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PostPosted: Jan 14th, '15, 07:49 
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Bordering on Legend
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Location: Dolores, CO
I have been talking to folks that run the small School Garden, earlier last year, if they were interested in a Aquaponic System.
A few month later I heard from them again, but than came summer brake and the big construction at the school started and well..........................
Before Thanksgiving the teacher that runs the garden called again, if she could come and have a look at my simple set up. So she came with her helper and looked it over.
So Christmas brake is over and the construction is finished and the principal had some time to think it over and find some space indoors. It needs to be indoor because of our harsh winters and so we can provide the cafeteria all year around with some green stuff.
The space is not perfect but better than nothing, no natural light, 22 feet long on the walled side, around 12 feet long on the open side and max 8-9 feet deep.
I will sponsor that set up, the school will take in that erea the carped out and put some water and dirt proof material down. I have to twist my electrician buddy's arm, kick him or what ever that he throws his time in the pot for all the electrical hook ups needed, cant do that myself, its a public building.

I talked to the school wood shop, they will help building, I put them to work day after tomorrow.

Along the walled side there is enough room for an ICB as fish tank and 6 blue barrel halfs on the open side 4 half barrels. 30 inches between the rows as walking room. That makes the whole system around 9 feet deep.
Over the barrels on the walled side could be 2 20feet long 6 inch pipes with 3 inch holes and baskets every 6 inch, around 50 plants.
If one stands in front of the system the FT would be on the left, there is a 64 inch long wall, which ends into a class room entrance. That's why row 2 has to be so much shorter, for traffic flow. Its a science class room for the middle school.

I like to use a continues flow system, because it is simpler, less maintenance. It needs a sump, because the Icb is so much taller than the grow beds, the grow beds will be 3 feet high.

It has to be naturaly educational and kid prove and look good.

I am very much open to ideas. Need ideas

Fish will be Tilapia. I have started to built a small system up on the Ranch, for the School - Fingerlings, which I can later use up here to grow fish for further system or to replace the ones that have met the grill.

I think about 25 to 50 fish for the school.


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PostPosted: Jan 14th, '15, 09:41 
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Question why are you choosing to use the barrel halves? I went against advise I was given from this site, to do wooden boxes with pond liner. I choose to do the barrel halves (since I already had barrels). After it was all said and done. For the price of all the extra plumbing, ball valves, tees, elbows, sticks of pvc. Even with the free barrels I did not break even. It would have been cheaper to do the wooden bed. Plus the single beds are much easier to "tune in". And yes I am also running CF, but it is still wise to equalize the flow to each segment.

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PostPosted: Jan 14th, '15, 11:16 
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Bordering on Legend
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I have two systems that run on wood boxes and liner. I found in my region that they are more expensive to built.
And they are more difficult to built. Its kids that will built it, 12 to 14.
My objective keep it as simple as possible, so 12 to 14 years old can built it, maintain it and actually enjoy it.

Iam 60 years young, but I want, the kids to be engaged and able to do it and enjoy it and by the way learn the frustration of failure and the pride of overcoming failure.


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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '15, 03:57 
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Ok, just trying to save some of your funds. Seeing it is cheaper the other way around here in FL. Something obviously costs more in your region than in mine. As for the being able to build it. Seeing there age the longer lengths of wood would become heavy. I did not think of this since they would be built in woodshop. With the teacher, and boxes are generally easy. I hope all works out for your project. And BRAVO for giving back. It is done so sparingly nowadays.

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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '15, 04:52 
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You can have a look at my school system if you like in my signature

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PostPosted: Jan 17th, '15, 07:23 
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Bordering on Legend
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Yesterday I dumped a load of lumber at the school's woodshop and one wooden craddel for the blue 1/2.
Next week the kids will start building.
Today I had a talk with the teacher and she will round up some kids, 6 or 7 graders, who will make that their science project.
I will direct them to this webside, with their questions.
There are a lot of possibilities in it, comparison dirt to aqua in water consumption, some chemistry, grow bed media, which plants and so on and so on.

When they start building I will get pics.


