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PostPosted: Jul 3rd, '16, 18:23 
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Hello all,

Time to add my small POC system to the group.

I'm just getting started and am confined to this small greenhouse and a tight budget until I have proved to my wife that aquaponics work. :lol:

Attachment:
File comment: My 1,85 x 2,47 poly greenhouse.
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I put in the a-frames to support nft channels etc.

All wood is reclaimed pallets and a few bits I had laying around.

I will take some more pictures shortly.

Basically I have taken my 470 liter aquarium from the sitting room with the pump filter, fishes and all and moved it to the greenhouse. It gives me the benefit that the system is almost immediately cycled as the filter has lots of biomass and some 150 liters of the water is from the old setup as well.

My wife loves the fact that the aquarium is out and I'm now playing outside like our kids. :mrgreen:


Attachments:
File comment: Left side
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File comment: Right side
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File comment: The inside......
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PostPosted: Jul 4th, '16, 01:52 
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Looking good but I'll be interested to see how this does and I have a couple of suggestions that might help you. I understand tight budgets and these may be beyond your current one.

You'll likely find the need for additional head room at some point - You can add this by using 2x10 or 2x12 inch lumber plus a 2 x 4 piece of pressure treated lumber locked together at their edge. Attach these on edge along the base of the greenhouse like a knee wall - see the first picture here - http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=9511&hilit=scotty%27s+second+system. The picture is of a cedar 2 x 10 with a piece of pressure treated 4 x 4 lumber underneath it along the ground to prevent rot. You'd have to step up over the frame to go into the greenhouse but it's not a big deal.

I'm not sure how the lexan panels are held in on your greenhouse but on mine they use spring clips. If you have these you can remove the panels and put in window screen panels for your ventilation during the summer so that the air just blows through. You'll probably only need to do this with 2 or three panels. You can also use a fan but I prefer the flow through method because it's not subject to power failures.

Depending on how much you heat the greenhouse, you'll probably need a small oscillating fan to reduce condensation along the ceiling when the weather gets cold outside. Plants touching the roof or drips coming from the ceiling can cause disease problems inside the greenhouse.

You can also use T-nuts along the channels in the greenhouse although I'm not sure if they would be sufficient to hold up your NFT channels you might find a use for them as I did when I put a shelf in.


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PostPosted: Jul 4th, '16, 04:02 
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Hi Scotty,

Thank you for the tips and tricks!

I actually did think of raising the whole house up on a frame at some point, which is why I'm keeping it detached from the system inside. Then it's just a shell standing over the whole thing and I can easily raise it if needs be.

I already put in two small fans and cut holes for fresh air inlets.
Denmark is very temperate in terms of weather, no extremes.

On a really blistering summer day I may get 35 - 40C MAX inside the greenhouse in the middle of the day.
In the winter we generally hover between minus 5 and plus 5C with the odd excursion further below.

So I'm not too worried about the weather at this point.

I'm now running my little system going into the second month.
Still making lots of changes and reconfiguring all the time. :shifty:
Learning as things go pear shaped, mostly because I want to shift something around, dive into it and then halfway thru discover that I don't have all the bits I need. :whistle:

I'm generally trying to do as much as possible using whatever tinkerbits I have lying aroung.

Here's the greenhouse today before I began tinkering and changing my setup into one with a sump.
Turned out I am lacking some pipes and bits to make it work properly.
The siphon I got going from the FT into the sump was too small in diameter to keep up with the pump.
I use a siphon setup to avoid cutting a hole in the aquarium.

I then have two sump tubs. The first one receives the siphon from the FT and have the spillover type drain mounted high up to keep the level in the FT. It drains into the second tub where the pump is drawing from.

I will shop for new pipes tomorrow and get it working properly.

I want to make one side of the greenhouse with media beds setup with constant flow like dutch buckets.
The other side will be small DWC raft tubs.

