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PostPosted: Aug 5th, '17, 06:35 
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julianbu wrote:
Do you have a roof on that. Because I have seen other photos here of folks building without a roof. And there was a heavy rain here yesterday and was wondering how AP system will be affected if it collects lots of rain.

Nice plants


Yes. There is a clear Polycarb roof in the top of the last pic.

EDIT: It is actually tinted slightly since plants can only absorb 60% of available full sunlight anyways. It will keep things cooler where I live.

Depends on the PH of the rain and the PH of your system. If there is a big gap then It can shock or kill either the fish or the organisms. It will also wash away nutrients when overflowing. Some folks work it out to direct the overflow to their garden or fruit trees.

We have been getting several inches of rain every week since I moved here.


I have to re-do the roof. The 2 x 2 board is sagging on one side. It is letting some water puddle up in the middle and get into the system.

Marty

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PostPosted: Aug 5th, '17, 07:01 
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ah yes of course its better to provide a roof if you can since AP is a whole ecosystem anything from outside might interfere in its normal cycle. thanks


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PostPosted: Aug 5th, '17, 12:22 
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heya Marty,
If i remember correctly you mentioned in one of your post about rigging the water pump to give more power. i have a 12V DC which is rather small for the system I am planning. Can you tell me how to rig it? I am planning to add strong magnets on the field magnets, do you think it will work?


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PostPosted: Aug 5th, '17, 22:29 
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julianbu wrote:
heya Marty,
If i remember correctly you mentioned in one of your post about rigging the water pump to give more power. i have a 12V DC which is rather small for the system I am planning. Can you tell me how to rig it? I am planning to add strong magnets on the field magnets, do you think it will work?



Yes. I did actually make several small mods to increase the flow of water for my pump.

The mods I made were to help the pump slightly increase flow rates... but most importantly help it Keep Those Flow Rates over time. Decreasing the amount of required maintenance... and increasing the reliability of my system as a whole. If flow rates decrease too much then things like the Bell syphon will stop functioning as they should.

I learned in my first small system that little things like these following upgrades(pics with description to follow) will turn your system from being maintenance heavy to almost maintenance free. My pump was extremely hard to get to on my last system. I made it extremely easy to get to this time.

Since electricity and water don't mix(and my pump is submersible) and I don't have a ton of free time to figure things out to make electronic upgrades reliable(and I am not willing to try it out at the risk of my system). I just made physical upgrades to the water flow(like plumbing and filter screen) and worked in as little required water head height into the design as possible. Keeping tolerances tight in the final layout of tanks can drastically increase the efficiency of the system.

Here are the stock ratings of the Ponics Pump PP40006 at different head heights. There is a sticker on top of the pump that is easy to read. This pump has some great head height for it's low Watts rating.

Lift in Feet/Gallons per hour:
0'/396
1'/370
3'/343
5'/264
6'/221
7'/132

I am taking pics of the mods right now. Pics and descriptions to follow....

I do also have a 12V water pump that uses 15W and is designed for use with solar panels(works with fluctuating power source). Designed to be used with solar water heaters mounted on roofs of homes. So the head height is massive too. Pumps out a bit lower water flow though.

You will likely have to go to a special forum online to learn how to upgrade your pump. I would use the time to go out and make some money to buy a different pump instead. That is me though.

Upgrade pics to follow....

Marty

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PostPosted: Aug 5th, '17, 23:50 
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Pump Upgrades Part 1


Take a look at the pics below for the following descriptions.

The first thing I did was remove the screen cover for the pump.

This pump allows the outer screen cover to be removed for cleaning(and mods in my case). In stock form it is the point where you would either increase/or decrease water flow since it is adjustable. I control the water flow via 1inch ball valves at each bed instead.

There is a secondary cover that is also removable to take the pump's motor/propeller out for cleaning. You can see in the pics that you could also take something like a Dremmel and remove some of the plastic on the inner most circle within this inner cover to increase flow further. However, I chose not to do this at this time since I am not very familiar with aqua dynamics. I bet that removing material from the outer portion would Decrease flow... but that removing from the Inner ring would increase flow. I chose not to do this because the pump propeller has a gap between the inner case and itself that is about the same size as the slots already designed into the inner cover. If I widen this it would allow items into the case that could cause the propeller to seize and the pump to fail. I also did not lengthen the gaps either since the inner cover actually holds the motor/propeller in place and could weaken the structure.

The main reason I removed the outer cover was due to experience with the last system. I would have to remove the pump every 3-7 days and spend 1 to 2 minutes picking the lettuce roots and leaves out of the screen(5-10mins total).

