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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:49 pm 
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You may already know this, but gac can be made from different sources such as shale, wood, coconut make sure it is Ph neutral, it can have a Ph above 9. I don't know about biochar.l
It was almost a disaster in my fish hatchery. And it will prevent the uptake of nutrients in plants.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:40 pm 
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i'm Not having a go at you rfeiller Just answering your post in a broad spectrum way... 8-)
Not aimed at you ! Sorry if it came across that way ! :|

I try and use all my organic scraps from my garden to compost so as to turn it back into my beds..
Including my lawn cuttings... Crumbs- that normally takes about 3 full wheely bins at a time....
This takes en endless amount of work..... but it's having an effect.. 3 years down the line.
I keep doing it out of habit now and have more than enough for 5 gardens my size....
We here in South Africa don't really mix with our neighbours... sorta leave me alone attitude..
But ! ! ! if everyone did the same as what we do in our garden.... the whole neighbourhood will have abundance....
But we don't think that way.... Pity ! I would gladly share.....
Can you guy's imagine if everyone had their own AP system how much cheaper food would be?

(Pie in the sky thinking here folks :P )

I suppose if EVERYONE on the planet does a little at a time... it will eventually pay off.
Not sit back and let all the tree hugger's, organic farmers, AP and HP guy's, self sustaining people etc, etc do their small share while the rest of the world is drying up or burning....And everyone waits for the other to do their part..... but it happens....... to the determent of the planet as a whole.

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I do not have a BEER GUT.
I have developed a LIQUID GRAIN STORAGE FACILITY

I do not GET LOST ALL THE TIME.
I INVESTIGATE ALTERNATIVE DESTINATIONS.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:01 pm 
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head rush
it was obvious from your posts that you are very much concerned about the enviornment.

i have gardened orgainically for about 20 yrs. my yard even though in a crowded city has an abundance of wildlife even though the homes around me are toxic dumps from insecticides, herbicides etc. i have my compost piles, my worm boxes. i have used Taro for removal of nitrates and other substances from my koi pond/creek setup for about 8 yrs. it does an excellent job. the koi and turtles love to eat taro every part of it is edible and it is more temperature tollerant, from a growing point then is cat tails. it is still producing leaves in 30-40 degree temp. where the cat tails quit two months ago, so they are dormant. taro does not produce the destructive runners, that the reeds do. yet i believe they produce a larger plant and better root system in the same period of time. they are contained in floating nets or perforated plastic boxes.

i don't know if you have gone to calgoncarbon.com; you will see the many, many specifically engineered grades of GAC. i prefer the acid washed coconut shell, ph neutral product for potable water. i have had better success with that product then with the coal based products. they are pricey if you purchase them, that is why i use a water treatment company to supply and change out the tanks. they refire the used gac. spent gac is considered toxic waste and can't just be dumped.

i wish you the best with your project. i too will be recycling my grey water, but not for food or veges. only for ornamentals. by the way several states including California will allow you a permit to reclaim your grey water.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:57 am 
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rfeiller wrote:
expanded clay is basically inert

biochar is said to burn the roots.



Thanks, The wheat and oat farmers used to burn the fields after harvest, to be able to plow in the ashes/carbon, which adds nitrogen, etc. back into the earth. That had been stopped now because of the eco-freaks, so our farmland is going to uslessness because it can't be replenished. I think if there were less soil-depleting commercial ferts and poisons being put on our food, and more cow, sheep, chicken, and goat ferts put on our crops, we wouldn't have the problems we have now - ecoli, etc. I'm wondering if the biochar wouldn't be a good idea in trying to bring back the good soil we once had here. Yes, it would take a long time, but it probably could be done. If a program similar to the biblical 'land rest' were put into effect, that would help as well. A college in Texas ran their farms and ranches this way and succeeded in replenishing the soil where once there had been worthless farmland, only good for grazing.

IOW, I like the idea of the use of biochar in replenishing the earth's soil.

