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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '10, 22:17 
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Based on that advice here's the new (tentative) setup:
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Partially buried 55 gal barrel, which will have SOL to the beige container which will catch most of the solids. Does the SOL need any support or can it just hang there, thu the hole?

I'd like to have the beige GB go (via a syphon loop?) to the middle row and then cascade, thru some GBs ending up in a ST. The hoop house slopes that way already. I may try a NFT from ST.

Any thoughts on a loop syphon vs a bell syphon.

Hubby, plumber by trade, isn't convinced about the cascade setup and thinks parallel is safer. I might be able to sell him on a series setup if it saves power (us being off grid). I'm still reading thru the "holy grail" thread.

All those buckets are the pine bark system mentioned elsewhere. I'd like to give the middle row a break because I've grown tomatoes 2 years in a row there.

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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '10, 23:05 
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cjinVT wrote:
Based on that advice here's the new (tentative) setup:
Partially buried 55 gal barrel, which will have SOL to the beige container which will catch most of the solids. Does the SOL need any support or can it just hang there, thu the hole?

I assume you are talking about the Solids Lifting Overflow (SLO). I generally have it resting on the bottom center of the barrel with the end cut on an angle (if the fish are large enough not to go through) or with notches or slots cut into the end to allow water and solids, but strain out the fish. It is always surprising to me that some fish get through smaller holes than I thought possible....


cjinVT wrote:
Any thoughts on a loop syphon vs a bell syphon.

I think a loop is easier to adjust, but the bell is better if draining straight down (into fishtank or sump under growbed).

cjinVT wrote:
Hubby, plumber by trade, isn't convinced about the cascade setup and thinks parallel is safer. I might be able to sell him on a series setup if it saves power (us being off grid). I'm still reading thru the "holy grail" thread.

Cascades are complex. You either need enough drop (bed height plus six inches or 15cm?) at each point to run an autosiphon variation (bell, loop, or plain autosiphon) or you need intermittent slugs of water entering the system with enough time between slugs to allow draining (and still need a drop of bed height from one bed to another).

Frankly, I would have a large enough sump to fill all growbeds. You will need to pump the same amount of water no mater how you configure it, so just get the most efficient possible pump and minimize the height you need to pump and the friction you need to pump through.

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PostPosted: Apr 27th, '10, 23:04 
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Now that my system has cycled, I'm taking it apart! Why do I think this is not unusual?

It was a qualified success. Qualified because my light levels started dropping too much to support anything besides watercress.

I'm transferring at least half the gravel to my new 55 gallon setup in the hoop house. I may keep the other half going to start seeds for the dirt garden. I'll fired it up again in the fall when the light makes it past the roof overhand & into the windows. I'll probably retire the coolers and make "real" growbeds. Shorter growbeds will make supplemental lighting easier.

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PostPosted: Apr 28th, '10, 04:58 
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Hmm. This transition may be trickier than I thought. Removing half the gravel means half my filtration is gone! Guess I'll have to add new gravel while the other system cycles.

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PostPosted: Jun 4th, '10, 03:26 
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A little action on the inside system. I've gotten rid of the coolers and now have a real GB:
Attachment:
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Mainly used for seedlings ATM. Come fall, I'll probably add another GB & maybe use that spare FT (to put all of the outside fish in when it gets cold). The problem is I've seen the light as far as CHIFT PIST goes and I don't relish the thought of drilling a hole in the glass. And what to do about a sump? Luckily I've got several months to think about it.

But...
I was shocked at the numbers the morning:
Ammonia 1 :think:
Ates 100 :thumbright:
Ites .5 :think:

I've done a 10% change out (putting the water in the outside system) & will add salt & do another 10% changeout in a few days. This system has been really stable up until 3 days ago. The only change I can think of is either a delayed reaction to moving all that gravel around, or... I added an egg white to clear the water up (didn't work). The water is kind of murky from using coco peat but not nearly as murky as the outside system (no egg white attempted there).

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PostPosted: Jun 4th, '10, 10:41 
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I would think the egg white, being protein and water, would decay and create a lot of ammonia. Keep fingers crossed and keep testing...

If you do want to drill a hole in an aquarium I was able to buy a 2" drill for about $12 (plus same for shipping) and found it quite easy. Happy to pass on tips if you decide to do it....

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '10, 08:21 
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isn't there any way to use the SLO with the CHIFT PIST config without drilling a hole in your aquarium? I mainly ask as the aquarium I'll be using really isn't MINE at all, so isn't there a way to go about this without using the water bridge/auto siphon/ j bend pipe thingy, as after much reading I have decided thats too much maintenance and risk to try...

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '10, 10:18 
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abdul wrote:
isn't there any way to use the SLO with the CHIFT PIST config without drilling a hole in your aquarium?


I don't think so. Although I have a vague recollection of "no hole overflow" (might want to do a search).

This 20 gallon indoor system is working great though. No sump, pump in FT, a few gold fish and I'm getting nice green growth. Very inexpensive pump ($20) set up on a timer pumping 7 min/hour.

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '10, 10:21 
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Abdul, if you order a pump online order 2 or even 3. Like I said for the size your doing a $20-25 pump will be fine and you'll have a backup or one for expansion.

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PostPosted: Jun 24th, '10, 10:41 
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I've got an interesting problem with this indoor system. The plants look great & the fish seem fine. The water is a little on the dark side, not sure why. Maybe tannins from the coco peat.
I'm getting high (1 ppm) ammonia readings but 0 nitrites. Nitrates 160+ (I told ya the plants look great).

Any thoughts?

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PostPosted: Jun 24th, '10, 10:49 
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Recently deceased fish/yabby or left over food which has caused a spike in Ammonia? Maybe you have just caught the beginnings of a HSM?

Would be worth checking your pipes?

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PostPosted: Jun 24th, '10, 10:56 
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I suppose there could be a dead fish stuck under the air curtain (that happened early on). Like I said, the water is kind of murky.

Nothing in the pipes though (it's clear tubing).

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PostPosted: Jun 25th, '10, 11:26 
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When such things happen to me I tend to remove about half the water and use it to water plants in ground or, especially, in pots: plants in pots love AP water! I'd also strongly recommend cutting feed by half or more for a day or two until ammonia drops to safe zone. These moves are probably excessive, but I prefer to nip HSMs in the bud.

AP water often seems to gain a dark tint, but should be clear, not cloudy. Tint=OK, cloudy=possible problem.

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PostPosted: Jun 25th, '10, 21:48 
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Thanks Hydro.

The ammonia dropped to .25 the next day. I did change out 30% of the water to make it easier to catch a few goldies to put in the outside system.

I can only guess some gravel released some nasties as I was moving plants around. The water issue was apparently that the glass was dirty! The water is tinted dark but that didn't account for how tough it was to see what was going on.

I wont be surprised if it is spiked up again today, I probably stirred up some gunk cleaning the reachable glass. I need one of those extender things to get to the rest.

How often does a glass aquarium need the sides cleaned?

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PostPosted: Jun 25th, '10, 22:43 
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My test results were all normal for today. I think I know why the tank got so dirty. I put 5ml of MaxiCrop in there maybe a week ago.

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