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PostPosted: Jan 2nd, '07, 01:25 
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NJH: This part of the basement doesn't have any holes except for the sump pump. There is a window on the other end of this wall that I've been musing about, to put up a greenhouse with pipes going through the window and whatnot, or to make some kind of solar heating setup against that wall of the house...

Very good info about the lights, I'm glad I have you folks to clue me in.

We have three dogs now, Bugsy who is a dapple you've seen, Sierra is a Husky, and we just got Riley a couple of months ago when we went to Iowa for a funeral. He is a "cream", and is the new favorite. They are always in competition to see who is the current favorite. Sierra and Riley are best buds, and it's funny to watch them play.


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PostPosted: Jan 2nd, '07, 05:40 
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friends of mine have a dachsund cross and a rotti. The two of them act as a team when it comes to intruders. The big one barks furiously and then while you're watching him, the little runs up behind you and pushes in the back of your knees. Then the big one gets you while you're down :twisted: lick, lick, lick! :lol:

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PostPosted: Jan 2nd, '07, 06:13 
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I recently added a second to my collection. She is 16wk old mini red female. I think when they grow up they will be more like dobermans. Was at a mates place yesterday and his doberman is like a dachy on roids, it is so funny to see.


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 Post subject: Re: DD's System 2007
PostPosted: Jan 2nd, '07, 06:38 
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We had a daschund cross cockerspaniel for 15 years. He was a pearler of a dog named Rastus. Still remember the day we had to bury him in the backyard. :cry:

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PostPosted: Jan 7th, '07, 11:05 
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Weather is amazingly great that last few days - it was like 70F/21C and sunny today but really really windy. This is very weird weather for the second week of January.

Anyway, I got some work done today. I have one of the grow beds and the sump and I moved the tank to the basement and moved the shelves. I tested a loop auto siphon, and I think I am going with that as it works with this layout and will work well when I am up to four of these tubs for grow beds (four loops). This is just a cut garden hose inserted into a little section of 3/4" PVC pipe, sealed with silicone. I need to get these secured better, maybe with real hose fittings added on. I tested the siphon with one bed without gravel; with gravel in it the flood height change rate will be the same (there will be two beds on the pump then, twice the rate because of the gravel but 1/2 the rate becuase of the split between the beds) but the drain height change rate will be twice as fast (because of the gravel taking up space).

Styrofoam is under the tank, sump, and grow beds. I will be covering up the sides of the rack and the tank with styrofoam too. The silvery white styrofoam will be used to surround the upper plant shelves.

The siphon is not cutting off properly with just the one bed hooked up. It starts easily. I am assuming that I will be able to get it to stop when the input water rate is halved, because the siphon will then be working faster relative to the pump. I drilled some holes in the top of the grow bed outlet fitting, which helped the siphon draw air from the water surface, averse to just having a very narrow draw at the top of the outlet cross section. This helped it almost cut off cleanly - I think a D-shaped outlet would work very well to help the thing cut off instead of a circular outlet. (The septic auto siphon page I used as a reference mentioned that a flat ceiling helps the air bubble going in be larger).

I noticed that there are a lot of bubbles introduced into the water from a siphon that is sucking air; with multiple siphons doing this from time to time I may not need to have any further aeration beyond these. I plan to have a bubbler on a UPS, but if the siphons aerate this well then it may only be active when the power is out.

I hope to put gravel in tomorrow - at the bottom of the bed there will be half of a black corrugated drain pipe with extra holes drilled in, and a layering of Scotch brite pads to keep gravel out of the edges of the drain pipe.


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PostPosted: Jan 7th, '07, 11:39 
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So this system overflows from the fish tank into the blue sump container, there is a small (30W I think) continuous pump in there that pumps up to the clear grow beds, then a loop auto siphon back to the fish tank.

The plan is to get another rack and put it next to this one. When I need to I can add another 45 gallon sump and two more 25 gallon grow beds and another pump just like the ones being used now.