I'd like to know more about the manufacture of 'activated charcoal' without using acids, etc. I've seen some pretty good vids on You Tube for manufacturing charcoal, but I'd like to see something for activating it with steam and pressure, rather than acids (more pollution and toxic waste).

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You're never too old to learn something
Aquaponics - food'n'fish at your doorstep

Helena, Montana - Home of the Northernmost Monument to the Confederacy


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:28 pm 
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kinda off topic, but kinda on..
i just read a study that showed "non-plowed" land released much less nitrous oxide than plowed or tilled land.. actually finds that it's more beneficial to not plow at all

http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2010/101220VynNitrous.html


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:38 pm 
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that is true keith, plowing totally disrupts the balance of organisms in the soil.

biochar took thousands of years to become the entire ecosystem that it is and yes ash is good for the soil in moderation. after a forest fire all types of plant life springs up. making charcoal in a steel drum is not biochar, it is charcoal fit for the bar b que. what has been depleted will not be able to be replaced with charcoal. these guys on youtube try for their 5 minutes of fame.

i don't know if you folks, have gone to the Rosebud.com, urbangarden.com and maximumyield.com websites, these three also produce mags on hydroponics. great reading.

i'm sorry if i come across as trying to go heads up. i have designed and built several fish hatcheries, i have given lectures across the country in years past on waterpurification, tropical fish breeding and hatchery design and construction. i have an idea of what makes aquaculture work. aquaponics is in some respects new to me, i find a lot of good information from numerous sources and of course the knowledgeable guys on this forum. i appreciate everyones participation particularly those that disagree with me, it makes me do more research.

have a great day my forum friends.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:05 pm 
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rfeiller wrote:
You may already know this, but gac can be made from different sources such as shale, wood, coconut make sure it is Ph neutral, it can have a Ph above 9. I don't know about biochar.l
It was almost a disaster in my fish hatchery. And it will prevent the uptake of nutrients in plants.


I can't imagine charcoal being made from shale .... amazing! We have a lot of shale around here .... I wonder ...... ;) :lol: How do they process rocks/stone to become charcoal? This would be an interesting addition to this thread.

I'm glad we're getting so much information in this thread, that was the intent of separating the two threads - as I said previously, I'd like to know more about the steam process for 'activation' as I'm not thrilled by the idea that something I put into my stomach is "acid-washed.' If my fish live in the water that the acid-washed charcoal is in, I'm not sure I want to eat those fish, if you get my drift! Ergo, I'd like to learn to make my own charcoal, and then steam-activate it ..... that would make me feel a lot better about it!

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I use the Linux Operating System ...... Free as in beer!
You're never too old to learn something
Aquaponics - food'n'fish at your doorstep

Helena, Montana - Home of the Northernmost Monument to the Confederacy


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:13 am 
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The acid that they use is washed of many times...... so by the time you get it - it's cleaned.
Fit for human/animal consumption.
I just wonder what they do with the acid once it's all saturated and used up?

rfeiller (i'm not attacking here !) What I understand about bio char is that you have to make the charcoal...But at a higher more intense heat. Whether it's in a steel drum or an earth mound....But!!.. it must be almost 200 degC higher than making normal charcoal. Once that has been achieved - you wet down this charcoal and break it up. Let it stand a while... then mix it with soil at a 10% rate to soil/top soil or a 50/50 rate to compost. This rests AGAIN for a while and then gets added to you field- garden - beds etc at a rate of 1kg per square meter.
How else would they make it? Maybe I missed something? What name do they give this process? Yes, we learn from mother nature, be it 5 min or 5000 years..... we mimic so many things and sometimes better mother natures capabilities for our benefit. I've seen many posts and forums over this last week that makes me understand more and makes me look stupid at the same time...
Just like Aquaponics, Hydroponics, Aqua culture.... Air o ponics... etc These were all looked at with skepticism in it's infancy.... until people caught on. All these guys tried to get in their 5 min of fame..... and look where it got them.... International recognition.....Well, sorta.
AP and related have long way to go yet to be accepted in every back yard across the world....
It's guys like you that are the pioneers in todays technology and abundance of information that will make this possible. Like the guys before you.
Here are people looking for alternatives.....finding them, tweaking and refining their processes for the next generation....Who are we really to be skeptical?
My granddad always said to me that when you are discussing something....always- always look at it from the other mans perspective. That way we learn.
Like you say rfeiller Lots of info from very knowledgeable guys here. This is why i'm hanging around. :D
Please- like I say- i'm not knocking or attacking here ! 8-)
Interesting reading kieth_r.