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PostPosted: Jan 17th, '15, 09:23 
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cool

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PostPosted: Jun 4th, '15, 00:40 
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Bordering on Legend
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Its been a long time, but finally we got a nice space for the system. Since it is in the school building we had to jump through a lot of hoops and loops.
I got 7 barrels from the local water works for free and I can get more if needed.
School is out, summer break and I can work on the system on my off days, which are mostly in the middle of the week.
As one can see on the pictures, we have this huge window, east side, which will give the plants some nice light. Along the window we will have 5 barrel halfs, than a 3,5 feed wide space and a nother line of 4 barrel halfs. The space between the rows is one of the school demands, handicap access, a wheel chair has to fit between the rows. Same with the entrance, that's why the rear has only 4 grow beds.
The rear, needs to be very strong, because there is a lot of traffic, tons of kids moving by. Girls and boys restrooms and janitorial room.
The restrooms solved already one problem very nicely, they have floor drains, which was one demand by the health department.
On the north and south side are two storage rooms. We keep the south side, its very handy. The north side I rebuilt, took part of the wall out, plus the door. That's were the fish tank will go. It has a light and plenty of power outlets. No special rewiring needed.

The kids in the wood shop built the stands for the grow beds, some turned out very nice and just a few are sloppy and I have to rebuilt them.

The barrels, grow beds, will be end to end, basicly touching each other. I plan to connect them on the bottom and the top with 1 1/2 inch pipe, so that they become one large grow bed.
The end barrel will than drain into a sump, each row gets its own sump, one barrel, from which the water gets pumpt into the FT. FT gets 2 overflows, 1 for each row of grow beds.

That's the basic idea.
What am I missing ?


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PostPosted: Jun 12th, '15, 04:38 
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The last 2 day I have started on the system.

First I started with the side were the traffic is.
I tied the stands for the barrels to gether with 2x4s. Covered the front with 1x6 Aspen TnG.
The one end got bolted to the wall, the other end ankered to the floor.
The 4 barrels are tied together at the bottom with 3 inch pipe through uni seals.
As grease for pushing the pipe through the seals I used Dawn dish soap, works really good and is easily removed.
I have not jet installed the overflows, which are just a safety measure.


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PostPosted: Jun 12th, '15, 10:26 
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WOW looks good, can't wait to see more of the system.

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PostPosted: Jun 12th, '15, 13:07 
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very nice! Will there be artificial lighting at all to supplement the natural light of the window? :thumbright:

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PostPosted: Jul 8th, '15, 07:02 
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Bordering on Legend
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Location: Dolores, CO
I was busy the last 2 weeks with hay, get it out of field and in the barn.
Rather sweaty job at 90 plus F.
Since today is my Sunday and after pushing the papers in the office from left to right, I went to the school and die some plumbing.
Thsdragoon, I think we will some lights over the 4 halfs, that are away from the windows. Probably 4 2 feet 4 stiks lights.

I modied the stands at the window so that I could 3 barrels underneath them, as sumps. They are connected with 3 inch pipe similar to the row of grow beds. The window beds will directly drain into the sump and I have to plumb the hall side so they drain into the sump.
Its all 1.5 inches pipe.
We got some nice pieces of Iron work fence from the old High School in Cortez, we are building a new one, which should be ready for the August 18th school start. A short 4 feet piece, that I will change so it becomes the door and a 12 feet piece that I will install as a fence on the hall side, to keep the little monkeys out.
Next week I will gravel the beds and than have a temporary hook up so we can start the cycling. I will bring some of my system water, to rush the process.


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PostPosted: Jul 15th, '15, 07:43 
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Bordering on Legend
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Here a few pics how I built the towers.
They will be painted terra cota, so they match the walls, I might draw some lines with a permanent marker so that they look like a dry stack

Today was gravel day, it took close to 1600 pound, which I got for $53. We need more, but that was all the landscape place had. We need around 200 pounds more.
For the rest of the week I can not do anything, they will do the floors this week, wax them and buff them.
But I have all the measurements to built most of the plumbing at home.
Plan is to finish the plumbing on Tuesday and than start cycling.
While the system cycles I can do the finish work.


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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '15, 06:18 
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Today we started the system. We had one very small leak at one of the uni seals but it started to seal itself and when I left was down to one drop every 30 second, so I put a cup under it.
I did a few changes before we started. Blocked up the tank, raised it wit 3 6x8. Had to adjust the plumbing accordingly.
Was just a minor delay.

Tonight I will prepare a tee from happy horse manure and than added that as a ammonia source to the water. I will bring 2 buckets of my fish water to jump start the cycling.


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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '15, 06:30 
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Hmmm fresh fish and veggies at the school canteen, yummmm. Kiddies will be very healthy in this school.

Congrats on the setup Gnoib, looking real nice.

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