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PostPosted: Mar 12th, '13, 20:19 
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Not much to see yet, but it's going to be a standard IBC set up, right out of the IBC of aquaponics PDF (Thanks for that guys!).

I was going to go for something smaller, in a greenhouse, but I really want to try growing plate sized fish and this seemed the smallest practical tank. The IBCs were also food safe and going cheap - in their previous life they provided drinking water for rowers at the London Olympics, so this is my olympic system!

Attachment:
File comment: Just a cage at the moment...
photo1_forum.jpg
photo1_forum.jpg [ 87.05 KiB | Viewed 4116 times ]

Posting here to get tips, encouragment, and to try and avoid mistakes before I make them.

Next step is to clean and paint the tanks and add some support at the back for the growbed (they plywood's just for the picture). I didn't want to raise the growbed too much it's nice below the window, but I might stick put in on some wood to raise it a little and add support.

Plumbing will all be 40mm solvent weld waste pipe (supply and drain, I'll throttle the supply if the standpipe can't cope), the pump is a Bermuda Filterforce 4500lph and I'll be running it on a 15on/45off timed flood and drain. Will fishless cycle with ammonia and I've bought a test kit to monitor the cycling.

Will be stocking with a dozen mirror or common carp fingerlings once I'm cycled. Hoping to grow herbs, salad and tomatoes, but it might be too cold for the toms here.

Sorry the picture's low quality, the light was fading fast.

Any suggestions?

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PostPosted: Mar 12th, '13, 21:23 
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Welcome to the asylum BIF :thumbright:


Looks like you've done your homework with this one. The only point I'd raise is to make sure you support the full span of the growbed bladder in a couple of places, it will bow otherwise. (And a full growbed is HEAVY!!)


And take lots of pics, we love pics!

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PostPosted: Mar 12th, '13, 22:27 
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Good point! The pallet the whole thing sat on was wooden and I didn't fancy using it.

In my head the two bars (not shown) that went on top of the cage to hold the tank in were going to take the weight, but you've made me realise I'm going to need more than that.

Options are:
1) the (untreated?) wooden pallet
2) a few lengths of pressure treated 2x2
3) a couple of (well weathered, probably treated once since they've not rotten) fence posts (4x4 at a guess)

I'd like to keep the height low (less imiposing), but I'm worried about access to the fish tank, checmicals leaching out of the pressure treated wood (does this happen?), and the whole thing collapsing in a year because the wood rots.

Whick option would you go with?

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PostPosted: Mar 13th, '13, 05:59 
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I went with the two bars that came with the IBC on mine, it worked OK but did sag a bit.

I'd stay well away from any treated timber, of any form.

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PostPosted: Mar 13th, '13, 09:00 
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Looks good, BIF! I suspect that very few of us have an IBC with a history that is worth talking about, so well done on scoring that one.

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PostPosted: Mar 13th, '13, 15:36 
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nebbian wrote:
I went with the two bars that came with the IBC on mine, it worked OK but did sag a bit.

I'd stay well away from any treated timber, of any form.


Good point nebbian, just remembered that I've got two spare bars from the second IBC. Four bars ought to do the trick :) Thanks! Had a look at your system thread, looks great!

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PostPosted: Mar 14th, '13, 07:11 
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Far too much pipe (they wouldn't deliver less than 10x3m lengths and 200l of clay pebbles turned up today!

It would have been 250l but someone must have walked off with the fifth sack before I got home...

Hopefully the paint will arrive before the weekend.

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PostPosted: Mar 15th, '13, 07:55 
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The fifth sack of clay pebbles turned up (yay!) I don't know if they just forgot to unload it yesterday or what, but I'm not complaining :)

No paint though, but I do now have ammonia for fish-less cycling! Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself...

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PostPosted: Mar 25th, '13, 18:51 
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Just an update: It's too cold to be messing around outside; went to the pub instead.


