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By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#121221
Next peat soak results...so far:

Distracted, I allowed the first soaking of the peat to go for ~11 days. ~3 days of casually getting it completely waterlogged, then fully soaked for ~8 days. The results are kind of surprising to me. This batch consisted of ~90% new unwashed peat and ~10% of previously washed peat (~30 ppm):

11 days: 62 ppm
36 hrs: 53 ppm
48 hrs: 36 ppm
22 hrs: 29 ppm
14 days: 18 ppm
(^^^going to start another batch-10-16-11)

Same bag as the previous batch. :?

Will post more results as I get them... :ugeek:
------------------------------------------------------------

Next batch started 10-16-11. 1x pre washed/soaked peat:

48 hrs: 76 ppm
7 days: 63 ppm
48 hrs: 55 ppm
~1 month: 33 ppm
~2 weeks: 34 ppm ->used rain water-unknown ppm-should have been 3-8 ppm.
~1 week drain
~2 weeks: 22 ppm

Going to drain well now and load the next batch that is ~25/25/50 =perlite/sand/peat--peat washed 1x.
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#127929
Naja002 wrote:Next peat soak results...so far:

Distracted, I allowed the first soaking of the peat to go for ~11 days. ~3 days of casually getting it completely waterlogged, then fully soaked for ~8 days. The results are kind of surprising to me. This batch consisted of ~90% new unwashed peat and ~10% of previously washed peat (~30 ppm):

11 days: 62 ppm
36 hrs: 53 ppm
48 hrs: 36 ppm
22 hrs: 29 ppm
14 days: 18 ppm
(^^^going to start another batch-10-16-11)

Same bag as the previous batch. :?

Will post more results as I get them... :ugeek:
------------------------------------------------------------

Next batch started 10-16-11. 1x pre washed/soaked peat:

48 hrs: 76 ppm
7 days: 63 ppm
48 hrs: 55 ppm
~1 month: 33 ppm
~2 weeks: 34 ppm ->used rain water-unknown ppm-should have been 3-8 ppm.
~1 week drain
~2 weeks: 22 ppm

Draining well now, and will load the next batch that is ~25/25/50 =perlite/sand/peat--peat washed 1x.

^^^^^Last batch in the quote above. Been very uncaring and forgetful about it. Starting next batch as described in the quote. Getting ready to order some coir and see if I can get that completed before spring! :mrgreen:
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#128108
Started the next batch yesterday-12-31-11. It is 50/25/25 peat/perlite/(good) sand.

Drain results:
24 hrs: 94 ppm
14 hrs: 68 ppm
4 days: unknown-thawing 5 gal ice cube.
8 hrs: 16 ppm
12 hrs: 16 ppm
Last edited by Naja002 on Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
By David F
Posts:  1649
Joined:  Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:41 pm
#128115
What it sounds like is the dissolved solids do actually dissolve relatively fast. The fact that it will go down with *repeated soakings* more as apposed to *prolonged* soakings, makes me think that the gross amount of solids that dissolve is relative to the water itself (high TDS water is less likely to dissolve a whole lot of solids apposed to pure water) Sort of like why an IV has the same TDS always.

Something interesting you might not know is that osmosis and net movement of water is attribed to all dissolved solids equally, because the movement is based on water, water will be equalized, and so in a way it makes sense that a ratio of roughly 1/2 based on the ammounts that may have been in the soil (which to us are unkown)

I'm curious if there is some sort of blind test which we could find out the absolute dissolved solids in a medium without actually using water, (or if water were used we would need exact measurements) This may not work because of the issues that may come up such as: What if peat continually breaks down and PPm will always slowly go up? I want to see how many solids are in it, and why/how soaking it really does help.
David F liked this
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#128690
Naja002 wrote:Started the next batch yesterday-12-31-11. It is 50/25/25 peat/perlite/(good) sand.

