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PostPosted: Jan 8th, '20, 05:40 
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Future Grow Test Plans


After seeing how much my transplants have fallen behind compared to the lettuce that was the same size in the other bed (Now encroaching 3x the size)... I have decided to perform a series of grow tests to maximize production. Let me explain what I plan... and ask for suggestions!

Take a look at the root mass on the Newest set of transplants that I just planted down in my new seedling area (IMG 1443).

Now take a look at the root mass on my old/larger transplants that I moved in the bed up above (IMG 1403).

Those older transplants were much larger when removed from the bed. However, their root mass isn't all that much larger since I ripped so many of the roots when pulling them up at that stage.

Because of this I deduced already that performing this process earlier in life will be majorly beneficial. Hence why I will be transplanting these plants much younger in life.

Anyways, I am now curious if...
1) I were to grow directly from seed and just thin the plants after germination. Would they POSSIBLY be either equal to - OR surpass even these younger transplants (like the ones in the new tray)?
a. If... by harvest time... they were even just "Close" to the same size. I would surmise it to not be worth the extra effort and energy. I would use that space to grow fruit tree clones or plants for the future outside garden.
b. What about taste and plant lifespan before needing to be replaced? Would those be better if the plants weren't stressed out from being moved repeatedly?

Since I am now in a more controlled environment. With controlled light, even nutrients (Though I could spike the starts in the bottom tray with things like sea kelp powder), and with similar temps. I can now much more easily perfect the growing of my plants. I no doubt will have to learn to deal with pests indoors.

I was reading up on Grand Rapids lettuce just yesterday. According to the site in the following link... this type of lettuce can be grow for up to 7 MONTHs before it starts to bolt if conditions are right. Are there many kinds of lettuce like this out there?

https://natureandnurtureseeds.com/products/grand-rapids

If so, My system should be able to definitely be able to produce more than enough lettuce for the family. Cut and come again types can be some heavy producers since they don't have to re-grow a new root system every harvest like head type lettuces. Perhaps I will be able to grow several rows of each type... but staggered in time sequentially.

I plant to play around with this a little. I will post up some pics in the future. I actually have the first version of this test already going! When I was planting out the new tray the other day I left a few seedlings behind in the other grow bed.

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PostPosted: Jan 9th, '20, 06:29 
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This dude just taught me a LOT about how different light wavelengths/colors effect plants. I will post it here for watching again later so I can soak it into my long term memory. Looks like man kind is still learning. lol

https://youtu.be/sS7aAcacfgk

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PostPosted: Jan 11th, '20, 22:31 
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I just found a LED grow light setup on Amazon that is at a pretty decent price for what you get. Ordered a single light to put on my 4 lemon trees, herbs, and clones during the Winter.

That being said, during the Summer I may swap out one of the upper Aquaponic system lights with one of these. They not only put out a TON more light (allegedly) than my current setup... they also offer a SUPER BROAD color spectrum that spans well into the UVA and UVB range on one side and the IR range on the other side. Which, can allegedly spike growth even further. I am thinking of having strawberries... with kale as an upper canopy.

Some of the user reviews say that they use them to grow out tomatoes to maturity and everything with them. They do offer the Same Light with a color spectrum more oriented towards blooming plants though too.

Just look at their light specs/tests down below. That is many orders of magnitudes better than fluorescent ever was.

What is cool about having a grow-oriented light... is that there are two switches so I can cut power consumption in half. Doing so with this light... would bring it down to about the same level as my current lights. lol

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CG ... L69F&psc=1


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PostPosted: Jan 11th, '20, 23:16 
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Time for some update pics... and time to organize the other bed soon.

Just snapped some pics. One is an update of the growth of that Black-eyed Susan from 2.5 weeks ago (old pic if 1st pic down below). It is a pretty good representation of how much growth all of the plants in the bed have put on. These lights look like they will work pretty good!

