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PostPosted: May 13th, '14, 05:01 
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Hi there! I want to share my system (wich is an ongoing project) with you. This is my first system, as you'll see I don't like to start small! :D I have to say that we have had lots of problems with the design and we had to re-design lots of things while we was constructing everything... It doesn't matter how much you calculate things, there're always problems!. I hope that if you find some possible problem or some way to improve things, you'll let me kow, I'm a newcomer in aquaponics community!

I'm located near Madrid (Spain), so our climate is continental. I wanted an aquaponics system near home, and that's why I needed a greenhouse, wich I had to build first (a geodesic dome greenhouse, 12m diameter).

Attachment:
cupula.png


I have a 10.000 L fich tank with 350 fingerlings. The system is hybrid, and I use three substrates for different beds:

1.- Expanded clay
2.- Volcanic rock size 7 (slightly larger than expanded clay balls)
3.- Water (some beds in DWC)

Attachment:
20140512_195555.jpg


I have about 35m2 of growbeds. Some of them are only expanded clay (for peppers, potatoes, carrots...). The volcanic rock beds are mainly for some small trees I plan to put, and things with more weight (tomatoes...). And the DWC beds are for lettuce and so on.

The growbeds are specifically designed to fit the place, they're made with fiberglass (food grade).

I have a 8.000 L sump tank buried in the ground, outside the greenhouse. It will be covered with plastics to insulate it. It is also a fiberglass tank.

The pipes are PVC and polyethylene.

Here in winter we have sometimes -5 ºc, so just in case I have 6.000w water heater that works with my home solar panel excess. It will start only if the batteries are full. I plan to put also a wind turbine for cloudy days. Anyway in winter it seems that the greenhouse keeps the temperature around 20ºc-25ºc so it is not so bad. You can see the red heater in the pic.

Attachment:
heater.jpg


--Continues in next message...--

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System's thread of our 10.000L in geodesic greenhouse
Some videos and more photos


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PostPosted: May 13th, '14, 17:49 
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As the pipes has a long way to the sump tank, I found that sometimes there was air traps and the syphon didn't work. When the growbed was filling, the water level went OVER the syphone, but the air pressure inside the syphon didn't let the water inside the syphon arrive to the stad pipe level, so the syphone never started, and the water was overflowing over the growbed. The syphon sometimes also was floating!

So I "invented" what I call "anti-air-trap breather tube". I didn't saw this anywhere but this is the only solution that I can think with minimal changes, so please let me kow if you know another solution, or if this is a non-existant problem out there... My solution is just a breather tube, down the syphone pipe, higher than any place where can be water, to let the air "inside" the syphon to go out. In this way everything worked perfectly. I attach a diagram also in case someone has the same problem.


Attachment:
anti air trap.jpg

Attachment:
anti-airtrap.png



The system has also two filters, a RFF (still to be improved) and an IBC tank with 3 ether-based polyurethane filters (PPI 10 and PPI 30) (beware, don't buy ester-based, it will break down in weeks!). Also a 100w air pump helps to oxigenate the water.

Attachment:
filters.jpg


The system is still young, I plan to use biofertilizer and seaweed to feed the plants while the fingerlings grow. The seaweed won't hurt them if I don't overfertilize (please correct me if I'm wrong).

I'm going to add an arduino microcontroller to automate the testing of ph, no2, ammonia and all the other parameters, but I'm still developing it... By now, I'm using test strips.

You'll find more photos and videos in my page, sorry, in spanish!

http://www.facebook.com/reverdeando

Stay tuned for updates! :)

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System's thread of our 10.000L in geodesic greenhouse
Some videos and more photos


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PostPosted: May 13th, '14, 18:40 
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wow nice system - I'm sure that anti-air thingy would be interesting for people on the forum.

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PostPosted: May 13th, '14, 21:10 
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Great set up, well done.
:thumbright:
And of course, welcome to the forum.
:)

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PostPosted: May 13th, '14, 22:48 
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wow that's quite a setup! I sense a good bit of jealously to follow.

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PostPosted: May 14th, '14, 00:39 
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Yep, we're very happy with it. My wife and me was working on this project two years!. Not full time, but probably all the weekends and holidays. I have to say that if I had it to do again, I would not, too much work! But now I'm happy, yes... although still there are more work to do, the main things are up and running.

