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PostPosted: Mar 7th, '13, 19:44 
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So after a lot of reading and a lot of getting excited, I thought I'd put my first aquaponics system together. I drove out to Paramount Browns to get a couple of pickle drums, but found that they wouldn't fit in our sedan. I ended up getting one steel drum (ex-food grade) and three coke drums. I think the coke drums actually worked out better as they fit on the shelf with less stabilisers.

Once I got started I found it hard to stop. Patience is not my strong point. Waiting for the silicone to dry almost killed me. :lol:

Here's a shot of it getting set up.

Attachment:
File comment: First system waiting for the expanded clay.
system_01.jpg
system_01.jpg [ 142.99 KiB | Viewed 5307 times ]


Here's what you're looking at:

Attachment:
File comment: System diagram
Setup_0009.jpg
Setup_0009.jpg [ 51.84 KiB | Viewed 5307 times ]


Sorry about my poor spelling (irrigation) :D

I originally had the system on a timer with irrigation taps on the drain hoses but found that it was too tricky to get the flow rate correct for the flood and drain on all three tubs.

I moved to a loop siphon and found it way easier.

I put 100 L of expanded clay into the tubs but it only filled up half way so I added some gravel to get a better depth.

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PostPosted: Mar 7th, '13, 19:48 
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Looking at setting up a system for my Dad. Based on my limited experience so far and from what I've read, this would be the simplest system.

Attachment:
File comment: Simplest system I can imagine
Setup_0005.jpg
Setup_0005.jpg [ 24.44 KiB | Viewed 5304 times ]


Comments, suggestions or other ideas most welcome :D

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PostPosted: Mar 7th, '13, 19:53 
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I've got a few fish and a feed seedlings in my system now. Only been going a few weeks and I'm already dreaming about a newer system that has an actual fish tank in it for viewing the fish. This set up will still be outside but it will be opposite our glass sliding doors. With a light on the tank in the evening it should look quite nice.

This is the series of diagrams I used to sell the idea to the wife :wave1:

Attachment:
File comment: Front View
Setup_0001.jpg
Setup_0001.jpg [ 57.03 KiB | Viewed 5302 times ]


Here's the back view (with all the working parts).

Attachment:
File comment: Back View
Setup_0002.jpg
Setup_0002.jpg [ 54.51 KiB | Viewed 5302 times ]


Here's what it will look like when I've dressed it up a bit so that the black tubs aren't visible.

Attachment:
File comment: Dressed up and no where to go
Setup_0003.jpg
Setup_0003.jpg [ 96.9 KiB | Viewed 5302 times ]

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My current system and some future plans:
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viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1275


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PostPosted: Mar 7th, '13, 20:02 
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The tubs I was going to use in the above example were 165 L crates that I picked up for $25 a pop. What it does mean though is that the grow beds would be quite high.

Then I had another idea (too many ideas, not enough time) :lol:

Seeing as we want to keep the fish tank level constant but the tub underneath (a reservoir or do you call it a sump tank?) could have varying levels of water, why not pump into the tank? Then you could use the overflow system to feed the grow beds.

Oh and in case you're wondering, there's a siphon tube over the edge of the tank because I can't put a hole in the glass. One of the disadvantages of using an aquarium. The siphon should keep the water level in the tank and the water level in the bucket the same, then I can have a hole in the bucket at the right level.

With this design, I'd need to be careful that the two buckets on each side were level with each other, otherwise one grow bed would get more water.

Just ideas at this stage. Thoughts, suggestions and comments welcome. :thumbright:

Attachment:
File comment: Low rider set up.
Setup_0006.jpg
Setup_0006.jpg [ 46.5 KiB | Viewed 5301 times ]


Hiding the reservoir and dressing it up a bit for the entertaining area.


Attachments:
File comment: Entertaining area and "wife approved" version.
Setup_0007.jpg
Setup_0007.jpg [ 71.4 KiB | Viewed 5301 times ]

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Failing to plan is planing to fail

My current system and some future plans:
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PostPosted: Mar 13th, '13, 15:37 
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My fish arrived from livefish.com.au and there were no casualties along the way. The 25 silver perch have joined the goldfish in the drum. As they grow, some will go into the new system and some will go to my Dad's place. I originally thought that 25 would be fine in the 200 L drum but after reading the posts on here I've learnt that it's way too many.

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PostPosted: Mar 13th, '13, 15:41 
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You'll probably get away with it for winter as Id imagine they are tiny coming from livefish and they will be dormant through the colder months. This will give you time. :thumbleft:

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PostPosted: Mar 13th, '13, 18:23 
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Looks great! Might you get problems with algae build up in a clear fish tank?

Love the diagrams, I wish I had your drawing skills, it would certainly help convince the detractors!

