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PostPosted: May 27th, '14, 01:08 
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Well since Im more settled in what I have going on I figured Id tell the story from day one. It has been a long frustrating yet fulfilling road to get where I am at now. Too think I haven't even achieved a fully establish bio system yet! But Im getting there. Ill let the pictures tell most of it all...

It all started with this guy...

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He sat nicely in this happy space...

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Which looked like this during the day...

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Soon came this...

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AND THESE!!

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Ideas were made and options weighed...

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Then as winter slowly ended I realized that the position of the green house was not in the best spot. It got some sun but the pole barn cascaded a huge shadow and on cold days the warmth just wasnt enough. So I opted for relocation. I build with screws and not nails. Easier break down and assembly in my eyes. Torque deck screws might I add. Philips head strips and skips. Torque heads are a beautiful thing. Moving on...

Out there it went...

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Would like an eventual solar setup, but a dedicated line is still essential.

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At the end of it all I had a happy little setup. Sump IBC in the ground and double beds on top. Dedicated beds for two bananas and sugar cane.

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Disaster struck with the statement "your pump is making a weird noise." and after digging out all my media (and all sprouting seeds mind you) I find this...

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Bad storm came one monday and I hadnt put the bottom tin on the green house to deflect the water flow. A pipe must have come loose, in conjunction with the ground pressure, even though the sump was full of water. The pump probably drained the ST and the ground took care of the rest. HF 1 hp pump is a tank if it hummed and moaned all night pumping dry and yet it still works like a champ. 60 bucks cant beat it.

With the greenhouse lacking its walls again because of my having to redo everything a frost came...and it lasted a week. Lost my small dragon fruit and worried for my bananas and cane. Bananas are Orinoco and Manzana if youre curious. Got them from a guy down in Florid City, FL. Sent him a fig cutting. Nice trade.

So the resting place for the first Tote cage...

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Not wanting to bury anything ever again I decided to chop a IBC in half and link it together. Made a sill mistake of linking the top. Oh well...theres a hole now...gotta keep it there. The inch and half conduit pipes fit the fat washer drain at home depot very well.

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The double beds welded together were a fun idea but in the end too big and hard to handle. So being I have lidded barrels I made cradles. FT outside and SLO fed beds. My stand pipes have small holes at the low point of where I want my water level. They drain slightly but allow the water to rise slowly to the high point. Then when the pump cuts off the holes drain the bed. Roughly 15+ minute fill 15+ minute drain. My run times are 30 on and 30 off. It was the only timer I could find last minute in between all the fiasco. I messed with bell siphons but wasnt sure if I was going to be able to have the beds drain when the pump shut off. Risked having a bed half full while 3 other beds were able to drain.

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Knowing cane is an aggressive rooter and the shear size my bananas could reach I chose to do dedicated beds for each. Sideways barrel ST and upright barrel FT. Fed via SLO with same drainage set up.

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PostPosted: May 27th, '14, 01:17 
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4 weeks later...

Changes have been made.

Got some duck weed! Which my blue barrel goldies love...

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Orinoco bounced back wonderfully

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Manzana did as well...

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Cane is living happily...

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Other plants seem to be growing well. My herbs, spinach, arugula, and swish chard arent happy but I think its the heat. I have a denser shade cloth coming soon...

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Scarlet runners for the back of the greenhouse. I want them to just grow and cover it for the look...

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fed by a little pump in the large FT that just hangs on...

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I had an algae bloom and took necessary steps in blacking out some sunny areas near the FT and ST.

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Last edited by Dabble On on May 27th, '14, 02:05, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May 27th, '14, 01:23 
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Those are two sweet potato barrels outside the GH. Had all my goldies die in my large fish tank :( Reason being Ammonia toxicity. I opted for SLO bottom setup being like this...

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Well I had a few fish die that I couldnt see and they got snugged up under the pipe. I knew the levels were rising but could see why. Needless to say I opted out of the old design and went back to my first thoughts...

