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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 09:37 
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It was getting late when I did the sums last night. I forgot to mention one assumption I made, which in retrospect is quite important: I assumed all the GBs had to be of equal volume; this can be less important in CF (CF/CF) systems than timed F&D. If you had the opportunity to add more deep filtration (with the same exposed surface area) I'd still take it. You can modify the computations I did to allow for two 1/2 IBC GBs and cutting the other IBC for the GB and ST, but introducing a new limit that this third GB has to be no shallower than 300mm (300L) plus some freeboard.

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 09:37 
Why can't you add fruit trees Ron??


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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 10:09 
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Fruit trees like citrus can't stay wet for too long at a time, at least in soil. A flood and drain is considered better for them. I believe the term people use is that they like their toes wet, but not their ankles. That is why the planting instructions say "well drained soil." My soil is not, which is why after just one day in my grow bed my cherry tree looks 15 times happier. Fish and food keeps his lemon tree on f&d for the same reason.

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 10:19 
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great info... Im planning on citrus and fruit trees, dwarf, grafted..... can't wait to get them going...

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 10:49 
Ronmaggi wrote:
Fruit trees like citrus can't stay wet for too long at a time, at least in soil. A flood and drain is considered better for them. I believe the term people use is that they like their toes wet, but not their ankles. That is why the planting instructions say "well drained soil." My soil is not, which is why after just one day in my grow bed my cherry tree looks 15 times happier. Fish and food keeps his lemon tree on f&d for the same reason.

Plants that are said to "not like wet feet"..... are always associated with "well drained"....

IMO... and from aquaponics, and even hydroponics experience.... it's not a matter of "wetness"... but of drainage....

And the drainage is actually a requirement... for oxygenation of the plants "near surface" lateral roots.....

I, and others have found that with oxygen rich water... as found in flood & drain aquaponic systems.... that such plants grow without problems at all....

And F&F's lemon tree shows this exactly....


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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 11:39 
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I think there might have been a misunderstanding. I am growing fruit trees in my AP system. I was just saying that they might not like constant flood, that is why I am using F&D. Actually, at this point it is just the P as I haven't cycled yet and have no fish in yet. The earlier comment was in response to constant flood being equal to F&D. With most plants that is true, just not with fruit trees.

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 12:17 
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So this is my understanding of the 3 basic types of media growbed systems:

1. Constant Flood - O2 Saturated water always kept at a certain level in the growbeds ie 280mm deep and flowing out of the GB through a standpipe with an opening at the top and some small holes at the bottom to drain in case of pump failure

How do we prevent sump overflow in case of pump failure?

2. Timed Flood/Drain - Pump on a timer ie 15/45 and a similar drain setup as above to fill GB, then drain while the pump is off. Sump has to hold the water volume of the growbeds + extra to make sure pump doesn't run dry. I would imagine this could be tricky to balance with 3+ growbeds unless the pump is very high capacity.

3. Autosyphon - Somehow seems cooler than the others cause it does stuff. Pump on constantly, Autosyphon regulating flood drain cycle. Sump has to hold the water volume of the growbeds + extra to make sure pump doesn't run dry, but not too much so that if all of the growbeds drain at the same time, it doesn't overflow.

I am leaning towards #3, but would also consider #1. I don't think I want timers in my system.

Any suggestions?

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 12:33 
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Yep, you just need to do a lot more research...

Asking which one you should go for is like asking a group of car fanatics at a car show, "which car should I get?"

You'll get 50 different answers with each person qualifying their thoughts with what seems like a fairly plausible reason why...

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 12:56 
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earthbound wrote:
each person qualifying their thoughts with what seems like a fairly plausible reason why...


I do find that very annoying. Every time I make up my mind about something someone makes a valid argument in another direction.

I think it'll be SLO and autosyphons for me. I just need to check my layout and make sure I can get everything to fit at the right heights to make it work.

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 13:00 
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See I'd be telling you to NOT go for siphons....... I've had loop siphons, bell siphons, pipe siphons, all sorts in all different types of systems.. At the moment I have one system with a siphon, out of 15 different systems here and at home..

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 13:08 
Ditto... in fact I don't currently have any siphoned systems.... and have only used loop siphons... on small beds, like half blue barrels...


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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 13:14 
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here we go... what the hell is a loop syphon?

So you reckon I should go constant flood? If I go for a timer I'd need to get more pumps as I already have a 1000l/hr and that won't cut it on a timer system.

P.S. Sorry for not answering your pm Rupe btw... I might have to pass at this stage and go with gravel as I'm a bit short of change and trying to do this on a minimum budget.

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 13:25 
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Siphons can be tricky and somewhat temperamental. Whilst you might finally get them working today, tomorrow they can just fail for no obvious reason at all!

tcshad wrote:
I just need to check my layout and make sure I can get everything to fit at the right heights to make it work.
You might spend some time trying to figure out how to use SketchUp to draw your 3D model, but start with pencil and paper as it's so much easier and faster.

CHIFT PIST "rules":
Top of GB must be below SLO
Top of ST must be below bottom of GB and drain
the rest is simply aesthetics.

A 15min sector 24hour timer costs about $20 and are pretty resilient (mine have been running for about 5 years). A reasonable 6000lph pump will cost about $220-$250. Keep your 1000lph as a backup.

There shouldn't be any problem to run a 1000lph continuous flood, continuous flow (even without a sump) although there could be issues with the CHIFT PIST design, particularly if the flow is not sufficient to allow the SLO to actually lift solids from the FT. You might have to run the pump in the FT and drain the GBs back to the FT in a simplified cycle; you could plumb in the sump but have it isolated and only drain the FT/GBs there for maintenance/expansion purposes.

These things will all become clear once you have iterated through the designs and drawn the candidate system design on a piece of paper/sketchup/mspaint/whatever.

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 13:40 
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The main issue I have is that no part of my backyard is level, and I'm renting... So I don't want to do any sort of major landscaping to it. I need to configure and fit the system with the appropriate bits in the appropriate places somewhere in the area around the stairs and hot water system (see page 1)

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 14:09 
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Can you sit the GBs on the decking up against the railing?

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