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PostPosted: Oct 25th, '09, 14:43 
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Had a full-on day yesterday, finishing the frame on the polytunnel and building a frame for the fishtank. Will try and get some pics later.

Today I'm turning a big pile of fence posts into legs for the growbed stands - the steel for the tops arrives next week, so hopefully we'll have the growbed stands finished next weekend, the polythene on the tunnel, and we'll be putting the gravel in!

The plumbing for the inlet water is coming next week too, so then we'll be almost finished. Exciting times!

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PostPosted: Oct 25th, '09, 16:20 
Can't wait to see the photos of it all together... :cheers:


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PostPosted: Oct 26th, '09, 02:45 
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me too! :D

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PostPosted: Oct 30th, '09, 21:21 
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Now it's starting to get serious! :D

Here's the metal for the growbed stands:
Image

It's a mix of 80x80x6mm and 50x50x6mm. Looks strong enough to pass the fat b*****d test. In fact it looks strong enough to drive a car onto. I may well have over-engineered it - I did use a 2x margin of safety :lol: Still, worst case I can use it to build a bridge over the stream behind the house.

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PostPosted: Nov 2nd, '09, 16:11 
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Some good progress over the weekend, almost all of the legs are done, and the first steel sections are in! I'm finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

No decent pics yet, but here's a little taster, from a distance, of how the stands are shaping up:
Image

Hopefully have them finished this weekend.

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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '09, 01:09 
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OK, had some good progress and now the growbed stands are almost finished down both sides of the polytunnel:

Image

The electrics are in, and I have the overhead lighting ready to go up. The next step is to put the lights up, then start drilling holes in plastic! First holes will be to link the sumps up - 110mm diameter pipe connectors, so nice big holes. Then time to drill the drain holes in the bottom of each growbed, and finally the inlet holes from the fishtank.

Hmm, so there's still a bit to do!

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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '09, 04:38 
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Hi Andrew
Everything looks like it is coming along smoothly. Are you getting the polytunnel covered before putting the electrics in there.
WD


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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '09, 05:45 
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Hi there WD,

The electrics are all "exterior grade", as I figured the polytunnel would be a fairly wet environment, so they are already going in - even before the polythene goes up.

You can see the large grey box attached to the rear doorpost - that is the sealed box that all of the electrics come into, and that the lights and pump plug in to. It's then plugged into the shed with a pretty sizeable armoured cable.

Yes, it finally feels like we're getting there - although still hell of a lot to do.

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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '09, 08:47 
You're getting close Andrew... thanks for the updates... :cheers:


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PostPosted: Nov 9th, '09, 18:44 
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Finally, after much work inside and outside the polytunnel over the last few weeks, we have put the polythene onto the tunnel. We only just got there - had a full-on Sunday getting everything ready and then doing it. We haven't finished yet - one end needs more battens, and we need to put the doors back on. We did manage to do it though, and just in time - the first frost of the season was last night, and while everything outside the polytunnel was frosty, everything inside was just a few degrees warmer, with no frost. Not bad bearing in mind we only got the cover on at dusk, so it didn't have much time to heat up yesterday.

Here's what it looked like just after we had finished - showing the fantastic lighting:
Image

Today we've started to put the completed growbed stands in. The growbeds now all have drain holes in their bases and the drains are almost all in place. We've even connected all the sumps together (nice big 110 mm pipe). Now I just need to get the tubing and fittings for the drains and inlets and we'll be ready to start the system up.

Here are some more pics of the growbeds and stands:

Steel & Timber growbed stand:
Image

With growbed in place:
Image

Showing the three linked sumps:
Image

And a frosty growbed sitting outside the polytunnel:
Image

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PostPosted: Nov 13th, '09, 01:42 
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weather here has warmed up a little, and as my work laptop has died I've been out in the polytunnel this afternoon working on the system. Now have all the side growbeds in (both sides) and I've even finshed the above-growbed plumbing on the right-hand side.

It's looking dangerously close to gravel-washing time. Does anybody do that anymore?

Will try to grab some pics tomorrow before it gets too dark. I've been enjoying working after-dark in the polytunnel while the rain is hammering down outside!

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PostPosted: Nov 14th, '09, 02:16 
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Hi Andrew Good to see the cover is on the poly and you can get to work despite the grotty weather. On that point,the weather forecast for this weekend is gale to storm force winds so I hope everything is well anchored, although you look to be a bit sheltered in your garden. Wish you well.
WD and OH.


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PostPosted: Nov 14th, '09, 03:43 
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Thanks for the warning WD - Not sure how secure it is yet, but we are very sheltered down there - 2.5 m hedges on two sides. It's great working in there - I now have a whole new shed to clutter with tools :lol:

As my work laptop is currently a smoking wreck on the bench of our local IT support guys, I've had a bit more time to work on the system. And so here we are: the first growbed is ready. All the piping to it is cut, the standpipe and standpipe surround are in, and I've filled it with gravel.

Image

I have to admit, that is a pretty good feeling - even though I now have another 11 small ones like this, and then 3 large ones to do. Pretty fantastic stuff really!

Not long and we'll be planting, and adding fish (yeah right)

Oh, and I did wash the gravel - wasn't sure it was going to be worth it, but the water coming off was filthy, so clearly a good idea!

Aiming to have the other small growbeds all ready by Monday when my laptop (hopefully) comes back.

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '09, 05:00 
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Got my new laptop on Monday, so been working rather than playing. I managed to get four more growbeds finished tonight though - all gravelled, drain & inlet pipe attached. That basically means one side is ready to go! I just have to put the pump in the sump and I can start the fishless cycling!

Had an interesting moment earlier - realised that the large sup was about 20cm higher than it was last night. leant on it and realised that it was floating. The damn hole was full of water!

Swore a fair bit, and then decided that it would be fine if I filled it with water. So far that tactic seems to be working - it has sunk back to normal. We're forecast extreme rains for the next 36 hours though, so my fingers will be very tightly crossed.

Will post some pics of my fantastic growbeds tomorrow (if it's all still there!)

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PostPosted: Nov 24th, '09, 03:58 
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Leaks! Damn Leaks!
Just getting ready for my fishless cycling and the pipes between the sumps leak.

They don't leak much, but too much to leave. Have just spent the day failing to seal them. Have to decide whether to try slathering more silicon on them tomorrow or disassemble them (which means draining and removing the sumps) :(

almost there though - I've got my ammonia and test kit!

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