Feb 6 2011

Aquaponics in the Yard-Day 7

So after losing an average of 2 or 3 goldfish feeders a day, and ultimately 7 one day, I broke down and decided to buy a water testing kit.  After testing th water, I realized that everything was OK for the fish (Still high PH for plants at 8.0), but my ammonia was at dangerous levels:

So I perfomed a 30% water change.  I emptied the water out, and replaced it with tapwater mixed with some dechlorinating drops.  The next day, I checked the ammonia, and, it’s still too high, along with 3 more dead fish.  My tank has obviously not cycled yet, and I think the problem at this point, it I am not giving a place for the bacteria to grow.  I will not feed the fish for two days, and if the ammonia levels continue to peak, then I will add some gravel to the botom of the tank.  Meanwhile, root growth is still good.  But there is a littl bit of burning on the edges of the Cilantro (high PH, I’m assuming).

Feb 4 2011

Watermelon Garden – 2 weeks from seed

Watermelon Sprouts

Feb 4 2011

Aquaponics in the Yard-5 days

After a failed attempt at Hydroponics using the wrong chemicals, I decided to go the organic route and start an Aquaponics system.  After shopping the different types of systems an techniques, I decided to go with an NFT system.  After seeing a few YouTube videos from our Aussie friend showing commercial hydroponic systems.  I decided to give it a try.  If it works, I can always scale it up.

I built it out of 4″, thick-walled PVC, but only becuase I couldn’t find the thin-walled stuff.  I used my existing hydroponocs bin as the reservoir, which I hope to also put plants in.  With all the resources available online, I will hold back on writing a guide until I feel I got it right.

Week 1:
I basically filled it up and got everything in on Saturday.  No cycling or maturity time.  After only 5 days, I already have root growth!  My ph level is too high (8.0), but the plants are growing and I can see some strawberries forming already.  I’ve been feeding the feeder gold fish twice a day, and lose a few fish (dead) daily.  I checked today, and had 10 feeder fish dead.  Tomorrow I will buy an ammonia and nitrite/nitrate kit to see if I can identify why my fish are dying. 

Feb 3 2011

Hydroponics Attempt

For my first Hydroponics attempt, I used the popular aerated tote method, found all over the net.  This was the easiest and cheapest to do, and was recommended for beginners.  After watching Hydroponics for Beginners a few times, I went ahead and attempted it.  It lasted about a week, and I didn’t really see any root growth.  On the contrary, my strawberries didn’t look too happy.
While, I only gave it a week, I can conclude tht my problem was that instead of the recommended Peters 20-20-20 with Micronutrients, I used All Purpose Miracle-Gro.  Don’t waste your time.  Luckily, I have some other fruits and natives around the yard that I don’t mind fertilizing, so it’s not a complete waste, but for a Hydroponics setup, I can’t recommend it.

Here’s a shot at my first attempt, not too many pics, but you get the idea

So I began to look at what could have been wrong when I ran accross Aquaponics.  I spoke to a few people and see some potential of even giving it a shot commercially.  So keep a look out for my aquaoponics project, which I fully track it’s progress through the blog.

Feb 2 2011

Installing Ofuz on shared hosting such as 1and1.com

After spending hours looking at different CRM’s and ERP’s trying to find the best one suited for my small IT shop, I found Ofuz.  They do not advertise themselves as a CRM, but have some of the important qualities.  Good integration with Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.  And for those that want to host it on you own server, to make the data your own, I’ve provided the steps to do so.  Beware, that any poblems you have will not be fully supported as Ofuz would rather you keep it with them in the cloud.  It’s probably better that way.  But for those of us who are selfish with our data, and are willing to spend the time troubleshooting yourself, here  it is.

1) Download the latest version from Ofuz.com here: http://www.ofuz.com/releases/ofuz-bundle-0.6.2.tar.gz
Their documentation for server installs can be found here: http://www.ofuz.com/opensource/wiki/install

2) Upload the extracted folder (via ftp) to your domain.  My preferred ftp client is FileZilla

3) Create a MYSQL database from the MySQL administration section in the 1and1 control panel.

4) Change the permissions for the following files to read /write by all.  In FileZilla, you can right-click the directory in question, select ‘File Attributes’ , enter 777 for numeric value, and click OK.
invoice_pdf, contact_vcf, files, dbimage

5) From th 1and1 database information, enter the following into the config.php.sample…edited from Ofuz.com documentation:
Setup the database information in config.php.sample at the bottom of the file:
$conx = new sqlConnect(“database_user”, “database_password”) ;
$conx->setHostname(“database hostname”) ;
$conx->setDatabase(“database name”) ;

6) Rename config.php.sample to config.php

7) Add the following line to the top of htaccess.sample:
*AddType x-mapp-php5 .php”

8) Rename htaccess.sample to .htaccess

9) Add your database username to the following file:

on the following line:
function sqlConnect ($login=”database username”, $password=”database password”) 

It’s a good idea to modify the permissions for this file or password protect the root directory to keep hackers away from your database password. 

10) For the final step, you must populate the tables in the database yourself.  The easiest way to do this, without SQL commands is to use phpmyadmin. From the 1and1 control panel, go to MySQL Administration, and select phpmyadmin for the database used for OFuz. On the top-left, seleft the SQL icon for the ‘query window’. Then select Import Data, and browse for the following file, located in the extracted folder for Ofuz:


Click OK.

That’s it. Don’t forget to create a subdomain for ofuz. (ofuz.yourdomain.com). Otherwise, it won’t work.

“Open Source is free if your time is worth nothing” ; ) I kid, I kid!  Time spent finding a solution is worth the reward.

By the way, I didn’t catch-on until watching the video twice, it’s no Oh! fuz!,  It’s pronounced Awfuce.  Like “Office” with an English accent.