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PostPosted: Sep 13th, '06, 19:50 
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Michael, your system has given me great inspiration, thanks so much for sharing the pics and info about what you've been doing.

I've been wondering for a long time how to go about setting up another small system that can involve many different aspects (gravel beds, fish tank, floating raft, yabbies) with only the one pump, and your set up acts in a different way to how I have been thinking with my previous system...

Mate, 15 out of 10 points.... I love it.... :) Where did you get your original ideas from, who have you been talking with in the past about aquaponics, it's very refreshing...

Oh and if I didn't mention it before, welcome to the group, you've found the right place to hang out.... :)

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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 00:14 
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EB - thanks for the compliment and the warm welcome. But it is I who should be thanking you and the others who helped develop this site and who work to keep it going. It is refreshing to have a user friendly forum. I was on Townsquare for many years and valuable as it is/was, the format was not this easy.

Back in 1999 I had several very long conversations with Tom Speraneo, whom I came to respect and admire for his simple and "natural" apporach to problems. How I got interested in aquaponics is a long story, but I was fortunate enough to get guidance from Tom during my formative stage. I developed two small systems at a local school and learned alot about what not to do. I learned a system needs light, heat, and nutrients to fruit, and good water circulation. After several conversations with Tom, I realised I was too caught up in the mechanics of system design (i.e., water quality, grow media, stocking ratios, etc.) and needed to "simplify" my thinking. My present system was designed with two thoughts in mind.

1) Water circulation
2) Simulating a natural setting for fish and plants.

As I built the system I started reading alot of books on passive and active solar concepts and that is where the system is ultimately headed. The grow chamber will be a solar rich environment for plants (maybe rice). I want to get a windmill aerator to help the solar pump during the winter. If I can get the system off grid completely and have success locating a primary solar pump then I will raise the main tank higher to create more gravity waterfalls (better water circulation). My hypothesis is we can do away with high flow pumps in aquaponics if we stack vertical falls and accellerate water via gravity.


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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 00:25 
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Tom is greatly missed. My large flood and drain is loosly based on his systems, as I imagine you may have noticed, I love it, it's so simple, he was an absolute pioneer in aquaponics, who wasn't constrained by what others were doing at the time in aquaponics.. The S&S style system is brilliant... :)

I'm so happy to have been able to gain the info that I had from townsquare, from kevin, Mike, Adriana, etc etc... It's probably not even fair of me to mention just a few of the people as there have been so many that I gained my knowledge through over the years...

It's great to have you here Michael, I've probably read your posts before on townsquare, you may have even read mine... Anyway, glad your here and participating mate... :)

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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 00:36 
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Yea - Tom was (and still is) a great resource. Look how many people got stoked over what he did. The success of S&S was based on simplicity and common sense.

I've poured over your system since you first posted it I think two years ago?? Can't quite remember, but it was very obvious you had modeled it on the S&S system and quite obviously you got it right. I never even heard of Yabbies till you busted out with your system! You must have very mild winters because I noticed you never grew indoors.

Have you ever talked with Rebecca Nelson in California? She and John Pade run the aquaponics net and journal about two hours from my location. They were smart with thier knowledge and are now making a living from all thier efforts. Is that where you are headed?


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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 00:53 
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John - if u have a pickup truck, load the gravel in the bed, go to the local do it yourself car wash and pressure rinse the gravel. Lay down a strip of plastic in the corner between the tailgate and the bed beforehand to keep gravel from running through the crack. You will still lose some gravel, but it's way faster and no mess??? Check it.


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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 02:34 
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"My hypothesis is we can do away with high flow pumps in aquaponics if we stack vertical falls and accellerate water via gravity."

Right On!

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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 09:28 
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MF if by mild windter you mean "no -snow" and average temps above freezing, then YES, we have it mild :)

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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 18:27 
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Nice system mike i am doing someting just like it

"My hypothesis is we can do away with high flow pumps in aquaponics if we stack vertical falls and accellerate water via gravity."

This would be cool but how would you get the water from the lowest point
to the highest?

A windmill aerator is there any diy to one of these ?
or even a windmill pump to pump the water?


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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 18:33 
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Yes MF, I've spoken with Rebecca a couple of times via email and I have all of the aquaponics journals as well as their teaching manual..

This is not only where I am headed, this is where I am, I do aquaponics full time.... :D

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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 19:55 
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A windmill aerator is there any diy to one of these ?
or even a windmill pump to pump the water?

these sound interesting...
anybody got thoughts on these?

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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 20:30 
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Just a note on the:

"My hypothesis is we can do away with high flow pumps in aquaponics if we stack vertical falls and accellerate water via gravity."

This would be cool but how would you get the water from the lowest point
to the highest?

Any energy saving idea would be great, but would NEED some sort of alternate energy because, a low flow pump capable of pumping water to any reasonable height would take the same amount of power as a high flow pump pumping to a lesser height. (All things equal)

Conservation of energy laws, damn them :)

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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 20:39 
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I think AA is talking about using pond pumps instead of sump pumps. My Resun pond pump is handling the job of cycling my 580 litre Murray built grow-bed with no problems. Only issue is that as I am not using an autosyphon, I have to use a timer to control the flood and drain cycle adn therefore the pump is not being run continuously. I expect that the on and off switching will not do much for its longevity. When I have more time to stuff around, I will built an autosyphon and have the pump running continuously.

I am not adverse to having a number of small pond pumps, each running a grow-bed. This adds some automatic degree of redundancy. Before considering this seriously though, I will probably look to build the design for my big system around the ideas of Michael F, but trying to incorporate a autosyphon on the beds so that the pump (which would have to be a reasonable size to service my intended 4 Murray beds + DWC) can run continuously.


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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 21:19 
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Oh, i fully misunderstood then :)

Agreed on the low flow cont. pumps and auto siphon. I've just gone over to high flow, as i was having clogging issues with the low flow cont. flow :(

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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 22:49 
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Quote:
"My hypothesis is we can do away with high flow pumps in aquaponics if we stack vertical falls and accellerate water via gravity."

This would be cool but how would you get the water from the lowest point
to the highest?

Any energy saving idea would be great, but would NEED some sort of alternate energy because, a low flow pump capable of pumping water to any reasonable height would take the same amount of power as a high flow pump pumping to a lesser height. (All things equal)



Shurflo and Dankoff make slowpumps that are capable of head heights that exceed any reasonable system height. The flow rates are very respectable for solar pumps, and the pumps have good durability. They are a bit pricey, but here again we are talking about power savings and energy sustainability. http://www.scsolar.com/Flowlight_and_Slowpumps.html

The limitation in theory is the height of the main tank in the node. The higher the tank the greater the potential for areation. However, a solar aerator can achieve this as well, and you can go to a surface pump. Lots of possibilityies, but I believe you can get a large node off grid at reasonable cost.


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PostPosted: Sep 14th, '06, 22:58 
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Quote:
Quote:A windmill aerator is there any diy to one of these ?
or even a windmill pump to pump the water?

these sound interesting...
anybody got thoughts on these?


I studies windwills and Pico Turbines and unless you are very resourcefull, and time is not money to you, then DIY might be feasable for windwill aereators. I've considered shelling out the $900 USD for an 12' setup, but found the solar aereators are cheaper and probably more consistent for continuous duty. In fact, I think my next purchase is going to be a solar aereator.

Anyone else considering this option?


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