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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Apr 5th, '16, 22:48 
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My current thoughts on media based beds: I'm getting rid of mine. - Felix
I like our media beds. - Brian

Yeah, I debated just going the straight DWC route as has been oft touted by Andy (dasboot) with his successful Andrea's Garden. But I thought I'd like to tinker a bit in the media-based growbed with siphons, germination, some plants that might be difficult to do in DWC, etc. The better support for plants and of course the inherent filtration are pluses. It also will let me get something working sooner than later because I can start with that, then add on the DWC and extra filtration. One other consideration for doing media-based growbeds up against that wall on the right is that the wall is a major thoroughfare for cats and iguanas. I think I'd be forever fishing busted rafts out of a DWC there from cats running through it. I'm liable to have to build in protection for this in any event, but I figured the media-based growbeds would be tougher.



Actually we rarely see iguanas that size near the house. Cats and dogs keep them down to size. The bigger ones are wiser and decide to hang out a bit further from danger.

I'm pretty sure the only styrofoam board sizes I'll find are 1.22m x 2.44m (4' x 8') so I may adjust widths a bit to make more efficient use of materials. I just figured 800mm is a pretty nice width to work with. I may try shoving the two DWC troughs together and just work them from one side or the other. That would give me a little more walkspace or slighly more grow area. As it is, the planned 37cm walkways are not very wide...

I could pretty easily just roof over this whole area with transparent "zin (tin)" as we call it here (transparent corrugated polycarbonate sheets like one might use for greenhouses.) If I do that, I'm thinking it would work well for a rain-catchment system also.

Thank you both for the feedback!

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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Apr 5th, '16, 23:02 
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A good air rifle and a bbq grill could help with the iguanas too!

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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Apr 6th, '16, 01:09 
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mwdesign wrote:
a bbq grill could help with the iguanas too!

Boy, don't you know it! Yes, it does taste a bit like chicken... Jajajaja....

1 year a friend was fattening up an iguana for Thanksgiving Day dinner and about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving someone stole it and ruined his plans. It is hard to find the traditional turkey in Costa Rica and if you do they are expensive....

Until you've skinned a lizard, you don't really know what tough skin is all about...




Although this Nica has a completely different take on that...




Of course that is how we country-folk do it. City folks just buy garrobo in a can:

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Hmmm.... taste like chicken, but less chewy than gator.

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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Apr 6th, '16, 01:31 
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They're not legal to sell here because our health department is so narrow minded. So they collect them here, send them to mainland US, and sell the meat for top dollar.

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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Apr 9th, '16, 23:01 
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good reads and vids

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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Apr 19th, '16, 19:27 
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Ok Sam if I wasn't missing Costa Rica before I am throughly STARVING and missing it now. It's 5am and I'm thinking about a two hour drive to town for plantains and cheese! Thanks bud. Trade you some Empanadas for some fittings?


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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '16, 01:54 
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LazyK wrote:
Ok Sam if I wasn't missing Costa Rica before I am throughly STARVING and missing it now. It's 5am and I'm thinking about a two hour drive to town for plantains and cheese! Thanks bud. Trade you some Empanadas for some fittings?
Man, I'll make empanadas all day long for fittings! :headbang:

I'll bet there are plantains growing in Fargo in some lush well heated greenhouse... I've started just planting out "enanos" now that I've had a few batches fruit out from some "semillas enanos" that I picked up last year. However, my "dwarf plantains" are still 2.5 - 3.0 meters tall before fruiting, but that is a lot easier to deal with than my non-dwarf varieties that stretch up double that. The fruit are full size and I'm getting full size racimos (bunches) with 50-60-70+ plantains per racimo, and the fruit is excellent. I'm not seeing any downsides to dwarf plantains.

These could be done in a media-based AP growbed or wicking bed, but I think I'd just put them in buckets or dirt. I am currently just doing them in the dirt... The dwarf plantains I'm growing now are about 23-25 cm at the base when they start fruiting, they start sending out the racimos at about 2.2m height and dangle it down for easy harvest. When I plant one, by the time it fruits in about 8-9 months, it has 7 or 9 suckers surrounding the base. I leave one or two and move the rest to expand my orchard. Bananas and their kin are SOOOOOOOO easy! :dance:

Come on down and I'll supply all the empanadas you can eat for a week just for a single suitcase of fittings! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Jul 10th, '16, 08:16 
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After months of frustration, I finally gave up on trying to find a water test kit, bulkhead fittings, pond liner and reasonable pumps for aquaponics locally in Costa Rica. But with a trip to the US pending, I started ordering a few things that I should be able to smuggle back in my suitcases:

