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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 12:45 
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Sleepe wrote:
My theory on this that you use 2 x SUF's in parallel rather than a RFF.
RFF's collect solids at the bottom which when built up have a good chance of going anerobic.
SUF's on the other hand collect most solids at the top and because of the the flow through them remain fairly aerobic and will mineralise.
The reason for having parallel tanks is to allow an alternate schedule for emptying the tanks.

While I have not done this on a large scale (well the paralleling) I have done it with canister filters. :)



ahhh thanks, I hadn't looked at SUF's rather than RFF I will check it out. I generally drop the solids from the RFF weekly and it keeps it under control quite well. Realistically I could probably automate that to once I have a mineralisation tank by having an automated valve on the bottom of the tank.


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 13:01 
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scotty435 wrote:
There really isn't one. In most systems the grow beds take care of mineralization. Most people don't need a separate mineralizer so it's mainly those with a DWC or commercial systems that have one - and not even all of those do. Most people do the batch process as you do. I don't think Dasboot removed solids from his mineralizer - just left them in to digest as much as possible. What kind of container do you have to work with? Dasboot and Web4Deb are the two I remember who have them but I'm certain there are others.


thanks mate I will head over to the build section and see if I can find their systems :)

Rjay wrote:
2.) What water quality attributes should I be looking for in the water that will be returning to the system? and the rule of thumb for sitting time in the mineralisation tank seems to be 3 weeks, is this reasonable?


scotty435 wrote:
Sitting time? Are you planning on aerating or not?


Yep, sorry that prolly wasn't the best terminology as it sounds like stationary water. What I meant was when I transfer the solids/liquids in a batch over to mineralisation which would be yes heavily aerated, how long should it remain in that state before portions of it can be drained back into the system.


scotty435 wrote:
I would remove solids less often (just leave them in to digest further). It's fine with just the transfer of the liquid portion back into your system - that's where the dissolved solids like ions are. I think a lot of people draw off supernatant more often (like daily). For one thing if you're using an RFF solids float up and make the transfer to the mineralizer more difficult if you wait too long. I've noticed some people strain out the solids coming from the RFF using a mesh bag and then transfer these without the liquid portion into their mineralizer (sorry I can't think of a specific example of this)


Ok!

yeh my rough plan (again no expert which is why I thought I would sound out the ideas here first), was basically to once a week crack the valve on the bottom of the RFF for 5 seconds this gives me approx 20L +/- that would head over to an aerated vessel, once that vessel got relatively full after 3 or so weeks I would turn off the aerator for a few hrs letting the solids fall to the bottom then crack another valve that depending on the stand pipe I setup in the vessel would drain 10 - 20L back into the system. Every so often I would then crack a valve on the bottom of the mineralisation vessel to remove the solids build up which would then go onto the garden.

The vessels I have considered are either of these from Bunnings;

https://www.bunnings.com.au/maze-190l-m ... k_p3130629

https://www.bunnings.com.au/maze-100l-r ... k_p3130198


Leaning towards the second as its smaller and will fit in the spot I need and I could expand to a second one someone mentioned for alternating between the two to give each tank to do its work with the aerator


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 14:00 
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"What do you think the water profile should show if using dual SUFs that aren't connected to an AP system Sleepe?"

Sorry Scotty you lost me on that one :) If you could give a brief description of how it would work? I would be a little worried about not providing a nitrogen source.

Rjay
How do you intend to transfer water to the mineralisation tank. That one from Bunnings is 3' tall and from your pics it would have to be transferred by other than gravity.

BTW Pretty system and at least you seem to understand what NFT is :lol:


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 14:08 
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Sleepe wrote:
"What do you think the water profile should show if using dual SUFs that aren't connected to an AP system Sleepe?"

Sorry Scotty you lost me on that one :) If you could give a brief description of how it would work? I would be a little worried about not providing a nitrogen source.

Rjay
How do you intend to transfer water to the mineralisation tank. That one from Bunnings is 3' tall and from your pics it would have to be transferred by other than gravity.

BTW Pretty system and at least you seem to understand what NFT is :lol:


In terms of water profile Scotty might have been referring to my question about is there certain water attributes I should look at by testing for the water that would be coming back into the system post undergoing the mineralisation process?

When I crack the valve on the bottom of the RFF the water rushes out with considerable force (fills a 20L bucket in a little under 5 seconds. The vessel from Bunnings also has a little stand and from eye balling it I assume it will while on the stand sit at almost identical height to my RFF. My assumption is that if I run a pipe from the bottom of my RFF over to somewhere around the base of the other vessel when I crack the valve each week on the RFF it will head over the to the other tank by gravity.

haha thanks! yeh NFT gives me a bunch of lettuce room and allows me to use the narrow beds for as many fruiting plants as I can fit in there :)


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 14:28 
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"When I crack the valve on the bottom of the RFF the water rushes out with considerable force (fills a 20L bucket in a little under 5 seconds. The vessel from Bunnings also has a little stand and from eye balling it I assume it will while on the stand sit at almost identical height to my RFF. My assumption is that if I run a pipe from the bottom of my RFF over to somewhere around the base of the other vessel when I crack the valve each week on the RFF it will head over the to the other tank by gravity."

