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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 4th, '13, 19:18 
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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 4th, '13, 20:19 
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Rupe- I think in the case of the OP, yes keep good water quality parameters like you would for basil, chard or lettuces. If we're talking mono cropping or designing for max flowering potential I would be dropping the nitrogen and giving more phosphorus continuously from onset of flowering until harvest. I dropped the N in between pic 1 and 3 above by 40ppm and 2 weeks later there were 5x the flower count.

Maria-you can certainly grow many crops together in the same system, i do the same and have many species thriving. But...The reality is, we are compromising "best" conditions for many of the species so that we can grow them all together in the same culture water. Side by side, a system designed to grow a single species is going to be more productive at growing that species than a system designed to grow multiple species at once. How do we know Nutrient profiles for plants? They have been established through hydroponic and traditional farming trials for years. You just need to interpret that data into an aquaponic scenario. I measure macro and micro nutrients but a backyarder doesn't need to go that far.

How do you adjust without special additives? We commonly use pottasium and calcium to buffer the ph while providing a carbon source for bacteria. Other than that an addition of chelated iron when needed. Changing the nutrient profile within the water has to do with the operators management of the plant system, the fish system, feed inputs, filtration methods and the system design itself. When you scale up, you can't just throw food and say go ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 4th, '13, 20:29 
Ryan wrote:
When you scale up, you can't just throw food and say go ;)

:lol: ... but that's the standard approach most take...

I mean to say... aquaponics is a naturally balanced eco-system.. isn't it... :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 4th, '13, 20:30 
Ryan wrote:
How do we know Nutrient profiles for plants? They have been established through hydroponic and traditional farming trials for years. You just need to interpret that data into an aquaponic scenario.

:headbang:


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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 5th, '13, 06:12 
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Ryan wrote:
you can certainly grow many crops together in the same system, i do the same and have many species thriving. But...The reality is, we are compromising "best" conditions for many of the species so that we can grow them all together in the same culture water. Side by side, a system designed to grow a single species is going to be more productive at growing that species than a system designed to grow multiple species at once.


That makes sense, especially since the data is readily available on each plant out there. If I ever start a large scale AP farm like yours, I would want to have multiple separate AP modules anyway, right? To prevent the spread of disease and accommodate various species of fish. Might as well have each module also accommodate a particular plant, too... If only to control root moisture / water delivery to plants.

Ryan wrote:
How do we know Nutrient profiles for plants? They have been established through hydroponic and traditional farming trials for years. You just need to interpret that data into an aquaponic scenario. I measure macro and micro nutrients but a backyarder doesn't need to go that far.


Genius. Have any trusted sources? Or do you usually start with google?

Ryan wrote:
How do you adjust without special additives? We commonly use pottasium and calcium to buffer the ph while providing a carbon source for bacteria. Other than that an addition of chelated iron when needed. Changing the nutrient profile within the water has to do with the operators management of the plant system, the fish system, feed inputs, filtration methods and the system design itself. When you scale up, you can't just throw food and say go ;)


potassium = banana
calcium = bones
chelated iron = liquid sea weed or sea kelp

I'll give it to you, adding straight (powder? liquid?) potassium and calcium is probably less messy and more of a science than banana & bones! :brilsmurf: But using simple chelated iron is nothing compared to adding liquid seaweed or sea kelp -- they also contain all the other essential trace nutrients most plants crave (http://www.seahealthproducts.com.au/kelp.htm). Thanks for the explanation & info, Ryan!
If you havn't tried it yet, spray those tulips' roots with some sea kelp and tell me they don't perk up! :flower:

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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 5th, '13, 07:50 
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I'd love to know more about your planned tulip trial Ryan.

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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 5th, '13, 08:18 
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maria_farmXchange wrote:
potassium = banana
calcium = bones
chelated iron = liquid sea weed or sea kelp

I'll give it to you, adding straight (powder? liquid?) potassium and calcium is probably less messy and more of a science than banana & bones! But using simple chelated iron is nothing compared to adding liquid seaweed or sea kelp -- they also contain all the other essential trace nutrients most plants crave (http://www.seahealthproducts.com.au/kelp.htm). Thanks for the explanation & info, Ryan!


