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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 20:17 
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First pictures of the pond! Transaction all but sealed and pickup will be next week.
Unfortunately the growbed jerk as I am now referring to him, has sold out of the tubs that I have been asking him if I could pick up for about 4 weeks now :-(
Thankfully the pond has lifted my spirits! And OH has also lifted his game after seeing my sketchup, and is now designing my entire yard in some fancy pants 3D design program.


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PostPosted: Jun 28th, '14, 20:24 
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My first system: Kat's "Pretty" Aquaponics
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My backyard: Kat's (soon-to-be) Suburban Oasis
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PostPosted: Jun 29th, '14, 12:21 
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Master and apprentice, hard at work on the design!


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My first system: Kat's "Pretty" Aquaponics
My second system: Kat's Newer & Bigger System
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PostPosted: Jul 2nd, '14, 14:08 
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Finally! I've now paid for the pond and will be picking it up on the weekend.
It's bigger than it looks in the pictures, and should allow me to have a reasonable number of fish. I will be limited mainly by my growbed space at the moment I think.
I plan on allowing enough room at the sides of the pond to expand with extra raised beds, should the need arise.

Still having issues getting my head around a new growbed concept, but thinking that going back to a DIY fibreglass option might not be a bad idea... I have set my Dad, the ultimate scrounger, on a mission to find something suitable for me in the meantime.
Otherwise, it will be a frame and pondliner methinks.

Also found a supplier of SP for $1.50 in Gidgey which seems pretty good, so I have emailed them to see what the minimum order is.

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My first system: Kat's "Pretty" Aquaponics
My second system: Kat's Newer & Bigger System
My backyard: Kat's (soon-to-be) Suburban Oasis
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PostPosted: Jul 2nd, '14, 14:14 
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Looking really good, kat!

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PostPosted: Jul 2nd, '14, 16:32 
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Thanks Charlie, getting there slowly but surely.

As the whole backyard is a work in progress we are going in stages.

To tide myself over, I've just ordered a dozen packets of seed from Australian Seed in Shoalwater, WA.
As much as it might be cheaper to order from eBay or Gumtree, or even swap through the forum; I'm quite conscious of WA's strict quarantine laws and am happy to abide by them to keep us free of some of the problems plaguing other countries and even other states.

I've bought some things for me, and some things to amuse the little fella. Some will go in the dirt and some will make it to the AP system. I'm not going to overload it straight away though, so will make a trip to the B-store I think (or the M-store on the corner) and fetch some seedlings of different Greens and herbs to mix into the bed as well.

My shopping cart:

- Luffa/Loofah (yep, the ones you buy to scrub yourself in the bath)
- Purple Early Sprouting Broccoli
- Romanesco Broccoli
- Beefsteak Tomatoes
- Yellow Honeybee Cherry Tomatoes
- Capsicum Bell Mix Colour
- Miniature Jack be Little Pumpkins (Halloween is big in our house!)
- Spaghetti Squash
- Lime Basil
- Slow Bolting Coriander
- Sunflower Cosmic Flame (even little boys love to grow these)
- Daviesia Latifolia

And now... to PLANT!
:flower: :flower: :flower: :flower: :flower:

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PostPosted: Jul 3rd, '14, 14:09 
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Oh my goodness... The answer was in front of me all along! IBCs!!!

2 halves of an IBC should give me roughly the size growbeds i am after, and can be clad and capped very easily thanks to their cages. Uniseals love them, so no major dramas with plumbing, and easy enough to ensure they're food-safe :)

I can cap the seam down the middle and have a nice-sized bed that's roughly what I would have had anyway.

Time to properly read the IBC of Aquaponics and have a serious re-think about the plumbing. Mainly need to get my head around the water return to the FT because I still want it to look as nice as possible. With five separate smaller beds that was easy, but just two will be more of a challenge due to the volume of water. :think: :think: :think:

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated? :)

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PostPosted: Jul 4th, '14, 06:25 
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Hey Kat
Your system is really coming along looks awsome it's great to see a girl so keen.
When I did my system I planted seeds and seedlings but I soon found out once
I added my fish my plants weren't big enough to take up ammonia and nitrites, so I pulled out seeds in my other growbed an put as much seedlings in as possible,
It's easy to add supplements to help plants and much harder to remove the high levels of ammonia ect.
If. I were u plant out heaps of plants or seeds and waite until there 50mm high so they use enough nutrients before adding to many fish
IMO

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PostPosted: Jul 4th, '14, 13:48 
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Good idea hezzy, I'll rig up a bit of a temp greenhouse to get some seeds started without the frost destroying them.

Maybe some bigger pots of herbs will be worth putting in too at the start.

I'm starting with an established pond and filter that will just be topped up with tap water once it's in it's final resting place, so hoping that this will help avoid too much of a spike in ammonia, since the biofilter should be ticking along already to some extent.

I will leave the koi in there for now and see how the system goes for a bit before I order my perch then.

