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 Post subject: TCLynx 300 gallon system
PostPosted: Jun 14th, '10, 03:01 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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I keep talking in my may system thread about my quarantine and needing to set up the new quarantine system etc.......

Well I expect I should give that project it's own system thread.

I already own the 300 gallon stock tank and it is sunk 2/3rds of the way into the ground. This will not be CHIFT PIST.
I intend to use an indexing valve to flood the three 100 gallon stock tank gravel beds in sequence so should only have minor water level fluctuations there. And the balance of the filtration will be done by Zipgrow towers hanging over the fish tank which will also provide aeration.

I think i will use two pumps for this just for simplicity sake One pump running constantly to feed the towers and provide aeration and that could also be placed on battery backup since the pump is only about 50 watts (I still need to work out a good battery backup system and would love to hook that up on solar even if I can figure out an appropriately sized package that doesn't cost three times more than the whole system.)

The other pump (which will be the exact same model as the one running the towers to make spares easy) will be on a timer and will feed the indexing valve. I'm currently testing out one of these pumps right now on the front porch system and I checked this morning and it will operate the 1 1/4" indexing valve.

So far so good, I think I like these Quiet One pumps. The Model I'm testing and planning to use for the other system is the Quiet One 4000. It has 1" male pipe threads for intake and outlet. It can run submerged or inline. At 10' of head, just one of these pumps would move the 300 gallons per hour. Since I'm not going to require 10 feet out of it and I'm going to have two pumps, it will be more than enough flow for the system. I was looking at a single pump to do the job but any of them would use more than twice the electricity and cost more than twice as much (and I would also have to sort out some solenoid valve or something to operate the indexing valve and I'm still not convinced that is the way to go here.) I like the simplicity of the timer and one less thing to clog up.

I think I've gotten all the plumbing parts I will need (of course there is always another trip to the big box for something.)
Still need a couple more pieces of metal pipe to build the frame to hang the towers from (and support the overhead tower plumbing.)
I'm in the process of leveling the blocks for the grow beds.
And then I need some gravel (No shells this time!!!!!!!!!!!)

Let me see if I can find some pictures of the 300 gallon site.

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '10, 03:14 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Ok, the site is where my outdoor kitchen dining area was supposed to be until I had to take the roof off.

So now it is the 300 gallon system location. Should be nice and handy right by the outdoor kitchen. Will just have to set up a temporary canopy right outside the back door if we want to do any outdoor dining I guess.

The canning and cooking area of the outdoor kitchen are still in place just minus the roof.


Attachments:
300 gallon insitu (Medium).JPG
300 gallon insitu (Medium).JPG [ 139.9 KiB | Viewed 14427 times ]
Placing beds (Medium).JPG
Placing beds (Medium).JPG [ 145.11 KiB | Viewed 14429 times ]

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '10, 07:59 
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By the way, for those who are wondering. I'm setting this up as a 1:1 with the standard flood and drain gravel grow beds being fed by the indexing valve.

I believe that the towers could be adequate to support all the filtration of a system but I'm still in the testing phase of those.

So I figure if I have 300 gallons of gravel bed and the towers going, it may well be equivalent to a 2:1 all gravel system. Kinda hard to figure though.

But since I'm using the indexing valve, (and it happens to be a 6 outlet model that I will start off using a 3 way cam) I can easily add three more grow beds if I decide I need the full 2:1 with the gravel.

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PostPosted: Jun 15th, '10, 01:05 
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what is the inverted water bottle/bucket thing hanging in the first photo?

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PostPosted: Jun 15th, '10, 03:46 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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That thing hanging with the water bottle around it is one of the old game feeders and the water bottle is acting as a baffle so the feed doesn't shoot out in all directions and instead falls down.

I had originally tried it as a fish feeder but the adjustment wasn't fine enough and I had trouble with critters shaking it and causing more food to drop to the fish. So, now it is a feeder for my birds and gives them scratch grains at dawn and again at dusk. It isn't such a big deal if extra scratch winds up on the ground as it is if extra feed falls in a fish tank.