I may be wrong but it may work reasonably well for the first dump but after that not so well, how high is your RFF?

BTW the NFT thing is a long standing source of amusement to me.:-)


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 15:08 
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yeh correct I did think that as well, I am definitely no fluid mechanic/engineer so it might not work but I seem to remember watching a YouTube clip a while back that showed a similar sort of setup with two tanks a filter and a mineralisation close by and when the valve on one was opened the water went over to the other and they basically equalised in water height.

RFF valve sits about 30cm (a bucket just slides under) off the ground, not actually at what height the top of the filter sits, guessing 1.5m - ish

haha ok, tell me more about this NFT in joke ;)


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 15:32 
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Don't believe all you see on YouTube :)
To connect your tanks you will have to go down along and up, as the level in the mineralisaton tank increases the water velocity will slow and the crap will sit in pipe underneath (its to do with atmospheric pressure).

The NFT thing is a thread called NOT NFT by Yabbies (Mr Damage). Some members appear to think that you can get a nutrient film in a round pipe. I just think this is funny others just think I am pedantic. :lol:


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '18, 15:40 
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haha nah I definitely take it all with a grain of salt! yeh I did think that might happen with some gunk sitting in the pipes, could have them be able to be decoupled and cleaned. I will have to think about that part.

haha ok, yeh I see a lot of DIY people use the round pipe, the proper hydro stuff just worked better for my design and actually is built for the job so made sense.


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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '18, 06:10 
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Sleepe wrote:
"What do you think the water profile should show if using dual SUFs that aren't connected to an AP system Sleepe?"

Sorry Scotty you lost me on that one :) If you could give a brief description of how it would work? I would be a little worried about not providing a nitrogen source.


I was looking for a second opinion. I think I can test this - I'm thinking either nitrates or phosphates should be give an indication of what's going on with the SUFs as long as plants aren't taking up the nutrients like they do in an AP system.

-----------

Rjay - It sounds like you plan on a different water level for the RFF and the mineralizer. If you make the outflow in the mineralizer below the water level in the RFF, water should continue to flow until the water levels match (that's assuming you've stopped water entering the RFF, otherwise, it will continue to flow until you close the valve). If you then turn the inflow to the RFF back on and close the valve to the mineralizer things go back to normal. Seems like you could flush the RFF either way (running or not) as long as you have a good way to sieve the water leaving the mineralizer. Either run it through a SUF or some other type of sieve and return the solids back to the mineralizer eventually. Basically you could run your system with an RFF going to a SUF then the solids from the RFF going to the mineralizer with it's supernatant running to the same SUF as the RFF OR you could put a SUF inside the mineralizer before the outflow (might be tricky not to lose some solids or to clean it this way)

Since space is a concern you might want to try what I did for my SUFs and modify it to use as a mineralizer (I think I've figured out how to do this and describe it below the pics) -

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Note: There is a drain that isn't shown in these pics - it's on the back at the bottom but you can put it wherever you want. I'm thinking Dasboot (Andreas) doesn't even drain the solids from his mineralizer but I'm planning on building a mineralizer this way and figure to leave it in - just in case.

Water flows in the top, in the outer well, then flows down through a mesh pot and back up through the K1 media which is inside a bucket with the bottom removed except along the edges where it's attached to the mesh pot. I think you could probably aerate this whole thing except when you want to transfer water and at that point operate it as a SUF. You might need some coarse filter over the exit because of solids getting mixed with the media during aeration. A PVC pipe with small holes just dropped over the green atrium grate in the picture would probably work. You'd need to limit the inflow so that water doesn't bypass the media by causing the media layer to float higher than the outflow (In other words - you don't want water flowing out without being filtered by the media). Too much back pressure could cause this and it's a gray area for me whether this will make the filter unworkable because of the high solids in a mineralizer. Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Jul 15th, '18, 20:54 
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thanks @scotty435, this design is almost exactly what I was thinking of, although I hadn't thought of having media in the bucket! Couple of questions;

1.) The addition of the media does that just give another place for the bacteria to occupy (similar to systems that don't have any gravel/clay media beds only DWC so they have a tank full of K1) ?

2.) Does it matter if there is not a gap between the outer ring of the inner bucket and the tank? The combo of tank / bucket I am looking at are very close to the same diameter at the top? The taper of the bucket as it heads downwards will create an inner and outer well further down

3.) Is that bucket with the bottom a custom item? and how big is it 10 or 20l ?

4.) How large is your barell for the filter?


