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 Post subject: Re: Off grid aquaponics
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '18, 23:34 
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rininger85 wrote:
BroHay wrote:
Ya both are slackers, I'll take four! It is time my boys start paying their way.

EB, perfect solution for those extended stays in the Bush when talking to your IT friends overseas with all the inbound traffic soon to be coming......

Adam



You are putting your boys to work, and we're the slackers???? Hows that work?

I thought that EB must have been on vacation again the other day because I couldn't connect for half a day... things are going to get worse if EB has 11 1/2 months off and only works 13 days a year for 4 hours a day... (or is that already the work schedule... hmm?) =)
I'd like to think of it as efficient use of time and resources and maximizing income potential. I will run two systems as you propose....

Adam


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 Post subject: Re: Off grid aquaponics
PostPosted: Jan 25th, '18, 14:54 
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I haven't worked in over three years... lol http://havehomewilltravel.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Off grid aquaponics
PostPosted: Jan 26th, '18, 06:13 
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Great photography and a great lifestyle EB :thumbright:

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 Post subject: Re: Off grid aquaponics
PostPosted: Jan 27th, '18, 03:09 
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earthbound wrote:
I haven't worked in over three years... lol http://havehomewilltravel.com/

+1, amazing photos. It looks like you found your secret to enjoying life.

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"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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 Post subject: Re: Off grid aquaponics
PostPosted: Jan 30th, '18, 03:16 
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DFG wrote:
I've some experience and am just starting a new system at home using the natural slope of our ground.
However in the South Sudan in Africa there is a real food shortage and civil war issues currently. I was wondering if there was a way of doing a very low tech system so it is less likely to be a target for damage. Simpler the better. Pumps, batteries and larger scale PV could be targeted.
Could beds be more wicking, but not sure on circulating water through filtration bed or aeration in such a system.


I put together a system with 2-100 gallon tanks and a 4'x35' grow trough that was 100% solar. It was in a hoop house that I dismantled when I moved last Spring.

My goal was to build a system that would run on the least amount of power possible. I ended up with 3x100W solar panels and a 110 AH slow discharge (boat) battery. In order to run on very low power (it was pulling about 8.5 amps) I used 2-60 gph pumps running in parallel. It did make for some redundancy, which was great when a pump failed. After building the system, the 3 panels were overkill and I could have operated with 2 through the summer. However, you have to calculate to generate about twice the power you need in order to charge the battery for off hours operation. In the winter, three panels did not generate sufficient power and I had to supplement.

I did create a design for a no power system in Africa, but we never implemented it. The concept was to manually, or with a generator, pump water into a large, elevated, holding tank every 12 hours and allow it to drain into the grow bed and then into a fish tank. The concern was that the system required constant attention and missing a pump cycle could result in loss of the plants.

With regard to wicking beds, traditional dirt farming using water conservancy techniques is not a bad approach, but will not achieve the efficiency of AP.


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 Post subject: Re: Off grid aquaponics
PostPosted: Jan 31st, '18, 04:21 
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Bump for last post


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 Post subject: Re: Off grid aquaponics
PostPosted: Jan 31st, '18, 19:39 
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tcahall wrote:
DFG wrote:
I've some experience and am just starting a new system at home using the natural slope of our ground.
However in the South Sudan in Africa there is a real food shortage and civil war issues currently. I was wondering if there was a way of doing a very low tech system so it is less likely to be a target for damage. Simpler the better. Pumps, batteries and larger scale PV could be targeted.
Could beds be more wicking, but not sure on circulating water through filtration bed or aeration in such a system.


I put together a system with 2-100 gallon tanks and a 4'x35' grow trough that was 100% solar. It was in a hoop house that I dismantled when I moved last Spring.

My goal was to build a system that would run on the least amount of power possible. I ended up with 3x100W solar panels and a 110 AH slow discharge (boat) battery. In order to run on very low power (it was pulling about 8.5 amps) I used 2-60 gph pumps running in parallel. It did make for some redundancy, which was great when a pump failed. After building the system, the 3 panels were overkill and I could have operated with 2 through the summer. However, you have to calculate to generate about twice the power you need in order to charge the battery for off hours operation. In the winter, three panels did not generate sufficient power and I had to supplement.

