Backyard Aquaponics

A new solar system
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Author:  faye [ Mar 2nd, '13, 10:56 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

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Solar system at BYAP.jpg
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Well the growth has ramped up and the goldfish have more than doubled in size. The one with the magnificent tail was taken early by a persistent night heron that arrives just after 5pm. No more fatalities in recent times as we either net the tanks overnight or cover the surface with floating baskets and in this case the water lilies have given the fish somewhere to hide. The system is in absolute full sun and this year we have experienced the hottest summer on record according to reports. The temps have been above 40 degrees on may occasions, but planting appropriate seasonal plants are the key to getting good results. I really enjoy feeding the colourful goldfish as they come to the surface that I have even stocked some in my home system.

Author:  mantis [ Mar 2nd, '13, 11:09 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

I hope you don't have big silvers with your goldfish Faye as they will become dinner for the silvers. I had three largish goldfish vanish in my tank with 3yo silvers :(

Author:  faye [ Mar 2nd, '13, 11:25 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

I was wondering about that Mantis. The silvers are swimming with the barra at the moment in my 3000 litre tank. Mmm do I eat them or shuffle them when the trout arrive. Another tank or the frying pan :think: I know what you are all thinking, another system of course :lol:

Author:  mantis [ Mar 2nd, '13, 11:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

Of course :D

Author:  Flipper [ Mar 5th, '13, 16:35 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

Hi earthbound where did you get the 12 volt timer will it run 24/7 or do you have to reset daily

Flipper :thumbright:

Author:  RupertofOZ [ Mar 5th, '13, 16:44 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

My timer runs 24/7.. then resets itself... daily... :lol:

Author:  Nhibbo [ Nov 22nd, '16, 18:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

My system has 3X cut inc grow beds, a600L sump tank and 100L fishtanks in a shift post arrangement, powered by an 80 Watt solar panel, 120AH deep cycle battery and 3600LPH bilge pump. I built my own control panel from a 20A solar reg, a Jaycar timer and auto 20A relay.
The pump runs for 6 mins every hour, giving a total run time of about 2hrs 10 mins per day, drawing 7 amps (about 15AH per day).
I was a little worried about the bilge pump and so put in a brushless pond pump (of 3.6 amps draw) and altered the timing program, but that pump failed after only a few days, so back to the bilge pump (I still have a back up if required). I was originally running a small 12V air pump, but it was not really successful so now run a Hailea 20V off mains and pipe air to the tanks. The 12V air pump will be a backup.
I use scores in the grow beds basically because of the low cost, high surface area and it's ability to hold moisture between pumpings. It is hard to plant into though. Ideally scoria at the bottom and clay balls at the top would be better.
There is a charger in the control box if we get too many dull days in a row. I have only had to use it once (after 4 gloomy days in a row). I have 75 Silver perch in this set up and another 25 in a separate 12V inc system with a Shogun 20W pump/battery/timer system off eBay. Both setups are running well so far (about a month with the fish although I cycled the system up with galaxies from a nearby lake for several months before.
Total cost of the 12 volt system was about $200 for the small ibc shogun system and about $350 for the larger system, for the power/pump/air side of things. the ibc's, timber for frame/growbeds etc, plumbing, scoria was extra, so about $1000 all up.
Quite happy with the set up so far. Happy to give more details to anyone interested, (though you might have send me an email so I can give you pictures...I think that is doable with this website?). I haven't learnt how to upload pics on this system.

Author:  Nhibbo [ Nov 22nd, '16, 18:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

Oops...that is ibc's (bl*^&dy autocorrect,. and 1000L fishtanks

Author:  boss [ Nov 22nd, '16, 21:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

Curious, what is happening at BYAP? Thanks for the bump Nhibbo.

Author:  earthbound [ Nov 23rd, '16, 05:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

The old BYAP shop is now owned and run by Sue and Maureen.. :headbang:


Author:  Nhibbo [ Dec 31st, '16, 11:07 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

Just a quick up date. I had 3 silvers escape through the water uptake for the grow beds. The first was found stiff on the scoria one morning, so I put cut down ice cream containers under each GB inlet. The second escapee was found in the ice-cream container one morning, so I put it into the sump tank to recover (and to remove mosquito larvae). It was doing really well but I haven't seen it for a couple of weeks now. I'm worried that it may have gone through the pump, though there is still not mozzie wrigglers there. A third one turned up on the rocks, also dead.
So, I have lost 2, possibly 3 SP's, but the rest are doing really well, feeding like crazy and growing. The plants are struggling though. I suspect iron deficiency judging by the leaves) and 8-8.2 pH. I've been using seasol and EDTA (foliar), which finally seem to be kicking in.
Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0 in ibc with a spike to 0.75 in CHIFT PIST , Ammonia mostly 0, but up to 5 ppm for brief periods, Nitrates 0 to 5.
Water Temp got up near 28 on Xmas Day which was a bit of a worry....not enough plant growth to shade the GBs (40+ Air temp).
I'm now running on the second bilge pump.
I haven't needed to charge the battery since mid winter, so "so far so good".
Fish are happy and growing.

Author:  Nhibbo [ May 12th, '18, 09:47 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

Another update. nearly 2 years in and really happy with both systems. Quite a few modifications made over time and more to come/planned.
A second Shogun 20W pump/timer/battery was purchased and these 2 run MBBF/Filters.
Airlift mechanical filters were fitted to both fish tanks.
Separate Main pumps are now operating full time (did away with the timer) powered by separate stand alone 12V solar systems. 130W MPPT charger/Reg and 190 AH deep cycle battery
80W MPPT charger/controller and 120 AH deep cycle battery
Each drives an 800 - 900lph 12V pump.
I have now lost 5 fish over the 2 years. 3 during a very hot (40 - 42C) few days over summer plus the initial 2 lost in the first couple of days when introduced to the system.
The largest fish are now about 30cm long. (The escapee in the sump has been returned to the FT and the sole surviving galaxia has now gone to the sump).
pH dropped very suddenly to 6 so I have had to add lots of shell grit to keep pH around 6.5 to 7. Tomatoes this year were fantastic and other veggies have been very tasty.
I am about to build a greenhouse with 2 separate parallel systems in it to keep SP's feeding over the coming winter and will keep a 3rd system outside Allowing me to divide up the fish into 3 lots of about 30+ each).

Author:  earthbound [ May 12th, '18, 10:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

So how many fish do you have in the solar system Nhibbo?

Author:  Nhibbo [ May 12th, '18, 20:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: A new solar system

Hi Earthbound,

I started with 100 at about 5cm length (could only buy lots of 100 at the time) and still have 95. I was originally hoping to on-sell a few to a friend, but he decided to go with trout (which he sadly later lost in a nitrite spike), so I was left over-stocked. This is why I want to expand to a 3rd system as the fish are now getting closer to harvestable size. Luckily, heading into winter now, so the feed rates are reducing. This is also why I have added extra mechanical filtration and MBBFs to keep the water that little bit extra clean and not just relied on the GBs. Carrying over stocked systems through summer was a worry, but apart from those 3 lost in the peak heat, I've done quite well ( I have used an evaporative cooling system which worked quite well).

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