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 Post subject: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '09, 18:35 
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An interesting blog
http://www.microponics.net.au/

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '09, 18:44 
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Its kinda set up so you can't poke holes in it. While it pokes holes in everything else. Would be better re-written to help beginners, not confuse them. I don't mind new ideas and re-shaping of old ones. As long as there is a benefit in doing so. A lot of the ideas and concepts are based on a system that has not been built yet. Or burrowed from other people. I'll wait to see how the system performs after a year. Once it is built.

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '09, 19:39 
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Yeah, my thoughts precisely Duff.... Lots of ranting and raving about how he thinks everyone else is doing aquaponics wrong, and that he has a design for "an Aquaponics System that Really Works". Pretty bold talk considering it's not even been built..

Some people like to talk about things, other people just get down and get on with things....

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '09, 20:32 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Whoah guys, he brings up some very good points, most of which I think are correct.

I will only quote one thing tonight, which I think shows how he has been explanatory about his views:

Quote:
The notion that deeper grow beds offer greater plant root support has seems reasonable enough on the surface. Mature sweetcorn plants, for example, require plenty of root support if they are to resist being blown over in a stiff breeze. Upon closer examination, however, plant support is probably more a question of media type than grow bed depth.

Gravel is certainly the preferred media for growing sweetcorn….and 150mm of gravel will support sweetcorn just as effectively as 300mm. Expanded clay is much less effective for use with sweetcorn – not even 300mm is enough to keep it upright when the wind blows.


I know that he is having a go at you, joel, but a lot of what he says is correct.

Just my 2c :D

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '09, 20:36 
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It is pretty well written, I would like to see some pictures and data from his trials to back up some of his statements. Almost seems written by a biolology masters or honours student, is just like some of the rantings I remember proofing back at uni. Only read the first two mythconceptions (number 5 and 6) before I got sidetracked reading Betaz's site :cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '09, 20:43 
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i keep away from betaz's site..... i get lost there for days......

bloody dolphins......

and the sisters ooooo00000OOOO0000oooooo

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '09, 20:47 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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linky?

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '09, 20:51 
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Outbackozzie wrote:
linky?


It is in his signature on the first post in this thread.

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '09, 21:33 
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I'm not saying that I disagree with everything that he says Obo, but to claim that flood and drain systems are often "killing systems", and that you can't run an effective aquaponic system without solids removal...? Hang on, aren't many hundreds if not thousands of people doing it using these systems to grow their fish and veggies?

Quote:
You might wonder why people would seek to perpetuate a myth that so obviously defies such logic.

Those most responsible are some of the peddlers of aquaponics products …..and the reason that they do it is because they know that there’s a larger market for their offerings if they create the impression that running an aquaponics system is easy.

Running an aquaponics system doesn’t need to be complicated but it’s not quite as easy as some people would have you believe.


Oh of course... He must be trying to make it sound difficult to help peddle his informational products.. :lol:

Running an aquaponic system CAN be easy... I know of people who had no idea about fish keeping and no idea about growing plants yet with a few simple guidelines they are producing and harvesting their own produce from their systems.

Seems there are personal issues with both myself, and now Murray it as well... I'm not going to play the game and enter into a pissing contest, I've always avoided that because it does no good... I hope his system will work and be successful, I hope that it's more effective and efficient and that we can all learn from it...

BUT...... The negative crap doesn't help aquaponics or the people practicing it, in any way....

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '09, 21:52 
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Gotta disagree with you there on the content of the site OBO.

The sweetcorn in gravel item is something I've seen on this site several months ago.

But when he puts in gems like;

Anyway, the challenge that presented itself was to develop a cost effective alternative to the bog-standard (and often deadly) flood and drain aquaponics system.

and he doesn't even have his theoretical ubersystem up and running as proof of concept, it's probably time to pull his head in, stop typing, and get outside and build it.

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '09, 21:54 
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But I definitely agree with aLostHippy about the Sisters !

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '09, 22:53 
Would seem strange that he has reportedly grown out many fish and copious amounts of veges in his previous flood & drain systems... without a problem...

And employed standpipes with timers, continous pumping with siphons, without a problem...

