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 Post subject: BullwinkleII's system
PostPosted: Apr 4th, '10, 17:54 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Here is my first system.
Its a blue barrel filled with scoria (the stuff in the foreground pot and the pic of the shoot is my homemade clay medium)
pump is an old fish tank pump running continuously, and gravity draining via an auto-siphon.

Attachment:
BYAP GB1 DAY 1.jpg
BYAP GB1 DAY 1.jpg [ 220.44 KiB | Viewed 18512 times ]






I've been running it since 2010-29-03 with some humonia and fish emulsion.


2010-03-29 05:13pm

FT 23 c
planted seeds...
mignonette lettuce
silverbeet

added 20ml fish emulsion and some humonia

Four days ago on the first I got a test kit, (thanks Stu) I planted some more lettuce seeds,
and I made made this! ....


Attachment:
BYAP First life.jpg
BYAP First life.jpg [ 133.98 KiB | Viewed 18503 times ]



so now I have no idea how to interpret what is going on (thought I did after all the reading I've been doing (thanks everyone)
my readings over the last 4 days look like this. I have no Idea what they mean but I'm pretty excited about them anyway
"Look Karina! Then it drains back into this tank automatically! Lets watch it for a while!!!! :wave1: ...


Attachment:
BYAP test day 4 chart.jpg
BYAP test day 4 chart.jpg [ 81.73 KiB | Viewed 18488 times ]


Nitrate and pH are graphed on top of each other and a bit hard to see



So now I'm planning my next system :)

-craig

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Last edited by BullwinkleII on Oct 9th, '12, 16:12, edited 1 time in total.
crazy date order


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PostPosted: Apr 5th, '10, 04:46 
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welcome to the forum
and
nice work! :thumbright:

so whats your next system going to be?

-df

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PostPosted: Apr 5th, '10, 06:38 
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Don't add more ammonia until the levels drop. That level (3ppm) may be ok for bacteria, but not for fish and may be a bit problematic for fish. PH is also high, but will drop as ammonia converts to nitrate.

Looking good! Fun, isn't it!

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PostPosted: Apr 5th, '10, 07:20 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Quote:
Don't add more ammonia until the levels drop. That level (3ppm) may be ok for bacteria, but not for fish and may be a bit problematic for fish. PH is also high, but will drop as ammonia converts to nitrate.

Looking good! Fun, isn't it!


Thanks hydrophilia

all input greatly appreciated!

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PostPosted: Apr 5th, '10, 07:54 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Dank Fish wrote:
welcome to the forum
and
nice work! :thumbright:

so whats your next system going to be?

-df


either 3 IBC CHIFT PIST or 2 IBC and 2 big (2000l I think) black plastic GB

If we go with the 3 IBC I think ill cut 1 in half for 2 GB then take the top 1/3 of another, using the top 1/3 as a shallow lettuce GB and the bottom 2/3 as the sump

so 1 as FT
2/3 of 1 as sump
and 1 1/3 as 3 GB
with a flow splitter to distribute the water

I really want to make a flow splitter to divert water to each bed in turn just so I can see it happening :) I need a new fix because watching the auto-siphon work isn't enough :)

I haven't been able to find anything that will divert the flow other than using solenoids etc
As sexy as all that is, I want to try to make it so that it uses the water flow like the auto-siphon

I'd better start inventing

-craig

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PostPosted: Apr 6th, '10, 06:56 
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the aim here is to divert water coming from the FT to one GB then another GB in turn so as to pull less water from the FT at any on time

-----------
the three arrows at the top represent constant water flow. The center one is a large flow, the two on the sides are smaller flows. Read that bit again as my artistic skills didn't really do justice to this part of the animation.

the center flow is diverted slightly BEFORE triggering the siphon. The siphon is triggered a moment later by the small flow. (best seen on the left side in this lame animation) This delay stops the device from reaching a steady state of equilibrium (where the balance might sit flat and spill water in both directions) or from vibrating between the two tanks.

well that's the theory at least :drunken:



Attachment:
flow splitter animation.gif
flow splitter animation.gif [ 11.07 KiB | Viewed 18328 times ]


just a vague idea

all comments, feedback, derisive laughter, or suggestions welcomed :)

-craig

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PostPosted: Apr 6th, '10, 08:20 
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Cool idea, although I can see some possible problems (for one, small flow is probably not enough to trigger siphon). I'd love to see a working proof of concept. Go for it!

