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PostPosted: Mar 12th, '20, 14:04 
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So, I started gathering (aka hoarding) parts for this a few years ago, but life slowed me down in the completion of the system. I finally pulled most of it together about a year ago. The system is CHIFT PIST, with two 110 gallon tanks connected with a bridge siphon for the sump, and a 275 Gallon IBC as the main tank. There is a radial flow filter between the fish tank and grow bed made from a blue drum. I started off with a few bluegill/ Sunfish, but lost a few before I started buffering the water and paying attention to general hardness, and such. I was originally using rain water, and the water acidified. Several of the fish survived my mistake, but they are very slow growers for me.
I know this system is too small for them, so it is basically being used as a holding tank for some channel catfish fingerlings, who are growing very quickly. I am currently building another system at home, and working with others to build another bigger system at a school, that the majority of the catfish will go into.
The system usually runs flood and drain via a bell siphon, but it decides when to work, and when to go on strike, or constant flood mode. The media started out as perlite, mostly bigger than 1/2 inch size, and its a lot more rock like than other horticultural perlite I've used before. I have since acquired some cheap and free hydroton, and mixed some in. The grow bed is 4x8 feet, and almost 12 inches deep.
I had iron issues in the beginning, and what seemed to be potassium issues, and some plants still show slight deficiencies, but most are chugging along.
Attachment:
growbed with border.jpg
growbed with border.jpg [ 268.65 KiB | Viewed 7184 times ]

Attachment:
insulation.jpg
insulation.jpg [ 204.84 KiB | Viewed 7184 times ]

Attachment:
fish tank 2.jpg
fish tank 2.jpg [ 247.94 KiB | Viewed 7184 times ]

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corn 2.jpg
corn 2.jpg [ 265.62 KiB | Viewed 7184 times ]

Attachment:
growth.jpg
growth.jpg [ 308.4 KiB | Viewed 7184 times ]

Attachment:
growbed winter.jpg
growbed winter.jpg [ 250.39 KiB | Viewed 7184 times ]

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If you give a man a fish, he can make an AP system, but if you give a man too many fish, he'll probably have problems with ammonia.

Barrel System
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PostPosted: Mar 12th, '20, 22:19 
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Welcome back to the forum Will.
Your system looks great, well done, really like the cladding on the IBC.
Haven’t seen perlite used as a grow bed medium, the perlite I’ve used here breaks down easily and I wouldn’t think would be useable however yours appears different, does it float in water?
Any issues with the bridge syphon?
Hopefully you’ll share the other systems in the works.

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PostPosted: Mar 13th, '20, 12:05 
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Thank you Skeggley,
I have always liked the cladded look too, and it gave me a way to hide the styrofoam insulation. I might have to take it apart soon, however, since I just noticed that the IBC liner is leaking somewhere behind the cladding.

I went down to our local bulk landscaping supply, and they had this perlite on display. Some of the the individual stones look kind of like granite. It's light weight, and some of it floated, but most sank, when I washed it initially, but it gets water logged pretty quickly, and I haven't had any issues in the grow bed. It was fairly inexpensive, I think it cost me around 100 Us dollars to fill the bed. It is very porous, and does get crushed under a heavy load, but it has been holding up quite well. I have used other perlite that comes in big bags in the garden, that broke down very easily, but it was more like 1/4 inch (6 mm) size, but this stuff is definitely bigger and stronger.

Ahhh, the bridge siphon. It worked great in the beginning, until I was on vacation!!!
I came home, and the pump was almost running dry.
I had to dunk the siphon once or twice a month, and cover the ends with plastic bags to keep the water in. Sometimes this would fail. It was a bit of a hassle. Then, I found a video from Bigelow Brook Farm, where he installed a valve and bit of clear hose to suck out air periodically, until water came into the tube. I did the same, and it has been amazing. I do this every two or three weeks, and have been worry free. The valve was a bit pricey, I thinks around 18 us dollars, but my sumps were already in place, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

I will update on my other system soon...Cheers

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If you give a man a fish, he can make an AP system, but if you give a man too many fish, he'll probably have problems with ammonia.

