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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: Apr 29th, '15, 14:04 
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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: May 6th, '15, 13:32 
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Hi Guys, any idea on what insect this is?
Attachment:
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It look like a ladybird but it is jet black in color.

Attachment:
Mint Tip.jpg
Mint Tip.jpg [ 46.07 KiB | Viewed 1646 times ]


Back to the mints, i am noticing a lot of curling of the leaves at the tip of the stalks, i was suspecting aphids due to the abundance of ants activities, like attacking and chasing away the ladybirdish bug.

But as when i checked the under section of the leaves i am surprised to not really see much aphids at all. But it could be to recent heavy rain in my location. Anyone has any idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: May 6th, '15, 20:21 
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Aphids don’t like mint and will steer clear of it,it is used in companion planting for this reason,during the rainy season here mint tends to die back with the leaves curling and dyeing back along there edges,similar to your pic.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: May 7th, '15, 11:38 
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@dasboot - Thanks for sharing
@Anyone - Guys, any idea on what that bug is? It has a orange colored under belly, but wont stay still enough for a photo.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: May 7th, '15, 13:03 
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It probably is related to a ladybug - http://www.quora.com/Are-the-black-and-white-ladybug-like-insects-in-the-same-family-as-ladybugs-Why-are-they-black-and-white


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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: May 7th, '15, 14:26 
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@scotty435 - Thanks, but are they friendly or am i starting to have another pest invading? I am noticing more and more of them turning up.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: May 7th, '15, 15:12 
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:dontknow: Watch them and see what they do. Usually in small numbers like this it's a predator.


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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: May 29th, '15, 14:24 
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@Anyone - Hi guys, after putting up the shade cloth, my water temp is much stable now but i am recently noticing that the plants are leaning slightly to the front where it is not shaded.

I am assuming that i am currently having issue with lack of sunlight, How can i reduce the effectiveness of the shade cloth? Should i cut small holes into it or just cut slots? I wont be able to change it due to the fact that the place i got it from only sells one type and i am assuming it is at 50% effectiveness at blocking sunlight.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: Jun 1st, '15, 12:51 
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Anyone??

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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: Jun 1st, '15, 17:27 
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Sounds like a pain. See if there is a way to give the plants needing more light a bigger opening. Maybe split the cloth and move the two halves apart where the plants are reaching. Sometimes you can open up an end more to give them more light early in the day but still shield them from the worst of the heat.


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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: Oct 12th, '15, 12:35 
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Hi Guys,

Finished setting up a small wicking bed a few days back and realized that i might have made some mistake due to the fact that my top soil is damp all the time, but this could be due to the heavy rain the past 1-2 days.

I currently have the system in the sun for the early half of the day will see if it drys up. I currently have lemon and cinnamon basil, thyme and rosemary planted.

Comments and advice very much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: Apr 20th, '17, 18:35 
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Hi Guys,

Started planning on expending my system, would love to have some feedback and opinions.
Attachment:
1000L .jpg
1000L .jpg [ 24.73 KiB | Viewed 727 times ]

It will be a timed flood and drain system, I am thinking of having it gravity fed from the FT to the RFF, Media Bed and the SUM/DWC. Will this design work?

Additional questions are :-

1)How do i size the RFF and SUM/DWC?
2)Is my calculation of needing a pump to be able to move 4000L/Hour (1000L/15 Mins) correct for the ratio of 15mins on and 45mins off.
3)Where to add venturi to introduce more DO
4)Unforeseen problems of having the SUM act as a DWC.

Thanks in advance

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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: Apr 21st, '17, 10:09 
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Looks good! I wouldn't use the sump as a DWC though; if you want a DWC, it would probably work better to put in a separate one. :think:

1) To size the RFF, you need to have a minimum of one minute dwell time (two is better, more is better still). So if you're pumping 1,000 L in 15 minutes, that's about 67 L a minute; I'd get a 200 L food-safe black or blue drum and build the RFF out of that.