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PostPosted: Jun 16th, '10, 10:09 
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I finally got all three beds in place and the drain plumbing hooked up.
The local stone place delivered a couple cubic yards of 1/2" brown river rock.

After dinner I hooked up the 1 1/4" indexing valve I have on hand. Popped in the 3 way cam and stuck on plumbing bits to feed each of the three beds.

I added water and tested out how fast the Quiet One 4000 pump could fill a 100 gallon stock tank without gravel. Well I'm happy to say the pump did it in well under 15 minutes so there will be no problem flooding a bed in 15 minutes once there is gravel in it.

so, will be running that pump 15 minutes on 15 minutes off and it will sequence through the three stock tank gravel beds. Then when I get them, I will hang towers over the fish tank and set up a second Quiet One 4000 pump to run constantly to feed the towers and provide additional constant aeration to the system.

Will have to take pictures tomorrow

So, now that I have the beds hooked up and gravel standing by, It is time for gravel washing again.

I'm kinda excited about this system. No shells, I should be able to have a lower pH in this system.

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PostPosted: Jun 16th, '10, 22:03 
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Pictures as promised


Attachments:
Got Gravel (Medium).JPG
Got Gravel (Medium).JPG [ 148.97 KiB | Viewed 14127 times ]
Flood and drain plumbing all hooked up (Medium).JPG
Flood and drain plumbing all hooked up (Medium).JPG [ 129.46 KiB | Viewed 14117 times ]

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PostPosted: Jun 16th, '10, 23:43 
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Looks like a Gold Standard setup to me. :thumbright:
Is that a "five-block footprint" under the 100s, or are a couple hidden?
Internal standpipes (with an elbow) in the GBs, or plain drain (with a screen)?

The more I see, the more questions I have!

Rick

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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '10, 00:40 
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Five blocks under the 100 gallon stock tanks (seems to be working so far but I haven't been running the stock tanks all that long.)

I installed a 1 1/2" uniseal in the nice flat part to one side or the other of the standard drain plug. Then I put a bit of pipe through and use an elbow on the inside to hold the stand pipe. (In the first couple beds I installed this way on my main system, I put the holes in the elbow. I don't like that since I can really pop the elbow off very easily to adjust the holes or set the bed to constant flood for a time (like to get seeds going or drive out ants.) Now I simply put the holes in the stand pipe above where it fits into the elbow. So what if the bottom 4 inches of the bed won't drain it's 24 inches deep! This way I can easily pop out the stand pipe to make adjustments or whatever.

On the outside I've found that I can get a 1 1/2" to 3" adapter to fit on the outside of one of the 3" sewer Ts and then I can use whatever arrangement of 1 1/2" pipe to connect to the 3" drain. It is really handy to use a rubber coupler to make the connection cause it is very difficult to cut everything perfectly precise to fit it together and the rubber coupling allows for easy disconnection if that is ever needed (just make sure to hook it up so that you can get at the pipe clamps to adjust it as needed.) I have clean outs on both ends of the 3" sewer pipe so that I can make sure I'm not getting build up in the drain pipes. (So far on my big system this hasn't been a problem though.)

I got about half of the gravel into the first grow bed but it is so hot out there that I can only wash so much gravel before I have to come in and cool off for a while. I suppose it's better than washing gravel when it's cold out though. Hopefully I can get the one bed filled before the end of the day then I'll dose with some aged hummonia to start some cycling going on. The only stuff I'm transfering from the other system is some lava rock and perhaps some of the gunk and worms from some filter pads. I don't want to put lots of shells in this system (so not sharing gravel.)

Gotta go wash more gravel.

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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '10, 09:59 
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Agh, it's hot here lately!!!
I was only able to managed mostly filling one grow bed today.

When hot like it is here one not only needs to make sure the gravel washing station is ergonomic (the right height for proper swishing without bending over) but also make sure there is some shade!!!!