Drain results:
24 hrs: 94 ppm
14 hrs: 68 ppm
4 days: unknown-thawing 5 gal ice cube.
8 hrs: 16 ppm
12 hrs: 16 ppm

Results of last batch in the quote above. VERY strange outcome. The bucket froze solid for a couple of days or so. I did the last soak, because I had issues accepting the 2nd to last results. I am curious if the freezing/thawing somehow effected the dissolution of the TDS in the media. Didn't make any sense for it to drop from 68 ppm to 16 ppm in 2 soaks. I refilled and did another 12 hr soak--the result is the same. Definitely strange. Keep in mind that the peat was washed/soaked 1x in the past, the sand was cleaned well--not sure how well though, and the perlite was washed in the past. The final soak was done with RODI (~1ppm).




David F wrote:What it sounds like is the dissolved solids do actually dissolve relatively fast. The fact that it will go down with *repeated soakings* more as apposed to *prolonged* soakings, makes me think that the gross amount of solids that dissolve is relative to the water itself (high TDS water is less likely to dissolve a whole lot of solids apposed to pure water) Sort of like why an IV has the same TDS always.

Something interesting you might not know is that osmosis and net movement of water is attribed to all dissolved solids equally, because the movement is based on water, water will be equalized, and so in a way it makes sense that a ratio of roughly 1/2 based on the ammounts that may have been in the soil (which to us are unkown)

I'm curious if there is some sort of blind test which we could find out the absolute dissolved solids in a medium without actually using water, (or if water were used we would need exact measurements) This may not work because of the issues that may come up such as: What if peat continually breaks down and PPm will always slowly go up? I want to see how many solids are in it, and why/how soaking it really does help.
I appreciate the thoughts and input. :mrgreen: It seems that the higher the TDS of the media the closer to 50% of the TDS moves to the water. However, from what I've seen it's not linear. The lower the start point, the lower the percent that dissolves into the water.

With the technology that we have today a test like you describe would not be a surprise to me, but I doubt that there is much available in our price range. A local extension office could help find out what's in the media.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Well, I started on 3 bricks of Eco Earth. VERY fine stuff. I have not yet had the opportunity to compare it to the Procoir in any way, but that will be coming. I started with RODI in order to get a solid reading. I will be using reservoir water (~14 ppm) for most or all of this though:

Eco Earth-1-08-12:

Start- 691 ppm (RODI)

Drain results:

12 hrs: 1,640 ppm
16 hrs: 1,690 ppm
12 hrs: 375 ppm (3 readings: 357, 297, 254)--results seem odd. Not sure why it would drop so much...we'll see.
11 hrs: 84 ppm (4 readings: 84, 78, 67, 54)--not sure why it's dropping so dramatically...???
8 hrs: drain
17 hrs: 41 ppm (4 readings: 41, 38, 34, 34)
12 hrs: 41 ppm (4 readings: 40, 41, 40, 40)
11 hrs: 41 ppm (5 readings: 40, 41, 40, 38, 38)--used RODI water. Recycled it back into the batch after taking the readings...just to see if ppm increases any from the longer soaking.

72 hrs: 33 ppm pH 6.8 Mostly frozen. I did get drain water to check. Just going to let it thaw and drain..may do another soak before moving onto the Procoir.

12 hrs: 19 ppm --I did a large 1 gal sample. I let the station drain overnight and filled it with room temp. RODI and let it soak for 12 hrs. Temps tonight are above freezing, so I am going to let it soak overnight again, and take the final reading tomorrow. The freezing seems to have an effect of the TDS read-out.

20 hrs: 23 ppm --~1/2 gal sample RODI. Final drain now. Moving on to the Procoir.

----------------------------

Just started getting the Procoir soaking (1-10-12)...in a different container. I am going to let it soak until the batch of Eco Earth above is completed.
Last edited by Naja002 on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:44 pm, edited 13 times in total.
User avatar
By Steve_D
Location: 
Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#128714
Thanks for the TDS results during the soaking process, naja002.

The proportion of water to coir used when soaking, as well as the amount of time the coir is left to soak between drainings, both affect the TDS readings.

