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PostPosted: Apr 30th, '08, 02:06 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Here is another gathering info thread started by TCLynx!

In my reading here on the forum I've learned that some plants are very sensitive to salt while others might not mind much. Please share your experiences with how different types of plants have reacted when exposed to salt. Important data point in this would be type of plant, and how much salt you had in and perhaps type of salt.

I've put in 3 ppt of solar water softener salt (sun/wind dehydrated brine or sea water I think)
Strawberries survived! I understand they are some of the more sensitive to salt type of plants so I'm happy to say they seem to have been fine with 3 ppt. Their position in the system keeps them shaded except for about 4 hours in the late afternoon. As far as I can tell, none of the plants seemed to be badly affected by the salt at 3 ppt with the possible exception of some stevia cuttings but I think they were having trouble anyway and the salt may have had nothing to do with their failure. There are some more healthy stevia plants in the system and they look great even with the salt.

Anyone have ideas for salt tolerant plants one could grow in a hospital system? If putting fish into a hospital system for 3 weeks, I don't really want to be constantly having to do big water changes with salty water in order to keep good water quality.

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PostPosted: Apr 30th, '08, 02:51 
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Some promising types of halophytes are presently being field tested; these include saltgrass, cordgrass, atriplex, salicornia, iodine bush, Jose wheatgrass, and perla. Several other halophytes, such as purslane, puccinellia, sesbania, orach, and several others are still being evaluated. For several weeks after planting, halophytes should be irrigated with good irrigation water to establish them well. After this period, halophytes tolerate drainage water with salt concentration even higher than EC 30 dS/m.
There are about 30- 40 varieties of rice that are salt tolerant and are currently being used where the Tsunami went inland and left the ground inundated with ocean salt.
Eucalyptus has been the most common salt-tolerant tree used for the management of salt and drainage. Newly planted trees need to be irrigated with non-saline or low-saline water
(< EC 6 dS/M). Once established, eucalyptus trees and other salt-tolerant crops can be successfully irrigated with drainage of about EC 8 to 12.
There has been some experimentation with seaweed but results have been poor so far. Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Apr 30th, '08, 03:02 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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purslane? Any particular variety or all? I understand it is supposed to be a very nutritious plant though the types I've tasted were not that appealing to me (they were variety's bread for their ornamental qualities.) I've got lots of the type with narrow fleshy leaves and small pink flowers growing all over my sandy yard!

Rice, I would be interested in that one too. Know any details or links offhand you could share about particular salt tolerant types?

Thanks for sharing this stuff.

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PostPosted: Apr 30th, '08, 03:28 
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Beets (Beta vulgaria sp.) are salt tolerent and can be irrigated with brackish water.
Mangrove plants are salt tolerant, fast growing and are supposed to be a good forage plant for ruminants.
Date Palms can also be grown using brackish water

Salt cedar is another tolerant WEED its invasive so probably isnt a good choice

Of the 5000 commonly propgated species in the world most cannot suvive with salt levels of +.5%, the majority of the others have major crop issues at +1.0 salt.

Some reading for you Saline Agriculture: Salt-Tolerant Plants for Developing Countries (1990)
Office of International Affairs (OIA)
http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?recor ... 89&page=R1

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PostPosted: Apr 30th, '08, 04:23 
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Common Purslane variety- Portulaca oleracea L. is for sure very tolerant but it looks that the plant in general is salt tolerant, although I'm sure there are some varieties that are more so. A word of caution, set up your system with guinea pig fish first, some plants may seem harmless but in reality can leach toxic chemicals into the water which wil kill your fish. Other than previous experimentation with Hawiian Lillies, I plan to stick to eatable crops, except for drain to waste for landscape or recycled water for a methane digester prototype. A good source of other plants are those that are listed to grow near the ocean. Wind carries a lot of salt spray and the soil is usually salty as well.
GRASSES
TOLERANT
Agropyron smithii - Western Wheatgrass
**Puccinellia spp. ñ alkaligrass
Portulaca grandiflora - Purslane

