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Old 16-01-2013, 11:25   #1
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Compost matters....

I have purchased both Natures head, and Air Head. I am right now laying at anchor in Brewers Bay, St. Thomas USVI....

I have had the same compost "stewing" aboard for a fairly long time. Cleaned the head out and dumped the (remarkably Un-offensive) compost discretely where it could do some good....

THEN...

Replenished with "coco Husk" brand "tropical terrarium Substrate".... One week later, I have a stinking mess in the head!

I recommend you not buy Exo-Terra brand coconut husks, but rather buy;

Coco-Tek "Organic growing medium". They have a web site at; gemhydro.com

I have no connection to them, but in many of the long composting head threads I have been surprised by the diversity of opinions from users.... I now believe it has as much to do with the medium as anything....

Lots of thoughts about why, but will keep them to myself unless Anyone is interested.....
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Old 16-01-2013, 11:57   #2
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Re: Compost matters....

Co co Tek expands to twice it's packaged volume and has a pleasant "earthy" smell.... Coco husk does not expand or absorb much in the way of waste....

Makes a big difference.
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Old 16-01-2013, 15:36   #3
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Re: Compost matters....

Im looking into these heads which one do you like best? And would you buy them again?
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Old 17-01-2013, 05:24   #4
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Re: Compost matters....

The Air Head has nice gaskets, but the thumb screws on the urine bottle are a really inconvienant feature.

The natures head is (IMHO) better designed and easier to use. Some close ups of the hardware.
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Old 17-01-2013, 17:22   #5
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Re: Compost matters....

... And an update...

Just this afternoon I noticed one of the "potty flies" I had heard about, but never seen. I am pretty sure it is just the compost... Will clean out and start over tomorrow with the Coco Tek.
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Old 18-01-2013, 15:45   #6
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Re: Compost matters....

I know that the majority of the free world was waiting for me to post an update, so here it is.

I undertook the extremely unpleasant task of cleaning out the air-head with the substandard composting medium today. I suspect that I will survive, lots of therapy and rum will eventually see me through this.

I actually took a couple pictures, but I like you all too much to post them.* Suffice to say that the inferior compost did nothing to hide what the "product" was. You could easily distinguish the individual turds as what they were. The last time I cleaned it out the composting process had caused most everything to blend together into an earthy mass... NOT true with this evolution.

I put the brick of Coco-Tek in there, soaked it in some warm water and it is ready to go.

Compost matters.

*photos available if anyone really needs them..... But you really probably do not.
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Old 18-01-2013, 16:18   #7
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Re: Compost matters....

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
I know that the majority of the free world was waiting for me to post an update, so here it is.

I undertook the extremely unpleasant task of cleaning out the air-head with the substandard composting medium today. I suspect that I will survive, lots of therapy and rum will eventually see me through this.

I actually took a couple pictures, but I like you all too much to post them.* Suffice to say that the inferior compost did nothing to hide what the "product" was. You could easily distinguish the individual turds as what they were. The last time I cleaned it out the composting process had caused most everything to blend together into an earthy mass... NOT true with this evolution.

I put the brick of Coco-Tek in there, soaked it in some warm water and it is ready to go.

Compost matters.

*photos available if anyone really needs them..... But you really probably do not.
So how do you know what compost to use, Im in many different countrys each year sailing & wonder do I need to bring the stuff from the states to be sure? How much goes how far?
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Old 19-01-2013, 05:50   #8
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Re: Compost matters....

It depends on use. Offshore the "bucket and chuck it" method greatly increases the time. With the good compost I am seeing 6-8 weeks with 2 people.

I will have 5 aboard next week, will let you know how that works out....

They are not Sailors, and are generally unacostomed to such things as not throwing paper in the head (I sure hope they can manage not to!)...

Will post an update.
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Old 16-08-2013, 09:30   #9
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Re: Compost matters....

Faith can you give an update? I have seen your posts about composting on other threads( I've read them all!) but didn't see an update about this problem.

We are going to try compost head, I have a portable loo that we will "test" out for a while before committing to another big head project. I bought the coco-tek from amazon but this temporary loo won't have an agitator or a vent. We will make sure to separate 1 from 2.

If we like it, then we will invest in another new head. I'm working on the design, as the pre made marine composting heads won't fit in our footprint very well. But I think I will use the parts from a C Head as the nuts and bolts.

I've seen where some start their new cycle of compost by dumping the full amount of compost coir for the full cycle, instead of adding along the way. Is this how you do it?
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Old 16-08-2013, 09:41   #10
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Re: Compost matters....

We add along the way depending on the moisture content of the container. We also put a limited amount of TP in the container and this can dry things out. The container does need some moisture to compost (a consistency of moist soil) so sometimes a little water can be added. It will last quite a while - 6-8 weeks for two full time seems reasonable - and then we dump off-shore usually. We find good coconut coir bricks in pet stores in the US. One of these bricks will expand to be enough to fill the containerwith about a gal baggy extra for adding 'along the way'.
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Old 16-08-2013, 18:18   #11
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pirate Re: Compost matters....

I finally got off the pot and ordered a C-Head. I too have read all posts on this issue but still think I'll read the instructions. I really have no smell problems with my waste products but will need the drying aspect to turn to compost. Even with my practice loo, most noted "What's that wonderful smell? Both lavender and cinnamon? Yum Yum!" I tell them it's incense. It's kinder.
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