Stuppy Aquaponics Blog

Aquaponics Systems Today 11/08/2016: Mg deficiency, CaCO3 issue, Outside vs System Crop Comparison, New Pesticide, Blue Light Effects and New System Setup

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Nov 9, 2016 8:48:24 AM

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

11/8/16

6.7- 6.8

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

72.2

33.5

2.01

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: In addition to the 250 grams of CaCO3 added on 11/4 I added 300 more grams yesterday and the pH has begun to stabilize around 6.8 again. The change in pH is still proportional to the change in alkalinity and therefore they may act as indicators for each other in a given solution.

Since the increase in fish feed, to 240 grams per day, completed on 11/2, the EC has only risen slightly from 1.86 to 2.01 and appears to be slowing more indicating that the nutrient uptake is increasing. This makes sense particularly as the kale crops grow larger. This feeding regiment seems satisfactory for now.

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Topics: Aquaponics, Water, System Maintenance

What Does the Media in an Aquaponics System Contain after 6 months of running the System?

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Oct 25, 2016 12:18:03 PM

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

10/04/16

 7.2

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

74.4

37.5

1.67

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: So far, since the draining on Thursday, the water quality has been maintaining a more ideal pH for aquaponics and it looks as though this stability could last for far longer than in the past. This is likely due to the higher alkalinity achieved after draining the system and adding CaCO3. Unfortunately the alkalinity is still too low to maintain these water quality conditions for long due to the high permanent hardness levels of the source water being used. The use of source water with low permanent hardness would likely result in higher alkalinities being maintained and less water needing to be drained. Further testing will need to be done in the near future

New Information:

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Topics: Aquaponics, Plants, System Maintenance

Aquaponics System Today 09/23/2016: IPM, CaCO3, and Mg

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Sep 27, 2016 12:26:39 PM

 

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

9/23/16

 6.6 -> 6.8

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

82.3

22.5 -> 42.5

2.24

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining very well. Now that the alkalinity is 22.5 mg/L it is once again time to add more CaCO3 after exactly one week. The system water is extremely hard with a total hardness of over 1200 mg/L however the amount of Mg and Ca is almost the same (Ca = 190 mg/L, Mg = 200 mg/L) which is a good sign that the system is balanced and the elements won’t be limiting each other. At these high hardness levels maintaining an alkalinity between 22.5 mg/L and 45 mg/L with 350 g of CaCO3 seems to be an effective way to keep pH and nitrification stable, however at some point the system will need to be drained to bring down the hardness and enable better dissolving of CaCO3 allowing for alkalinities greater than 50 mg/L. Overall it appears that Mg is what really builds up in our system instead of Ca as the source water contains higher concentrations of Mg than Ca and Ca uptake is generally much greater than Mg uptake. .

Follow-Up:

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Topics: Aquaponics, Water, System Maintenance

Aquaponics System Insect Presence, Heater Layout and New Lighting

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Sep 27, 2016 12:21:09 PM

 

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

9/22/16

 6.6

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

82.3

25 mg

2.24

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining very well. As expected the pH is now beginning to drop around an alkalinity of 25 mg/L. Seems to be a pretty effective indicator of when to add more CaCO3. As the alkalinity approaches 20 mg/L and drops below 6.5 more will be added. The 350 gram addition looks like it will last about a week. An insect called springtails was seen in the media bed today and likely contributed to the breakdown of organic material in the water.

New Information:

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Topics: Aquaponics, Aqueduct Development, System Maintenance

Aquaponics System Today 09/15/16: Work around for Mg Levels, Testing Phosphates and Environmental Stress vs K Deficiency

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Sep 16, 2016 12:32:50 PM

 

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

9/14/16

 6.5

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

76.3

23

2.19

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining very well. pH is still maintaining around 6.5-6.6 and alkalinity has still not dropped much, looks like I’ve hit a good buffer zone.  I will be continuing to observe how long this stability lasts before adding more CaCO3. Thus far it has been 9 days since any addition has been added.

I have received most of the testing kits I need to determine the majority of system parameters. I will begin adding more results particularly from nutrient tests and analyzing them regularly to gain a better understanding about the nutrient profile of the solution.

Follow-Ups:

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Topics: Aquaponics, Water, System Maintenance

Aquaponics System Today 09/01/16: Iron Deficiency, Thrips and CaCO3 precipitate

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Sep 2, 2016 10:58:19 AM

09/01/16

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

9/1/16

 6.8

0.25

Negligible

<0.25

>160

77.8

40

2.02

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining very well. pH is still maintaining between 6.7 - 6.8 with just CaCO3. I will be observing how long this buffer lasts from this point. The Ammonia/Nitrite concentration are still very low which means that nitrification is occurring at a quick enough rate to remove any excess ammonia/nitrite

Follow-Ups:

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Topics: Aquaponics, Plants, System Maintenance

Aquaponics System Today 08/31/16: Is KOH needed?

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Sep 2, 2016 10:32:47 AM

08/30/16

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

8/31/16

 6.7

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

81.4

40 -> 40

1.99

 

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining very well. pH is maintaining between 6.7 - 6.8 with just CaCO3. I will be adding more CaCO3 today to observe the effects of a maximized dose. I’m hoping this will bring up the alkalinity near 100 mg/L.

Follow-Ups:

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Topics: Aquaponics, System Maintenance

Aquaponics System Today 08/25/16: Adding Iron Chelate, Nitrification Slowing at pH 6.6 and Sensing Unit Update

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Aug 26, 2016 2:44:07 PM

08/25/16

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

8/25/16

6.6 -> 7

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

80.1

10 -> 40

1.85

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining very well in the aquaponics system. Increased feed is still not having any affect on ammonia concentration so the current feed amount of 210 g/day will remain until EC starts to drop; EC is still steadily rising. pH was 6.6 this morning and today will be maintained with KOH and CaCO3.

Follow-Ups:

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Topics: Aquaponics, Water, System Maintenance

Cycling Water in Aquaponics Systems

Posted by Phil Bishop on Mar 9, 2016 1:02:03 PM

Cycling is the process of building colonies of bacteria.  These bacteria use fish waste, ammonia, and turn it into useable plant food.  Bacteria and ammonia are always present in the environment, but the small amount of ammonia naturally available to the bacteria keep the colonies small.  Once there is an increase in ammonia, from the fish, the colonies will start to replicate at greater rates.  Water testing is necessary in order to follow the progression of bacteria growth and should be done every couple days until the system is fully cycled.

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Topics: Aquaponics, Water, System Maintenance

Aquaponics Water Sourcing

Posted by Phil Bishop on Mar 9, 2016 12:08:00 PM

Clean, disease and pest free water is a major factor in setting up an aquaponics system for success.  Clean water reduces the chances of having to treat serious disease and pest outbreaks.  Think of it as the difference between putting clean gas vs dirty gas into your car.  The car may run on the dirty gas but after a while problems may arise, not always, but the risk is great enough to take the precautions of using clean gas. 

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Topics: Aquaponics, Water, System Maintenance