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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 12th, '18, 16:32 
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Next up I secured the upright yellow filling pipe to the wood with a tie wrap plastic fastner. Covered the outlet pipe with some material that allows water to pass but stops insects entering filled everything up with the soil, trimmed the plastic pipe and made a cap again to stop unwanteds getting in.

The idea being...... I fill the pipe with water....... It quickly runs through the pipe and starts to leak out of the holes into the sand.......... I repeat this process until the water level in the bottom of the bed (in the pipe and sand) has reached about 25mm. At this point adding any more water simply makes the level rise and overflow out of the White pipe........ The water in the wet sand rises (or 'wicks') upwards to the soil.

This should mean that in the summer when the soil usually dries out it will now have a reservoir to keep it moist. Any water I add will not be lost by just going straight down and hopefully the plants will have as much as they need.

My intention is to add a wicking bed on my AP system using one of the spare ball valves I fitted to my header tank. After the initial fill I will just drip feed (or very slow flow) my pipe and overflow it back into the sump. There will be no need to ever water it.........

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 15:41 
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I have now built my 3 tier wicking bed and added it onto my AP system. I made one change to the original plan and that is I didn't re connect it to the sump. Instead it will just overflow once it reaches maximum level. The reason for this change is that I read a post on this forum that suggested unwanted things in the soil could find their way back into the system and cause infection or unbalance and I don't want that......

So here goes....

First I made all the pieces out of treated wood used for terraces......

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 15:44 
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Then I assembled all the pieces

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 15:48 
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I then made sure the bed was as level as possible

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 15:52 
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Next step was to fit the liner. It's an armoured liner ie plastic reinforced with some sort of string which forms squares to prevent rips......

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 15:57 
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I had some plastic pipe which I drilled full of holes. I fitted an exit pipe on one end and run it through a bulkhead. I left the other end sticking upwards to be used as a filler tube.

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 16:02 
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After that I covered the pipe with a cloth to stop roots and sand getting in the holes and covered everything with sand. The wood was just to flatten the pipe!

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 16:05 
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It got a good layer of worm filled compost on top of the sand.....

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 16:11 
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Now I had to fit the fill pipe. I ran this from my header tank which receives water from the pond which has passed through a swirl filter and a bio filter. I still fitted a removable mat filter just to be sure to not get solids in my yellow pipe.

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 16:28 
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Once the pipe was secured I topped up the bed with soil and fitted the two cross bars..... This gives me three different soil depths. The idea (my experiment) is that some plants in the low section will be closer to the water in the bottom of the bed than those in the deeper high section. The wicking effect should (hopefully) see the soil in the top high section less humid than the lower section. I'll see what does better where.

I've also added a 90 degree bend on the outlet. My idea being that by pointing it upwards at different angles I can vary the level of water retained in the bed. This will allow me to give it a good soaking if needed...... Again all experimental...

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 16:32 
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The finished item.....? I think it looks ok let's hope it works.......
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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 20th, '18, 20:20 
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Very neat system indeed! I love your attention to small, mainly aestetic details!
I myself don't have the patience for that.......

Did you use old bed sheets for the wicking beds?
Those are cotton I presume. Will they not rot away?
I have designed some wicking beds in my mind to connect to my system and I was thinking of using weed suppressing mat to keep the sand out of the pipe.

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 21st, '18, 01:26 
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JLCPH, thanks for the nice words and as for the sheet issue, yeah your probably right they will rot..... In time, but so will the wood. I knew when I built the system that it wasn't going to last forever. I have however built other stuff like decking and flower beds from the same or similar wood and found they last for between 4 to 6 years without extra treatment. My plan with this setup is to keep learning and remove repair and improve as the years go by. I will be trying to keep up with the wax treatment on the wood and replacing the outer pieces as necessary and as for the cloth, well I'll probably be changing the sand /soil each season or 2 so I'll change the cloth at least he same time. It's all an experiment, I just hope it works. So far so good!

I have some good memories working in Denmark for SAS, in Copenhagen. Nice place!

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 21st, '18, 16:42 
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Yeah, we all learn as we go along. I also don't mind doing some work along the way and learn how to improve my system.

When did you work for SAS?

I used to work in the travel industry as well.
I was an incoming group travel agent in Copenhagen in the late 90s. Mainly servicing Chinese, Japanese and American clients.

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 Post subject: Re: Know expert's system
PostPosted: Jan 22nd, '18, 04:08 
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I've just been checking out your system it looks fantastic....... Well done!

As for working for SAS I worked there about 3 or 4 times in the late 90s early 2000s we did some modifications on some of their aircraft.

My system is just ticking over for the time being. It's not warm enough to grow much. The fish are still eating but less than enough to feed half a grow bed let alone two.

I intend making a few more aesthetic adjustments to hide the pipes that run down my garden wall whilst I still have chance before the garden plants hinder my access.

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