Barrel System
IBC System
300 gallon flood and drain system


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PostPosted: Mar 14th, '20, 05:54 
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Great looking system, and yard. The round concrete cylinder border is interesting.


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PostPosted: Mar 14th, '20, 10:57 
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Thank you for the compliment on the yard!
The cylinders are from a local concrete company that unfortunately is no longer in business. They would make these to test their concrete mixes. Then, give them away. Needless to say, many yards near my work have these featured in their yards.
A buddy of mine had a bunch and passed them on to me! Score!

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If you give a man a fish, he can make an AP system, but if you give a man too many fish, he'll probably have problems with ammonia.

Barrel System
IBC System
300 gallon flood and drain system


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PostPosted: Mar 21st, '20, 22:38 
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This is the air purge valve for the bridge siphon. It works great. Every once in a while, I open the valve, and take a drink of the AP water. Then it's good to go. I suck until the water is about half way up the tube. It pulls all the air out, keeping the siphon strong.
It works, and the two tubs were what I had available when I built, so I went with it.


Attachments:
File comment: air purge
bridgesiphon.jpg
bridgesiphon.jpg [ 169.32 KiB | Viewed 6725 times ]

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If you give a man a fish, he can make an AP system, but if you give a man too many fish, he'll probably have problems with ammonia.

Barrel System
IBC System
300 gallon flood and drain system
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PostPosted: Apr 24th, '20, 10:04 
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I popped this plant in towards the end of last summer, and it's going crazy now. I finally got to try some delicious tomatoes off of it, although they were pretty small ones. It made a few in the late fall, but they were okay. The rats have discovered them as well, and have gotten four or five so far.....Time to set up the traps....


Attachments:
monster tomatoes.jpg
monster tomatoes.jpg [ 201.09 KiB | Viewed 6134 times ]
black beauty tomatoes.jpg
black beauty tomatoes.jpg [ 199.84 KiB | Viewed 6134 times ]

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If you give a man a fish, he can make an AP system, but if you give a man too many fish, he'll probably have problems with ammonia.

Barrel System
IBC System
300 gallon flood and drain system
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PostPosted: Jun 27th, '20, 00:34 
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The tomato production from this system has been great. I was able to harvest a few per week for a while, and then started getting a lot more on a daily basis.


Attachments:
File comment: pretty good size
black beauty tomato weight.jpg
black beauty tomato weight.jpg [ 90.12 KiB | Viewed 4638 times ]
File comment: There was plenty to share with family and neighbors, and to eat! We had about three harvests of this amount.
tomato harvest.jpg
tomato harvest.jpg [ 133.33 KiB | Viewed 4638 times ]

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If you give a man a fish, he can make an AP system, but if you give a man too many fish, he'll probably have problems with ammonia.

Barrel System
IBC System
300 gallon flood and drain system
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PostPosted: Jun 27th, '20, 00:40 
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They have a good flavor. I've tried a few other dwarf and semi dwarf types in the new system, and most have been bland in comparison.


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File comment: They are really good tasting, and a decent size. The taste might be good because this system has been salted a few times...
Tomato inside.jpg
Tomato inside.jpg [ 95.78 KiB | Viewed 4638 times ]

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If you give a man a fish, he can make an AP system, but if you give a man too many fish, he'll probably have problems with ammonia.

Barrel System
IBC System
300 gallon flood and drain system
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PostPosted: Jul 2nd, '20, 22:03 
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Awesome tomato’s Will. I always struggle with grubs in the larger tomato especially the beef stake varieties. It’s winter here and I’m loathe to buy the tasteless hard store tomato’s after growing my own. :(
Not sure if you have uprooted one yet but I’ve had a half blue barrel solid with roots after a season so now use wicking pots for the tommies.
How are the fish going?