Attachment:
Gravel washing station with shade (Medium).JPG
Gravel washing station with shade (Medium).JPG [ 112.12 KiB | Viewed 14015 times ]


I use the multi bin rinse technique. First bin water will become quite dirty pretty quickly but the second bin will be much cleaner. This allows for fairly clean gravel with less water used.
Attachment:
first rinse then cleaner rinse (Medium).JPG
first rinse then cleaner rinse (Medium).JPG [ 61.53 KiB | Viewed 14011 times ]


And of course filling the bed while keeping the gravel guard in it's proper position.
I did add some lava rock around the base of the gravel guard before starting on the regular gravel.
Attachment:
fill while keeping stand pipe guard in place (Medium).JPG
fill while keeping stand pipe guard in place (Medium).JPG [ 87.67 KiB | Viewed 14009 times ]

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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '10, 10:05 
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I probably could save even more water on washing this particular load of gravel if I were to dry shake it all before putting it in the rinse baskets but I don't have a good set up for that other than shaking it in my rinse baskets and when they are wet, it isn't as effective.

But I'm still getting the gravel quite clean and I probably only used 50 gallons of water in the process of filling the one bed. It was water that had been used in the system for rinsing and testing the plumbing so I don't feel too bad.

One of my tricks is to use small buckets so I'm not hurting myself moving the buckets from the gravel pile over to the washing station.
Attachment:
Use small buckets (Medium).JPG
Use small buckets (Medium).JPG [ 125.24 KiB | Viewed 13987 times ]


Got the gravel up to just below the water line
Attachment:
just below the water line (Medium).JPG
just below the water line (Medium).JPG [ 115.29 KiB | Viewed 13980 times ]


Time to put some holes in the stand pipe. I'll start with two small holes, I can always make them bigger or add more later.
Attachment:
starter stand pipe holes (Medium).JPG
starter stand pipe holes (Medium).JPG [ 62.42 KiB | Viewed 13969 times ]

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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '10, 10:11 
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so now that I have the gravel up to just below the water line, I decided to add a layer of greensand to supplement Iron and potassium to the system.
Attachment:
Greensand supplement layer (Medium).JPG
Greensand supplement layer (Medium).JPG [ 143.51 KiB | Viewed 13952 times ]


and another layer of gravel to cover the greensand
Attachment:
Greensand covered (Medium).JPG
Greensand covered (Medium).JPG [ 135.32 KiB | Viewed 13940 times ]


Now knowing that the gravel is going to settle over the next few days, I plan on adding more gravel to this bed but I'd had enough for one day in the heat and storms were rolling in.

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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '10, 10:14 
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So to get this new system cycling as fast as possible (short of using the shell rich gravel from my other systems)
I decided to grab one of the filter pads that was under an inlet to one of the grow beds. I've found that worms love residing in wet poopy filter material. This seemed a very easy way to transfer some worm tea and perhaps some worms and castings hopefully along with some starter bacteria into the new grow bed.


Attachments:
washing worm pad into new sysem (Medium).JPG
washing worm pad into new sysem (Medium).JPG [ 146.47 KiB | Viewed 13927 times ]
Worm pad from other system (Medium).JPG
Worm pad from other system (Medium).JPG [ 148.06 KiB | Viewed 13920 times ]

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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '10, 10:19 
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Some well aged hummonia added in the afternoon before the storms hit (probably only about 200 ml.)

Water test results before 9 pm
pH 8 (my well water ya know)
Ammonia 1.5
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5 (I don't know if this came from water I had left in the grow beds and fish tank before I hooked everything up cause I wanted to keep it all weighted down and stuff, or if the aged hummonia might also have contributed some nitrate? I've checked the well water lately and showed no nitrates.)

Let the cycling begin.

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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '10, 10:24 
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You and the cook amaze me TC. What you do in a couple days takes me weeks if not months.

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