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 Post subject: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Feb 14th, '14, 13:35 
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Hi everyone! I thought I'd share my plans and subsequent build of something a bit different.
btw AIO NFT is an abbreviation of All In One, Nutrient Film Technique. Meaning that the pond, filter, pumps, pipes and nft gullies are all built into a single structure.

Years ago I had planned on making a moveable pond with a built-in filter that doubles as a wall, plus nft gullies that rim the pond. I put it on the back burner because it seemed a bit too hard to come up with simple solutions to the many problems that came up when I tried to draw up the plans.
But I've chipped away at those problems, and now I'm ready to get building.

Here's a sketch I drew up to give an idea what it will look like when finished-
Image

The proportions aren't quite right in that drawing. I made a 1:4 scale model to help me build the real thing-
Image
The dimensions of the real pond will be 1200mmx1200mmx520mm. It will hold approximately 465ltrs and have about 4400mm total length of nft gully.

The base plus three of the walls are going to be made out 80mm polystyrene foam coated with white cement render. The forth wall is going to double as the filter. It'll be made from 3mm thick pvc. heres a picture of the model to give an idea-
Image

Here's where I'm up too now-
Image
I'm going to cut up the pvc and silcon the filter wall together, making sure that it's waterproof.

I'm not sure how long this build is going to take, as no doubt loads of unforeseen problems are going to arise along the way..

Image


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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Feb 14th, '14, 14:19 
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That is one very neat, classy & marketable design you have there!!!
Hope you can iron out all the nitty gritty, filtration, anaerobic areas, cleaning etc.
Good luck. Looks great!!

Could this be adapted to be an add-on for an IBC setup in the future I wonder???


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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Feb 15th, '14, 08:06 
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What type of solids filtration will you have? Only the bio media?


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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Feb 15th, '14, 11:00 
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I don't really think it would be a practical addition to another system because a lot of work will go into making it self contained.
I don't really see anaerobic areas as a problem because the filter will be baffled to provide an even flow of water. I doubt there will be enough flow to draw all the solids into the filter, so siphoning the crud off the bottom will probably be necessary.

The filter is going to have 3 grades of media for mechanical filtration and a moving bed compartment for bio filtration. I've made a similar external filter before and it worked really well.


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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Feb 15th, '14, 14:46 
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Sounds like a lot of thought has been put in, and in theory it looks like a nice compact solution, in practice ... We who knows that's half the beauty of aquaponics, sounds like you are willing and capable of adjusting and tinkering.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY :)


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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Feb 15th, '14, 17:39 
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Nice idea... hope it doesn't blowout in labour/construction time though, as adding a growbed seems so much easier

But this would be good for those without much space. Perhaps coupled with a vertical wall behind it as an upgrade/add-on maybe, if more growing space was needed Though they are not as effecient in regards to extra pump head height etc


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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Feb 15th, '14, 17:43 
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Also how are you going to brace the foam walls? They're going to need more than silcone/glue and thin render to hold up against the outward pressure of the 465 litres of water?

Perhaps chicken wire or something, which would help the render adhere to as well, and would be hidden from view once complete eg ferrocement

ps please don't take my posts as criticism, as I think you have a good idea, just trying to point out a few practical concerns as I'd like to see it work for you


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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Feb 15th, '14, 18:21 
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jono81 wrote:
Nice idea... hope it doesn't blowout in labour/construction time though, as adding a growbed seems so much easier

But this would be good for those without much space. Perhaps coupled with a vertical wall behind it as an upgrade/add-on maybe, if more growing space was needed Though they are not as effecient in regards to extra pump head height etc


The biggest issue is going to be building the nft channels on top of the walls. This will be a trial and error build, but I enjoy a challenge. It will probably be a blowout in construction time, but I love making things so that's not really an issue for me.

Funny that you should mention a vertical wall, as I've made a few vertical gardens before. They're great for growing ornament plants, but I think that nft is a better system for growing vegetables.


Last edited by weta on Feb 15th, '14, 19:11, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Feb 15th, '14, 18:51 
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jono81 wrote:
Also how are you going to brace the foam walls? They're going to need more than silcone/glue and thin render to hold up against the outward pressure of the 465 litres of water?

Perhaps chicken wire or something, which would help the render adhere to as well, and would be hidden from view once complete eg ferrocement

ps please don't take my posts as criticism, as I think you have a good idea, just trying to point out a few practical concerns as I'd like to see it work for you


Hey I appreciate your practical concerns. You're right the render needs to be reinforced, and I'm going to use wire mesh, fiberglass mesh and fibers mixed into the render.
I've made half a dozen similar ponds, just without the filter wall and nft build onto the walls. The earlier ones were too strong, in that they were heavier than they needed to be. The latter ones are strong enough to hold water, and much lighter. Two people should be able to pick up and carry the future pond with ease.


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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Feb 16th, '14, 09:49 
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Sounds good.

I'm a big fan of ferrocement

Are you going to line the inside of the tank with a pond liner or bitumen paint?


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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '17, 13:19 
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Bumping this ancient thread because I eventually made the pond.
It's been so long I don't know what happened to the original pictures, but this was the original concept


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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '17, 13:42 
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I made it out of 80mm polystyrene, lined with 3mm pvc board inside to hold the water, and fibreglass reinforced mortar on the outside. The nft channels are made from 20mm polystyrene, lined with pvc board inside and rendered on the outside. They are 200mm wide with and inside width of 160mm so hopefuly plenty of space for roots. The filter is inside the wall of the pond, and is made from the same materials. It has fiber and foam filter pads for bio and mech filtration. The water is circulated with an airlift pipe, plus two smaller ones that supply the nft channels.
The outside dimentions are 1200x1200x600mm


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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '17, 13:51 
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So far the plants aren't doing so great. Only the cucumber is growing well. Some plants are showing what I think is iron deficiency? The tomato with coco coir looks ok, but the one in pumice is looking very yellow.
I'm hoping that once they've got mature root systems they'll perk up.


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 Post subject: Re: AIO NFT pond
PostPosted: Dec 3rd, '17, 14:16 
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There's a big shortfin eel in the pond. I would guess that she's about a meter long and around 3kg. She used to live in an ornamental aquaponic pond that she eventually grew out of. The plants grew really well on the wall, so I'm a bit disappointed with the nft growth so far.
I made a newer ornamental aquaponic feature that uses goldfish as a nutrient source. Both ponds are made from rendered polystyrene.
I noticed far better growth with the eel pond than with the goldfish, and the water was much clearer too


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