Once this cover was removed I instead built a massive cage around the pump. So the effective screen area is now maybe 5-6 square feet. After I made this mod in my last system I never had to clean it again. It was a CHOP system so there was no fish waste coming in contact with the pump. So when my fish mature in this new system I will likely need to clean it sometimes. Maybe once or twice a year... maybe more or less. Who knows.

The cage is made out of 2 water pond plant baskets from Home Depot that are zip-tied together. I cut just a small enough hole to allow a tight squeeze to the water pipe and power cord to slip through. The baskets are usually filled with gravel and have things like lily pads planted in them for koi ponds. Got 5 baskets in a set for just a few dollars.

More upgrade info. and pics coming in Part 2.

Marty


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PostPosted: Aug 6th, '17, 00:51 
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Pump Upgrades Part 2

This part of the upgrade is essentially assisting the pumps flow through immediate performance and longevity performance via better plumbing.

In my last system I used the largest of the three hose connector sizes that came with the pump. The connectors are designed to be used with those clear PCV/plastic hoses. I honestly can't remember if the largest size is 5/8" or 3/4". Anyways, in the original system I ran about a 6 to 10 inch section of that off of the pump in the sump. Then connected it to 1/2" PVC pipe... and on to the fish tank that was maybe 4ft above the sump for head height.

Even in the darkness of the sump that clear tubing still grew algae! It was some sort of pink algae that... when combined with the 1/2" pipe... and head height... slowed the water down enough to require real maintenance about every 6 months or so. I usually cut a new section of tube. The 1/2" PVC pipe remained clean/clear of debris for the most part.

So... upgrade time this go around.

I played around with my PVC fittings and the 1/2 inch fittings do connect to the pump just fine! I just (carefully) put plumbers tape on the threads and some sealant around the connector before cinching it down hand tight. I added sealant to compensate for the lack of O-ring that the normal connectors have.

I immediately stepped it up to slip-on 3/4 inch piping. If you look at the basket pic in the last post you can see the last fitting sticking out of the basket.

The original clear tubing was snug but not tight inside the 3/4" fitting. I did not want to use it this time anyways.

Found some UV stable PVC/Rubber hose from Lowes. It is made for outside electrical work and so it was in the electrical dept. Sold by the foot at around $0.63 per foot. Since it is made to form liquid tight seals for outside electrical work it can be glued tightly into a slip on fitting. However, I found a special slip-on barb fitting for the hose and got one for each end.

Even if sludge builds up in there this lower head height... and larger diameter hose will more than compensate for that. I could possibly never have to do maintenance on that again! I like the sound of that. Time will tell that tale.

At the split for the top of the head height. Instead of splitting to 3/4" pipes to run to each bed... with bumped it up to 1 inch pipes. This will help on several levels.

1- It should reduce backpressure to increase water flow from the pump.
2- This enabled me to use larger ball valves. Since I have to close them (most of the way it turned out) to adjust for proper water flow... fish poo will have a harder time clogging the ball valves in theory.
3- The larger diameter pipes will hold much more debris before restricting flow. Causing less required maintenance.
4- The larger diameter pipes will flex less and hold up better to impact. Increasing reliability with kids around and through keeping level. So water flow stays tuned.

As you can see in the pic below. I pretty much just laid my 1" pipe on the bed and bolted it down to the wood. I will be squeezing plants in and out of the gravel around the pipe. The pipe also supports the lid when I open it(for now anyways). I plan on putting a car hood latch to hold the lid in the end.

Most of these things about the 1' pipe are in my head and not based on experience! (disclaimer)

Recommendation: If you are running at the edge of your pump's capabilities I recommend that you play with different pipe diameters at your required head height! Testing out water flow. For instance: A larger diameter pipe at a high head height would likely decrease flow since the weight of the water/gravity would be fighting the flow from the pump.

Marty


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PostPosted: Aug 6th, '17, 02:48 
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:lol: that was a nice hack putting the pump in the basket.

Thanks for making those detailed info with pic.

[color=#00FFFF]"For instance: A larger diameter pipe at a high head height would likely decrease flow since the weight of the water/gravity would be fighting the flow from the pump." [/color]

I will remember that


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PostPosted: Aug 6th, '17, 03:10 
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julianbu wrote:
:lol: that was a nice hack putting the pump in the basket.

Thanks for making those detailed info with pic.

[color=#00FFFF]"For instance: A larger diameter pipe at a high head height would likely decrease flow since the weight of the water/gravity would be fighting the flow from the pump." [/color]

I will remember that



You are welcome!

