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 Post subject: PeePonics
PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 00:24 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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I've seen a fair bit of interest (perhaps just curiosity) from people about doing such a urine input system. (I've even seen talk of it in Hydroponics sites.)

So far it doesn't seem that (other than initial cycling and perhaps occasional inputs) anyone on this site is actually doing this full on. Ok, I'm not that shy, I'm keen on experiments. I have an old Hydro system running outside but not really doing much with it at the moment. I'll see how I do at converting it over to a PeePonic system.

I've already got the nutrient tank sunk into the ground (it gets hot here in summer and between that and shading I was hoping to keep things cool enough.) It has a float valve to top it up with more water when needed (I've killed a pump and all my plants by running dry before.) The current pump isn't a very powerful pond pump so I think I would like to keep it running all the time and perhaps set up a header tank with some flouts that I've seen experimented with on this forum. I think the drain out from those F & D beds will probably be from some sort of siphon and will drain directly back to the main tank. This way I don't need any extra pumps or electronics. Since I'm not putting fish in the main tank I only need to keep the level high enough to keep the pump submerged.

I'll probably keep a couple continuous modified NFT troughs (open top troughs with media in them) since I have them. I will want to add at least a couple larger F & D beds with an appropriate gravel like media to improve the bacteria growth.

Testing, hum, for the current Hydro systems I'm running I use test strips for the pH and I have an EC meter (bluelab truncheon). Does an EC meter work at all for checking anything in Aquaponics? My understanding is it measures the conductivity from the salts in Hydroponics but I suspect it may be pretty useless for Aqua or pee ponics. So, I expect I need to get testing supplies for the amonia, nitrite and nitrate. I've used such tests when I built an ornamental pond for my cousin. I don't want tests that are going to cost me huge money on a monthly basis. I want them to be relatively accurate. Anything that is going to go bad after sitting in a non-temp controlled place for a few months is probably not a good idea either. Are the test strips really so in-accurate? I find lots of little test tubes and dropper bottles kind of fiddely to deal with and sometimes hard to read out in bright sun.

If all this works well in an outdoor system (plants do well and no offensive smells), I will look into converting my indoor lettuce system which is currently a DWC bubble box in an ice chest.

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 00:56 
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Hey TC, yes on the ammonia nitrite and nitrate tests, and yes on the drip tests no on the strip tests. I guess the main thing that is different than hydro is that you need your bacteria colony to convert the pee to nitrate whereas this is not part of a hydro setup. Add plenty of aeration. Sand may have trouble draining dry enough to stay aerobic. Add a little boy statue peeing into the nutrient tank for ambience.

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 02:08 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Ok, so while I am looking into larger amounts of appropriate media and testing kits, I've set up two of my old little solar powered gurgle gardens with some gravel I found. I will dose both with a small amount of urine so I will have something to do some testing on when I get the testing supplies. Hopefully this will also get me some bacteria colonies started that I can kick start a bigger system with once I have parts and plumbing done.

The solar powered gurgle gardens are kinda neat but if the sun isn't bright, the gurgling stops. I have grown some nice snow peas and chinese kale in these with hydroponic nutrient and perlite but having the grow bed resting directly on top of the nutrient tank makes accessing the nutrient a pain. Anyway, I have them and they can run while I work on the other stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: PeePonics
PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 03:21 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Random testing.

I happen to have one of those soil test kits here at the house with the tabs that disolve in the test tube with water and the soil. I know this is unlikely to be very accurate for anything but, if anyone is interested, here are the results I got.

Fresh urine
pH test strip- pH 7ish
Nitrate-Low
Phosporus-Medium
Potassium-High

:oops: ok icky bit look away if you don't like icky bits :oops:

Aged urine (several days in a old juice jug)
Eeeewwwww Stinky when opened and seems to be growing some stuff.

pH test strip- pH 9-10
Nitrate-Medium
Phosporus- no reading color clear, no blue at all to match to the hi, med or low (I wonder if the ucky stuff growing ate the potassium or just changed it to an unreadable form.)
Potassium-High

These tests are about as unreliable for soil too but I have them so figured I'd use some of it up instead of just tossing out unused.

