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 Post subject: My 1st (proposed) System
PostPosted: Nov 19th, '10, 08:18 
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Hi All,

1st time poster, long time lurker...so please be nice :) My mother sent me an aquaponics mag after I lamented my general inability to grow nice veggies. Of course the bug has struck and I've been researching like mad, pulling bits of info from here, there and everywhere. Now I have come up with a proposal/design which I *think* might work and if possible, would like some comment from people with more knowledge and experience than me. Apologies for the long post below, but I want to explain as much as I can and get it right!

Proposal:

The AP system will be a flood and drain, with the water gravity fed draining back to the FT. The site is 2 x 2300x1800 old garden beds. One garden bed is about 350mm higher than the other. The AP GB's will be 200L ex food grade pickle barrels/ The barrels will be cut in half and situated on stands about 600h and filled with crushed red brick on the elevated GB.

* A 25mm inlet pipe will be installed on one end of the GB with some foam as a solid filter. A 25mm outlet pipe will be installed at the other end as a drain into the 780L Megabin FT on the lower bed. A Laguna Maxflo 3500L/Ph pump will be installed in the FT on a timer, pumping for 15mins (or less if the beds fill too quickly). The MaxFlo can take a 25 or 32mm pipe and will pump 2200L p/h @ .9M to head.

* I was thinking of populating the FT with 5-10 Trout (I'd like to eat the fish) :). I am in Hawthorndene in the Adelaide Hills, about 5-15 degrees celsius in winter (night/day) and 15-40 degrees celsius in summer (night/day). I have no plans for a Green House, but some shade cloth may be installed to keep the sun off the FT. I was hoping to be able to grow trout all year round, but maybe Barramundi during the summer months, and Trout during the winter months. I have a wooden hot tub which we use to cool off in summer (we don't heat it), and during summer it gets to 28deg celsius about 30cm under water - but I try to warm it up by exposing it to sun. Potentially, the Megabin construction (being hollow plastic and white/grey) will help to keep the temps down. I could install some shade cloth over it and perhaps insulate the FT from direct sunlight. The FT will need to be covered as I have a 3 year old.

I've attached a google skecthup pic of the setup (not to scale), it doesn't include piping, pump or sump…I was hoping to avoid having a sump. The vacant space left of the fish tank could be used for 3 more GB and/or sump.

Is this viable?

Possible problems / things I am unclear on:

25mm piping is to be used throughout. Am I better off with a 32mm backbone, with 25mm outlets into the GB, or 25mm backbone with smaller (20mm/15mm) outlets into the GB's? Do I need smaller outlets for the drain into FT? I assume the media will slow the flow of water through the GB's, so the same inlet and outlet size will *probably* allow it to flood, rather than just drain straight out.

Will the gravity fed drain be enough to aerate the FT, fall is approx 400mm (not yet final, as I can dig the FT into the ground a bit), pump shop man says yes, I am not so sure.

Do I need a sump tank/reservoir with float activated pump to ensure the FT stays at 750L? Of 750L tank, 240L will be pumped into the GB's over a 10-15 min period (using the 60/40 ratio of Media/Water). The FT could reduce to 500L. Is this enough for 5-10 fish initially?

Is 5-10 fish enough to run the 600L of GB's? Do I need more GB's or fish?

Any other gotchas or things I have forgotten/need?

Links for th major equipment I listed at the bottom.

Thanks,

Dustin

The AP Virgin.

------------------------------------------------------------
Proposed system:

FT: 780L Solid Mega Bin
(http://www.sacrate.com.au/page/mega_bin ... tions.html)

GB: 3 x 200L Pickle Barrels, cut in half length ways (6 x 100L)
(http://www.paramountbrowns.com.au/pickle-drums-200l/)

Pump: Laguna Maxflo 3500 (@ .91 M / 2260L/ph)
(http://www.petland.com.au/prod587.htm)

Pipes: 25mm PVC

Growing Media: Crushed red brick (comes in different grades)
http://www.oldredbrickco.com.au/crushed_brick.htm


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aquaponics.jpg [ 58.82 KiB | Viewed 4660 times ]

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '10, 09:53 
Hi Dustin'...

If you're gravity draining the barrels back to the fish tank... then you should have enough aeration.... but I'd still advise getting a small 2 outlet battery backup aerator in case the power goes out...

And you wont need a sump.... as, and I'm assuming you're draining by overflow standpipe or siphon.... the barrels will begin returning water back to the fish tank while the pump is on....

I would suggest that you don't need a "solids filter".... just pump everything into the grow bed... stock them with compost worms... and away you go...

With your pump... and head.... you might be better off running 32mm from the pump to the grow beds... then reducing down to 25mm...

Not sure from your diagram how you're draining back to the fish tank... but I'd suggest maybe using 50mm pipe... as a common drain for either each bank of three barrels... or 90mm for all six...


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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '10, 10:25 
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Hi RupertofOZ,

Thanks for your reply!

I was working on the assumption that the drain piping would be the same size and design as the feeder/inlet piping - 25mm out of the beds, going into a common drain (same size as the common feed pipe) back into the FT. What goes in must come out was the assumption. Though I could I suppose use separate common drain pipes (one for each 3GBs, ie 2 pipes) to the FT.

Cheers,

Dustin

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '10, 10:36 
You'd need a common pipe of at least double the inlet size.... or 90mm if you wanted to do all six at once...

I drain 4 half barrels, via loop siphons... through 50mm... and it only just copes if more than one drains at any one time....


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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '10, 11:02 
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Ok, great. It looks like separate loop siphon drains @ 75mm each.

Aside from your earlier comments, the rest seems feasible re fish to grow bed ratios etc?

Thanks again!

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '10, 11:14 
10 fish would be fine.... you could go to 20 fish...


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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '10, 11:27 
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Sorry mate but it looks like one of your fish has died

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '10, 11:30 
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How much are they charging for the mega bins? I've heard they're not cheap.

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '10, 11:31 
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aah crap, I suppose I should stop pissing in the fish tank then ;)

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '10, 11:31 
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King Erik the 14th wrote:
How much are they charging for the mega bins? I've heard they're not cheap.


$270 inc GST - but i'll get it ex gst.

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '10, 13:55 
That's cheap... normally they're a $100 dearer than that...


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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '10, 17:49 
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I was pleasantly surprised. Another quote I got (from QLD) was $320 & $80 delivery. To put in context though, a Colourbond one was between $395-$480, admittedly that was for 1000L.

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PostPosted: Nov 21st, '10, 10:50 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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I would also cut the barrels through the other way, but I am biased :D

Loop siphons at 25mm, draining into 90mm Stormwater would be the go, everything else looks good. Nice pump choice too.

Whats the crushed brick worth, I may need some in a few years time in SA if everything goes to plan :)

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PostPosted: Nov 21st, '10, 16:42 
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Hey Outbackozzie,

Crushed red brick is $80 per ton delivered. I need some for another job, so will jut order more :).

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PostPosted: Nov 21st, '10, 18:27 
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Outbackozzie wrote:
Whats the crushed brick worth, I may need some in a few years time in SA if everything goes to plan :)


You looking to retire to Adelaide soon?

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