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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 04:29 
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I came across the concept of Aquaponics by accident, when I misread a thread title on the adventure biking forum I frequent. I was skimming the thread titles and thought it said Akrapovics, a type of after market exhaust.
[url]http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=132650.0[/url]

I was hooked at the 1st pic, a single IBC system with towers draining into the back of the GB.
A few posts down was a before and after pic a month a part with a significant difference in size.

I read the whole thread 27 pages and decided to try it as SWAMBO had been suggesting that I make a veg garden just that morning again...

I got 3 pre-cut IBC's from a dude that had a 100 set and decided to build a big commercial system. He was using a continuous flow system there were no holes in the tanks or beds. But the beds had been cut off at the 200mm mark. Only figured at that was a bit low later in the build.

This was the site I chose in the backyard
Attachment:
The site byap.jpg
The site byap.jpg [ 93.7 KiB | Viewed 13507 times ]


This is the other side of the wall. The bed with the one panel precast wall around it is the old veg garden i was supposed to resurrect.
Attachment:
The site other side BYAP.jpg
The site other side BYAP.jpg [ 99.75 KiB | Viewed 13507 times ]


I cut down a portion of the wall, leveled the old garden and dug out and leveled the bed in front of the brick wall. I used the precast panels to pave "the site"

After a lot more work than I thought this was what the Grow Bed site looked like.
Attachment:
BYAP - Growbed site.jpg
BYAP - Growbed site.jpg [ 84.92 KiB | Viewed 13507 times ]


To be continued :lol:

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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 04:41 
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This is what the tank site looked like
Attachment:
BYAP - Tank Site.jpg
BYAP - Tank Site.jpg [ 42.86 KiB | Viewed 13506 times ]


During the week I managed to get some obsolete beams and a damaged frame from work. I cut the frame in half and added some extra cross braces. I also found a pile of beam saddles from a previous generation of display unit. After a bit more weekend. this is what it looked like.
Attachment:
BYAP - Rack and sump.jpg
BYAP - Rack and sump.jpg [ 90.9 KiB | Viewed 13506 times ]


This is what it looked like the next day which was a public holiday.
Attachment:
BYAP - Tanks and Beds.jpg
BYAP - Tanks and Beds.jpg [ 64.67 KiB | Viewed 13506 times ]

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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 05:17 
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I was so hooked at that point that I was working on it in the evenings too. I built the bell siphons, installed and tested them in a bucket. I was so chuffed that they worked, I went and woke SWAMBO up to come take a look. :naughty:
That didn't score many points.
Attachment:
BYAP - Bell Siphons.jpg
BYAP - Bell Siphons.jpg [ 71.25 KiB | Viewed 13500 times ]


Well because I was in the box anyway, I went out with my head torch and installed all the siphons. Got to bed late. Then on the weekend, I siliconed perspex scraps over the holes for the IBC screw on lids. One was missing the other had a crack.
On the weekend I procured some stone and shoveled it into the beds and made an error that would cost me another Saturday. I did not wash the stone before putting it into the beds but it looked cool and I didn't realize the problem at that point. Loading all that stone was serious work. Looked like this at the end of the day.
Attachment:
BYAP - Stone and siphons.jpg
BYAP - Stone and siphons.jpg [ 92.28 KiB | Viewed 13500 times ]


Once I had added the stone, I realized that I didn't have enough free board above the water level to have a dry layer of stone. I also had all these nasty spikes which were threatening to rip holes in my shirt. So I came up with a "quick" fix for both my issues. I decided to split some 50mm poly pipe, heat and flatten it and rivet it to the tops of the spikes. It provided support for the flexible beds, it increased the depth of the beds and it covered up the figgen spikes. It was very hard frustrating work wrestling a 4.4m length of pipe while trying to drill and rivet it, definitely helped with my persistence capacity. The kids go missing when dad starts a project. So there were no spare hands. This was what it looked like.
Attachment:
BYAP - Spike cover.jpg
BYAP - Spike cover.jpg [ 110.87 KiB | Viewed 13500 times ]

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A build I did for a friend - 3 beds, NFT tubes and a DWC tank


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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 05:34 
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The next weekend I was able to finish off the spike covers, a big chunk of the time. I also figured out a quick way to black out the tanks and beds without having to paint them. I bought a roll of 300mm DPC. I just put strips around the tanks and put them back in their cradles.
went well. I also got some of the piping done.
Attachment:
BYAP - Spike covers, extra stone and DPC.jpg
BYAP - Spike covers, extra stone and DPC.jpg [ 85.24 KiB | Viewed 13499 times ]


