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PostPosted: Nov 24th, '09, 05:19 
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Hi Andrew neat system mate.
andrew-l wrote:
Have to decide whether to try slathering more silicon
Don't want to glue them?
andrew-l wrote:
realised that it was floating. The damn hole was full of water!
It might be fine while there is water in it weighing it down, but what happens when you get a heavy rain and the sump level is low from pumping at the end of a cycle?
It may float again. I think TCL has mentioned it before? Weigh it down with something heavy!
Keep up the good work though, nearly there!

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PostPosted: Nov 24th, '09, 13:58 
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Hi Taz

Yeah, I think I'm going to lift the sumps, pull the joints apart, and glue them all back together. Not a fun day ahead.

I think the sump should be ok once I've filled the hole in around it, as it never gets much below half full - which is still nearly a ton of water.

Thanks for the encourangement, feels like I am so close . . . .

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PostPosted: Nov 24th, '09, 23:25 
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OK, have had my fun day lifted the sumps back out, cleaned everything off, covered everything in aquarium / pond glue and have re-installed everything. Going to leave it for 24 hours and then re-fill it to see.

Fingers crossed, no more leaks.

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PostPosted: Nov 25th, '09, 05:11 
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After a tedious day, here are some photos to share:

One set of growbeds all plumbed and ready to cycle:
Image

Our pump
Image

And the flow - 38mm pipe - filling the fish tank:
Image


Hopefully tomorrow I'll have pics of EVERYTHING full of water!

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PostPosted: Nov 26th, '09, 16:24 
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Started the morning with another leak. Found it, sealed it and let to dry again.

Was all looking good, no leaks from new joints, and then 'pop' one of the pipes came completely loose. Bugger. No idea how I'm going to fix it without pulling everything apart and starting again. Off to look for 110mm repair joints today.

:(

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PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '09, 15:57 
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Finally fixed the leaks (I'll post pictures of what I had to do when the mental scarring and physical bruising has gone down a little.

In the meantime the system is now cycling, and I've just started to put the big central growbeds in place:
Image

Image

And final one for the night – the growbeds in place, drainage fittings all complete, and the gravel starting to go in. They are going to need a LOT of gravel – I foresee a week of shifting gravel coming up

Image

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PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '09, 16:00 
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Just realised that with all the grief over the leaks I've missed posting some pics.

Here's the long side of growbeds:
Image

And the water flowing in as the cycle runs:
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PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '09, 19:08 
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Done our first proper water testing - here's how it's looking:

Ammonia - 1.5ppm?
Image

pH - 8.5-9
Image

Chlorine / Chloramine levels - 0
Nitrite Levels - 0

Dissolved Oxygen - about 14 ppm
Image


From these I'd say: System isn't cycling properly yet; pH is a bit high - apparently this may come down as the system gets going though?; and the DO looks ok.


Anybody got any thoughts?

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PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '09, 20:26 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Nope all good.

You sure that the sump cant float out at any stage?

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PostPosted: Dec 5th, '09, 00:40 
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Hi Andrew

Been following your progress and you have really worked hard. Tidy set-up.
Couple of questions: What size pump are you using and where did you get your pipe fittings from.?

As for pH,nitrite etc, all will settle down. Bearing in mind the cold weather you may find the bacteria will take a lot longer to establish itself than in the warmer months. Most of our plants slow right down at this time of the year so we reduce the fish feeding and monitor the ammonia levels closely and flush the tanks more often. Touch wood we haven't lost any trout for quite a while.

Can't wait to se your first harvest.

WD and OH.


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PostPosted: Dec 7th, '09, 02:36 
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Outbackozzie wrote:
Nope all good.


Thanks OBO

Outbackozzie wrote:
You sure that the sump cant float out at any stage?


Never say never :D It's already floated out once (when it was empty)

welshdragon wrote:
What size pump are you using and where did you get your pipe fittings from.?

It's a laguna 11000 - 11000 lph allegedly and seems to be doing pretty well at that so far.

Pipe fittings came from FishFurFeather - http://www.fishfurfeather.com/plumbing-rigid-pipe-and-fittings-c-1_120_121.html?osCsid=d048a8696b35d8057fee3e7dfe9bd770

been pretty impressed with it all so far, although our order was so large they took ages to supply it - may go straight to the wholesaler next time. I'll try and find out their name if you need it.

welshdragon wrote:
As for pH,nitrite etc, all will settle down. Bearing in mind the cold weather you may find the bacteria will take a lot longer to establish itself than in the warmer months. Most of our plants slow right down at this time of the year so we reduce the fish feeding and monitor the ammonia levels closely and flush the tanks more often.


Thanks for the advice - we've had it pretty cold here but it's warmed up the last few days, polytunnel sitting at 5-10deg. Water sitting at 7-9 deg, so we'll see how they bacteria go - assuming I can keep the leaks / collapsing stands form killing the system in the meantime!

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PostPosted: Dec 7th, '09, 05:28 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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That pH is pretty high. What kind of rock is that gravel? So long as your gravel isn't what is causing the really high pH, the pH should fall over time. It might help if you can get the pH just a little lower but trying to adjust pH is often a pain. My system pH has started to come down with time but it took like a year for me to see pH below 7.6 in any of the systems with shells.

Anyway, just patients and testing now, it could take quite a while to cycle up this time of year but at least fishless cycling is not stressful. Cold weater seeds could be started whenever the moon phase is right. Broccoli and kale seem to like cold weather.

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PostPosted: Dec 7th, '09, 06:35 
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TCLynx wrote:
That pH is pretty high. What kind of rock is that gravel? So long as your gravel isn't what is causing the really high pH, the pH should fall over time. It might help if you can get the pH just a little lower but trying to adjust pH is often a pain. My system pH has started to come down with time but it took like a year for me to see pH below 7.6 in any of the systems with shells.

Anyway, just patients and testing now, it could take quite a while to cycle up this time of year but at least fishless cycling is not stressful. Cold weater seeds could be started whenever the moon phase is right. Broccoli and kale seem to like cold weather.



The gravel is LECA - cheap Hydroton basically - should be ok I hope? I'll keep an eye on the pH - any tips for reducing the pH if I need to?

Can't wait to start planting - need to get the overflow levels right first, I'm suffering from floating clay at the moment!

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PostPosted: Dec 7th, '09, 07:39 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Lemon juice is a food safe way to acidify.

If pressed, very small amounts of pool acid might be ok but I would tend to the side of caution away from that.

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PostPosted: Dec 7th, '09, 07:40 
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Just curious, what is the pH of your source water? What is the pH of that same water after you have let it air out for a day?

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