I tend to add just enough collected rain water to the coir to fill to the top surface of the coir, and let it soak for 10-12 hours each time. With the coir I have used (including ProCoir), the TDS after the first soak is often over 1200 parts per million. Each subsequent soaking brings the TDS down to roughly half of what the last measurement was of the drained water.

Anyway, thanks for posting your experiments, processes, etc., and allowing everyone else to gain from your experience. :)
Steve_D liked this
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#128757
Steve_D wrote:Thanks for the TDS results during the soaking process, naja002.

The proportion of water to coir used when soaking, as well as the amount of time the coir is left to soak between drainings, both affect the TDS readings.

I tend to add just enough collected rain water to the coir to fill to the top surface of the coir, and let it soak for 10-12 hours each time. With the coir I have used (including ProCoir), the TDS after the first soak is often over 1200 parts per million. Each subsequent soaking brings the TDS down to roughly half of what the last measurement was of the drained water.

Anyway, thanks for posting your experiments, processes, etc., and allowing everyone else to gain from your experience. :)
Hey Steve,

It's definitely not a problem. I'm hoping that something can be gained from this somehow, some way. I think one thing that has been shown so far is that your assertion that there isn't much point soaking beyond 12 hrs is valid. :mrgreen: Doesn't seem to hurt anything to let the media soak longer, but there really doesn't seem to be much, if any, gain either.

I posted the first drain result in my previous post. Just going to do what I've been doing--quietly edit-in batch results...then quote the batch all at once for those that have any interest here. Anyway, I've mainly just been following your lead: 8-24 hr soaks, fill to top of media. For me though: I really don't want to stand there and wait for the air to bubble out of a fill, so I end up with ~1/2-1" of water over the top of the media. I've noticed that the very end water is the lowest--which I believe is more like "rinse" water than soak water. I usually take at least 2 readings during a drain, oftentimes 3, 4 or 5.

Biggest problem I'm having is getting the cleaned media to dry out! :mrgreen:
User avatar
By Steve_D
Location: 
Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#128760
Naja002 wrote:Biggest problem I'm having is getting the cleaned media to dry out!
Yes, that can take a long time. Here in sunny New Mexico, US, where it rarely rains and where most times the sun shines brightly in an almost cloudless sky, I usually leave the trays of desalinated coir outside in the sun and breeze to accellerate the drying.

However, this last batch I left outside, only to wake up one morning to find that my almost dry coir was soaking wet from an overnight rain. So I put the trays inside one of the outbuildings (a tool shed). They have been in there more than two weeks, so I decided to check on them today. In the constant shade, with no breeze and the cold air we've been having recently, they were still sopping wet. As soon as we have another warming spell I'm going to put them in the sun and breeze again.
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#129639
Naja002 wrote: Well, I started on 3 bricks of Eco Earth. VERY fine stuff. I have not yet had the opportunity to compare it to the Procoir in any way, but that will be coming. I started with RODI in order to get a solid reading. I will be using reservoir water (~14 ppm) for most or all of this though:

Eco Earth-1-08-12:

Start- 691 ppm (RODI)

Drain results:

12 hrs: 1,640 ppm
16 hrs: 1,690 ppm
12 hrs: 375 ppm (3 readings: 357, 297, 254)--results seem odd. Not sure why it would drop so much...we'll see.
11 hrs: 84 ppm (4 readings: 84, 78, 67, 54)--not sure why it's dropping so dramatically...???
8 hrs: drain
17 hrs: 41 ppm (4 readings: 41, 38, 34, 34)
12 hrs: 41 ppm (4 readings: 40, 41, 40, 40)
11 hrs: 41 ppm (5 readings: 40, 41, 40, 38, 38)--used RODI water. Recycled it back into the batch after taking the readings...just to see if ppm increases any from the longer soaking.

72 hrs: 33 ppm pH 6.8 Mostly frozen. I did get drain water to check. Just going to let it thaw and drain..may do another soak before moving onto the Procoir.

