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PostPosted: Oct 6th, '16, 10:49 
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So I'm starting near the end. Only recently have I "completed" my latest system, though I'm starting to suspect they are never actually complete. There is always something to do - usually instigated by doing something small that creates a HSM, all my fish are gonna die situation.

I must say I've killed a LOT of fish, hence the thread title. Many of them intentionally (they were delicious), but most others are part of the learning curve.

Hi, my name is Dave. I've been addicted to AP for two years now. I'm trying to get help but the meetings and forums aren't working. It started small, thanks to MMM's (Mr Money Mustache) blog and Frosty Fish AP in northern US. Within a few weeks of this a friend blurted out "I can't believe you're not into aquaponics!" out of nowhere. Then two weeks later my brother said he had heard about aquaponics and was thinking of giving it a try. So I built my first system in fall (Christmas) 2014.

The trial system was an IBC FT with one IBC and four 1/2 barrel GBs. [Sadly?] It worked really well. Now I'm all in. Here come some photos. I must say thanks to TCLynx for her amazing posts, blog, store, etc. - I started with catfish and I learned everything from her, except the bits I learned somewhere else. Also thanks to Bullwinkle and Faye, but time for more of that later...


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File comment: Backyard, today
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File comment: System 2, June 2016
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800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
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9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.
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PostPosted: Oct 6th, '16, 11:02 
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So, currently I have two systems. I creatively refer to my latest as system 2! It uses a 900 gallon stock tank semi-buried and surrounded by a deck. This feeds a 55 gal RFF, ten 100 gal IBC GBs and two 100 gal IBC DWC tanks. That's a Ton of Hydroton! (see what I did there). I also have some NFT features and a rain gutter garden attached.

There is no sump. This creates some challenges, but not nearly as large a challenge as digging a huge hole and burying a 500 gallon sump tank. It is a continuing journey in aesthetic landscape design, engineering, hydrodynamics, plumbing, biology, botany, blah, blah, blah... I keep mostly channel catfish in this system because TCLynx says that you should have at least 400 gallons if you want to raise catfish. I also have a few plecos, a Yo-Yo loach and some mosquito fish.

Catfish were my first choice due to the temperature range I see in my unprotected outdoor system. Water is in the 40s in the winter and in the 80s during summer. They are also delicious. I heard they are difficult to prepare since many people skin them before cooking. Turns out they fillet really well with an electric knife in about 45 seconds (less if you're good at it).

However, last season I raised 50 Tilapia in this sytem from 2" fingerlings to 1lb+ fish. I only have 4 or 5 left - the ones I couldn't catch (I was scaring the fur off my catfish). The tilapia made delicious tacos for the first bricklaying and fish taco party ever. The bricks came out very nice thanks to about 25 friends.

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Oct 6th, '16, 11:12 
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System 1 still lives, though it's been re-configured from science experiment to Tilapia system. Now a full 250 gal FT feeding a 35 gal RFF, one 100 gal IBC GB and 4 1/2 barrel GBs plus four strawberry towers, and a 100 gal sump. This sytem uses lava rock, though they call it scoria on the bottom of the planet.

I keep it insulated to stabilize the temp for the tilapia, and I have a 1000 watt heater for emergencies (aka winter). Did I mention I have solar panels? Good thing cause it turns out it takes a LOT of electrons to heat outdoor ponds. Who knew.


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File comment: System 1, science experiment - June 2015
20150616_180430_resized.jpg
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800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.
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PostPosted: Oct 6th, '16, 11:15 
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I like photos:


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File comment: System 1, Oct 2015
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File comment: System 1, Dec 2015
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_________________
800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.
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PostPosted: Oct 6th, '16, 11:20 
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System 1 today:


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20161005_151206.jpg
20161005_151206.jpg [ 172.27 KiB | Viewed 6384 times ]
20161005_151216.jpg
20161005_151216.jpg [ 114.77 KiB | Viewed 6384 times ]

_________________
800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.
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PostPosted: Oct 9th, '16, 21:50 
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dstjohn99 wrote:
System 1 still lives, though it's been re-configured from science experiment to Tilapia system. Now a full 250 gal FT feeding a 35 gal RFF, one 100 gal IBC GB and 4 1/2 barrel GBs plus four strawberry towers, and a 100 gal sump.
Great pictures, man! :headbang:

Those seem like nicely sized RFF's, can you describe your maintenance procedure(s) on them and how well they've been performing for you, etc.? I guess that is obvious from the pics. Your systems look great!

