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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Apr 2nd, '13, 01:23 
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The Puddle Princess sourced a 'semi-dwarf' Kaffir Lime today and duly planted it in a grow bed. I'm glad that I feel excited rather than redundant now that things are starting to happen with this project without my direct involvement.

My involvement is required for the next step, however, which is to cart a few hundred kilos of washed blue metal aggregate 90.3km from my place down to the Puddle. This load of media will complete the fifth and sixth blue drum grow beds and start the IBC grow bed. (I can hardly believe how the grow beds swallow up media!) Of course, the IBC grow bed also has to be plumbed but, other than that and topping it up with blue metal, I think the construction and implementation phase of the Puddle will be all but completed.


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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Apr 9th, '13, 01:18 
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Very nice topic!

And nice to see aquaponics on a larger scale. Do you use any kind of pre filter before the water goes in the media?
If not, aren't you afraid of leaves,poop, etc. clogging in the media?


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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Apr 9th, '13, 15:40 
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Hello Andreass. It is good to hear from Belgium!
Fish water pumped out of the Puddle goes first into a drum which I have set up as a Radial Flow Filter (RFF). This is designed to encourage heavier material, ie solids such as fish faeces, uneaten food, leaf pieces, etc, to settle to the bottom of the filter while the less lumpy water is distributed to the grow beds from outlets near the top of the filter drum. I have installed a tap toward the base of the filter drum so that solids-rich water can be drawn off from time to time. It seems to be working, although there are only nine Goldfish in the Puddle at present so there is no great build up of solids in the filter, as yet.
I have incorporated the RFF into this system since there is insufficient space available for the grow beds that would be required to adequately filter the Puddle, unless it was intended to stock it very lightly. By removing the much of the solids it is hoped that the 950-1000L volume of grow bed media will be sufficient to process the remainder of the fish waste. The current plan is to stock it with 100 Silver Perch and a total of twenty Goldfish.

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Apr 9th, '13, 20:28 
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Great answer PLJ! I have been looking around the last few days about removing solids before going into the grow beds. Just a few more questions. Aren't you worried about removing nutrients that are in the fish faeces that are important for the plants?

I have been looking around on youtube about aquaponic systems with a RFF or a swirl filter. And often i see stunted growth in the GB or yellow leaves. Could the solid removing be the cause of this? What are your experiences?


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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Apr 10th, '13, 02:37 
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The yellow leaves and stunted growth are more likely caused by an iron deficiency. Iron is not present in fish waste anyways. Also ph lockout makes it harder for the plants to take up what iron there is there. The volume of fish that he is going to raise in there, compared to growbed volume, means that he should have no issues with removing solids, there will be plenty left over for the plants.

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Apr 10th, '13, 04:34 
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A thought I've been having about the building of an 'orchard' alongside our greens & vines was to go from one size 'tub' to another. The thing that came to mind as a solution was a garbage can... plastic, not metal. Now, the root ball/ mirror image of what is seen above is a reality if we want a healthy, tall tree...
In AP, what we want is a well fed 'patio' size... so, trimming the roots seems more realistic, and the only accommodation would be to fit the trunk.
WalMart and my local grocery stores carry tubs a little larger than the 55 gal blue drums... not by much, and I haven't put a tape on 'em, but they are already 'patio sized,' and have a nice 'lip' that avoids rough edges... If they're on sale, they run $12. $15 if they're reg. priced.

Square trash cans should be easier to plumb. The additional 'grow media' provided by depth should be a plus... I think, Or am I way off base?

This was one: right around $60

http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100131542?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=garbage+cans&storeId=10051&N=25ecodZ5yc1v&R=100131542#.UWR5daKG1GY

How ever... this one is BIG... and over $229 ...and my personal fantasy is a citrus orchard... that is mobile. sort of. We have occasional freezes here... and Citrus does not appreciate a freeze. The idea would be to tote 'em into the garrage with a heater if it got that cold. The rest of the time, out in the sun and wind to be strong.
Normal winds out here get raucus... 60-70 mph gusts are common and I'd want it heavy enough not to blow over. Then... have to have flexible drains between the cans... And I'm fair certain the wheels would have to go... tho it might be part of the flood and drain. I haven't sized 'em.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202519001?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=garbage+cans&storeId=10051&N=25ecodZ5yc1v&R=202519001#.UWR64KKG1GY

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '13, 12:19 
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Andreass, as Ronmaggi has said I'm not worried about removing from the Puddle system the nutrients that are contained in the solids since there is an abundance (or soon will be). In fact, my concern is more along the lines of not being able to remove enough of the ammonia producing material, such as fish faeces, since 950-1000L of grow bed media is, arguably, only enough to provide sufficient filtration for around 50 fish to be raised to harvest. My RFF will assist in this regard, as will the original pool filtration system which can be used to supplement filtration and aeration, on occasion. Unfortunately the pool pump filter is a cartridge type rather than sand. I was hoping to replace the sand with zeolite to provide a quick ammonia reduction capability for occasions when it might be required. I don't know if the filter cartridge can be replaced in the same way.