Cheers for the encouragement, I'm having fun with it all that's for sure :)


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My first system: Kat's "Pretty" Aquaponics
My second system: Kat's Newer & Bigger System
My backyard: Kat's (soon-to-be) Suburban Oasis
My tangents: Cheese-making


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PostPosted: Jul 5th, '14, 19:02 
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Yer I kept goldfish for two weeks before getting my fish, it helped a bit but I also transplanted some adult chillie plants, parsley, Tyne ect into the grow bed, and I can always return them back into pots later but because there bigger plants they will use up more nutrients.
There more temporary plants while I waite for lettuce, broccoli and others to get bigger,

It's all great fun hey, I can't believe how hungry 67 fish can be, not to mention how high they jump

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PostPosted: Jul 5th, '14, 19:33 
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Take a look at my IBC thread - the miniorb and decking looks great for cladding.

You can also cut the cages a little different 'vertical' rather than top and bottom. Iceman has great pictures of the 'shoestring community gardens' build on his facebook page.

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PostPosted: Jul 6th, '14, 17:39 
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Thanks jay, I had a read last night and also the WRC system. It's great of you to donate your sump pump to give the students that experience - nice work!


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My first system: Kat's "Pretty" Aquaponics
My second system: Kat's Newer & Bigger System
My backyard: Kat's (soon-to-be) Suburban Oasis
My tangents: Cheese-making


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PostPosted: Jul 6th, '14, 21:18 
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Well, well, well...
What a day!
At dawn on pond-moving day is was bucketing rain with plenty of thunder and lightning around too. Enough to cancel the little bloke's Auskick game in fact - first time this season.

The couple that sold me the pond helped with the logistics of getting the fish into their 100L transport crate and the pond into the trailer. It's good fun catching fish with a scoop, but I reckon it would be more fun without the rain... Really nice people actually, and the guy sounded quite impressed that the setup was going to be converted to an Aquaponics system.

After taking a proper look at the system I have:
- Somewhere between 1500-1800L pond
- at least 15 fish, a mix of big goldies, and medium to large Koi (4 that are at least a foot long, but I think we're down to 3 now...) that's more -and bigger - than I thought there were, hence only taking 100L crate for transport/holding.
- canister filter which I am yet to properly investigate
-8000L pond max dirty water filter (the box says 8000L but the guy who sold it to me said he thinks he was duped and that he's sure he saw somewhere on the unit that it's only 4000L)

Fish were suitably unimpressed after having been stressed out being chased with scoops, and then being left in their holding crate with no extra oxygen for a few hours while I got their home reorganized. After about an hour the biggest Koi started doing the sideways slow dance, and one decided to go completely belly up and just quietly flap his gills :-/ bugger.

I added bucketfuls of water to the crate to try and get some air moving, but I hadn't considered the sh***y quality water that they were originally in with such low DO levels already. I think they would have been better off in a crate of tap water to be honest. My hindsight is near 20/20 obviously...

The flexible tube leading from the filter must have been bent a little too far in the wrong direction during the move, as it split in half right at the outlet, so some extra time was wasted in cutting and redoing the join and testing it all out. I felt quite productive fixing it myself, not much choice really as the OH is conveniently working on the East Coast.

Eventually the fish all made it into the pond, albeit later than I would have liked, and we still had 3 of the biggest koi and one medium guy doing the float. HSM probably doesn't cover it - my brand spanking new fish worth $100ish a pop were looking like getting the royal flush (I wonder what would happen if you tried to flush a 12in koi???)

Mum and Dad came around to check progress and Dad did his best fish revival act, but with not a lot of visible result.

Several hours later now, after much checking and rechecking, I think the biggest 2 koi are going to be ok, they are dawdling around the tank upright again. There is one big koi that I think will be getting a burial service in the morning, and the medium one could go either way at this stage still.

I have named the probably-dead fish Charles, after my ex father in law, so that I won't be too devastated if he doesn't make it. I probably won't tell my son that.....

I didn't wash out the pond, filter, or pump before turning them all back on. I thought that the water and sludge left in them would settle the new water better, but after looking at the green colour of the water (you should have seen the original water before the pond was moved!) I'm not so sure I've done the right thing. I will probably just continue topping it up and see if it comes good once things completely settle.
There are as yet no growbeds so although my system is meant to be about prettyponics, I'm thinking of getting hold of a few blue barrels to get the water in shape for the next residents, before the pond moves to its final resting place, buried in the ground, with the proper growbeds. After all, it's not like blue barrels ever DON'T come in handy for something right? :)
I will post some pics now that I've bored you all with the novel!


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I don't even know just how much I don't know yet!

My first system: Kat's "Pretty" Aquaponics
My second system: Kat's Newer & Bigger System
My backyard: Kat's (soon-to-be) Suburban Oasis
My tangents: Cheese-making


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PostPosted: Jul 6th, '14, 21:53 
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Really, really unhappy fish just before going into the pond.




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I don't even know just how much I don't know yet!

My first system: Kat's "Pretty" Aquaponics
My second system: Kat's Newer & Bigger System
My backyard: Kat's (soon-to-be) Suburban Oasis
My tangents: Cheese-making


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PostPosted: Jul 6th, '14, 21:55 
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Temporary power setup
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I don't even know just how much I don't know yet!

My first system: Kat's "Pretty" Aquaponics
My second system: Kat's Newer & Bigger System
My backyard: Kat's (soon-to-be) Suburban Oasis
My tangents: Cheese-making


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