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 Post subject: King Erik's system
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '06, 21:26 
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Step 1: Research (completed - have read about 5000 entries on this forum + plenty of web searches)
Step 2: Convince wife that life would not be complete unless we have an aquaponic setup in the back yard (completed - surprisingly wasn't too hard)
Step 3: Convince wife to buy the book for me as an investment into our future (completed - Fathers Day was good timing)
Step 4: Seek advice from the worlds leading experts on aquaponics (THATS YOU)

Now I'm going to try to post some pictures


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 Post subject: Re: Davids plans
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '06, 21:41 
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I've got a few thoughts/goals in mind
1. Keep it simple
2. and not too expensive
3. Use the small space I've got the best I can
4. Only 1 pump if I can help it, and no heater
5. Type of fish will depend on
a - what type of tanks I can find that are cheep + fit the space
b - to suit the location
6. The area could easily be boxed in at a later date if required

This is what I've got so far ...


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 Post subject: Re: Davids plans
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '06, 21:45 
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Not sure how to get more than 1 picture in the message?
That was the site, looking NNE
The following are the plans, first from above, then in cross section


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 Post subject: Re: Davids plans
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '06, 21:47 
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x section


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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '06, 21:49 
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You going to get any sun there mate?


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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '06, 21:59 
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Design something that would raise the plants almost at the roof level, with the fish tank under it. Difficult shadowy place.


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 Post subject: Re: Davids plans
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '06, 22:16 
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I was originally thinking of getting Murray Cod, but it might be too cold here to have them outside. I then turned my attention to catfish. I guess it depends on what kind/size of tanks I find. I've seen some seconds poly animal troughs which would fit the space well, about 2300L x 600W x 450H (approx) and if I got a couple of these I'm thinking that yabbies or marron would do nicely.
For the gutters I was thinking about using 90mm pvc. I could probably fit about 6 x 2 metres, sitting on half an A frame orientated towards the sun. They would be joined by either smaller pvc or poly pipe. Should I gravity feed them one into another (in effect, making one pvc gutter 12 metres long) or feed the water into each one seperatly? I was thinking not to fill each one with gravel, but rather have empty gutters with removeable pots dropped into the top. I haven't seen alot of good things said about using gutters on this forum. I think they'll fit the space better. Is anyone having any luck or got any good suggestions?
I've read comments about solids attaching to the roots and causing rot, should I have a solids filter of some sort between the pump and the gutters?
Bacteria would be housed in a biofilter. Are plastic "bio-balls" worth the money, or should I just use pea gravel or similar. I saw someone suggest using teased out rope, would be cheeper if it works.
Finally (for now) would you recommend a venturi to airate the water between the pump and biofilter. Can you buy these or do you make them yourself?
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
David


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 Post subject: Re: Davids plans
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '06, 22:20 
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The photo was taken late in the afternoon. It does actually get sun down the far end for a reasonable amount of time. The fish tanks however will be in shade for most of the day, maybe about 1 hour of direct sun there.


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PostPosted: Sep 7th, '06, 22:25 
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Your growing wall is in the front, looks there is more sun there :)


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 Post subject: Re: Davids plans
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '06, 22:36 
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The brown fence down the end is my lizard pit. I can take about 400mm off the top of that fence to let a bit more sun in. The photo is looking north (I'm in the southern hemisphere, that's where the suns gunna come from)
I assume you dont want too much sun directly onto the fish.


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 Post subject: Re: Davids plans
PostPosted: Sep 7th, '06, 23:51 
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How about this one? This is how I see it, just more veg. needs stairs ,)


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PostPosted: Sep 8th, '06, 02:19 
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Hi David.

For nft I'd recommend a pre-filter for the channels. Your best opton for this in my opinion is to have a growbed of gravel as your filter that drains to your nft and then back to your fish.

Not many nft growers around at all.

Have a look at neals experimental update, he had a slow start waiting for Aqua nutrients to arrive but he's now got some nice lettuce making it in shallow gutters (though they are filled with medium)

Can't advise Aussie fish breeds I don't know. Channel cats are an easy species though, and don't need to be heated in Winter. Beware, the barbs are very nasty, it is not a wives tail.

The more shade the better for your fish, a bit of diffuse light is sufficient for them.

The best favour you can do yourself is get some bacteria to start. If you have Joels book you're in business with bugs too, add as directed, it saves a lot of time.

As others expressed concern, utilise the sun the best you can. Some plants can handle less so plant accordingly having the sunsoakers in your 'sweeter' spots.

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 Post subject: Re: David's plans
PostPosted: Dec 13th, '06, 20:27 
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Finally an update. Got started last week :D
Ordered a tank to get custom made. I've waited too long for the seconds poly troughs without success. Found a rainwater tank manufacturer who will make something bigger for cheeper. It will be about 620mm wide to fit within the retaining wall, about 760mm high (1 sheet of iron) and almost 3000 long. I worked it out to be about 1000 litres, depending on the final length. Thought I would paint the outside with tar and dig it into the ground. It can also be partitioned off across the centre to make 2 smaller tanks if required. It'll cost a bit more than I wanted to pay ($500) but it's hard to find something to fit.

I'm going for 150mm pvc on top, about 6m worth, which will be half filled with gravel. A 20mm pipe will run inside this on top of the gravel, with holes drilled on the underside. The output will be slow to feed into the 90mm pvc (NFT), 5 x 2m. The pump will be on a timer, creating flood and drain in the top bed. There will also be an overflow pipe at the end in case of emergencies.
There will also be an offshoot from the pump which will connect to a tap (if required to pump to the garden) which can bleed off some of the water via a large poly pot.
Hope the pictures make sense, would like comments/suggestions.
If any man should know of any reason why this aquaculture tank should not be joined to this hydroponic system, speak now or forever hold your peace.


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 Post subject: Re: David's plans
PostPosted: Dec 13th, '06, 20:29 
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Still cant work out how to post more than one picture?


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PostPosted: Dec 13th, '06, 21:18 
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That's one long tank! How many big strong men will you be able to get to wrestle that into place??

The pictures make sense. It seems like you need more growbed/media volume. I'm mathematically challenged atm (need another cup of tea), but I think the gravel in the PVC pipes only adds up to about 200 liters worth of filtration. (Please oh please check my math 'cause I'm switching back and forth between metric and English to get my sanity check. A liter has how many cubic mm!?!) I see you have the additional biofilter, but even if I assume that it is a nice big 55gallon (209 liter) size, that only gives you 400liters of filtration to 1000 liters of fish water. So your stocking density has to be low--maybe max 12kg of fish. If that's your objective, then cool, but me, I'd try to squeeze in more growbeds.

Overall setup looks really nice, and I bet it's going to be really pretty with plants cascading down the PVC. (Trailing nasturtium is really nice, and adds a hot zip to salad. Both leaves and flowers are edible.) I like the strategic positioning of the BBQ, but don't forget to put a fish cleaning/preparation table between the tank and BBQ!

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