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PostPosted: Sep 11th, '16, 19:09 
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boss wrote:
Wow, looking great. I'm so envious of the closed in feel before Fall. I wish our remodel was getting framed already.


I'm trying to read through your thread, slowly getting towards the end but it's taken me about a week to get there. I'm a little envious myself of your gigantic fish pond, you've been busy with getting all of that going, so the rest of the projects will fall in to line soon enough! We have been in our house 2 years now and finished most of our house projects before I started the greenhouse project, the couple of house projects I have left I figured would be winter projects when it is too cold to want to work outside. The wife isn't too upset about it, other than the fact that I have not finished sanding the drywall in the downstairs hallway from the laundry room remodel so I have not put the trim up around the door... that one she mentions every now and then but it can wait for winter IMO =).

We typically get our first snow around mid November but the last several years it comes and goes until January then we're stuck with snow until mid April, but our temperatures stay fairly cold starting anytime after October so I don't know how far I'll be able to keep things alive this year, but I figured I had the seeds I might as well toss them in the growbed and see what I can do.

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PostPosted: Sep 11th, '16, 21:15 
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rininger85 wrote:
boss wrote:
Wow, looking great. I'm so envious of the closed in feel before Fall. I wish our remodel was getting framed already.


I'm trying to read through your thread, slowly getting towards the end but it's taken me about a week to get there. I'm a little envious myself of your gigantic fish pond, you've been busy with getting all of that going, so the rest of the projects will fall in to line soon enough! We have been in our house 2 years now and finished most of our house projects before I started the greenhouse project, the couple of house projects I have left I figured would be winter projects when it is too cold to want to work outside. The wife isn't too upset about it, other than the fact that I have not finished sanding the drywall in the downstairs hallway from the laundry room remodel so I have not put the trim up around the door... that one she mentions every now and then but it can wait for winter IMO =).
It sounds like me, I try and juggle in the things my wife wants done. Nevertheless, she gets emotional at times and every now and then says, "I'm sick of construction, dirt, mud and having all these guys around all the time." I know she wants this project done just like me and I give her a hug, and all is better.
We typically get our first snow around mid November but the last several years it comes and goes until January then we're stuck with snow until mid April, but our temperatures stay fairly cold starting anytime after October so I don't know how far I'll be able to keep things alive this year, but I figured I had the seeds I might as well toss them in the growbed and see what I can do.

I totally hear that. I'm 62 going on 25 it seems sometimes. We've cut our budget to only emergency items, bills and food. It's just like when there's no food in the fridge, and you get really hungry. I really really want to buy "stuff" on Amazon and can't :support: I have no idea what to expect from Winter this year, with Climate Change comes wild weather swings, whatcha gunna do?

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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: Sep 12th, '16, 04:36 
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It's been a lot of work, but the greenhouse is pretty much closed in now! I need to put the door in yet, but don't want it in the way so I'm holding off on putting it in until I'm done with most of the work or it gets colder whichever comes first... I still need to put just a small piece of plywood up on the north wall because it was about 8ft 5inches tall so missing 4-5 inch piece at the top of it that I havent put up since it's protected by the roof. Plus I still need to build the overhangs and box them in and box in the eaves on the north wall... then I need to paint all of the wood that will remain exposed, but otherwise I'm on to insulation board and vinyl siding next...

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PostPosted: Sep 20th, '16, 20:05 
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I didn't get a ton done over the weekend, because we had a wedding to go to Saturday that killed most of the day. I spent about 4 hours working on the greenhouse on Sunday and managed to get the overhang up on both sides but I still need to cut the plywood to enclose them, and still need to put another piece of plywood along the top of the north wall to finish enclosing it, and then I can box in the eaves on the north roof.

I went and bought insulation on Friday. I didn't really think about how much I needed ahead of time, I knew I had bought 30 sheets of plywood and had 5 left so I thought I needed 25 sheets of insulation... I loaded up 25 sheets of 1" thick foamular insulation (R5) on a cart and started to walk away when I remembered that included the roof... so I took 10 sheets off and only bought 15 sheets of 1" for now to do the walls. I am thinking I might go back and get 2" (R10) for the roof when I get ready to insulate the roof, but since taking 10 sheets of insulation off saved me about $150 I started thinking and realized I could pick up 20 rolls of R13 roll insulation for $120, so that is what I did. The problem came when I went to load everything in my truck... How do you fit 15 sheets of 1" insulation plus 20 rolls of insulation in one truck?

