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PostPosted: Jan 26th, '18, 19:49 
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Please bare with me on this one as the name may change so as not to turn away people whose knowledge I need.
I'm embarking on this journey slowly and for me and past hobbies thats a first. I have all my IBCs cut and ready to place permanently but have a question or two before I buy my pump, pipe etc.
Firstly are my grow beds too high in relation to my 950L fish tank as the sump is 700L in the ground approx 500mm and by being a chop 2 of sorts I assume after pumping from sump to FT gravity will aid the flow to the GBs.The FT has been raised onto a plastic pallet thus preventing rust stains on the limestone pavers but wondering if the GBsare too high still.At the moment the head hight will be approx 1M and was looking at using 40 or 50mm pipe for the majority but only 25mm for the siphon drain into the sump. I don't really want to go 90mm from FT through the SLO etc if I can do it with 50 but if I need to I'd prefer to do it at the start.
As for pump I'm looking at the Pondmax PU4500 for $200 at the moment.
Also I should add thats as much garden as I can reclaim and obviously bl@@dy close to our neighbours so air pump/stones I'm going to need the quietest available, this faces due East and will have the colour bond fencing panels along the whole side to help it blend in and keep the MFWAF happy.


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PostPosted: Jan 27th, '18, 03:31 
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In my opinion, yes the GBs are too high. The FT SLO will need a T inside to break any siphon and act as an overflow as the uptake pipe gets clogged. This will put the water level in your FT 100mm or so below the top. As the pipes slime up, you want enough head pressure to create a smooth flow.

Also, I think in the future you may find you want to include an RFF. So if you have .3 to .5 meters of head available from the FT to the GB inlets, you will be better able to adapt in the future, it will be easier to reach tomatoes and such on taller plants, easier to access siphons and gravel guards for maintenance, and you can add an RFF at any time having enough head to feed that and then the GBs.

Just my opinion. I sometimes wish mine were lower when I try to pick corn or tie up tomatoes.

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PostPosted: Jan 27th, '18, 04:30 
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looks fine. Because it is a starter system I wouldn't bother with any filters - as long as you stock reasonably you should be fine with just the media.

The bed height isn't an issue as that is about what you get with a 1 IBC cut and flip.
And any half-decent SLO will flow no problem as a partially filled pipe.
However having the whole system a bit lower will help, particularly if you end up having to shade it which is possibility. And as David notes being lower makes for easier plant access.
On flip side 2 reasons to keep them up: (a) if you have a curious/destructive pet..and (b) to mainatin access to the sump. The 2nd one may be important ;-)

depending on your relations with your neighbour maybe worth putting a screen or something to provide a bit more height on the fence. If you don't want to muck around with wood etc simply use the galvanised security-fence poles to do your construction. These are easy to use for shade etc and if you either weld flats and/or buy the T, corner, fixtures etc they are pretty adjustable. Usually pretty cost-reasonable as well if you buy direct or look around at salvage places. Bit like what DoctorFish has done viewtopic.php?f=18&t=28102&start=60 - though many go the full height and get a shade roof and tomato hanging point as well which is what number of us have.

Don't get too caught up about getting everything right first time - you will make mistakes while you learn and wish you did something different. If you worry about getting it all perfect then (like many we see here) you will never actually get around to starting for a long while. Face up to it being a Mark-I and go for it.

The biggest issue for your pump will be the lift (head).
That will drop the flow rate quite a bit for most brands so make sure you check the head(lift)-flow curve.,..

90mm stuff is pretty cheap to buy, but 50mm will be fine for a system that size.
As David (dstjohn99) notes just make sure you use a T at the top of the SLO so you don't get any siphon.

Guess you have the minister for war to deal with - but if it were me I would take up the pavers under the FT and bed FT down in the sand. Plastic pallet is a bonus as the others rust pretty easy and do leave marks on cream pavers (been there done that).

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PostPosted: Jan 27th, '18, 06:18 
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your neighbours house is only the utility side, dunny, laundry etc if they start cracking fruities, I'd complain about the stink from them.
Also get rid of your chrissy lights... :D its all over for another 11 months.

Ive now built (rebuilt my 3rd system) and still not happy.

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PostPosted: Jan 27th, '18, 08:10 
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I used 50 mm for the slo's, cutting the hole just under the radiused corner of the IBC and have about 350 mm fall to the GBs although I've got quite a few more bends to deal with. The other thing to think about regarding height is will you be able to reach the plants at the back that are fruiting 3-600 mm high without straining your back?


