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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '09, 00:38 
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What would you do with this site?
This pond was in place when we bought the house, stocked with a few "realtor" goldfish and apparently topped off by garden hose.
Owner "A" had a nice setup but took the nice pump etc. with him - there's a shielded drain going to a riser pipe in the "alley" that's just cut off. Owner "B" must have rigged up some degree of quick-and-dirty waterfall in its place: Cleaning some branches and muck out of the bottom revealed a Flotec 1/6HP sump pump. It works but I don't know about its ability to run continuous (or if it's oil-filled etc.)
Annnddd, Clearing some palms from behind the waterfalls revealed a TetraPond biofilter (small). I put the filter and pump into duty this spring and arrived at 0-0-0 water (Ammo-Rite-Rate) and the goldfish were very happy about that.

Rick


Attachments:
File comment: My own Jed Clampett Ceee-ment Pond!
CeeementPond.jpg
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File comment: Growbed space to the left. And where else?...
Site copy.jpg
Site copy.jpg [ 97.59 KiB | Viewed 14534 times ]
File comment: Grassy Alley, no traffic here
AlleyTanks.jpg
AlleyTanks.jpg [ 64.63 KiB | Viewed 14524 times ]

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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '09, 00:40 
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Assets: Pond is buried. Looks to be cement-over-heavy-liner-in-Clay-Soil...
We have a year-round growing season here with occasional frosts and "hard freeze" (25ºF) every 8 years...
Two 270-gallon rain barrels I plan to feed from the front half of the roof...
A spouse who could happily eat fish every day, and who likes Tilapia...
State laws that allow Mozambique Tilapia without permits...
Back roof could flow rain into the pond if guttered...
Several citrus trees that need permanent homes...
About 15 meters of ground along the fence (to the left of the pond) as room for raised grow beds...
Three levels of rock terrace meant to cascade into the pond (but the last one leaks) but could support some back&forth NFT channels after the grow beds...

Rick


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File comment: These guys say my name! ("Op! Op!")
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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '09, 00:42 
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Challenges: I will be the only labor judging by the past behavior of the wife&kids (but of course they help consume the tomatoes and snap peas etc)...
Rain Tree may be threatening the integrity of the liner, so far it is pushing the bottom waterfall ledge out of whack and causing a leak (which the grapevine likes)...
Hot hot summers... Don't think this'll ever be a trout tank.

I am wanting to keep the fish in this in-ground pond but I know it's more challenging to keep a clean pump in a "single-tank" or "FIST" system. It's a major visual feature of the yard/patio and dang it, there should be fish in there. But I could be convinced otherwise, if a good location for a round Veggie Boy style tank presented itself.

I haven't invested much yet, so I invite the AP community to use your imagination and help realize the potential of this system!

Rick Op


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File comment: It looks MUCH larger here than it really is...
LowView.jpg
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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '09, 00:43 
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I'd sell it and buy a house in Sydney Australia,..... :)

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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '09, 00:51 
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Well yeah, there's that. I always wanted a place in Thailand too... :geek:

A lot of ideas running around my head: Run pumped water straight up to high point and then a sharp left to let gravity take it along the fence to grow beds
-> I like single pump, continuous, and autosiphons for the growbed(s) - "Schluurp schluurp"
-> Rubbermaid 100- or 150-gallon stock tanx as starter GBs, at least to remove the leaky cascade from the immediate picture (losing too much water there right now)
-> Build custom raised bed later, lumber and liner, make more attractive with tiling, lattice & such
-> Out with the tree? Build deck over the pump end of the pond? Definitely will need shade if the tree is lost (and how to lose the tree?)
-> Swirl filter suspended in the water (pump out from the top and direct water in at an angle at the bottom)?

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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '09, 00:58 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Wow, definitely got a start of something going there. Cool.

There are some other Texans on the forum who might be of help to you as well, like perhaps sourcing things locally and such.

Main drawback to turning an existing ornamental pond into part of a flood and drain AP system is the fluctuation of water level. I definitely like flood and drain though. If you get the right kind of pump then coping with cleaning the pump out might not be such an issue though I am still partial to CHIFT PIST

However, keeping the tilapia from breeding out of control in such a pond might be quite a challenge. I like keeping tilapia that I'm trying to grow out to eat, in a deeper tank that I can put them in a cage to stop them breeding (if they can't access a bottom surface, they can't pick the eggs back up to brood them.) Other option might be getting all male fry but I don't know how easy that is to do for small number orders.

Good Luck and eager to see what ideas you come up with :cheers:
Welcome to the madness :!:

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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '09, 01:08 
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I was thinking all male, but the cage plan has appeal. Your system thread was a very good read, took me a few days but I absorbed the many lessons therein.

You make a good case for CHIFT PIST and maybe I could even dig lower for a sump but for right now...

...although the neighbor across that fence might let me bury a sump IBC on his side, we're on really good terms!

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PostPosted: Jul 22nd, '09, 07:47 
Welcome Sminfiddle... as TCL said... got the makings of a good little system there mate... wouldn't mind having that pond at my place.. :wink:


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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '09, 20:13 
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Go for it using 'what ya got.' CHIFT is very nice, but as long as you keep the water moving its ok to run your water down low. First thing I would do is measure your hole and then use a calculator to estimate how much water it holds: http://www.gardenponds.com/Pondcalculators.htm

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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '09, 22:42 
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Hey there Sminfiddle, welcome to a fascinating place. I, like yourself, am still in the planning stages of an aquaponics system. (Aquaculture is my livelihood) You have a great pond and site.