_________________
I do not have a BEER GUT.
I have developed a LIQUID GRAIN STORAGE FACILITY

I do not GET LOST ALL THE TIME.
I INVESTIGATE ALTERNATIVE DESTINATIONS.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:18 pm 
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The natural biochar is an entire ecosystem made up of many different organism's. Without these organism's it is charcoal. By adding charcoal to the soil with the addition of composts and manures the charcoal is innoculated with these organisms it will become biochar. But it will take many years to become anything like the naturally. Occurring biochar. All that is happening is you are dumping charcoal on your dirt.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:43 pm 
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This makes good reading..... Lots of great links too...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochar

Anyway Jacalope... my last contribution to your original request...Sorry for the side track....

Activated Charcoal and it's Manufacture..........................

Activated charcoal can be made at home by chemical activation procedure, provided you have the required materials and equipments. Though any organic material can be used as precursor or raw material for producing activated charcoal, you should select a non toxic carbon source with absorbent properties. You can make use of coconut shells or hardwood. Let's discuss in brief how to make activated charcoal using coconut shells as the raw material.
First of all, keep all the required materials ready for making activated charcoal; you need coconut shells (without meat), burning sink, oven, 25 percent concentrated solution of calcium chloride (CaCl2) or zinc chloride (ZnCl2), sterilized water, plastic pail, draining tray, zipper bags and blender. Before starting the procedure, you can strip off coconut shells, wash thoroughly with clean water and allow them to dry completely. If drying is not done properly, they may be difficult to burn.
Add the dried coconut shells in the burning sink by adjusting the temperature to about 600 - 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintain the recommended temperature range and burn continuously for about 4 ½ hours or until the coconut shells turn into ash. For safe handling, you can leave the ash until it cools down. After the ash has cooled down, carefully take out the ash from the sink and transfer it into a clean plastic pail. Then, pour the 25 percent concentrated solution of calcium chloride or zinc chloride into the plastic pail.
The amount of calcium chloride or zinc chloride solution should be such that the ash is soaked completely into the solution. Cover the pail with a lid and leave for 20 - 24 hours. During this process, the chemicals are impregnated into the ash, after which further treatment will transform the ash into activated charcoal. The next step is removing the charcoal from the chemical solution and transferring it into a draining tray. Allow solution to drain for about 1 hour.
For removal of any trace chemicals from the charcoal, you can wash and rinse repeatedly with sterilized water. Thorough washing is essential in order to get rid of the chemical solution, which is one of the most common problems in the making of activated charcoal by chemical activation procedure. After washing, keep the charcoal in the tray for draining water. Following this, transfer the charcoal into an oven, setting the temperature to about 215 - 230 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 3 hours.
After baking, remove the activated charcoal from the oven and crush it with the help of a blender. You can also grind the activated charcoal into powder form by using a hammer. For future use, store the powdered activated charcoal into zipper bags or airtight containers. This way you can make activated charcoal on your own.
By Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/how-to-m ... rcoal.html


I have learned so much in the last few days. Thanks for the post.

_________________
I do not have a BEER GUT.
I have developed a LIQUID GRAIN STORAGE FACILITY

I do not GET LOST ALL THE TIME.
I INVESTIGATE ALTERNATIVE DESTINATIONS.


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