Well you start by packing roll insulation in the back seat on top of the foamular insulation...
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Then you pack it in the passenger's seat and on top of the center console...
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And then you realize you still have six rolls to go and no place left to put them... but you remember you bought 4 new tie down straps for $2 a piece because all of your tie down straps are junk that you need to replace... so you strap six rolls on top of the tonneau cover outside of the truck...
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Saturday I also picked up 25 yellow perch and 1/2 gallon (4lbs) of feeder minnows (big head minnows). I acclimated them to the water temp by dumping some water in the bags because that was the seller's recommendations (he claimed it's quicker so less stressful than floating bags, so that's what I did...) I tossed all of the fish in my aquaponics tank and headed off to the wedding. Sunday I went out to find that 3 of the 4 iridescent sharks were dead and I scooped a number of dead minnows out. I wasn't sure if the perch were more aggressive and had killed the sharks or what (they were missing eyeballs). I decided to dig out my test kit and tested the water... 0.50ppm ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10 nitrate. Kicked off a mini-cycle by adding too many fish at once... I was hoping it was going to be OK with the minnows and sharks that had already been in the tank for a while should have been cycled, but this was a huge bio increase all at once... so I ran inside and grabbed the bottle of ammo-lock that I had which says it will treat 100 gallons of water (the aquaponics tank has about 200 gallons of water in it, not including the water that is in the growbed). I dumped the hole bottle in to attempt to make it a little better... went back out sunday night and had my first dead yellow perch... not a whole lot I can do at this point so I just let it ride and see what happens... I got home last night and found 3 more dead perch and more dead minnows so I cleaned them out and dumped about 40 gallons of water out and replaced it with fresh water to try and drop the ammonia down some but I did not test to see what it is at. I can see I need to figure out what fittings I need to adapt to the IBC drain so I can route the water out of the greenhouse when I need to do a water change.

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PostPosted: Sep 20th, '16, 23:44 
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okay, I began at the beginning and got caught up. Thank you for sharing. Sorry to hear about the fish losses. I hope you get it figured.

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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: Sep 21st, '16, 00:43 
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I bit the bullet and ordered some arduino stuff to try building my greenhouse controller. I think I ordered about $100 worth of stuff and think it should be enough to build the entire controller, vs. paying $85 to add another temperature probe to my apex and losing the use of my apex for my aquarium. I think if this project goes as planned I will build another controller for my aquarium at work, but I need to learn how to build the greenhouse arduino controller first, so continuing to read some of the threads on here to see what I can learn until my parts arrive.

I went with arduino mega 2560, 5 DS18B20 water proof temperature sensors for water temps, 3 DHT22 temp/humidity sensors (outdoor/indoor lower level of the greenhouse/indoor peak of the greenhouse -- I will use this to tell the fan that will be in the peak when to turn on to blow hot air underground), two DS1307 RTC's (two was cheaper than one so I'll hold on to one for another project), 8 channel relay module, 20x4 LCD module, voltage regulators, power supply and breadboard, as well as a starter kit that includes a bunch of resistors/LED's/etc. Hopefully that will be enough to get the main controller up and running (I am planning on finding a project box locally to put it in because they seem expensive for a large enough box for what I want to order online... and I will eventually need to buy some more stuff to tie in to a battery bank that will be charged by solar panels that I am going to build for the greenhouse, but for now I have an extension cord ran out to the greenhouse to get me power... I will probably wait until this winter to get back to building the solar panels since it is mostly an indoor job).

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PostPosted: Sep 21st, '16, 00:56 
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Sounds good, for the DHT22 sensors you can find lots of precoded programs on the arduino forum to base your work on. The possibilities of arduinos in aquaponics are crazy. Im in the (very slow) process of building a arduino sensor/switch hub which controls my LEDs, daylight simulation of the LED, watercooling the LED, controlling water temp, air temp, pff. Difficult but rewarding project, goodluck with yours.