The next day I did the supply line from the sump to the tank. I used the the cracked lid from the IBC to make a SLO. And also make my next big error, I sized it at 32mm...
I also made some pretty cool inlet sprinklers.
Attachment:
BYAP - Tank Piping.jpg
BYAP - Tank Piping.jpg [ 54.06 KiB | Viewed 13499 times ]


Here is a close up of the inlet sprinklers.
Attachment:
Tank inlet.jpg
Tank inlet.jpg [ 51.05 KiB | Viewed 13499 times ]

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My 1st Build plus a bonus T barrel build that started on page 6 - enjoy!
A build I did for a friend - 3 beds, NFT tubes and a DWC tank


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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 05:53 
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In my evening tinkering and weekday scrounging I made up a swirl filter from a watercooler bottle i found abandoned at work. I was pretty chuffed with how it turned out. This is when it was still sized 32mm. The blazing reflective sticker is a wilddog paw print, the logo for the bike forum
Attachment:
BYAP - Python Ponics.jpg
BYAP - Python Ponics.jpg [ 89.05 KiB | Viewed 13498 times ]


It was raining during the week, managed to snap this though.
Attachment:
Promise.jpg
Promise.jpg [ 57.18 KiB | Viewed 13498 times ]


The next weekend I discovered both my errors, washing the stone in the beds was a backbreaking hard job but i did it and had clean water. I then fired up the system after messing around with the electrics creating out door power points. My little sprinkler heads that i made from tank cutouts worked really well.
Attachment:
BYAP - Double Intakes.jpg
BYAP - Double Intakes.jpg [ 72.15 KiB | Viewed 13498 times ]


But the joy was short lived when i found out that the overflow was to close to the top of the tank. I lowered the point and l plugged the former hole and fired up the system again. This time I found out the 32mm is not a big enough overflow. :upset:

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A build I did for a friend - 3 beds, NFT tubes and a DWC tank


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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 06:05 
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During the next week in the evenings I made up some stuff and scrounged more abandoned stuff from work.
This is a tank cover I made from some off cuts.
Attachment:
Tank Cover closed.jpg
Tank Cover closed.jpg [ 62.62 KiB | Viewed 13497 times ]


It has a hinged bit for inspection
Attachment:
Tank Cover open.jpg
Tank Cover open.jpg [ 108.84 KiB | Viewed 13497 times ]

I also made a clip on cover for the bit of the sump tank that sticks out from under the beds.

When I dug out the bed for the tank site it had a hole lot of grids that looked like shelves from a super market fridge.
I kept them one side and made a grow rack for seedlings from them.
Attachment:
Grow Rack.jpg
Grow Rack.jpg [ 80.9 KiB | Viewed 13497 times ]


I also bought the fittings to upgrade the overflow supply to the beds to 50mm. fitted them all fired it up again and it all just worked the supply to the beds was way better.

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My 1st Build plus a bonus T barrel build that started on page 6 - enjoy!
A build I did for a friend - 3 beds, NFT tubes and a DWC tank


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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 06:14 
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I manage to get 2 cast marble tops that had been part of a point of sale counter.
I welded up a frame and put it next to the tank as a planting and work table.
Attachment:
Work Table.jpg
Work Table.jpg [ 71.92 KiB | Viewed 13497 times ]

The 2nd top went underneath on to the support struts to make a shelf.
The table worked well

Here it is in action
Attachment:
BYAP - From the nursery.jpg
BYAP - From the nursery.jpg [ 141.81 KiB | Viewed 13497 times ]


SWAMBO lifting and separating seedlings for me to plant
Attachment:
BYAP - Falcon Lifts & Separates.jpg
BYAP - Falcon Lifts & Separates.jpg [ 99.1 KiB | Viewed 13497 times ]

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My 1st Build plus a bonus T barrel build that started on page 6 - enjoy!
A build I did for a friend - 3 beds, NFT tubes and a DWC tank


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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 06:18 
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This was what the beds looked like after our effort on Sunday.