I love love love that the fish tank is so clear of pumps and obstacles; I hope to just have a center drain pipe and heaters in the center of the tank, to allow the fish to swim freely, but otherwise it will be clean and clear and calm for the fish. It is also way cool to have a constant water level in the fish tub.

I found that too many 90 degree turns restricted the overflow drain too much, to when I was filling the tub I nearly overflowed it. I made the turns shorter, and when I have the second rack I will move everything so that it is just a straight section into a tee into the two sumps. I want to have the drain start near the bottom of the tank to help pull out solids, but when it was like this today the drain was too slow.

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PostPosted: Jan 7th, '07, 11:58 
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This weather is crazy Dave I figured you could almost start up again outside in another week if this keeps up. Like your tank with no pump, are you planning to suck out the solids every once in a while? I think my fish would like it better without so much water being disturbed.

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PostPosted: Jan 7th, '07, 12:23 
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I heard today that the cherry blossoms have bloomed in DC prematurely; normally this happens around the first week in April or so.

Yes, I am thinking that it may be enough just to vacuum out the solids from the bottom like once a day or something. It will probably become an issue later I'm betting.

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PostPosted: Jan 7th, '07, 22:11 
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It's looking great! I didn't even think of using garden hose--too obvius, I guess. One thought is that you might need little valves to control the flow to each growbed. Since you're pumping upward, all the water is going to want to go to the lower bed. (I'm assuming that the next grow bed goes above the first on the shelving?)

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PostPosted: Jan 7th, '07, 22:16 
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good point janet, you could also pump up to the level of the highest bed and then T off from that height

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PostPosted: Jan 8th, '07, 00:49 
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Hi Janet:
All the grow beds will be on that same shelf, when there are two shelves they will be next to each other so I can fit three parallel and one more perpendicular on the combined shelf. (I need to add the second rack before I can get the second grow bed hooked up) The lights are the only things that go above the grow beds. Since BK's doobie knowledge says to put the lights close to the plants, I may have storage space available above the lights too.

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PostPosted: Jan 8th, '07, 06:15 
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Ah, very good then. Carry on.

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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '07, 10:43 
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Another update.

I am going to partake of Janet's generosity and go half with a tilapia shipment from Miami Aquaculture. I need to get infrastructure in place to receive them, and get my new tubs cycled pronto. I have the 30 gallon aquarium from Mom and Dad to help with this.

In a panic after going forward with Janet's offer, I got some more work done today. I got the second grow bed hooked up, and was able to have both grow bed siphons running for over an hour tonight. They are starting and stopping with no problems right now; the next step is to add gravel to them.

In the bottom of the beds are going to be drilled corrugated half drain pipe, with Scotch Brite pads to seal up the edges to keep silt and gravel from going under the pipe. I also drilled holes in the bed outlet fitting to help the siphon draw air and stop. With one bed it didn't stop, with two on the pump they are working fine.

Garden hose is being used by pushing it into a short 3/4" pipe on the outlet fittings. I also found out that the pump tubing (1/2" ?) can be press fit into the garden hose, so I have a transition from tubing to hose them screwed into PVC to form the tee between the beds. I need to find a way to reliably split the flow between the two beds. Right now the pipes have to be exactly level to split the flow evenly, and this is too fragile to use long-term.

I avoided having to buy another rack (money is tight) by just breaking up the existing rack into the two halves. When I need to I can add another sump tub and two more grow beds like these, but I'll need another $40 pump like this one as well.

The beds are tricky to get to, and I'll be trying to remedy that before things get more permanent with gravel, fish, etc.

Enough talking, on with the show!


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Basement Jan 14.jpg
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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '07, 10:46 
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Bed bottom corrugated pipe and pads. The gravel will weigh them down so they're only sealing the pipe edges by about 1/3 of the pad.


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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '07, 10:50 
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Drilled bed outlet fitting, and split pump outlets


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