The last pic is a "Before" shot of the bed before I rip everything up. It is a beautiful polyculture going on in there. However, I want to get the flowers adapted to soil well before Spring so they can go out into the yard. All of the strawberries will be put into rows. So many of the plants will be going into shock for a while. I have gotten dozens of flowers from them so far. Well.. that is just off of 3 of them. The rest are to young to flower for now.

Just look how much the plant grew in just 2.5 weeks. It is already shading out the plants next to it.


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PostPosted: Jan 12th, '20, 21:41 
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Light Spectrum - How it effects your plants

I just finished watching this video series and just have to share. I have been gardening for many years now and still managed to learn a LOT.

The knowledge gained from this series will help you with things like better seed germination, Bigger leaves on lettuce, more flavor in herbs, better grafts and clones, etc, etc!

This really is some must-have knowledge if you are in pursuit of growing good plants. It can be applied to more than just indoor plants too! It will help you to better determine proper micro-climates for plants outdoors and in the garden.




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PostPosted: Jan 14th, '20, 05:57 
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Babies!

Today I noticed that there were little dots stuck to things all over the place in the tank. Scraped a few off and put into my hand and realized that they were fish eggs!

The kids got excited. Every single piece of fake plant/tube/etc has eggs on them. We just ran out and bought a 20Gal tank to throw the plants into. The fish are quickly picking away at the eggs. One of the plants probably has thousand of eggs in it.

Looked it up and it turns out that me adding more light, the massive fake plants into the fish tank, the freak warm weather (around 70 to 75F) the last few days, and the extra feed I gave them over the last week gave them what they needed to throw out some eggs.

Anyways, I am now going to set up the tank on either the table or shelf in the garage. Topping it off with aquaponics water at first and then rain water there after.

Perhaps within a year I will have a ton of free goldfish to throw into a larger system out in the greenhouse I want to build. Cool.

Also read that goldfish come from Prussian Carp. Saw that folks sell them at the fish market for consumption over in China. Probably won't do that... just for sale and for gifts. Plenty of water fresh/or salt in my area to catch wild by kayak.

I will put up pics later if it turns out the eggs really are fertilized and make it. Should take 4 to 7 days... but cold weather is headed back my way. May take longer. The garage will start slipping down to the upper 50s at night.

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PostPosted: Jan 14th, '20, 12:33 
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:geek: :geek: Congratulations :geek: :geek:


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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '20, 07:22 
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Asitis wrote:
:geek: :geek: Congratulations :geek: :geek:



Thanks! lol

Even if none of them hatch... it is already a great life experience for the kids.



Update pics on the second bed in my system... and the new light that arrived.

I ended up pulling...

1) 20 Strawberry crowns. Even after snipping off dozens of runners. Planted most back into the bed in two rows. Put 6 out under different trees in the yard. Put some baby kale plants back in between the rows.

2) Pulled 18 Purple coneflowers and 19 Black-eyed Susans. Most have been potted up. Several of each flower type were extremely small and buried. They have been placed back into the aquaponics system for further growing for another month or two.


Also, I got the new $90 grow light in the mail from Amazon today. Did a temp install onto the strawberry area and it is AMAZING. I turned off HALF of the lights and it is still brighter than my other ones... which are already pretty darn bright.

Noticed that they do emit downwards IR heat... which makes since. They do emit light into the IR light band range... as well as the opposite/UV spectrum.

I now believe the Amazon user reviews that stated that they were able to grow tomatoes to full of fruit maturity with this light. At half power the light still pulls around 100W. Which is 40W more than my home made grow lights. At full power it will pull 200W allegedly... which is about 3 and 1/3 times more wattage than my first lights. It is about that much brighter as well!

I kind of want to order a second one to permanently install above the strawberries. I would be able to grow something tall in there and still be able to provide ample light for all.

Anyways, Pics!!! The last two are of the new light temp. installed above the strawberries.


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PostPosted: Jan 18th, '20, 12:46 
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Baby Fry have arrived:

I moved all of the fake plants into a 20gal tank yesterday morning.

By the time I went to bed last night I counted at least 98 fry (that I could see) that had hatched. They were sitting still.

