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 Post subject: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 10th, '12, 21:51 
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Good morning forum, ladies, gents, mates, yanks and any other catchy adjectives that are used here. My name is Brian and I have been lurking here for oh...I would guess about 4 years... :oops:

I have been consumed with the idea of AP since my first read. I stumbled upon this quite by accident. I was learning about heirloom seed, the evils of GMO seed, sustainable farming and others BAM! There was BYAP! Little did I know it was operated from down under...until I started reading the posts, and trying to understand the words...

During those ensuing years I was reading, planning, studying as much as I could while keeping an eye out for any and all barrels, tanks, wood, plastic, stone etc etc etc...I was consumed.

I was able to find many supplies that I would be able to re-purpose to AP so I began collecting them, bringing home dump trailer loads of river rock, 4" thick insulation panels from a freezer roof, blue barrels, hog panels etc...but did not get the support @ home.

Long story short, I announced my departure from the marriage early in 2011. (no, it was not ENTIRELY driven by lack of AP support), but that is another story. I finally left in september.
I am currently staying in a camper on some friend's land, who just happen to be AP converts.

So, here begins my journey that I hope to post here.

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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '12, 02:39 
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Welcome to the forum ShoestringAP, you probably already feel like part of the furniture. What a story hey? This AP thing doesn't go away does it? It must simmer just below the surface until the time is right for action and it sounds like you have got it bad. Well good luck with the future and we look forward to seeing what you come up with. I always say " when one door closes, another one open".

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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '12, 03:47 
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Thank you Faye,

and yes maam, another door always opens...it is just for us to ensure we have the patience to wait, the vision to see and the courage to step through...

So, to continue the story of "shoestring"...
I would be VERY remiss if I neglected to share the systems, posts and authors that provided much inspiration. So, without further ado:

I was going to link but dont have the time...please forgive.

Country Boy in South Carolina
TCLynx in Fla
JT in North Carolina
OBO from down under and his commercial system
not to mention the moderators, admins and regular contributors...to each I must tip my proverbial hat. THANK YOU!!!

I will continue on another post

Brian

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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '12, 04:05 
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AP on a shoestring continued:

shoe·string (shstrng)
n.
1. See shoelace.
2. A small sum of money; capital that is barely adequate: a company that started on a shoestring.

shoestring [ˈʃuːˌstrɪŋ]
n
1. (Clothing & Fashion) another word for shoelace
2. Informal
a. a very small or petty amount of money (esp in the phrase on a shoestring)
b. (as modifier) a shoestring budget


I figured a definition was in order for those on the the other side of the globe... :lol:

So our mode of building will be very frugal, embracing the sustainability cry of "Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! Re-purpose!" (I added the re-purpose one in there because I see sump tanks where others see abandoned concrete culverts etc...)

I will begin posting some pics to show our progress so far...be gentle...
While my skill and desire are ALMOST on par with JT's, the funds obviously are not...for now

Our intent is to establish a classy, functional homesite operation that provides for our family and will demonstrate the feasibility of a commercial system.

side note: I was discouraged by the repeated claims of successful commercial systems that were repeatedly debunked and challenged by the faithful of these humble haunts...I thank you
because of you I researched, studied even more and revised my plans...over and over and over...

as I continue I have a question:
-is it better to break up posts into easily digestible chunks or just let her rip and type a small novel???

in the mean-time I will be continuing to post smaller, more easily digestible chunks

Brian

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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '12, 04:24 
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Since the topic of closed and open doors was broached earlier I would like to illustrate some items that I like to associate with Divine province, others may disagree, but hey, its my post right?!?!? lol

I left in september, in november I was able to fly to wisconsin (my home state) with business and tie in a home visit. I had not been home in MANY years and never alone. So while I was there on business I thought to myself "self, isnt there an AP place somewhere around here??"

