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Solar Powered Aerator for Compost Tea  RSS feed

 
Kevin Murphy
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Location: New Jersey Shore
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Good morning and sorry if this is not posted in the proper area but I am looking for a solution for a way to create compost tea without grid electric.
I saw a small bubbler system being used in a video out in Berkely California and I wrote to the professor in the video but he never wrote back.

They had what appeared to be a 12" X12" solar panel with a small motorcycle type battery running a small bubbler pump to aerate the tea.
I think he said that they add molasses and then aerate it for 7 days. It was in a 5 gallon pail.

Has anyone else tried this?
I am looking for a good DIY project this weekend and this seems like a great use of my worm casting and juice from the bottom of the worm bin.
All ideas and suggestions are welcome.

Thanks
-Kevin in NJ

 
Kevin Murphy
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Location: New Jersey Shore
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Here is the link to the video I watched.


 
John Elliott
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You can use your nose to judge how well your experiment is working. If it smells nasty, the aeration is not working; if it smells almost sweet, like a wet morning in the country, then the aeration is doing its job.

I aerate mine with a small bubbler for a 10 gal. aquarium. Haven't had to convert it to solar, but I suppose I could.
 
Kevin Murphy
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Thanks for the reply but I am trying to covert mine to solar....and I am looking for help on how to do that.
 
John Elliott
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You could try this solar powered fountain pump from Harbor Freight. I think a bubbler might more efficient at aeration than the air exchange from the fountain spray, but that's just my guess and an experiment waiting to be done.
 
David Williams
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Many things are going to play a part in your decision , how deep is the mix ? , how much airflow do you need?, did you want to stay at 12-24v or bump to 110v-240v ect , are you going to run timers , how loud does it need to be (urban), how much are you willing to spend ?

Without knowing the above, but having done similar , i might be able to suggest a few thoughts ......
a) a mid-high volume air pump that i have used are in the nebulizer's for asthmatics, these have to be mounted well or they can be loud
b) their are many battery operated air pumps for fish in esky's or transport tanks for live fish like Link
c) Foam markers on spray rigs also use a decent pressure 12v air pump

also in the effort of keeping costs down ..... do you really need a battery? , or could running directly off solar while light shines be sufficient time for aeration ?
would mean a lot less cost inputs not needing timers , battery monitors and charge controllers , would only need a regulator.. with the exception of a) as i have only seen 110v-240v models

if any of the above options are to pricey , have you considered a paddle wheel aerator like they use in fish farms ? cheap , reliable and easily obtainable .... just food for thought
 
Kevin Murphy
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Hi David
In the video link above it looks to be about a 10 or 15 gallon tank.
I am thinking its about 2 ft deep or about 0.6 meters.
I do not think it can only run during the day and that's why they have the battery.
Going from lots of o2 to no aeration for 12 hours or more on cloudy days would cause the tea to be anaerobic no?

I am trying to find out what the system is in the video but so far I am striking out...

Thanks for the links I will check them out and post what I find.

Kevin
 
David Williams
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Well , i am going from experience in AP, Breeding tropical fish, Brewing Home brew , and Bio-gas (mini trials i have been doing)
I Re-watched the video and one of the spectators ask if there is no solar what can be done? , and the guy says it can work with being stirred twice a day by moving the bag.....
I have seen video of Africans stirring clay pots once a day and growing spirulina .... Anaerobic Bacteria will grow in zero oxygen environments , not in low oxygen environments....
If you have sufficient mixing during the day , it wont turn anaerobic overnight easily.... although , i also notice he adds Sugar (molasses) which i wouldn't do ... Sugar makes yeasts grow too quickly,
and you end up with a home brew set in dirty water , making huge amounts of carbon dioxide that can go quickly anaerobic..... and it only cultures yeast that grows on Sucrose.... IMHO the preferred method is to allow the material to break down slowly releasing it's own sugars , far more complex , allowing the variety of yeasts to culture , giving bacterium a variety of food over time , at the same rate of the bacterium's culturing rate and maintaining low total carbon production at any given time..... leaving that carbon stored in the tea...

A well stocked tank of fish would arguably consume similar amounts of O2 as Tea production would... I have had power outages for 24 hour periods and no loss of fish , meaning enough residual oxygen remains in my 100ltr tanks (100ltr = 26.42gal (US) =21.99gal (British))
Dave oxoxox
 
Robert Ray
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I would look at a bait well aerator. I use one purchsed from Cabela's to power the pump for my hydroponics. I'm sure any big sporting goods outlet would have one. I have mine hooked direct to the panel and it hasn't failed in three years of use.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Marine-Metals-Hush-Bubbles-Portable-Aerator/701079.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Daerator%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=aerator&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products
 
Kevin Murphy
Posts: 41
Location: New Jersey Shore
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Hi David,
Thanks for the link.
I was looking at this one possibly

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Fishing/Fish-Attractant-Bait/Aerators-Bait-Keepers-Fish-Lights|/pc/104793480/c/104718780/sc/105544980/Marine-Metal-Products-Power-Bubbles/738182.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse.cmd%3FN%3D1102360%26WTz_l%3DSBC%253BBRprd701079&WTz_l=SBC%3BBRprd701079%3Bcat105544980

Then maybe attached to a small motorcycle battery and a solar panel.

Is your bubbler hooked right to the solar panel directly?


-Kevin

 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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