Rio 20HF HyperFlow Water Pump - 1290 GPH / 4900 LPH
API Freshwater Master Test Kit
Bulkhead fittings (3/4", 1.5", & 2")

I had to order as I'm reworking build plans, so I just got what seemed like a nice submergible pump and an assortment of fittings that should get me started. Rather than design something and look for building materials, I'll be using a technique familiar to many I suspect, of build something with the parts available... :)

I'm pretty sure I've seen favorable mentions of the Rio HF pumps, but when I was under the gun and had to order now to get shipments in time, of course I couldn't find all the pump threads discussing pros and cons of various models. The Rio 20HF is a 60w, 4900 LPH @ 30cm / 3760 LPH @ 120cm pump that I expect to be a little big at first, but at $67.80 USD with free shipping and no sales tax, it seemed a decent deal to me (on Amazon.) Price comparison-wise, the last little pump I bought from what's probably the biggest and best hardware store in the country was a 300 LPH crap pump for about $35 USD to use in a small garden cascade -- it was totally inadequate.

Rio Hyper Flow PumpsImage
Attachment:
Rio HF Pump Flow Chart.png
Rio HF Pump Flow Chart.png [ 75.22 KiB | Viewed 2561 times ]


Anyway, I'm about to start Revision: 3.0 of my aquaponics build plan. I was kind of fond of plan #2, but an expansive egg farm (i.e chicken coop) overtook my official "zoned aquaponics" area... If it comes down to it I might have to have a little chicken BBQ and reconquer my "zone".

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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Jul 10th, '16, 09:06 
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Chickens have a way of messing up things but they are fun to watch as long as they aren't trying to dig a hole in one of the wicking beds anyway :)


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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Jul 10th, '16, 11:26 
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Glad to hear from you buddy. We've missed you.
Quote:
I had to order as I'm reworking build plans, so I just got what seemed like a nice submergible pump and an assortment of fittings that should get me started. Rather than design something and look for building materials, I'll be using a technique familiar to many I suspect, of build something with the parts available... :)
:laughing3: All I can add is, don't forget the sheer joy of trying to remember where you had the crucial part you so carefully designed a big section of plumbing around. Just remember after plan C, you'll need to stop using letters as they become like birthdays, damn things just keep on coming! :upset:

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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Jul 10th, '16, 13:43 
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boss wrote:
Glad to hear from you buddy. We've missed you.
Thanks! I REALLY missed you guys! :lurk:

I was doing so well keeping up, reading every new message and continuing to explore older threads, and then about mid-April when the message board was having a bunch of trouble I couldn't get connected for 2 or 3 weeks. Finally I remoted in to the forum using a computer in my Dallas office and realized it wasn't the forum having trouble, it was something on the weak link of the Internet leaving Costa Rica that prevented me from getting directly to the forum. It finally cleared up after a couple of weeks and I was able to connect directly to the forum, but by that time I was way behind and never could get caught back up. Plus I hit a real busy time at work and dove right in 200% to help make the company money. Anyway, I didn't really have any progress to report. Except I have at least been germinating seeds and planting things in dirt. I also got a few aquariums built and they are humming along nicely now. I'm about to go net some tilapia and put some in a bigger aquarium in my office so I can start getting to know them a bit better.

In the drawing below, the green growbed and tanks to the left of the blue door were my initial plans, then I negotiated a better "aquaponics zone" to instead use that space to the right of the blue door, including under the roof, for a much better aquaponics idea with 1000-2000 liter fish tank, plus about 3.5m x 0.8m of gravel grow bed (red) and 4.8m x 0.8m of DWC (yellow). So that's 2.8 m² media bed (a little over 30 sq ft) and 3.8 m² (41 sq ft) of DWC trough. Seems like the nice compact layout I've got room for near the house. Someday I'll build out on the farm out back, but lack of electricity and running water and security pretty much rule that out for now...

Attachment:
Jardin1y2b.png
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Then someone gave my wife their silkie chickens because coyotes, snakes and eagles were picking them off almost every day (easy pickins since they don't fly or roost in the trees) and we needed a quick place for a chicken coop. Of course my "aquaponics zone" was sacrificed since I didn't have much to show there yet...

