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 Post subject: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Feb 15th, '13, 15:41 
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Hi all,

Having been a long time member reading and salivating over other member systems, I have finally gotten some traction on this project and cannot wait to make a decent go of this. Didn't help with 35-40+ degree celsius heat hitting through Jan/Feb.

I have not been successful getting the 'shared use' of the pool for an FT (besides it's saltwater), but I have been given permission to use the (far) corner of the house near to the pool pump for my 'hobby'. I shall hope to change my better half's perception of this as I go along.

The plan is :
1) Dig a sump tank about 400mm down and sit the full sized IBC into it.
2) I can then sit the GBs x 2 on top of the sump, with ability to expand another 1 or 2 GBs later. [Q: should I cut 1x IBC into 2x 500L IBC for GBs or make it 2x 400L GB (ie. cut down the size of the GBs?]
3) Fill the GBs with 50% of blue metal and the top up remainder with hydroton/canna aqua clay.
4) Power runs from the pump enclosure (shed not yet installed), with Double GPO available for use.

The sump tank will be used as an FT in the short term, till I get another full sized IBC and will hook up a 40mm? SLO to it to feed the GBs. [as per design]

I've got plenty of 40mm PVC pipe leftover from the pool install, and will hope to use that where I can, but will get some 25mm pipe to do the GB flow distribution. [ie. get a 40-25mm reducer and lots of ball valves]

Thanks to BYAP :headbang: , I picked up a drainage kit from Nat and will 'figure it out on how it ties together'. Will get more once I get the hang of it.

Anyways, gotten 2x IBCs onsite for now, and expecting some more later next week, when I get time to scoot them away. Used to have a copolymer latex compound in them which according to the msds I looked up was 'not considered to be persistent, bioaccumulating or toxic (PBT), and mixture contains no substance considered to be very persistent nor very bioaccumulating (vPvB)'. I hope to send my kids into them with face masks and gloves :laughing3: ... they were very keen to do this thankless task... I'm waiting to see if the missus calls them in and blames me for causing them cancer! :D

Any comments from the learned out there would be much appreciated.

Q) if I need to screen it from view, I'd like a temporary solution - thinking of brushwood fencing at $25/3m lengths, anyone else have better ideas?

Angle grinder and jigsaw on the weekend!


Attachments:
File comment: Picture taken 15/02 showing IBCs at 8'ish in the morning. Sun light at least 10hrs a day - may need shadecloth.
IMG_20130215_072349.jpg
IMG_20130215_072349.jpg [ 166.78 KiB | Viewed 8246 times ]
File comment: Aquanoobs corner design in sketchup.
Aquanoob-des1.jpg
Aquanoob-des1.jpg [ 94.93 KiB | Viewed 8246 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Feb 15th, '13, 17:29 
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Hi aquanoob, just a thought. :think:
depending on your choice of pump (volume) the 40mm SLO reducing down to 25mm pipe may not be sufficient.

I initially set my second system up with a 50mm SLO and found it to be unable to cope with the flow/ volume I was pumping into the FT.

I ended up putting a second 50mm SLO in rather than reduce the rate of water I am pumping into the FT.

PS I look forward to seeing the pics as your system goes together :wave:

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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Feb 15th, '13, 19:09 
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thanks for heads up, blind freddie.

I've got a 40W (claimed) jebao 5000L/hr pump, i figured I can redirect the spare pressure back to either sump or FT, and either jury rig a venturi nozzle to increase the air mix on it's way back to the aqua ;) Also got a backup 1500L/hr 18W mini pump which I can use as well if needed to reduce the pressure for now.

I guess with the SLOs (when I'm using the CHIFT PIST configuration), it's trying to compensate for the fact that the GB pvc pipework discussed by many are all around 25mm thereabouts. Designs for distributing the water to around the GB seem to be using that 25mm pipe size. Therefore, I'd need a 40mm to 25mm reducer, or possibly tap off the 40mm pipe with 25mm pipe as it runs the length across the GBs (and have an end cap that can be removed periodically to 'evacuate any solids buildup').

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PostPosted: Feb 21st, '13, 14:24 
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Well, had a go at digging in for the sump tank, and stopped around 400mm+ deep. Decided to go full 1000L IBC instead of the 3/4 cut sump idea, and allow for a 5-600mm clearance from NGL. (bigger the better!)

