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PostPosted: Mar 28th, '11, 04:28 
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Joined: Mar 23rd, '09, 05:23
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Location: Montana, USA
Howdy All,
We are just getting our aquaponics (AP) system on line. We are the third in our local group of citizens working on self-reliance preparedness in all areas via our www.bsoscblog.com group. Our system is an AP greenhouse since it gets pretty winter chilly around here. We went kind of crazy with our 3 story, pyramid roof design. The floor space is small, 15' x 18', so going up was our only choice for gaining sufficient vegie tanks. On the first floor we have our five fish tanks of about 3' x 4' x 3.5' high with vegie tanks sitting on top of them. To get enough vegie tanks for balance, we installed a larger set on the second floor. We had to build all our fish and vegie tanks to custom sizes to most efficiently utilize limited available space. We fiberglassed our plywood boxes and insulated the ones for fish tanks and they seem to be working well. On the third floor inside the pyramid we have set that area up for starting our seeds to capitalize on maximum heat, light and pyramid energy. As the starts get large enough we move them downstairs to the vegie tanks. We only have goldfish in one tank now for testing the system over the last month. We are getting ready to get Tilapia. We would like to find a source for fresh water live shrimp/prawns to put in one of the tanks, if anyone here can give any help in that regard. Vegies we have transplanted to the vegie tanks thus far have been doing great. We are newbies at AP, but experimenting hard. Since we heat with circulating hot water from our wood gasifier heating system, we experimented with those type hydronic circulating pumps for our AP system, which seems to be working well. The siphons down from the second floor vegie tanks dump with a vengance. It looks and sounds like a powerful pumping system is sending the water back down to the fish tanks. The powerful flow dumping water back into the fish tanks aerates the water so much, it is doubtful we would need aeration pumps, but we may install them to be on the safe side. We have a transfer switch in the pyramid AP greenhouse to switch to off-grid power in the event of a grid power failure. One of our upcoming tasks is to test the "full-load" amperage requirements when maximum power use is underway. We can't do that until we get bulbs into the 13 fluorescent 4' light fixtures. We wanted to get LED bulbs, but they are still so danged expensive, they will have to wait. For now we will just get fluorescent grow bulbs. Once we get all lights and all five pumps going at maximum load at once, we can then determine maximum intermittent power load as well as selective zone loads. We manifolded our fish tanks together in sets of two and three with directional valving enabling us to run one to three fish tanks from a single pump or if and when needed to run all five pumps, enabling us to always have instant back-up pumping in the event of an unlikely pump failure. Once we establish maximum intermittent, lesser continuous and minimum short term power requirement loads, we plan to set up adequate batteries with inverter to provide short term UPS energy during an emergency outage to give up temp power for a few hours while getting alternative power going. Our goal is to become fuel independent by building a wood gasifier for powering a generator for this purpose, among others. Though we are newbies at AP and have tons to learn, we are happy to reach this start-up stage and actually have it successfully beta testing. Though we are fairly strong in engineering background, we have quite a ways to go in gaining of aquaculture and hydroponics expertise. We look forward to learning from you guys and gals who have been around this a lot longer than us...jpf


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PostPosted: Apr 1st, '11, 11:07 
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Joined: Dec 20th, '07, 04:29
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Welcome, jpf1030! :wave1:

Where are you, roughly? I grew up in Great Falls, although I'm in Minneapolis now. I think you're the first pyramid greenhouse here, so we'd love pictures!

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PostPosted: Apr 1st, '11, 13:47 
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Hi jpf... :wave1: Sounds interesting, do you have any pictures.?

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PostPosted: Apr 1st, '11, 13:52 
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Hi jpf... :wave1: Sounds interesting, do you have any pictures.?

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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '11, 13:40 
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Awesome to hear about your start up, do you mind if I ask....how much money did you spend, including your greenhouse?

And of course, like the other three replies, got any pictures? Or if not, please take some for us, we would all love to see!

Thanks, and glad to hear about your sustainable food system!

:notworthy:

jeff c

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Of course, Jehovah God created the ultimate Aquaponics System when he made the Earth! (Book of Genesis)


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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '11, 13:45 
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Welcome jpf :wave1:

Sounds exciting, really would like to see what you have built!

Pics or even better video!

:flower:

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Backyard Affnan Style Siphon: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7949

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