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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '07, 06:56 
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Finally, after almost a month, we actually did something again. The entire side of what will be the fish pond had collapsed due to heavy rainfall (which is also one of the reasons why we hadn't finished it yet), some of the tiles had even collapsed into the hole.. I fixed and reinforced it a couple of days ago. We attached the smallest tiles to the wooden frame with stainless steel plates so it won't happen again.

The two posts that support the front of the GB went in ages ago, just forgot to post it.

Yesterday we attached the beams that will support the bottom of the GB, and drilled holes for the bolts. Managed to deplete an 18V drill battery with just eighteen 6mm holes through the bankirai wood beams, that stuff is tough! We've used a total of about a hundred screws now; most of those had to be predrilled twice and countersunk through (very-) hardwood. And even that didn't prevent us from braking over a dozen screws, and I broke one of the drills, too. :roll:

The lower half of the growbed with the supporting beams:
Image

Today we drilled the final couple of holes in the wall and put the growbed in place (the top of the GB is now at 90cm above ground). We attached the two halves of the frame together using stainless steel plates.

Me in action (ack!):
Image

Dad in action:
Image

From the balcony:
Image

A small piece of the bottom of the GB in place:
Image

I hope I can finish the fish pond tomorrow, and put in the liner. After that we'll attach the bottom of the growbed, and line that too. Will have to saw off the top of the posts as well. Then I can try to make an autosyphon, get a pump, fill the growbed (probably with hydroton) and cycle the system (possibly with fish in it). Sister's in charge of the underwater scenery, no idea what she'll come up with, but I'm sure the fish will like it..

Anyways, getting there! (Well, eventually, anyways..)

Let's see..
2000L+ fish pond
700L growbed
Would support a maximum of 24kg of fish!! Might even try to find some [s]tilapia[/s] edible cold water fish (edit: Holland's too cold.. Water temp would probably be 5-25 degrees Celsius with an average of about 15..)

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '07, 09:37 
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Nice work Thomas... What is the length of the whole thing? Do you think that you may need an extra support leg for the growbed in the middle? It just looks very long from the photos..

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '07, 15:13 
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Nice workmanship.
I`d guess the bed is at least 10ft long judging by the pics.
It might be an idea to add a few braces across the top too, preventing it bowing out in the middle..just to be on the safe side :wink:

Checking back in the thread, 300x90 by 30cm deep - 800L.


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '07, 18:15 
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The entire thing is 300cm long. The back won't need any support, as it's screwed tightly to the wall. The two halves of the GB are attached together with stainless steel plates (the front part has three, the back has two), and the bottom half has hardwood beams attached to it, to which we'll attach the bottom of the GB. All that stuff together creates a very rigid structure.
Also, we chose curved planks for the front; the middle of the front of the GB is actually a couple of centimeters higher.

All in all I think it's strong enough not to bend.. Well, I hope so, because another leg is not an option..

Hex, what do you mean with braces across the top? I don't think lateral braces would much help against bending?

(By the way, the GB's 300x90x28, with beams, so it's more like 700L.)

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '07, 22:27 
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Finished the fish pond sides, they're nice and reinforced now. Put in the liner, and sandwiched it between the frame and small laths in the back and front. Still have to do the sides, but will have to cut out the excess at the corners first and glue it back together (using primer and vulkanising tape).

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And some toes :P
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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '07, 22:34 
Thomas you're a very smart and very practical young man.... well done son....:D


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '07, 23:04 
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Thomas, you might care to fill it with water, let the liner settle, and then cut the excess off. That way you are less likely to cut too much off.

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '07, 08:27 
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Good point, Janet, will certainly do that.

We cut off the excess and glued the corners of the pond liner, will sandwich the sides tomorrow morning and put up more photos (well, today actually, it's 2:30AM (ack, AP insomnia)). Will fill the pond with water (also to see if there's any leaks), but at the moment we don't have a pump should we want to get the water out again. We're not entirely sure about underwater scenery (possibly a small layer of gravel, and some other things for the fishies), and I think that'd be easier to put in when the pond's not full of water and the bottom of the growbed hasn't gone in.. So might do that tomorrow as well.

Would covering the the bottom of the fish pond entirely in a small layer of pond gravel be bad for the fish? I wouldn't be able to clean the fish tank a lot anyways, and I don't plan on stocking any higher than 1kg/100L (probably much lower even). The pump would be sitting on top of the gravel, so I don't think it'd pump up a lot of fish poo to the growbed..

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '07, 08:38 
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I keep all my fish poo in the growbeds. The worms work on it there.

Why do you want to put gravel in the bottom of the pond? I see no particular benefit.

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '07, 09:16 
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Aesthetics (though the water might not be clear enough to see to the bottom), and a little less boring for the fish, too.

Getting all the fish poo into the growbed would be a problem anyway, as the bottom of the pond is rather flat..

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '07, 09:42 
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I think the bracing Hex was talking about would be to stop the front of the growbed pushing out with horizontal pressure...

I've heard of a few people that have used gravel on the bottom of the fish tank, I wouldn;t think it's a problem if you are having fairly low stocking densities..

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '07, 15:59 
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The only problem I see with putting gravel on the liner is that at some stage you are going to have to get into the fish tank, the weight could cause the gravel to push through or cut the liner

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '07, 19:59 
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With good circulation within the tank, the poo will swirl about until it finds the pump and goes up to the beds. I split the output of my pump 4 ways; one split for each growbed, and one to just circulate the water in the tank. The bottom of my tank is absolutely flat, but I don't get poo deposits, and I've been running with my tilapia since end of January.

I find that the plain black bottom of my pond outside (or fish tank inside) visually recedes, and the much more obvious thing is the fish. I actually think gravel would detract from the fluid movements of the fish suspended in the black. You might consider starting up with no gravel in the pond, and then adding it later if you still want. Gravel will be a pain in the rear to remove if you change your mind later.

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '07, 20:30 
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Another good point, Janet. Will put in the gravel later, if I don't like the way it looks without gravel.

I plan on putting the pump on one corner, and the syphon outlet on the opposite corner, but then there will only be a water flow every so often. I'm not sure if that's enough circulation to keep the poo from settling..

Another problem I just found out is the pump itself; I totally forgot about the fact that it needs electricity!

Also, looking back, we probably shouldn't have put the growbed frame in before doing the pondliner, I bumped into it quite badly a couple of times... And I'm not too good with the hammer either, my thumb's all blue now :shock: :lol:

Some more pictures; excess at one of the corners:
Image

Glueing one of the corners:
Image

Pondliner's finished (hope the seams are watertight, they were a pain!), still need to sandwich around the two posts:
Image

Thanks all, for all the advice and encouraging comments!

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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '07, 21:01 
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looking great, one of the most aestetically pleasing systems out there (even though the frame will prob be covered over with wildly growing plants...)

Its prob abit late, (you could do it this way with the gb if ya want though...) it would have been abit tricky but you could have folded the excess in the corners, on the outside (like a reverse hospital bed corner, eg in pic one, exact the same, but the excess flap on the other side) and then just sealed over the slit, no cutting that way, and guaranteed not to leak.... the seam looks pretty good though, dont think it should leak

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