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PostPosted: Jan 27th, '18, 20:14 
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Thanks everyone I'm hoping for a lot of input here so I get it right. My FT was brought from someone who had a go at this and then had no time for it so I got the FT already butchered and a GB and clay media but was a bit peeved when I saw how rough his cut on the top of the FT was- meant I couldn't have 1000L had to drop to about 900L due to his cut running down the side a bit.
Another ? was thinking of cutting the whole top off but maybe only to just behind the red cap- what do you think?
I'm also going to drop the GB height 150mm tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Jan 27th, '18, 20:38 
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>> FT was- meant I couldn't have 1000L had to drop to about 900L

that is normal, you will lose a bit with the SLO as well anyway.
wouldn't worry small details too much.

Trim it back to red cap is fine, but if keeping it fairly full you may need a cover.
Bigger access hole is better for accessing FT (and the inevitable dead or sick fish)

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PostPosted: Jan 27th, '18, 21:30 
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dlf_perth wrote:
>>

Trim it back to red cap is fine, but if keeping it fairly full you may need a cover.
Bigger access hole is better for accessing FT (and the inevitable dead or sick fish)


Thanks again Darren I'm going to put a lid on just not sure what I'm going to use but probably use the top of the IBC frame to mount it to.

Is it normal to have multiple sized pipe in a system?

So far it looks like I'll use 40mm from sump pump to FT then 50 or 90mm SLO out to the GBs stepping down to 25mm to feed the actual GBs and then 25mm back into the sump through the siphons. Am I on the right track?


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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '18, 07:11 
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You can get a poly tube to go over the output of the pump to wiggle it's way to where you need it easier.
50 mm SLO is fine for smaller pump capacities, having over 15 fish was enough to agitate the solid waste into the current for SLO extraction. Less (or smaller) meant I had to vacuum every week.

Also algy can form in tubes and block distribution outlet holes above the GBs so slightly bigger is good. I found final tube types and sizes were also determined by what valve sizes and configurations were available.

Don't know much about siphons but do know about invasive roots that manage to sneak there way into the outlets and block things up :-x so I went for 40 mm.

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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '18, 09:10 
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Cheers Pete I’ve spent a fair bit last night reading all your builds and I’m jealous of your space. I had a lot when living in NZ but in Perth I’ve got bugger all so have to make do with what I have.


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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '18, 10:42 
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not sure what you mean by this ?
>> So far it looks like I'll use 40mm from sump pump to FT
Most pump delivery pipe would only be 19-25mm for the typical 3000-6000 LPH range.

As Pete notes it is usually possible to push poly over the outlet rather than using the pond pipes. Just heat by inserting end into with boiling water to soften. Try for a gentle curve with no fittings and dont use fittings that go inside the pipe. (I find that 19mm poly pipe can go into a 20mm PVC fitting which is handy)

The SLO (outlet) is bigger because it tends to flow partially full and will basically take the flow rate of the pump.
Once in the pipe towards the grow beds it is fine to use reducers etc.

** with the pump take off/out all filters, sponges etc.

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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '18, 12:29 
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Thanks again for that luckily I’m getting answers before wasting money lol. Originally it was going to be a 25mm from pump to fish tank but with the need for a little flexibility and curve some black hose/irrigation pipe would navigate the angles better than restrictive pvc pipe.


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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '18, 12:46 
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Liney, for what its worth while you're still in design stage I think my sy2 distribution method works better than the sy1 over head method. It could be improved slightly but its less expensive and much less finiky as it requires no adjustment.

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PostPosted: Jan 28th, '18, 14:17 
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> Thanks again for that luckily I’m getting answers before wasting money lol. Originally it was going to be a 25mm from pump to fish tank but with the need for a little flexibility and curve some black hose/irrigation pipe would navigate the angles better than restrictive pvc pipe.

will depend on the pump. The 3000 LPH ones I use run quite sweet on 19mm poly. But a bit larger pump flow might find the 25mm poly better. It should be easy to come by at an irrigation place, very common in agriculture/mining. Not sure about Bunnings. Best to work with whatever the the pump outlet connector size is.
Counter intuitive but bigger diameter is better than smaller diameter when the pump offers you a choice.

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PostPosted: Feb 10th, '18, 19:52 
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Hey Liney,

Hope all is going well. I've been a bit preoccupied with my own build and just saw this.

Plenty of expertise feeding into your build here so I won't blab on. I will just say, given you are only a few suburbs over, you are welcome to pop over to take a look at my build if you like. Sometimes just easier to show and tell. I've gone through the process and there are things I would probably do differently. Might give you some ideas.

I'm on leave until after Easter, so anytime is good for me. Although, I am heading down south fishing on Wednesday :)

I can PM you the address if you're interested.

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Doctor Fish's system: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=28102

Total water volume ~3500L, FT = 2 x IBC, IBC Sump, RFF, BioFilt, GB = 1000L expanded clay + 535L DWC, Pump = PondMax EV-7200


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