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 Post subject: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 10th, '09, 20:08 
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Well. I said I was going to go bigger and better, and I have. I was going to bulid a pond but that kind of fell through - kind of a lot of work and in the end I decided I'd just fork out some cash and get "the proper stuff". So I bought parts of a BYAP style system from http://www.freshbynature.com.au and started setting it up. Now this system I attacked with a different mindset. Previously I had rushed to get things installed and going because I was working fulltime and rushing to get as much done on the weekends as I possibly could (in between soccer, doing the washing and cleaning and generally doing "life"). But this time I had 2 weeks off and I thought "I'm going to do this RIGHT".

One of the best things about having "a good system" is that you can now relabel your old system "the dodgy system". So I went to town on it and actually got it up and working well as well, which I'll detail in another blog entry.

The site (complete with old system in the background)
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The tank (note the grin)
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Because I was doing this system "right", I spent longer than I usually would prepping the site. This included painting the carport with potable water (i.e. safe) bitumen paint. This is because I didn't want condensation or rain stripping some zinc from the metal and putting it into the system (which would re-introduce the heavy metal woes that I had to deal with in the last system. The motto for this system was "no risks".

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Yay, the plumbing is coming together. I used green pvc glue (which is used for potable water) to glue any connections going up to the growbeds (because it's under pressure) and just silicon in the joints of the drainage connections.

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Note some of the ball valves I have here. Firstly the one in the foreground is to flush some water back into tank (the pump is way too powerful for my needs) - this is angled such that the water is put into a whirlpool style action, the trout love moving water, and it also means that scraps and solids migrate into the centre of the tank where the pump is and end up in the growbeds. The ball valves in the background allow me to isolate the growbeds and connect it up to a hose so I can empty the tank.

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This is the custom built growbed stand.

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And the water coming off the hydroton when I first washed it. It's nowhere near as much work to wash this stuff as it is scoria. Expensive, but it's awesome to work with.

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My growbed drains
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And this is my overflow - it's connected to the drain of the tank and is raised to the level I want for the max water level, past this it will overflow onto the garden.
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The first inhabitant of my tank
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This is the water distribution to the growbeds. I don't know if this is strictly neccessary, but I'm not taking any risks, any "gunk" that comes out I want to be distrubted so that it can get broken down properly.
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So enough with the setup stuff, lets see it in action. Here it is, with the water going, and a skimmer rigged up - it's actually REALLY effective because of the whirpool effect. You may also notice I have some rope holding pipes together. That's the only section I didn't glue, I need to be able to rotate the angle of that return, so instead of using an expensive barrel union, I just used some rope to make sure the pressure doesn't smash the fittings apart.
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This was where I got excited and forgot my "patience" rule. I ordered 200 trout without cycling my system with something else. Anyway, here are the trout.
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I netted 50 of 'em and chucked im in my old system.
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The thing with trout is that they're suicidal. Well OK, they jump. And when they're not careful they tend to jump straight out of the tank. First I knew about it was when my dog arrived happy as larry with a fish sticking out his mouth.
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So I got a AP hat made. I haven't got a photo uploaded, you'll see it in the next blog entry.
This is why it's a bad idea to have an uncycled system and then add 200 fish. Ammonia. That's at about 1.0. I saw it go as high as about 2.0!
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It took nearly two weeks for it to start falling. No losses yet, but I'm writing this on holidays, and we all know that stuff goes wrong as soon as you go away. Nitrite readings were pretty high too, and some of the fish were looking a little worse for wear. I salted to 3ppt (which means dumping in 9kg of salt!), and when I left last night the fish were looking happier. More to come real soon.

(PS. This was a copy of my blog entry, I don't feel right just tell you guys to "follow the link to find out whats going on", it defeats the purpose of this forum)


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 10th, '09, 20:17 
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Nice setup. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 10th, '09, 20:21 
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:cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 10th, '09, 20:29 
:cheers: ... was wondering what was happening with your system Gemmel....

The external overflow throught the tank drain hole is just such an obvious design... 8)

Be down that way soon for trout and things... will drop in and say hello...


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '09, 17:40 
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RupertofOZ wrote:
:cheers: ... was wondering what was happening with your system Gemmel....

