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PostPosted: May 6th, '15, 12:20 
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A quick post with pictures to get started, more details may follow later.

This is my second trial system, the first is indoor with an aquarium, pumped up through a small timed flood and drain bed.
This system is currently located in the space of my new poly lean-to greenhouse that will eventually be a largish grow bed, at about 6m2, possibly with 4m2 of raft below.

This system is media beds filled with lava rock. I have an ice cream pail sort of bucket buried in the GBs, I'll give details of that in a later post.

Attachment:
File comment: This is the four 100l heavy duty bins. Top center is the fishtank, which overflows into the two growbeds beside it. These then siphon into the sump below.
IMG_20150505_203246.resized.jpg
IMG_20150505_203246.resized.jpg [ 80.71 KiB | Viewed 3167 times ]


The only reason that I have the tank and beds so high above the sump is that I wanted to try growing plants in/above the sump.

Attachment:
File comment: A shot of the slo and overflow pipes to the two GBs. Flow is balanced by rotating the ends of the pipe to higher or lower positions.
IMG_20150505_203402.resized.jpg
IMG_20150505_203402.resized.jpg [ 77.57 KiB | Viewed 3167 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: Another shot showing the overflow, and the net pots in the lid to the sump. These are just above the high water level, most of the time the roots are in the moist air.
IMG_20150505_203419.resized.jpg
IMG_20150505_203419.resized.jpg [ 61.93 KiB | Viewed 3167 times ]


The aeroponic pots in the sump do not work as well as the GB, but may be useful for seed starting.

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PostPosted: May 6th, '15, 12:35 
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And two pictures showing growth. This system has been running for a little over 5 weeks, long enough to lose some feeder goldfish to the ich/fungus that they came with, feed with seaweed extract for a couple weeks, and then stock with baby convict cichlids from my indoor aquarium. So far so good with the convicts. They are happier with the 18C tank temps than I expected them to be. I am running one 300w heater in the sump set to 20C, and it cycles on and off, more off than on.

Attachment:
File comment: Tomatoes on the right, napa cabbage in the fore, lettuce and mustard in the bed behind. Peas going wild behind, on a net from the Gb. Strawberries in the front of the far bed.
IMG_20150505_203308.resized.jpg
IMG_20150505_203308.resized.jpg [ 80.1 KiB | Viewed 3165 times ]


Strawberries in the GB from runners in my yard. Almost everything else seeded in place. Cabbage as (6 cell pot) store seedlings, and the big tomatoes at ~ 10-12 cm tall. Cabbage planted in 3 weeks ago, tomatoes four. Strawberry tower partly hidden by tomatoes. Blue bin is the beginning of a water chestnut/kangkong bed. More on that soon.

Attachment:
File comment: These are huge for 4 weeks, with beefy stems, and lots of flowers. Fruit soon!
IMG_20150505_203947.resized.jpg
IMG_20150505_203947.resized.jpg [ 55.97 KiB | Viewed 3165 times ]


That's all for now, and thanks to all who have contributed here.

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PostPosted: May 7th, '15, 11:04 
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It looks awesome. I'm jealous!

How many goldfish did you go with originally? And could you please explain the goldfish>seaweed extract>convict fish situation a little bit more? Do you now have both goldfish and convicts in the FT or is it just convicts? Sorry I'm such a novice :)

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PostPosted: May 7th, '15, 14:38 
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HoneyBadger wrote:
It looks awesome. I'm jealous!

How many goldfish did you go with originally? And could you please explain the goldfish>seaweed extract>convict fish situation a little bit more? Do you now have both goldfish and convicts in the FT or is it just convicts? Sorry I'm such a novice :)

No worries. Novice here as well.

I bought the goldfish as feeders/pondfish from a local store. I could see that they were unwell by the time I got them home, but foolishly decided to try them anyway. After one night in a bucket inside the house, I had lost two of the nine I started with, and one of the casualties looked like ich, which is a parasitic disease. I regret putting them into the system, but hindsight is twenty twenty, right? After a few days I started pulling the fish out for salt dips to treat the ich, as I did not want to salt the system, which already had strawberries in it. Sadly it only took about a week to lose all of them.
I then used seaweed extract (different brand, but what most here call maxicrop) to keep the plants happy for a couple weeks, then introduced a handfull of baby convicts because they were convenient. I have multiple breeding pairs indoors, though not intentionally.
After a few days, I moved some more out, and now have perhaps 25 10-30mm convict cichlid juveniles in the tank, and for now that will have to do. An hour ago, about 10pm local, the water was 19C, and the greenhouse air was just under 15C.

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PostPosted: Jun 25th, '15, 09:39 
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The following is snipped from my post in another thread, and I thought that it belonged here as well. Also, I'm overdue for an update, and this information may help someone.

Gingerbread Man wrote:
It became clearer for me when I saw mention of a feed per growbed ratio. (15g feed per m^2 GB per day, I think) I realised that for my two 100l tote bin GB's I need to be feeding 15g per day, minimum, and probably a bunch more. ( I have multiple tomatoes, and a couple peppers, and a wall of peas, and a strawberry tower, and two cucumbers, and a water chestnut/kang kong bed, and...) That would empty the department store largest size can of flake in less than two weeks, but I only go through a can in about two months.
I stocked the 100l FT with what I had on hand, which was baby convict cichlids from my indoor aquarium system. They went in at about 1cm average, 25 or so of them, and all but two made it. They are about 3cm or so now, but still far below what I could stock, even in this small system.
I supplement with marinis liquid seaweed from Canadian Tire, a couple capfuls twice a week, and just added a small handfull of blood and bone across the growbeds to try to improve things some more.