12 hrs: 19 ppm --I did a large 1 gal sample. I let the station drain overnight and filled it with room temp. RODI and let it soak for 12 hrs. Temps tonight are above freezing, so I am going to let it soak overnight again, and take the final reading tomorrow. The freezing seems to have an effect of the TDS read-out.

20 hrs: 23 ppm --~1/2 gal sample RODI. Final drain now. Moving on to the Procoir.

----------------------------

Just started getting the Procoir soaking (1-10-12)...in a different container. I am going to let it soak until the batch of Eco Earth above is completed.

Eco Earth results in quote above. Twice now things seem to go a bit screwy with a freeze/thaw. Going to let it drain overnight and move onto the Procoir.



Steve_D wrote:
Naja002 wrote:Biggest problem I'm having is getting the cleaned media to dry out!
Yes, that can take a long time. Here in sunny New Mexico, US, where it rarely rains and where most times the sun shines brightly in an almost cloudless sky, I usually leave the trays of desalinated coir outside in the sun and breeze to accellerate the drying.

However, this last batch I left outside, only to wake up one morning to find that my almost dry coir was soaking wet from an overnight rain. So I put the trays inside one of the outbuildings (a tool shed). They have been in there more than two weeks, so I decided to check on them today. In the constant shade, with no breeze and the cold air we've been having recently, they were still sopping wet. As soon as we have another warming spell I'm going to put them in the sun and breeze again.
My biggest problem is that I'm not really good at dragging stuff in and out. :mrgreen: How do you keep the breeze/wind from blowing it away as it dries?
User avatar
By Steve_D
Location: 
Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
#129649
Naja002 wrote:How do you keep the breeze/wind from blowing it away as it dries?
I keep it out of the strong wind. :) I try to find a place outside where the drying coir is exposed to the sun but not too much wind.
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#129967
Steve_D wrote:
Naja002 wrote:How do you keep the breeze/wind from blowing it away as it dries?
I keep it out of the strong wind. :) I try to find a place outside where the drying coir is exposed to the sun but not too much wind.
Sounds good. The weather here has been way too rainy and overcast, so I'll have to sort something out once it stabilizes some...
-----------------------

Started getting the Procoir soaking (1-10-12)...in a different container. I emptied the soak station of the Eco Earth and added the first batch of Procoir...looks like it will take 4+ batches to complete the single bail of Procoir. The results so far seem strange to me...ppms seem awfully low:


Procoir Batch #1
11 days: 430 ppm
17 hrs: 384 ppm
8 hrs: 117 ppm pH 6.2, reservoir water 13 ppm
25 hrs: 64 ppm
16 hrs: 45 ppm
12 hrs: 27 ppm
12 hrs: 27 ppm --RODI
24 hrs: 23 ppm--RODI
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#130416
Naja002 wrote:
Started getting the Procoir soaking (1-10-12)...in a different container. I emptied the soak station of the Eco Earth and added the first batch of Procoir...looks like it will take 4+ batches to complete the single bail of Procoir. The results so far seem strange to me...ppms seem awfully low:


Procoir Batch #1
11 days: 430 ppm
17 hrs: 384 ppm
8 hrs: 117 ppm pH 6.2, reservoir water 13 ppm
25 hrs: 64 ppm
16 hrs: 45 ppm
12 hrs: 27 ppm
12 hrs: 27 ppm --RODI
24 hrs: 23 ppm--RODI
Results from the first batch of Procoir are in the quote above.

2nd batch was pulled from the same tub that started soaking on 1-10-12.


Procoir Batch #2
17 days: 538 ppm
9 hrs: 443 ppm
10 hrs: 168 ppm
10 hrs: 51 ppm
8 hrs: 27 ppm
8 hrs: 20 ppm
10 hrs: 15 PPM--RODI
20 hrs: 19 ppm--RODI

Reservoir: temp - 47F/8.3C, 12 ppm, pH 6.7
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#130716
Naja002 wrote:
2nd batch was pulled from the same tub that started soaking on 1-10-12.


