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 Post subject: Re: 1st System
PostPosted: Sep 18th, '17, 11:13 
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After sorting out my pump issues, we planted some seeds on Sept. 4th.

Here's some pics:

Kentucky Beans:
Image
Beef Steak Tomatoes
Image
Butter Crunch Lettuce:
Image
Oregon Peas:
Image


I added pure ammonia on the 4th and some liquid seaweed on the 5th. Ammonia tested 0 ppm so I added more until I got 4 ppm. 9 days later, on the 13th I got Nitrites, and today I got Nitrates. I'll be adding fish as soon as the ammonia tests at 0ppm which should be in a few days. The initial fish tank is 275 gal and I'll be filling it tomorrow with rainwater. I've only used rainwater in my system so far.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st System
PostPosted: Sep 19th, '17, 02:55 
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You should wait for the nitrites to reach 0, not just the ammonia. Ammonia is actually less harmful to fish than Nitrites are (depending on pH and water temp... which being texas would probably be warmer water so if you have high pH then ammonia is still an issue).

Following along, looking forward to see what your system brings!

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 Post subject: Re: 1st System
PostPosted: Sep 22nd, '17, 02:53 
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Thanks, Rob. You're right about the nitrites. Today I have ph=7, ammonia=0, nitrites=2, and nitrates=5.

Is there something I can do to help bring the nitrites down?

I strung a trellis over the bed and ran a line down to one of the beans. It was sending out a runner so I leaned the runner against the line. This morning I found this:

Image From a seed to this in 16 days is amazing to me.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st System
PostPosted: Apr 4th, '18, 08:13 
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It's been about 10 months since I started this project and would like to post an update.

Here's exterior views. Still some small trim to finish, paint, etc., but largely closed in from the elements.
Image Image

Interior views:
Image ImageImage

Sump:
Image Image Image

Fish Tank: (Ordered fish (Blue Talapia) & food last night) Hope to have them in this week.
Image Image

RFF:
Image Image

Electrical:
Image

I'm finishing the Arduino and its relays and other bits which will go into the large grey box. To begin with it will control the pump and 3 solenoids but before too long I'll be adding various other sensors as well as fan and vent controls.

It's still very much a work in progress but I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We've be enjoying Kahle & brocolini over the winter and are looking forward to tomatoes, peppers, beets, starwberries, and others this summer.

Experienced a major catastrophe when the sump flooded and floated up out of its pit. Ruined the tank and a bunch of plumbing but only took a day to replace/repair it. The new sump is better than the old one.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st System
PostPosted: Apr 4th, '18, 19:04 
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looking good Mtn. Hard to tell from the pics, are the front and back enclosed or just covering the top to keep rain out?

on your solar heater are you running system water through there to heat it or using it for air? I need to finish building my solar air heater for my greenhouse this summer so it hopefully warms my greenhouse up a bit more next winter... curious how well the solar heater would work if it is water running through. Would probably freeze or cool my water in the winter. Might be an idea to get things warmed up faster in spring and fall when its not at risk of freezing though. Or build it inside my greenhouse maybe to collect sun and not run the risk of freezing.

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 Post subject: Re: 1st System
PostPosted: Apr 4th, '18, 21:40 
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Hi, Rob.

The ends are enclosed with clear poly-carbonate panels.

The solar water heater works fine. I haven't closed it up yet as I'm still testing it. Yesterday was the first day I ran it and it raised the water temp by 5 degrees 68F (20C) to 73F (23C).

It was overcast and windy. Today is sunny so I'll check it again. I run water through it at about 4 gal or 15L/minute.

Haven't thought about using it to heat during the winter. We have about 3 months where it drops to low 30"s (-1C) & high 20's (-7C) at night. If my fish are going to survive, I'll have to keep the water temp around 50F (10C) at a minimum.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st System
PostPosted: Apr 5th, '18, 18:31 
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Hmm I did click on the pictures and saw the poly panels covering the ends I guess I forgot to go back and delete that question =)

I bet once you enclose the water heater it will get even better performance as the inside of the box should hold heat too.



You have got me thinking... I have a portion of the roof of my greenhouse that I put poly panels over to allow sun in the summer time which I was told I wouldn't want because it would be too much sun... well I went ahead and did it anyways only to find out last summer my greenhouse was 80F all summer and I was contemplating using shade cloth this year to block that portion of the roof, or just closing it in completely because I have been blocking it off with styrofoam insulation in the winter time since they aren't on the proper angle to maximize winter solar gain but there is still some solar gain in the winter I imagine. The styrofoam insulation I put up there got hot enough that it melted where it was up against the poly panels. I could build something that blocks off that portion of the roof and use it as a sun collector to do this style inside my greenhouse so it doesn't freeze. I'm already contemplating changing my system from a CHIFT-PIST/CHOP to a CHOP2 so that would already require me to completely replumb everything... I could build this and get it mounted then replumb to include it, if I pumped to that then it would definitely be my highest point in the greenhouse so I could just gravity feed whatever I wanted from there. Make a shutoff loop so I could disconnect it in the summer time if I don't want to run the solar heater. I love seeing what other people come up with to give me new ideas =)

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 Post subject: Re: 1st System
PostPosted: Apr 5th, '18, 21:15 
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That's a beautiful greenhouse/aquaponics system. What part of Texas?
Rob that's a great idea with the solar in the roof.

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 Post subject: Re: 1st System
PostPosted: Apr 5th, '18, 21:40 
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Thanks, boss. I'm in NE Texas close to the boarders of Arkansas & Louisiana. The area is referred to as 'ArkLaTex'.

Rob, that's a great idea for aux heat in the winter time.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st System
PostPosted: Apr 7th, '18, 02:32 
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boss wrote:
That's a beautiful greenhouse/aquaponics system. What part of Texas?
Rob that's a great idea with the solar in the roof.



mtnwinds wrote:
Thanks, boss. I'm in NE Texas close to the boarders of Arkansas & Louisiana. The area is referred to as 'ArkLaTex'.

Rob, that's a great idea for aux heat in the winter time.


I don't want to take over mtn's thread, but I sketched up a concept. My greenhouse window isn't quite right because originally I was going to put multiple windows in then I just ended up putting the 4x8 poly panels in instead so it wouldn't be a nightmare trying to seal it... so the plywood also goes over farther than what is shown here, the window is actually about 40"x just shy of 8ft wide so the heater will cover pretty much the entire upper window area.


Attachments:
heater.PNG
heater.PNG [ 49.85 KiB | Viewed 677 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: 1st System
PostPosted: Apr 14th, '18, 00:20 
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Mr Damage wrote:
Nitrites will probably take 2-3 weeks to show up.

If you added Maxicrop Seaweed extract at 2-3 capfuls every day, testing the Ammonia level 24hrs later, and repeating the process until the Ammonia reached somewhere between 1.0ppm-2.0ppm, then you can plant seedlings from day one. That way the plants are established and growing when you add your fish and the nutrient levels start to rise.




Mr. Damage

Can you also just use house hold ammonia to achieve the same result? I will be starting my system soon and already have seedlings to start with.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st System
PostPosted: Apr 14th, '18, 00:41 
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^Oops. Shame on me for not reading all the way through that question has been answered.

I am having trouble viewing the images on this thread. I wonder why that is?


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