Stuppy Aquaponics Blog

System Update 4/26/17: Frasier

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Apr 26, 2017 2:30:00 PM

Frasier

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

04/19

7.25

0.25

N/A

0

225

76.5

45

1.28

04/24

7.15

0.25

N/A

0

225

76.5

35

1.25

04/24/17 -> Total Hardness: 350-360 mg/L CaCO3 equ
Calcium Level: 64 mg/L  Magnesium level: ~48 mg/L
Phosphate Level: ~ 25-30 mg/L (as PO4-)

Water Quality Overview: 

Nitrate levels are remaining constant while total hardness and EC are falling slightly. This is most likely due to the large addition of 45 gallons of source water on 4/23. It is significant enough to assume the system has reached the peak production capacity for now. The level of crops that can be supported in the system is more than we expected for the current feeding rate of 120 grams per day.

The pH is finally beginning to drop significantly with alkalinity levels dropping. Even with the addition of the source water(which has a higher pH levelof 8) the pH still managed to drop significantly. It shouldn’t be much longer that K2CO3 can be added to help raise the K levels.

The addition of the 700 grams of kelp powderhas made a significant difference in the concentration of trace nutrients. We have shipped out a water sample to see the concentration of all nutrients and compare them against our previous sample from 2 months ago. 

Fish Update:

The fish are doing well but with slower growth than anticipated. It is apparent now that the source of the fish is the source of the problem. The high quality tilapia recently added to the second system are feeding and growing better, already consuming slightly over 4% body weight.

The feeding rate for the Niles system is now at 120 grams/day. This is enough to sustain the crops in the system with a couple additions to correct the trace nutrient concentrations and increase K and P levels. It is quite surprising that the crops can be sustained on such a low feed amount. Tomatoes and cucumbers are still unable to pass seedling stage, suffering severe deficiencies, It will be some time until they can be added to the system. A lack of K seems to be the main source of the deficiencies.

In the first image below you can see what the fish tank looked like on 4/17 and in the second what it looked like on 4/24. The water has cleared up considerable since adding the kelp power which quickly dissolved nutrients into the system within the matter of a couple days.

 

Crop Update:

We have seen great improvements since the addition of the kelp powder. All previous trace nutrient deficiencies on the bean crops are nearly gone and even the K deficiency has let up quite a bit. 

 

Since the addition of 50 grams of super triple phosphate the growth of the strawberry crops also appears to have improved immensely. Nearly 75% of our strawberries now have flowers and some are even beginning to form fruit already.  The lower humidity since 4/19 (<50% humidity, 35% average) is causing some cracking on the lower ends of the beans but other than that they look very healthy. The humidity doesn’t appear to be affect any other crops in the system right now. 

You can see a dramatic change is strawberry crop size from 4/17  -> 4/24 . No more crops have died since our initial planting, a very good sign. 

Below is an image of the flowers that are being seen on many of the strawberry crops. All of the varieties appear to be doing well. The Earlyglow and the Sparkle are doing much better, even better than the Cabot variety which is now showing some Ca deficiency due to transpiration problems.

The peas are also flowering heavily and should be producing fruit very soon.

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Topics: Aquaponics, Plants, Fish

Aqueduct System Update(Frasier)

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Apr 20, 2017 11:30:00 AM

The Aquaponics Team has opted to nickname our original system "Frasier" becuase Scott has a terrible sense of humor. Moving forward you can distinguish which system we are talking about by the name used in the post title. 

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Topics: Aquaponics, Plants, Fish

Meet "Niles" our second in-house aqueduct

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Apr 19, 2017 2:30:00 PM

In some of our previous posts you may have noticed that we are building a second Aqueductsystem in our warehouse. This new system features a Float Bed Expansion rather than the NFT bench on our older system.  To help our readers identify which system we are talking about, we have decided to call this new system “Niles.”

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Topics: Aquaponics, Aqueduct Development, Plants, Fish

Leafy Greens in a Young Aquaponics System

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Feb 7, 2017 3:25:33 PM

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

01/30/17

7.6

0.25

Neg.

0

55

74

55

0.84

02/01/17

7.45

0.25

Neg.

0

-

73.5

55

0.86

02/03/17

7.55

0.25

Neg.

0

 

73.4

55

0.85

02/03/17 -> Total Hardness: 205 mg/L CaCO3 equ

Calcium Level: 35-40 mg/L            Magnesium level: ~26 mg/L

Phosphate Level: ~3 mg/L (as PO4-)

 

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality Overview: EC and nitrate levels are now remaining more or less constant likely because the arugula is beginning to have a significant effect on nutrient concentration. This will continue to be the case until the feeding rate is significantly increased and the arugula can't keep up with nutrient accumulation.  The pH is relatively high still but

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Topics: Aquaponics, Plants

Are the fish supplying enough nutrients to the aquaponics system?