Attachments:
File comment: You can just make out the ibc at the back - it blends in quite well with the snow.
photo (1).JPG
photo (1).JPG [ 213.45 KiB | Viewed 3950 times ]

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PostPosted: Mar 25th, '13, 19:32 
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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '13, 04:47 
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The weather has (finally) taken a turn for the better, so when I haven't been stuck at work I've managed to get the IBC painted:

Attachment:
File comment: Mid-painting,
photo 1.JPG
photo 1.JPG [ 133.74 KiB | Viewed 3780 times ]


and filled with the expanded clay:

Attachment:
File comment: Filled with expanded clay.
photo 2.JPG
photo 2.JPG [ 112.74 KiB | Viewed 3780 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: Close up!
photo 3.JPG
photo 3.JPG [ 96.97 KiB | Viewed 3780 times ]


I have yet to glue any of the plumbing (don't glue anything in the grow bed, right?) but my not-so-dry run resulted in the bed over-flowing.

It's 40mm throughout (supply and drain) and there's no easy way to make it bigger. I'm thinking the pump's over-powered, is there ever a way to turn these things down a little?

Plan now is to put a T-piece in the supply line, to redirect some of the flow right back into the tank, with a ball valve on it to control how much goes to the beds. Sound like a plan?

Does everyone glue the supply pipes? At the moment it's holding together pretty well and I'm thinking of leaving it pushed together so I can re-use the fittings later when I (inevitably) expand and reconfigure later. Is this such a bad idea? I'm not running any risk of emptying the tank as all the plumbing is above the tank.

In other news, I've started cycling an indoor system - it was a way to keep busy while it was too cold/dark to work outside. I'll start a new thread for that and post some pics!

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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '13, 06:56 
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So I tried cutting the standpipe even shorter, but it didn't make much difference. Without a standpipe the bed doesn't overflow, so there's got to be a standpipe height at which the water will only reach the level I want, but I don't have time to be messing around.

Instead I'll just tee off the supply line and send some water straight back to the tank; simples. I've got a valve to allow me some control over how much goes to the grow bed.

At least this means I've got enough pumping capacity to add another grow bed I suppose.

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PostPosted: Apr 29th, '13, 11:47 
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I was surprised by how much I miscalculated the required height of the standpipes for the Puddle growbeds. I ended up cutting (very awkward cutting it was, too) a further 3-5cms off each of six standpipes to get them to drain properly while leaving enough media dry at the surface.

The inlet/outlet config is 20mm/50mm on the Puddle growbeds, which are only 100L capacity - much less than your IBC section. I think that your 40mm/40mm means that your inflow will be well and truly be governed by your slower drain-rate and you will just have to manage it by cranking back the flow with a valve, as you have done, and redirecting surplus water back into the FT. You will have extra flow capacity up your sleeve for when you decide to expand. :wink: Did you drill any slow drain holes at the base of your standpipe? These would assist your GB drainage, at least in a small way, while leaving the option open for flood and drain mode of operation.

I'm impressed and inspired by your IBC paint job and curious about the meteorite atop your standpipe!

BTW, I haven't glued any of my fittings.

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PostPosted: Jun 4th, '13, 01:14 
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Heh, the meteorite was just there to keep the standpipe in place :) it was just a random rock that I found in the garden - someone has cemented a nude barbie into it, so I thought it made a nice feature ;)
Attachment:
File comment: The meteorite :D
photo 2_small.jpg
photo 2_small.jpg [ 107.54 KiB | Viewed 3622 times ]


It's been over a month without updates, mainly because not a lot has been happening, but also because I've not been uploading the photos I've taken... So I'm here to rectify that!

Attachment:
File comment: A bypass added to the supply line - helps aeration while preventing the growbed overflowing.
photo 1_small.jpg
photo 1_small.jpg [ 59.09 KiB | Viewed 3622 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: The system with seeds added (before the wood pigeons ate the seeds)
photo 3_small.jpg
photo 3_small.jpg [ 55.8 KiB | Viewed 3622 times ]

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PostPosted: Jun 4th, '13, 01:17 
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These were taken a couple of weeks ago - it's in the middle of a fishless cycle so not a lot to see...

High ammonia, not much else (the tap water is pretty high in nitrates so they're nothing to get excited about.

Attachment:
File comment: Params, early days of cycling.
photo 4_small.jpg
photo 4_small.jpg [ 76.24 KiB | Viewed 3622 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Added some tomato and a strawberry plant - full of optimism!
photo 5_small.jpg
photo 5_small.jpg [ 83.46 KiB | Viewed 3622 times ]

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