Thanks,

Sam

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PostPosted: Oct 9th, '16, 22:12 
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Nice system! When you say "all in," you mean it. Congratulations on your success.

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) FT. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter.
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PostPosted: Oct 13th, '16, 10:56 
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Sam, each rff has a valve at the bottom that I open into a bucket. Apparently I need to do this more often. I just did it after about 3 - 4 weeks and the large one drained fine but SMELL - hydrogen sulfide I'm thinking. The smaller one the valve plugged up with tilapia scales and I had to get a pump and vacuum it out - about 7 gallons of water and some serious solids. I'm gonna make a mental note to open the valves every week or two. I dump the solids water onto my avocado and peach trees. I don't really have much more of a dirt garden than that, maybe the flowerbeds in the front yard or something.

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Oct 13th, '16, 11:08 
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Thanks Boss, I'll share more photos soon.

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Oct 13th, '16, 11:21 
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So here is a DWC tank with duckweed. I invented this cool overflow system that takes water from the bottom of the tank, so it doesn't disturb the duckweed. I came up with this about a year ago. It turns out other people are using my invention for many years now, and they call it a venturi siphon based on other topics here. HOw did they know about this if I only though of it a year ago?


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File comment: Duckweed 1
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_________________
800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.
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PostPosted: Oct 13th, '16, 11:29 
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System 2, the early days:


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File comment: Jan 2016
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File comment: Nov 2015
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File comment: Nov 2015
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_________________
800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.
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PostPosted: Oct 28th, '16, 23:48 
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nosliwmas wrote:
dstjohn99 wrote:
System 1 still lives, though it's been re-configured from science experiment to Tilapia system. Now a full 250 gal FT feeding a 35 gal RFF, one 100 gal IBC GB and 4 1/2 barrel GBs plus four strawberry towers, and a 100 gal sump.
Great pictures, man! :headbang:

Those seem like nicely sized RFF's, can you describe your maintenance procedure(s) on them and how well they've been performing for you, etc.? I guess that is obvious from the pics. Your systems look great!

Thanks,

Sam


BTW Sam, I also put 6x6" filter pads under the inlets to my GBs. That way when I see solids accumulating it reminds me to drain the RFF. Also, tilapia create A LOT of poop. That rff always seems to pass some solids. The inside of the RFF is quickly laden with solids. I'm wondering if I should completely drain it and hose it out once a month or so in addition to the once a week quick drain of solids.

_________________
800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Oct 30th, '16, 04:03 
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Hiya dstjohn99, great looking system well done, considering you love photos it's taken a long time to get some of your system out to share!
And yes, you've got it bad man!
:headbang:

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PostPosted: Oct 30th, '16, 09:55 
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Thanks for the kind words Sam, Boss & Skeggley. Now that I'm close to done (if that's possible) I have some time for recreational forum posts. Always tweaking something though. Aeration and top-off water (automate) are at the top of my list now. I just put in some power heads as my DO is much lower than I like. My meter says 4.4, though I didn't calibrate it today. I added a power head pointing up to disturb the surface and after an hour it reads 5.6. So it's helping. I already have two air stones bubbling aggressively in that IBC. But at 72 - 74°F I'm hoping to get into the sixes. I'll have to calibrate my meter and check again tomorrow.

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC system 1/2015
simple flood & drain
5 growbeds

9 kW Solar Electric 2011

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Oct 30th, '16, 11:11 
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nice deep grow beds and a big circular tank - I like that. Good system example and use of space.

like your comment about the venturi... you can also use a SLO, its what I did with my DWC's so water came out of bottom - and i run a length of pipe along bottom.

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