This morning I woke up and saw at least 3x more than the night before. Them things are a lot more active now.

I read that they will live off of yolk for a few days and then begin to feed. 90% usually don't make it... but have a feeling that is with fancy goldfish... not the stronger swimmer/pond types like I have. Some of them are already acting like little rockets in there. They are about the size of a mosquito larvae right now (length) but about 1/3 as thick.

I swear I thought I would only get a few from the eggs. Turns out the properly fertilized eggs are VERY hard to see. I am a newbie at this... so hopefully not too many will survive. I may be putting up an add on craigslist in the "Free" section in a month or two. lol

This would be more awesome if I had the greenhouse already built. Then I could just build that larger aquaponics system I want to have... and then have some free fish to throw in there. I suspect this won't be the only batch of eggs this year though. There are at least 3 other goldies that look like they are ready to pop as well. lol

EDIT:

Apparently non-fancy type goldfish can live for up to OVER 40 years! Fancy types typically only go 5 to 10.

https://puregoldfish.com/lifespan/

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PostPosted: Jan 18th, '20, 22:21 
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Goldfish:

Since my goldfish spawned in my aquaponics system I have been reading up on the species. Just thought I would share some basic knowledge for those considering working with this species.

Goldfish were originally kept as an aquaculture food source! Yep.

Starting around 200 A.D. in china as food. These fish are believed to be descendants of Prussian Carp.

Goldfish are omnivores and will eat pretty much anything that will fit into their mouths.

The non-facy varieties can liver for more than 40 years. The fancy types only 5 to 10 years.

They can handle ph from down around 6.0 up to above 7.5.

They can handle extremely warm water... or live under ice.

They get to around 14" long and several pounds. Breeding after 2 years of age... up to several times a year.

Perhaps these are a great fish for your needs! These little scavengers will assist keeping algae at bay and pretty much everything else as well.

https://youtu.be/fKlPaFCaGFs

https://youtu.be/Ahnr94mX_vM

https://youtu.be/W2Xd2tAFJgM

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PostPosted: Jan 19th, '20, 23:40 
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Just a pic of the fry. They are becoming stronger swimmers now and starting to look more like fish already.

Their yolks are just getting finished off... and some of them are just starting to eat.

The kids are loving this!


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PostPosted: Jan 24th, '20, 06:04 
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Pic Update:

It has now been a few weeks since I put up the last pic of the lettuce. It went through shock for a week and a half or so. Started taking off about a week and a half ago. Looking good now!

Getting ready to start picking off leaves soon for the wife.


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PostPosted: Jan 24th, '20, 23:49 
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looks good :thumbright:

Can I ask;
What is your Nitrate reading?

The light green lettuce,what is it?

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PostPosted: Jan 25th, '20, 03:01 
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Thanks!

My Nitrates are usually always pegged out to the max... or nearly maxed out on my API master test kit.

So say... 80ppm or more.

The light green lettuce is "Black Seeded Simpson".

I saw a dude in a YouTube vid a while ago that claimed his "Grand Rapids" lettuce blew his other types out of the water in growth rate. Saw another place claiming that you can have cut-come-again for up to 7 months with it as well. So long story short I am now germinating some of that to try next. lol


EDIT:

I just want to add that...

I aim to feed @ around 13 grams per day in my 1 square meter of grow beds. The kids tend to add more when they are in there though.

Water temp has been hovering around 60F +/- 5F.

Though it did approach 70F for a few days... which induced the spawning of my goldfish.

The plants were in transplant shock for around 1.5 weeks or so. All that growth has happened in the last week or two. Pretty decent. Once I start cutting... and it "comes again"... it should be faster since the root structure will now be well established.

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PostPosted: Jan 25th, '20, 04:38 
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They look delicious... the lettuce that is... not the fry :D.

The fry are the cutest things that I have ever seen, that doesn't have fur and puppy dog eyes :thumbright: . The kids would certainly be enjoying watching the babies grow. I can appreciate how hard it would be to stop them over feeding the fish , just trying to 'help'.

Thanks for the update.


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