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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '16, 01:17 
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Could be either one. If you split the stem upward you might find a borer but also look into the media around the base of the plant. It looks like it could have been girdled at ground level and there seems to be very little root mass. At the moment it looks more like root or stem rot but that could be secondary to a pest problem :dontknow: . If the surface of the media is staying wet it could cause the stem to rot. If you find that is the case then lower the water level a bit and see if that helps.


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PostPosted: Nov 27th, '16, 10:14 
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End of season update

Chemistry issues, I posted here:
http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=27332&p=546377#p546377

All of my squash/pumpkin/cucumber/melon plants did poorly, either died right away or soon after giving a couple fruits. Tomatoes did well but almost too well. After my vacation, they had overgrown a bunch of herbs, leeks, and greens and killed them. I did get plenty of tomatos tho. A couple weeks ago, late fall, toms were fruiting but weather was too cold for them to ripen. I picked them green and pickled them. First time doing that and it's quite tasty.

Other success story is eggplant. We were nearly overrun with eggplants from only 2 plants that decided to take ove an entire ibc grow bed (except toms whose vines grew fast enough to escape). I have never grown eggplants and was pleased at their productivity. Last year my eggplants all died (planted too early I think).

Fish continue to do well. Ate some bluegill and bullhead last month. I much prefer the bluegill. I still have some of each overwintering. Hope to add perch next year.

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PostPosted: Jan 24th, '17, 11:28 
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Looking for advice on expansion. Here are some photos, questions to follow.


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PostPosted: Jan 24th, '17, 11:51 
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In the first photo, I've plumbed together two barrels with 2-inch (50 mm) pvc and made a loop siphon with thin-walled 3/4-inch (20 mm) pvc. I still need to plumb a couple elbows into the bottom of the siphon and direct it to the main drain pipe. The top of the siphon will also have a vinyl tube, the end of which will be in one of the barrels to break the siphon when the water level drops to a predetermined height.

The second photo is what the standpipe inside the barrel will look like, except I will drill a bunch of holes/slots to allow water to drain and keep media out. It will sit loosely in the 2" drain pipe. I was thinking to clear roots from the standpipe, I could occasionally rotate it in place, roots would be broken and fall into the 2" pipe.

The 2" pipe in the first photo has a cleanout, which I can use to clear any debris (I hope not more than about once per year).

As a backup against clogging, I will put in a 3/4-inch overflow drain using a uniseal in the upper part of each barrel.

The first photo has a telescoping repair fitting, which should, in principle, allow me to adjust the height of the siphon. Anyone done this before? I'm worried it might leak. It also doesn't take much force to telescope so I'd have to rig a support for the particular height I wanted. Alternative: use a coupling without glue (teflon tape or silicone sealer) to allow me to partially disassemble and adjust height (pro: self-supporting, con: more effort to adjust).

I have 4 total barrels but I'm linking them in 2 sets of 2 because (1) I have a bunch of 3/4-inch pvc and fittings I don't trust a single 3/4-inch pipe to drain 4 half-barrels, and (2) I'm making two siphons with the 4 barrels (instead of one siphon) so I can link the siphons like my previously-posted dual-siphon design to minimize level changes in the sump (I keep fish in the sump)

Thoughts/comments/questions are greatly appreciated

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PostPosted: Feb 11th, '17, 08:18 
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My system was featured in an article by a local aquaponics company!

http://anacostiaaquaponics.org/2017/02/10/checkout-scotts-backyard-system-in-ne-dc/

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PostPosted: Feb 11th, '17, 13:38 
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Neato! *waves hi to anyone who follows the link from there*

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PostPosted: Feb 12th, '17, 09:02 
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Plumbing for new grow beds done except for a little more gluing. I decided to not use the telescoping repair fitting. Just didn't feel right.

Also got a new pump. Low power lots of flow. Seems to work well.


Attachments:
File comment: 4 grow beds on top. Two wicking barrels below.
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File comment: Back of grow beds. More couplex plumbing than anything else I've done.
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PostPosted: Mar 30th, '17, 07:12 
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Just got back from Zetts fish hatchery. They recommended largemouth bass so that's what I got. 100 3-4" fish. Probably too many when full grown. If they all survive, when they get bigger, enough will get eaten to keep the system balanced.

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PostPosted: Mar 30th, '17, 07:37 
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Bass like the same conditions as Bluegill which you've done pretty well with. I don't know about the stocking levels (didn't go back through to check the tank size and filtration) but you can always change out some water or add more filtration to keep the water quality up. Keep us posted on how it goes and how fast they grow 8) .


