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 Post subject: Gary's System
PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 13:20 
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Hi All,

I finished hooking up my new mini-system today. Whoo Whoo!

It comprises a 150 litre round fish tank, duckweed trays under lights, a trickling bio-filter, a square metre grow bed (300 litre capacity), a small pump and an air pump.

I still have to fill the grow bed with clay aggregate and, because my system is in my shed, I'll be mounting a 400 watt HPS light overhead.

I've half-filled the tank and put in some water-aging stuff out of my partner's aquarium kit (to drive out the chlorine) and added something in a bottle which is supposed to contain beneficial bacteria.

I've done a water change on her aquarium (aquaponics makes you do things you ordinarily wouldn't do) and I've put the two buckets of dirty water that I removed from her tank into my system in the hope that useful bacteria will transfer to my tank.

I've set the discharge from the pump so that some of the water goes through my duckweed trays. I've only got one connected so far - but I'll have four in the next few days. The rest of the water goes to the bio-filter.

I've got the pump recirculating and the air pump switched on (largely because I like the bubbles).

Apart from checking the pH, is there anything else I need to do before I attempt to introduce fish?


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 Post subject: Re: Systems
PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 13:24 
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Here's the first photos of my new mini-system.


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Aquaponics 1- 30 Jul 06 (Medium).jpg
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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 13:27 
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Not really Gary, just add them slowly (if you can, i had to buy all of mine in one hit)and don't get excited with the feeding. IMHO testing for ammonia and nitrites during initial cycling can give you a valuble indication on when to do an emergency water change, but tesing is not the be all and end all.

try to maintain the ph at about 7.0 to 7.5 and read the useful info on ammonia and nitrifying bac. if you don't already know the stuff. :)

Maybe try and convince your partner to allow you to borrow (steal) a small quatity of her bio-filter media, whatever it is, and put them in the midle of the trickle filter you made.

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 Post subject: Re: Systems
PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 13:27 
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.....and another couple.


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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 13:31 
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Garry, can you keep us updated with pictures (weekly?) of your duckweed tank, i'm sure that your duckweed growth rate will be the 'standard' for us all :) Also system running temps.

I assume from the colour of the lights you have one or more of the 'growlux' type tubes?

Garry the quiet achiever, i spy some PVC pipes already drilled out in the background :)

You should get some nice growth with the HPS.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Garry's System
PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 13:32 
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Thanks Steve,

When I did the water change, I cleaned the gravel in her tank (she uses under-gravel filters) using the syphon - would this contain the bacteria we're looking for?


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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 13:35 
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Yep, you would have stirred up and dislodged heaps. A+ :)

I'm sure when people see our pictures they think we are stark raving mad :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Garry's System
PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 13:45 
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Steve,

The troughs you see in the background are Boxsell NFT troughs. I bought them for another project but it didn't materialise and, based on what I've read, deep water culture is more effective at removing nutrients than NFT.

I've currently using a couple of gro-lux tubes but they're pretty old and I'm thinking of replacing them with a couple of broad spectrum flouro's.

Part of the game plan is to hang a thick curtain around the tank and to sit a lightweight box structure over the grow bed (like a large cupboard) so that I can control the spread of light and so that I an also exhaust waste heat off the HPS lights down around the fish tank - to give me greater control over the water temperature.

I'd like to enclose the duckweed trays, too - and direct some of that waste heat around the duckweed.

This system is deliberately small so that I can cost effectively exercise optimum control over the growth parameters. When I've learned more, I'll scale it up to suit the 1000 litre palletank that's sitting on the other side of the shed.


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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 14:00 
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The pelletank. It's in a cage? If so, what are these cages made of and is it reasonable to get the tank out of them without having to completely trash the cage.

I'm thinking of purchasing one. Put the plastic with a couple of galvanised straps round it and some polystyrene sheet insulation into the ground. The ground and straps should be ample support to replace the cage.

But I'm hoping I can also utilise the cage, couple of cuts and straighten two corners to make 2 x 2x1 metre climbing frames.

Otherwise I've got another piece of junk to try and lose...

Cool system btw. What was that 150 litre sold as?

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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 14:01 
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Great stuff.

If you are going to exhause heat out when you enclose it that is good as you will also be moving fresh air in, apparently the CO2 needed by the pants can be depleted VERY quickly under stong lighting (fast growth).

Have you considered lining the interior of the enclosure with silver insulation foil? it would reflect the light and give the most bang for your buck :)

On the NFT truoughs...................do the tops and bottom seperate? if so you could use the tops with the holes layed across the tank and you have DWC :)

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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 14:04 
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Great system - looking forward to the weekly updates (if you have time) on the duckweed :)

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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 14:13 
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AA- the pallet tanks have i think aluminium cages around them. I have a cut in half one that I have removed from the cage no problem but whether you could do it with a full tank i don't know. but you are cuttin it at two opposite corners so if you were careful I'm sure you could do it.


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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 14:13 
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AA, In one of EB's pics he has removed the tank from the cage and the cage is still intact. From memory with my one you could cut the 4 horizontal top tubes and the tank will lift out.

I originally thought it was aluminium, but as the cuts have started rusting it must be galvanised steel. It is pretty much tube, but not quite round.

I'm thinging of moving mine, and i was going to do the same, put a few polystyrene sheets on the sides and bottom. I wouldn't bother with the straps personally.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Garry's System
PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 15:01 
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Nick - the palletank (their proper name is IBC - International Bulk Container) is confined in a galvanised steel frame. Mine has two detachable bars which, when removed, should allow the plastic liner to be lifted out of the frame.

AA - you won't need the straps if you place the liner in the freshly dug hole and fill the tank as you back fill the hole - this will ensure that it holds its shape against the weight of the soil. I bought the 150 litre tank at a local pet supply shop.

Steve - the Boxsell NFT trough is oval-shaped and comes as a single piece - unlike some other sections which have a clip-on lid.


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PostPosted: Jul 31st, '06, 11:02 
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Nic one Gary...... :D

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