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Comment by Keith Markham on April 8, 2013 at 4:57am

Thanks Vlad for all the good info!! And what I meant to say was everything in your last statement is true...Funny how things r sometimes misunderstood in text, my mistake, again!! LOL...So I did some searching and found a woman locally that sells worms, and worm castings....Will get some and try it out....

Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on April 7, 2013 at 12:41pm

Haha...I hardly doubt that "I am right on everything"...I'm no expert or 'guru' or anything. I'm just a guy who 'knows some stuff'...Sure, thinking about it, I'd have some recommendations since you asked...Firstly I'd recommend reading, learning, experimenting, observing and taking lot's of notes...I feel that it's really important to know why you are doing (or not doing) something it will help you make choices in a way that makes sense for your particular system and what it is that you hope to 'get out of it'...Read older threads, by longstanding members...make the search field your friend, there's probably hardly a question or a problem that hasn't already come up at some time...

I probably do some specific stuff different than 'most', and won't be changing that anytime soon. Not "better" or "worse"...just different. How we run or systems depends on our set and setting and what we desire from a given system. and of coarse the operators knowledge of as many of the 'natural occurring  niche processes at play in these little man made eco-systems that we try to nurture or take advantage of to grow plants and fish protein. In the long run, it seems like bio-diversity seems to be a strengthening or at least stabilizing factor. That sort of thing takes time... 

So in the beginning...there was...

...Say, MaxiCrop for (since you had mentioned it)...You're probably adding it to your systems for some secondary and trace elements...which is fine and all especially if someone's got a grow bed or two, but in a system your size...it's a pretty expensive way to add those plant essential elements. What you pay for when you buy MaxiCrop is not it's mineral content (which is pretty similar to that of plain 'ol seawater), but a "cold cell burst extraction" process used to extract the plant growth hormones (auxin and cytokinin) from some of the fastest growing plants on the planet...sea kelp. These two hormones (or "bio-regulators" as they are called now in the industry, as apparently consumers have somewhat of an aversion to the word "hormones"...but call 'em what you will they are the two most significant, and hence common, hormones that will dictate things like cellular elongation, lateral root formation etc...) are what your really paying for there. If you're 'not after' those hormones, but do want the secondary and trace elements (along with some potassium) then dehydrated sea water seems like choice that makes more sense. 

Or hanging a pound or two (or a handful, depending on the size of your system) of worm castings in a paint strainer somewhere in your water stream... preferably just above an air stone...This will only get you added plant essential elements into the system, if you bought the castings at say a 'Garden Center' in a hermetically sealed plastic bag. since the castings have been in a hermetically sealed plastic bag, you can pretty much forget about getting any beneficial microbes out of the castings...just N-P-K and some other secondary and trace elements. You need home-made or otherwise fresh castings to gain the benefit of the microbes. But heck, when you're just starting out with a 'big'-ish sized system and have a bunch of heavy feeders planted then you could probably use some of that mineral content. When the castings are 'spent' just toss them in your dirt garden and replace them, as you wait for your fish to grow...eat more and make enough 'plant fertilizer'...things like salting for fish health, worm castings seem like a good way help out in a new system...


Comment by Keith Markham on April 7, 2013 at 6:32am

Thanks Vlad....and yes I know your right on everything....For me , that is what makes this fun and interesting....I am very thankful for this forum and the internet, so much new stuff to learn and so much good stuff out there...As for nutrient deficiencies, yes I'm pretty sure I have plenty of that going on...I have been using Maxi Crop to try and help with that, as so many on forum have recommended....If you have additional recommendations, things to use for a young system, please share that info...Also, if you did not see, I posted a couple of new videos yesterday...Its amazing to me how much things change in just a couple of weeks...Thanks again

Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on April 6, 2013 at 3:34pm

Hehe...Keith you just about described the root of every 'road bump' me and the missus have ever had :) 

Shoot, all I know of your GH is from what you've posted here...pics and discussions...and watching this video like a week or two ago...There's definitely going to be a learning curve...plant essential element needs, integrated pest management, planting and harvesting schedules (as they relate to system welfare and not just finances...) and a whole ton more...It's good stuff...You've embarked upon a very ambitions undertaking. Kudos. great system you've got there. Leave as little to chance as possible :)

...once you straighten out the nitrates (or even before that) it is likely that potassium (K) and/or magnesium (Mg) will become the limiter for some of your heavy fruiting plants. You might be good to pre-emptively take care of that... 

Comment by Keith Markham on April 6, 2013 at 2:50pm
Sorry Jim, my mistake, when I first read it sounded sarcastic....as you said things can sometimes be misunderstood in text form....happens to my wife all the time, she is texting someone back and forth, then gets pissed off because of something that was said...turns out she did not understand what was being said....that's when I tell her pick up the damn phone and call them and stop with the texting....a persons voice on the other end sometimes makes a lot more sense.....
Comment by Jim Fisk on April 6, 2013 at 12:00pm

Hey Keith,

That's what I hate about email and posts. They can so easily be taken the WRONG way. I meant nothing harsh at all. I and we are fans of your project and wish you the absolute best. And I mean everything I said about Vlad's posts. They are often brilliant. So I guess you are referring to my years of organic gardening? I'm talking about me not you as I know nothing about your background. I (we) am expressing concern about the size of your first time project and simply wish to warn you to stay vigilant and not make the same mistakes I made.

So please tell me where I was harsh so I can learn what needs to be said in a more understandable way. So I can explain better what I meant as I have reread it half a dozen times and from my end I don't get it. I'm serious as I don't want my words taken the wrong way. I am a fan of your project, not a critic and God knows I listen to every word Vlad says.

Comment by Keith Markham on April 6, 2013 at 8:09am

Seems a bit harsh Jim!! But I do enjoy reading some of your comments....makes me laugh!! As for anyone's comments, I do appreciate them all because most of you know waaaaay more than me....bye for now, got to get some work done....

Comment by Keith Markham on April 6, 2013 at 7:51am

Thanks Vlad!! I have looked at some of your pics and can tell by the looks of things, you really know what your doing...as for work, I do this more for stress relief...and coming season?? I'm still trying to figure out when it starts and ends!! LOL...Yeah, and pissing in your tanks never struck me as a good idea...So let me ask, what you have seen of my GH, what would you recommend that I concentrate my efforts on growing in media beds and DWC?? As of now, I have just been trying different things to see what grows...

Comment by Jim Fisk on April 6, 2013 at 7:48am

Well another brilliant well informed and experienced post by Vlad. I for one vote his post be archived to the "Best of the Best" page wherever that page is. (mine is in my "Note" pad. Copy & Paste;-) When Vlad speaks even the Red Wigglers stop and listen. I particularly enjoy his (your) subtle predictions of what is to come in a first year system of Keith's size. OMG

I am still a bit shell shocked by our first Winter in the GH and I am happy to say our system is small (only 5 ibc GBs for starters) by comparison to Keith's. So much to learn.

I still have to slap myself straight every time I pass by some nice looking potted plants on trips to town and remind myself that that is how my problems started in the first place. New plants from seed now and a whole new perspective and the Trout are starting to boil in the tank at feeding time so all is coming together here at last.

Knowledge is king and just because you have had great success in the organic dirt garden for years doesn't mean squat when it comes to the AP GH.

Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on April 6, 2013 at 6:37am

BTW...Nice system Keith :) You've got your work cut out for you in the coming season. Good luck.

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