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Old 12-30-2012, 12:14 AM   #1261
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i love mad dk science where were you when i was in school hehe
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:47 PM   #1262
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i love mad dk science where were you when i was in school hehe
Probably geeking around, or scavenging for her hoard. Possibly eating.

**********

IN OTHER NEWS: DK's SEEING RED

And, it's not pretty. At least, coming out of her tap, in her well water.

Just the latest mole to whack, in her game of whack-a-mole.

So, she's got her work cut out for her. For the time being, she's pumping phosphates into her WFIII.


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Old 12-30-2012, 07:38 PM   #1263
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cool lookin shrimp and is that nitrates that high?
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:22 PM   #1264
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cool lookin shrimp and is that nitrates that high?
Yeah, nitrates. The color card on the left is from my expired test kit, the color card on the right is from the brand new test kit, and the test tube was done using the new test on water from the tap.

Obviously, the test lies, but not completely. There is some amount of nitrates in my tap, as running a nitrate test on my tap results in this picture, and running the same test on distilled water I keep around did test out bright yellow (zero).

But according to the new color card, my TAP nitrates are pushing 80, which cannot be true. Because the shrimp tell me so.

I have to get a fresh gallon of distilled water (almost out of it) and make up some standard solutions and find out what the colors really mean. I suspect my tap is running 20-30 ppm nitrates.

And then, I'm a gonna start thinking a lot more about that DIY spectrophotometer, and LaMotte tests, because they are a lot more accurate. Drop tests read by bare eyes are somewhat of a joke, ESPECIALLY nitrate tests. On that new color card on the right, I can't tell the difference in a tube between 10 and 20, and between 40 and 80.

I never thought we'd get nitrate runoff in January! I look for it in peak corn season when they fertilize the cornfields, but didn't expect it in the dead of winter.

The Mermaid tank tested out with significant nitrates, which is extremely interesting to me; they have some level of tolerance apparently. The Sulawesi bank of tanks is higher risk than my other tanks simply because they don't support the biomass of moss that my other tanks do, so any nitrates in the water column will take longer to get metabolized.

ALTHOUGH...

The CJDS is working for DK, in this respect. That is the most interesting conclusion of all, of that project. I hope to finish the last post with pictures soon.

In the non-Sulawesi tanks, DK's hiked the phosphates into the WFIII to deal with this.

She already had trace and potassium in the system, but something was growth limiting the moss, so when the nitrates broke out, the moss couldn't explode in growth and take it up. She had recently adjusted the trace and potassium, and the only piece missing was to hike the phosphates. Hopefully that will super-charge the moss and it will eat up the nitrates better, now.

DK's conceptual equation for plants:

N + P + K + T + L = turn on the plant mass metabolism

Where:
  • N = nitrates
  • P = phosphates
  • K = potassium
  • T = trace
  • L = light

Since we have nitrates pouring into the system through the tap water, we adjust up the rest through injections, and we already have plant mass in the tanks under low-growth conditions that will hopefully now kick into high growth conditions, burning up the nitrates as they enter the system.

Stay tuned...
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:15 PM   #1265
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funny i have well water (with a 3micron carbon filter) and it tests EXACTLY as my cycled tank does same ph and everything... i had to test bottled water to see if the kit worked!

worst part was my ph test strips (science not aquarium) showed a different number... realized the printed card was not 100% accurate on color (like yours) .. figured it out...

that color card is MESSED UP...
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:18 AM   #1266
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i have to agree i have a hard time telling the difference between some of the tests. it does come in handy to have a husband that is red green color blind he can see them alot better than i can some times
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:55 PM   #1267
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Well, this is going to be the second-to-last post on DK's Cashew Jar Department Store project. I had hoped to wrap it up in one more post, but the nitrate drama prevents me from the last post, for a while.

Sorta long post, so hang in there.

The objective of this project was originally single: to degas CO2 from Water Factory III feed into the Sulawesi banks. The problem I was having was that, due to the very acidic nature of my tap well water, due to high dissolved CO2 gas content, when the WFIII ran cycles and input into the Sulawesi tanks, I could not counteract this amount of acidity by neutralizing injections without taking my water out of the TDS range I had set for myself. Their water does receive injections to customize it and partially offset the pH, but within the TDS range I had set for myself for tank feed it was barely touching the pH aspect of incoming water.

To compound this problem, I was only running three 15 gallon tanks for my Sulawesi bank, and I typically set my incoming cycles at nominally 10% volume rate, so for a 15 gallon tank (nominally), I will not exceed an Water Factory rate that puts more than 1.5 gallons per hour flow rate into the tanks during a cycle. This is just something I've worked out over the years and is a whole other thesis to explain.

