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 Post subject: Redcap builds a system!
PostPosted: Mar 10th, '16, 11:51 
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I have a PLAN!

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Concrete slab will be 3.5 square meters. Fish tank at the top of the image, sump with growbeds over it at the bottom, radial flow filter over on the right with room to add more stuff in between FT and growbeds. I really doubt I'm going to need an RFF to start with as I plan a pretty low stocking density, but I'd rather have it than not need it. If I decide I'm taking too much nutrient out of the system by running it I can either remove the filter or just put the solids back after aging them or... whatever. Easier to have it in to start with than decide I want one later. (Besides, I really want to build one because they look easy and the concept is cool.)

CHIFT PIST, SLO from FT, flood and drain growbeds with bell syphons. I plan to run two pumps so that when I need to do maintenance or whatever I can shut one off and work on it without shutting down the system entirely; this also means I have extra pump capacity for later on when I add DWC beds or NFT pipes or whatever I decide I want. When, not if. :mrgreen:

FT and ST both 3m long, 1.1m wide, FT just over 1m tall, ST just over 0.5m. Silver perch in FT, yabbies and a few golden medakas in ST (to eat any mozzie larvae that manage to establish despite the water being agitated by the growbeds draining. I know it's not likely but I don't trust those whining little *ahem*). Growbeds will be builders tubs (like the ones I have already on my mini system) supported on homemade platforms built out of wood, Besser blocks, and enameled angle iron thingies I can get from Bunnings.

Thoughts? :shifty:

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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '16, 11:58 
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Looks fine, just do your homework on pipe sizing from the SLO to RFF and getting it all in level etc so the RFF operates correctly.

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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '16, 12:02 
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Will do Charlie! I figure bigger will be better for the SLO and all the piping that feeds from it (up to a point)? Given that it's got to handle everything the pumps throw at it, using gravity, with very little fall over the full length.

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PostPosted: Mar 18th, '16, 06:18 
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And the first baby step has been taken! We're getting quotes from landscapers to fix up our back yard, including leveling the ground where the aquaponics is to go! :headbang:

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PostPosted: Mar 18th, '16, 06:35 
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Good luck, Mel.

Would you be having some more space around FT and GBs? Like if you lift one of those GBs for a maintenance, do you have space to put them on the ground with enough space around it for you to walk.

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PostPosted: Mar 18th, '16, 11:11 
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GurkanYeniceri wrote:
Good luck, Mel.

Would you be having some more space around FT and GBs? Like if you lift one of those GBs for a maintenance, do you have space to put them on the ground with enough space around it for you to walk.


Plenty of room all around the outside of the setup, and enough space to walk between the growbeds and the FT. If I need to move one of the 'inner' growbeds then no, I can't put it on the ground right there... but with my arthritis, I can't move a full growbed at all anyway. If a growbed's gotta move, it's gonna get emptied at least halfway first, at which point I can carry it to somewhere it can be put down. Not ideal, but :dontknow: not much in the way of options there, which is why I'm making sure I have room to access the sump without moving anything. I'll be leaving a gap at the end over the main pump to make reaching that easy, and I'll have room - a bit squeezy, but enough! - to get at the rest of the sump from under the growbed supports.

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PostPosted: Mar 22nd, '16, 14:18 
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Cool.

I also have damaged cartilage on my knees and super carefull lefting or pushing things in the yard.

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PostPosted: Apr 26th, '16, 16:09 
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Gonna be another couple of weeks before I get my concrete slab laid and can start placing components... but in the meantime I've built a wicking barrel! My teeny little blueberry bush has plenty of room to grow. :lol:

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...Also, using the angle grinder to cut the barrel in half was so much fun that my system plans have expanded - again - and now include DWC beds made out of an IBC. :headbang:

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PostPosted: Apr 28th, '16, 14:34 
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Go Mel :-)

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PostPosted: Apr 28th, '16, 17:19 
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Good luck with your blueberries, they have a requirement for acidic soil- around pH4 to 5.5. I've had a couple of goes running pH in the low 6's, and they initially grew well, but after a few months they stopped growing and died off. I wont be trying to grow them again.

