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 Post subject: SOP's IBC Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Nov 1st, '14, 17:10 
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A basic IBC cut-in-half soil wicking bed system.


This was an earlier mockup. Uniseal 25mm pressure pipe overflow, 90mm fill tube connected to agipipe via a 100mm pot.

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Medium sand for the wick (couldn't get coarse river anywhere). Another piece of agipipe to increase void. Other 2 have weedmat rolled pieces as I had a short excess that worked well instead of throwing it out.

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Flooding the sand to clear any voids. Attached to the overflow is my flooding piece if I ever want to flood the whole bed to the top. I'd flood them now but the tank is nearly empty so I have to wait.

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Making the soil mix. Against every fibre of my being, I had to mix medium sand with my soil and compost. Absolutely nowhere local to me had coarse washed river and from googling, I couldn't accept 12 cubic metres at my house if I wanted it delivered.

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A piece of woodchip humus. For nearly 3 years I've been nursing a pile of woodchip and it's now no longer reducing in size and is a rich dark colour. Last year I grew Loofah on top of the pile (a volunteer) and this year it's finally being used for its original purpose.

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The soil mix consisted of medium sand, woodchip humus, existing soil with some parsley in it, chicken manure, cow manure, worm castings with biochar in it, Organic Xtra and one bed had some crusher dust mixed with it.

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Finishing the last bed. One is mulched with nesting box material from chickens, the other is mulched with deep litter from the coop. So almost too much chicken manure and the beds will need to heat up and chill before planting.

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The 90mm fill pipe has a cap, the overflows have a piece of shademesh held on with a rubber tree tie. This should prevent mozzie incursion.

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And finished. Now we play the waiting game.

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Things I'd do differently? Get coarse washed river sand for the soil mix.


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PostPosted: Nov 2nd, '14, 15:43 
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Just wondering why you did not position the fabric-lined boxed section , right in the middle

I have thought of doing the same thing, but using a light plastic pallet, trimmed to fit inside the IBC, creating a full floor, and then cover with Agri-Fab and Shade-Cloth..
..
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PostPosted: Nov 2nd, '14, 15:45 
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Here is the silt and fines from the "washed" sand. This is the leftover from sieving.

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Here is me hand-sieving out coarse through a found water tank inlet filter.

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And the 25mm high pressure hoops are up.

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Put some plants in to appease the kids. Some Sweet potato slips, Egyptian Spinach And Loofah seeds in the hot bed (fingers crossed - I'm hoping the warmth will germinate the Loofah and Spinach quickly). Some Common and Garlic Chives in the other.


Last edited by S.O.P on Nov 2nd, '14, 16:08, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Nov 2nd, '14, 15:54 
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BuiDoi wrote:
..
Just wondering why you did not position the fabric-lined boxed section , right in the middle

I have thought of doing the same thing, but using a light plastic pallet, trimmed to fit inside the IBC, creating a full floor, and then cover with Agri-Fab and Shade-Cloth..
..
.

Good question. Reasonably sure I thought it wouldn't matter in the big scheme of capillary action, the agi pipe wouldn't bend tight enough and I wanted to keep the pressure pipe overflow small from the limited lengths I bought (I ended up with some spare though). Mostly to keep a simple curve on the agi and a smaller overflow length. Where the agi bent to was only 2 small cuts on the plastic tub that I could make with secateurs, rather than cutting through a structural piece of plastic.

My original plan after I procured the tubs was to imagine a full false floor like your idea but two tubs was the most that would fit in any direction. Much to my dismay.


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PostPosted: Nov 2nd, '14, 16:28 
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That first photo looks totally disgusting..
..
.


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PostPosted: Nov 2nd, '14, 17:06 
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I agree. And now that's in my soil, and wick.

I don't know why I couldn't find coarse river, it seems like brickies and landscapers win out here. Any further north and it's there, and further south. No demand in this area, I suppose.


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PostPosted: Nov 3rd, '14, 16:46 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Afraid you have it all wrong you need the air pipe going down into the crates and not all the way to the bottom so the air can breathe the way you have it the 3 in pipe or so will be full of water all the time and its going to go stagnant
Also built the right way you do not need wicking medium
Have a look over at my thread I think page 135

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PostPosted: Nov 3rd, '14, 17:29 
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Food&Fish wrote:
Afraid you have it all wrong you need the air pipe going down into the crates and not all the way to the bottom so the air can breathe the way you have it the 3 in pipe or so will be full of water all the time and its going to go stagnant
Also built the right way you do not need wicking medium
Have a look over at my thread I think page 135

Looked around 135 on "Food and fish up and running", couldn't see anything relevant.

Mind explaining your theory? I just watched a couple of vids today from Rob Bob and the fill pipes still enter the agi.

I must have missed your breakthrough. Bugger.

Edit: You talking about this? If you water is filled to your overflow, your fill pipe still has water in it, or is the overflow just below the height of the elbow?

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=663&start=2130


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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '14, 04:36 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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S.O.P wrote:
Food&Fish wrote:
Afraid you have it all wrong you need the air pipe going down into the crates and not all the way to the bottom so the air can breathe the way you have it the 3 in pipe or so will be full of water all the time and its going to go stagnant
Also built the right way you do not need wicking medium
Have a look over at my thread I think page 135

Looked around 135 on "Food and fish up and running", couldn't see anything relevant.

Mind explaining your theory? I just watched a couple of vids today from Rob Bob and the fill pipes still enter the agi.

I must have missed your breakthrough. Bugger.

Edit: You talking about this? If you water is filled to your overflow, your fill pipe still has water in it, or is the overflow just below the height of the elbow?

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=663&start=2130

No breakthrough just a bit of common sense
And the story is page 145 [only 10 out :laughing3: ]

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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '14, 06:50 
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Right, that's more helpful than just a statement.

Your pipe has an air gap between entering the crate and overflow. The page I linked was an earlier design of yours that didn't.

I can see the benefit and obvious common sense in that design (with hindsight) but unfortunately your design hasn't propagated throughout the internet just yet and while I saw your thread before I built mine, the air gap design isn't the main focus of those photos and I missed it.

Perhaps feeding an air line down through the stormwater may prevent any stagnation while the elbow is full? What do you recommend?


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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '14, 07:32 
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Feeding air would definitely be a benefit
Just because its not on the internet doesent mean anything
Everybody on this forum that has copied that design seems to reckon they work
Even some that have copied it have tried to claim it was there idea
It wasent my idea I just adapted another idea I saw
Also I top water and drain excess to a sump that you can add seasol ect and reuse the water
Wheres most that overflow all the goodness is lost

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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '14, 07:48 
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We are talking on the internet right now. Your air gap design isn't popularised through the majority of other users of the system...yet. The Wicking Bed white paper from Colin is still behind your advancements (and others).

Makes sense to capture the overflow with a sump and when I build the next system at my in-laws (who have a large greenhouse), I will try and incorporate your ideas and then claim them for my own.


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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '14, 07:57 
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You may as well lots of others have
wicking bed white paper what is that never heard of it

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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '14, 08:03 
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http://www.waterright.com.au/wicking_bed_technology.pdf


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PostPosted: Nov 6th, '14, 15:17 
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For anyone reading, if I turn the overflows to the side, they empty to the point of turning elbow so there is an air gap flowing through the full pipe to the agi to the crates.

When plant-less and in times of low transpiration, heat, wind, and evaporation, I will keep them to the side. When requiring large amounts of water when cropping, I will turn them upright as the water should be used before an anaerobic situation.


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