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I just need larger goldies when the levels go down again so that they dont get sucked into the SLO...We run off a well here so all my water comes from the sky and off a tin roof. Found good use for my old ST...

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here are the sweet pots...

Vardaman

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Beauregard

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Other than that everything is up to date. Besides a frog spawning in my duck weed.....

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PostPosted: May 27th, '14, 02:16 
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Nice work...u been busy!

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PostPosted: May 27th, '14, 05:08 
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Wow - love your pictures. How did you weld the barrels together?

BTW - I noticed you used NM-B wire to run power to the greenhouse. NM-B is not rated for outdoors, especially not rated for burial in a conduit.

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PostPosted: May 27th, '14, 05:54 
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Great setup, I'm also impressed with the welding, plus the the way you've used the black lids & metal retaining straps. :thumbright:

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PostPosted: May 27th, '14, 06:03 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Looks great.

Next time someone asks about burying a FT or sump we will have to send them here :thumbright:

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PostPosted: May 27th, '14, 06:34 
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Ouch with the buried sump.

How much rain did it take for that to happen?

Nice looking setup!

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PostPosted: May 27th, '14, 23:31 
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Thanks everyone. Columnmn it stormed bad. Worst was it was raining while I did the work to fix it all. Not to mention if everything else in life could of gone wrong that week it did.

Smathew I used a plastic welder. If something has a good review on Harbor Freight Ill buy through them. Ive actually gotten a lot of good tools because of them. They sell one that already has a built in fan and another that needs to be hooked up to a compressor. I bought the one with the electric fan in it. It works great but to be honest Ive found that many people prefer the compressor assisted one because you can adjust the airflow for certain plastics. I cut strips off the black lids and used them as my welding "rods."

As for the wire, I guess I really didnt think to check. Yet, its been done before and without any issues. I didnt bury it deep so if something is to happen then it wont be the worst of fixes.

Joblow. Yeah the double barrel was nice but it was just too cumbersome during my moment of distress. The cradles turned out to be a lot better and in a jam, while heavy, still can be moved. The barrels are made by a Mauser and are tougher than the one I first bought. My neighbors retired from his company last december and he had been delivering 6 barrels every so often. Been meaning to go over and see if I can go and pick them up. So many uses! Plus they're barrels that contained dry product so they basically arrived brand new.

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PostPosted: May 28th, '14, 09:37 
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I've used that harbor freight plastic welder before. Last time didn't go so well. The plastic had become thoroughly impregnated with coconut oil, and i was unable to get clean surface exposed. Lots of smoke. Not much plastic bondage.

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PostPosted: Jun 10th, '14, 10:37 
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Figured Id throw in an update. Squash has taken off and is putting out blossoms left and right.

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My cucumbers were going slowly and came to a halt in height so I havent really been checking them out unless I see a level increase. They seem to have pepped up a bit this last week and I noticed a slight flash of yellow today and investigated. Happy to see it blossoming.

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Here is when I wish my grow beds were a bit lower and the sump actually buried. My pole beans are hitting the top and now Im trying to train them horizontally along the roof.

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The scarlet runners are coming along nicely and blossoming..

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So I waited a week and watched the ammonia levels and after they dropped below the 1 ppm range I thought Id stock with something. I inquired in the Fish section of this forum when it came to my frustration and choice. I also had the dilemma of needing somewhat larger fish because of my SLO change up. I thought about Bluegills and was searching online for some but I thought Id try wild since I live so close to a lot of lakes. This lovely dead rail road line is only 8 miles from my house...

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Spent a lil time there and snatched me up 4 Bluegills around 6 inches. I caught two first but there was some time before I caught the other two and left to go home. Guessing the first two lost a lot of their protective mucus and it seems that Ich took hold after a few days. Either that or Columnaris Disease. I dunno but it killed two. The other two were fine. I salted the system like some say to do. Went and got 5 more Bluegills the other day and now Im up to 7. Ive just been enjoying fishing again lol I grew up on the salt water coast of Florida and have always hated fresh water fishing YET they have been some tranquil days lol.