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PostPosted: Mar 13th, '13, 21:19 
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Charlie wrote:
You'll probably get away with it for winter as Id imagine they are tiny coming from livefish and they will be dormant through the colder months. This will give you time. :thumbleft:


Thanks Charlie. Yes they are quite small (3 to 5 cm) so they should be okay for a while. When they go dormant, do you mean they don't move much or do you mean they actually hibernate?

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My current system and some future plans:
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viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1275


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PostPosted: Mar 13th, '13, 21:25 
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BoredomIsFailure wrote:
Looks great! Might you get problems with algae build up in a clear fish tank?

Love the diagrams, I wish I had your drawing skills, it would certainly help convince the detractors!


I'm a bit worried about the algae build up. I've been looking around for a cold water algae eater but there are very mixed reports on the water temperature ranges. I was going to have goldfish in there and a few of the smaller silver perch but the algae eaters also eat the slime off of the goldfish. I've also read that goldfish themselves quite like eating the algae.

I'm thinking I might give it a try and see how I go. If it's real bad, I can cover the tank with something or shop around for a different set of algae eating fish.

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My current system and some future plans:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=15555

Acronym reference guide (AP ARG):
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1275


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PostPosted: Mar 19th, '13, 19:58 
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The rainwater tank arrived today.

1000 litre tank and I'm planning on chopping it in half. It's round and tall at the moment, 90 cm diamater by 2 meters high. When chopped that will give me 2 x 500 L tanks at 1 meter high each.

Should be enough water to grow some good eating fish :fish: :eat:

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My current system and some future plans:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=15555

Acronym reference guide (AP ARG):
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1275


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PostPosted: Apr 16th, '13, 15:47 
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I thought I'd better add some new photos.

This first one is the set up before I removed the barrel. You can see the 165L plastic tub on the left which is my current fish tank.

Attachment:
File comment: Old set up
Aqua_02_600.jpg
Aqua_02_600.jpg [ 147.31 KiB | Viewed 4836 times ]



Here's the seedlings.

Attachment:
File comment: Seedlings
Aqua_05_600.jpg
Aqua_05_600.jpg [ 130.45 KiB | Viewed 4836 times ]

_________________
Failing to plan is planing to fail

My current system and some future plans:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=15555

Acronym reference guide (AP ARG):
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1275


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PostPosted: Apr 16th, '13, 16:25 
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Here's the spot where the new system is going to be set up:

Attachment:
File comment: New system location
Aqua_10_600.jpg
Aqua_10_600.jpg [ 163.05 KiB | Viewed 4832 times ]



My bro got some amazing hardwood from his work that they were throwing away. Using it to make the stand.

Here it is almost finished.

Attachment:
File comment: Stand under construction
Aqua_12_600.jpg
Aqua_12_600.jpg [ 178.25 KiB | Viewed 4832 times ]



Here's the finished stand

Attachment:
File comment: Stand finished
Aqua_13_600.jpg
Aqua_13_600.jpg [ 147.13 KiB | Viewed 4832 times ]

_________________
Failing to plan is planing to fail

My current system and some future plans:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=15555

Acronym reference guide (AP ARG):
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1275


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PostPosted: Apr 16th, '13, 16:27 
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Here's the grow beds and the lid is showing where the sump is going to go.

Attachment:
Aqua_18_600.jpg
Aqua_18_600.jpg [ 161.95 KiB | Viewed 4832 times ]


We have enough wood left over to make another stand and add 2 more grow beds.

I've done the plumbing on these 2 GB and I'm hoping to get some red scoria to use as a growing medium.

Unfortunately the gravel that I have seems to be raising the PH so I'll use it for landscaping or something else.

Coming together now. :)

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Failing to plan is planing to fail

My current system and some future plans:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=15555

Acronym reference guide (AP ARG):
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1275


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PostPosted: Apr 16th, '13, 19:00 
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Looks very classy steve :headbang:

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PostPosted: May 22nd, '13, 16:10 
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Time for some updated photos.

So we finally figured out how to plug the top half of the rainwater tank (used pop rivets and Sikaflex). It's now a 500L fish tank and the gold fish have more room than they know what to do with.

Once the water's all doing what it should do, we'll add some trout. Need to figure out what to cover it with as well.

Here's a few pics.

Attachment:
File comment: My first system with the final tank.
Aquaponics_06_800.jpg
Aquaponics_06_800.jpg [ 171.9 KiB | Viewed 4628 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: My chillies with broccoli in the background
Aquaponics_08_800.jpg
Aquaponics_08_800.jpg [ 159.57 KiB | Viewed 4628 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: Basil is doing well too (finally)
Aquaponics_09_800.jpg
Aquaponics_09_800.jpg [ 97.23 KiB | Viewed 4628 times ]

_________________
Failing to plan is planing to fail

My current system and some future plans:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=15555

Acronym reference guide (AP ARG):
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1275


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