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Jan 31, 2017 9:04:28 AM

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

01/20/16

7.8

0.25

Neg.

0

50

80

55

0.81

1/24/17

7.58

0.25

Neg.

0

55

73.4

55

0.83

1/25/17

7.5

0.25

Neg.

0

55

74.6

-

0.84

1/27/17

7.7

0.25

Neg.

0

50

74

60

0.82

01/25/17  -> Total Hardness: 205 mg/L CaCO3 equ

Calcium Level: 35-40 mg/L            Magnesium level: ~26 mg/L

Phosphate Level: ~3 mg/L (as PO4-)

 

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality Overview: Water quality is maintaining well and steadily nitrate levels are rising but it’s still not at a significant level. The arugula in the float bed is likely keeping levels more constant. pH is starting to be more affected by nitrification which is gaining momentum as more waste is produced and the feeding ratio goes up. pH is still fairly high though and until the pH drops to 7 ideal crop growth cannot occur; this is another reason why light feeders like arugula are used when starting the system and why its recommended to start fish between 10-50 grams and not less. The build-up of nitrifying bacteria has proven to be more than rapid enough to sustain transformation of waste from

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Topics: Aquaponics, Aqueduct Development, Plants, Water, Fish

Aqueduct Planting Schedule Guide

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Jan 27, 2017 3:05:13 PM

 

By: Conor Quinlan, Stuppy System Engineer

 

PROPAGATION:

 

OVERVIEW: Before crops go into the system they need to be sprouted from seeds into seedlings. It is recommended to propagate crops outside the system in a separate propagation tray because high nutrient levels can stress small seedling and cause early developmental issues. Seedlings also generally require higher humidity levels so a dome to place over the seedling helps keep

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Topics: Aquaponics, Plants

Aquaponics System Response to a Restart 1/18/2017

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Jan 23, 2017 11:39:17 AM

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

01/09/16

7.8

0.25

Neg.

~0.5

~40

76.8

55

0.73

1/11/17

7.8

0.25

Neg.

0.25

40

79.4

50

0.75

1/13/17

7.8

0.25

Neg.

0

45

76.7

50

0.77

1/16/17

7.64

0.25

Neg.

0

~50

77.8

50

.80

1/18/17

7.5

0.25

Neg

0

-

78.2

50

0.82

01/13/17  ->  Total Hardness: 195 mg/L CaCO3 equ

Calcium Level: 30-35 mg/L            Magnesium level: ~26 mg/L

Phosphate Level: ~3 mg/L (as PO4-)

 

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality Overview: It has been exactly one month since restarting the system and nitrification is more than significant enough to bring ammonia and nitrite levels down to well below 0.25 mg/L for the current given feeding rate of nearly 20 grams. Nitrate levels are slowly rising and should being increasing more substantially as the size of the tilapia and feeding rate increases. ph is finally beginning

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Topics: Aquaponics, Plants, Water, Fish

17 Day Old Aquaponics System: Fish, Water and Plants

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Jan 10, 2017 10:57:14 AM

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

12/30/16

7.8

0.25

Neg.

>5

40

76

50

0.72

1/03/17

7.8

0.25

Neg.

2

40

76

50

0.75

1/06/17

7.8

0.25

Neg.

0.25

45

76

55

0.71

01/03/17  -> 

Total Hardness: 185 mg/L CaCO3 equ.

Calcium Level: 35-40 mg/L  

Magnesium level: 20 mg/L

Phosphate Level: 3 mg/L (as PO4-)

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality Overview:  It has been 17 days since restarting the system and significant nitrification is now occurring. Ammonia levels starting dropping after 12/27, one week after restarting the system, and the nitrite levels started dropping after 12/30. Overall it took 10 days for the bacteria to effectively colonize and preform full nitrification. It’s plain that bacteria responsible for the

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Topics: Aquaponics, Plants, Water, Fish

Viral Infections in Aquaponics

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Dec 28, 2016 3:04:40 PM

VIRAL INFECTIONS:

(11/22) Unfortunately the only way to rid the system of a viral infection this vast is to remove all the affected crops and completely clean out the system.

There is only one way to stop a disease from getting into the system and that is by

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Topics: Aquaponics, Plants

Aquaponics System Update: Propagation/Bucket System

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Dec 13, 2016 2:48:24 PM

System Update – Propagation/Bucket Station: A new propagation station has been built and will automatically water crops that are left here over the weekends.

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Topics: Aquaponics, Plants