Stuppy Aquaponics Blog

Aquaponics System Today 10/07/2016: pH-Alk-Hardness, Basil, Fish Harvest and Algae

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Oct 25, 2016 12:29:37 PM

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

10/07/16

 7.2

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

72.4

35

1.69

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Over the past 5 days the pH and alkalinity appear to be staying constant at 7.2 and 35 mg/L instead of a pH of 6.8 and alkalinity of 22.5 mg/L which was all that could be maintained before draining the system. I believe this is due primarily to the lower hardness of the aquaponics system after draining and less importantly the high pH of the source water. Once the hardness of the system makes its way back up to over 1200 mg/L I hypothesis the pH and alkalinity will drop back down to 6.8 and 22.5 mg/L. The use of source water with low permanent hardness would likely result in higher alkalinities being maintained and less water needing to be drained. Algae are becoming more of a problem now that the better lighting has been installed. Solutions will have to be research in the near future

Follow-Up:  

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Topics: Aquaponics, Plants, Water, Fish

Aquaponics System Today 09/30/2016: Partial System Drain, Water Testing, CaCO3, Harvesting and LED's

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Sep 30, 2016 12:07:35 PM

 

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining well. The system was finally drained and fully tested on Thursday. CaCO3 was then added to determine how the parameters would be affected now that a significant portion of the system has been drained.

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

9/30/16

 6.6 -> 7.2

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160 -> >160

74.4

23 -> 36

2.43 -> 1.48

Follow-up:

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Topics: Aquaponics, Aqueduct Development, Plants, Water

Aquaponics System Today 09/26/2016: Partial Draining of System and Adding Cool Season Crops

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Sep 27, 2016 12:37:59 PM

 

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

9/26/16

 6.7-6.8

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

75.7

30

2.35

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining well. Everything is moving forward as expected since adding the CaCO3. I believe I have reached a good equilibrium with the system. Other than that there is nothing new to report today.

I will discuss some information about draining the system because it is different from what has been observed in others.

New Information:

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Topics: Aquaponics, Plants, Water

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 Systems Today 09/21/2016: Cont. Water Hardness Concentrations

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Sep 27, 2016 12:09:46 PM

 

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

9/21/16

 6.7

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

81.7

26 mg

2.23

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining very well. The 350 gram addition of CaCO3 is providing the stability that was expected. Alkalinity levels are reacting as expected, now that the value is closer to 25 mg/L I expect the decrease in alkalinity to slow and the pH to drop slightly resulting in greater dissolving of CaCO3 into solution.

This post I will be discussing a calculation method that utilizes the results of total hardness, alkalinity and Ca tests to determine the concentrations of Mg and the proportion of temporary to permanent hardness within the solution caused by Ca and Mg.

Follow-Up:

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Topics: Aquaponics, Water

Aquaponics System Today 09/20/2016: Indepth Look at Ca, Mg and Water Hardness

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Sep 27, 2016 12:03:17 PM

 

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

9/20/16

 6.7

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

81

26 mg

2.19

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining very well. The 350 gram addition of CaCO3 is providing the stability that was expected. Alkalinity levels are reacting as expected, now that the value is closer to 25 mg/L I expect the decrease in alkalinity to slow and the pH to drop slightly resulting in greater dissolving of CaCO3 into solution.

This post I will be discussing a calculation method that utilizes the results of total hardness, alkalinity and Ca tests to determine the concentrations of Mg and the proportion of temporary to permanent hardness within the solution caused by Ca and Mg.

New Information:

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Topics: Aquaponics, Water

Aquaponics System Today 09/19/2016: Calcium, Potassium and Lighting

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Sep 20, 2016 9:00:51 AM

 

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

9/19/16

 6.7

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

77.7

30 mg

2.24

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining very well. The 350 gram addition of CaCO3 is providing the stability that was expected. Alkalinity levels have dropped very fast over the weekend from 45 mg/L to 30 mg/L. Why this decreases so quickly at these slightly higher values is unknown but as the alkalinity gets lower the rate slows more and more until it seems to settle around 22-25 mg/L before more CaCO3 needs adding.

The potassium test was received today, from salifert, and as far as I can tell it works with fresh water. Potassium will be tested weekly or so to determine if it is ever deficient. Besides Iron, potassium is the most limited nutrient generally in aquaponics

Follow Up:

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Topics: Aquaponics, Aqueduct Development, Water

Aquaponics Systems Today 09/16/2016: Irrigation Design, Ca, Change in Lighting and Harvesting Butterhead

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Sep 16, 2016 3:57:28 PM

 

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

9/16/16

 6.5

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

76.9

22.5

2.22

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining very well. pH is still maintaining but closer to 6.5-6.4 now and alkalinity has still not dropped much. A 350 gram addition of CaCO3 will be made today and a calcium and alkalinity test will be completed to get a better understanding of how much of the added CaCO3 is dissolving. The 700 gram addition lasted 10 days, longer than anticipated.

New Information:

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Topics: irrigation, Aqueduct Development, Plants, Water

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 09/14/16: Wacky Fish Weights, Ca Build Up and Possible Need for Alkalinity Supplement (K2CO3)

Posted by Conor Quinlan on Sep 14, 2016 1:25:29 PM

 

 

 

Nitrogen (mg/L)

 

 

 

Date

pH

Total Ammonia

Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

Temp (Fo)

Alkalinity

mg/L

EC (mS)

9/14/16

 6.5-6.6

0.25

Negligible

0.25

>160

77.6

24

2.16

By: Conor Quinlan

Water Quality: Maintaining very well. Surprisingly pH is still maintaining around 6.5-6.6 and alkalinity has still not dropped in two days, why this is the case is not known but it may be CaCO3 that did not fully dissolve upon being added is now dissolving at the lower pH into solution keeping alkalinity stable.  I will be continuing to observe how long this stability lasts before adding more CaCO3.

Follow-Ups:

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Topics: Aquaponics, Water, Fish