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PostPosted: Sep 21st, '16, 06:08 
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Thanks Seppeo, that is my long term goal as well to be able to automate checking and controlling as much as possible. I saw someone using photoreceptors to determine the amount of light that is in the greenhouse and using the arduino to turn on supplemental lighting... I may end up doing the same eventually, as I have had a few people tell me I'm not going to be able to grow anything in my greenhouse in the winter even if I am able to keep it warm enough due to not having enough light in the winter... So this might not turn out as passive solar as I would like, but if I'm able to put enough solar panels on the greenhouse to offset whatever energy I need to use I will still consider it a success.

I tested my water when I got home tonight and I think I might be in the clear with the ammonia... I had a few more dead fish so I'm up to I think 8 of 25 perch died, and countless minnows but there are still hundreds of minnows in there. I might have just a small hint of green on my test kit so might be 0.25ppm so I tested water out of the hose and it looks like there is ammonia in my hose water so I am going to scrub my equipment and test again to be sure. The fish are much more active tonight swimming all over in the tank so that seems to tell me they are feeling better which is a visual sign that there is less ammonia in there today.

If I do have ammonia in my tap water I may have to set up a barrel to hold water in to age it before adding it to my system... Probably not a big deal once I get the whole system running because the amount of top off water will be minor compared to the entire system amount of water, but right now I don't have nearly enough media for the amount of fish tank water... But having a barrel to condition or age water in probably would not be a big deal either way, I could do a gravity drain ATO to the sump easily that way... That's how my saltwater system was set up... 34 gallon trash can holds RODI water then gravity drains to a float valve in a five gallon bucket which then gets pumped in to the sump based on a float switch turning a pump on when low... Acts as a safety net in two ways... I have 39 gallons of RODI available if I need to do an emergency water change, but also if something goes wrong I only top up five gallons of water max in a short period of time because it takes a while for the bucket to refill from the gravity drain through a small diameter hose.

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PostPosted: Sep 27th, '16, 02:54 
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I've insulated the outside of the north wall and half of the west wall and a piece on the east wall. This foamular insulation is R5.0, 1" thick. Getting to the areas I have to cut out slows things down a bit.

Image

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Then I started boxing in the soffit on the north side. I have the plywood over the bottom but need to box in the ends yet then I am thinking I will get metal flashing now to cover the wood instead of painting it all because I think it will make boxing in the soffit ends look better.
Image

I insulated the inside of the north wall with roll fiberglas insulation (R13), then I got thinking about the amount of humidity I am going to have in there in the winter and not being able to open the windows to let it out, so I decided I need to cover the roll insulation to try and keep moisture out of it. I had just enough house wrap left to cover the inside of the north wall. Then I covered it with plywood so other than a small piece of plywood at the top and painting the north wall is pretty much finished so I can start putting my water barrels in. I have one piece of plywood left so I'm going to insulate the north part of the west wall and paint it while I'm at it, then I'll get the barrels painted black and get them filled with water to start warming them up.

Image

Image

This is just a sneak peak at the inside of the greenhouse... someone asked me for a tour of the inside... it's tough to give a tour right now because it's a dirty workshop with all my tools laying out everywhere. But it beats having to pick my tools up every day and put them away...

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PostPosted: Sep 27th, '16, 06:48 
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That looks very, very nice

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PostPosted: Sep 28th, '16, 00:46 
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Thanks gnoib.

I'm running out of time to finish it before the weather decides to turn. The temperatures have been going down to high 40's at night this past week. This morning it was 48F when I left for work so I think tonight I need to put the door in so it will reduce the heat I lose at night. I still need to get time to finish a couple more things before I paint the exterior wood (guess it doesn't absolutely have to be done before winter, the wood that is most exposed is treated, the rest of the wood that might get wet is in areas that it's not going to stay wet for long if it gets wet...) more importantly I still need to figure out how I'm going to seal the bottom of the door pane glass. The way it is right now the rain falls down to the bottom and is hitting a board and running in the greenhouse so I can't insulate the south wall or it will just get wet. I tried filling the gap between the treated board around the window and the window itself full of caulk but as it dried it contracted and cracked and didn't fill the gap. So I'm undecided if I am going to just pick up more caulk and finish filling in the gap, or if I should pull the bottom board off and get some metal flashing that would sit tighter to the windows and help force water up over the flashing and outside the greenhouse instead of inside then put the board back on and caulk it again...