Attachment:
File comment: Fits just nice.
IMG_20130220_190610.jpg
IMG_20130220_190610.jpg [ 144.07 KiB | Viewed 8177 times ]


Braced the sides with sheets of cut up 800mm sheets (cut in half to 400mm) of colorbond left from the roofing job.

Had a hiccup and had to go buy some Torx bits (6 pt star shaped screw head) from the "B" to unscrew the IBC frame from the metal base. Didn't want to waste almost 200mm of digging effort to accommodate the metal base there. :headbang:

Will cut open the bladders the next few days and wash out with a borrowed HP cleaner.

Then a go at figuring out the pipework bits and pieces. Realised that I've got 50mm PVC pipe (CL9) so that's some better news than the old design using 40mm.

Which reminds me, is it worth updating the sketchup design as I'm just growing the system bigger every few days... :drunken:

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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Feb 21st, '13, 14:36 
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aquanoob wrote:
as I'm just growing the system bigger every few days...

The addiction only gets worse my friend.... lets just say that pool is going to look more and more like a fish tank every day :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Feb 26th, '13, 13:39 
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Got a problem.... already...

The 30cm deep GB is good to go, but I then thought about increasing the amount of bio filter and depth of the GB to allow for 'bigger plant/root systems', and go for almost double the height of the GB.

This threw all my calculations out from using the FT with a SLO to gravity feed to the GBs, as the GB heights would be alot heigher.

I can't reduce the GB height, as it's already at the lowest point to allow drainage to the Sump Tank below (sitting around 500mm above the ground).

The option was then to raise the FT higher, but that poses an 'aesthetic risk'.

I think I'm going to have to give up on the bigger biofilter and tough it out with 23-30cm high GBs. FuzzyMonkey's given me the idea of using a spare blue barrel for a swirl tank (later, if required).

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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Mar 26th, '13, 12:59 
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It's been a few weeks now, and had a hell of a time, sorting out the backyard first (pool fence) before being able to proceed further with the IBC project.

My measurements were 'a wee bit off' especially after I wanted some 'allowances' to ensure adquate access to various parts of the system. This meant that the setup was wider than originally planned, with the levels also being compromised somewhat (ground sloping every which way). 400x400 pavers to the rescue there.

The layout is still consistent, but the 3rd/4th GB needs more 'thinking out' - ie. delayed until I get the base 2xGB/ST/FT setup.
Attachment:
IMG_20130319_080621 (800x600).jpg
IMG_20130319_080621 (800x600).jpg [ 302.84 KiB | Viewed 8050 times ]


Recalled that algae would be a problem, so had to take all bladders out (bar the sump tank) and paint them. When I shoved them back into the frames, paint scrapes off, and looks like a touchup job. ST will get a lick of paint too later.

I decided not to paint the galvanised frames. (FuzzyMonkey - a perfectionist decided otherwise :notworthy: ).

Picked up some 6.5m lengths of 50x50x1.6mm galv SHS and had a beaut day cutting them to size, as I didn't want to rest the GBs on the ST (level issues too).

Tried the long 2.4m lengths out, sweet. Brackets next to join beams all together and also for guides for the GBs. Now I'm back to thinking I should dispense with the pavers and use galv legs too. Wot to do??? :think: :think:
Attachment:
IMG_20130325_174756 (800x600).jpg
IMG_20130325_174756 (800x600).jpg [ 281.26 KiB | Viewed 8050 times ]


I'll get to finishing the actual system soon... promise. :laughing3:

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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Apr 2nd, '13, 08:56 
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As it was the easter break, and had a day/two break, I decided to paint the frames (bar the sump) with black epoxy enamel, and touched up the bladders with the spare fence paint. I hope the epoxy enamel is safe to use to protect the galv iron, as I intend to put the bracing bars back to help maintain the strength of the frame for the Fish tank.