I did create a design for a no power system in Africa, but we never implemented it. The concept was to manually, or with a generator, pump water into a large, elevated, holding tank every 12 hours and allow it to drain into the grow bed and then into a fish tank. The concern was that the system required constant attention and missing a pump cycle could result in loss of the plants.

With regard to wicking beds, traditional dirt farming using water conservancy techniques is not a bad approach, but will not achieve the efficiency of AP.



any pictures of your old setup? It sounds intriguing.

To overcome the issue for the African system and it possibly running dry if they didn't pump it every 12 hours I would just adjust your overflow so there is a stand pipe high enough to hold some water in the system. Then if they neglected it a little it wouldn't be disaster for the plants because they would still have some water in the system... might just be an issue for younger plants until their roots get established.

Or go with raft beds which would always have water in them and you just pump it every 12 hours to refresh with a new batch of fish water for the next 12 hours. Then it would be good for young plants too.

Constant flood seems the most fool proof way of protecting against power outages / only pumping once or twice a day.

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 Post subject: Re: Off grid aquaponics
PostPosted: Jan 31st, '18, 19:51 
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I will look for some pictures. I shied away from a raft system for Africa as the filter adds to the complexity. Flood and drain provides the bio-filter and aeration together.

For solar panels, South Sudan is close enough the equator that laying the panels flat on the roof is probably pretty close to the right angle and would hide them from casual view. The battery can hide anywhere and the fish tank would be directly under the grow bed for easy plumbing and water return. Assuming you are not trying to feed a large number of people, you can put together a pretty compact system that only requires fish food as an input.

We were looking at the fish more as a source of food for the plants than for people. Running lower fish density grows less fish, but simplifies pH control, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Off grid aquaponics
PostPosted: Feb 1st, '18, 03:28 
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I like the combination of raft bed with media beds. My system is fairly small but so far I've managed to get away with not having a filter on my system. My raft bed does start to fill up with waste, but I went two seasons (end of winter/spring/ summer..) then before I started my fall plants again this past fall I decided to take the rafts out and clean... there was a lot of backed up waste but not to the point that I had any major issues. I siphoned it out and went and poured it on my raspberry bushes. You could set up a combination media / raft bed smarter so it runs through the media before going to the raft would be better. My system one of the downfalls is that I am using the same supply line from the fish tank to supply 4 beds (5 if you count the wicking bed but it doesn't recirculate from that bed) and two of those beds come off the same line which is my gravel bed and my raft bed. The raft bed outlet goes straight down from the pipe and I have a shutoff to turn it down to allow water to get to the gravel bed. I should probably rework this and split the raft bed off on a different line, or make it go up before going down or something to allow more of the waste to get past the raft bed into the gravel bed would make it so it lasted longer before needing cleaned).

Flowing through a media bed then to a raft bed would make all of the waste mostly stay in the media bed before it got to the raft bed so the media is your filter. You aren't removing it this way, but keeps it simpler that you don't need the filter.

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 Post subject: Re: Off grid aquaponics
PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '18, 06:20 
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tcahall wrote:
With regard to wicking beds, traditional dirt farming using water conservancy techniques is not a bad approach, but will not achieve the efficiency of AP.


Can't say I agree with that, though depending on what your basing efficiency on. Space, energy, production, manual labour, etc... In ground over all is far more efficient considering all inputs and all outputs given a reasonable environment to start with, reasonable soil, rain, sun etc...

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 Post subject: Re: Off grid aquaponics
PostPosted: Feb 2nd, '18, 11:35 
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Excellent clarification. In the absence of some shortcoming, dirt farming always wins. Our church has missions around the world. I recommend efficient, traditional, farming approaches when that is a viable. When there are shortcomings (i.e. poor soil, limited space, water shortages), Aquaponics is a good solution. This assumes that the recipient has the technical sophistication to support AP.


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