So at 1.5 gallons flow rate per hour for three tanks with two types of feed lines, I was not running enough water flow past my microinjectors to put them into accurate injection range. I'm running two injectors, and each needs a MINIMUM flow rate of 4 gallons per hour in order to have injection accuracy. I was running a total of 4.5 gallons per hour rate feed, this was split evenly by two water types, making each microinjector only "see" a flow rate of 2.25 gallons per hour, not enough to get the mechanics into accurate injection range.

So what this means is that one way I could have decreased the problems of too-acidic water into my Sulawesi tanks would have been to use a very low flow rate into the tanks, for longer, rather than a higher flow rate, for shorter. Except I could not do this, as I needed to have a higher flow rate going to get the micro-injectors to work properly.

So, I compromised and ran some flush lines off to the side, essentially wasting half my custom made water down the drain, in order to run more flow rate through my injectors to get them into accurate range. But this still put water into the tanks fast enough to dip my tank pH half a point each cycle.

The Mermaids were tolerating it but not thriving. I was barely holding ground with their population, replacing only the same number and not growing.

I discussed this problem with Shrimptern 2.0 and we sort of tossed the idea around, then I let it incubate a few more months, STUBBORNLY insisting that the solution be simple, easy, reliable, predictable, and of course cheap and non-proprietary.

So, DK begins pondering the cycle of degassing, in her head. (OK, if you want to use the accurate word: OBSESSING. Good projects usually involve an incubation period of obsession.) What goes into degassing, what are all the elements? She derives her conceptual equation we've talked about. She begins to build a plan how to use each of those parts of the conceptual equation, to solve her problem. (She does leave out the PRESSURE part of Henry's law, as to deal with that to increase degassing rate would mean applying vacuum to the system, which fit none of the criteria: easy, simple, cheap, etc., so she abandons that one aspect in her design.) Next, she begins to hunt around the house for ways, for parts, to do it. She ends up in the pantry one day, with the munchies, staring at the giant Costco jar of cashews, and the idea begins to form...

From that, with a lotta pondering, she evolved the CJDS project.

First, she needed to buy time, for degassing. This meant retention chambers, carefully manipulated so the water is forced to stay in them the longest time before it hits the tank input.

Next, she needed all the help she could get, to get that gas out of the water DURING that residence time. She builds into the plan: MATRIX (via the orange net stuff), AGITATION (via airstones tied into a timer, that turn on an hour before until an hour after each cycle), ADDED HEAT.

So today, she sort of wraps up, talking about the ADDED HEAT.

What she did was to place the CJDS units, in their secondary containment trays, just above the tanks, and therefore just above those spiral fluorescent fixtures.

When she recently encased that space to trap the heat, she left the space above for the CJDS trays, so they'd get direct access to that heat below them.

In doing this, she solved a second problem that she'd since engineered a solution to: live Water Factory water was hitting her delicate Sulawesi tanks at 60 some degrees, plunging her tank temps and kicking on her heaters, so the Mermaids were "seeing" half a point in pH swing, and a degree or two drop in temperature each Water Factory cycle.

By buying residence time, and adding heat into the degassing chambers, she both increased degassing efficiency AND mediated that temperature, since after a stay in the department store over the heat of the lights, the water NOW entering the tanks was BOTH degassed AND warmed up.

Pretty slick, huh, especially using that light fixure heat.

But there was one more lovely side effect...

We digress here to hop up on the soapbox. You see, DK loves systems. Parts, that make a whole. Pieces, that fit together. Multiple objectives, that come together and dovetail in their solutions.

There is no more efficient designer of integrated systems than Nature. Nature uses everything, re-uses, recycles, overlaps, all these things. They are slowly learning just how complex our DNA is, that it has regions that start instructions, stop instructions, alter or control instructions, provide building plans, and have overlapping sections that do different tasks. That sort of thing. Why DK digs things biological - they are just so freakin' coo-el in their multi-dimensionality.

OK, so back to the CJDS degassing reactors. Using simple principles, and simple mechanics for the most part, DK was able to slow down water to a 24 hour residence time, route the water to control the oldest water entering the tanks, provide matrix and agitation, simply, to maximize degassing, and re-use (wasted, extraneous) heat to speed up the process and mediate temperatures of incoming cycle water, solving a second problem of temperature dips each cycle.

Oh, but it gets even better, thanks to Nature.

DK set up the beta tests, and let it run, to "ripen" over a few months, while she strung y'all out on the posts. She wanted to iron the kinks out of the project, so by the time she wrapped up she could say she made progress on her goals and that it was "working" - which is it, spectacularly. The Mermaids are grinding out the babies and looking the best they have since she's had them, and since the onset of the CJDS, the population has started to grow, not just replace itself.

