Stuppy Aquaponics Blog

System Update: Frasier 7/11/17

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Jul 11, 2017 3:25:55 PM

Frasier

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

6/23

7.2

0.25

n/a

0.25

300

82

75

1.67

6/26

7.1

0.25

 

0.25

-

76

-

1.61

6/28

6.85

0.25

 

2-5

-

78

-

1.60

6/30

7.00

0.25

 

0.5

290, 65 (as N)

78

70-80

1.66

7/03

6.95

0.5

 

2-5

-

80.5

-

1.68

7/05

7.00

0.25

 

0.5

-

79

-

1.65

06/23 -> 6/30 -> 7/07:  Total Hardness: 510 -> 470 -> 470-500 mg/L CaCO3 equ
Calcium Level: 65 -> 64 -> 60 mg/L            Magnesium level: 90 -> 83 -> 85 mg/L
Phosphate Level: ~ 25 -> 22.5 -> 20   mg/L (as PO4-)

 

Water Quality Overview: The pH is dropping more consistently than the previous two weeks. This is due to the removal of the collards that were being grown in a batched fashion. The collards have a high nitrate uptake and were causing the water to remain very basic.

On 6/20 we ran new lab water tests and just got our results back. You can see the results compared with the previous tests in the table below. Manganese Sulfate is being used to supplement Mn which is still considerably low (0.09 mg/L) despite the concentration available in the MOST micro mix, 10 grams was added. Just like the Niles system the MOST mix caused Frasier to accumulate boron and copper. This can cause crop toxicity symptoms in sensitive crops. Na concentrations are lower than anticipated and may be reaching a peak, further testing in the future will determine if this is true. Cl levels are rising fairly rapidly still and may continue to accumulate causing slight crop related issues. Sulfate levels appear to be reaching a peak as the nutrient solution has gotten harder over time (near 500 mg/L as CaCO3) which was expected. K levels have increased significantly thanks to the addition of K2CO3 and are now at more than adequate levels to support even the heaviest feeding crops.

Parameter

Concentrations (ppm) (6/20)

Concentration (ppm) (4/20)

Previous Data from (2/20)

E.C.

1.49

1.17 mS/cm

0.95

Ca

63.19

56.49

40.2

Mg

75.18

48.53

24.6

Na

125.58

110.38

86.0

Cl

108.75

85.64

70.4

B

0.4

0.23

0.14

Fe

6.88

2.91

1.97

Mn

0.09

0

0.003

S

106.63 (300 as SO4)

88.03 (250 as SO4)

188 (as SO4)

Cu

0.25

0.2

0.131

Zn

1.43

0.62

0.396

Mo

0.06

0

-

NO3-N

64.96

47.2

19.7

NH4

0.81

1

-

P

7.5

5.83

1.26

K

46.67

14.7

16.3

Fish Update: Fish feeding rate and growth is fairly strong with a near 25 gram/day increase in in the last two weeks. The fish were not be weighed this week due to the 4th of July holiday.

You can see the change that has occurred in size from 5/26 to 7/07 in the images here.  One thing to note is that Frasier has a few fish that are much larger than the others. 

 Fish 1.jpgFish 2.jpg

  Crop Update: Below is a representation of the crops in Frasier’s media bed. All crops are growing well at this point. The only observable issue is that some of the tomato flowers closer to the fluorescent fixtures are unable to produce pollen due to the high heat and lower humidity. Flowers found closer to the surface of the media bed, away from the fixtures, are producing fruit verifying that the heat from the fixtures is causing the problem.

mediabed.jpg

Below are images of the media bed over time. The first image is from 6/26 and the second is from 7/07. As you can see crop growth has exploded over the last two weeks.

mediabed 2.jpgmediabed 3.jpg

The tomato crops are now beginning to fruit and we will hopefully be having our first tomatoes of the year very soon.

Thrips continue to come back every week or so and are easily kept in check using the natural pesticide pyrethrum.

The strawberries fruit trusses have been clipped since the quality of the fruit is beginning to decline. We are now waiting for the next blossom initiation. To the left is an image showing the change in size of the crops from 6/09 to 7/07. Another row has been removed and the crops are in a vegetative state until temperatures decrease to 50 F at night.

 strawberry 1.jpgstrawberry 2.jpg

 

The beets are getting close to being done and the wet paper towels around the roots continue to do their job, keeping the beets from cracking. Paper towels are replaced every week.

beets 1.jpgbeets 2.jpg

The swiss chard and a few basil crops added more recently to the system on 6/9 are growing very well as expected.

Below you can see the change in crop size in the float bed from 6/26 to 7/07. As you can see, there has been a significant amount of growth in just the past 11 days. 

The basil and chard are doing very well and suffering a very minor Mn deficiency but no other issues. 

 float 1.jpgfloat 2.jpg

 


Outdoor Update:
Despite high winds the fruiting crops added to the outdoor grow bed have manifested very well. A couple tomato varieties as well as one cucumber and one cantaloupe are growing outdoors currently. More varieties will be added when the hydroponic NFT system is built for a direct three way comparison between aquaponics, hydro and outdoor grown crops.

 outdoor 1.jpgoutdoor 2.jpg

Topics: Aquaponics, Fish, Frasier