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 Post subject: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 19th, '08, 15:16 
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Hey, I’m from Albury High and I’m going into year 11 this year. Im not new to the concept of aquaponics and ive played around with the idea of starting my own system ever since I first saw the idea on an episode of Gardening Australia a few years ago.

I have 20 acres just out of town so space for my system won’t be a problem. I have a few blue drums dad has saved for me from work and I will cut some of these in half to use for my growbeds. Im going to make a frame and stand for the half drums out of scrap timber or steel I can find just to stop the

For my main fish tank I was originally looking at a fiberglass tank for $250 but I have now gone off that idea and im strongly considering a 2000L polymaster aquaculture tank. I am willing to spend more on this tank but I will be trying to make the system as cheap as possible overall.

Im looking at a flood and drain system with auto syphons for draining water back to the sump tank. The sump tank will hold yabbies for fishing and eating and also to grow duckweed to feed the fish.

I already have bred yabbies on a very small scale in a few small water troughs and a 4 ft fish tank for the babies, just for fishing, although none have been used for fishing yet because I had raised them from babies and havd got attached to them, but im sure they would do much better incorporated into my aquaponics system.

The fish I have decided on are silver perch, as they seem the most suitable for the water temperatures my system would have.

At the moment I am looking at pea gravel for my grow bed media and thinking I will use two submersible pumps, not sure wat size and brand pump I would need just yet though.

Its all just early stages for me at the moment and I want to have the whole system fully planned and priced before I start buying (mums main request).

I have told mum for christmas I don’t want any presents and that I would rather her spend her money on my AP and I’m going to ask nan and pa on the farm if they would like to help me out financially aswell, but I have a job and have saved a bit of money up myself so I should be fine.

I’ve probably made this too long but I’m just putting my ideas out there and I would love to hear any advice or suggestions anyone else may have for me to help me get my system up and running as quickly as possible. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 19th, '08, 15:18 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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How are you planning on cutting the barrels? Lengthwise, or around the waist?

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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 19th, '08, 15:21 
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just long ways with the slitting disc on the angle grinder
ive already done one and it worked out well but the brace will be important because they arent very stable once cut in half


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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 19th, '08, 15:22 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Thats why i cut them the other way.

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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 19th, '08, 15:25 
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well i hadnt actually thought of cutting them that way because dad has been using the the blue barrels for horse water troughs and had welded up some steel frames for them so id just figured id get him to whip me up a few more frames and it should be alright


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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 19th, '08, 18:24 
Welcome Maverick... sounds like you've some good thought to starting out... look forward to seeing your system as it comes together... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 19th, '08, 22:59 
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Welcome Maverick!

Sounds like you have your priorities well in order! Have fun and good luck with your AP adventures!

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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 19th, '08, 23:20 
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Welcome,
Looks like you have made a good start on your planning. There is plenty of reading to do on this forum that can expand and improve some of your ideas.

So this land you have for the AP system, does it have power and water? Will it be convenient to stop by there a couple times a day when you first get the system running with fish? What is the source water and can you do some testing of that water (pH and stuff) so you know what you will be starting with for the system.

Do you already understand the Nitrogen cycle? (If no, then there are some good threads to read up in the top sections of the forum)

One note about barrels cut long wise and auto syphons, this combination can be trickier that the other way or rectangular beds running with auto syphons. Because the volume per cm changes with the depth of the barrel cut that way, getting the auto syphon to kick on and off is trickier. It can still be done but my experience tells me it is tricky while other shapes of grow beds like barrels cut around the middle or rectangular boxes/bins or wood and pond liner beds are really easy to get the auto siphons balanced. If the barrels are free, use em but if you have to buy them to get enough for your system, look into some other method of building grow beds to save money since each barrel requires plumbing fittings and they add up for a big system. Barrels cut the long way do need good stands to keep them from buldging and buckling and if putting those stands together costs much extra, then you might skip it in favor for cutting the other way or some other type of grow bed. That said, barrels cut the long way are a good choice for some types of root crops (I'm thinking potatoes and sweet potatoes as they grow large and can exert lots of force on a grow bed) since the root as it grows can push the media up the curved sides of the bed rather than risking breaking the bed.

Anyway, welcome to the madness, I love when we find the young ones :cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 20th, '08, 14:16 
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hey thanks everyone for their support so far :wink:

to TCLynx though:

yes the block has power and town water already
were supposed to be building a house on it soon but mum and dad are just a bit slow getting into it lol

at the moment we have a few sheep, two jersey cows and four horses so we go out there every day to check everything is ok and to feed out hay or lock the horses up so they dont get too fat. so i think it should be right that i could get out there a few times a day, if not mum could

and im going to buy a water testing kit soon

i can remember reading up on the nitrogen cycle quite a while ago and have a fair idea of how it works although i dont know where would i get the bacteria from, for the gravel? or will it just start to grow naturally after cycling the system a few times?

and as far as the growbeds are concerned.. :(

i have about 10 blue barrels at the moment dad has got free from work and he recently brought home an IBC tank too so im not sure if i should/could incorporate that into the system or not

but i hadnt thought about that aspect of the auto syphons, what you said certainly makes sense though so il have to look at how some other people have hooked theirs up first

see wat i had just decided on doing was using a full barrel for each GB

because with our water for our stock we use a full barrel and to keep its strength and also to protect the float inside, we dont cut it in half we cut a section out of the top. it might just be easier to put a photo of it on here but it means the stand wont have to be so high, because there is more of the curved barrel to support itself

and as far as the steel goes we have a bit or scrap lying around so the stands shouldnt be a big problem

i didnt know you could grow potatoes in AP either, but if you can thats certainly something i would definately want to grow

hmm dont know what to think now, i thought the growbeds were all sorted!


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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 20th, '08, 16:01 
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Maverick wrote:
just long ways with the slitting disc on the angle grinder
ive already done one and it worked out well but the brace will be important because they arent very stable once cut in half

I have found a circular saw to be more efficient
the slitting disk tends to melt the plastic
a good compromise would be an angle grinder with a saw blade
cut all the long lengths first, but leave some material at the corners to keep stability
then cut the corners

frank

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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 20th, '08, 18:13 
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hygicell wrote:
I have found a circular saw to be more efficient

:shock: You do know what happens if a circular saw is used on plastic. The melted plastic can stick the guard open and if the blade digs into the plastic it can flip around in your hands. Be very careful if you are going to use one. Couldn't find a smilie waving without hands. :hello2:

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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 20th, '08, 18:20 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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I use a diamond segment for tiles wheel no prob

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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 20th, '08, 18:34 
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No teeth. It's the standard blades you have to watch. Not too bad if cutting something on a table. But drums move around.

Don't like the new blades for angle grinders either. The ones that look like wood cutting blades. Tried one on tin. Darn that was scary. Cut really well if you don't get hit by the tips of the blade chipping off. And when it dug in and ran. It would cut while it was going. Stick to the cut off blades instead. They have a slim one that is good. The diamond tile ones are good also.

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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 20th, '08, 18:58 
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llol nah i didnt melt the plastic it did the job pretty well lol
and yeah thats my idea too
leave the ends completely round and just cut a reasonable rectangle out of the top


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 Post subject: Re: Maverick's AP System
PostPosted: Dec 20th, '08, 19:25 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Food&Fish wrote:
I use a diamond segment for tiles wheel no prob


+1, all my barrels were cut with one of these.

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