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System's thread of our 10.000L in geodesic greenhouse
Some videos and more photos


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PostPosted: May 14th, '14, 09:08 
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Very nice setup :thumbright:

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viewtopic.php?f=18&t=15600&hilit=joblow%27s+system

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PostPosted: May 14th, '14, 16:01 
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I forgot I also have a schema :)

In case you're wondering why the floating raft growbeds are not taking the water directly from the media growbeds, it is just a matter of gravity... Floating raft gb are very high (to avoid back injuries) and they use the pump power to get water. As the water mixes in the sump, I think the water is also nutrient rich, we'll see...

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System's thread of our 10.000L in geodesic greenhouse
Some videos and more photos


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PostPosted: May 14th, '14, 16:17 
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Welcome, and very nice, looking forward to following your AP journey. Shame for you that you didn't jump on the forum at the beginning of the build.

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PostPosted: May 14th, '14, 16:58 
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For me this is like writing a book or composing a song... I prefer to show things when they're (almost) finished :)

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System's thread of our 10.000L in geodesic greenhouse
Some videos and more photos


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PostPosted: May 14th, '14, 17:36 
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Impressive system!

Did you do all the fiberglassing yourself?

I'd love to see some progress shots!

What sensors are you planning on using for the ammonia & No2?

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PostPosted: May 15th, '14, 03:39 
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We planned to build the gb ourselves, but after construct the fish tank, I realized that it was going to be a nightmare to build the gb in the same way... So I designed the gb shape and let professionals to do the job for me. It was a bit expensive but was the best decision ever.

Building the fish tak involved welding, wood cutting, patch the EPDM two times... and thinking about doing that with 17 growbeds, with different sizes was too much for me. So I talk with a guy that was able to do the fiberglassing, and I can't be more happy with that.

Regarding arduino, for NO2 probably I'll buy this one

http://www.vernier.com/products/sensors ... s/nh4-bta/

For ammonia:

http://www.vernier.com/products/sensors ... s/nh4-bta/

All of them connected to an arduarium: http://www.practicalmaker.com/projects/ ... controller

I like your sensor feed, I have the same idea, to handle/check everything online! (Beware, you have 0º in the fish tank, it is freezing! ;D )

I have some videos and photos about the building process, so I plan to prepare some instructional videos and explain photos, but still I have to work on that.. not time for everything!

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System's thread of our 10.000L in geodesic greenhouse
Some videos and more photos


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PostPosted: May 15th, '14, 04:55 
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Wow that would be a cool project with the arduino.
"... Your fish are happy.... "

You could even do a live video feed :)

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PostPosted: May 15th, '14, 05:25 
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Welcome reverdeando!! Awesome system!!

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PostPosted: May 15th, '14, 05:44 
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reverdeando wrote:
We planned to build the gb ourselves, but after construct the fish tank, I realized that it was going to be a nightmare to build the gb in the same way... So I designed the gb shape and let professionals to do the job for me. It was a bit expensive but was the best decision ever.

Building the fish tak involved welding, wood cutting, patch the EPDM two times... and thinking about doing that with 17 growbeds, with different sizes was too much for me. So I talk with a guy that was able to do the fiberglassing, and I can't be more happy with that.

Regarding arduino, for NO2 probably I'll buy this one

http://www.vernier.com/products/sensors ... s/nh4-bta/

For ammonia:

http://www.vernier.com/products/sensors ... s/nh4-bta/

All of them connected to an arduarium: http://www.practicalmaker.com/projects/ ... controller

I like your sensor feed, I have the same idea, to handle/check everything online! (Beware, you have 0º in the fish tank, it is freezing! ;D )

I have some videos and photos about the building process, so I plan to prepare some instructional videos and explain photos, but still I have to work on that.. not time for everything!


Let us know how you go with the am & no2 sensors. I'd been wanting to buy one myself, but I wanted to see how well they worked, and how accurate they were after being submerged for a period of time, with bio slime build up all over them.

My tank isn't freezing. I just have issues getting the signal to the house. I bought a wifi bridge repeator, and it works, but it hogs a lot of the bandwidth, and slows all my internet down, and stops some websites from loading. The plan now is to wire it into my house, and to the modem. I've just got to build up the enthusiasm to cut holes in my house, climb over the roof, pull up sheets of roofing. I'll get it done though.

Good call on getting somebody to make the beds.

Do you know if they used a vacuum method to make the beds? Or just layered it up?

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