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PostPosted: Aug 16th, '14, 02:51 
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Thank you all for the time you spent explaining so much, I had no idea how much complexity and variation there could be between systems. I believe I could teach a class on bell siphon and drain and flow theory but yet to have a day of life experience. My biggest shock in my research and the motive to finally create an account and introduce myself is...

The Lack of discussion (355 posts here) related to "indexing valve" use, I even sorted the results and saw public opinion about them seem to become accepted on this forum over the years. But I feel like I may be over rating them as a newbie.

If I read about drain flow from hydroponic growers they prefer 4-8 cycles per day. Where in the case of Aquaponics the focus is on cycling the entire volume once per hour for the sake of the fish and for simplicity constant flow systems are preferred. In other words the plants want less water and the fish want more water.

We have grown soil vegetables in Florida with long rain seasons, we use green houses and grow beds to control drainage fungi and moisture issues as is. I also have seen debate about growing tuber vegetables carrots potato etc in a water based environment susceptible to root rot. So with that said.

Why not use the indexing valve as a tool to extend the dry time between drain and flood cycles to open up the limitations of aquaponics to accept plants that prefer longer periods of air and dry roots?



I have to be wrong about something here....

If (6) GBs each with volume equal to the FT cycled once per hour your fish are happy and your dry period in the GB is six times longer.

Likewise if you had low pause time between power cycles on your indexing valve you could use the same system to cycle 6 times the volume through grow media because 5 would be drained while only a single unit is being filled at a time.

6GBs, 1FT, no sump tank required, indexing valve, 1 simple pump.... and a timer that can cycle the power ASAP

Once I can get past this in my mind I can continue to design but due to lack of popularity of indexing valves I assume I have over rated or misunderstood something here????

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PostPosted: Aug 16th, '14, 10:39 
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I would control the switching with a solenoid as opposed to turning on and off your pump, but otherwise i dont see a problem using them . I think a lot of backyard type people just r dont have big enough systems to implement one .

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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '14, 00:32 
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The queen of indexing valves is TCLynx. Her postings have been justifiably sporadic, as she has been quite busy with her newborn baby.

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PostPosted: Aug 17th, '14, 08:06 
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TC has some very good plumbing using indexing valves. From my irrigation experience, I'd prefer solenoid operated valves like B Cotton suggested. From what I've researched, cost should be a bit less using the solenoid valves...at least for my wholesale cost. Not sure about retail costs?


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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '14, 01:00 
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Mr. Maggi, your patio build thread is so clean... is it Art or Science?! To clarify though the rain barrel system and sump underground are independent of your total system volume correct? If not, why so much volume for a sump?

I also notice you seemed to spare no costs with your pumps and valves etc, I would be interested in looking at a more complete equipment list from that build. I agree if you're going to spend the time do it correctly so I would like to look into your part list in depth. I may find it today when I finish reading the thread.

I feel asleep last night after reading the first 25 pages (not your fault) and had a bad dream about my yet to be constructed AP system had an issue and needed to be switched to CS because of a siphon failure. Pretty funny coming from someone who has yet to dig in.

I have to say in most circles I feel like I have a very gifted mind, however in the circle of members here I feel like the village idiot. Sometimes I wonder if the majority of you guys are master plumbers with engineering and microbiology degrees. The more I read the more I regroup and re-plan.

Coachchris or TCLynx any anyone else in Florida. I live in Sarasota, but willing to drive (hours if needed) anywhere in Florida and willing to make a small donation for entertaining my girlfriend and I, for a tour of your AP setup in person.

Sure wish one of you was simply a down the street neighbor, its funny how foreign AP is to many people aquarium and hydroponic store staff included.

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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '14, 06:34 
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coachchris wrote:
TC has some very good plumbing using indexing valves. From my irrigation experience, I'd prefer solenoid operated valves like B Cotton suggested. From what I've researched, cost should be a bit less using the solenoid valves...at least for my wholesale cost. Not sure about retail costs?


Problem with most solenoid valves is that they require significant water pressure to operate. Usually beyond what we're seeing from our pumps in aquaponics.

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PostPosted: Aug 28th, '14, 07:11 
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They make low flow/pressure springs for indexing valves, but they cost more then "normal flow springs". People like using them because they're very compact and don't require and wiring. 24 volt solenoid valves can be manifolded very close together to be almost the same footprint, but do require some basic wiring as well. The timers for the solenoid valves a bit cheaper for basic models, but don't last as long as the old school motorized indexing valve timers...which I have seen last several decades. PondSucker, your welcome to stop by for a visit. System is a bit under the weather at the moment...too hot and busy at work. It should start getting cool in the next 40-50 days, then I'll plant some Winter veggies. Lettuce, kale, greens etc. My toms are hanging in there, and if the heat doesn't get them, they should have some decent fruit by then also. PM me and I'll give you my contact info. My son and family live in Sarasota and it's about an 80 minute ride to his house off Fruitville.