The external overflow throught the tank drain hole is just such an obvious design... 8)

Be down that way soon for trout and things... will drop in and say hello...


Please do. The reason it's taken me so long to post is that I've been so busy actually building it I haven't had time to post anything. However the fact that I did it all with the "measure twice drill once" attitude - or more to the precisely "think once, go and have lunch, come back and think again" - meant that i think I got some of those essentials right this time. I'm hoping this one's going to be all it could be.

The best bit is that I've done up the old system a bit and hopefully removed the inherant problems (the bathtubs are now lined with bubblewrap and then pond liner) and it's going great guns with 50 of the trout in there.


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 12th, '09, 00:52 
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Good work Gemmell!

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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 14th, '09, 15:30 
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Post easter report:
Ammonia == 0 WOOT
0.5 < Nitrite < 1.0
Temp 17
Salinity ~3ppt

2 fish deaths to report. One on the sunday when I got a friend to go over and check on the system. He fished out one and threw it away. One when I arrived home today. No obvious signs, don't know when it died. Will monitor things closely over the next few days.

With ammonia down to zero I am start feeding them more.


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 14th, '09, 17:02 
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Looks great Gemmell, the BYAP systems are gret to set up arn't they?

How did you join the pine for the grow bed stands? It looks like 90x45 from the pictures, is that right? It will be interesting to see how they hold up over time, I reckon you are really pushing the limits of the pine with that design. Hope I am wrong.

Cheers,
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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 14th, '09, 17:13 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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35 x 70 non-treated, non-structural merch pine held together with nails has worked for me for over 3 years now.
Having concrete feet, it will be fine for many a year, as it does not rely on timber and nails to hold it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 14th, '09, 17:35 
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KudaPucat wrote:
35 x 70 non-treated, non-structural merch pine held together with nails has worked for me for over 3 years now.
Having concrete feet, it will be fine for many a year, as it does not rely on timber and nails to hold it up.


Gemmell's design means that the central cross members are not held up by them sitting on concrete, only the two rails running the the length of the bed (and the two ends) are sitting on the blocks and these rails are not sitting as they would if they were a joist (like you have done), they are lying down which is weaker. I could not see any nails in his and was wondering if he had joined them using biscuits or tenons? I am just very weary of untreated pine as I have seen rot set in within months where it is exposed, I would say that you have been lucky that yours has not deteriorated although it does depend on where you are. Concrete blocks are no deterrent to termites (if you have them around) either, they are quite happy to build a tunnel along the side of a block to get to some tasty pine.

Do you guys have the European House Borer over there? It is now in some regions of Perth (despite a massive effort to stop it) and will decimate untreated pine in no time at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 14th, '09, 18:07 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Termites are of little problem hereabouts atm.
My setup was only ever meant to be temporary, as is shown by the new steel stands, but it has lasted a very long time.
it gets wet regularly, it's on a slope, so it should have rotted long ago imho, but it hasn't.

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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 14th, '09, 18:44 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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I like it Gemmell, well done :cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 14th, '09, 21:57 
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The cross members are just screwed (from the inside, at an angle) and glued. If you look at the full gallery, you will see that I tried it out with just the besa blocks at each end and it you could see it bow considerably. Putting the extra besa block in the middle fixed that up. The cross members don't seem to be taking too much weight, or at least it's transferring to the besa blocks well.

As for it's hardiness/endurance - I guess we'll just have to keep an eye on it. If it lasts a couple of years, then it will have done it's job. It's certainly a lot cheaper than metal frames though.


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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 14th, '09, 22:07 
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gemmell wrote:
The cross members are just screwed (from the inside, at an angle) and glued. If you look at the full gallery, you will see that I tried it out with just the besa blocks at each end and it you could see it bow considerably. Putting the extra besa block in the middle fixed that up. The cross members don't seem to be taking too much weight, or at least it's transferring to the besa blocks well.

As for it's hardiness/endurance - I guess we'll just have to keep an eye on it. If it lasts a couple of years, then it will have done it's job. It's certainly a lot cheaper than metal frames though.

:cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: Gemmells Pro System
PostPosted: Apr 15th, '09, 01:03 
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I'd listen to Burnsy just look at his avatar! :roll:

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