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PostPosted: Jul 5th, '20, 02:34 
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Looking good Will! How are the catfish doing, and where did you get them? I just got 100 catfish fry and I'm growing them in an aquarium until they're big enough for the main system.

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"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jul 5th, '20, 13:26 
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Thanks Skeg! And no, I haven't had to uproot them yet......but, It will be what it will be. I'm very happy with all the tomatoes we've eaten, so it's a fair trade for me. :cheers:

The fish are doing well. I cut back on the food for now, as I'm working on a new addition for them, and the ammonia dropped slowly. The system has been running a bit more acidic for a few months now, it's kind of leveled off at 6.2 ph. That, combined with the salt, has likely helped the fish. Once I get more of them into the newer system, I'll bring the PH up a bit.

I picked up the fish from J&J aqua-farm on your recommendation DStJohn. I pass through the valley a few times a year, so it was easy to stop by on the way home.
Something flew off a bridge and cracked my windshield, when I was almost there.....So the fish ended up costing me a bit more....if I factor in the new windshield. But they have been strong, healthy fish. I have only lost 4 or 5, and that was in the first two months or so. Well, and a lot of the day old fry within the first 2 days.

I put some of them into the blue sump of the other system for now. They are doing well. We'll see if they survive the fireworks!

I'd like to try to get some pics up, but they are hard to get good photos of. I know they shouldn't be handled too much.
I do have a pic somewhere from when I transferred fish to the blue sump.

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If you give a man a fish, he can make an AP system, but if you give a man too many fish, he'll probably have problems with ammonia.

Barrel System
IBC System
300 gallon flood and drain system


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PostPosted: Jul 5th, '20, 13:30 
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Here's a pic, the biggest one in this batch is about 8-9 inches in the pic, I think.
They've put on some bulk and length since they were moved. They grow pretty fast.


Attachments:
catfishpic.jpg
catfishpic.jpg [ 74.6 KiB | Viewed 4394 times ]

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If you give a man a fish, he can make an AP system, but if you give a man too many fish, he'll probably have problems with ammonia.

Barrel System
IBC System
300 gallon flood and drain system
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PostPosted: Jul 8th, '20, 03:49 
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Nice! Looking very healthy. I'm glad JandJ worked out for you, but sorry about your windshield. I pay an extra $65 for shipping. I just received 100 fry a few weeks ago and have only found two dead.

_________________
800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jul 8th, '20, 15:14 
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Los Angeles Will wrote:
So, I started gathering (aka hoarding) parts for this a few years ago, but life slowed me down in the completion of the system. I finally pulled most of it together about a year ago. The system is CHIFT PIST, with two 110 gallon tanks connected with a bridge siphon for the sump, and a 275 Gallon IBC as the main tank. There is a radial flow filter between the fish tank and grow bed made from a blue drum. I started off with a few bluegill/ Sunfish, but lost a few before I started buffering the water and paying attention to general hardness, and such. I was originally using rain water, and the water acidified. Several of the fish survived my mistake, but they are very slow growers for me.
I know this system is too small for them, so it is basically being used as a holding tank for some channel catfish fingerlings, who are growing very quickly. I am currently building another system at home, and working with others to build another bigger system at a school, that the majority of the catfish will go into.
The system usually runs flood and drain via a bell siphon, but it decides when to work, and when to go on strike, or constant flood mode. The media started out as perlite, mostly bigger than 1/2 inch size, and its a lot more rock like than other horticultural perlite I've used before. I have since acquired some cheap and free hydroton, and mixed some in. The grow bed is 4x8 feet, and almost 12 inches deep.
I had iron issues in the beginning, and what seemed to be potassium issues, and some plants still show slight deficiencies, but most are chugging along.
Attachment:
growbed with border.jpg

Attachment:
insulation.jpg

Attachment:
fish tank 2.jpg

Attachment:
corn 2.jpg

Attachment:
growth.jpg

Attachment:
growbed winter.jpg


Great work there...
very good!!!


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