Procoir Batch #2
17 days: 538 ppm
9 hrs: 443 ppm
10 hrs: 168 ppm
10 hrs: 51 ppm
8 hrs: 27 ppm
8 hrs: 20 ppm
10 hrs: 15 PPM--RODI
20 hrs: 19 ppm--RODI

Reservoir: temp - 47F/8.3C, 12 ppm, pH 6.7
Results of Procoir batch #2 in the quote above. Going to let it drain overnight and get it drying. I think I am going to pick up some sand tomorrow morning and get that going, so I can get some things rolling before dormancy breaks. :ugeek:
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#130864
Ok,

2-1-12

Started on the sand. Picked up 8 bags (~400 lbs). I am currently working on 4 bags (~200 lbs)..all at one time in my new SUPER soak station:

Image


You can see one of the blocks of the original soak station at the bottom right. I still have that and will continue to use it. However, once again, I've gotten tired of piddling and fiddling with all this media prep, so I did the next best thing: UP-sized! :mrgreen:

That tub is ~18 gal. I've got 3 that I have had for a numbers of years now. They are now ~$7 at walmart. Seems they have cheaper ones for $4 atm, but they appear to be made out of much thinner plastic. Anyway, it is working fine so far. I could probably fit ~6 bags (~300 lbs) of sand in there. I could certainly fit an entire bale of coir...and possibly an entire bale of peat. This will definitely be a time and effort saver for me. Image I expect to have extra coir and sand left over, but I also expect to pick up another bale of peat this season and get it cleaned up, dried and in storage for future reference. Once all of this is done....I can break down and store both of these soak stations until needed again in the future. Image


This sand cleaned up down to a stable 8 ppm in the past....now I'll just get there much faster ! Image

It's sitting on 4 blocks and a 3/4" piece of stained plywood. It'll do the trick.

I'll update the sand readings, etc as I go....Image


----------------------------------------------------

I started out doing 3 bags (~150 lbs) in the super soak station. The sand has to be initially cleaned with my ~284 ppm tap water, then I have to rinse that out. Once that was done:

10 hrs: 31 ppm....more rinsing, then:
11 hrs: 15 ppm---then I initially washed another (4th) bag in the original soak station, added it to the super soak station and am now getting the ppm back down...currently 17 ppm<--no soak, just rinse. Once this drain completes I'll begin another soak.
9 hrs: 15 ppm--RODI
20 hrs: 15 ppm--RODI
16 hrs: 13 ppm--RODI
2 hrs: 11 ppm--RODI
12 hrs: 10 ppm--RODI
By Naja002
Posts:  246
Joined:  Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:57 pm
#131067
Naja002 wrote: 2-1-12

Started on the sand. Picked up 8 bags (~400 lbs). I am currently working on 4 bags (~200 lbs)


I started out doing 3 bags (~150 lbs) in the super soak station. The sand has to be initially cleaned with my ~284 ppm tap water, then I have to rinse that out. Once that was done:

10 hrs: 31 ppm....more rinsing, then:
11 hrs: 15 ppm---then I initially washed another (4th) bag in the original soak station, added it to the super soak station and am now getting the ppm back down...currently 17 ppm<--no soak, just rinse. Once this drain completes I'll begin another soak.
9 hrs: 15 ppm--RODI
20 hrs: 15 ppm--RODI
16 hrs: 13 ppm--RODI
2 hrs: 11 ppm--RODI
12 hrs: 10 ppm--RODI

Results of the 4 bags of sand in the super soak station are in the quote above. I let this drain overnight and started drying most of it out this morning. Still probably ~50 lbs still in the super soak station, so it will sit idle for a bit.

------------------------------------------

Started working on the peat/sand/perlite in the original soak station again. I have this 5 gal plus a little bit more to go:

3 hrs: 144 ppm
2 hrs: 68 ppm
6 hrs: 35 ppm
11 hrs: 27 ppm
5 hrs: 19 ppm
7 hrs: 16 ppm--RODI
13 hrs: 10 ppm--RODI--doing final drain.
Last edited by Naja002 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:12 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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