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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 4th, '13, 12:01 
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I've noticed my pH creeping up, 7.7 on my (calibrated) pH meter this morning, it was 7.0 on 26/4. I checked the rocks for fizz in vinegar, but no reaction, so no limestone there to cause the rise in pH. The Seasol I added a week or so ago is pH 9.0, but there was only 100ml of that, so not going to affect ~3600l currently in the system, and I cant see the ~1litre of worm juice with pH 9.1 making much of a difference either. That only leaves the 200-300ml of pee that has been added most days to cause most of the rise. The ~10litres of water from the bathtub with gold fish was pH 7.0.
Yesterday Ammonia was 0.5ppm, no nitrites, and nitrates just above zero, and water temp was 15.5 when I measured the pH this morning.

Graphs shows outside air and water temps since last Sunday night, water is CF for most of the time with a few 1 hour drains overnight and a couple of 30 min drains during the day, with 3 GBs now planted out. There is a high roof over the GBs, but no walls, so they are exposed to the outside air temps all the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 4th, '13, 15:22 
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Photo taken this afternoon of the layout so far. Still 3 more GBs to install, and some trees to put in here too, once I get some walls up for frost protection.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 4th, '13, 16:41 
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I am very interested to see this wax heat storage when you get it running :)

What did you use to data log your temps?

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 4th, '13, 17:29 
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I run a Davis VP2 weather station (the data is shown on my web page), I grabbed the outside temperature from it, and it is logged at 1 min intervals with Cumulus software. The water temps are logged at 5 mins (although I may start logging at 1 min in order to simplify showing both plots on 1 graph), with a USB data logger from Lascar. It is rated IP67, so I have it mounted up the end of a length of poly pipe, about 20cm under the FT water surface.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 7th, '13, 13:15 
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Yay! Nitrosomas sp. bacteria are finally doing their thing in sufficient numbers- Nitrites have made a definite appearance.
pH 7.8
Ammonia 1.0ppm
Nitrite 0.25ppm
Nitrate 5ppm (probably helped along a bit by worm juice)

Colours on the phone camera not quite as I see them, but not too far off

Attachment:
AP-tests20130507.jpg
AP-tests20130507.jpg [ 65.16 KiB | Viewed 3044 times ]


I've also started digging a second crater for the sump tank. I was going to leave the pump in the FT, but the amount of noise and vibration the pump (PU8000) makes in the FT has got to be annoying or unpleasant for the fish, and I'd prefer them to be as stree-free as possible, so I'm going to put it in the sump instead.

I know a couple of experienced APers have recenty posted in other threads that the noise isn't a problem for the fish, but I wonder if they have actually stuck their heads underwater and had a listen to the noise?
No?... I haven't either ;) but I have listed through a pipe with one end underwater... the pump isn't all that loud, but the pump itself and the outlet pipe have quite a strong vibration, which the fish would have no escape from.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 8th, '13, 16:48 
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Crater number 2 about half dug, this one for the ~2400 litre sump.

Attachment:
File comment: fisheye lens view
Crater2-20130508.jpg
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And this little beastie was dug up in the process, and lucky to not be injured by the pick or shovel - a Mouse Spider:

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 8th, '13, 17:27 
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If the ground around the FT gets wet you will be loosing a fair amount of heat and especially the base.
Don't get me wrong we have had a number of discussions on the forum (possibly a while back) of using phase change to store heat, I like it. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 8th, '13, 18:47 
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Yes water certainly increases the thermal conductivity of the soil, but I don't really see that as a big problem. A friend of mine did some testing of temperature variation vs depth, diurnally and annually, for a seismograph station, and some results are posted here:

http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/~map/weathe ... ofile.html

My 1m depth soil temperature range will probably be less than this, as my air temp variation is significantly less than at that site, particularly the winter minima, so I am hopeful that the evacuated tube system will be able to keep my winter water temps at a reasonable level over winter, so long as I can keep the GB losses low enough. The bottom of the FT is about 110cm down.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 8th, '13, 20:38 
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Dude that spider is freaky :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 9th, '13, 10:51 
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Tests just done show the water chemistry is progressing nicely :)
pH 7.8
Ammonia 1.0
Nitrite 1
Nitrate 5-10

The water in the FT is still fairly murky from the residual fines not washed off before they were put in the GBs, but I can see the bottom now. However, there is only about 2500l of water in the system ATM, so it is a fair bit shallower- the lost water being due to extra washing of clay balls and gravel in GBs, and used to soften the ground for crater #2.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 10th, '13, 17:09 
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6 garlics and 6 asparagas planted yesterday, not really sure how far down the bulbs and crowns should be, so I'll just have to see how they go.

The ambient light was looking a bit dim this morning, here's why:

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File comment: The view from here this morning
Eclipse20130510-800.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 10th, '13, 17:45 
What percentage (max) was it at your place??

Edited: just checked out your comet pics.... what's your gear??


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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 10th, '13, 18:32 
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A bit under 50% here, but that photo was a bit after maximum.

It was taken through my home made 25cm f/4.1 Newtonian with a Nikon D200, but I also have a 46cm f/5.4 that I built about 15 years ago.
Many of the comet photos were taken with standard Nikon lenses.

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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 11th, '13, 08:25 
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Nitrosomonas getting stuck right into their job, Nitrites spiked up to ~5ppm, up from 1ppm 2 days ago.

pH 7.8
Ammonia 1
Nitrites ~5
Nitrates 5

Attachment:
File comment: 11/5/2013 water chemistry tests
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 Post subject: Re: Gordon's Crater
PostPosted: May 11th, '13, 10:17 
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Not quite 2 weeks since I planted the chard, and just over 1 week since this cauliflower went in, and they are going very well so far. I've been removing Cabbage White Butterfly eggs from the cabbage and cauliflowers nearly every day, so there hasn't been too much leaf munching going on. I might hit them with some Dipel if they start depositing too many eggs.

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