Hi Maria,

Liquid seaweed is good stuff but it won't replace chelated iron. Iron isn't available to the plants when in certain forms. The pH of a system has a lot to do with what type of iron or chelated iron will work to supply plants with iron deficiency symptoms. Nate Storey did a nice pair of youtube videos on iron and chelated iron - first one is here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4_hCAnymFw. The second is easy to find after that.


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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 5th, '13, 09:43 
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Good point Scotty. Not replace, supplement.
I use both, but I havn't needed any chelated since i started using maxicrop plus iron.

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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 6th, '13, 01:40 
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I use it as well but have used chelated iron in the past when necessary. Maxicrop plus Iron works fine depending on the pH in your system, the iron it contains is apparently not chelated.


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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 8th, '13, 08:40 
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RupertofOZ wrote:
Ryan wrote:
When you scale up, you can't just throw food and say go ;)

:lol: ... but that's the standard approach most take...

I mean to say... aquaponics is a naturally balanced eco-system.. isn't it... :lol:

Suck and see as you Aussies put it :)

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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 8th, '13, 08:50 
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I'm in my phone and cant quote everything before answering but google is a great place to start. I started with google and then charted data for years to fine tune things.

I dont use seaweed extract and havent ever needed it. I know people swear by it but I dislike the sodium and heavy metal content common in most products...plus... The plants just don't need it in my systems.

Stuart- im planning on a thousand bulbs in a new high oxygen wicking bed design I dreamed up that will be pretty cool and cheap when done. I want to finish building it before saying how awesome it is... But its going to be awesome. I think I can make some good money in the seasonal floral market and grow a ton of other edible crops the rest of the year.

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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 8th, '13, 10:34 
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Can you share how you plan to provide the cool period for the tulips to get proper flower formation? Especially in Florida?

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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 12th, '13, 02:24 
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Ryan wrote:
I'm in my phone and cant quote everything before answering but google is a great place to start. I started with google and then charted data for years to fine tune things.

I dont use seaweed extract and havent ever needed it. I know people swear by it but I dislike the sodium and heavy metal content common in most products...plus... The plants just don't need it in my systems.


Ryan, please please share your chartered data? And how you test your water's nutrients?

Looking for info on plant and water nutrient profiles for a few days now, and its incredible difficult to find anything at all / anything reliable or adaptable to AP... and I am not sure how I would even start testing my water's profile...

In this source from the Univ. of Cal. (http://escholarship.org/uc/item/4pf584fd#page-14), it says you can conduct a "soil analysis" which "provides current quantitative information on the nutrient profile of a given soil."

But in this thread from a few weeks ago (viewtopic.php?f=18&t=18320&start=0), seems like most people are saying testing for all this "quantitative" info in a backyard AP would be costly & really unnecessary. Just get your biofilter right --> potassium + calcium + chelated iron + lots of surface area + moving water + fish. That's what you are pretty much saying, yes, Ryan?

I like that, much easier. :brilsmurf:

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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 12th, '13, 02:28 
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maria_farmXchange wrote:
Ryan, please please share your chartered data? And how you test your water's nutrients?


That's proprietary info that he has worked long & hard to obtain and probably not willing to give out freely.


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 Post subject: Re: Growing Flowers
PostPosted: Oct 12th, '13, 03:21 
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Maria,

I've never tried this so take it with a grain of salt. It looks like you could do a Hydroponic Nutrient solution analysis for about $45 that would give you your major and minor nutrients, pH, alkalinity and so on (providing the lab can actually get the correct results from organic matter). As an example - https://customhydronutrients.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4

You could then compare this to the Hydroponic Nutrient profiles given in Hydroponics books to see what your crop needs (for example - http://www.amazon.com/Commercial-Hydroponics-John-Mason/dp/0684872021). While the lab might be able to tell you what's there, they might not be able to say what's actually available to the plants so it may all be for naugt.

On the other hand, if it works, great! Over time you would be able to determine that only one or two nutrients need to be checked because the others will never be in short supply so the testing costs would go down. Once you've got this figured out then you have to determine how to adjust the AP water. Sounds like this is what Ryan has basically done.

I have no idea if this would work but the cumulative cost of the testing wouldn't be practical for most people. You could perhaps do this if you're seeing deficiency signs but by this time the crop has been affected. Testing a group of systems where everyone uses the same feed might be informative. Comparing systems that use different feed would be as well. You'd have to know exactly how much feed (and anything else) was put in.

Leaf tissue analysis might be interesting as well.

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