My mom and I went and toured Growing Power...had a great time and observed many different techniques that I would like to try...and MANY I will not try. The one I would like to mention is their mushroom spore treated wood. They had logs suspended over a fish tank and under another grow bed. They had soaked it for 24 hours in the fishtank and then added the spores. It was interesting...

Anyway, that was one surprise blessing for me, work trip, company paid, extended for free, family visit and AP tour!! :headbang:

As I mentioned earlier, the friends I am staying with, as I explained my vision and the basics behind AP, they were readily converted. You see, my friend's family is a large farmer in Vidalia, yes, we ARE the home for the famous Vidalia Sweet Onions!!
http://www.vidaliaonion.org/

The next surprise was a college here in GA Ft Valley State has an AP system, courses and meetings through out the year. I attended on in the fall of last year. They had different topics and speakers then a tour of their system. The professor is a FIRM believer in solids removal and filtration and has attended many of the courses offered by UVI and Friendlies etc...
so I couldn't agree with everything she was saying...but hey, I had a good time.

I also made some good contacts and she offered to provide some hybrid Tilapia next trip... :headbang:

here is where the story gets good...or at least I think it does

Brian

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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '12, 04:30 
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Welcome, as you've been here all along, I guess. Seems like you're getting right through that new door that's just opened for you. More like kick it off the hinges and jump in! I admire your attitude after what you've been through. I am in Ga as well, best of luck, can't wait for some pics!


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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '12, 04:41 
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So after the tour I took the plunge...I purchased plants
Banana - Veinte Cohl
male and female kiwi
fig tree
dragon fruit...

Alas...the banana got hit by a frost when I forgot to bring it in... :cry:
I DO have pictures but cant figure out how to attach them...yet

but the others are doing well.

My friend was so excited about the project he purchased about $50 worth of lumber and we built our frame for the greenhouse. 14 x 24
Our plans were to use recycled hog panels to arch over the top and hold up the plastic like TC intially did with hers...but...we only had 2 reasonably straight panels, rusty and it just didnt come together very well at all...

I forgot to mention my friend and I worked on a side job with several benefits:
1) it funded the initiation of my divorce
2) it supplied much needed building material (we demolished the interior office spaces of a warehouse and ran new electric, built walls, etc etc
Needless to say, the spare time for AP was ZERO!!

So that brings us through the end of the year.

Brian

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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '12, 04:52 
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Thanks kevyrev!

I still have the tendency towards the dark side :upset: depression and all that and I must confess if I didn't have my friends and their family over the holidays...UGH! dont even like to think about it...

So...we are now at the start of a new year. Another AP meeting at Ft Valley, I pick up an air pump, A/C converter, pack the cooler and hit the road. It is about a 2 hour one way trip but well worth it. I made some additional contacts, one guy who can get 275 gal ibc totes for $50!! another who might want to ride share next time as he is only a few minutes away!!
Not only did I get about 12 hybrid tilapia, some water hyacinth and duckweed!!! I know, it doesnt take much to excite me...oh well :wave1:

My friend and I had already built the stand for barrelponics but I was lacking the additional barrels...my ex wouldnt let me have ANYTHING!!! :upset:

I get home, the next day cut a barrel in half, put the fish in a 50 gal aquarium I obtained for $20 put a small submersible utility pump in there and start rocking...well, after I spend $60 @ lowes for lava rock, various fittings etc, wash the rock, set it up and THEN start rocking...until

the pump dies...HSM #1...my friend, I forgot to mention works at a hardware store, purchased another pump and the remaining wood to finish out the roof of the greenhouse...

ok, gotta take a break and figure out how to put pics on here...

Brian

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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '12, 20:59 
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Ok, some pics...
This is the framework for the greenhouse. You can see the interior 14' wide x 24' deep square initial set-up. The hog panels that make up the hoop of the temporary greenhouse were on top of the 14x24 frame like TCLynx did in her first hoops...it didnt work...so we took salvage lumber and made the rafters, intending to cut them flush at the sides. When we were finished we liked the look and the additional space it gave us so we are keeping them. Now it is a 24' x 24' greenhouse.