Still lots to get done and our weather isn't going to hold much longer. Supposed to be a couple nice days later this week but cold and wet the last couple days... need to get things finished soon!

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PostPosted: Oct 3rd, '16, 20:11 
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I started putting the greenhouse controller together last week. It is very hard to find time to work on it with an 8 week old kid and a wife that spends all day taking care of him... it is tough for me to sit down and make her continue to take care of him while I try and figure things out, but I did stay up a couple hours after they went to bed one night and managed to get the RTC working, and got one of the humidity/temperature probes working, started playing around with tank temperature sensors and was having trouble with them... I need to get that working then I have an SD card to add to it and the display, and also bought a buck controller and relay bank to be able to run outlets from, and eventually will set it up to run off of a 12V marine deep cycle battery as a backup for power outages so it switches over automatically. I am still waiting for the ethernet card to arrive, but also waiting on the breadboard so I'm a bit limited on what I can do right now, so eventually I'll have to duplicate the code for sensors once it is up and running because I bought 3 humid/temp sensors (to keep track of temp and humidity indoor @ ground level, indoor @ peak level, and outdoor) and have 5 temperature probes for fish tanks / sump / grow beds etc. but if I can get one to work of each it will be easy enough to get them all to work once I get the breadboard. Still need to pick up a project box to house it all in before I move it out to the greenhouse too.

I finished putting up the insulation on the outside of the greenhouse and I have put two coats of white paint on the plywood that I put up inside the greenhouse. I painted most of my barrels one coat of black spray paint, I need to get more for a second coat then I will start filling them up. I think I decided I need to drain the 330 gal IBC and I'm going to move it back against the north wall because any barrels I put behind it will not ever get sunlight, so they will always act as a cooling barrel instead of warming barrel in the winter.. so I'm going to move the IBC totes which will give us a little more room for grow beds.

I decided I was going to run electric to the greenhouse since I won't have the solar panels on it for a while yet and I'm tired of moving the extension cord to mow, so I bought a bunch of lengths of 1" PVC and ran a wire for power and for ethernet through them. I've dug about half way to the house to bury it, will finish it some time this week. Then I'm going to wire up the greenhouse before I go too much farther insulating (plus I'm out of plywood so can't do much more right now anyways)

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PostPosted: Oct 4th, '16, 04:01 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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careful running power and Ethernet in the same conduit I am told it can lead to problems

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PostPosted: Oct 4th, '16, 05:40 
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Food&Fish wrote:
careful running power and Ethernet in the same conduit I am told it can lead to problems

I think in the US, the electrical code says not to run high-voltage and low-voltage in the same conduit because a short between the two could send high-voltage back to low-voltage devices, i.e. someone could get electrocuted by plugging in a network cable. Also to avoid induced voltage from the A/C lines, NEC requires a minimum 2"/50mm separation between comm lines and power lines. However in practice it would probably work if properly shielded ethernet cable were used. There are also pretty neat "ethernet over power-lines" devices which could be used to provide network access for the greenhouse over the power-line. These devices are transformer limited, so you can not use them to network two transformer isolated areas. I've used them successfully in the past, but I don't recall which brand or model. Here's an example: TRENDnet - Powerline 500 AV2 Adapter Kit. Then of course there is WiFi. With line of sight, one can pretty easily wirelessly extend the network for long distance. I helped a friend put a webcam in his horse barn so his wife's buddies could all help watch a mare about to foal and I think we had a reliable network for several hundred feet between metal buildings by extending an antenna outside each building under the eaves.

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PostPosted: Oct 4th, '16, 21:29 
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just putting this here so I can find it when I need it in the next few months...cheaper to buy billboard tarps than to buy pond liner

https://billboardtarps.com/product-cate ... nd-liners/

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