This system is small potatoes, only around 550 - 600 liter total water volume.
I have the various fish from my aquarium living room setup (total max. 500 grams of fish.
Yesterday I got 25 goldfish to ramp up the ammonia production.
The basil and mint I have in the rafts are showing signs of nitrogen deficiency as are the peppers and tomatoes, although they are looking like things are speeding up now. I guess the system is building biomass and catching up.

I guess I probably have aroung 1 - 1,2 kg of fish in the tank now. In the DWCs I have some small Amano shrimp who look like they are having a good time with the various detritus and algea.
They will hopefully multiply like rats and do a dandy job at keeping the troughs clean.

When I have it running smoothly I intend to build a new FT with one long DWC on top in the left side of the GH.

This should give me around 600 - 700 liters more water volume.
My thought is that the more water I have the more stable the temperature will be in the GH.
And so of course will the system.

That's my rant for today.

Cheers,

Jens

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PostPosted: Jul 4th, '16, 04:24 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Looks great so far
yes I know about running out of parts 1/2 way through
In your last photo whats the grey pipe going up to the top of the roof

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PostPosted: Jul 4th, '16, 17:46 
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Food&Fish wrote:
Looks great so far
yes I know about running out of parts 1/2 way through
In your last photo whats the grey pipe going up to the top of the roof



That's actually the water inlet.
That piece up there is a T-junction.
The black hose in the middle comes from the pump and goes up to the top of the T-connector.
It's all downhill from there as they say. 8)

The water then runs off to both sides.

I will post some better photos when I have it more together.
It's a bit in shambles right now because I didn't think before I changed the setup yesterday.
So I ran out of bits and have to go shopping. :oops:

I guess I'm a learning-by-cocking-it-up kinda guy. :geek:

- Jens

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PostPosted: Jul 5th, '16, 04:37 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Yes at my age now I work for about 1/2 hr then sit and think :think: for a few hrs to make shore I am doing it right
Saying that I still run out of things :laughing3:

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PostPosted: Jul 11th, '16, 18:23 
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So, time for an update with some pics.

Finally got things moved around over the weekend. Some 10 hours work! :setup:

Here's a picture walkthru of my tiny setup.

Please comment and give me your best advice!


Attachment:
File comment: Look thru the door.
IMG_6021.JPG
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Attachment:
File comment: Right hand side, aquarium, Settlement tank and then sump tank. Media beds on top.
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Attachment:
File comment: SLO Siphon 500mm pipe.
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Attachment:
File comment: 3 DWC troughs. Water depth 25cm. Still have to install more connectors between the troughs to increase flow capacity.
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Attachment:
File comment: The trusty old aquarium pump/filter. Delivers 3500L/H at 1 meter head. Pump, biofilter and solids filter all in one!
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IMG_6035.JPG [ 153.48 KiB | Viewed 2086 times ]



Next post will show some more of the piping detail.

I'm not sure how many pictures I can put in one post.


- Jens

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PostPosted: Jul 11th, '16, 18:50 
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Here are some more details of the plumbing.


Attachment:
File comment: I use these y-connectors to pull off small tubes for the beds, kinda dutch bucket style watering. Just put a plug in it, drill a hole and stuff the tube in. I use Danish standard sewer pipes as they are cheap and easy to get anywhere. And food safe.
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Attachment:
File comment: Less than elegant tubing, it was getting late. It doesn't look very nice and algae will form quickly in these tubes! Will sort it quickly.
IMG_6028.JPG
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Attachment:
File comment: This is more like it! It's also much easier to get the tubes to stay under the gravel than in the hydroton. There is a tubes running to the sage under there.
IMG_6029.JPG
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Attachment:
File comment: Tidy! I reused these two clear plastic totes simply because I din't want to destroy the root structures on the plants. Cover with black bin bag against algae growth.
IMG_6030.JPG
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Attachment:
File comment: Again, not so pretty. I'm going to reroute those tubes anyway so just used a piece of pipe to keep the sun off the tubes. Also, I'm getting black tubes to replace the clear ones, which I just took because I had them laying around.
IMG_6038.JPG
IMG_6038.JPG [ 202.52 KiB | Viewed 2082 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: This is where all the water comes back to the FT. Opposite end of the SLO siphon. Right now the return capacity is too slow to keep up with the pump at full tilt, so I have dialed it back to about 50% capacity.
IMG_6015.JPG
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That's it for the technical part.

