Stuppy Aquaponics Blog

Aqueduct Float Expansion has Arrived!

Posted by Scott Moore on Mar 28, 2017 3:58:10 PM

Here at Stuppy we are always looking to improve upon our products. When we first launched the Stuppy Aqueduct last year we knew we had created something awesome. We also knew that we had created something we would be able to expand upon in the future.  Our goal has always been to have a flexible system that can be configured to meet the unique needs of every customer.  We are very happy to announce then that we have officially completed testing of our first major Expansion Component! 

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Topics: Aquaponics

Tell-Tale Signs of Overfeeding Fish in Aquaponics

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Mar 27, 2017 11:45:01 AM

It has become abundantly clear that it is fairly difficult to hit the maximum feeding rate of 4% body weight without overfeeding. The feeding rate has to be lowered once again from 63 grams to 50.5 grams. The Rate will be slowly increased as the water clarity increases.

This is a very significant discovery and means more care will be necessary during the fingerling stage of the fish life cycle. This is because we are trying to get as much nutrient into solution as possible during the early stages of growth and therefore it’s easy to over feed.  Although overfeeding is not a huge issue over time the accumulation of unprocessed feed will lead to much smellier and messy conditions that could grow dangerous molds/fungus that could affect the system, not to mention you’re wasting feed.

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Topics: Aquaponics

Our Aquaponics team is Growing!

Posted by Phil Bishop on Mar 10, 2017 4:03:03 PM

                Meet Scott Moore, the newest member of our Aquaponics team here at Stuppy! 

               Scott has been working on sales and marketing for the Aqueduct for a little while now. He’s going to be writing a weekly column for our blog here, so you’ll be hearing a lot more from him as time goes on.  Since he’s going to be a familiar face on our blog we took some time to ask Scott some questions about Life, Plants, and Fish Poop. Check out his answers below!

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Topics: Aquaponics

Aquaduct System Additions

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Mar 7, 2017 3:46:58 PM

System Tech Update: The newly designed and constructed clarifier and expansion float bed are very close to being added to the newly build Aqueduct V1.1. All that is required is the clay media and this new system can be started. Both the clarifier and float bed extension are ready for release and must simply be tested over a few week period to ensure no issues arise. You can expect to see these new add-ons and the NFT component available by the beginning of April.

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Topics: Aquaponics

Follow Along as We Grow in Our Aqueduct System According to Our Curriculum

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Mar 7, 2017 3:41:09 PM

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

02/20/17

7.6

0.25

Neg.

0

90

76.6

42.5

0.94

02/22/17

7.6

0.25

Neg.

0

-

76.3

-

0.95

02/27/17

7.5

0.25

Neg.

0

100-125

73.4

40

0.98

03/01/17

7.5

0.25

Neg

0

-

76.8

35

0.98

03/03/17

7.45

0.25

Neg.

0

115-135

74.8

32

0.99

03/01/17 -> Total Hardness: 250 mg/L CaCO3 equ

Calcium Level: 50 mg/L   Magnesium level: ~30.5 mg/L

Phosphate Level: ~7-8 mg/L (as PO4-)

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality Overview: The nitrate levels are continuing to accumulate more significantly as the feeding rate is increased more substantially. The pH is finally beginning to show some change dropping down from 7.7 to 7.45. Although it is still fairly insignificant, a far more significant change has been observed in the alkalinity which is beginning to decrease as expected. As more acid is released via nitrification more carbonate is used up to neutralize it. Once the carbonate concentration (alkalinity) drops below 20-25 mg/L the pH will change at a far quicker rate. I predict that pH will begin changing more rapidly from this point forward since the fish feeding rate has been substantially increased as of 3/03. Once the pH drops to 6.6 the carbonate compounds can be used to maintain a pH around 7 and increases alkalinity while also providing nutrients to the crops.

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Topics: Aquaponics

Following the Aquaponics Class Curriculum in Our Research System

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Mar 3, 2017 3:37:50 PM

Water Quality Overview: The nitrates levels are now consistently rising at the current fish feeding rate of 38 grams per day. For this reason, it safe to assume that at a feeding rate of 35-40 grams per day the nutrient accumulation will surpass the uptake rate of nitrate by the arugula in the float bed and more crops are therefore required to use the extra nitrate building up. The pH is still unchanged and therefore more intense nitrification is still required before any significant change in pH occurs. 