The interesting thing about urine is, it can be quite variable. Different pH depending on time of day, diet and metabolism. Different nutrient contents depending on vitamins, diet, health, and metabolism. Using urine for your plants is a good incentive to cut down on salt in one's diet.

Anyway, Can some one make some recommendations about test kits and what type of pricing is in line? I found some while searching the internet and the price range is rather extreme. (is $36 appropriate for The master kit includes tests for pH, hardness, ammonia and nitrite/nitrate. Enough reagents for 70 tests of each parameter?)

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 03:39 
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http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/11391/product.web

$19 plus shipping

Become master of your freshwater aquarium's water quality with the Master Test Kit! This complete kit includes 250 pH (6.0-7.6), 160 high-range PH (7.4-8.8), 130 ammonia, 110 nitrite, and 90 nitrate tests, as well as four glass test tubes with caps. Easy-to-read results with helpful instructions and color charts are also included to make your water testing simple.

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 08:12 
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TC

Urine is usually sterile when it leaves the body, however it will deteriorate quickly. I would sugest aeging it is not a good idea.
Just try typing Human urine into wicki and also urea, very interesting read :)


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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 13:38 
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Aging or storing urine tends to allow a certain amount of urea to become ammonia which is generally not a good idea in a sealed container or in a place without adequate ventalation.

Personally, I don't like letting it age just because it smells really nasty that way.

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 15:24 
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Has anyone considered the fact that urine is one of the body's waste disposal systems...not only ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, proteins, etc, but also drugs and their metabolites. If you want 'organic' food, don't add waste drugs such as antibiotics, steroids, even in trace amounts. Sure, much of it is already non-toxic, but there is still measurable amounts of drug that is excreted. A big objection to Toowoomba not going ahead with a water recycling plant in this drought was this very issue, and that was with very expensive purifying and distilling treatment of effluent. Sure, go ahead if you don't take any drugs (prescription or otherwise), but just be aware of the input that your doctor may be having on your 'clean' 'organic' system.

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 20:35 
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hate to go off topic but SNAG all of the above problems would be removed using reverse osmosis systems and as long as tehy add back some minerals then the treated water would be of a BETTER quality than what is currently delivered ( or it would be at least better than what we get here in perth :( )

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 20:38 
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Good point Snag

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 20:46 
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Delgrade wrote:
hate to go off topic but SNAG all of the above problems would be removed using reverse osmosis systems and as long as tehy add back some minerals then the treated water would be of a BETTER quality than what is currently delivered ( or it would be at least better than what we get here in perth :( )

Cheers


True, Del, the science does assure us that all ( to all practical purposes) contaminants are removed but that is not my point. People are concerned about what goes into their bodies in water and by association, food. Recycling of human waste was a very emotive and sensitive issue for many people in Toowoomba and it would not be a good time to associate ap with urine!!!
I have drunk Perth water, there is a case for drinking your own here!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 21:14 
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Too true SNAG it sure can be bad some times conductivity ( not a reall qualty issue for drinking but causes problems in industry ) gets over 1000 milli seimiens sometimes but its normaly about 800
its also more often than not hard and full of disolved Iron

still they say its good enough to drink so we have to put up with it

sorry for the tanngent :)


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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 21:19 
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Hey, here is a cooky idea!

since we're looking at recycling dunny water it follows that most (all) of the water reclaimed will be the flush component (and besides last time i checked RO output is only a fraction of water throughput. but anyway, why dont all regions within X kms of costal regions put in a distribution system to use sea water to flush dunnies?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 21:29 
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Understand there's already a plan underway for the Eastern seaboard Steve.....

It's called "rising sealevels" ..... :lol:

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '07, 22:03 
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LOL. it just seem to be cutting out the middle man.

use drinkng water to flush your dunny then recycle that to drink or de-sal sea water to flush...............

why not just cout out the middleman and flush salt water?

Surely the price of the de-sal plant (capital and running) would go some way to providing the infrastructure to make this idea viable?

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