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PostPosted: Jun 10th, '14, 10:48 
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Oops hit submit instead of preview... anyways...

I ended up going from a 22% white shade cloth to a 50% aluminet shade cloth. My orinoco banana has been gaining height and Im not ready just yet to find a way to give it all the space it needs...BUT the newest leaf has hit the roof on its spiral upward. SOoo I figured Id give myself another 2 or so feet.

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A hole was dug and the sideways barrel sump was put in place.

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The big guy...

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I figured Id leave this row of beds for "trees." I recently moved my sugar cane to a soil grow bed. Its been so hot and dry here and Im bound to lose some in the transfer but others will be established. So Ive got myself a small circle grow bed and Im trying to figure out what I want to put in it. I was really thinking Panache Fig tree. I love figs and my other two trees this year were shocked by a late freeze and havent put forth leaves or fruit on their branches, but new growth is coming off the trunk. Theyre decent figs but not anything special. I read figs like aquaponics and I know they produce more when container restrictive. Any thoughts on what I should use that grow bed for?

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PostPosted: Jun 10th, '14, 10:51 
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Plus Ive been trying to figure out what exactly Im going to do about fish feed for my Bluegills.

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PostPosted: Jun 26th, '14, 13:12 
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So some update photos. To start I have been going through the issue of "feed" training my blue gills. I only have 5 at the moment and plan to go catch some more. Ive been having frogs lay eggs in my rain barrels and other still water areas on the property. Mainly a bin inside my green house which had duckweed in it has been their main birthing water. Frustrated at first then after a week of starving the little bluegills, hoping to get them to eat what ever hit the water, I through in some tad poles. It was a blood fest! Those little tad poles didnt have 2 seconds in that water before they got gobbled up. So I thought Id make some home made fish food and color it black then toss it in with some tad poles. I used some tilapia, duck weed, molasses, egg, multi vitamin, and some vitamin c. It interested them at first but after the frenzy they realized it was a ruse. Ate it, spat it out, ate it, spat it out, then ignored it. Picky lil buggers. I bought some sinking pellets to see if they would go for it....almost. Today out of my lack of tad poles I through in some dried meal worms. Sure enough they found great interest and Im just happy that I have something to feed them. Although I found I have a bully. 1 of them, not even the biggest, tends to bully the middle of the tank and gobble up most the food. Yet, the other loose patience and grab the food with the greatest of tenacity. Bluegills sure are fun to watch. Still plan to make some home made food and test it out.

Everything is growing well. I through in some nasturtium which started sprouting recently. My main issue at the moment has been my cucumbers and squash. They both grew great and flowered, flowering, yet have not put forth any small fruitage. Its been like 3 weeks. Im not 100% knowledgeable but that kinda seems odd especially since Ive had a couple rounds of flowers. The cucumbers leaves have gotten a little dry around the edges. Maybe I planted too many too close?

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The pepper plant I got is putting for some goodies...

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Got 2 hot peppers, well actually one is a sweet variety..

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Got plenty of beans sprouting forth...

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My Big O Orinoco has continued to gain height. Im really hoping to have it get root bound ahaha

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Manzana is the younger yet still happy..

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Purchased 6 small Moringa plants to grow as long as everything goes well

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Kept two in the soil to see how each fairs..

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I was told it was Cassava root but its growing like a vine now....odd. Its alive and Im not going to let it die so we shall see..

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On the soil side of things...the sweet pots are doing great in their barrels

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Ended up deciding to take the sugar cane out of the aquaponic grow beds and put it in a raised bed to get it established. Shocked it a bit at first but everything is growing happily. Its been so dry as of late Im literally dumping 6 gallons of water on the soil a day. Should of put a plastic layer between the dry clay ground and raised bed soil..

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new growth from a buried cane..

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PostPosted: Jun 26th, '14, 21:33 
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Looking good Dabble, nice work.
I think you are going to need a taller greenhouse though.
:)

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