MODERATE TOLERANCE
Agropyron cristatum - Crested Wheatgrass
Agropyron riparium - Streambank Wheatgrass
Agropyron trachycaulum - Slender Wheatgrass
Bromus inermis - Smooth brome
Coronilla varia - Crownvetch
Dactylis glomerata - Orchardgrass
Elymus giganteus - Mammoth wildrye
**Empetrum spp. - Crowberry
Festuca arundinacea - Tall Fescue
Hedera helix ñ English Ivy
Iberis sempervirens ñ Evergreen Candytuft
Lolium perenne - Perennial ryegrass
Medicago sativa - Alfalfa
Melilotus officinalis - Yellow sweet clover
Phalaris arundinacea - Reed Canarygrass
Sedum acre ñ Goldmoss Stonecrop
Viola spp. - Violet

FLOWERS
HIGH TO MODERATE TOLERANCE
Antirrhinum spp. - Snapdragon
Geranium spp. ñ Geranium

MODERATE TOLERANCE
Buddleia spp. ñ Butterfly Bush
Calendula spp. ñ Marigold
Dianthus spp. ñ Pink
Hemerocallis spp. Daylily
Lotus corniculatus ñ Birdísfoot Trefoil
Oenothera biennis ñ Common Evening Primrose
Petunia axillaries ñ Large White Petunia
Vinca minor ñ Common Periwinkle

Some plants can do double duty for salt and heavy metal removal- it is not recommended to eat/feed these.
The concurrent effect of NaCl salinity and heavy metals [cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr) and nickel (Ni)] on growth, sodium (Na), and heavy metal accumulation was assessed in four salt tolerant plant species. These were: barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.), Inula crithmoides L., and Plantago coronopus L., all of which have documented potential for use in saline agriculture.
I have been doing a great deal of research on heavy metal removal from water- unfortunately our water quality is not great in a lot of areas (salt, boron in San Jouquin valley; mercury from gold mining and other nasties, arsnic for one, from timber logging; e-coli from cattle; even nitrate infiltration so bad, cities have closed wells) and my commercial system, which I have already designed, will need a lot of clean water and cheap level land- something that is rare anywhere in the state of California but California also has the best infrastructure to handle large volume produce production.

Here's a good source on salt tolerant rice. This a fairly new website so most people probably don't know about it yet.
International Rice Research Institute is a rice training and research centre, and is one of 15 centres funded by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, an association of public and private donors.
IRRI's genebank stocks about 100,000 strains of rice, about 40 of which can tolerate salty growing conditions.
As well as shipping rice to the tsunami affected farmers, IRRI is providing advice online about how to grow rice in tsunami-affected fields through its Rice Knowledge Bank. To help address the shortage of labor that the tsunami death toll caused, it also suggests ways of growing rice that rely on as few people as possible.
The website also includes guidance on wheat, rice, and corn and (available on compact discs) on safely storing grain.


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PostPosted: Apr 30th, '08, 04:34 
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Lots of great info there!

Any ideas on where/how one would buy salt tolerant rice seed in small quantity's in the US?

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PostPosted: Apr 30th, '08, 05:11 
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I don't know if this is for everyone or only those located in distressed areas but IRRI can provide small quantities (e.g., up to 2 kg) of saline-tolerant varieties such as PSBRc 48, PSBRc 50, PSBRc 84, PSBRc 86, PSBRc 88, and NSIC 106. Contact Dr. Edwin Javier (e.javier@cgiar.org) for more information.
Check what varieties are recommended and available from the local NARES or through IRRI. See list of NARES contacts.
It looks like most of the salt tolerant varieities are available in the Indo/China area.
In addition, I ran across this article-
Assessment of Salt Tolerance in Rice Cultivars in Response to Salinity Problems in California
A field survey and subsequent series of experiments were conducted to determine the range of salt tolerance among 11 cultivars of rice (Oryza sativa L.) that are common to northern California rice-growing areas. A field assessment made on several farms led to the conclusion that growth reduction and stand loss were correlated with high salinity in soil mud and water. Plants from saline basins had significantly higher concentrations of leaf Na+ and Cl– than those from less saline basins. Greenhouse studies were conducted in sand cultures and flooded with saline waters having average electrical conductivities of approximately 1 (control), 3, 11, 13, and 16 dS m–1. Salinity decreased emergence rates and final stand and led to reductions in shoot and root fresh and dry weights. At the highest salinity, shoot weights were 20% of the control after 17 d. Leaf tissues of plants grown at 16 dS m–1 had five times as much Na+ and three times as much Cl– as controls. Leaf concentration of K+ was decreased by about 40% by salinity, but tissue levels of Ca2+ and Mg2+ were unaffected. In a second experiment, salinity treatments were lowered to 0.8,1.6, 3.2, 6, 8, and 10 dS m–1. There were significant differences in growth rates related to cultivar, but relative salt tolerance differences were negligible, leading to the conclusion that genetic differences among the rice cultivars are limited.
These were all Northern Calif. varieities so if you can't get the rice seed from a source like IRRI, I would suggest just growing your local varieties and see what works best.