To size the sump, it needs to be large enough to hold all the water that will drain out of the growbeds in between pump cycles, plus enough water to keep the pump submerged when the growbeds are full, plus a bit more to give you wiggle room and time between topups. Assuming your media takes up about 2/3 of the space in the GBs, your sump level will fluctuate by about 330 L during a pump cycle (rounding off, and not worrying about allowing for the dry layer on top and any water that stays in the bottom between cycles, we're only after a rough number here). So a 500 L sump might work fine for you, depending on what sort of pump you've got and how deep it needs the water to be to keep working properly and how often you top up. If you're not sure, go bigger. :thumbleft:

2) Yup! Bear in mind it has to be 4,000 L/hour at the head height you need, and you should add on a bit more to allow for friction losses. Again, if you're not sure, go bigger; you can always redirect some of the flow back into the sump to adjust what you're pumping if you've got more flow than you want, but you can't improve the flow if you don't have enough.

3) In the fish tank. I'd also add an air pump to keep the DO up in between pump cycles; you may not need it, but if you have high stocking levels or high temperatures or just touchy fish, you will. Put it on a battery backup too, so it'll keep going in a power cut.

4) I wouldn't. The water level will be going up and down a lot with every pump cycle; it massively increases the chances of something (plant roots, bits of whatever you're using as a raft) clogging your pump, and if you've got your sump somewhere that works well for it being a sump (low down, possibly under the GBs) it'll be shaded most of the time. If you have the rafts floating on the water surface they'll be going up and down with the water and disturbing your plants (and getting sucked over into the pump etc); if you have them supported over the top of the sump with an air gap, that might work better, but then you run the risk of killing all your plants if you don't keep the sump topped up to maximum all the time. :dontknow:

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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: Apr 21st, '17, 12:38 
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Hi Mel,

Thanks for the fast reply, but digging is a no no. I checked and found water supply for the house at the only location for the system, so the sum will need to be on ground level in parallel with the GBs.

Sorry, Should have done a better side view.

Attachment:
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Top View.jpg [ 25.42 KiB | Viewed 712 times ]


That is also the reason i thought of using the SUM as a DWC (If it is going to be out in the open might as well be functional).

Should i re-design or plumb a different way? Any ideas?


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 Post subject: Re: Curious' 1st system
PostPosted: Apr 21st, '17, 15:39 
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Ah! Well, even if it's not dug into the ground - mine isn't - it'll still need to be lower than the GBs for them to drain into it. So, sump sitting on the ground, GBs up on stands/supports in order to drain properly into it (and you'll need the RFF to be higher than the GBs and the FT outlet will need to be a little higher again in order for everything to flow properly). So, with that in mind, if the sump is next to the GBs instead of (at least partially) under them, are you going to be able to reach all areas of the GBs easily? Obviously you can access the other side of the GBs no problem, but the dimensions look like you're thinking of using something the same size as an IBC slice GB, and I sure as heck can't reach all the way across mine from one side; now that stuff is growing nicely, it's a bit tricky to reach the middle even with clear access from both sides.

If you've already got all or most of the bits you're going to be building with, I'd lay them out the way you're thinking of (get them to roughly the right height if you can, it makes a huge difference in how accessible things are) and then try moving around them, pretending you're planting new things or picking your veggies. If it's not really comfortable, it'll get annoying fast. :-P Having the sump next to the GBs instead of under them will certainly make accessing the pump easy, but if it's gotta stay there then for convenience's sake maybe move it far enough away from them that you can walk between GBs and sump (makes the plumbing a little trickier but still doable, especially since with timed F&D you don't have to worry about complicated drain piping making siphons temperamental), in which case the shade problem with using the sump as a DWC goes away (you'll still need to watch out for roots clogging the pump etc). If you can't move it away from the GBs and can't put it under them either, I'd consider building a solid cover over it that you can stand on to work on the GBs, either hinged or with a trapdoor in it so you can access the sump. :thumbleft:

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