Next post will show some plants.


- Jens

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PostPosted: Jul 11th, '16, 19:05 
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Seems like the plants are getting into gear now.


Attachment:
File comment: Tiny bell peppers coming along. I have two plants, both setting a lot of peppers. Right now they are a little wobbly after I just replanted them in the hydroton. It still hasn't soaked water properly, so it all floats a little. I hope they will stick their roots into the underlying granite media and get some more hold. Otherwise I'll just tie them up.
IMG_6039.JPG
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Attachment:
File comment: Chili!
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Attachment:
File comment: A fig! This tree will go into a media bed one of these days together with the neighbor Kumquat tree. Right where they stand now will be another media bed.
IMG_6010.JPG
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Attachment:
File comment: Tomatoes of a ordinary variety, plant bought in the local supermarket. It's from a local grower.
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Attachment:
File comment: Second plant from same source.
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I have also taken a lot of the side shots from the tomatoes and rooted them, then planted them alongside the "mothers". Better to have too many and then thin them out later I recon.

I also have a very fragrant variety tomato which is setting a nice amount of flowers now.


- Jens

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PostPosted: Jul 11th, '16, 19:16 
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Finally, me happy co-workers.

Attachment:
File comment: Happy fishes.
IMG_6018.JPG
IMG_6018.JPG [ 185.93 KiB | Viewed 2076 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: They are constantly looking for food, which I take as a good sign. Water temperature is around 20C.
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Attachment:
File comment: The local guardsman keeping everyone under control. No diving in the shallow end!
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Attachment:
File comment: Finally some water stats as of last night. My local dealer ran out of ammonia tests, so that's missing. Also, I don't have a DO meter.
Image-1.jpg
Image-1.jpg [ 66.32 KiB | Viewed 2076 times ]



Next up is an air pump!


That's all folks....


I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions!


- Jens

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PostPosted: Jul 11th, '16, 23:57 
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Actually the second tomato plant IS the fragrant one called Harzfeuer.
A German word meaning fire from the Harz which is a smal mounts rid area in central Germany.

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PostPosted: Jul 12th, '16, 02:36 
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JLCPH wrote:
Actually the second tomato plant IS the fragrant one called Harzfeuer.
A German word meaning fire from the Harz which is a smal mounts rid area in central Germany.


Should say small mountainous area. :shifty:

Spell check on iPhone. :?

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PostPosted: Jul 12th, '16, 06:36 
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Looks awesome! I really like your bright red shrimp (?), how big is he?

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PostPosted: Jul 12th, '16, 12:15 
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Mel Redcap wrote:
Looks awesome! I really like your bright red shrimp (?), how big is he?



Thanks Mel.

The dwarf crayfish is only about 10 cm tail to tip of the claws, but feisty and fearless.
I've had several red and blue ones over the years in my living room fish tanks. I really like them.
They are masters at escaping though, which lends them to a short life.

- Jens

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PostPosted: Jul 12th, '16, 13:57 
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Oh cool, he's bigger than he looks in the photo! I have yabbies (Australian freshwater crayfish) - just two in tanks in my living room right now, but once my big setup is up and running I plan to get more. One of mine is dark blue, they're both close to 15cm long.

I know what you mean about escaping! The ones in my living room would take walks if I didn't have good lids, and I had two in the sump tank of my teeny test system, but they vanished after a while. I hope they made it to the drainage ditch out the back...

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