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PostPosted: Apr 6th, '10, 08:34 
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mmmm good point ... perhaps a one liter auto-siphon bucket under each "small flow" to damp all at once and trigger the GB to auto-siphon. The wave action alone following a sudden dump can trigger a GB to start its auto-siphon. Before I sorted my first siphon I found I could trigger it by bumping the GB :)
Or perhaps running the small flows directly into the media screened siphon space, might increase the effect of the small flow in just that local area.

can you (or anyone else) see any other problems I haven't thought of before I make a prototype?

I'm sure there are many but I (perhaps foolishly) back myself to sort them out :)

it will be nice to watch if it works :)

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PostPosted: Apr 6th, '10, 09:07 
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Don't see any other problems right off, but I'm not functioning on all cylinders right now. Grab some buckets and bits & pieces and have fun!

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PostPosted: Apr 6th, '10, 18:10 
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I made a prototype and it actually works! :)
I have to admit to being slightly surprised :)

It looks a bit like Homer Simpson built it but it will never be used on an actual system.

It seems reliable. Its running now on the kitchen sink.

It looks like this...

Attachment:
BYAP Proof of concept flow splitter.jpg
BYAP Proof of concept flow splitter.jpg [ 53.77 KiB | Viewed 18239 times ]




anyone want to see the most boring 4 minutes of video ever recorded :P

-craig




If anyone finds this device of use, it and its design are given freely to the world under the GPL. You may use it, copy it, profit from it, and manufacture it, but you may not patent it. It is now in the public domain.

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PostPosted: Apr 6th, '10, 20:57 
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hydrophilia wrote:
Cool idea, although I can see some possible problems (for one, small flow is probably not enough to trigger siphon). I'd love to see a working proof of concept. Go for it!


When the float lifts out of the water at the point of changing from watering one GB to the other, I was worried that the lifting of the float would make the water level go down a bit and that would inhibit the triggering of the siphon. Even with changing all the flow rates of all pipes semi-randomly, it seemed to work just fine.

The only issue I had was getting the siphons to stop because I didn't build an air hose into them, but rather just cut a long slit up from the bottom ... that needed a bit of adjustment to get the siphons to stop, but worked fine in the end as well.

It turned out the best flow was closer to even from all 3 pipes (perhaps the main (center) flow was twice the flow of the side flows but not the 5 times or more that I had originally designed (with a greater amount diverted to the side flows, no doubt this helped to overcome your observation that the "small flow is probably not enough to trigger siphon))
siphons were fast enough to drain from an "all GB's full" standing startup even with main flow AND secondary flow running into the GB as it dumped .... ie the system worked best when the input rate was slow enough that that the siphon could overcome BOTH the main and secondary flow (not that that was needed but in experimenting that was found to be the better flow rate).

The system recovered from an initial startup state where both GB's were full, both GB's were empty, or either was full and the other empty. (so it should be able to recover from some errors (eg me drawing some water off for testing, or a bird landing on the balance beam or something*(**!)(***!), upsetting the balance or whatever) and reset itself)

The only arrangement that failed was when input was faster than siphons could dump...
but that follows in any system.

It seemed a bit suss that it worked with the flow rates that I just happened to have at the beginning so I adjusted them in case I had a delicate accidental ideal, but found the adjusted rates also worked (within the normal parameters of an autosiphon system. In fact it was all about setting up the siphons to work, the balance beam worked at any flow rates and committed to one side or the other with a reasonable amount of confidence.

That said, improvements I would make would be...

