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 Post subject: Julien's System #2
PostPosted: Jun 19th, '07, 06:57 
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This is my current system.

The is an enhancement of my entry in the wheelie bin contest.

I am presently working on full automation including feeding and 10 %water change every week. Past experience has shown that due to my personality, my system needs to be neglect proof.

But first I need to fix the water flow in the gb. I want continuous drip.


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File comment: This is the tank/wheelie bin. The water is circulated through an underwater filter by lifting water with an air pump (the black tube in the center). The water flowing from the white outlet comes from the growbed. So the water is aerated two ways.
IMAG0021 (Small).JPG
IMAG0021 (Small).JPG [ 38.81 KiB | Viewed 9908 times ]
File comment: The growbed is outside facing the sun. It is higher than the fish thank. One garden hose brings water from the fish tank to the gb via a back window. One hose brings water back to the tank by gravity. The gb is filled with rocks.
IMAG0016 (Small).JPG
IMAG0016 (Small).JPG [ 72.2 KiB | Viewed 9898 times ]
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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '07, 09:26 
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Hi Julien, Glad to see you're still working on AP. With the warmer weather, things get easier.

Why did you switch to continuous drip? I found that I got dry spots doing it that way. If you don't like flood and drain using autosiphons, you could try flood and drain with the pump on a timer and a perforated standpipe.

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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '07, 09:57 
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I have found autosiphons unreliable.

I have been considering flood and drain with a timer. The problem is to find the right timer.


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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '07, 10:37 
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Quote:
I have found auto siphons unreliable.

as have some people - they are not maintenance free, just very low maintenance... what sort of auto siphon did you try?
By the way, what have you stocked the tank with?

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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '07, 10:39 
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i have had no problems with my autosyphons, however the total length of the pipe its constructed out of is only about a meter, and yours looks 30m+ which im guessing may be part of the problem, and maybe the flow as a result of the pump head....
That said, others have had problems with autosyphons, and i am complentating flood and drain with a standpipe and header tank (which would drain pereiodically and act like a timer)

Looks good though, what fish are you using?


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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '07, 10:55 
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Yep - best to keep the pipe length small as possible, the longer the length, the greater the resistance to water flow and less likely the siphon is to keep working

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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '07, 12:45 
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How much water flow do you get with the air lift pump? I can't imagine it is too fast with that distance.

What is the reason for going air pump instead of a pond pump/submersible?


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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '07, 12:49 
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TimC wrote:
How much water flow do you get with the air lift pump? I can't imagine it is too fast with that distance.

What is the reason for going air pump instead of a pond pump/submersible?


I got the impression he's using both, a pump to pump to the growbed, and then the airlift to circulate water just through the bin....
Did you read the pic description?
I might be wrong though ;)


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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '07, 13:09 
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Janet wrote :

Why did you switch to continuous drip? I found that I got dry spots doing it that way. If you don't like flood and drain using autosiphons, you could try flood and drain with the pump on a timer and a perforated standpipe


Or if you really wanted to retain the drip irrigation and avoid dry spots, you could perhaps use a high water retention product like coco-coir fibre.

The coco-coir would help disperse the water more evenly.

I think you'd still need to have a simple timer though to periodically turn off the drip irrigation and allow the growbed/coir to dry out a little to prevent water saturation and root rot.

All in all Janet's suggestion of the standpipe/timer combination maybe the best way to go.

If your pump is really low flow over the distance then again a growbed full of coco-coir to retain/disperse the water and a standpipe/timer to allow a drain/dry period might work just fine.

Luckily you have catered for oxygenation of the fish tank with the airlift, so it really wouldn't matter if you had a period of no or slow flow back to the tank when a timer period was off.

You'd obviously have to check and refine your water levels/timer periods though


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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '07, 13:13 
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Its not in the description but you must be right. An airlift wouldn't work at that height/distance.


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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '07, 14:24 
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Julien wrote :
The water is circulated through an underwater filter by lifting water with an air pump (the black tube in the center).


It's in the picture description TimC... not an airlift as such... my bad as well


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PostPosted: Jun 20th, '07, 10:20 
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This system is the result of my first experiment with about 30 gold fish.

They all went to see their maker! One by one they went away. It was so depressing.

Right now there is no fish. I am circulating the water to cleans the system.
I'll probably buy new fish this week-end. I have not decided yet which kind.

Upon thinking about this tragedy, I could see that most of my problems were due to lack of knowledge and lack of consistency.

I am steadily working on the knowledge bit and this system is my latest effort in making something that will take care of itself hence not requiring consistency - which I have in limited quantity only.

My garden does not require maintenance and it works; so why not AP.

First, why moving away from autosiphon? They work - most of the time. Most of the time does not cut it when one has to travel and leave the system on its own many weeks a month. Furthermore, if you simply touch them, all bets are off! And I have children who love to touch things.

My plan is to either use a network of silicone tubing to distribute the water to each plant ,or, flood and drain with a timer, or, a mixture of both.

I use both an air pump and water pump for redundancy. The air pump lifts water 15mm out of a tube which gets its liquid from the bottom of the under water filter. That makes the water circulate through the rock filter. Rough estimate 15 l/hr. That's my primary filter and aerator.

The water pump pushes water about 1 meter up through a back window and around the house to the grow bed. Then the water is sent back to the wheelie bin by gravity. Surprisingly there is a fairly high flow of water. At least 60 litres/hr - probably more.


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PostPosted: Jun 20th, '07, 20:29 
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May I suggest that you add the fish slowly, It takes time to build up bacteria.

I lost two beautiful Baramundi in a wheelie bin, because I didn't take time to build up bacteria in my system.

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PostPosted: Jun 24th, '07, 04:52 
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I have not purchased the fish yet but when I do I will start slowly (again).

I am thinking of 12 gold fish in 100l + water.

Because there are probably some bacteria left in the system and because weather is relatively warm now, I expect a faster startup than last time I tried.

On a more positive side, I am including a picture of my dirt garden. It looks like this year is going to be a success. I already have spinash to eat.
Carrots and letuce are doing well. The tomato plants are promising. And it looks like I will have LOTS of potatoes. Lastly, my 4 year old has already eaten all the radishes, so I need to plant some again.

It took me 4 years to get to a good dirt garden. I don't expect that AP will be any different. That is why I am starting with a small system.


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PostPosted: Jun 26th, '07, 09:16 
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Today my neighbor asked me about that blue bucket in the entry way.

I only had to give a brief explanation and he understood right away.

He has a fish pond.

Hey, maybe he'll convert to AP if he sees success :)


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