Image

But that gave me a good idea for building a garden patio on top of our house. Fewer bugs and dogs, just as many cats, more sun, and best of all, it would give me a good excuse for building a 2nd story on our house! Phase 1 will be about 27 m² which would give me enough room for a new office and a rooftop garden. So... still working on the dream! In a couple of weeks I'll have pump, bulkhead fittings, and the vaunted API test kit -- everything else should be easy! ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Jul 10th, '16, 20:18 
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Dude that is one crazy looking bird. Good luck with them. Yes, a couple months ago the forum wouldn't let me in either. Every now and then I got in, but mostly it was some kind of problem with SQL. I'm so happy they fixed it so I can get my fix. This is by far my favorite place to be and has been for a year or since I joined. I like where you are going with the second story idea. We've got bears, although fewer since the drought, I have been hearing from friends nearby the bears are returning. I'll need to protect our honey bees and for a long time I thought about putting the hives on the roof. The supers are too heavy to carry up and down stairs though. I'm left with setting up a high energy electric fence or building a vertical pipe fence, cage looking thing around the two hives.
How's your little girl doing?

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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Jul 10th, '16, 23:59 
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Hey sam. I have the little bro of the rio hyperflow you are looking at. I can remember if mine if 12hf or 10hf.

It's been a good pump for me. I havent meausred it but it seems to move the amount of water that it claims to. I used it as my main pump for a while, but it is just super loud. I found a couple of half priced used laguna pumps on craigslist so i now use the rio as a utility pump to move top up water into my system. It's been reliable.

If you dont mind the noise, i think you'll be happy with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Jul 11th, '16, 01:35 
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boss wrote:
Dude that is one crazy looking bird. Good luck with them.
I like where you are going with the second story idea.
How's your little girl doing?

Really those Silkies are not the best egg layers although they do seem very good for sitting on the nest. I had one that continued to sit on an empty nest after something ate all the eggs (not sure if dog or iguana or snake) for over a week before she gave up. They only seem to lay eggs about every other day, or maybe twice in 3 days. But they are odd looking -- everyone thinks they have hair instead of feathers. My deceased father-in-law had 5-6000 of what we call "ponedoras" (layers) and those hens laid eggs every day come rain or shine. 3 or 4 good laying hens was enough to keep my family in eggs and we always were giving eggs away. I noticed that several Asian cuisines consider Silkie meat a gourmet food. We haven't eaten any yet, but if push comes to shove and I don't get a strong 2nd story built soon, we might sacrifice those Silkies for the greater Aquaponics good!

Most houses in Costa Rica (including our main house) are block and concrete construction with a corrugated tin roof. It is very easy to take off the roof and put it back on. Sometimes we do that just to fix wiring above the ceilings. So I think I'm just going to add some reinforcement columns in a few spots, fill up whatever walls will be below my roof patio garden with concrete, and then convert the back of the house roof into a solid reinforced concrete floor that will serve as a good base for a roof garden and also give me a space to build a more secluded office space.

Our little girl is doing amazing. The difference between 65% blood oxygen saturation and 85% blood oxygen saturation is the difference between a little girl that has to sit down and rest after running one loop around the house and one that can play all day in the playground. She now enters kindergarten hopping like the bunny in Zootopia rather than walking slowly like her rolling backpack was weighing her down. Before her last (and final?) surgery a few months ago the docs told us that was as much as could be done for her besides a heart-lung transplant. So we'll see. But things are wonderful as far as I'm concerned. She spends all day now dancing around the house and playing more like a regular 4 year old girl, gracias a Diós!

I'm glad to see that you've got a better handle on the health things that were knocking you down a few months ago as well! :thumbright:

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 Post subject: Re: Sam's Acuaponía
PostPosted: Jul 11th, '16, 02:30 
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Ace wrote:
Hey sam. I have the little bro of the rio hyperflow you are looking at. I can remember if mine if 12hf or 10hf. It's been a good pump for me. I havent meausred it but it seems to move the amount of water that it claims to. I used it as my main pump for a while, but it is just super loud. [ ... ] If you dont mind the noise, i think you'll be happy with it.

I saw many mention that loudness in the reviews I found, and many that mentioned it was quiet. I wondered if that was a difference between older models and newer models? Or how it was installed? Or something else? Anyway, I was looking for a low-cost pump to get me started and it seemed better quality than the Active Aqua pumps that were similarly priced. If the noise becomes a problem I'll probably end up getting something better and using this as a backup. I do remember some other active poster or two on this forum mentioning that they had Rio pumps and were quite happy with them.

My options are quite limited in outback Costa Rica that it would take a lot to disappoint! ;-)

Thanks for the feedback, Ace.

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