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 Post subject: First Timer from Canada
PostPosted: May 4th, '16, 01:57 
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Hi All,

Michael here, this will be my first full year with an AP system. I started late last year and ended up fiddling and testing more than anything else. With that done and a new year upon us I am all in for this year.

I have built most of it with stuff I had around so might not be the prettiest setup but the water stays where it is meant to be. The grow bed is about 14 sqft / 80 Gal and the fish tank is about 110 Gal. All the plumbing is running fine and it cycles about 75-100 Gals / hour.
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File comment: Growbed
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File comment: Fish Tank
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I have the plants growing indoors for now since it is still to cold yet to plant them in the GB outside and I picked up my Tilapia on Friday. I have 25 of them (expecting a few to die) and I lucked out and got ones that are about 3-4 weeks old so they are already over 1.5 inches long. I have moved the sumptank into the garage for now with the pump for them until it get to over 15' C over night here.

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File comment: Vanity pic of Fish
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I am hoping it all works this year as I have some room to make it bigger if it all works out. As the year goes I will update this and I am betting ask for help.


Thanks in advance


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PostPosted: May 4th, '16, 09:16 
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Welcome to the forum Michael :headbang:.


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PostPosted: May 5th, '16, 02:00 
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Awesome! I really like the wooden grow bed. How did you make those? I think they look pretty awesome.


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PostPosted: May 5th, '16, 07:18 
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I had a metal frame from a Cosco Gazebo that I used as a layout. Used plywood to make the box and 4x4 posts for the legs. Then I had to buy some plastic liner material and folded it like a Christmas gifts on the inside of the box. This made it water proof with out using cocking or paint. The only hole is for the bell syphon and I used a 1/2" bulkhead fitting for it.

Since it is all one bed I should of used 3/4" or 1" bell syphon drain but the 1/2" works okay I just have to reduce the flow into the bed a little.


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PostPosted: May 5th, '16, 08:25 
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very cool. What kind of liner was it? I just came into a 1500+ gallon water tank, and I want to make a couple of large beds to fit it. I have always used the tops on my IBC totes, but they are way undersized for that size of tank.


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PostPosted: May 6th, '16, 06:32 
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There is a hardware store in my town (Home Hardware) that sell table cloth covers and one of them was a clear plastic out door food save one. It is about 3ft wide and they sell it by the liner foot. I have another contact a few towns over from me that used a pond liner and has had good success with that as well.


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PostPosted: Jun 4th, '16, 08:37 
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Well the fish and plants have been in the system since May 21st and things seem to progressing well. The water has cleared the system seems to be cycling well and the amount of growth is incredible. Already have beans on the plants I started in doors in early may and the radishes I started in May 21st are already starting to get some definition on them and the fish are eating and growing well.


Having said all that I need some help / advice.

I have to keep adding water to the system in the total of about 1-2 gals a day. The systems total capacity is about 140 gals so it is about 1% - 2% lose per day. I have checked for leeks everywhere and I not found anything. The only thing that I can think of is evaporation but would that account for that amount of loose.

Some back ground, the day time temp here is now about 25' C and the system is in direct sun for about 5 hours from 9am until 2pm or so. The water temp seems to move from 76' F to 82' F.


Thanks in advance


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PostPosted: Jun 4th, '16, 11:16 
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I spent ages looking for leaks because evaporation didn't seem to account for the volume lost. Then I read something on this forum that reminded me that plants use the water too... so transpiration is a significant source of water loss.

Your close to 1% water top up requirements are lower than mine... particularly in summer. I'm guessing I top up just over 2% when it's hot and sunny.

Will be interested to see what other feedback you get on this one... I still occasionally worry that there's a hidden leak somewhere... but I have no good evidence for this!

I assume you've had a look at your local weather bureau site... they should have average evaporation figures matched to your location and time of year (we do in Australia anyway).

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PostPosted: Jun 7th, '16, 00:48 
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mrjohns wrote:
Well the fish and plants have been in the system since May 21st and things seem to progressing well. The water has cleared the system seems to be cycling well and the amount of growth is incredible. Already have beans on the plants I started in doors in early may and the radishes I started in May 21st are already starting to get some definition on them and the fish are eating and growing well.


Having said all that I need some help / advice.

I have to keep adding water to the system in the total of about 1-2 gals a day. The systems total capacity is about 140 gals so it is about 1% - 2% lose per day. I have checked for leeks everywhere and I not found anything. The only thing that I can think of is evaporation but would that account for that amount of loose.

Some back ground, the day time temp here is now about 25' C and the system is in direct sun for about 5 hours from 9am until 2pm or so. The water temp seems to move from 76' F to 82' F.


Thanks in advance

I'm running a similar system about 110 gallons the temp is the same range as you I add 5 gallons weekly so it seems that 1-2% seems to be normal

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920AZ using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Jun 16th, '16, 04:14 
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I have a few new issue I am hoping folks can help me with.

1) My plants are starting to yellow and in a few cases the bottom leaves are dying off.

2) Most of the direct seeding's have not come up at all.

I have read a few things like the water level in the grow bed is to high to I am not feeding my fish enough. If anyone has some ideas on where to look and some changes that might help I am open to them.


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PostPosted: Jun 16th, '16, 06:08 
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Posting a few pictures if you can will help us out :thumbright:


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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '16, 02:03 
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Very yellow bean plants

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Yellow / brown leaves on zucchini

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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '16, 02:25 
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Looks like a potassium deficiency (the leaf edge is the worst part and it being the lower leaves). If you have some seaweed extract that probably has some potassium and would work well as a spray (but check to be certain yours has the potassium). Potassium bicarbonate would probably with the spray method as well. Depending on your system water pH another alternative would be Potassium hydroxide but this is a bit more dangerous to work with and can have a dramatic effect on pH so you have to be careful that way as well.


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