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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '14, 20:36 
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Thank you Kullen, I'm outside of New Martinsville in the far north west of the state.

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PostPosted: Jun 26th, '14, 19:20 
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Just an update on my system. Everything is coming along. I need to install more fans and start cutting away the early blight on the tomatoes. I"m also setting up 55 gallon barrel system for my trees that I'll post in another thread soon.


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PostPosted: Jun 27th, '14, 00:54 
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Everything looks nice and healthy!

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PostPosted: Jun 27th, '14, 01:41 
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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '14, 18:26 
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Bumpety bump!!

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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '14, 10:34 
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Everything is going well but slowly. My greenhouse design blocks 50% of the summer sun. Bananas like their new home in 55 gallon barrels. It doesn't cycle like I want but the water goes in through the top, down the bottom of Scorcia/Lava Rock, and up through a u siphon drain. Sometimes it just flows either at top or bottom of the loop, other times it will cycle.

I found out that my pH is 7.8 and not 7.2 like I thought it was. I just calibrated my meter. I think it could be my concrete tanks even though I sealed them. I'll try to slowly lower the pH and see if it buffers back up.

My tomato buckets are experiencing crazy growth but not a lot of tomatoes. Should I keep them trimmed back or let them go crazy. Most have reached the top and then cascade back down where the fish keep them trimmed. On one site I read "High Pressure Sodium simulates outside autumn light and plants respond by producing larger harvests of high quality fruits, vegetables and flowers" so does this mean in the fall I should get a bumper crop?


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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '14, 11:13 
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I'm loving your wall of tomatoes. Very impressive.

They look like they are ready to start flowering too, maybe a little past it.

You might have low levels of phosphorus in your system if they aren't fruiting well:
http://brightagrotech.com/phosphorus-in-aquaponics/

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PostPosted: Aug 20th, '14, 20:33 
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Thank you Colum.

I just ordered some on Amazon. I couldn't find Dust so I got pellets. I hope I can dissolve some in a bucket and feed to the tomatoes directly each day. My basil is doing well and I read that too much phosphate can cause them to flower. My Flood and Drain system I can bury some in the rock and let dissolve but my buckets are simply flow through with holes in the bottom, suspended half way in the water.


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PostPosted: Aug 21st, '14, 10:31 
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Wow! Awesome greenhouse! Definitely coming back to this to take notes!

Question about the fish tanks and sump though ...I thought that it was bad to use concrete as it would raise the pH? Did you coat it with something? I would much prefer to do something like that when/if I build a bigger system instead of using pressure treated lumber (always afraid I'll have a leak through pond liner and then I'd get poisons in my system.)

Love this!


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PostPosted: Aug 21st, '14, 19:22 
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Hi George N Amy,

Thank you for your complement.

I read about concrete, fish and aquaponics and there is so much conflicting information. I went with concrete because of strength and the heat sink potential. 4000 gallons of water touching concrete embedded in the earth, I hope I can store enough energy to sail through the colder months. I coated my concrete with X3 from http://www.stonetechnologiescorp.com/concrete-sealer-x3.php . It is supposed to seal the concrete, and I suppose it has. I took my pH down to 7.2 and within a day it was back up to 7.8 and that is where it stays. If my concrete wasn't sealed I think it would be higher then that. One thing I read was that almost all fish hatcheries are concrete raceways and aren't coated. X3 was a lot cheaper and easier to use then the many rubber pond paint coatings out there and easier then using a plastic liner. My pH might be buffered from my rock. I use man made expanded shale and lava rock. I've used no clay media due to cost. I've also read that eventually everything dissolves and stops reacting after a few years so my pH is expected to drop some day.

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PostPosted: Aug 23rd, '14, 03:21 
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Nice! Yes, I totally agree with using concrete for a heat sink, hence why I was curious about how you prevented it from raising the pH (I'm still learning about aquaponics and so this is very valuable information.) I live in north Texas (just moved here) and sometimes summer and winter exist in the same week, so I was hoping for a passive way to maintain temperatures.

I definitely want to do some research on what you did with the tubes under the rock and blowing air through them to cool/heat the greenhouse ...seems like an awesome idea.

My question is, with a tank dug down into the ground, during winter, will that ground be warmer than above ground? I was thinking that when I do my greenhouse eventually, I want to dig down 5 feet for my sump tank, and was going to use concrete block for the walls, then put 1 or 2" foil backed insulation on all walls and ground, and then put pond liner in ...but if the ground actually helps warm the water during winter, I might not do this, and just use concrete! :) I want to raise tilapia, so I'm not sure what the ground temperature will do to the water during the summer.


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PostPosted: Aug 23rd, '14, 09:16 
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If your sump is inside the greenhouse, which is what I suggest, I wouldn't use insulation at all. Your water, concrete and soil will all be one big heat sink. It will take longer to heat everything but everything will stay warmer a lot longer. My water stayed 55 deg all last winter which is the deep soil temp here. Starting in spring it climbed a deg each week or two. It is now 72. My water on a hot sunny day will jump sometimes 4 deg in a day but then drop down just as quick at night as the heat equalizes with the concrete and ground. So I know my ground and concrete is a solid 72 and I hope I can raise it closer to 80 before winter.

A good place to start about in ground heated air systems. I borrowed a lot of my ideas from sites linked to this page: http://www.roperld.com/hycg/sghwshcsbuild.htm

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PostPosted: Nov 2nd, '14, 22:24 
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Update on my system. Pictures taken around 10/31. Everything still looks good. Outside temp is dipping in the 0C/32F range at night. Low Temp inside and water temp is about 62F.


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PostPosted: Nov 2nd, '14, 22:26 
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More Pictures


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PostPosted: Nov 2nd, '14, 22:32 
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Awesome, easily one of my favourite systems.
Great work jwnova.
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