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Micro Farms Project Email Record

Peggy´s response to Todd on more water flow information

Dear Todd, Raanan, others,

I will do as Todd suggested and put a water diagram up on the net. Basically incoming water goes two places, 1000 liters to family and through a slow sand filter for purification, and the other 49,000 liters goes to the fish pond. The fish pond water is used for the farm and can be continuous. It waters the corn, legumes, commercial and home simplified hydroponics. also the worm bed is sprinkled. The goats need 47 liters of water a day and that can come from the 1000 liters of the family.

We have a lot of misinformation on the net about using fishwater in hydroponics. Many people say it works perfectly but that is not true. I have a paper from Arizona which characterizes it as very low in nutrients. This depends upon the amount of fish in the water of course. If we raise tilapia they can take a wide variety of water quality but they can also accumulate poisons. Much of the irrigated water is now poisoned with heavy metals and pesticides.

We will assume a higher quality water in the incoming stream for now, and part of our design will be an incoming water that is piped and kept cleaner than current waters in Mexico. When this water is not clean then a different design is necessary, purification, flowers, etc.

The fish waste water will have ammonia in it and it should never be sprinkled on any crop. It should go through drippers at the roots, probably buried in ground it that is possible. It will probably vary in nitrogen content.

If the fish pond is divided into several smaller ponds, the ponds with larger fish should have more nitrogen. That water should probably be directed to the corn. Since the water also has live blue green algae it may have to be filtered to compost. When each fish tank is drained the collected materials at the bottom can be put through the worm farm for more nitrogen.

t is a good idea to also have a reserve of water for the family.

The fish pond will be a ten day reserve for farm. In deep crisis the fertigation could stop for corn and legumes and there would be water for more than a month.

Right now my concern is to integrate the fish water with the fertigation and through that to have a specification of a need to filter the fish water first, or filters in the fertigation system. I think it will be that the fish water will require extra nutrients for the corn or berries, and for the simplified hydroponics.

We need for Joe de Leon to see if Dr. Guzman can join the team as the aquaculture expert. We need someone that can work with this now.


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