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I just wanted to say hello. I recently started an IBC system. This is a test system before trying to build something bigger. I learn a ton just in the setup phase. Like how to balance two types of media to counter act San Antonio's high PH levels. Any help would be great.

Jason Yahner

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How high?I'm in live oak and tap water stays 6.9-7.How are you testing the water?I initially began with rain water and had high ph and no alkalinity then used muriatic acid and peat to bring ph down.The tap will stay at 7 and will gradually decline, all I do is a water change to bring it back to normal and use some crush coral to help buffer the system.good luck

Hi Jason,

Thanks for your IM comment :)

Just wanted to give you a heads up on pH while you are cycling...Don't bother lowering your pH as a high (within reason) pH is actually a good thing while cycling. Up to, and including pH 8.5 will help your bacterial colony (bio-filter) become established much quicker/stronger than at lower pH levels. It's only once you have plants that you'll want to keep your pH at about 6.3-6.8. Again, your bacteria will thrive at higher pH especially while establishing themselves...

At the temp you mentioned (60F), expect the biological activity of your nitrifying bacteria to be stymied by at least 1/3rd. So like TC said, patience will be required (expect not to be ready for fish for a couple of months maybe)...If you can get a cheap glass aquarium heater and get those water temps up to say 75F - 85F you'd be ridin' high (unless you are patient type, I generally am not :) 

Your pH will lower over time due to the nitrification process itself. For each 'unit' (say milligram) of ammonia (NH4) that your bacteria convert to nitrites (NO2) then to nitrates (NO3), over 4 mg of oxygen (O2) are consumed as well as about 8.5 mg of alkalinity. Alkalinity in water usually comes in the form of carbonates (CO3). As the bacteria use up these carbonates, your pH will fall, requiring you to intervene to bring it back up to 6.8 or so. This can be done by adding more 'hard' water or by adding a base such as Calcium Hydroxide (AKA slaked lime, builders lime) or Potassium Bi-Carbonate (an organic fungicide) Most seasoned Aquapons seem to alternate between these to pH buffers. The potassium bi-carb also has the added benefit  of adding Potassium (K) to your system (most newish AP systems are notoriously lacking in K) as well as being a natural fungicide when used as a foliar spray (spraying over the leaves). This lack of K is really only a problem for fruit bearing plants, not so much for leafy greens and herbs.

You can give your system a nutrient advantage from the get-go, by cycling with hummonia (aged human urine), instead of pure ammonia (NH4), as hummonia contains many more vital essential elements needed for plant growth, whereas the NH4 will only produce you nitrates, but i digress...

Anyways...I wish you luck and success in your new adventure. Ciao.

http://www.garden-ville.com/products/28/Potassium-Bicarbonate.htm

Vlad thank you so much for all the information

.

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Hi Jason,

Thanks for your IM comment

Just wanted to give you a heads up on pH while you are cycling...Don't bother lowering your pH as a high (within reason) pH is actually a good thing while cycling. Up to, and including pH 8.5 will help your bacterial colony (bio-filter) become established much quicker/stronger than at lower pH levels. It's only once you have plants that you'll want to keep your pH at about 6.3-6.8. Again, your bacteria will thrive at higher pH especially while establishing themselves...

At the temp you mentioned (60F), expect the biological activity of your nitrifying bacteria to be stymied by at least 1/3rd. So like TC said, patience will be required (expect not to be ready for fish for a couple of months maybe)...If you can get a cheap glass aquarium heater and get those water temps up to say 75F - 85F you'd be ridin' high (unless you are patient type, I generally am not 

Your pH will lower over time due to the nitrification process itself. For each 'unit' (say milligram) of ammonia (NH4) that your bacteria convert to nitrites (NO2) then to nitrates (NO3), over 4 mg of oxygen (O2) are consumed as well as about 8.5 mg of alkalinity. Alkalinity in water usually comes in the form of carbonates (CO3). As the bacteria use up these carbonates, your pH will fall, requiring you to intervene to bring it back up to 6.8 or so. This can be done by adding more 'hard' water or by adding a base such as Calcium Hydroxide (AKA slaked lime, builders lime) or Potassium Bi-Carbonate (an organic fungicide) Most seasoned Aquapons seem to alternate between these to pH buffers. The potassium bi-carb also has the added benefit  of adding Potassium (K) to your system (most newish AP systems are notoriously lacking in K) as well as being a natural fungicide when used as a foliar spray (spraying over the leaves). This lack of K is really only a problem for fruit bearing plants, not so much for leafy greens and herbs.

You can give your system a nutrient advantage from the get-go, by cycling with hummonia (aged human urine), instead of pure ammonia (NH4), as hummonia contains many more vital essential elements needed for plant growth, whereas the NH4 will only produce you nitrates, but i digress...

Anyways...I wish you luck and success in your new adventure. Ciao.

http://www.garden-ville.com/products/28/Potassium-Bicarbonate.htm

Hey Jason. How is your AP system coming along?  I am interested in getting started myself, but my goal is commercial. Just the look of the produce grown this way compared to traditional methods seem to be so much more livlier and colorful. Also, my wife and I are big into health and organic produce. I live in Converse, and get back from deployment in Oct. Maybe we can get together and share info or you can school me a bit.

Thanks,

 

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