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 Post subject: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 17th, '13, 14:41 
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Hi all.

I've been poking around this forum for a week and a bit now, so I thought I'd better show off my system. And apologies in advance. I like pictures!

I discovered first hand how much fun it is digging a big hole in the ground.
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My first gardening project involved very long beds built up by sleepers. It failed due to me getting sick of watering/irrigation systems failing - $500 water bills/invading grass-weeds and horrible clay adelaide soil. I originally went with a no dig garden bed, but the amount I always needed to top up was crazy. So I have a massive amount of sleeper to put to good use.
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The pond liner + water. I had a few problems with my SLO not being big enough, so I added another two on either side, and after a few fixed leaks, I had it all working.
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I then welded up a lid for the FT, not so much to save the fish from the birds, but more to stop my dog from going for a swim.
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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 17th, '13, 14:57 
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Sorry, hit enter too early.

This was the first GB I built.
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Notice the base, I thought a waterproof flooring used in bathrooms would be suitable. I was wrong.
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A new pond liner later, and way too much shovelled gravel and I had the system up and running.
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Copper tape around all the legs to stop the snails/slugs from climbing up. Apparently it electrocutes them.
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And here's two weeks worth of growth on the lettuce seeds I sprinkled over the top.
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And I'm always one that thinks bigger is better, and I had so much wasted potential with my pump, so I started building my next two beds.

This one is going to be my DWC floating raft system. I want to compare side by side.
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And this one is for passionfruit. I want to compare it against the ones in the ground.
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I coated it with epoxy resin + cotton tops, then sprung for chop sheet to stop the leaks.
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And filled it up.
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Today I threw in my passionfruit cuttings, the plant they came from aren't very old either, so I'm curious to see which grows better! Time will tell.
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And my wife would shoot me if pipes were going everywhere and visible. So I dug everything into the ground. When the grass comes back (I covered it all with dirt from digging out the pond), it should look invisible.
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Next part is I've got to finish off my DWC bed. I'm waiting for a new pond liner to arrive. I tried to repair my broken one, but no love. Then I've got to figure out this filter business. I didn't think about it building my bed, so it's tricky to get it from FT - ST. I'll figure out something.

It's only got a 7 goldfish in there at the moment. I'm planning to get some Murray Cod or Sleepy Cod mid January. So I've got till then to get it sorted!

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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 17th, '13, 15:19 
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looking good - will be interested to hear how you find the copper tape works.

Can you drain from the gravel beds into the DWC? I know it might involve digging up pipes, though would save the hassle of making and installing a filter - might need to shorten those legs on the DWC stand :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 17th, '13, 18:47 
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So far the copper tape seems to work. I've usually got snails over everything. I'll usually have a rainy day and they are swarming over everything. And I haven't seen any snails in the system. Plenty over my fish tank though.

I was thinking about that with the water from the gravel bed going to the DWC. But I think I'll need a filter system anyway, I don't think the gravel beds will be able to hold up to the all the Cod poop.

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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 17th, '13, 19:00 
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Great first posts, we love pics!!

System looks great and you have done a great job. Welcome aboard!

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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 17th, '13, 21:31 
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Very nice - looks like you have been infected by the aquaponics bug - copper bands dont keep the aquaponics bug away :support:

Keep the pictures coming.

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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 18th, '13, 05:25 
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I do plan for more beds. Another three or four. However much the pump can handle. I figure if I'm paying for the electricity, I should get as much as possible out of it (I'm still having to pipe some of it directly back to the sump). It's a 8000LPH, low energy use one.

Although, I'm still holding out hope on the copper tape. Probably not the most scientific, but:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osZXETdJ4mw

I'm not sure how well it'll work once it's been weathers for a few months though.

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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 18th, '13, 10:36 
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Looks nice.

Any chance that during heavy rain, water will flood into your sump or fish tank and contaminate the water supply?


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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 18th, '13, 11:13 
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Nah, not really.

I'm in Adelaide, and in the 7 years I've been here, the rain has never been that hard.

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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 19th, '13, 14:06 
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I've got to say, I'm really impressed at the ability of the plants to hold up to an Adelaide 40C+ heat wave (105F+ for you Americans). Usually little seedlings would be gone for. But nope. they are pushing on strong.
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I do have a question though, how normal is it for there to be a stack of bee's in the system on a hot day? I counted almost 30 hovering around, going in for a drink. It's hot, so I can't blame them, I just don't want a bee next starting in my back yard. Unless it's in proper boxes I can harvest honey from.

It's hard to take pictures of them, but...
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Although, it means I'll have the best pollinated tomatoes in the area.
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Also, I've almost got my DWC bed up and running. Just waiting for the pond liner to arrive, and it not to be 40+ outside. I got a proper cut foam:
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What I'm curious about. What's the best size to space the pots (I was going for the 50mm net pots)? And best way to cut the holes out. I was thinking of a coat hanger shaped to the right size, then put into a soldering iron, and pushed through.

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 21st, '13, 09:44 
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I've got my DWC bed up and running.

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I'm still curious about the spacing for the pots if anybody could help? I want to keep it interchangeable with different plants, and fit as much in as possible. Is there a rule of thumb for spacing pots?

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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 26th, '13, 07:23 
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I got my new trellis up and running. Just more square tube. It should hold all I can throw at it. I've got some tomato clips coming in the mail, so hopefully it'll work out well!
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And my water has cleared up fantastically, I can see directly to the bottom. Is sparkling!
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I'm still really impressed with growth rates. And whoever said tomatoes don't work until you've got a mature system needs to rethink it. Mine are powering along.
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And I got net pots in the mail. I've got half planted out with more tomatoes/basil/lettuce/strawberries. I've got some Cos, and a few other varieties in the mail at the moment, hopefully they'll go well.
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And I think it's safe to say that the passionfruit cuttings are taking. They've been in there for a week and a bit now, and no wilting. Now I can race them against their clones in the ground!
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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 26th, '13, 10:43 
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A quick question.

I'm going to need an air pump for when I get the Cod, I'm just not sure on what I'll need.

I still need to pipe it into my DWC bed, and i'm planning on additional 10M x 1.2m beds, which will be 12m worth of floating raft beds. So how much air will I need for those?

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/65L-Min-Elec ... 794&_uhb=1

Will that one work?

And how loud will it be?

I'm trying to keep it as low wattage as possible. Keep ongoing costs down.

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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 26th, '13, 10:44 
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Nice welded tube frames, they look really sturdy!

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 Post subject: Re: Colum's System
PostPosted: Dec 26th, '13, 15:30 
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Tube steel is good stuff. Straight, strong, and easy to weld. Can weld up the entire frame in an hour :)

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