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 Post subject: My wee back room system.
PostPosted: Dec 15th, '18, 04:56 
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Nothing special. Just a 300l water tank and a few growbeds with a pump in ft. A far cry from the 6000l system I built in a polytunnel a few years ago but divorce put paid to that dream.

Just running clean water through at the moment, dealing with the wee issues like floating hydroton, stand pipe guards rising and media blocking drains Almost ready to start cycling though.

I got the water tank off gumtree for £20, the three totes came off ebay at £30. Pump was £44 and assorted pipes (hep2o and standard drainage) came in at nearly £60. I'm using a 3 way manifold to split the feed.

https://flic.kr/p/2cbcspe

https://flic.kr/p/2aNjUYs

https://flic.kr/p/2cbcsS8

Flood takes 10 minutes and it drains in 30. Timer is 15/45 and it seems to work well. Planning a couple of carp fingerlings and some salads in the growbeds. Possibly adding some lighting and maybe some NFT on the windowsill as I have a spare pump and some pipe left over. Please ignore the dangerous looking electricals, this is just a test run and all will be sorted later.


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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '18, 14:45 
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Welcome to the forum Number 47. The photo links work but we prefer it if you can post the pictures here on the forum - when external links go away along with the sites they're on the pics go with them :dontknow: . You can find information on posting pics in a couple of threads located near the top of the page here - http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=4

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PostPosted: Dec 16th, '18, 06:40 
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wouldn't want to see that flood and overflow.... Try an drop the levels of your standpipes to lower your flood level, that should stop the clay floating.

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PostPosted: Dec 18th, '18, 00:40 
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scotty435 wrote:
Welcome to the forum Number 47. The photo links work but we prefer it if you can post the pictures here on the forum - when external links go away along with the sites they're on the pics go with them :dontknow: . You can find information on posting pics in a couple of threads located near the top of the page here - http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=4

Cheers


OK, not seeing an edit fuction so will try to add pics here.

:cheers: Success!


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PostPosted: Dec 18th, '18, 00:50 
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earthbound wrote:
wouldn't want to see that flood and overflow.... Try an drop the levels of your standpipes to lower your flood level, that should stop the clay floating.


Overflowing is a concern of mine but using guarded standpipes with drain holes so should not be an issue. If it does, well, the heroin user downstairs is due some retribution from me for many, many issues. I will not worry unduly. :twisted: Only a failure of the fish tank could cause any serious issue and it is a tank designed to sit in an attic holding 300l so I don't forsee that happening. I may throw a ratchet strap around it if it shows signs of being unable to cope but I'm using it well within the design parameters.

Standpipes are 56mm (2.5" in historic) from lowest possible overflow. I've been adding hydroton and it moves less but I will be adding another bit tonight to finally end the scourge.

I'm cycling now, using kleen off and seasol to support one houseplant I have popped in. :headbang:

KH is low but all other levels are as expected.

Having a few issues with small pieces of hydroton making their way through the guards and blocking the drain holes but have bought some 48cm tweezers from china, this will allow me to pick them out without stripping the beds.


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PostPosted: Dec 18th, '18, 01:07 
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Number 47 wrote:
Overflowing is a concern of mine but using guarded standpipes with drain holes so should not be an issue.


Some plants like tomatoes will grow right into the drain and block the opening so it pays to be vigilant. More than once, I've seen a single root going into a 1" drain form a plug that completely blocks the drain. For indoors I really like having a drain and a secondary emergency overflow that sits above the water level as a backup.


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PostPosted: Dec 18th, '18, 01:25 
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scotty435 wrote:
Number 47 wrote:
Overflowing is a concern of mine but using guarded standpipes with drain holes so should not be an issue.


Some plants like tomatoes will grow right into the drain and block the opening so it pays to be vigilant. More than once, I've seen a single root going into a 1" drain form a plug that completely blocks the drain. For indoors I really like having a drain and a secondary emergency overflow that sits above the water level as a backup.



Roots are a worry, I'm planning to remove any that breach the guard using a scalpel and fish them out with tweezers. I'll be inspecting it daily so shouldn't get out of hand.

