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 Post subject: AP and vacations....
PostPosted: Jul 17th, '17, 21:39 
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Joined: Feb 25th, '17, 03:15
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Location: Orange County CA
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Location: ORange County CA
So my AP system is about 1 year old. Since that time I've been very reluctant to leave the system unattended while on a family vacation.

Plants need some attention (e.g. removal of pesky leaf eating caterpillars)
Fish need to eat....
The water in my system evaporates and needs to be replaced.


I left the system unattended for 3 days. When I got back much to be harvested, many big caterpillars eating away. The poor fish were hungry but okay.


Hard for me to enjoy (be fully present on vacation) while wondering what's going on back home.

What do you do?


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 Post subject: Re: AP and vacations....
PostPosted: Jul 17th, '17, 21:47 
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Joined: Apr 18th, '17, 20:30
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1. Need float valve with back up water tank

2. auto fish feeder

don't know what to do about caterpillars

I can leave mine a week with out too much worry.

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 Post subject: Re: AP and vacations....
PostPosted: Jul 18th, '17, 00:01 
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Fish can go for at least a couple of weeks without being fed so you really don't have to have the auto-feeder.

For the caterpillars you could treat with BT before you go, otherwise just consider that your fattening them up to feed to the fish.

I have a reliable adult check on the system every few days when I'm gone. They can remove any dead fish or alert you to other problems. If you had someone who knows AP and might need you to check theirs at some point, great, otherwise pay someone you trust. If I had higher fish loads I'd have them check more frequently.


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 Post subject: Re: AP and vacations....
PostPosted: Jul 21st, '17, 04:15 
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I have the same issue. I vacation as much as possible so I make an effort to automate my system as much as possible by using float valves and auto fish feeders. FYI, whatever can go wrong WILL happen when you are gone, but don't let the system control your life (too much).

Before you leave top off the water level, BE SURE to clean all the media guards of roots, top up fish feeders if used, be sure you have backup aeration that is adequate in case the power goes out or the pump quits while you are away. I also incorporate overflow drains into my GBs in case a drain get clogged the water returns to the sump and doesn't dump on the ground.

Your concern is real. Over the last 3 years I have had a pump get clogged during hot weather while I was away, reducing flow and lowering DO. I lost 100 catfish even though I had a neighbor check on the system, there was nothing he could do 3 days later when he checked on the system. After that I used a computer UPS and two marine batteries to make a UPS for my aeration that will last a few days.

I've also hade a filter barrel crack and leak 400 gallons in a day, a GB drain clog and empty the sump in a few hours, power outage or circuit breaker trip (especially during the rain) causing pumps and aeration to stop, etc. I'm still in the concept phase for automatic top off water - I don't want to use untreated city water since my city uses chloramine and I don't have enough rain storage to sustain all year. So I need to fill a "source" IBC, treat for chloramines, then I use that to top off my system twice a week, refilling once a week.

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"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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