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PostPosted: Jun 17th, '10, 10:39 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Remember that we are stagehands by profession. That means we spend much time out of work (read no regular day job) and can get a lot done around the house while we are home. It also means that when we do have work, we are often traveling or working very long days and nothing gets done at home during those times.

It's summer, there isn't much work around Orlando this time of year, who wants to book their corporate meetings in Orlando when it's too hot to play golf.

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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '10, 00:29 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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:wash:
Been rode hard and put away wet. But I managed to get the three grow beds filled. Ya know what people say about feeling like wrung out rag. Well I feel more like I was rung out before being dunked and then simply plopped on the floor wet.

It is too hot here this time of year to be washing gravel.

But it's done :cheers:

And the water test today says there is now some nitrite showing up. Come on cycle fast!!!!! I want to spread out my catfish that are currently crowded way to many in the small make shift quarantine set up.

I'll probably wait till the nitrite drops down to 0. I'll dose one more time and then let it all drop to 0 again and then I'll probably add fish and just watch the feed levels till it cycles the rest of the way with fish. Will see though, depends on how sorry I feel for the little guys in the smaller tank.

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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '10, 08:56 
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Looks awesome TC. Do you find that the greensand really helps?


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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '10, 09:58 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Ya know, I can't say for certain if the greensand does help or not. Perhaps I should run some trials but at the moment I'm not sure how best to do that since it would probably require side by side identical systems, one with and one without. I don't have that on hand to test.

I expect it probably is helping in my main system but I'm not sure how I would tell for certain.

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PostPosted: Jun 21st, '10, 10:21 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Well, I was having some issues with the indexing valve not always engaging properly when the pump kicked in. Seems that once the water got up to the valve, it was perhaps not quite enough pressure/flow.

So, I've moved the valve down lower and so far so good, it seems to be engaging properly now when the pump kicks in and then it indexes forward properly when the pump shuts off.

This is one of the aquaponic indexing valve prototypes from before the green caps were on them.

This adjustment actually works well by getting the valve out of the way above the beds.


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Lowered indexing valve (Medium).JPG
Lowered indexing valve (Medium).JPG [ 113.83 KiB | Viewed 3818 times ]
lower valve install (Medium).JPG
lower valve install (Medium).JPG [ 96.53 KiB | Viewed 3817 times ]

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PostPosted: Jun 21st, '10, 16:20 
What's the flow rate of your pump TCL... at the original head.... and now at near zero head??


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PostPosted: Jun 21st, '10, 18:06 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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The current head is probably just about 1 foot (not 0) To manage 0 It would be impossible to drain the dirpping back into the fish tank. I didn't measure with a bucket so I can't say what the exact flow rate is as installed. That 1 foot is to the valve itself, after the valve the water is still lifting up to the tops of the grow beds.

However, through the indexing valve, I think I was probably getting just under 10 gallons per minute at the 3 foot head height.

Here is the pump curves. My model is QP14
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PostPosted: Jun 21st, '10, 20:44 
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So, enough flow that solids-buildup-before-the-GB is not a concern?
That's right where I am now, planning where to "hang" or "set" a 4-port valve (has a 2-port cam to switch 2 GBs). Two ports unused, so I assume I need to plan for some drizzle from those, during those "in-between" times!

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PostPosted: Jun 21st, '10, 22:06 
10 gallons a minute... thats about 37L/m... or 2200L/h.... probably just on the limit with regard to sealing and indexing the valve properly..

I'll check some figures... when I get my darn computer back on-line... hopefully tomorrow night..


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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '10, 09:18 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Well the pump was definitely on the limit for operating the valve at the height above the grow beds but it seems to be functioning great now that I have altered the install to have the valve down between the grow beds.

As to the unused ports. What I have done is used rubber couplings to install temporary plugs on the unused ports (since this install is with a six port valve body and I'm using a 3 way cam.) Since I haven't actually glued anything around the valve yet, it is actually leaking a bit more than it would in a complete install. I kinda expect that once I glue everything, there will only be the tiniest dribble around the indicator stem on the valve since with that little pump there might not be enough pressure to totally seal where that slides up and down to show which valve is on or next.

On my big system I have two different valves going. One is being fed from the fish tank which is CHIFT and the valve is less than 2 feet below the water line so there isn't much pressure there either. That one does leak around the indicator stem too but since the valve is installed on top of the grow beds, the leaks just go into the grow bed so no big deal. The other valve is being fed by a rather powerful sump pump on a float switch and that one seals up quite well under that amount of pressure and is using a high pressure stem.

Anyway, I'm SOOOOO :laughing3: Happy I got the valve working well with the little pump!!!!!!! :cheers: :headbang: The next step up would more than double the energy usage.

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '10, 09:46 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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The beds flood in about 7 minutes, spend the remainder of the pump run time with water flowing over the top of the stand pipe (15 minute interval outdoor mechanical timer doing 15 on 15 off.) The first bed will finish draining some time after the pump turns on again, probably about the time the next bed is about to start overflowing (so I would guess it takes the bed about 22 minutes to drain. I don't think the fish tank is ever down more than the one bed flood worth.

Next will come the towers!!!!!!!!
I think I'll be starting off with 6 of the 5 foot Zipgrow towers hanging over the tank.

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '10, 09:50 
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Hi TC

whats the size(gallons) on your growbeds?

I am toying with a couple of system ideas for a new hoophouse.

Also, where did you get your initial Channel Catfish broodstock? I used to know a guy in Arkasas who had a line of growth selected Channels that had a very impressive growth rate. Trying to remember his name in a senior moment :upset:

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '10, 09:56 
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okay, duh, I went to the beginning of the thread where I should have for the GB size, I am alternating between them and stock feed bunks of about the same capacity, only the feedbunks are shallower, but the price nod is with the 100 gallon rubbermaids. Things to ponder.

A very nice system TC, well done. Thanks for sharing.

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '10, 10:01 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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The 100 gallon stock tanks make nice grow beds for $70. I'm rather partial to deep grow beds. I don't think I'll ever go less than 12 inches for a regular grow bed again. (I might do some shallow ones for growing water chestnuts and stuff like that but not for my regular gravel beds cause I like the extra solids handling capacity the deep beds give.

Oh, I've just been getting my catfish fingerlings from a local fish farm. I'm not really set up to breed them myself at this time.

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PostPosted: Jun 26th, '10, 09:38 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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The nitrite level from the initial dose finally dropped to .25 yesterday so I dosed again. Brought the ammonia up to about 3ppm late afternoon yesterday. Afternoon today the ammonia was down to 1 ppm and the nitrite was too high for me to read accurately. pH has been sticking around 7.6. I did use acid to bring the pH down initially but there seems to be enough buffer in the water that it didn't want to come down below 7.6 for long. The last acid dose did get the pH down to 7.2 but the next day it was back up to 7.6 so I've left it alone till it drops naturally.

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