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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '15, 17:54 
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Step 4 - Sump Casing, cont.

It's been a while since I've had any time to put into the greenhouse project. Took a new role at work, had a lovely holiday at 1770 (where God rested on the seventh day I reckon), and just returned from a work trip to Shanghai. But today I put in some time and completed the sleeper framing in the sump hole, and started assembling the base for the fish tanks. Hoping to put a few hours a week and get the project moving again. :-)
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PostPosted: Apr 28th, '15, 01:24 
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Awesome! Looks great! Glad to see you're back at it.

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IBC CHIFT SLO (Tilapia, Koilapia, Comets)
IBC ST PIST
3x GB 4'x8'x12", 96cuft of black cinder

Genesis 2:15
Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.


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PostPosted: May 3rd, '15, 14:26 
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Step 5 - Sump

On Friday we had a crazy amount of rain in Brisbane and when I woke up on Saturday morning the sump pit had water covering two full sleepers (400mm). None of that water fell directly into the pit, or even within 500mm of it. It all seeps through the topsoil, hits the clay layer, then travels to the point of least resistance - the pit. So this is going to be an ongoing issue when we have heavy rain. So I decided I better have a permanent, easy method for pumping the water out.


I dug a smaller pit in the centre of the sump pit, about 400x500mm wide and 400mm deep. This is to provide somewhere for water to collect beneath the IBC. I have hung a pump from the bottom of the IBC frame with the bottom of the pump about 200mm above the bottom of the drain pit to allow room for sediment to collect and settle. As you can see I have cut a hole in the bottom of the IBC frame so I can change the pump if it dies. Yes it would be a big job, but as long as I ensure any plumbing can be disconnected and the IBC bladder pulled out (after pumping dry) it will be doable. There is room in the corners of the pit to look down between the IBC and the sleeper frame to see if water is rising up between, but I probably just turn the pump on every few days to see if any water has collected in the drain pit.
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PostPosted: May 4th, '15, 02:04 
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I'm not fully aware of your design or circumstances but I was wondering if the sump tank absolutely needed to be at that depth. I have a similar situation with my sump tank. Mine is buried like your's and we also get huge amount of rain that sometimes completely fills the sump hole. I even had the IBC bladder rise up out of the hole and knock over a grow bed during construction but the key to this small disaster was that the IBC bladder was bone dry empty at the time which made it as buoyant as it possibly could be.

Since my system was completed I had initially planned to add a small hole next to the sump tank hole where I could put a small pump to remove ground water. Prior to digging that hole we had a few large rainstorms and the sump tank flooded to the top. However, since my sump tank now always has at least some water inside it did not rise but for a few inches. All I did was add top off water to the sump tank which pushed it back down into the hole. The secret is that my sump tank sticks up a few inches above ground level which prevents ground water from entering the tank even if the sump hole is entirely filled with water. As long as there is some water (I've found half full or better seems to work) I don't have any issues with the IBC bladder trying to up root itself.

So, I was wondering if you could solve your problem by just adding a few inches of dirt or gravel to the bottom of your sump hole thus raising the tank to about 4"-6" above ground level. In addition I'd add a auto-top-off with rain water via a float valve inside your sump to keep the water level up. Or, you could just top off your tank when a storm was coming to make sure the sump tank stays put. :dontknow:

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Len Fa Farms (my backyard system)
IBC CHIFT SLO (Tilapia, Koilapia, Comets)
IBC ST PIST
3x GB 4'x8'x12", 96cuft of black cinder

Genesis 2:15
Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.


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PostPosted: May 4th, '15, 15:50 
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Yeah I see your points Squatch.
I'm looking at 4-5 IBC growbeds which means a pretty large variation in sump water level between all GB's empty and all GB's full, so at times I imagine the sump being pretty low on water.
But I wanted the sump below surface so I can have the growbeds sitting just 150-200mm off the ground (to maximise virtical room for growth inside the greenhouse) whilst still having all inflowing pipes enter via the top of the sump.
We'll see if that turns out to be a mistake in the long run :-)


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PostPosted: May 4th, '15, 17:52 
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Hey Tallman, very neat job for out-of-sight underground ST - looking forward to what you build above ground. Will you have shade for your greenhouse in the summer as I imagine it would get hot up there in Brisbane :dontknow:
Add baling twine to you list of backyard essentials :lol:

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PostPosted: May 4th, '15, 20:51 
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Perhaps some berms around the aquaponics area to protect it from rain flowing in. Impressive so far Tman

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Nov 3rd, '15, 17:21 
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It's been a busy year and I've fallen way behind in posting and reading on the forum. Time to catch up on both!