Then converted to a Chift Pist implementation... perhaps (apparantly) not quite successfully...

And now seems to be extolling the concept of continuous flow.... with the pre-amble of prior solids removal....

Although I'm not sure if that's using Chift Pist, siphons or standpipes.... it doesn't appear to be a raft implementation....

Seems to be a sudden change of heart... perhaps after a recent visit and workshop by an "emminent" aquaponics authority...

Rather than a reported "long standing and held" viewpoint.... :wink:


Not sure what the cause of the problems were within his previous systems that led to his apparant disdain of flood & drain... whether it was poor system design and/or implementation...

But I haven't had a problem in any of the various systems I've been using for nearly three years...

And most certainly never had a problem with the BYAP kit systems... :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 23rd, '09, 04:03 
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Most of the comments have some merit. However, many of the things he seems to be arguing against have plenty of merit as well.

LOL When talking about Ratios
Quote:
Once you know what nutrient levels the aquaculture side of your system is able to consistently produce, you can calculate the growing space.


So I guess you have to stock your fish tank before you can figure out how many plants it will support so I guess you don't need filtration before you stock your fish tank cause you won't know how much you need before you have your fish HUH?

Come on, ya gotta have a place to start in order to start.


Now my main reason for not wanting to deal with solids removal before grow beds........ I don't want to have to clean/change filters every fricking day!!!!!!! Yea, perhaps there would be a more efficient aquaculture system and I could grow even more fish if I did remove solids. However, I would need costly solids removal devices that need tending every other day at the minimum and heck, I really don't want to grow more fish than I have right now. The flood and drain beds without extra solids filtration are much lower maint. I don't want to have to train some one how to clean extra filters for when I have to go out of town for a couple days. If ya got lots and lots of grow bed, then it isn't an issue.

It is all a balance, don't try to tell me that there isn't balance involved even when you use alternative forms of filtration. Just because you might remove solids, you still need enough filtration, circulation and aeration as well as plants to remove nitrates to support the amount of fish and feed. The need to keep it balanced doesn't change, just the equipment involved.

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 23rd, '09, 08:49 
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Hi All,
I think you are being a bit precious with your "negative" opinions without presenting any 'positive' alternatives. I haven't produced any 'fins or figs' yet from my system, so I am one of those that Gary refers to as a "virtual non-producer" who give opinions! Hey, I accept that criticism, but it's not going to stop me from giving the benefit of my areas of expertise or experiences so far, to who ever wants to listen! You don't go to the Butcher to get your Bread!

Gary has opinions and always backs them up with hard, reproducible facts and evidence he has gathered from his experimental systems. He doesn't "rant and "rave". He uses Aquaponics as part of his overall integrated food production plans, not as the "'be all and end all' of food production. He and Jan only live about 15 minutes away from us here in QLD and a visit to the "Creek Street Micro-farm" is a whole lot of fun, not only because of the excellent work they have (and are continuing to) carried out but that, combined with his unique cynicism and uncompromising ideals, make the experience a great journey. Gary does not "manufacture" any products for sale nor does he promote any other particular "commercial system". Sure, he has written a book on Home AP and has updated it recently in Edition 2 with the benefit of another 3 to 4 years of operating various systems sucessfully or otherwise. He has the 'hands on' practical experience of operating sucessfull large commercial, home and hobby sized systems that have all produced fish to plate and plants to maturity and harvest. He is not shy from giving all of us the benefit of his experiences, good or bad. His latest effort in developing the "Queenslander" is a bit parochial perhaps, but no more than any of a multitude of other so promoted "expert" designed sytems! I know which advice I would be taking for my circumstance.

I wish I had his experience and knowledge, and I wish he had a more amicable way of expressing himself, but then again, we all have our own idiosyncracies . .

Thank God fish and plants can't talk! I reckon they would denegrate all of us! regardless of how we breed them to eat!
Let's all share our own experiences: sucess or failure, and take on board that which we deem to be suitable, without the perceived need to disparage that which we do not!
Cheers IanK :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Ap blog
PostPosted: Oct 23rd, '09, 11:24 
I'm sorry, but having re-read the "blogs" several times... I'm left somewhat confused by the content... and how various "assertions" are presented as "fact" or as "debunking" other practices...