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PostPosted: Apr 28th, '16, 18:34 
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Gunagulla wrote:
Good luck with your blueberries, they have a requirement for acidic soil- around pH4 to 5.5. I've had a couple of goes running pH in the low 6's, and they initially grew well, but after a few months they stopped growing and died off. I wont be trying to grow them again.


Yup, that's why they're in their own separate barrel instead of anything attached to the system or the dirt garden. :thumbleft: I used azalea potting mix (as recommended on the blueberry's tag). I'm going to give it the best chance I can manage, and if it carks it on me it won't be from lack of coddling! :geek:

Today I started making my RFF! :headbang: I'm not going to do the input piping until I've got my FT and work out exactly what size I'm making my SLO, but I've constructed the inner baffle (paint bucket with the bottom cut off, the angle grinder is still a ton of fun) and have started making the sloped bottom. I had to stop after one bucket's worth of concrete + beanbag filling 'cause the cheap mixer drill bit fell apart! :upset: Gonna get a better one tomorrow.

GurkanYeniceri wrote:
Go Mel :-)


Thanks! :flower:

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PostPosted: Apr 30th, '16, 10:30 
I really miss blueberries and blueberry pie. Now I am hungry. Have not seen a blueberry in 15 years. Did you buy the plant or grow it from seed? If I could order some seeds I would also give it a go. At my birth home we have them in the woods free for the picking.

Ah the memories are flooding in........... Blueberry pancakes with blueberry sauce. BB jam on toast or bagels. And BB pie for desert. Wash it all down with BB juice and Champaign ...


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PostPosted: Apr 30th, '16, 11:02 
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I bought it - I wouldn't mind trying to grow one from seed too, but I'm impatient. :-P

Concrete didn't happen yesterday as it was spitting rain on and off and the forecast said heavy rain (which didn't happen). Trying again this arvo!

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PostPosted: Apr 30th, '16, 11:31 
Yeah, anything from seed is taking me on average 6 weeks just to transplant. It is worth it in the end, knowing you did it from seed. I want to complete the cycle if I can and replace seeds with my own seeds. At that point I join the farmers guild. lol All farmers her do the complete cycle. That is why it is so hard to find seeds or starters. Right now we are also waiting for a rain storm that may or may not come. Sky is ready. And we wanted to go hunting for a new fishing hole. I really need to find a good grounds for more shrimp. Our colony is in need of many more.


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PostPosted: May 14th, '16, 07:53 
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I have my slab! I have my slab! I have my slab! :headbang: I can't walk on it until Monday, and I can't put anything heavy on it for a week, but I have my slab!!! *happydancing*

The corner of the yard before the landscapers got started. You can see the dead grass square where it was sprayed (partly to mark where it was to go in case the guy I discussed the quote with wasn't there when his minions started digging, partly to make the digging easier, I think):

Image

Goodbye, bush! You aren't pretty, you smell funny, we never liked you, and you're in the way! :twisted:

Image

Previous owners left a lot of junk under that bush. :evil: Nice landscapers took it all away except the unbroken tiles, we'll keep those.

Image

The bobcat was messy but efficient!

Image

Framing and aggregate:

Image

Reinforcing:

Image

Image

Aaaaaaand done! :headbang:

Image

It was really fun watching the landscapers work. I find there's something so cool about people doing a task that I don't know how to do, and doing it well, with all the little tricks and tweaks you develop when you're really good at something. Just watching how they got the slab properly level was fascinating!

I got a little more done on my RFF, too. It's taken ages, because my joints really hate working with cement and I have to work with small batches - plus I wasn't going to work in the rain any more than the landscapers wanted to - but I have sixteen kilos of cement with polystyrene beanbag filling as a really light filler 'aggregate' making a sloped bottom in my barrel. I just need to put in one more bucketful without the polystyrene beads, to form a smooth surface, and then once it cures I can paint over it with pond sealer.

Image

...And I've redesigned my growbed plans in my head. Again. :shock:

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