3,000-4,000 gallons (11,400-15,100 liters) of water each day, and a large oak tree can transpire 40,000 gallons (151,000 liters) per year.

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 07:11 
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I've got 25 buckets planted with rainbow chard, 10 tomatoes, 3 longbeans, 3 basil, 3 cucumber, 2 pepper, and the rest squash of a few varieties. They're all on cleanable 1/2 GPH drip emitters that I check once a day to ensure they're dripping.

I'm in the investigatory phase and don't know what to plant so I planted everything.


The squash did very poorly (vine borers), the cucumber are doing fine (some mildew but good cukes), the tomatoes almost clogged up my drain with roots (I cleaned them out and check every other week now), the beans haven't done anything but put on leaves, the basil is nice, the peppers just got transplanted, and the rainbow chard is the winner with nearly perfect leaves I can harvest every week now.


The good news is it sounds possible for it to be evaporating/transpiring that much.

I was just hoping a more anecdotal example from someone with a similar system.

With all the water I'm adding the chlorine risks bothered me and the nitrate and nitrite seem to be down some, but maybe its because the plants are transpiring like mad apparently.


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 07:52 
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Well today was an especially hot and dry and windy day and the water temperature is as of now 93 and I've added 30 gallons for today.


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 08:55 
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I have a 500 gal systèm in DC with similar plant loading as you. I easily go through that much water or more on a hot day. I don’t measure as precisely as you how much water I add since it adds via float valve in sump tank. My source water is usually rainwater but we haven’t gotten rain for a few weeks. I’ve been filling my rain barrels with untreated tap water and the fish have been fine.

I researched chloramine and it’s breadown products. I’m pretty sure it’s fine to add 10-20 percent of untreated makeup water to a mature systèm in a day. The breakdown will create some chlorine which will offgas (me spaculating) and ammonia which bacteria can convert to plant food.

I’ve also had squash vine borer issues. This year I planted Tromboncino squash, which is resistant and has been doing great. It can be harvested early, and eaten like a summer squash like zucchini. Or allowed to ripen and becomes a winter squash lie butternut.

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 09:15 
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DanaPT wrote:
... you don't just go out and see the leaves "sweating".


I often do! Even now in mid winter my banana trees, turmeric, ginger, and anything else with decent sized leaves has droplets of water along the edges of the leaves. I can easily lose 100 litres of water from my small system on a hot day.

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 22:48 
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Yes you do see the leaves sweating as Gordon noted.

What Gordon is describing is called guttation as opposed to transpiration. Guttation is the loss of water from the plant in the liquid form while transpiration is it's loss as a vapor (hopefully I have this right :thumbright: )

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scott_dc wrote:
I’m pretty sure it’s fine to add 10-20 percent of untreated makeup water to a mature systèm in a day


+1 It's OK to do this. I haven't tried it every day for a week though so I can't be certain about doing it this often :dontknow: .


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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '18, 04:30 
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transcendtient wrote:
Well today was an especially hot and dry and windy day and the water temperature is as of now 93 and I've added 30 gallons for today.

The water is 93F? Wow! What type of fish have you got in there? If it was my system doing that I think I would cover those buckets with insulation of some sort.

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '18, 19:39 
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+1 It's OK to do this. I haven't tried it every day for a week though so I can't be certain about doing it this often :dontknow:


I have rain barrels filled with untreated water being added automatically via float valve. Been doing this more than a week. Everyone seems to be doing fine. Alternative would be to let the fish dry out, which I haven’t done but based on limited research, I think it would be bad for their long term development.

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '18, 20:09 
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scott_dc wrote:
Alternative would be to let the fish dry out, which I haven’t done but based on limited research, I think it would be bad for their long term development.


:lol: :headbang: . Dried fish are easier to keep though 8)

scott_dc wrote:
I researched chloramine and it’s breadown products. I’m pretty sure it’s fine to add 10-20 percent of untreated makeup water to a mature systèm in a day. The breakdown will create some chlorine which will offgas (me spaculating) and ammonia which bacteria can convert to plant food.



Oops, I misread your comment and thought the addition was referring to treated water.

I was trying to say that you can add treated water at 10 to 20 percent of system volume without any dire consequences. What I don't know is how many times a week you can get away with this.


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