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PostPosted: Apr 29th, '10, 07:24 
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Attachment:
April 28, 2008.jpg
April 28, 2008.jpg [ 153.29 KiB | Viewed 7783 times ]

Here's the new set up:
55 Gallon FT, buried a bit with 1 guinea pig gold fish. Water temp today is a balmy 42F.

FT goes out to a 28 gallon GB filled with gravel except for the top 2" which is coco peat.
Attachment:
April 28, 2008 1st GB.jpg
April 28, 2008 1st GB.jpg [ 129.82 KiB | Viewed 7779 times ]

I've jumped the gun a bit by planting some romaine & bok choy. The water will probably fill via a grid.
This GB will drain to a 2nd GB not yet set up, then drains to a ST. Thinking about drilling some holes in the drain and sticking lettuce or strawberries in it. Then ST to FT - CHIFT PIST!

Possible further expansion - filling a 3rd GB with a 2nd smaller pump in ST.

Here's a comparison of lettuce for future reference.
Attachment:
DSCN1203.jpg
DSCN1203.jpg [ 160.19 KiB | Viewed 7775 times ]

The ones in dirt have a few days head start. Both a little lanky from being started in the house

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PostPosted: Apr 29th, '10, 20:23 
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Also for reference my starting numbers:
Am:0 ates:0 ites:0 PH:6.5 KH:0 GH:0

The water is from a spring 1/4 mile away, gravity fed. I'm shocked at how unhard - er, soft I guess, the spring water is compared to our well water. I'm hoping to cycle quickly because most of the gravel is from the house system.

When the water temp rises I'll move more goldfish outside. Water temp this morning: 40! Outside it got down to 28! Supposed to get up to 78F Saturday!

Also for the record, I've got a bet going with my husband on how high the water temp will get. I say 70ish, he says 80 minimum. We shall see.

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PostPosted: May 1st, '10, 05:38 
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It's a bad sign when after 2 days your dissatisfied with the size of the sump. :roll:
The old one was a measly 18 gallons.
Attachment:
18 Gallon Sump.jpg
18 Gallon Sump.jpg [ 73.49 KiB | Viewed 7696 times ]

The new one is 40 gallons.
Attachment:
40 Gallon Sump.jpg
40 Gallon Sump.jpg [ 67.66 KiB | Viewed 7687 times ]

I didn't realized I should've place the hinge side of the sump the other way until I took the photo. Oops.

I'm going to try to get the kids to hunt for some wild crayfish to stick in there.
My one gold fish seems fine so I transferred 3 more. I also added about 15 gallons of well water to the system. Based on my 1st system, I'd like to start out with a higher pH then when it drops I'll have another tip off that its cycled.

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PostPosted: May 2nd, '10, 20:57 
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Vast improvements yesterday!

I was afraid to set the pump up with the timer because I was worried that the hose going into the FT would fall out. Not any more!
Attachment:
Hose from ST to NFT.jpg
Hose from ST to NFT.jpg [ 46.66 KiB | Viewed 7626 times ]

Uh oh, look at those brambles trying to get in to the hoop house. I better fix that NOW!
Attachment:
ST to NFT to FT.jpg
ST to NFT to FT.jpg [ 46.75 KiB | Viewed 7622 times ]


I used TCL's wick idea except I used cheesecloth, mainly because that's why I had lying around.
Attachment:
Cheesecloth wick.jpg
Cheesecloth wick.jpg [ 21.64 KiB | Viewed 7616 times ]

I don't mop, which is too bad considering I've trailed in about 5 gallons worth of mud from the garden due to this AP stuff.

The only thing I don't like is that the water temp is 62 this morning! Am I going to lose that bet in less than a week? It's supposed to get up to 84F today. We had 2" of snow 5 days ago. They say if you don't like the weather here, wait 5 minutes.

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PostPosted: May 3rd, '10, 09:04 
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Weekend wrap up:
Attachment:
ST.jpg
ST.jpg [ 68.43 KiB | Viewed 7597 times ]

Much better. Not sure if I've seen others put plants in the ST cover (or FT cover for that matter) but I've got so many plants to get out of the house I'm getting desperate! Can anyone point me to a thread where someone has done this? It's sort of flood & drain since the water drops while the pump is running. If the roots start looking waterlogged I guess I can throw a bubbler in.

Now that Dennis has shown me how to glue up the PVC I'll probably put plants in the drain from GB to ST too.

Now I need to order some more of those net pots and figure out water to do about that 2nd grow bed.

