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PostPosted: Feb 23rd, '17, 12:24 
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Rob,

I agree on the box but had to do a compromise...I built up a half box of cinderblocks around it packing road base to support the plumbing, on top of all I slope away from the ibc and placed a cover board (some extra cement boards I had lying around) before finishing with around a foot of soil (this is due to running out of cinder blocks and road base). I am hoping that if/when I need to get back down there that a foot of soil won't be that bad to dig up off of the cover board and the road base will be easier and cleaner to go through then soil for accessing the pipes.

David,

I had not considered the soil collapsing the tanks :shock: hopefully I won't be running the tanks to low. I have had them in place and completely backfilled for just shy of two weeks. They have been filled up and I have not noticed any water loss (outside of some slight evaporation on some hot days). Weather permitting, will be working on the stands for the beds this weekend.

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PostPosted: Mar 3rd, '17, 03:50 
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Soooo, ran into an issue while pressure washing the IBC tanks I will be using for the fish tanks. While pressure washing the drain fitting/valve, the handle blew off on 2 of the tanks :shock: . The handle has a gasket and appears to be only pressed in. I was able to press the handle back in with a c-clamp and all appears to be fine (opens and closes normally, holds water, no leaks). This may be a "just watch out with the pressure washer" moment :dontknow: , but it did cause me to stop and decide to pull the handles off (I think the valve assembly is screwed on) and thread a cap on the outlet as I am not going to be using the outlet for the plumbing anyway.

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PostPosted: Apr 19th, '17, 11:28 
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A post long overdue. Change of plans. Instead of pulling off the valves from the IBC and capping them, I decided to solve the insecurity of them popping off by banding the handle down. I did this so that if I have to drain them in the future, I only need to attach the hose (via a couple of adapters), cut the banding, and open the valve.

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PostPosted: Apr 19th, '17, 11:30 
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A picture of one of the valves with the banding applied.


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File comment: Valve with banding.
WrapLock Valve.jpg
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PostPosted: Apr 19th, '17, 11:35 
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The banding I used is called Wraplock and is from the Hanler Corporation. It comes in a few different sizes as well as stainless and galvanized versions.


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PostPosted: May 11th, '17, 09:19 
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Wow, Can't believe how the time flies when you are trying to fit in a hobby with family and work :shock: I have finished the placement of the fish tanks, dwc's, and flood -n- drains :cheers:


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File comment: Another view of setting up the tanks.
Barrel Setup All.jpg
Barrel Setup All.jpg [ 58.4 KiB | Viewed 2316 times ]
File comment: Setting up the tanks.
Barrel Setup.jpg
Barrel Setup.jpg [ 54.35 KiB | Viewed 2316 times ]

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PostPosted: May 11th, '17, 09:23 
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I have also finished the first stage of plumbing and have filled up the grow beds with river rock.


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File comment: First stage plumbing
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PostPosted: May 11th, '17, 09:33 
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Went with 3 flood and drains on each side of the setup (6 total), 1 mini dwc, 1 constant flood and 4 regular dwc. I found in the test run on the plumbing that I did not have enough flow for all 3 flood -n- drains to start and stop at the same time (if and when that happened)...raised all by 1 block to increase drain plumbing angle and all resolved. The mini dwc is for duckweed (I made a sun shade out of 1/2" pvc and patio door screen). Started the planting with some onions :D


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PostPosted: May 12th, '17, 21:42 
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nice progress, it's looking really good!

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PostPosted: May 15th, '17, 12:15 
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Thanks Rob.

I did have an uh-oh moment shortly after running the system for about a week to find an insane amount of algae on/in everything :think: . Thinking there was no way it could be normal to have that much algae, I ran out and purchased 3 plecostomus (planning to rotate them between tanks with the eventual goal of placing them in the sumps). A week later and the algae had resolved itself (even in the tanks without the plecos). Its funny because I have read several others with algae blooms in new systems and to be patient; however, when I experienced it, instead of waiting for it to resolve, I threw some algae-eaters in there :oops: . I had not considered that amount of algae could be normal, well I know for the next one :D

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PostPosted: May 15th, '17, 12:35 
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I am lucky enough to have a local supplier for tilapia. They stock their fish with spring/well water. This helps to ensure that the fish are acclimated to the water-ph, temperature, mineral make up, etc... as I am using spring/well water also.

My system is now stocked with 100 blue tilapia, 100 mosquito minnows, and 3 plecostomus :cheers: .

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PostPosted: May 15th, '17, 20:56 
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I bought most of my tilapia from Tampa Aquaculture.. I bought a few from Lakeway Tilapia to see if there was a difference in their growth speed or anything because they make big claims about being "pure blue tilapia" where they claim everyone else has hybrids being sold as blue tilapia... I haven't noticed a difference in them though, and the Tampa Aquaculture was cheaper... now I am up to 400+ tilapia though because they breed like crazy so probably never need to buy tilapia again unless I decide I need fresh genes down the road...

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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '18, 12:27 
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WOW!! I made it back in under a year, OK, not quite. :D Now I get to give updates to all the amazingness (It is a word...maybe) that has happened since my last posts.

I planted the following for 2017:
Basil, Beets, Carrots, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Okra, Onions, Peppers, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet Peas, Rosemary, Tomatoes, and Tooth Ache Plants (I will update as I remember any others I have planted).

Not all of these produced, though. The basil did well. The beets did good. The carrots did so-so (got a lot of greens from them; however, the root did not do well and they finally died during summer). The cucumbers grew but did not produce. The lettuce did not grow spring, summer, or fall, but was great during winter. I had great production from the Okra. The onions also did good. The peppers grew but did not produce. The pumpkin looked outstanding as I got a 40 foot vine crawling around the tanks on the ground with lots of flowers but none set (looked really impressive coming out of half a barrel). The squash flowers also did not set. The sweet Peas grew but always looked weak and only gave a few peas. The rosemary did good. The tomatoes were on track to give a decent harvest but the bugs got to enjoy them more then we did. The tooth-ache plants are INVASIVE, not only did they spread like crazy, but they also flowered and seeded the gravel (I am still pulling out tooth-ache plants as sprouts come up).

Most of my plants come from seeds that I start in the house in a custom seed starting bin. I wash off the roots and transplant into the gravel once large enough.

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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '18, 22:48 
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Beets greens


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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '18, 22:49 
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Beets with an okra


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