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PostPosted: Mar 23rd, '15, 23:44 
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Hi guys, I thought I'd post the beginnings of my first attempted setup. Twin grow beds, subsurface continuous flow. Growbed one drains into Growbed two, then back into the pool.

The Growbeds are old feeding troughs with a pond liner insert. Using a layer of gravel with expanded clay grow media.

Fish trench calculated at 1500 litres.

Planning to use carp and am gunna experiment with various veg to find best results!

All in, pre stocking with fish- total spend about £100.

Mock up

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Getting there

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[img]https://www.imageupload.co.uk/image/5opn
[/img]

[img]https://www.imageupload.co.uk/image/5opt
[/img]

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More to come as we progress.

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PostPosted: Mar 24th, '15, 19:18 
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Hey Nomad, sounds interesting, cheating with that digger though... :lol:

Images didn't work, check the site where you have them uploaded, there's a button there for "embeded codes".

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PostPosted: Mar 24th, '15, 22:37 
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Agreed with the pics. I am interested to see how this turns out!

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PostPosted: May 15th, '15, 19:40 
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Hey guys - sorry for the delay.. Here is the setup as of this morning.

Image

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Updates and questions- we have now successfully cycled- as much as I know most people are against the fish-in cycling process, it's what I've always done with my aquariums in the past and I figured "stick with what you know," however about a week ago I realised I had dramatically understocked my system- 30 3" Mirror Carp juveniles was producing nowhere near enough nitrates for the plants and everything was stunted on the growth and everything started to lose colour. My strawberry plants and parsley seemed the most upset, and my broad beans went to flower.

I have since put another 8 6" common carp in but I still feel this is probably majorly understocked. Starting to regret using young carp and planning to grow them on to edible size- curse my lack of money to afford bigger ones! Does anyone have any suggestions?

The water is currently dosed with good old seaweed fertiliser -hence the black water in the photos- because I wanted to try and get the plants growing again and undo some of the damage caused by the low nitrates.

Current stock
28 (now) 4" Mirror Carp,
8 6" Common carp.

Plants

3 Broad Bean - not happy
1 Pea - not happy
2 Strawberry - not happy
2 Spinach - happy
4 broccoli - seems happy
2 chamomile - happy
2 chives - seem happy
Parsley - not happy
Kale seedlings - stalled growth
Rocket seedlings - stalled growth
Iceberg lettuce seedlings - stalled growth
Mixed lettuce seedlings - stalled growth

Setup
Fish trench size - approx 1200litres
2x grow beds (approx 700 litres)
1 pump approx 1200 LPH
Constant flow subsurface setup
Expanded clay grow media


Thanks for reading!







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PostPosted: May 15th, '15, 19:42 
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Ps. Sorry about the digger, but my buddy who's garden I have setup the system in owned it. So we figured why not! ;)


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PostPosted: May 15th, '15, 20:50 
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Hi
Couple of things. You mention low Nitrate but give no numbers or other water measurements. High PH for example can reduce the ability of plants to access nutrients.
With 700 liters of media I would have thought that about 35 fish would be maximum stocking. 20 L /fish Some would recommend 25L/fish.
I may have misunderstood but does one grow bed flow straight into the other with no syphon or standpipe?
How do you control water levels in the grow beds?

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PostPosted: May 15th, '15, 21:04 
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Apologies Titus and thanks for your reply-
At last check on Monday before I added the maxicrop we were at 7.9 ph, 0ppm ammonia 0pp. nitrites and 30ppm nitrates..

Top bed flows in via overflow pipe set at 2" below height of clay media, same in second bed. I'll see if I can show ya.

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PostPosted: May 15th, '15, 21:10 
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Titus- does this work?

https://instagram.com/p/0h1IUGQyHI/

It was taken on the day of setup. Various tweaks have occurred since.

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PostPosted: May 15th, '15, 21:46 
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Hi
Some plants will thrive having their feet wet all the time. Some won’t
This will limit your plant choices.
Your water measurements look good.
What I would consider is adding standpipes to the GB.This will allow the water to rise and fall within the GB. I would suggest max water level 1 to 2 cm below the surface of the media. I would then switch to pumping 15/45. This ebb and flow should suit a wider range of plants. Your pump may be a little under powered.
An alternative would be to fit syphons again you would get the ebb and flow

Yes Instagram worked

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PostPosted: May 15th, '15, 22:32 
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Thanks again for your reply Titus.

You have hit the nail on the head, the thing I regret more than anything about this build is not designing a flood and drain system. I lacked the confidence to make a bell syphon and sadly because although there is a mesh keeping the majority of the substrate away from the overflow pipes, there is too much media around the bottom of each pipe to effectively install a bell syphon at this time... :(

I guess trial and error and patience are my friends now with regards to what plants do what! Thanks again :)

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PostPosted: May 16th, '15, 22:22 
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thelastnomad wrote:
I guess trial and error and patience are my friends now with regards to what plants do what! Thanks again :)


Patience in particular when it comes to plants.

So far so good though!

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PostPosted: May 16th, '15, 23:34 
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Don't concern yourself too much with the difference between flood and drain, and constant flood. As long as there is enough oxygen in the water, it really has little effect. The system just needs time to mature. It looks great by the way.

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PostPosted: May 17th, '15, 16:40 
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Thank you so much guys, really appreciate it :)

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PostPosted: May 17th, '15, 17:53 
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Plant updates - seeing some growth and return to vitality in some of the plants, and this morning I also altered the initial drop from the pump into growbed one to improve oxygenation.

Photo's:

Growbed One -

Image

Above shows the new drop distance and my one remaining strawberry plant. I did have a trio but have culled some of my largest and unhealthiest plants in an attempt to let my smaller plants have a fighting chance.


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Above shows my two spinach plants, which have never shown any major signs of upset since transplant and are just slowly doing their thing, which is reassuring.

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Above shows Broccoli (Right), Chamomile (Middle top), Kale Seedlings (Middle bottom) and Chives (Top Left). Leaving the dry tips on the chives as more and more whole green stalks are appearing the longer I leave it.
The chamomile is possibly the plant that seems to be doing the best which although an almost useless plant for eating is reassuring should I want an odd tasting cup of tea.

Image

Above shows Kale Seedlings close up.

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Above is the evil Parsley that simply does not wish to be happy. I had two. They both suffered terribly and only by sacrificing one and trimming this one back have I seen any sign of health from this plant. At least now it's mostly green.



Growbed Two -

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Above shows my Iceberg Lettuce seedlings and broadbean seedlings.

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Above shows a close up of the broadbean seedlings. Two types.

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Above shows second batch of mixed leaf lettuce.

And that's it for now!

Thanks for reading! :)

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PostPosted: May 18th, '15, 06:44 
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Hi Adam, I like your low tech, low cost system. What are you feeding your fish and how much? That will also determine whether and how often you need to add supplements for plant growth. +1 for the advice to be patient. My system is new this season and took a little while for the plants to look happy and thrive. Its kicking along well now, so give it time and don't get too enthusiastic about adding stuff.

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