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PostPosted: Aug 24th, '09, 22:17 
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Thanks Hex,

At the moment the shed leaks worse than the polytunnel will :-) But will be putting a new roof on it shortly, so all will be good I'm sure.

Have been wondering about the electrical stuff, but really all I'm looking at are
1) sockets with timers for the pumps
2) some lighting?

Unless I've missed something? (likely)

Also, has anyone got any recommendations for low-energy lighting for a polytunnel?

Was wondering about getting something that was also a growlight so the plants got an extra kick along if I'm in there at night. Not planning on having them on all night, but power consumption is a critical one for me. Thinking about something hanging from the overhead crop bars maybe?

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PostPosted: Aug 24th, '09, 23:53 
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Anything you hang on the framework adds to the deadload so dont go too mad :wink:
You`d need a fair amount of light to make a difference, flo tubes wouldnt be worth the effort. High pressure sodium or metal halides would be the best option but they`ll use a fair bit of juice. Does the shed have mains power?


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PostPosted: Aug 25th, '09, 00:04 
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It will have mains power soon - Will need it to power the pumps!

Really I was just thinking some light so that I can potter around down there after dark (that's after 3pm in winter isn't it :D )

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PostPosted: Aug 25th, '09, 00:40 
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Just for pottering around in the dark, I'd probably just say get some rope light to string up or something, won't be too bright but probably enough to get by and you can always pull it out later when you find something better.

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PostPosted: Aug 25th, '09, 02:07 
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That sounds like a great idea TC - waterproof too!

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PostPosted: Aug 25th, '09, 03:10 
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I would say a couple of 11w compact flourescent energy savers would light the tunnel up nicely without any shadows :wink:


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PostPosted: Aug 31st, '09, 22:28 
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Hi Andrew

I have been off the airways for a while trying to get my hand back into use after tickling a lawn mower. Been watching your developing AP which looks really good. As for lighting we tried using 11watt bulbs and I think there is a picture somewhere on our website. Had limited effect even though they were hanging inches from the plants. We currently have 6 feet Wetherlite flourescent lights which give us plenty of light for harvesting in the winter but have no benefit for growing.
I am up in Manchester in October for a couple of days so if time allows might get together.

WD and OH


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PostPosted: Sep 1st, '09, 18:15 
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Thanks for the lighting tips WD & OH, I hope the fingertips are starting to feel better.

Be great to see you in October - we may even have the system cycling by then. Everything is ordered now except for the stands for the growbeds, and all the plumbing!

Can't quite work out what type of valves I'm going to use. Maybe over-thinking this!

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PostPosted: Sep 2nd, '09, 23:42 
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Fish tanks arrived today (and growbeds) There are so many I haven't managed to get them all together for a photo yet, but will post one when I do!

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PostPosted: Sep 3rd, '09, 20:20 
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Image

There it is, all mocked-up with real parts. just need to dig a hole for the sump, build the stands and do the plumbing. Still looking for those nice red-handled valves everyone seems to use.

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PostPosted: Sep 3rd, '09, 20:26 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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On the lighting front, 3 or 4 external fluro floodlamps would light that tunnel up awesomly - I have 6 in my garden:

Image

They take a few minutes to warm up, but they are bright as :)

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PostPosted: Sep 3rd, '09, 20:42 
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fluro floodlamps? sound high Wattage? I'll have a look!

I could be doing a lot of tours at night so may need some decent lighting after all.

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PostPosted: Sep 3rd, '09, 20:55 
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I think they are 20 watters...

Similar to these:

http://www.todae.com.au/Products/compactfluoroglobes/par3820wattexteriorlamp/
Image

But they came from K-Mart, and were $20 for the base and globe.

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PostPosted: Sep 3rd, '09, 21:26 
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That's a new one on me - for 20W that looks pretty good

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PostPosted: Oct 6th, '09, 14:45 
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We've been a bit silent on progress on the Aquaponics recently. Not because stuff isn't happening - quite the reverse! We've been so busy digging holes for the sumps and designing the growbed stands that we haven't had a chance to tell you about it.

Here's the hole for the large sump. It was only supposed to be 500mm deep but at the soil is so good and "easy" to dig I decided to take it down lower - to nearly 900mm. This should allow us to grow plants in the sumps as they'll all get a bit more light.

Image

And here's the sump in place:

Image

Having got a little over-keen on the digging for the main sump I then had to drop the other two shallow sumps to the same level. The're not as deep though, so only about 400mm of digging for these ones:

Image

And here they are, both in place:

Image

Now I just have to connect the three sumps together and we'll be ready for the growbed stands.

Looking back on it, digging these has been a labour of love. In a lot of ways I'd have been better off designing the system to have them all above ground. However my aim with this system is to get the most use as possible out of the space - so we'll be trying to grow duckweed, water chestnuts, and possibly taro or wild rice in the sumps to give us true multi-level growing.

Maybe I should have just hired a little digger for the day. Or some Navvies!

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