Step 6 - Hoop timbers

The hoops of the greenhouse are steel but when I put the skin on I'll need to staple it to the hoops and the base. So I kerfed some pine so it could bend to the curve of the hoops, then clamped and screwed it in place. A bit time consuming but it worked a treat.
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PostPosted: Nov 3rd, '15, 17:31 
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Step 7 - Grow Beds

With my last system I had heaps of trouble with ants infesting the GB's and farming aphids. Whenever I'd introduce some good bugs (predators to aphids) the ants would defend the aphids by attacking the predators. So this time I am determined to limit the paths into the GB's. With this in mind I built a hardwood frame with 6 legs sized to be able to fit into 800g tomato tins into which I will pour engine oil (an trick used by apiarists to protect hives). I also ensured the outlets at the bottom of the standpipes were not in direct contact with the pipe which carries the water from GB to sump.

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PostPosted: Nov 3rd, '15, 17:38 
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Step 8 - Skin the Greenhouse

Now this was tricky. I bought some greenhouse skin from a commercial supplier, read up on how to tension the skin to allow for expansion and contraction with temperature, then got busy with the stapler. I'm pretty happy with the result. Haven't done the doors or windows yet, but won't really need those until autumn.
Also put in a strip of shade cloth as the sun in summer is pretty harsh.

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PostPosted: Nov 3rd, '15, 19:35 
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Step 9 - Fish tank and filter

I used uniseals to pipe through the top (inlet) and side (SLO) of the fish tank, and inside the FT put in a T piece to allow a spray bar and a sparger. The ball valve is to allow regulation of the amount of water going into the sparser and thus the speed of rotation of the water in the FT.

The SLO feeds into one side of the swirl filter about two thirds of the way up the drum and ends in an elbow to create the swirl. An upturned elbow provides the outlet of the filter and sets the water level in the FT. An outlet pipe passes through the base of the drum to another ball valve to allow the waste to be flushed. Again, unseals used for piping through the sides and the bottom. Inside the drum the waste outlet pipe is almost flush with the bottom surface. I did this by glueing a 3mm sleeve onto the end of the pipe so it couldn't pull through completely. I'd like to add a cone but that will have to wait. A piece of IBC frame is used as the stand for the filter.

So far I have only built one side of the system (1 * FT, 2 * GB) and ball valves are used to close the pipes which will connect to the FT and GB's on the other side when I add them. When the whole system is in place (2 * FT, 4 * GB) the ball valves will allow the flow to be balanced between the two sides, into each FT and from the filter to the two sets of GB's.

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PostPosted: Nov 3rd, '15, 19:59 
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Step 10 - Beads and water

After finishing the plumbing I filled the FT with tap water and ran the pump for about a week to check for leaks and burn off the chlorine.

While building this greenhouse and AP system I had a small single IBC system running in the yard with 2 big old perch and a few chilli plants. That was basically just a life support system for my bacteria colony. So the next step was to transfer 2/3 of that water into the sump of the new system, then rinse the GB media in the remaining 1/3 of the water (it had quite a bit of solid waste in the GB) and transfer the media to the new GB's. After topping up the GB's with new media (also rinsed) I cycled the system for a fortnight with the two perch in the sump. Water test: Nil ammonia, nil nitrite, 60 nitrate, 7.5 ph, temp 27C (80.6F). Since I want to raise barramundi the high ph is good.

I used a double layer of black woven weed mat to wrap the FT to prevent algae and made a ply lid for the sump and a two part ply lid for the FT (marine varnished the FT lid and will do the same for the sump lid later).

So now it's about time to order my new fingerlings. Hopefully fish will go into the FT in the next week or so.

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PostPosted: Nov 3rd, '15, 20:46 
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really nice looking system. Thanks for the story for each step. Super easy to follow

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:dontknow: I don't understand all I know about this :dontknow:
Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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PostPosted: Nov 7th, '15, 18:37 
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Hi Tallman, your system is looking great. Good idea about the tins for the ants. I have 4 hives at my place and yep the sump oil works a treat. Keep up the good work and God bless,

froggo.

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PostPosted: Nov 7th, '15, 21:52 
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I like the way you mounted the RFF too. You're really making good use of the IBC frames

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:dontknow: I don't understand all I know about this :dontknow:
Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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