Attachment:
Greenhouse frame.jpg
Greenhouse frame.jpg [ 167.6 KiB | Viewed 8464 times ]


Now this is our...um...well...I don't really have a name for it but this is our initial 'system'?
50 gal fish tank on top of "barrelponics" frame, one half of 55gal barrel with lava rock n river rock, 1/2 55 gal as sump...for now I leave it flooded through out the day and run the pump + manual siphon in the evenings.

Yea, manual siphon from the glass fish tank. I tried to use my small air pump to do an airlift from the tank to the gb but the flow was not nearly enough.

(side note: I remember the conversation that centered around energy efficiency, airlift vs water pumps and the conclusion that the energy per amount of water moved was in favor of water pumps. The professor @ Ft Valley State college is a FIRM believer in airlift so I did not try and persuade her otherwise...yet 8) but I will stay away from them for the time being)

Attachment:
Hybrid Setup.jpg
Hybrid Setup.jpg [ 102.77 KiB | Viewed 8464 times ]


You can see my 2 anemic tomato plants...the big one was a free throw away, it was root bound in the container and the smaller one I was able to separate from the other root ball...I should have my test kit tomorrow and be able to start monitoring the ph, 'ates & 'ites

I must admit, the tilapia are very hardy. And for free what more can a body ask for...growth perhaps???

Well, I was doing the manual siphon thing sunday when we got back from the lake, and I saw something small swimming in the corner...well how bout that?? Babies!! The mama swam up and put them back into her mouth a little while later but I was encouraged.

Attachment:
babies.jpg
babies.jpg [ 139.66 KiB | Viewed 8464 times ]


You can also see the donor duckweed floating. We have about 10-12 little ones. I figure they should be ok in the cooler for a while eating the algae...

Brian

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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '12, 21:16 
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looks good,, one recomendation though, is to add media to the blue barrel growbed.. you don't want the water to go over the top of the media..
unless you're doing something different there...

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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 13th, '12, 21:37 
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Thanks Keith,
I have another bad of river rock...but...for now...I will leave a little water in there, well, because guess where I found the babies???

Yes they had been siphoned up and were swimming in the top of the gb. :oops:

I have the 500 gal tank up on a shelf with water in it, in preparation of moving the fish to it and starting to plumb the grow beds and start the 1/2 30gal grow/wicking beds.

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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 18th, '12, 21:25 
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Baby fish sure have an easy time maneuvering through ap systems.
As far as the airlifts, they are very efficient at moving a volume of water but not very high. You have to plan for it in your system design, to have very low head. Maybe something to think about for another system.

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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 19th, '12, 02:15 
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yea, I was following your system and the different low energy ideas flowing with you n bullwinkle and...I forget his name...

eventually I want to go that route. If you look closely you can see my current 'home', the camper.
I have about a 4' x 2' solar panel on the roof, converter etc with it and I will eventually remove it and use it for the gh...or maybe plumb straight to the camper... still a work in progress.

as far as airlift I saw your success with the reducer and 4 air lines at the bottom of your lift so will incorporate that when I begin using the 50 gal aquarium as a breeder...

I LOVE THIS PLACE!!! :headbang: :D

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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 26th, '12, 08:47 
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So, what have you been up to lately? Any progress on your system?


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 Post subject: Re: AP On A Shoe String
PostPosted: Apr 26th, '12, 23:02 
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Hey kev...
Real job been getting in the way, I do have the pump on order, along with a timer.
We built a temporary platform for the 500 gal tank and moved the fish into there...
There is a real hazard to building temporary with an eye on saving lengths of wood for the future...and...water weighs ALOT!! came back from business trip to broken platform, fishtank back on the ground, from a height of about 3 feet. Tank ok, fish ok, pride is pretty bruised...pics to come. I forgot my cord @ home.

Plants still doing well in the pots, male n female kiwi, dragon fruit, fig tree...

Thanks for checking in!
Brian

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