The bad news is that the water temp got up to 72 this afternoon. Outside was in the mid 80's, hoop house was over 100. If I want trout, they'll have to go in a tank outside the hoop house.

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PostPosted: May 3rd, '10, 13:56 
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Nice system there. One question, won't the roots from the plants in the pipes tend to block the pipes?

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PostPosted: May 3rd, '10, 20:48 
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I've read that some people trim the roots now and again. I'm hoping to harvest the greens before they cause any trouble. Once the strawberries are harvested I could move them to a dirt holding spot till next year.

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PostPosted: May 3rd, '10, 23:30 
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For my own records:
Water temp back down to 68. Ammonia dropped to 0 from .5 some I wonder if the system has cycled. No nitrates or nitrites - are they getting used up by the plants?

Added 5 more gold fish for a total of 8 (from 1" up to 5").

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PostPosted: May 7th, '10, 06:37 
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Big action today. First off, my numbers have finally started moving. Ammonia went from 0 to 1! Nitrites = .75 Nitrates = 20.

I planted a 2nd GB - finally got some tomatoes in the system. I'm hoping to plant several more beds tomorrow.

And lastly, I came home after an 7 hour absence, checked out the system and there was a strange sound. Like a pump running with no water! Sure enough, the hose feeding the drain was knocked out, the sump was empty but the fish were fine - CHIFT PIST saved the day!!!

The pump (Eco 250) appears to be OK. Quite a few 15 minute cycles running dry!

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PostPosted: May 7th, '10, 06:52 
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Just wanted to show a shot of the GB with gravel I got from the stream that runs thru my property.
Attachment:
Rocks from stream.jpg
Rocks from stream.jpg [ 89.86 KiB | Viewed 7472 times ]

Not sure how many other people have scavenged their gravel. It was hot yesterday so if was fun to play around in the creek, keeping my eyes open for crayfish (none).

The gravel was very clean of course, and is from a previously cycled system...

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PostPosted: May 12th, '10, 20:34 
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Planted this last week:
Attachment:
1st tomato GB May 6.jpg
1st tomato GB May 6.jpg [ 102.19 KiB | Viewed 7411 times ]

Putting to use one of my Mother's day gifts:
Attachment:
2nd tomato bed May 10, 2010.jpg
2nd tomato bed May 10, 2010.jpg [ 94.4 KiB | Viewed 7414 times ]

2 more beds to go. Or should I say 2 more beds till I have to buy more beds!

Haven't figured out how I'm going to support them yet. Maybe just move the existing posts around.

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PostPosted: May 12th, '10, 22:12 
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Time for a side by side comparison:
Attachment:
Screen shot 2010-05-12 at 10.01.42 AM.png
Screen shot 2010-05-12 at 10.01.42 AM.png [ 745.3 KiB | Viewed 7399 times ]

Pretty good for 2 weeks, I guess. I'm amazed at how dark the cocopeat got.

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PostPosted: May 12th, '10, 23:10 
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I'm sure I am not the only one that would love to see pictures of the stream and the rest of the property for that matter. Sounds really nice.

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PostPosted: May 13th, '10, 04:43 
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I haven't been able to get a great shot but here's a spot for a micro-hydro setup (one of these days):
Attachment:
Creek.jpg
Creek.jpg [ 111.25 KiB | Viewed 7356 times ]

The black pipe in the middle is from a spring and I use it for the garden & to water the sheep.
Just below that spot is this:
Attachment:
Future pond maybe.jpg
Future pond maybe.jpg [ 124.25 KiB | Viewed 7354 times ]

That far slope is over 3 feet. Note all that pre-cycled gravel.
Wonder how hard it would be to make a pond there?
And the money shot:
Attachment:
willows far.jpg
willows far.jpg [ 83.02 KiB | Viewed 7351 times ]

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PostPosted: May 15th, '10, 09:52 
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So my eagle eyed plumber/husband spots this:
Attachment:
butterfly.jpg
butterfly.jpg [ 35.2 KiB | Viewed 7306 times ]

Then looks at the FT and notices this:
Attachment:
Overflow.jpg
Overflow.jpg [ 47.01 KiB | Viewed 7307 times ]

The pump was on and water was flowing out of the top of the FT. I had been meaning to adjust the timer to run the pump less because of this:
Attachment:
too much flood.jpg
too much flood.jpg [ 58.8 KiB | Viewed 7306 times ]

Doesn't seem to be hurting the plants and no sign of algae yet (been flooding like that for 2 weeks).

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