- to increase the length of the balance beam to allow the weight of the water in the balance beam to give a greater degree of commitment to whichever side its filling (ie there was some bouncing between sides at the changeover although water was never quite spilled into the wrong side - a longer balance beam would be better)

- to create some baffles within the balance beam pipe to further increase the commitment to one side or the other (via the added weight of the water due to it's flow being slightly slowed and lingering on the balance beam)


- to mount the floats on a screw thread to allow for initial adjustment (I think I was a little lucky in getting their stalk length correct first time on my test model)

due to the size limitations of my test model I was forced to trim the length of the original design of the balance beam (mainly so the mini-GB's would drain into the bucket it had to sit on)

I have a feeling it will be much easier to make on a full scale system as most of the build issues were about trying to get my corks to not hit the sides of my mini-GB's. The ability to have a longer balance beam with the floats in close to the pivot point would allow a greater leverage to make a more pronounced angle of the balance beam ie floats in close to the middle would make a bigger lift to the ends of the balance beam which would eliminate any concerns about "bounce".

I will definitely be incorporating it into any future system where splitting the flow in sequence from one bed to another would be an advantage. A properly built system that used a little less wire, blu-tak, and clothes pegs would, I think, be approximately as reliable as an auto-siphon.

-flow rates can anything that will trigger a siphon
-cork stalk lengths seem to be easy enough to get right (may have been a bit lucky but with good design should be easy to adjust)
-balance beam length seems to be ok with whatever you happen to guess at (tho I feel longer is better)
-balance beam balance was done by trimming balance beam with tin snips then adding stones
-balance beam baffles were made by placing stones in the balance beam tube (to slow water flow a bit to gain greater commitment to one side or t'other)

All in all a surprisingly forgiving device - I'm pretty stoked ! :dance:

-craig

*bird scarer ?????

** ratcheted pulley attached to pivot point to migrate conveyor belt full of food into the tank every time the sequencer swaps GB's ?????

*** :drunken: !!!

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PostPosted: Apr 6th, '10, 21:03 
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I like it :thumbleft:

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PostPosted: Apr 6th, '10, 22:51 
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Very nice! I'll have to try one.

Trying to get my head around this.....There are three flows: 2 steady flows (one for each growbed) and a switched flow. So, what you are saying is that the parameters for flow are
tipped flow=steady flow=1/2 of max flow (approx)=1/3 of total pump flow
siphon flow>max flow
steady flow should be enough to trigger autosiphon
Is this correct?

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PostPosted: Apr 6th, '10, 22:54 
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bullwinklell wrote:
It turned out the best flow was closer to even from all 3 pipes (perhaps the main (center) flow was twice the flow of the side flows but not the 5 times or more that I had originally designed (with a greater amount diverted to the side flows, no doubt this helped to overcome your observation that the "small flow is probably not enough to trigger siphon))
+1 for nested parentheses!

And I think you are ready to see this.
Attachment:
File comment: Just add a scarecrow and a fish feeder...
alternator.jpg
alternator.jpg [ 24.54 KiB | Viewed 18089 times ]


Although one of the benefits of the floating outlet is that it is not touchy about input rate to trigger, somehow yours is very forgiving too. And does not require the extra chamber for the water source...

Count me as wanting to see the boring video. I love this stuff. One of my drain chambers will actually light up while it drains. No, really.

Rick

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PostPosted: Apr 6th, '10, 23:08 
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the pinkish lines I added to this graph highlight what I think is ammonia being echoed by the nitrite reading(with an appropriate delay) but isn't this all taking too long to change the nitrate reading?

Attachment:
2010-04-06 test results graph.jpg
2010-04-06 test results graph.jpg [ 37.44 KiB | Viewed 18067 times ]


I used some fish emulsion ... I wonder if this is why its taking so long to show up in the nitrates graph because there was always some nitrates that didn't come out of nitrites(ie it came out of the bottle of fish emulsion and as such isnt reflected in the changes to the other readings)

Am I correct in thinking my nitrates should be climbing by now ?????

I wish I knew what I was doing.

Oh well :)

-craig

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