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PostPosted: Mar 30th, '17, 08:20 
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The farm said 10" by fall, which i think would be around 1/2 pound each. In my ibc sump, i have a bunch of bluegill and bullhead that overwintered too.

I have about 400 gal of media beds, which I think translates to enough filtration for 80 lbs of fish. I don't have solids filter other than healthy worm population so I try not to push stocking density.

Another factor is that only 1ibc and 100 gal of filtration is available during winter. I theorize that I could break stocking density rules in winter since fish are cold and don't eat much at all.

I can't feed as regularly or keep water quality consistent like a professionally run farm so I also expect lower growth rate than the farm advertises.

I have no qualms about just eating the fish if they're growing too big too fast. I would love to have that problem.

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PostPosted: Mar 30th, '17, 12:38 
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scott_dc wrote:
I theorize that I could break stocking density rules in winter since fish are cold and don't eat much at all.


I think you're probably right about this but keep in mind that your filter won't be working as well either.


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PostPosted: Apr 24th, '17, 04:41 
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Update.

In full swing for spring/summer. 100 largemouth bass. So far, zero casualties from transport stress etc. Water chemistry good water is warmed and the fish are devouring their food.

An aside. If you were thinking that the roots of leaks might be good to eat, they are not. I thought they might be tender and mild flavored. They are mild but tough and woody and leave a weird aftertaste.


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IMG_4709.JPG [ 118.63 KiB | Viewed 2948 times ]

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PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '17, 05:08 
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After-season update. Sorry nothing posted in a while.

Fish all did quite well. Had about 10 die while I was on vacation. My SLO came loose a a couple fish made it to the grow bed and died. That fouled the water so a few more died before I came home and discovered and fixed the problem. I was probably lucky not to lose more. The poor girl that was feeding the fish thought she was killing them. Next year, a stainless set-screw to hold the SLO. The bass are about 10 inches (plus or minus). I would also note that they are aggressive eaters. When I feed them, I would get wet from them splashing the water. Some food would fly out of the tank.

Squirrels got most of the tomatoes, except some late-season volunteers in my wicking beds. The Eggplants had another bumper year. I was using a hybrid variety (named Suraj, I think) whose seeds I got on sale a couple years ago. Every year, each plant gave several (small) eggplants per day. Produced well into fall. Before first hard frost, I collected about 20-30 plum-sized (or smaller) fruits. Sauteed on high heat, they tasted like mushrooms. If you find this variety, I would recommend it.

Harvested a and fried few small fish for a local demonstration. Here's a link:
http://anacostiaaquaponics.org/2017/11/27/eating-fresh-backyard-fish-in-ne-dc/
(note, the blog post says "trout", which is not correct--it was bullhead, bluegill, and bass.

Pickled a couple fish. Got good reviews from family from thanksgiving. Basically soak the raw fish in salt brine for a couple days. Rinse, then soak in pickling liquid with sweet onions. The pickling liquid was 4 parts white vinegar, 2 parts sugar, 1 part white wine, and some aromatics (1 bay leaf, couple cloves and peppercorns and garlic clove in each jar).
1
System in in winter mode now. All fish in sump tank.

Current project is auto fish feeder. I'll post some pics separately.

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PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '17, 05:32 
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PIcs of fish feeder.

Basically, a bulb planting auger inside a 2" pvc pipe. Everything should be encapsulated in the PVC for weather-protection. Missing component (not yet arrived) is a 12V dc 1 rpm geared motor. The timer has a smallest programmable time interval of 1 minute. The slow motor, in addition to having a huge torque, should allow me to feed a modest amount each minute (1 revolution of the auger, I figure will be about 100 mL of food). IF that's too much food, I've also ordered a cheap motor controller that can slow down the motor even more. FWIW, the size of the contraption is basically set on the size of the cheapest bulb auger I could find (1.75 inch diameter for $12). I've seen smaller augers (1.25" diameter), which in hindsight, might have allowed an overall cheaper contraption even though the auger was $10 more.


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File comment: You get the idea (I hope)
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File comment: The un-assembled business end.
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File comment: The assembled business end.
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File comment: The timer and electronics will go here. 3" pcv with cleanout plug should allow weather-tight access. Need to cut 3" wood circle for mounting surface.
image3.JPG
image3.JPG [ 81.87 KiB | Viewed 2312 times ]

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PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '17, 21:41 
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Sweet setup and fish feeder too.
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