I actually stole the basket idea from a gold mining TV show I used to watch on the Discovery Channel. They built large cages around the pump inlets in their retention ponds to keep crud out. Solved a massive issue of their system clogging.



PESTS!!!

I officially have the first pests. Saw a butterfly/moth looking bug flying around the beans 2 times today so far. So I went out and started looking. There are piles and piles of eggs everywhere on the new growth. As well as 2 caterpillars found so far. Took the eggs that I found off... and caterpillars and threw them in the tank.


Benificials

Just saw a aphid lion/ lady bug larve crawling around.... and a few spiders here and there.


Ecosystem developing. :dontknow:

I may put up some bug netting since my garden is so small. I got to protect what I got. At least the netting can be easily clamped to the lip of the tanks.


Marty

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PostPosted: Aug 6th, '17, 15:15 
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Not so sure on the pipe thing though, I believe we are referring to total dynamic head which is :TDH = Static Lift Head + Pressure Head + Friction Loss

Technically a larger pipe has less friction, so it would actually help I believe.
Might be worth playing with if youre looking to squeeze the last bit of head out of the pump.

System is looking awesome though Marty, hope the new hose gets rid of your ammonia issue! How strange!

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PostPosted: Aug 6th, '17, 19:33 
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mr water wrote:
Not so sure on the pipe thing though, I believe we are referring to total dynamic head which is :TDH = Static Lift Head + Pressure Head + Friction Loss

Technically a larger pipe has less friction, so it would actually help I believe.
Might be worth playing with if youre looking to squeeze the last bit of head out of the pump.

System is looking awesome though Marty, hope the new hose gets rid of your ammonia issue! How strange!



Thanks!

You may be right up to a point. It would be best to try different sizes. Might as well anyways because you can save the pipe to use later.

The new hose is working out just fine. The old one was an expensive ribbed anti kink garden hose. They should have added that it fertalizes during warm weather too. :bigsmurf:

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PostPosted: Aug 6th, '17, 19:49 
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I actually have experience in well drilling, with regards to pumping vertically you need to get the ideal size of pipe. If the pipe is excessively big then Marty's point applies. If too small back pressure exist.


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PostPosted: Aug 9th, '17, 06:30 
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julianbu wrote:
I actually have experience in well drilling, with regards to pumping vertically you need to get the ideal size of pipe. If the pipe is excessively big then Marty's point applies. If too small back pressure exist.


That means than you already have more experience than most! Your first system should be successful for sure on that part.

My daily routine every evening has become... picking eggs off of the leaves of my beans. Whatever it is it at least only lays eggs on the newest growth making them easy to find.

I want to get a spray bottle and try the unsulfured molasses and maybe a dab of dish soap mixed into a gallon... then spray the leaves. Is that a good for Aquaponics?

EDIT: I decided against bug netting due to it just covering everything up and being work to get around. If the system were in a greenhouse it could be a good route though.

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PostPosted: Aug 9th, '17, 15:47 
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water experience, yes. plant experience none :lol:

some tips on fluid dynamics. Vortex lessens friction and increase flow. That's what I read but haven't tried in water, With engine exhaust and intake it does works. I made countless of vortex mufflers and intake system for family relatives and friends. I think it will work with water also especially on the elbows the water can go through with ease. Its like when there is vortex the flow is organize screwing its way in the tube :lol: with out it you can imagine an stampede which will create more friction.

I know of someone who have good results with garlic and pepper spray on plants. more expensive though.


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PostPosted: Aug 12th, '17, 10:17 
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Thank you Julianbu for the tips! :study:


Organic Certifiable!!!

I just found out that Rubbermaid Stock Tanks can be used if you wish to become USDA Organic certified!
:headbang:

Here is a YouTube video of a certified system. They are on just 1/10 of a acre allegedly and are pumping out 3000 heads of lettuce a week. Amazing. If a person lived in an area (or had a greenhouse) that was able to keep that up say 45 weeks a year (to allow for crop loss or Winter) and you were able to pull $1.50 in profit after overhead costs per head of lettuce. That would produce a profit of $203,000 USD per year!

That would not be achieved over night and would require significant planning, work, time, etc. to get to that point. Sounds like the end prize would be worth it.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wpGwK81tOIs

Their channel....
https://m.youtube.com/user/MauiAquaponics

Their website....
http://apnko.com/en/


Marty

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PostPosted: Aug 12th, '17, 18:00 
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good to set the sight on something but be sure not to spoil the fun :cheers:


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