While she was letting the system settle in and show results, two other aspects arose, which presented problems to solve, for systemic goals:
  1. Mermaids appear to survive primarily off biofilms. They are not so interested in any sort of food. Their natural environment is low TDS and low nutrients in the water. DK struggled with how to grow enough bioslime to run a production tank - high density population eventually - when there is limited bioslime grown off lean water.
  2. True to Murphy, and Whack-a-Mole, the nitrate problem popped up in her tap water, complicating things. Now, she had to watch nitrates.

But while these problems were emerging, Nature was at work.

Up there, above that lots o' leftover BRIGHT LIGHT and "WASTED" HEAT, Nature was evolving solutions to both these problems.

The degassing chambers began to culture biofilms on the matrix, fed by fresh water, nitrates, light, and heat, and CO2 on a regular basis. Our problems became our solutions.

The matrix has now cultured extensive biofilm, rich in nutrients and thriving with photosynthetic organisms. DK will use this to change out the matrix on a schedule, careful not to remove too much matrix any one time, so enough is left to handle "eating" down the nitrates, and transfer the matrix to the tank, as groceries, while putting a new matrix into the chamber, to culture. She will plunk the slimy matrix down into the Mermaid tank, let 'em gorge until it's mostly cleaned off, then trade that one out into the degassing chamber with the next one, replacing the "eaten" one back into the degassing chamber until it's all slimed up, again. Since there are two chambers to each degassing unit, she will always keep one slimed up, to handle the nitrates, and trade out the other as groceries.

She now has a bio-solution that breaks down the nitrates and uses them to farm slime!

That is the coolest thing.

Here are shots of the CJDS unit above the light and heat, the growth on the matrix, and a shot of the oxygen being put out as a thriving, photsynthetic bioslime puts out oxygen at the bottom of the chambers, where they are seeing the light and heat.

DK just loves a slick solution.

AND... the VERY LAST post on the CJDS project will be, after she gets nitrates mediated correctly, a picture of those Mermaids chowing down on slimy matrix, at the smorgasbord o' slime. But that picture, and therefore the last post, will have to wait.

Such a delicious project. Now, DK bides her time, waiting for piano strings to arrive. We're going to learn how to string our own piano strings, we decided. May as well learn the whole kaboosh. The Geek way.


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Old 01-03-2013, 07:52 PM   #1268
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Default Shrimptern 2.0 - This one's for you!

Shrimptern 2.0: Got a picture of what I was tellin' ya.

Good things are happening... all over the Shrimporium, right now.

Despite our nitrate spike.

********

IN OTHER NEWS, ebay is my friend. Shrimp juice, made faster.


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Old 01-03-2013, 08:23 PM   #1269
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She now has a bio-solution that breaks down the nitrates and uses them to farm slime!
All I can think is this:

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Old 01-06-2013, 11:41 PM   #1270
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Here is a picture of my Wattson showing me his new toy..Sorry so late but hopefully more to come...
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:56 AM   #1271
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Here is a picture of my Wattson showing me his new toy..Sorry so late but hopefully more to come...
More. Definitely need more.

Sooooo sleek and shiny, and what a great attitude shot, except on first glance I thought he had killed a cat! What IS that toy?

I sooooooooo want to feel that sleek coat. I just don't think there is any dog more sleek than a beautiful Dobe.

I think Wattson needs his place in the Steampunk Goggles Gallery... hmm...

Thanks for the picture! I wish I could meet these dogs in real life!!

DK

DK keeps wondering what color a Slurm smoothie would be. And what would it taste like??

IN OTHER NEWS:

DK's tap is now running orange, down from red. Depending on which color card one reads, that could be anywhere from 10-20 ppm nitrates pouring into her tanks twice daily.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:56 AM   #1272
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Thanks for the compliments...Wattson always has to show and share his toys,especially to show me his toys so his greedy brother does not hoard them all..Here is Dozer,,Watty's brother...He is hoarding the 2 new two toys.... ..The toys are a Triceratops dinosaur stuffed animal..I just gave them both bathes for Xmas,,they are extra shiny smooth now....Very smooth and soft to pet them..To meet in person,that would all be toooo great to happen...Pennsylvania is not that of a big state,,never know...These pictures are yours for the taking...
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:12 AM   #1273
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kentucky isnt to far either lol im mid state and at the top
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:17 AM   #1274
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Funny you say that..My better half was just at Lexington,KY right after Xmas with her friends visting some Saddle bred horse farms down there..
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kentucky isnt to far either lol im mid state and at the top
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:25 AM   #1275
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DK,,,sssshhhhhhh,,please do not say cat,dog,squirrel and most of all "bunny"..Wattson is always nebbing out the windows,,relentlessly..Day after day..I have already accepted defeat in trying to keep up with cleaning wet nose prints off his favorite window...
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