Dancinhrblady, I believe there is value in having a relatively deep grow bed since it offers greater media volume than a shallower one (obviously), but also because it offers trees a depth of anchorage that gives them greater stability in what is otherwise a fairly 'liquid' growing medium compared to soil. The problem that I see with the containers in your posted links is that they all seem to be unwieldy in that their bases are smaller than their tops and these tops are quite high off the ground. Basically, their respective centres of gravity are too high for growing something like a lemon tree, which itself will have some rigid vertical height, and will be prone to blowing over in your strong winds. Having said that, I like your idea of a mobile AP orchard and can imagine them becoming popular once the concept is proven to work.

As an aside, I have no idea what the quote in your signature block is all about but that is fine - we don't all need to know everything. However, I find your unusually large text size to be very much 'in ya face' and quite frankly, annoying. I would be very grateful if you saw fit to tone it down somewhat so that I don't feel like I am being shouted at every time a I come across one of your posts. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '13, 16:12 
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PLJ, i wouldn't recommend zeolite in a plant rich system. It will be saturated quickly and plants might get not eneugh nutrients. I also threw it out of my aquarium filter.


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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: May 6th, '13, 23:32 
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Andreass wrote:
PLJ, i wouldn't recommend zeolite in a plant rich system. It will be saturated quickly and plants might get not eneugh nutrients. I also threw it out of my aquarium filter.

Thanks, Andreass. I have heard that zeolite can be used to good effect as an occasional, high powered ammonia knock down weapon, particularly when used with a pool pump. It doesn't matter now since the Puddle's original pool pump does not operate through a sand filter.

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: May 10th, '13, 23:13 
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As of Wednesday 8 May 13 the Puddle has 100 Ferguson Springs Silver Perch fry swimming around in it. Yesterday they were seen feeding alongside the nine resident Goldfish so it seems that they are happy in their new home.

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: May 11th, '13, 06:37 
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What is the water temp Plj? I think you will find winter will be a struggle for them with little flesh on their bones.

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: May 13th, '13, 02:10 
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I haven't thought about installing a thermometer, Faye, so temp is unknown. I will mention it to the Puddle Princess in case she wants to track and record temperatures.

These Silver Perch fry are about the same size as the ones that went into my big concrete tank with Rainbow Trout fingerlings last year. Those buggers survived both the trout and the cold, and it gets much colder up in Muckenburra than it does down in Claremont where the Puddle is located. Also exacerbating the temperature differential is fact that the Puddle is below ground whereas the big concrete tank is above ground and more subject to the elements. In summary, if Silver Perch fry can survive in my concrete tank then they should be able to thrive in the Puddle - even with blindfolds covering their lidless eyes and their little fins tied behind their backs. Having said that, however, I am learning that there are few absolutes in aquaponics so the SP fry may die anyway as a result of some other parameter changing, perhaps in conjunction with the cold, or maybe just to spite me.

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: May 18th, '13, 23:41 
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The plants in the grow beds are looking rather ordinary with very little new growth at all, I suspect due to a lack of 'fertiliser' being supplied by the still small fish. Is it safe to add urine to a FT with fish already resident? Assuming it is, what would be a reasonable volume to add to 10,000L of water? One, two, three bladders full?

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: May 19th, '13, 00:31 
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:? It must be lonely at the top... The lack of predictability with humonia is my only concern. What are your parameters? If I were to add anything, I would go for pure ammonia. Much easier to know what you are getting.

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 Post subject: Re: The 'Puddle'
PostPosted: May 19th, '13, 00:52 
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Ronmaggi wrote:
It must be lonely at the top...
At the top of what, Ron? I'm not sure to what you are referring.
The last time I used my test kit on the Puddle, a high pH was the concern with all other parameters near enough to zero. I am currently 3420km away in central Victoria so not in a favourable position to test the Puddle water. I will see if the Puddle Princess can do it.

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