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 Post subject: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 18th, '09, 12:49 
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Hi all,
Another newbie has entered the backyard world of Aquaponics. An existing curiosity in the fish/Marron breeding was quickly coverted to Aquaponics after a chance discussion with a work mate and the bringing together of the fish and the plants has set the wheels in motion for our new system. I have been trawling this forum for information for the past few months and have enjoyed the reading. It is fair to say there will no doubt be some frantic posts comming from us as things go pear shaped from time to time but I am now confident that plenty of help will be available when required.

The basis of the system is a 3000L Fish Tank, 1000L Sump Tank and 4 x 500L Grow Beds in an area of 3m x 10m (with some room for expansion :D ) I have settled on the basic flood and drain (15 on 45 off) with two pumps. One pump from FT to GB's, gravity drain to Sump and pump transfer back to FT. The whole system is to be enclosed in a Green House frame with shade cloth for the comming summer and plastic in time for next winter. The plan is to have it up and running for the first offerings of Barra fingerlings come this September.
As I mentioned earlier I have spent many an hour reading the posts on this forum and I have to pass on credit to Newfarmer for the inexpensive Green House idea from PVC piping that I am going to utilise for this system.
Below are my concept drawings and for the voyeurs out there rest assured there will be photos as I love to take them.
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Image

Look forward to all the feedback and help when needed. :D

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 18th, '09, 12:54 
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That looks nice MDP. Can't wait to see your photos and follow your progress. Welcome to the world of aquaponics, sorry but there is not turning back now.
Faye

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 18th, '09, 21:36 
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Thanks for the welcome Faye. If I am right I think I have met you at the BYAP shop in Jandakot some months ago. Not that I expect you to remember me :) . My wife and I came for a look not long after I was told about the AP systems and you showed us around the systems on display. Needless to say after that the seed was well and truly planted. No pun intended.
I have made a start on the proposed site and it is full steam ahead from here. A little bit of digging and a little bit of shifting. It will happen :cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 19th, '09, 11:07 
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Welcome MDP and as faye said :lol: allow for expansion as you have the room, and you will expand :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 19th, '09, 11:16 
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welcome mdp now it only gets better.and one system is not enough or am i just being greedy.thoughts of system two have been ticking over since the first fish were added. enjoy the fun...drew wa


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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 19th, '09, 11:43 
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Welcome MDP :flower:

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 24th, '09, 19:28 
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Hello all
I am looking for comments and advice on my idea to minimize the effect of a pump malfunction. I thought I would table it here to see if anyone has done this before and proven it or otherwise.
I intend to have both pumps activated by the timer with a 15min on 45min off continuous cycle. Both pumps have float switches that will be allowed to do their job. I intend to raise the pumps on approx 300 diameter PVC pipe so they still draw from the tank bottom but should there be a pump failure the float switch will prevent the tank from emptying.
Example 1 – Fish Tank pump fails – the Sump Tank will still engage with the timer and possibly cause the FT to overflow but the water loss would be limited to the point when the float switch triggers.
Example 2 – Sump Tank fails – the Fish Tank pump will still work off the timer and the ST would overflow but will stop once the FT float switch is activated. The target would be to reduce the potential water loss to around 15 – 20% of the FT volume under the worst case scenario.
All thoughts and comments apreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 24th, '09, 19:34 
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I thought I would also take this opportunity to post some progress photos

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 24th, '09, 20:00 
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Impressive, MDP!

How about PIST CHIFT: pump only in sump, raise fish tank so gravity can feed water to the growbeds. Use SLO to take solids from bottom of fish tank. Only disadvantages I can think of is that fish tank must be higher than growbeds and flow to growbeds does not start/stop immediately (but big pipes help) viewtopic.php?p=174196#p174196

MDP wrote:
Hello all
I am looking for comments and advice on my idea to minimize the effect of a pump malfunction. I thought I would table it here to see if anyone has done this before and proven it or otherwise.
I intend to have both pumps activated by the timer with a 15min on 45min off continuous cycle. Both pumps have float switches that will be allowed to do their job. I intend to raise the pumps on approx 300 diameter PVC pipe so they still draw from the tank bottom but should there be a pump failure the float switch will prevent the tank from emptying.
Example 1 – Fish Tank pump fails – the Sump Tank will still engage with the timer and possibly cause the FT to overflow but the water loss would be limited to the point when the float switch triggers.
Example 2 – Sump Tank fails – the Fish Tank pump will still work off the timer and the ST would overflow but will stop once the FT float switch is activated. The target would be to reduce the potential water loss to around 15 – 20% of the FT volume under the worst case scenario.
All thoughts and comments apreciated.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 24th, '09, 20:18 
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Thanks Hydrophilia
Unfortunately I ruled out PIST CHIFT early on due to the complexity of getting my FT high enough. As I wanted the growbeds at a comfortable working height of around 900mm and I have opted for a 3000L tank so this would be 3 Tonne to support.
I have read many a story of people on this forum checking on their tanks in the middle of the night to find their fish gulping for air in 6 inches of water so I am keen to eliminate some of these issues early in the design / construction phase.

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 24th, '09, 20:40 
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I love your two pump idea ,, (because ) same as my plan:) I also plan 6 solenoids valves so same pump can alternately fill six different beds.

Not using a pump at the fish tank is not such a good idea when using flood and drain.

Although your two pump system negates a lot of possible failures , it has been noted that a lot of those float switches fail. You would think such a simple device would be reliable but it seems to be not so true.
Fortunately a "back-up" or fail safe switch unit is easily built at a very small cost.

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 24th, '09, 21:00 
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Thanks Chappo
Care to part with the info on the easily / cheaply built fail safe switch ?
This is exactly the type of info I am looking for :D

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 25th, '09, 08:52 
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Nice progress MDP, man your motivated

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 25th, '09, 09:02 
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MDP ,, sure am happy to pass on info.
I'm just waiting to finish building one , pics help everyone. Design alkready done ,, costs out at about $12.
Things happen slowly at my place ,, two kids under 3 that just LOVE to play with Daddy ,, add in shift work 6 days a week and you'll understand why:)

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 Post subject: Re: And so it begins
PostPosted: Jul 25th, '09, 17:16 
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Man on a mission Nocky :D
I will post some more photos tomorrow as things are moving along well.

Chappo - I will look forward to the design info and Pics when they are done. Enjoy the kids while they still want to play with Daddy. Mine are teenagers and when they are not sleeping they are out someware with their mates :roll:

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