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PostPosted: Mar 8th, '11, 22:46 
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LOL just need a beer fridge and a laptop with an Internet connection and that corner of the yard could be self sustaining!

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PostPosted: Mar 8th, '11, 23:57 
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They are aquaponics groupies. Pretty standard around here. Of course, one of them is pointing out things on her to do list....


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PostPosted: Mar 9th, '11, 07:15 
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looks very promising.I have been going a bit nuts trying to find anything I can use as grow beds with a reasonable price tag and the size I want. Only thing I found so far and I am still contemplating on is some "kids sand boxes" on craigslist LOL. I think I would be the first with crab shaped grow beds :bootyshake:
But I don't want it to look ghetto, so the smaller rubbermaids you found are perfect imo. How much were they if you don't mind sharing?And what is the actual size of them?gallons?
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PostPosted: Mar 9th, '11, 12:32 
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the small rubbermaids are not particularly economical - Nominally 50 gallons, but I calculated that they are actually about 60+ gallons. They are 31 x 53 x 12. They are around $60 ea. I used a 15% off coupon though, so around $55 with tax. I toyed with some other shapes and sizes, but the rubbermaids were a better fit for me physically with the space I have and how I wanted to do my layout.

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PostPosted: Mar 9th, '11, 12:47 
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thanks for the reply. I was looking them up online and it looks like they went up in price some.That happens quite a bit when I need something :upset:
I'd love to find a plastic or fiberglass style bin or something that is maybe 4'x3'x2' but what I have found is it's gonna cost me about $200 ea. for something like that so~back to the rubbermaid idea like you have. At least they aren't ugly and can be made into something that looks professional.< maybe not the right word but I think it may sound better than ghetto :dontknow:
Or~ I buy a small liner and just frame out a GB 12X3X2. eh who knows? gotta go shop around more I guess.I have a local AGWAY in the next town over from me so I'm gonna check it out tomorrow and if that fails head over to Lowes or Home Depot and see what kinda bins they may have to offer.But if I had to guess,now that I've seen the rubbermaids you have that is what I'm gonna wind up getting.It's a nice clean look.
Where did you find the women in the sketch? I'll need a few of them to help me out as well. :D


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PostPosted: Mar 9th, '11, 13:13 
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Looking good! Your post about the "green stuff" got me thinking about last year when all that pollen settled. That was just prior...literally days...before my algea bloom (pea soup). Coincidence...maybe...temps are right and we are getting more sun. Probably time (for me) to make sure everything is covered. I guess I'm trying to say cover it.

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PostPosted: Mar 14th, '11, 11:48 
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Been a few days since I've posted pics and progress. I haven't been idle. I've just been too busy in the yard. You know how that goes. There's so much to do in the spring time. I've been levelling the ground for the growbeds today. I set up my return pipe (4" sewer PVC) which may one day be an NFT run. The height of the slope for that return pipe sets the height for growbeds. I've laid this all up in sketchup with piping modeled in with a slope, but the reality of the grade elevation and the rest of real life (tolerance stack-up) etc can make things work a little bit differently than planned. So far I think things are on track more or less. I've got the pump running from the Sump back to the FT and then back to the sump. I have rough cut most of the supply side piping and test fit most of it. I also broke a bulkhead on the FT this weekend (over-tightened it - leaking) and had to make a swap and then a trip to the Aquarium supply store. Enough jibber-jabber... on with the pictures. More pictures tomorrow too. These are a couple days old already.


Attachments:
File comment: Close-up of the supports - pounded them in with a 2 lb sledge on a 2x6
IMAG0034 (Medium).jpg
IMAG0034 (Medium).jpg [ 74.09 KiB | Viewed 1978 times ]
File comment: 4" return line - thin wall Sewer and Drain piping with slight slope
IMAG0035 (Medium).jpg
IMAG0035 (Medium).jpg [ 103.23 KiB | Viewed 1978 times ]
File comment: Hand crafted fishmouth pipe support - 4" dia
IMAG0033 (Medium).jpg
IMAG0033 (Medium).jpg [ 69.62 KiB | Viewed 1977 times ]

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PostPosted: Mar 14th, '11, 14:05 
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lookin good man.


