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 Post subject: Dale Gribble's AP
PostPosted: Apr 10th, '13, 00:52 
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Hello all, and apologies if this ends up pretty long!

Recently joined and have read so much on here I think my head is going to explode! I think I may have got ahead of myself though as even though I need to know what cycling is, ph levels, what media to use etc,I still need some advice in setting up the FT and GB.

I should also add that my AP system is going to go on my balcony at my apartment and I am trying to do this on a small budget. I have some planters that are not being used right now and have thought about using them as my FT and GB. The dimensions are as follows - FT = 17*17*14 and the GB = 23*7*7 (all in inches).

Another thing about me - I am absolutely horrible at diy lol. It's ironic as my dad was an amazing plumber/pipe fitter, that gene certainly passed me by! Sadly he isn't here to help, so I will have to make myself at least somewhat competent :lol:

The planters have holes in them and so I thought I could have the water trickle back to the FT. Though from what I have read that doesn't seem too popular. I was hoping (due to my diy abilities) to avoid making this first one too complicated and having a bell siphon etc. Should I ditch the planter with the holes in and use something else?

I am going to use this guide to make my AP system. http://aquaponics.com/page/build-a-mini ... nic-system

I wouldn't be using the gravel for the FT that is suggested, and the guide also recommends tubing. From most of the systems I have had a look at pvc seems to be used instead. Can I be successful just having the tubing supply the water to the GB?

For my media I thought about using hydroton which I can get locally. 10L for $13 or 50L for $35 - is
this a decent price?


My potential FT has one hole in it - could I possibly get a stopper at the hardware store to fill it? if I did would it be enough to not leak once the water is in there? I am open to using other things, but like I said earlier this is on a budget and would prefer to use things I already have. If the planters are workable would it be best to have the pump on constantly and drain out through the holes?

If and this is a big if - I get the system working, then my plan is to have a few goldfish (4or 5 seem about right for the size of the FT?) and some red wrigglers in the media to help with the breakdown of solids.

I'm sure there are things I missed out, but just need to get going.

thanks for reading and aiding me in my quest to get a functioning AP system going.


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 Post subject: Re: Dale Gribble's AP
PostPosted: Apr 10th, '13, 04:01 
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Don't worry, human's intelligence and adaptability to DIY outside of their "trade" is one of our beautiful gifts. After a few projects you will be a pro DIYer, and considering whether you can redeck you balcony or renovate your bathroom lol!

On tubing....it depends which tubing. Clear vinyl tubing has disadvantages. It lets algae grow on the inside of the pipe, and contains plasticizers which are not good for humans, and might leach into the system over time. Better would be the light weight black poly pipe used in home irrigation and sprinkler systems. Even better would be the HDPE poly pressure pipe used for potable water transport, it is food safe but pipe and fittings are $$$.

On hole in fish tank. I suspect you mean a perfectly round, drilled hole for an outlet pipe? You could try a stopper, but a guaranteed way would be to get the appropriate sized bulkhead tank fitting, then put treaded end caps on each end....it would be an expensive plug, but would be the best option in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Dale Gribble's AP
PostPosted: Apr 10th, '13, 07:16 
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Thanks for your reply Dr Luke and your vote of confidence in my diy lol Thanks for the tubing tips. As I am definitely wanting to keep the cost down I may have to rethink it then. I just thought about using the planters to save me some $, so I definitely don't want an expensive fix to the hole. Cheers.


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 Post subject: Re: Dale Gribble's AP
PostPosted: Apr 10th, '13, 10:59 
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Someone else might have a cheap and reliable solution for pluging the hole


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 Post subject: Re: Dale Gribble's AP
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '13, 03:53 
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Anyone else with some advice?


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 Post subject: Re: Dale Gribble's AP
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '13, 04:11 
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A piece of compatible plastic somewhat larger than the hole and a decent amount of silicone.

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 Post subject: Re: Dale Gribble's AP
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '13, 05:00 
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Thanks Jake. I think I wasn't clear enough in my opening post. I am trying to keep my costs down and that's why I thought about plugging the holes of planters I already own. However, if there isn't much difference in $ do you think I should start over with different containers?


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 Post subject: Re: Dale Gribble's AP
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '13, 05:21 
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Those look a little nicer than many containers. Might as well stick with them.

My fix would be really cheap and you'll want to have some silicone around anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Dale Gribble's AP
PostPosted: Apr 11th, '13, 13:34 
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Lol. I didn't look at the picture and thought you were talking about and ACTUAL fish tank with a hole in the glass....that will learn me.


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