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PostPosted: Nov 12th, '11, 07:22 
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About time I put my system up here..

It's about 2 months old, and started out as a barrel system but had IBC's added because I couldn't (at the time) find a source for fingerlings in a quantity of less than 50..

2 half barrels and their frame were made to sit on a stand made from an old trampoline frame, which a barrel tank was meant to go underneath.. it just happened to fit perfectly on the IBC sump frame.. The old trampoline frame now holds up the shadecloth..

The barrel that was meant to be the tank is now a 2 in 1 swirl/MBF, it has a 20ltr bucket inside it filled with cut up peices of 20mm corrogated diverter hose.. Doesn't work very well because the bottom is flat and the hose peices are too buoyant..

FT is at 900l
sump usually 400l
2x 100l gravel GB with auto syphons
50l duckweed tank
100l swirl/20l mbf tank

60l/min air pump
4500lph water pump

those 2 tiny GBs have corn, silverbeet, gerkin, capsicum, butter bean, spring onions, radishes, brussel sprout, intense tomato, broccoli, garlic, 'oriental mix' which is bok choi, pak choi, and 2 other things i don't remember, and a marigold..

the huge FT has 4 little goldfish, which have been in there 6 days now, just to see if the water is habitable..

I recently got my hands on more barrels so over the next couple of weeks I'll be adding a few more gravel growbeds, a DWC tank, and a yabbie tank..

The to-do list also has a battery backup, filter re-design, removal of the iron 'walls' to replace with wire mesh and shadecloth, and maybe some NFT channels..


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PostPosted: Nov 12th, '11, 13:24 
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That plant mix should keep you hopping. With those black IBC's; is that your handy work and if so, howd ya do it? I would like to make an IBC GB but I don't want any light getting anywhere but on the plants.
Look forward to seeing how things shape up. :thumbleft:

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PostPosted: Nov 12th, '11, 14:23 
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Yeh they're painted with 3M plastic primer and cheap export enamel all from SCA.. I gave them a wipe over with acetone first, and a quick light sand on the sump but not the fish tank, and there's some flaking on the fish tank so definately needs the sanding.. I'm probably going to put some 3ply panels all around the IBC's so didn't need to do it really..

Have got leaf miners on the bok/pak choy, which might have come with the punnet.. they've spread to the radishes too.. have cut off most of the affected leaves, but from what i've read, there's not much else I can do.. Is whatever lays those one of the flys that BSF would drive away? a DIY biopod is on the to-do list, maybe it needs a higher priority..

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PostPosted: Nov 12th, '11, 17:50 
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Flakey paint eh... The ply sounds nice but I still have loads of that black builders plastic left over from cyclone season. I wonder if I can do a neat job? :think:
I deal with leaf miners with some eucalyptus oil (1Tspn/litre H2O) in a spray bottle but I've not used it on my AP system. It won't get rid of existing ones but stops the adults from laying more eggs. Has to be done at sundown or the leaves may get burnt. Maybe try garlic in a spray. I know fish don't mind that because I've seen it used with marine aquarium fish as a feeding stimulant. The web is awash with recipes and its pretty broad spectrum.
Good luck with those little suckers- at least you don't have marauding fruit bats in S.A

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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '11, 06:02 
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Added 50 silver perch yesterday.. 20-30mm..

Lost 2 on the way, but they had a 2 hour car trip, then a PH transition from 6.4 to 7.4 over a few hours, into a 30C tank that some idiot painted black :oops:

Moved the goldfish to the sump for now.. might put them back when the SP are a bit bigger, otherwise all the solids filtering between the tank and the sump become redundant..

Also added some 'silencers' to the autosiphons, after seeing them mentioned in another post.. I'm suprised the neighbors hadn't said anything over the last month or 2 because they used to be quite loud.. if one of their kids was in the bedroom that's near my setup, he'd probably started wetting the bed.. :funny1:


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PostPosted: Nov 21st, '11, 12:49 
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Had to pull out some silverbeet because it was tying itself in knots, but there seems to be enough of it that it could be my first official harvest.. Just have to work out what to do with it..

Been trying to get some celery going since day one but not having much luck.. after what seems like forever, I get tiny little hair-like shoots with 2mm leaves on the top that keel over and die if i even look at em sideways.. first try in coco peat, second in seedling mix, this time i've just thrown a few seeds into the gravel and put an upside down half bottle over where i think they landed..

Day 5 of the silver perch and no more losses since the initial 2..


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PostPosted: Nov 21st, '11, 20:50 
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Amph wrote:
Added 50 silver perch yesterday.. 20-30mm..

Lost 2 on the way, but they had a 2 hour car trip, then a PH transition from 6.4 to 7.4 over a few hours, into a 30C tank that some idiot painted black :oops:



Cool Dude we will have to catch up! have too have a look at your new Fishys

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PostPosted: Nov 22nd, '11, 18:24 
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wolvenstine wrote:
Cool Dude we will have to catch up! have too have a look at your new Fishys


Sure.. drop by on your way home from work one day or something.. can sort it on MSN..

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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '12, 09:21 
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Thought i'd post a small update.. All changed quite a bit but still nothing finished..