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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '18, 03:04 
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1. The media is specifically designed to harbor bacteria and other organisms and is self cleaning when agitated. It has two purposes in this instance.
a. When you are trying to pull off supernatant you won't be aerating and all the media will float to the top where it forms a thick layer. The liquid portion can pass through this layer and exit the bucket but most of the solids are filtered out because the layer works like a 3D sieve.

b. When you start aerating again the media acts like a Moving Bed Bio-Reactor (You'll see this in posts as either an MBBR or MBBF - Moving Bed Bio-Filter). Bacteria grow on the media and help mineralize the solids. You'll need to aerate this really well because you can also lose nutrients if you don't keep the container aerobic. If you don't need the nutrients you can deliberately let the mineralizer gas off some of the nutrients but I think it makes more sense just to use some of the solids out in the soil based garden.

2. Yes, if the gap is small it makes it tough to clean out floating solids. The way around this is to just use one container instead of the two that I use. Just cover the entire surface (to whatever depth you want) with K1 in a single container and aerate the whole thing for mineralisation. The aerated media should break up the floating solids. When you want to pull off supernatant, stop the aeration and bring in a new batch of solids below the media level (best if you can manage this without stirring up a lot of the solids that settle when you stop aerating). Filtered water will flow through an outlet above the media level. You might need to strain the supernatant that comes out if you get many fines coming through (could be a problem with either method). SUF filters accumulate solids and as they do they filter finer and finer particles. The more media or the finer the media used, the finer the particles that are filtered initially but the more back pressure you exert on flow - so there's a trade off. My double bucket is just a way of getting a thicker filtration layer and adding a mesh basket prefilter to the bottom of the bucket.

3. The bucket is custom made but easy to do. It's just a 20L bucket with a net pot screwed to the bottom. The net pot was designed to fit the top of a 20L bucket and has a nice wide lip. The bucket has part of the bottom cut away but with a matching lip so both can be joined using short stainless steel screws. You could probably use plastic rivets instead (assuming you could get a rivet gun into the space). One really important point is that the mesh pot has fine enough mesh that it doesn't allow the media to come out of the inner area. The atrium grate prevents the media exiting through the normal outflow. If you run without the inner bucket you'll have to figure another way to keep the media in when you drain solids or whatever.

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4. I have two of these at 80L each but these are SUF filters not mineralisers. I think the size may not be that important for a mineraliser, if you are able to filter the solids and only remove the supernatant. It's the settleable and suspended solids that break down and need more time to do this - the dissolved solids are ready to be used and go out with the liquid portion. Since the critical solids are being retained, the hold time doesn't really come into play as much. Basically you need to be able to agitate and aerate the solids - if they get too thick, that's a problem but you can just throw some out on the soil based garden or compost heap if necessary (use good judgement because you don't want to contaminate your food - many of the organisms in a mineralizer where there are lots of nutrients will be heterotrophs - bacteria like E. coli and other Enterics are certainly likely so use it where this won't be an issue or where it can break down first - like a compost heap).


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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '18, 09:12 
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Awesome, that is a good idea on the bucket / netpot joining!

Yeh I hadn't thought about floating solids I just figured they would all sink.

I am assuming there would be no harm in having the inlet in the mineralisation tank bringing the solids over from the RFF below the Outlet that will return the supernatant to the system?

I have seen there are K1 Media and K2 is it just a physical size difference?

Yeh I could probably put the solids into the worm farm I have or even just bury it into the soil garden which I assume would be safe?


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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '18, 14:14 
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Rjay wrote:
I am assuming there would be no harm in having the inlet in the mineralisation tank bringing the solids over from the RFF below the Outlet that will return the supernatant to the system?


Below the level of the outlet is OK. I'd try to bring the solids in without stirring up the bottom so that your sieve works better though.

Rjay wrote:
I have seen there are K1 Media and K2 is it just a physical size difference?


Also a difference in the number of spokes and surface area on the wheel. Either would work but they behave a bit differently - probably not enough to make a lot of difference in this application though.

I wouldn't hesitate to use the solids the way you suggest but I can't say what will be safe, at least not for certain. Just keep in mind that many of these organisms can cause disease if given the opportunity (If you think about what's been used as fertilizer in soil over the years, this is nothing new).


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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '18, 14:22 
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Yeh for sure, I figure if it doesn't physically touch the edible portion of a plant or goes into worm farm for continued breakdown then its a about as safe as practical.

Ok, yep I will try and hunt down some K1 or I think TechDen in Aus sells K2 so I could order some next time my Seneye monitoring slides run out. Is about $40 for 10L the going rate?

Looks like I have most of the info I need to start getting the parts together to build it.

Is a lid kept on your filter permanently and does it have any breather holes in it? and is it in open air or undercover (thinking about the rain factor filling up the tank)..


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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '18, 16:12 
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I'm not sure what the going rate is there :dontknow: .

There is a lid on the filter normally, you can see it sitting on the other filter in one of the pics posted to this thread. These lids came with the tanks and do have an opening - light can affect nitrification so it's better to block as much light as you can while still allowing for good ventilation. These filters are SUFs and so there primary purpose is filtering solids and not nitrification, although, they do some biofiltration as well.

Good luck - it will be interesting to see how you implement this.


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