 

Fish Update: Since the fish stopped eating feed, as discussed in last week’s post, the feeding rate had to be greatly reduced to less than 2% of the total fish body weight on 2/10 (normally should be 4%). Upon returning to work Monday (2/13) it was evident the fish were consuming the

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Topics: Aquaponics

Light Feeding Crops to Grow in Cycling Aquaponics Systems

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Feb 21, 2017 11:46:11 AM

Light Feeding Crops: Light feeding crops are used when system start-up has just begun and a new batch of fish have been added to the system. After adding the fish to the system a short waiting period of 7-10 days is recommended before adding seedlings to allow nitrifying bacteria to begin manifesting. Wait until the first formation of nitrate is measured before adding your first crops. 

It is best to begin with just arugula in the float bed to ensure no deficiencies will occur as it is a very light feeder compared to most other crops. Once arugula show healthy growth then

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Topics: System Maintenance

Insects in the Aquaponics System, Flowering Tomato Plants and our NFT

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Feb 21, 2017 11:35:35 AM

The media bed is beginning to accumulate a dense population of detritus consuming insects already which can help break down the waste in the system even further without causing harm to the crops thus far. If insects are observed a couple inches or so below the surface of the clay media it means the system has sufficient waste density to support these organisms and is a positive incident. The small insects can be seen in the image below on the PVC siphon.

 

Bucket Testing Station: Unfortunately, the low temp and more importantly low humidity has negatively affected the fruit production of the tomato crop. The lack of

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Topics: System Maintenance

How is the aquaponics system performing since the restart?

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Feb 21, 2017 11:25:56 AM

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

02/06/17

7.5

0.25

Neg.

0

60

74

55

0.86

02/08/17

7.7

0.25

Neg.

0

-

73.5

55

0.88

02/10/17

7.7

0.25

Neg.

0

75

72

55

0.89

02/10/17 -> Total Hardness: 220 mg/L CaCO3 equ

Calcium Level: 45 mg/L  Magnesium level: ~26 mg/L

Phosphate Level: ~5-7 mg/L (as PO4-)

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality Overview: Nitrate levels are finally beginning to rise more significantly however this process is still expected to be slow as fish are now not eating as much (<4%). This will continue to be the case until the feeding rate can be significantly increased. The pH is relatively high still but the arugula is not showing any significant signs of deficiencies. It is surprising that the pH has remaining constant over such a long period of time, I would have expected it to drop by now. For this reason, I decided to test the pH of each tank to see if a pattern could be deduced, below are the results:

Fish tank -> clarifier -> media bed -> sump -> float bed

7.63 -> 7.6 -> 7.5 -> 7.65 -> 7.7

So it can be clearly seen that the media bed does preform significant nitrification because the pH drops from 7.7, in the float bed, to 7.5 in the media bed but why does the pH increase back to 7.7 when it reaches the float bed again? The most likely reason behind this is that the arugula is releasing hydroxide (OH-) ions into the solution as nitrate is up-taken. Crops need to maintain a constant balanced ionic charge within the roots so when more negatively charged nitrate ions are taken into the crop it balances the charge in its roots by releasing hydroxide ions.

Fish Update: The fish appear to be very healthy and are

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Topics: System Maintenance

Test Between New Aquaponic Water, Seasoned AQ Water and Hydroponics

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Feb 10, 2017 12:23:33 PM

I will be restarting the experiment in mid-February which is a more ideal time to seed tomatoes as the air temperature and humidity should rise and be far more adequate for production. A lot of the damage the tomato’s sustained was due to the cold temp, low humidity and lack of light but overall some unexpected results were obtained as discussed below.

Currently I have left one aquaponic tomato and the artichoke to continue observing growth patterns. The tomato crop is flowering and will hopefully produce fruit soon. The overall quality of the vegetation should also improve with more light focused on this individual instead of three. The artichoke flower is continuing to grow larger and the crop looks a lot better overall with

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Topics: Water, Hydroponics