The SP are down to 40 or so after losing about 1 a day for a week or so, the 2nd week I had them.. Still not sure why, possibly too much chloramine from untreated topups, delayed reaction from the PH change when I first got them, something else in the water from the wood tannins or barrel residue or lead/zinc from some rainwater I used at some point, or cross contamination from the goldfish in the sump.. Eventually salt bathed them and dosed the tank up to 3ppt..No additional losses since then..

Have added 2 more f&d half barrels in a steel frame I made, but have taken the first 2 out so I can move the sump and also put them in a steel frame too.. the 2 new ones are constant flood at the moment because they're draining uphill back to the sump..

Have cladded and insulated the FT as it got up to 35C at one point over xmas, seems to have stabalized it a little but will also be cladding the sump and digging it into the ground a few inches, then putting the 2 GBs back over the top of it..

Filter is still a temporary one, and is nice and green because it's getting too much sun..

Battery backup is being tested with a 150w floodlight, as I type this, to see how long it lasts..

Will probably put the goldfish in the main tank when I move the sump, since the SP are a bit bigger now.. Hope they don't hog all the food..


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PostPosted: Mar 12th, '12, 11:26 
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Quick update while i'm on the brink of a HSM.. Changed feed recently and started using the new fishfeeder.. Although the feeder isn't on the tank, and just dumps food into a bowl that I then put in the tank manually, I've not missed any of the 3 feeds per day that i'd usually forget at least 1 of.. That, combined with the different food that they havn't gotten used to yet, has caused a bit of an ammonia spike and PH drop.. Have stopped feeding for now and thrown a sock full of shell grit in the sump..

The SP are mostly around 4-5" long.. They're not coming to the surface for food when I lift the lid at the moment but otherwise are swimming about ok..

Not much has changed on the system, aside from moving stuff around, and the addition of a strawberry tower with a little header tank for its pump because it only has 1m head.. I tried feeding the tower from the main pump 24/7 but the plants didn't seem to like it.. now on a seperate 15/45 timer..

Am currently making a frame to put the 2 half barrels back above the sump..


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PostPosted: Mar 25th, '12, 18:10 
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Got the 2 half barrels back over the sump, and added another part of the filter last week, so that should hold off any more ammonia spikes a little while longer..

I tried to get some hydroton locally (kinda) but after driving 200k's to get it, it turned out to be the brand refered to as cheap chinese crap.. However, the bag clearly stated "product of australia", so hoping they've changed their ways, and not wanting to waste a trip (not really, I was going that way for other stuff, that particular shop just meant not going too far off my usual route), I got it anyway.. I put it in the 2 new beds, and it floated so much it left a 2 inch indent along the centre of the bed when it drained and settled.. I left it 2 days and it was still doing it, so I pulled it out and put gravel in the bottom and the clay on the top 4-5", which seems to work..

Next step is to add 2 more on the right side, and move the FT to roughly where I was standing when I took the photo, which is why there's temporary hoses on the new GBs..

Got a little sidetracked after I grabbed a dozen little yabbies at a pet shop spur of the moment, and spent the last few days making a frame for a couple of aquarium tanks I had.. The yabbies are in the bottom and there's some aquarium plants in the top at the moment.. the frame was made so that it can accomodate a growbed above the tank in the future..


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PostPosted: Mar 26th, '12, 23:55 
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I spy... a homemade biopod under that growbed up against the wall. How is that thing working for you?
I need to build another one. Someone ran over my last one with a tractor :whistle:

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PostPosted: Mar 27th, '12, 04:55 
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iammr.bill wrote:
a homemade biopod under that growbed up against the wall. How is that thing working for you?


Seems I don't have any BSF nearby.. It's great at breeding thrip or something similar so far.. I cleaned it out recently and am having another go..

Does anyone know something I can put in there that's more likely to attract them, or is there anything I should avoid? Been throwing in a handful of kitchen scraps now and then..

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PostPosted: Mar 27th, '12, 04:58 
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Wow youve been Bizzy! ill have to come around and have alook sometime!

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PostPosted: Apr 2nd, '12, 14:36 
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Tank is now undercover, which may make a slight difference with the temps for the trout I'm hoping to get in the next week or 2.. They will go in a second tank which will be butted up against the existing one on it's right side, once I get the flakey black paint off it..

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File comment: Tank moved
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Putting together another strawberry tower (thanks web4deb) to go on the wall of the garage.. There will be 4 of them eventually.. Beside my 'workbench' is a failed attempt at a filter which will become a wicking bed like Brians, once I work out what media to use.. That will go on the left against the fence and will eventually be 3 of these when I get another barrel.. (the 2 at the back are for another set of growbeds like on the left but DWC, and possibly a biodigester)

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File comment: Strawberry tower build
IMAG0199s.jpg
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I also glued together the mess of fittings attached to the pump after it came apart half a doz times while I was moving things around..

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File comment: Pump manifold
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Had a chance to count the fish while I moved them from one tank to the other.. 42 silver perch ranging from 3" to 6", and the original 4 goldfish from my sump.. The missus got some pics of them on her camera, will post one up when I can get them..

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