Attachments:
Bed 3 - 22-6-2014.jpg
Bed 3 - 22-6-2014.jpg [ 133.82 KiB | Viewed 13498 times ]
Bed 2 - 22-6-2014.jpg
Bed 2 - 22-6-2014.jpg [ 151.18 KiB | Viewed 13498 times ]
Bed 1 - 22-6-2014.jpg
Bed 1 - 22-6-2014.jpg [ 126.78 KiB | Viewed 13498 times ]

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My 1st Build plus a bonus T barrel build that started on page 6 - enjoy!
A build I did for a friend - 3 beds, NFT tubes and a DWC tank
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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 06:39 
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That is where my system is now. I filled the tanks and threw the switch 2 weeks ago. I began a fishless cycle using aged pee. For the last week I have been adding 1l of pee daily after doing parameter tests...the 1st few days i only added 500ml pee.
On the water; I did kick start the process by getting 25l of aquarium water from a mate of mine who owns a pet shop.
5 days ago we planted out the beds and added 1l worm juice, 500ml organic Seaweed extract and 2 teaspoons of chelated iron
The tank carries 804l and the sump about 600l
This is what the lines look like
Attachment:
Water Chem - 2 weeks.jpg
Water Chem - 2 weeks.jpg [ 32.69 KiB | Viewed 13497 times ]



Questions:


When can i add my fish? :fish:
Why do the smaller seedings wilt during the day?
They look great in the morning again then seem to kak off during the day??

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A build I did for a friend - 3 beds, NFT tubes and a DWC tank


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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 06:55 
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Hiya Python nice build, well done.
What type of fish are you planning to add?
How far below the surface of the gb's is the water level?

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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 07:27 
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Welcome to the addiction! Looks good


Q: They look great in the morning again then seem to kak off during the day??

A: When you transplant seedlings they loose some of their root hairs which is involved in taking up water. During the night they dont loose that much water through transpiration so the damaged roots can keep up with supplying water. During the warmer day the roots cant keep up. It normally takes a few days for the root hairs to regrow. That is why shading after replant is a good idea for a few days. Its called transplant shock.

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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 15:06 
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skeggley wrote:
Hiya Python nice build, well done.
What type of fish are you planning to add?
How far below the surface of the gb's is the water level?


I want to go with Tilapia. Found a guy that sells wild caught that he catches in the vlei locally. They will have a better cold tolerance.
And I get to build a solar array to warm up the water.

The water level is 20 to 30mm below the gravel level.

That makes perfect sense on the seedlings, the smaller ones are the worst affected.

Going to skip a day off humonia and see what the numbers look like in the morning.

How much ammonia can still be in the system before you add fish?

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A build I did for a friend - 3 beds, NFT tubes and a DWC tank


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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 21:32 
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Sounds like wid day wilt, as Gabe says the seedlings are feeling the waters and strengthening their ties to their water source.
Its more the nitrites you need to worry about which will rise once the amm starts to drop mid cycle.
Peeponics is good but IMO adding some fish emulsion for some trace elements won't hurt.
Once amm and rites drop below 0.25, after adding a amm source, in 24 hrs you're good to add fish.

Keep the photos coming Mr P, so far so good.

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PostPosted: Jun 29th, '14, 00:35 
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With uric acid, it is important to use moderation. The uric acid converts to ammonia, but at unpredictable rates. It tends to all kick over at once causing an ammonia spike. Too much ammonia inhibits the bacteria that converts nitrites to nitrates. In other words, more is not better.

That being said, awesome system.

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PostPosted: Jun 29th, '14, 01:27 
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Hey Skeggley,

I shaded them today and they seemed better. I think the leaves they had when i planted them are going to die off but I see all the plants are shooting new leaves so they cant be too unhappy.

As far as nutrients go, last Sunday I added 2 teaspoons Iron chelate, 500ml seaweed extract, 1 liter worm juice - will that add similar stuff to fish emulsion?

I have been adding a liter of aged pee each morning after I test and the amm and trite seem to hover around 1 and 2. Is it just patience?

The Nitrates are off the chart so I assume there is stuff for the plants to eat.

Today I was planting some seeds and decided to do an experiment.
I took a seed tray and put some Isotherm in it and dropped a few spinach seed in each pot.
Planted a normal one too will see which one wins.
Attachment:
Test tray.jpg
Test tray.jpg [ 96.27 KiB | Viewed 13434 times ]

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My 1st Build plus a bonus T barrel build that started on page 6 - enjoy!
A build I did for a friend - 3 beds, NFT tubes and a DWC tank


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