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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: May 31st, '17, 19:41 
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I would divide up into multiple sections and maybe even consider a DWC.
If it is a long bed you will need multiple discharge pipes and if long and thin multiple standpipes.
The trickiest would be getting balanced flow if you are using siphons - CF and timer will be pretty easy


So just wondering what the logic is for dividing into multiple sections? I assume the main thing is to get the bed to drain fast enough? Looking at Colums DIY beds, he uses 90mm pipe for the drain (i think) which would dump it pretty quick I would imagine. Multiple smaller drains flowing into a larger pipe would also work, but how do I design the timer for the dump? Can you have a siphon using 90mm pipe? That would be good. Or some sort of ball *butterflies* float to trigger the dump?

Actually, just editing this post. I think I get the multiple sections with multiple siphons. As long as my sump is large enough to handle all beds discharging at the same time it should be ok.

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 1st, '17, 04:58 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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You don't have to have the beds right next to the fish tanks
I know of one system where the beds are 30 ft away

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 1st, '17, 06:22 
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and siphons are optional...

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 3rd, '17, 12:04 
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Hi Darren,

Serious question. Flood drain, how important is it? The more I think about my system the more sense constant flow makes. Given I will have a RFF and Biofilter in the system before the GB, this should minimise the solids build up. The siphons just seem like a hassle, but if they really make a big difference then I would be willing to try and design them into the system. I can use venturis or air pumps for oxygenation of the fish to get the DOx up.

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 3rd, '17, 22:56 
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Scotty435 runs CF and the BYAP trails showed that a CF system can function fairly well provided you address some basic issues - ensuring oxygenated water, minimise dead zones and good nutrient dispersal.

Any F&D approach (siphon, timer drain or even just a manual drain one a day/week via bottom tap) simply ensures that water is being replenished across the whole bed because once it has been drained a full new load is required to fill it up. The various arguments are all entertaining but really the simple fact is that siphons were added so that the large systems could run their commercial sized pumps 24/7 and still get a a regular drain. The siphon process is very fast for example against a timer F&D. If it really mattered about the roots timer F&D would blow siphon away because you could have the roots moist+air longer. Reality is that most timer people simply see the timer as a way of running pump/s for a lesser period per day.

CF avoids the sump volumes BUT there are advantages with a sump and SLO approach since the fish tank is always full and can never empty (if pumps stops water level stays as is). You don't have to drain the full bed in a timer F&D. But you can easily cope with 100-150L fluctuations in a IBC system anyway.

If you have deep beds you can manage the net drain volume by draining only a percentage of the bed. You can do this with siphons as well (by setting the air-access cutoff higher up the bell/cover). Multiple siphons generally don't fire all at the same time but you have to allow for that eventuality - mostly they need extra pipes below the grow bed to effect the suction which you don't need in a time F&D or a CF.

Once you move to things like a DWC, pipe tubes or buckets etc then constant flood of the media bed is less of a consideration since you can flow the water as much as you like and it stays full if you turn it off.

IMO if you run CF then you need to make sure the water level sits down below the roots a good 5-10cm.
If you have clay then you get some wicking and root moisture anyway. If you run seedlings sometimes you have to raise the water level temporarily. Plant drying from a pump fail is less of an issue if you simply keep the small drain hole a bit up the standpipe (irrespective of method).

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 4th, '17, 00:29 
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Many thanks for the detailed reply Daren. I'll chew it over. In the mean time, I'll insert some updated images Ive made of the system using Sketchup. The GBs are 2x1x0.3 metres, which equates to approx 5 IBC GBs. I think this should be a good place to start.
Attachment:
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Doctor-Fishs-system-B-800x514.jpg [ 86.47 KiB | Viewed 934 times ]

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Doctor-Fishs-system-C-800x514.jpg [ 102.84 KiB | Viewed 934 times ]

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Doctor-Fishs-system-D-800x514.jpg [ 33.27 KiB | Viewed 934 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 4th, '17, 09:48 
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I would make the grow beds deeper
(a) because you never really fill the grow bed to the top with media
and it helps stop media falling out when moving stuff around.
(b) a little bit extra depth never hurts.

So 350mm minimum (allows 3-5cm at top for no media)
But I would go 400mm - the extra bit of wet media is a bonus, and the extra depth helps with bigger rooted stuff.

incidentally the BYAP trial discussion is here > viewtopic.php?f=51&t=8621

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 4th, '17, 14:13 
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Hi Darren,

OK Got it, deeper GBs. I used 30cm as the media depth not the container depth. Certainly appreciate the need for a rim to ensure the media will not fall out. I'll think about extending to 40cm. I'm a little worried about the cost of all the media :shifty:

That's a great thread showing the variation between the different flood drain systems. Can you point me to a link showing how the timed flood drain is usually done? Assume a solenoid on the drain side?

BTW I do research all these excellent points everyone raises, I just like to get suggestions from experts to kick me off.

Trying to source materials to build the GB bases. Man I wish I knew how to weld!! My neighbor is going to help with this, but I like to do these things myself.

Speaking of neighbors. Any quick comments on noisy systems? My system is on the (very friendly) neighbors fence line and I was just thinking about pumps and siphons making a bit too much racket.

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '17, 13:42 
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OK Got it, deeper GBs. I used 30cm as the media depth not the container depth. Certainly appreciate the need for a rim to ensure the media will not fall out. I'll think about extending to 40cm. I'm a little worried about the cost of all the media :shifty:

you can go with rock media on the bottom part with a deeper bed. It will be fine and give you some thermal insulation as it will be pretty much underwater. Lot of people do the 300mm media that ends up being a 300mm IBC cut (for example) but then are too shallow if the media does not go to top.