I lost two small fish, one on a cold night when I forgot to plug the heater back in and the water was down to 11C, I was amazed that any of the fish recovered, much less all of them, and the other snuck out the slo, and was found on the GB. The fish are now 2-3X as large as when I 'installed' them, and doing well. They smash the surface pretty hard at feeding time, and I'm trying to up the feed as fast as I can, as I'm clearly nutrient deficient when looking at the plants. I don't have a test kit, so don't ask.
I'll try to post some pics later or tomorrow, but the strawberry tower is just about to supply it's first red strawberries, the cabbage and mustards all bolted and have mostly been pulled, the lettuces are ok, some starting to get leggy/bolt, cucumber plants are 45 cm long, and have tiny baby cucumbers, peas are pretty much done and need to come out, the two bigger tomato plants are now over 1m long, on strings, and the first red one will be ready on a day or two, with lots more coming. The smaller plants are also coming along.
I still ought to do a post about the (sort of RSG) buckets in my GBs, and one about the kang kong bed.
I've slowed down now, but for about three and a half weeks, I was not able to give the system more than 5 to 10 minutes per day, and yet it just ran perfectly. The biggest problem I have had was that the water stopped circulating the other day, I'm not sure whow long for, but when I got home at 10pm, I had to dig into the sump and pull the pump to find the problem. There was a (harmless, and by then dead) snake wrapped in the pump inlet! I cleared the obstruction and everything went back to normal. Didn't lose any fish , either. Lessons learned: I want a foam screen over my pump inlet, and I am now more convinced that in the hybrid system I'll be building next, I'll use separate small pumps pumps for each of two to three parallel flow circuits. Partial redundancy, and less finicky balancing to maintain flow through the higher head tower supply without reducing flow to the FT.

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PostPosted: Jul 26th, '15, 03:59 
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Really don't have time to do a proper update, but I did promise pictures, so here are a few. :wave1:
I'll try to get more detail in later.

Attachment:
File comment: Three tommies. Superfantistic is doing well, Early girl not, and sweet million not???
IMG_20150722_201640.resized.jpg
IMG_20150722_201640.resized.jpg [ 102.28 KiB | Viewed 2862 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: Black Krim tomato. Starting to do well.
IMG_20150722_201836.resized.jpg
IMG_20150722_201836.resized.jpg [ 82.42 KiB | Viewed 2862 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: Cucumbers, with wall of now dead peas, and a few strawberries behind.
IMG_20150722_201811.resized.jpg
IMG_20150722_201811.resized.jpg [ 82.09 KiB | Viewed 2862 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: Really greedy tomato roots, fighting for first dibs on incoming nutrients.
IMG_20150722_202138.resized.jpg
IMG_20150722_202138.resized.jpg [ 115.01 KiB | Viewed 2862 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: Upflow water chestnut kang kong bed. kang kong just does not seem to grow for me, maybe too cold. I see new chestnut shoots in a few places though!
IMG_20150722_201900.resized.jpg
IMG_20150722_201900.resized.jpg [ 90.02 KiB | Viewed 2862 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: Papaya/Pawpaw in soon to be wicking buckets, fed with ap water.
IMG_20150722_201846.resized.jpg
IMG_20150722_201846.resized.jpg [ 53.96 KiB | Viewed 2862 times ]

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 Post subject: HSM-IKAMF
PostPosted: Nov 28th, '16, 14:36 
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HSM - IKAMF :( :evil: :oops:

So on July 4th I went to an out of town job for a few weeks. Been home one or maybe two days each week ever since. When i arrived home this week I noticed that the water in the FT seemed high. On investigation, there was a dead fish in the SLO, and the remainder were dead on the bottom of the FT. FT temp was 5 degrees Celsius, and the tropical convicts did not handle it. It seems my three hundred watt aquarium heater packed it in and just stopped heating the system.

Very disappointing. For now, either some goldies or koi will probably do through the winter.

Other growth was uninspiring, but considering the time investment of 15-30 minutes per week, the system has been remarkable. If i had had better control of door openings (for pollination, primarily), I think we'd have been much more successful this year, even without the time available. I did have a couple things overwinter despite the mildew, and produce early. I continue to be impressed with the system as a whole, regardless of the equipment and oversight failure. I have many of the bits for the next (larger) iteration.

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PostPosted: Mar 17th, '17, 14:02 
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Update:
I did toss a handful of goldfish (pond comets) in to keep things going. Peas are starting, and some lettuces, and the strawberries in the media bed are looking great, and I planted some little rhubarb starts last week. They are already looking great. Still not giving it more than 5 minutes per day. :thumbright:

This whole system will need to move for the large system to come in. Not sure how I'll rearrange, as the test system may need to go to a lower light area. :think: I'd like to keep it though, partially as a quarantine system. I'll also steal lots of media from it to kickstart the new system, and probably initially circulate water from this system through the new GB's to get them started.

That's all for now. I see I never did elaborate on the RSG-type buckets in these growbeds. I'll try to do that in the near future, as I think they may have helped. I got lots of growth from small beds and small fish.

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