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PostPosted: Mar 18th, '11, 08:05 
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Has anyone done this, created a high-salt (on an AP scale) for a permanent hospital system? I've been contemplating it recently...

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PostPosted: Mar 19th, '11, 00:05 
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My celery can tolerate 4 ppt in my new system.


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PostPosted: Apr 2nd, '11, 21:21 
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It would be very interesting to have a salt-walter AP system, but I'm not sure if the salt content you are talking about is this high.


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PostPosted: Apr 2nd, '11, 21:51 
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Well the biggest challenge for a saltwater system on an AP scale is that there are not that many salt water plants for people to grow on that kind of scale or the plants to grow are not edible or they are seaweed.

And then with a "hospital" system, one doesn't really want to risk killing off the bio-filter and plants if they were to use any medication or antibiotic treatments. And then there is the point that what salt level would be appropriate for treatment will vary by fish type. Some aquaponic fish could be treated by moving them to sea water while other aquaponic fish types would probably not survive long term in 6 ppt of salt. Most of my plants survive just fine in the salt levels used to treat channel catfish since the MAX long term salt level for them is like 5 ppt and I've found that going over 3 ppt of salt on them seems to cause more stress than it helps so I only salt to about that level when treating my catfish anymore.

The biggest problem with hospital tanks is having a bio-filter cycled up for them when they are needed yet having it be one that you can sterilize and re-start as needed to avoid carrying previous diseases into a new population.

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PostPosted: Apr 24th, '11, 17:32 
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Interesting article and it is relevant to a visit we had from students who were researching setting up an AP system in the Indian Ocean. The premise was to use caged fish (Tuna) and pump the water up onto grow beds to grow plants, including rice.

As we had no experience of a salt water set up we had to use the little knowledge we had of standard AP systems to give advice. The sticking point was how to get useful bacteria to convert ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate for plants to grow and all our research showed that high levels of salt would destroy the bacteria. Another aspect was how to bring useful amounts of ammonia into a system ,as that produced by the fish would be washed away by the natural sea movement.

Bit of a poser. How about a few observations on that, please.

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PostPosted: Apr 24th, '11, 21:48 
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I can only tell you of my experiance with growing things in the soil.We had a good area on the farm that remained moist all summer so that was our summer garden .this area eventually went salt and the last couple of years the only things we could grow were water melons rock melons and onions.During the last couple of years that we used this area we grew the biggest onions that I have ever seen .Snake beans seemed to handle it fairly well till the end also.Puccinellia will grow on soil that has salt on the surface but dosen't like wet feet .Paspalum vaginatum well grow in water that salt that it will have salt cristals on the leaves but but I don't think I would want either of these in AP.

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PostPosted: Apr 25th, '11, 00:15 
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As you say, some plants will grow in salt affected soil but the puzzle is whether you could get any bacteria to live in an AP system as we know it. I am sure there must be bacteria which will tolerate high levels of salinity but could it be used productively for AP? That is the question. :scratch:

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PostPosted: Apr 25th, '11, 00:36 
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The principle nitrifying bacteria in saltwater... is nitrospira... and long known...

As it turns out.... it's also the principal nitrifier in freshwater as well.... not nitrobacter...

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