I would prefer an overflow. My issue is that reducing the substrate to accomodate this will reduce the light available to the seedlings as they would sit lower in the totes (I'm relying a lot on sideways sunlight from a south facing window but I'll likely add an LED later as funds allow). I can run some pipe through the gb to return to ft but it would be small diameter and possibly overpowered by the pump, however, pump is only on 15 minutes so I guess it would mitigate most eventualities. . I have 40mm standpipes so unlikely to be compromised by roots. I plan to grow only salads, rocket (arugula) and other lettuce varieties. I believe their root structure will be less problematic than say a tomato plant.

As with everything with ap. A whole bunch of maths to work out the probabilities and the outcomes. Then throw in a hail mary for good measure.


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PostPosted: Dec 18th, '18, 01:47 
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Number 47 wrote:
Roots are a worry, I'm planning to remove any that breach the guard using a scalpel and fish them out with tweezers. I'll be inspecting it daily so shouldn't get out of hand.


Giving the media guard a twist also works pretty well. Basically breaks roots going through the holes and cuts the ones trying to go underneath.


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PostPosted: Dec 18th, '18, 02:03 
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scotty435 wrote:
Number 47 wrote:
Roots are a worry, I'm planning to remove any that breach the guard using a scalpel and fish them out with tweezers. I'll be inspecting it daily so shouldn't get out of hand.


Giving the media guard a twist also works pretty well. Basically breaks roots going through the holes and cuts the ones trying to go underneath.


That makes even more sense. Saves cutting the roots. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Dec 18th, '18, 05:49 
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Having added a further 1/2 bag of hydroton I have solved the floating problem. :cheers:

The 1/2 bag I have left will be used in a strawberry tower/ gravel bed which will frame the window. For now I have a stable gb and I'm happy. I have started a couple of salad seedlings in a rockwool starter and will see how we get on with them.


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PostPosted: Dec 18th, '18, 11:18 
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Is your standpipe removable? The surface of the media still looks damper than I like to see. The surface should be dry otherwise it encourages algae (moisture should wick up to an inch or two below the surface). The only time I like to get it damp higher up is if I'm getting ready to seed and want the seed to stick above the normal water level. If it were me I'd lift the standpipe and cut it down an inch or two. Might be able to make a new one and swap it out quickly if you're worried about overflowing your tank/sump.


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PostPosted: Dec 20th, '18, 03:47 
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scotty435 wrote:
Is your standpipe removable? The surface of the media still looks damper than I like to see. The surface should be dry otherwise it encourages algae (moisture should wick up to an inch or two below the surface). The only time I like to get it damp higher up is if I'm getting ready to seed and want the seed to stick above the normal water level. If it were me I'd lift the standpipe and cut it down an inch or two. Might be able to make a new one and swap it out quickly if you're worried about overflowing your tank/sump.



Standpipe has been a nightmare due to the tank fittings I bought not being the size they were supposed to be. They are a bodge to win bodge of the year if I'm honest. I had to fit them upside down and one side was threaded BST so I then added a BST threaded coupler which was supposed to be 40mm solvent weld but was not so this has a 40mm compression coupler which finally links it to the 40mm standpipe. I was forced to drill through the threads of the BST coupling to get my drain hole low enough to limit anearobic areas so I'm afraid to unscrew then in case these will no longer line up. Any adjustments now mean dismantling the entire system.

I'm not too worried though, that picture was taken after I had topped off the beds with hydroton I had just finished washing in the bath and it has now dried out a bit. Will keep my eye on it and if needs be I can perhaps cut grooves around the top of the standpipe without a complete breakdown.

I will not be planting this fully for some time so will keep an eye on it as I perhaps plan for a better standpipe configuration. I can isolate one bed at a time and just transfer the plants as I work on each bed. I like the idea of a removable standpipe but don't fancy the cost or labour of changing them. I would imagine planting would limit the light available to promote algae growth below the canopy but will have a think on this.

I appreciate the advice, I must admit I did not consider algae and I designed the level to be high as I plan to drop the small plants in directly after germination in 2cm rockwool cubes.


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