Attachment:
File comment: Most of the pipework in place.
IMG_20130401_154038 (800x600).jpg
IMG_20130401_154038 (800x600).jpg [ 305.57 KiB | Viewed 7898 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: Gave up painting after the FT frame. Still needed some touchup though.
IMG_20130401_154051 (800x600).jpg
IMG_20130401_154051 (800x600).jpg [ 289.19 KiB | Viewed 7898 times ]


This morning, a 15minute job of connecting up the remaining pipework, and running in to test the system. All looking good.

Strong flows, water cascading from the GB drains into the ST. Lots of noise though, and as a 'concerned neighbour', I rigged 90deg elbow and extended the drain pipe so the water hits the sides of the sump tank wall, instead of splashing into the water.

Will this reduce the amount of aeration? :think: :dontknow: (as compared with splashing the water into the tank)

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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Apr 2nd, '13, 11:32 
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The elbow will reduce o2, but it won't be significant if you have an air pump.

For my barrel system I used a screw connector and extended the drain so that the outlet was below the sump waterline.

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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Apr 2nd, '13, 15:03 
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Square steel tubing? How's that compared to using wood when it comes to overall price? (Fasteners, paint, etc minus the tools)


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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Apr 2nd, '13, 15:41 
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Zeknix,

Honestly would not be able to give you the right advice, as I'm in Aus, and you're in USA. But I got 6.5m of the 50x50x1.6mm SHS (square hollow sections) tubing, typically used for pergoloa/patio posts at $5.90/per lineal meter. So it was 'cheap in my mind'. I just had to cut them up (trusty bosch angle grinder).

Then spent a motsa to buy (24/twenty four) 3"x3/8" bolts with nuts/washers, and (6/six) 100x100x50mm angle brackets, plus a gate corner kit (4/four 90deg brackets that slip into those frames perfectly). These things by themselves put me back about $135. All because the missus didn't want me destroying the house with 'another new toy' being an MIG welder which I was eyeing off for welding the frames together.

Then add epoxy enamel paint/brushes/etc... you're talking about $250 excluding labour. I've got some lengths left over, but that's because I was too lazy to get more legs, just braced the middle with 2 lengths.

Looking in hindsight, the hardwood timber option would have been better, but the frames ended up looking pretty ok, esp. when mated with the metal frames of the IBCs.

whoa.. rambling over.. and out.

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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Apr 3rd, '13, 12:23 
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I figured good paint/epoxy would cost more than the steel itself. Sounds like USA pricing would be very similiar.


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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Apr 4th, '13, 13:18 
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And we have water flow! Water pressure needs to be at max (ie. SLO pipe needs to be almost fully submerged) to ensure that the outflow at the GBs are about equal in volume of water. I assume that if there is not enough backpressure in the SLO pipe, water will 'skim' over the 25mm exit half way along the common 50mm distribution pipe.

Attachment:
File comment: Good inflow from sump pump.
IMG_20130403_175958 (800x600).jpg
IMG_20130403_175958 (800x600).jpg [ 264.39 KiB | Viewed 7764 times ]


And this morning, the canna clay balls went in. Lovely :thumbright: to work with, just adjusted the GB drain pipes to drain away from sump till the water ran relatively clear after hosing it down and churning it with my hand. (no gloves needed!)

Attachment:
File comment: Canna clay added to GBs
IMG_20130404_084216 (800x600).jpg
IMG_20130404_084216 (800x600).jpg [ 350.35 KiB | Viewed 7764 times ]


Now gotta get the electrics put safe and settle the GBs.

Note to self : make sure to fish out all the PVC pipe shavings from the tanks after running in the pipework! :brilsmurf:

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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Apr 4th, '13, 15:32 
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OK, question time. I expected the balls to be 'floating' until things settle, and can see that happening here.

Attachment:
File comment: Visible water or floating balls?
IMG_20130404_084914 (800x600).jpg
IMG_20130404_084914 (800x600).jpg [ 232.74 KiB | Viewed 7754 times ]


Anyone suggest how long this settling of the clay balls take? hours/days/weeks?

And should I be adding another 20mm of media to avoid water being visible? would the media 'wick the water up to the seedling/plant roots'?

Cheers for answers!

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 Post subject: Re: Aquanoobs first go.
PostPosted: Apr 4th, '13, 15:58 
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The water level should be about 3cm lower than the top of the media. So either cut your standpipe down or add more media.

Yep, the water will wick up to the surface.

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