And how at times certain elements are presented as "best practice", but then subsequently ignored, or modified in later posts...

Nor can I relate previous posts and ideals/practices.. of the author... to his current position...

Other than perhaps to presume what would appear to have been some recent failures and bad experience within his last systems... unfortunately nothing substantial would seem to be available to suggest what the definitive causes of any such failures were.

The apparent confusion, that seems to pervade both the design premises for the "Queenslander".... and the blogs relating to "mythconceptions"..... IMO.. seems to relate to a fundamental misunderstanding of the interelationships of stocking densities.... to bio-filtration...

And the affect and inter-relationships of bio-filtration capacity, DO, pH, feed rates and stock densities...

A long standing argument with the author.... although he now appears to accept suggested densities that previously he would not...


The reality is simple... it is somewhat a matter of focus... whether that be a focus of maximising fish production... or vegetable production...

If you wish to maximise fish production... i.e stocking density... then you must maximise your bio-filtration capacity to match.... whether that be utilising growbeds, or external filtration/solids removal etc...

Almost all system failures and fish kills can be attributed to this factor alone....

Too many fish and/or too much feed... or more particularly... lack of bio-filtration capacity... full stop...

There has been a push in recent years to maximise stocking densities (doubling them)... while halving the suggested bio-filtration capacity...

This has lead inevitably... to fish kills... and/or clogged growbeds.... anaerobic zone developement... and fish kills...

It has become the "norm" to only have a bio-filtration capacity equivalent to a 1:1 growbed volume to tank volume.... rather than the suggested 2:1 ratio suggested for a mature and fully stocked (i.e harvest size) fish load and feed rate

What people constantly forget... is that the media takes up approx 40-50% of the growbed volume... thus your bio-filtration capacity (in a 1:1 ratio) is only actually half of what is required for a full fish biomass/feed rate...

It was never really suggested that growbeds have to be 300mm... "because that was a requirement for "nitrification"... rather it was suggested as an optimal size... that provided in a suggested 2:1 ratio the required level of bio-filtration capacity... while maximising both the availability of plant varieies that could be grown... and providing root support..... within a minimal footprint...

Halving the growbed media depth to grow lettuce, and leafy greens ... might be perfectly fine and successful....

But it totally misses the point that by halving the media depth... your halve the bio-filtration capacity... :roll:

And unless a compensating means of increasing the bio-filtration capcity is provided (ala the suggested "solids removal")... will lead to system failure and fish kills...

Frankly, if anyone wants to maximise fish production by adopting an "aquaculture" based design... with solids removal and external filtration... with an add-on component for salad and leafy greens production... ala the "Queenslander"... then go for it...

Personally... I wouldn't bother... and would just employ an NFT component myself...

But each to their own... and best of luck to the author in his endeavours and I look forward to following his progress...

Frankly I think the maintenance overhead involved with cleaning of filters, solids residue removal and other management... for the sake of some lettuce... just doesn't outway the benifits of a properly designed and stocked flood & drain system... :dontknow:

Having said that... That's exactly what I do... and the approach I have taken with regard to my trout system... it has NO growbed filtration... it is run purely as an aquaculture model... to maximise fish production... within parameters of the knowledge I've obtained through my aquaculture studies, time available to monitor and maintain the system... and preparedness to do so...

With regards to "effiencies" and "sustainability... then as suggested.. they are hard to "quantitify... and that argument applies to the authors suggested "model" as well... is it more "efficient and sustainable" to make a system from plantation timber... by the time your factor in the costs and carbon footprint to produce the timber.... who knows... :dontknow:

I'm not knocking the author for his previous obvious successes... however acheived... or condeming him for any failures that may have occurred for whatever reasons... or his approach to "intergrated food production"... but I do question at times an inconsistancy of approach/argument... or the entrenched dogmatic assertion that one model must be "better" than others...

I hope it works for him... I just don't agree with the premise (of failure of other models) that has lead him to his current position...

P.S... there are very FEW "large commercial" aquaponic systems in Australia... or even "small" ones... succesful or otherwise...and to my knowledge (I'll happily stand corrected)... the author has neither been involved in the system design or operation of any of them... :wink:


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