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 Post subject: will this work???
PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 14:28 
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will this work????
i want to use a "starfish" method so i can get easy access to the veggies.
what size pvc is the best size for this?? Pvcs is it better to cut it in half or drill a few holes??? i guess the bigger the pvc is the better it is i dont know why i just think it is is that right??? i dont think i will be using a 500 ltr tank i guess bath tub will just work as well... i
does any one have a better idea or modify it a bit better????


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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 14:32 
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should work.

i'd use 100mm pvc as a minimum

use a holesaw to cut 75mm holes in the top to pop in net pots.

just make sure you get even water distribution though each of your pipes making up the star.

oh, and don't forget to include a bucket of gravel as bio-solids filtration if you're not going to use any grow beds.

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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 15:01 
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hi steve,
water distrubiton..... how do i distrubute the water evenly???? what is a grow bed??? i thought the pvc filled with gravels was a grow bed..
thank you for your speedy reply


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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 15:10 
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Hey Greggsie, I think what Steve is talking about is making sure that you have water pumping to each pipe... You don't want any pipes to miss out on water... Hmmm, that may be interesting trying to get the water pumping into each end of your "starfish".... Any idea how you might do that?

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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 15:12 
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only 3 more posts before i become a newbie oh so excited lol


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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 15:19 
Hey Gregssie... have a look at Steve & Anges System .... it's similar to what you have in mind... principles are the same as you need to apply.

As EB says... you need to give some thought as to how you're going to supply each/all pipes with water.

Steve is suggesting that you might need to use a large bucket full of gravel (like Steve & Ange) to filter the water and remove some of the solids before piping to the PVC pipes...

Normally people don't have a problem with solids because they are removed by growbeds filled with gravel or other media... in nft hydro or PVC pipes it's possible to block things up...

Secondly, because you will only be using a small number and small surface area of gravel in your 75mm net pots... you need to have a way to provide a larger area for good bacteria to grow and filter the water...

again this is taken care of usually by the growbeds people use....

Other than that, there's nothing wrong with your concept.... now you just have to build it..... use 100mm-150mm PVC as Steve suggested


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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 15:37 
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thanks rupertpfoz.... i will try and build it a bit similar to what i drew but
all parnellel and on one side becasue i just thought of this. i wanted the
pvc to be 3 meter long thus the diametre of the starfish will be 6 metre a
bit too big for the backyard. it only a rental property. thank you all for your speedy reply

have a good day cheers greggsie


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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 15:48 
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is all the solids from the fish tanks pumped on to the grow bed or is it
free flowing on to grow beds????


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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 17:24 
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greggsie, maybe spend a bit of time reading up on stuff.

start in the useful info section and the faq sections.

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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 19:50 
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Greggsie there's 2 ways of growing in PVC. One way is to cut holes in the top side of the pipe (around 50mm diameter), fill the pipes with gravel, and plant directly into the gravel. The larger diameter pipes work better for this, 150mm PVC is great but very expensive (from memory around $100 for 6m). The other way is to use the pvc like a NFT channel - drill the holes in the top, drop in a small net pot filled with gravel, perlite or whatever, and plant into that. The rest of your pipe is empty apart from water flowing down it. If using like NFT then do like Steve and others have suggested and put a large bucket of gravel between the tank and the plants to take away all of the fish solids before they reach the plant roots, and to give the bacteria plenty of surface area to colonise on.

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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 19:50 
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Hmm, what if you pumped to the bottom of a gravel-filled bucket that had 5 exits near the top. Distribute the water to the near end of the arm of each starfish. Then collect the water from the far end of each arm and return to the fish pond. That means you only use one pump, and get the gravel area for your denitrification.

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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 20:35 
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didnt EB have a pic of bucket distributer in one of his systems ? some thing like that would work a treat i reccon

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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 21:07 
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Even distribution ....

I have always found that one a little difficult at the very low flow rates I use on my systems...


I am talking "trickle".

But I think if you use a header tank with an overflow .. constantly flooded and overflowing ...

Overflow directed into your pond for aeration ...

Then have very small hoses delivering to each arm of your "starfish" that are screwed into your header ...

I think that you can feed as many arms as you desire...

If you run short of flow .. you upgrade the pump.

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PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 21:39 
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not a bad idea Johnnie

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 Post subject: Re: will this work???
PostPosted: May 6th, '07, 22:00 
Funny you say that J7.... spent a couple of hours today working on just that idea.... not successfully, but next one should be.....

Inspired originally by EB's distribution bucket and a couple of headaches as to how to feed to the various bits and pieces I've put together.....

Then I saw these.... eureka..... I thought..... now to simulate.....

I thought that I'd actually rig up mini-autosiphons to each bulkhead rather than having them continually feeding from each outlet (teat(s) in picture

Set the top of the siphon to the top of each bulkhead compartment.... pump intended to be continuous.....

Reckon it'd work OK.... what'd you guys think???


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