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PostPosted: Mar 14th, '11, 14:37 
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Yeah, nice looking work Merlin :thumbleft:

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PostPosted: Mar 14th, '11, 22:26 
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When I dropped the kids off at school this morning the smell of wild onions was overwhelming. Spring is already here in my little part of the world. Everybody's cutting grass, fertilizing, pruning, etc. I feel like I'm about 3 weeks behind schedule with getting the vegetables in. You never can tell if we're going to have a mid March freeze. This year we didn't. Spring has sprung. I'm going to put off most of the rest of my yard work -- at least the laborious stuff -- so I can work on finishing my AP setup. My side yard this morning is the first picture (we're on a corner lot). I mowed yesterday. The redbud blooms are almost spent, the leaves are unfurling, and most everything else started blooming all over the yard last week. The drake elms in the picture have little green leaf buds all over and are about to pop any day. I need about 12 cu yards of mulch for the front and side yards and another 4 yds for the backyard. I'm going to wait until after the AP setup is done before bothering with any of that. I've got wild strawberry weeds in the backyard that are popping up despite my regular use of pre-emergent herbicide (Barricade). I prefer to choke it out with the grass rather than using post-emergent weed control like Round-up or some other. I have too many trees nearby to put down much selective broad-leaf herbicides (Weed-N-Feed etc).


Attachments:
IMAG0038 (Medium).jpg
IMAG0038 (Medium).jpg [ 90.76 KiB | Viewed 1949 times ]

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PostPosted: Mar 14th, '11, 22:39 
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So here's some snapshots of the progress. I levelled foundations for two of the grow beds this weekend. I also found some 2x12s and 2x14s in the attic space of the garage that were possibly left over from the house construction (~45 years old). I used those to cut some wood to cover the sump so I can stand in and around that area while I work on fitting up the piping and also adjust valves, mess with the pump, etc. I have also cut all of the supply side piping, but it is laying around in pieces. It was just in the way while I was working on the bell siphons and levelling of the grow beds.


Attachments:
File comment: Temporary piping in place running the water from the sump to the FT and back.
IMAG0043 (Medium).jpg
IMAG0043 (Medium).jpg [ 103.06 KiB | Viewed 1941 times ]
File comment: Here's a closer look at the drain piping and I have two affnan bell siphon return lines feeding back to the drain.
IMAG0040 (Medium).jpg
IMAG0040 (Medium).jpg [ 96.22 KiB | Viewed 1942 times ]
File comment: You can see the cover is in place here and a view of the beds and drain piping.
IMAG0039 (Medium).jpg
IMAG0039 (Medium).jpg [ 107.83 KiB | Viewed 1941 times ]

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PostPosted: Mar 14th, '11, 22:53 
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You will probably want to button up the sump a little better or check it daily. I would think you will end up with some drowned frogs and maybe a mouse or squirrel in there at some point.

Looking really good!

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PostPosted: Mar 14th, '11, 23:05 
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Now for a little Siphon talk. I built a few Bell Siphons this weekend and tested those out once I had the return pipe in place. The Affnan fitting (essentially a reducer) barely fits inside the 2" bell piping. I was a little concerned that would reduce the effective flow rate and drain time. So I did some testing with the stock reducer and another one that I sanded down. I ground off about 1/8" all the way around the exterior of the reducer. Today or tomorrow I'll try again with a 3" bell also. With the stock reducer and 2" bell, the bed (~60 gallons and no gravel yet) drained in about 7 and a half minutes. With the slightly slimmer reducer and 2" bell, the bed drained in 6 minutes and 45 seconds. These times are not with continuous flow. I just ran the pump directly into the one grow bed until the siphon started. I figured the full flow would definitely overwhelm the one siphon and we would overflow the bed.

My pump actually overwhelms the FT. I have a 1/2" NPT outlet on the pump and 1" bulkhead fittings. My supply line (about 4" down from the top of the FT) is maxed out and the overflow line (about 2" down from the top fo the FT) trickles at about 1/4 volume. I have a 1/2 x 3/4 couple at the pump with about 3 feet of 3/4" piping in the riser, and then a transition to 1" piping for the bend into the FT (this is temporary and will be replaced wtih spa-flex tubing eventually).


Attachments:
IMAG0042 (Medium).jpg
IMAG0042 (Medium).jpg [ 93.23 KiB | Viewed 1929 times ]
File comment: Affnana Siphon parts
IMAG0041 (Medium).jpg
IMAG0041 (Medium).jpg [ 91.75 KiB | Viewed 1927 times ]

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PostPosted: Mar 14th, '11, 23:13 
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@Deja Voodoo
My long term plan with the sump cover is to cut a piece of blue styrofoam to fit inside the wall with holes for the piping. I'll attach that styrofoam to one of the wood planks above. Not sure how that will affect oxygenation.

I don't have an air pump or air stones yet, but I have been thinking that I need to add them to the FT? I do have a lot of surface area, but my current pump output does not roil the water at all. I was thinking of deforming the end of the pipe for more of a nozzle effect. I wasn't sure if that would get clogged up over time though.

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PostPosted: Mar 14th, '11, 23:17 
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Friday I called the local water authority. We have chloramines in the water. Boo! I think I will add activated charcoal in the sump right in front of the pump filter.

Last night, my wife and I started some seedlings indoors. Anybody have any bad or good experiences to share about putting peet pellet plugs into the growbeds? I'm assuming that the mess will be minimal since the peet is contained in some kind of netting.

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