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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '14, 03:13 
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You are making me blush. I never hooked up the rain barrel system, as my shingles are asphalt, and I am concerned about nasties from it. The sump IS part of the total volume. You call the sump large, but it does not seem large to me. The more volume the stabler the system is, and fewer top ups to do.

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PostPosted: Aug 29th, '14, 18:12 
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Chris,
That would be excellent I will PM you to exchange info, likewise next time you're in town here it would be great to have you stop by and offer some wisdom. Today our AP is just a muddy hole and sloppy plans, but we do have a modest terrestrial garden.


Ron,
Inspired by your post I went ahead and dug out a 48" deep hole for my IBC sump. The next day I picked up a 275 Gallon for only $45 (craigslist) and on the way home we got hit by one of our major Florida storms. The result was a hole full of mud and a bath for a very muddy Labrador. I saw a few Nay Sayers on your build and others concerned about the idea of the IBC floating right up out of the hole if it does not contain enough water to offset the weight of buoyancy. My container is still in my truck unaffected so now I'm considering wrapping the outter cage, bolting the frame to concrete etc. However the rain stopped about 5 hours ago and I still have about 24" of standing water in my hole.

While digging after a dry week I notice the first 32" were lose sand while the last 16" were clay much like what your photos looked like only mine actually had enough moisture on the bottom. I believe it could be sea level, I'm only 3 miles from Siesta Key.

I'm worried that this thing is going to pop right out of that hole one day if we get soggy in Florida which is inevitable. I understand the concerns here change once water, pump, frame etc are sunk down into the IBC to prevent it from floating up, I believe I could adjust the water retention by the floater valve to the city water, another cool trick from your build that I intend to copy.

I'm going to start taking photos and I will start a build thread for this project in the next few days. Why do I feel like I'm about to take the first space walk known to man or the first person to wander off alone in a bad horror movie? I think its because no matter how much a person plans for a project like this, trail and error is key even for the most successful of all of you.

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PostPosted: Aug 31st, '14, 03:52 
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For Florida soils, I would certainly clad the cage. My soil stays in shape quite well, but it is SoCal soil, which means that it is dry, hard and has a low water table. Your water table is inevitably going to be high. Weighing it down and cladding would be prudent.

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PostPosted: Aug 31st, '14, 04:58 
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All depends where your at in Florida. Most of the Central part is sandy loam with a low water table and excellent drainage. There are pockets of clay and marl that can have some issue...assuming your in one. In that case, you would need to anchor IBC down. We use augered mobile home tie downs for large trees. They are cheap and very strong. Once in they will hold around 2500-300 lbs I think. We use a power auger, but you can do a few by hand with a pole or rod for leverage. I'll stop by next time we are in the area and have some time. Will pm you before and get address. I'm considering starting a thread for my new RAS system when I get it going this Fall.


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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '14, 18:18 
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As I was unloading the IBC totes the city code officer pulled up to warn me that he would give me a couple weeks before writing me a citation if I did not submit for a building permit for my covered roof top. So now I guess I have more time to sort out how to keep this thing in the ground. The good news is I talked my way out of a $300 violation. Anything with a roof requires a permit here... even a shed or green house.

Chris... good advice on the mobile home tie downs! I'm glad I mentioned. Since I'm on hold to bury my IBC I figure I may as well play with some GBs and cut one of these in half. I'm doing a bit of searching today for any last moment tips in the forums and again taking some photos to document my journey.

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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '14, 22:19 
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Gotta love Big Brother.lol Looking good.


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PostPosted: Sep 11th, '14, 20:45 
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So I'm still toying with indexing valve questions. Looking at this diagram how does a single pump provide water to the FT at the same time as the indexing valve? Or is the timer actually switching between FT and indexing valve(previously I assumed the timer controlled the pump on off)? Otherwise it seems to me the GBs would need to drain to the FT and not the sump. Or a second pump would need to be routed from sump to FT.

What am I missing here guys?

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PostPosted: Sep 11th, '14, 21:54 
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I would raise the FT and drain the FT water into GB's and then to sump. If you decide to add DWC, you can add additional filtration before the raft. I made the same mistake, and it's harder to keep solids under control by not draining them into GB's. In the sump, they get chopped by the pump and make it harder to clean out for DWC. If you keep low stocking density and all media beds you can do exactly what your considering, but it makes your system less versatile. You could also eliminate the indexing valve, and just add ball valves to divert water to all GB's. Either run the with siphons or constant flow/drain(not correct term...brain is sleepy)


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