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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 14:14 
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I would put the fish tank and grow beds on the deck, that way they are close to the door, and the sump under the deck. The deck may need additional supports, but I doubt that would be difficult. I would encourage you to download and use Sketchup. There are models for IBCs, barrels, BYAP components, and plants. In one evening I downloaded it, went through the tutorials, and completed the rendering that I lead off my system's thread with. One evening. It helped me realize how much I could actually fit in my space.

About the auto siphon opinions, I believe that a lot of good folks stopped using them before a Mylasian gentleman named Affnan invented his version. There are a lot of people who have been using his design with great results. Worst case scenario, if they don't operate as planned, you can always remove the bell and it becomes a stand pipe. I have seven in operation right now, and they work great. DecalsbyJT has them running in his system and they have been running impeccably for some time. His thread is awesome btw, and his results are equally so. I'm not disputing the expertise of Joel, Rupe, or Bunson, they ARE experts! But like you, I think auto siphons are cool, and it is not hard to go back to CF or timed F&D if you get tired if them. I would encourage you to google Affnan siphon and have a look his design if you decide to go with auto siphons.

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 14:30 
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If you can put the GBs on the deck...
Attachment:
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possibility.PNG [ 743.39 KiB | Viewed 2972 times ]

Create a "platform" using some besser blocks (or similar) leaving a small gap for the drainage plumbing. All three GBs drain off from the platform height into the FT on the ground next to the decking. If you stick to the numbers we crunched earlier and you kept the FT very full of water, you could run a simple flood and drain to the three GBs on timer and allow them to gravity drain back to the FT. Or, just use two GBs and save a little more water in the FT for the fish when the GBs are flooded and save some space and weight on the deck? Either way, you could get by without the need for a sump.

This could also be dismantled and "portable".

Problem: Your 1000lph pump might not have the head for the vertical height?

[edit] And if you really must, you could install siphons too!

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 14:40 
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If you take Bunsons idea, then use an SLO out of the fish tank into a sump slightly lower, you would be able to keep the fish tank at a fairly constant water level. So the order would be pump in sump pump up to grow beds, beds drain into fish tank, tank overflows into sump. The sump only needs to be slightly lower then the outlet from the fish tank. The lack of levelness may be a good thing:)

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 14:43 
Ah... you mean CHIFT PIST.... :wink:.... yep... :headbang:


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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 14:47 
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I can't explain why I am so partial to CHIFT PIST, I just can't imagine not having a sump.

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 15:08 
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I agree that sumps are handy, but their implementation comes at a cost, complexity and extra plumbing! IMHO KISS. If you can get by without a sump, without sacrificing any of the efficiency, robustness or performance of the system, then its hard to see too many benefits as to why one would add such complexity into a system?

In tcshad's case, there is certainly room to add a sump on the ground next to the FT and design around CHIFT PIST principles. Still, a bigger pump might be needed to get the SLO working to lift solids. Any pump used is going to need to be able to pump solids and waste i.e. a dirty water pump is recommended.

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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 15:39 
Yep... and I don't think a 1000l/h pump is going to do the job...

With a single grow bed on top of the cut down IBC... it might have...

With 3 grow beds... IMO.... you'll need a minimum 3500l/h pump....

I'd actually go for a 4500l/h... in case I wanted to expand... and in the interim, divert water back to the fish tank as a spray bar for extra oxygenation...


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PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 17:39 
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I've made a decision. Plan A is definitely going to be affnan siphons... I don't know why but I just really like the idea of them and at the end of the day I'm doing this to give me some enjoyment and a hobby and something to tinker with in my backyard as well as to have fish to look at and for my kids to enjoy. Veggies/herbs are kind of an afterthought...

I can't build anything on the deck as I don't believe it's structurally sound enough to hold that sort of weight and my kids like to drive their cars on there.. Oh and I don't think my wife would let me :P

The system will go either right down the back next to the fence, or somewhere between the fence and the stairs under the windows. The only hassle is the damn hot water system as it's kinda in the way.

I'm not sure about the trees above the fenceline though not sure if they'd be poisonous to fish.

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PostPosted: May 25th, '12, 12:16 
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Looking like this will be my layout. I'll stack some bricks with a few sleepers on top under the cage which represents my fishtank.

I'll get some racks from Bunnings, sit them on some small concrete slabs and sit the growbeds on them. I'll put the sump under one of the racks. Might have to dig a little hole for it to go into.

Attachment:
position.jpg
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PostPosted: May 25th, '12, 12:17 
Looks like you maximise your sun aspect there...


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PostPosted: May 25th, '12, 12:31 
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It'll suck in the summer cause the FT will be in the sun but I may just have to make a frame with some shadecloth or something like that to cover it up.

Fingers crossed the good weather sticks and I'll be cutting up IBCs this weekend... Forecast isn't good though.

last weekend I spent de-cluttering the house :(

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PostPosted: May 25th, '12, 12:32 
tcshad wrote:
last weekend I spent de-cluttering the house :(

Sorry to hear about the divorce.... :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: May 25th, '12, 12:46 
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The FT is on the extreme left and the sump is on the right, under the window? What room is inside the window? Hope it's not a bedroom...

I don't think you've maximised gravity. If you had the FT at the right and the sump at the extreme left (downhill), any reasonable pump will overcome gravity to pump the water uphill, then gravity takes over from there for the SLO to GB and GB to ST? As the ST will be at the downhill end, the hole you dig wont need to be as deep as if it were at the uphill end.

If the FT was under the window, utilising a CHIFT PIST configuration, you can feed the water into the FT from just below the surface so it will be nice and quiet and you can splash the water into the ST at the end and make a bit more noise.

Something like:
Attachment:
File comment: Better use of gravity?
gravity works.PNG
gravity works.PNG [ 13.55 KiB | Viewed 2922 times ]



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PostPosted: May 25th, '12, 12:54 
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A couple more ideas:

If the FT is under the window, you might be able to feed them over winter without having to go outside into the rain and cold! Just open the window and chuck the food in. I can also imagine sitting on the window sill, feet dangling below and a fishing rod! :)

If you've still got all of the cages the IBCs came in, you could chop the cage for the sump and have at least GB sitting on this, meaning you only to build something to support the other two GBs.



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PostPosted: May 25th, '12, 14:05 
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Scott, The picture is a bit deceiving in that while the fence looks like it's sloping right to left, the FT is actually the highest point. The ground is a bit funny there. Photos don't make it obvious though.

Also my plan is to have the sump under the growbed right next to the FT so any noise will be as far from the window as it can be.

Good idea about the cage for the sump supporting the GB. I still have all the cages, just pulled out the tanks to lay it out easier.

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