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PostPosted: Feb 12th, '17, 07:55 
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Greetings!

I have been reading the forum and doing research for a few months now. This weekend I have finally started construction on a system for my basement!

SO, what is the plan? Attached is a basic schematic of what I am thinking. Apologies for my crude MS Paint skills. I'm more of a notebook and pencil guy.

Attachment:
System Plan.jpg
System Plan.jpg [ 43.81 KiB | Viewed 3251 times ]


I have a 50g glass aquarium from a planted tank project that never panned out. I plan to drill the back glass to accommodate a SLO pipe.

The grow beds will be made out of some 55g barrels I was able to acquire on the cheap cut in half. To start, three will be flood/drain while #4 will be constant flood growing duckweed. Hoping for 15min fill, 5min drain on beds 1-3 using a bell siphon. Not sure on grow media yet. If I can get expanded shale locally, that sounds like ti will be the lower cost solution. If not, hydroton is the plan.

I plan to use another 55 gallon barrel cut in half and connected by PVC as the sump under grow bed #2 and #3.

I have a Danner Supreme Aqua-mag 3 pump that I think will work if I can keep pipe bends on the return to a minimum. It has an output of 270gph at 5ft head height which is about where I think the return will be. The flow can be controlled to each bed by ball valve and a return pipe to the sump to handle any extra flow. Any concerns with using this pump?

For lighting I'm planning on using two Kessil H150s per growbed. I am a little concerned this won't be enough light, any thoughts?

For fish I am planning on using fancy goldfish. I wanted to have fish I could eat but the wife threatened divorce if I ate any animals that live in the house.

For veggies I am planning to start out with greens, basil, and mint but hope to add peppers, tomatoes, and more once the system matures.

Still trying to figure out the pipe dimensions for grow bed returns and bell siphons. I plan on using 1.5" for SLO because I already have the glass hole bit and template, but otherwise more research is needed. Any advice on this would be appreciated.

This is going to be a slow build as I plan to use the lights and grow bed area to start seedlings for the outdoor garden this spring. Once those go outside I can finalize the AP system.

So far, I have gotten the grow bed frame set up and one coat of Kilz primer on it. Will do another coat of Kilz and a final coat of exterior latex to seal up the wood frame. Then I can cut up the barrels and install the lighting.

This is my first AP system, so I appreciate any guidance if I am making an obvious mistake.


Attachments:
Kilz First Coat.jpg
Kilz First Coat.jpg [ 117.96 KiB | Viewed 3251 times ]
Bare Frame Assembled.jpg
Bare Frame Assembled.jpg [ 150.8 KiB | Viewed 3251 times ]
Frame Layout.jpg
Frame Layout.jpg [ 112.69 KiB | Viewed 3251 times ]
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PostPosted: Feb 12th, '17, 14:53 
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Welcome to the forum :headbang:


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PostPosted: Feb 12th, '17, 18:21 
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Looks interesting


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PostPosted: Feb 12th, '17, 18:54 
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I have just got in from work, so having a few beers. :)

Before you do any more construction (and it does look nice) I would draw a few more pics as to how you see the system working and wait for comments.
Just as a start a pic of the barrels and how you intend to cut them (they have a tendency to bow out and require certain supports)
Next is the syphon (I hate bell syphons) even if you like F&D there could be real problems with the volumes of water dumping and pumping.
Anyway get the design sorted first and I am sure there will be others chiming in on this. :)


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PostPosted: Feb 12th, '17, 19:32 
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1/2 barrel for a sump seems pretty small. I'd recommend something bigger. Whole barrel on its side or 50 gal Rubbermaid bin or stock tank. An oversized sump is good

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My system http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=24346


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PostPosted: Feb 12th, '17, 23:48 
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Hi Again,

Thanks for all the comments, this is such a great community!

Sleepe, I will do what I can to get something more detailed drawn, but I am artistically challenged.

As for the barrels, cutting them in half the long way is what I have designed the frame to hold. I cut one to use as a template. See attached pic. They will be attached along the edge by 5 or 6 screws along the long sides and 3 or 4 along the short sides.

Regarding the F&D design, I also considered putting the pump on a timer. It would reduce the complexity of the draining mechanism, but I wasn't sure how that would impact the constant flood duckweed bed not having constant circulation of fresh water. I also considered just using constant flood in the media beds. It seem some folks are able to grow everything including peppers and tomatoes in them while others find it impossible.

Attachment:
First Barrel - Cut.jpg
First Barrel - Cut.jpg [ 151.7 KiB | Viewed 3227 times ]


Scott_dc, sorry for the confusion. I plan to use two halves of the 55g barrel with a pvc connection made at the bungs. Two of the beds and the overflow return from the fish tank will drain into the left half and the other two into the right half. The pump would go in the left barrel. Hopefully the pic helps clarify. Volume wise I feel pretty good about keeping the pump submerged while allowing space for complete drain of the growbeds in the event of power failure. My main concern with the sump volume is the need for frequent water additions, especially in the winter. With the frame design, I could add additional half barrels on either side to increase sump volume if needed.

Again, I really appreciate all the advice and guidance!


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Sump Barrels Mockup.jpg
Sump Barrels Mockup.jpg [ 127.35 KiB | Viewed 3227 times ]
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PostPosted: Feb 26th, '17, 05:39 
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After going a few rounds with the flu I am back to making progress on the AP setup.

Got all the barrels cut and installed. Used three screws on the short side and 4 on the long side. Seems to be enough support. I sat in one of the barrels and didn't feel any substantial flex or strain.
Attachment:
Barrels Installed.jpg
Barrels Installed.jpg [ 142.09 KiB | Viewed 3107 times ]

Also got the lighting installed along with mylar on the back and sides and plastic sheet on the front. The mylar should help even out light distribution, the plastic on the front will (hopefully) keep the cats out.
Attachment:
Added Lighting.jpg
Added Lighting.jpg [ 163.51 KiB | Viewed 3107 times ]

I think it will be enough lighting but my seed starts will help confirm that. I have them on 12 hours on/12 off all on the same timer.
Attachment:
All Light Up.jpg
All Light Up.jpg [ 115.19 KiB | Viewed 3107 times ]

The bed area will be occupied with handling the seed starting for my outdoor garden for the next couple of months but I should be able to get most of the plumbing and aquarium set up while those are going. Next projects in order:

1) Build aquarium stand
2) Drill Aquarium
3) Assemble SLO and bed distribution plumbing
4) Assemble return to fish tank
5) Connect sump barrels

Once seedlings go outside:

1) Drill barrels for drains
2) Assemble bed drains
2) Fill beds with media
3) Cycle system
4) Plant!


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PostPosted: Feb 26th, '17, 10:53 
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Good job on the build. I like the way you've temporarily setup support over the future grow beds so you could get the seeds going and keep working on the project.


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