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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '09, 09:03 
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My guess with the winter rainfall and temps we get here in Perth, I wouldn' be too concerned with evaporation over winter, but you would need to think about summer...

A few things that will come into the equation:
- Is the pond under shade of any sort in summer (trees, shade sail, etc)?
- Are the grow beds under any shade (if not, media will heat up, and heat water also)?

Sort out the shade, and then maybe use John's calc as the worst case for required water through summer.

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '09, 12:16 
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My system is under an old carport with 2 open sides, I reckon towards the end of April when it was still in the high 20's I was loosing around 100lts every couple of days, I was even checking for leaks at the peak, I have 2 x 3000lt tanks, evaporation of 200lts a day = 3 months and pond is empty :shock: might have problems during water restrictions, you may slow evaporation down by building a low shade cloth cover over the top, your main drama is going to be from Dec to Feb obviously, my first system was in a shade cloth structure and didn't loose as much water as my second system

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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '09, 16:39 
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Hey guys, I have a question, and finally some photos! The first is of my first aquaponics system (see the tiny floating pot - that counts right). You can also see the pond my KOI have been living in for the past 18 months.

I have put a couple of photos to show the partially complete pond, and also the area (sand area next to my septic system) that I am going to set up m two BYAP growbeds I picked up today (gravity fed back to pond).

I have a hard core pump (20,000 litres p/h) which I want to run 24/7 for aeration and asthetics (will be a waterfall eventually). My question is around how I can use this pump to also service the growbeds on a flood and drain system. Can I set up some kind of diversion from the main pipe? Do I use a solanoid that I can control when it is open to flood the grow beds?

Your help and opinions much appreciated!


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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '09, 17:15 
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Well that view from the alfrseco area looks like Kings Park, very nice indeed. :)

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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '09, 12:14 
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Mike running a pump that size 24/7 :shock: big cost, would it not be economical to run a say 4 big air pumps and plumb the pump directly to GB"s?, but there would be no reason why you couldn't plumb a solenoid into the pipe work or an electronic ball valve, we use valves and solinoids for our boom spray equipment, obviously 12volt that can be run from a transformer or battery connected to a battery conditioner and set it up on a timer, 12volt solenoid $120 restricted outlet size, electronic valve $330, more reliable can be adapted for 19mm-32mm outlet, battery conditioner $50, didgital timer less than $20, but a transformer would be a better option, or 240v solenoids that I have NFI about :lol:

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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '09, 22:03 
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24 V AC solenoids are standard in irrigation. 25mm GOOD ones with flow control and all the goodies are around $25.
An irrigation controller 8 station , often around $150 ( has the 24V AC transformer built in.)
BUT if you hunt around ebay ,,like i did ,, got controller for $40.

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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '09, 00:07 
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Agree with Chappo
24v AC garden irrigation timer is the way to go. stacks of outputs and if you have a careful look at the specs can get them with good variability in the output so you can have lots of contols for little dollars. 24VAC relays (to control 120VAC 240VAC 3 phase or DC) are also an industry standard so you can use the solenoid outputs to control pumps, air pumps, ventilation shutters etc all for very little dollars. most have a "rain delay" function as well so you can shut down the pump etc overnight and not forget to turn it back on.


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '09, 17:52 
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JohnH ,, Yep I'm at work wiring up my 24Vac relays to power points,,, can control it ALL.
P.S If anyone needs a Holman 8 station 2 programme controller at the right price , let me know.

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PostPosted: Aug 16th, '09, 09:57 
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I had a run off issue this week and have a heap of clay on the bottom of the pond and suspended in the water - anyone know if the Koi will mind??


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PostPosted: Aug 16th, '09, 22:05 
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I have finally hooked up my 2 growbeds (only one filled with expanded clay so far), which I did with just a single new pump in the end.

Having done some more reading on the forum, I am a bit confused in relation to filter capacity and water / fish / growbed ratios.

My pond is ~20,000 litres, and with only 2 x 500 litre grow beds, the ratio seems way out compared to everything I have been reading, but I do have very low stocking densities (4 medium and 4 small Koi in all that water at this stage).

I guess my questions are around the amount of water moving through the beds (15 min on 45 min off) is certainly not turning over the pond once an hour (more like every 10 hours). However is that an issue given the low stocking density?

Is the water moving through the beds regularly (the whole tank every hour in theory right?) more about the bio filter to convert ammonia to nitrates, or
allowing the plants to take up the nutrients?

Please help out a newbie!
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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '09, 02:23 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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re-the runoff in the pond issue....... Koi are probably ok with it, it is the people who usually like to see the fish. However, you might want to take some effort to make sure you won't have a problem with that again since runoff can introduce all sorts of contamination into a system which could be a big problem.

As to the size of pond and size of grow beds. Base your stocking density on the size of your grow beds. No more than 3 kg of fish per 100 liters of grow bed. Flow rate. I don't think you are likely to pass the entire volume of your pond through the grow beds doing flood and drain when you don't have anywhere near a 1:1 ratio. So long as you have plenty of aeration and stick with the fish to growbed rule, you should be ok. Just keep an eye on soilids since if they build up in some part of the pond, they can cause problems. Also keep an eye on water quality, ammonia and nitrite, if they are building up, you need more bio-filtration or might need to flood and drain more often.

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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '09, 08:26 
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A couple of suggestions (in no particular order)
- shade will help reduce evatoration, but dont forget the effects of wind blowing across the pond. Windbreaks would be good. Water plants eg lillys would be good too
- You might only have 1000 lt of growbeds, but dont forget the surface of the pond liner and anything else in the pond eg pots, rocks etc also provide area for bacteria to grow, and water plants will also remove nutrients
- to increase the effectiveness of the growbeds, use rocks with a greater surface area eg scoria
- any room for a shallow gravel filled trench for the water to return from the growbeds? If you keep the water level below the surface of the gravel you will keep evaporation to a minimum, but this will add extra gravel to the system compared to a pvc water return. You could even grow plants in it?

I look forward to seeing this progress.

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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '09, 21:40 
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Have sorted the runoff problem now (I hope), and I hoped you experts would tell me its the fish to growbed ratio that is more important than water to growbed, so thats good news. I'm just hoping now I will have sufficient nutrients for the plants in the two beds, if not its a good excuse to get more fish anyway!


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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '09, 21:53 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Yep, the grow bed to fish numbers are more important than grow bed to fish tank (however there are some people out there that assume that just because they have a huge fish tank, it means they can have lots and lots of fish, then they come on here and wonder why their fish are all dieing only to tell us that they haven't gotten around to thinking about grow beds or filters yet.) The primary considerations with an extra large fish tank but only minimal stocking is just to make sure there is enough aeration/flow to avoid dead spots in the pond where nastiness can build up.

Anyway, did you say you already have bio-filters running for your koi? If so, would be interested to know what your water tests say.

If there isn't enough nutrients for the plants you wish to grow, then yea more fish or some other nutrient source might need to be carefully added to the system. It is all a balancing act. Too much nutrients, add more plants or eat some fish. Too little nutrients, add more fish or remove some plants.

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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '09, 21:42 
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Tests yeah.. interesting to see what they say. of course I would have to do some to find out. Job for the weekend - buy some test kits (bad I know)...


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