Concerning fish species, you will like channel catfish. You also could try
a few pacu if you can find an inexpensive source. I have only grown a few in tanks. They are tropical but grow large very quickly. Supposed to be good eating too. They won't spawn in tanks, so no overpopulation concerns like tilapia.

From a purely practical standpoint, you may strongly consider removing the raintree on the edge of the pond. The species of tree is not terribly important, but, if its Koelreutaria paniculata the problems you will experience may be accellerated. First, you will constantly be cleaning oxygen robbing leaves and branches from the pond. Being a deciduous tree will make the problem worse in the fall and winter. Second, as you have seen already, the rapid growth of trunk and roots will damage the concrete more and (roots) will eventually puncture the liner. Even if you can tolerate the first problem you will not avoid the second and it will be a major hassle to get the tree out after you build your AP masterpiece. Last but not least, you live in hurricane country, that tree will only get larger and fall harder.

Now, I love trees, but don't like them near my tanks or ponds for the same reasons. A tree service would remove it, or a garden center might..big might..come and try to get it alive. That would be doubtful. Or you might offer free tree on craigslist.

You asked, and others may disagree. I am sure you will soon hear why.


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PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '09, 23:04 
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"Free Tree" on Craigslist... :lol:
I wouldn't wish this tree on anyone or their neighbors. Its children are everywhere in my yard and probably popping up all over the block.
The seeds are a perfect size to block the intake of my "found free pump" when I set it too low in the water.
One good thing about it is the wood is Sooo weak and starchy it is no sweat at all to pull or saw off a branch when one shades Das Soilgarten too much.

Gee Wally, I guess I have very effectively talked myself into losing that tree! Now to decide on frame materials for a Hex-inspired open dome. :twisted:

I can get channel cats, blue cats, Hybrid Striped Bass, 3 inch Tilapia, Coppernose or Native Bluegill pretty easily locally.

Never heard of Pacu but you better believe I am researching them now. Thanks!

Rick

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PostPosted: Jul 25th, '09, 01:57 
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Here is one possibility for "going big"
2 each Rubbermaid 300-gallon and 100-gallon as grow beds with 18inches of media
Several fence-mounted planters
NFT pipes coming after one of the sets of growbeds
In the sketchup, water goes from the pond straight up, left to feed the beds...
Lower pipe on the fence is return from the fence-beds.
All drain water goes to the right back to the pond.

I am not sure how to regulate the flow from autosiphons (though there will be multiple) to appropriately feed a NFT pipeline, maybe I will need an intermediate tank to keep a stream going?


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File comment: One possible layout
BigTankBeds copy.jpg
BigTankBeds copy.jpg [ 36.7 KiB | Viewed 14250 times ]
File comment: Higher vantage point
SomeWhereOverTheTankBeds copy.jpg
SomeWhereOverTheTankBeds copy.jpg [ 45.29 KiB | Viewed 14251 times ]

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PostPosted: Jul 25th, '09, 02:38 
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And the 100 gal and 300 gal Rubbermaid stock tanks would get an overflow and bell siphon right inna bottom as in these pictures, which are not mine:


Attachments:
File comment: 3 anna quarter inch holes
KoiClaysIdeaAndPicThanks.jpg
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File comment: Shower drains, 2-inch
KoiClaysIdeaAndPic2Thanks.jpg
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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '09, 23:18 
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I'm still here.
Seedling lettuce started at the last new moon in rockwool 1/8 portions of starter cubes. The full cube just seemed too big. The plan for these is 2" net pots in NFT channel.
Haven't set up the NFT raceway yet - will feed for now from the biofilter for a clean(ish) stream. PVC downspout looks workable, I may keep it at 10-feet (3m) length and hang it on the fence, or chop in half and set up a chain of 5-foots (1.5m). Either way, 40 feet (12m) of lettuce/basil/choy. It deserves a clean feed from some growbeds, but...
Gravel beds F&D (autosiphon-or-FLOUT) are pending: 1) funds for purchase of expanded shale and Rubbermaid stock tanks. Or B) time to build lined lumber beds. Which still would require a purchase of some yards of exp. shale.
The gravel-bed overflow standpipe will (in my plan, maybe in real life too) have trickle holes in the bottom. These'll be lined up in the inner and outer pipe, close fit, so turning the outer will crop any wandering roots and adjust the trickle going to the NFT.
For now a TetraPond small biofilter is cycling for me as much as it can, and stopping most of the solids. Changing the level or moving it always dumps some crud downstream.
I pulled the stream away from the 2-tier waterfalls (and their palm/reed plants) and the water greened right away, but stabilized after a few days. Goldies gobbled algae since I reduced feeding (due to the plant pullout).

I am really looking forward to flooding some gravel and putting down some real roots. And hosting a Texas Aquaponic Meetup and Hoedown-On-The-Bayou... say April 11th.

Rick
Still Fiddlin'

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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '09, 23:33 
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And my "go big" plan now seems to be a bare minimum once I add fish... I'd like channel catfish, it's too late for tilapia. Even next year I may try pacu before tilapia.
We've been spoiled by eating catfish (grilled at our favorite local pescaderia), still like tiapia flavor but navigating the catfish bones is easier.

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