That's a great thread showing the variation between the different flood drain systems. Can you point me to a link showing how the timed flood drain is usually done? Assume a solenoid on the drain side?

Most timer systems usually just cut the pump for a period of time (eg. 30 mins or 1 hour).
You can run pretty much any time you want to. The flow is most important for the fish (FT turnover) & filtering.
So as a quasi CF you can run for 3 hours and shut off for an hour or whatever you like. As a F&D 30mins-30mins is not bad. Depends a bit on your pump and how happy it is being frequently turned off and on.

The BYAP trial was done with a simple analogue mechanical timer and a weep hole in the standpipe (they use 15mins on and 45 off from memory - I think the trial thread explains it). But there is no reason if you want to run constant pump that you cant use a simple irrigation solenoid.

BTW I do research all these excellent points everyone raises, I just like to get suggestions from experts to kick me off.

Most of us have threads that we are aware of over time but even then there are lots more. Usually in my case I vaguely recall something and then use the advanced search to dig it up. (advanced search = Search next to messages).
Many of us also bookmark threads that are of interest (eg. the BYAP trials) so it is easy to find.

Trying to source materials to build the GB bases. Man I wish I knew how to weld!! My neighbor is going to help with this, but I like to do these things myself.

Galvanised fence post and connectors work really well and are low cost. All bolt together.
DJ Palmer in O'Connor sell them pretty good price. You just need a cut off saw to chop them up.
The 32NB pipe is fine (32mm is inside so its actually 38mm outside). With heavy beds you can mix 40NB (for legs) and 32NB (for horizontals). Very easy to adjust. Let me know if you want DJ Palmer details.

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '17, 16:59 
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Thanks again Darren. The fencing option looks good! Ive found their website. I might check out some scrap yards here north of the river before heading down to O'Connor. Probably some similar fencing suppliers up here as well.

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '17, 17:17 
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dlf_perth wrote:
But there is no reason if you want to run constant pump that you cant use a simple irrigation solenoid.


Just make sure that the solenoid will open without pressure against it. Some designs of irrigation solenoid rely on the water pressure to open them when the magnet moves, these might not work reliably to open and close an AP drain

Another option for holding up the growbeds is pallet racking. http://unirack.com.au/


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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 5th, '17, 19:38 
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>> Thanks again Darren. The fencing option looks good! Ive found their website. I might check out some scrap yards here north of the river before heading down to O'Connor. Probably some similar fencing suppliers up here as well.

yeah pretty common. You can sometimes get the poles as salvage / gumtree - often with the concrete still attached ;-)
The pipe is actually quite cheap, the joiners are around $6-$7 for T's and $10-$12 for the 3 input corners.
I have simply used recycled wooden pallets on top of mine as the deck and when required corflute on top of that
(corflute mainly to stop the wood from getting too wet from rain etc and leaching chemicals into FT - if any).

If your mate can weld another option is to use the pipe and just get a flat or angle piece welded to it for bolting onto. That works quite well and saves cost in the joiners which can add up. Galv spray the weld.

The galv. pipes can take quite a bit of weight and also extend up above to make a shade / net cover / tomato hanger / trellis attachment point.

re: pallet racking

I originally used some of that but it does go rusty quite easily even with rust-paint (depending on type).
Least the fencing products are galvanised. Zinc not good for fish but that issue should be minimal if not directly over fish tank.

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 8th, '17, 14:53 
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SeanD wrote:
dlf_perth wrote:
But there is no reason if you want to run constant pump that you cant use a simple irrigation solenoid.


Just make sure that the solenoid will open without pressure against it. Some designs of irrigation solenoid rely on the water pressure to open them when the magnet moves, these might not work reliably to open and close an AP drain

Another option for holding up the growbeds is pallet racking. http://unirack.com.au/


Hi Sean,

Just saw a bunch of these pallet racks up at out local scrap yard. They are good, especially as their height can be altered. The only downside is it looks like they are susceptible to rust.

There are quite a few lenghts of 32 and 40NB pipe up there too. The connectors are the main issue. I need 24 in total, which comes to almost $200 at $8 a pop. Still, when you compare it to the cost of some of the commercial GB systems, it's still pretty good. I think I can probably build the frame for about $300 if I get scrap poles. But then there are the side and bottom supports plus the pond liner. I'm thinking it will come to about $600 for the 3 GBs

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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 12th, '17, 16:56 
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Hey Doctor Fish

I have recently joined the forum and I have read through all of your posts about your new system.

Can't wait for the next instalments.

You said something getting the IBCs from your brother or brother-in-law....Do you reckon they'd be any chance of getting one through him?

If not, no stress. Just thought I'd ask.

Ben


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 Post subject: Re: Doctor Fish's system
PostPosted: Jun 13th, '17, 07:07 
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Hey Ben, thanks for the interest. I'm currently sifting through a big jumbled pile of connectors up at our local scrap yard to join the pipe framework for the GBs. I think I have all the pieces but want to be sure they will work before I buy them.

I can ask my bro in law, but you might be waiting a while. There have been a few requests from family and some neighbors and he gets them one at a time when he can from work. I did see one up at Bill's salvage yard on Gnangara Rd recently. It's looks brand new and unused, but you would be paying full whack for it would be my guess.

Cheers

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