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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '10, 03:23 
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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '10, 05:03 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Ah, but I think practicing patience is something that many of us need to continually work at.

But I do think this system is settling in nicely, I just need to ignore it a bit better for a couple more weeks and it should be all fine. (not really ignore, just do the normal bare min of testing, checking and feeding so it can finish cycling up in peace.)

DD, keep up the pictures of your Aquaponic burrito, I want to see how that works out for ya.

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PostPosted: Aug 15th, '10, 23:09 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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This system seems to be doing fine.

I've been using this system to test out different pump and indexing valve combinations.

The original valve I was using on this system was a 1 1/4" valve with a 6 outlet body but using the 3 outlet cam and a gravity stem. That valve didn't operate reliably with the Quiet One 4000 pump so I had upgraded to the Quiet One 5000 and it did work well. If I switched to the regular Aquaponics valve stem I needed the Quiet One 6000 pump to run it.

Since then I've found that the 1 1/4" valve with a 4 outlet body, 3 way cam, and gravity stem will run just fine with the Quiet One 4000 pump and it even ran fine with the same pump when I put the regular aquaponics stem in.

I testing the 1" 6 outlet valve a little but I'm not satisfied yet and need to keep testing that a bit more before I want to give results.

Right now I'm starting to test the 1 1/2" 2 outlet valve with a 3 way cam and the regular aquaponics stem.

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PostPosted: Aug 16th, '10, 06:22 
TCLynx wrote:
The original valve I was using on this system was a 1 1/4" valve with a 6 outlet body but using the 3 outlet cam and a gravity stem. That valve didn't operate reliably with the Quiet One 4000 pump so I had upgraded to the Quiet One 5000 and it did work well. If I switched to the regular Aquaponics valve stem I needed the Quiet One 6000 pump to run it.

Since then I've found that the 1 1/4" valve with a 4 outlet body, 3 way cam, and gravity stem will run just fine with the Quiet One 4000 pump and it even ran fine with the same pump when I put the regular aquaponics stem in.

That's a bit curious TCL.... same pump, with same diameter outlet works with the 4 port, but not with the six port....

Any thoughts why???


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PostPosted: Aug 16th, '10, 06:44 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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I'm not sure.

However, I have noticed that the 6 outlet valve body seems to have more leakage out the inactive zones than the 4 outlet valve body does and I'm thinking that perhaps the two observations are related. :?: :think:

Now I'd love to do some more comparisons with some of the other sizes of 4 and 6 way bodies but at the moment I don't have all the different configurations on hand here right now. Might have to wait till later this fall when I can put some more time into it.

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PostPosted: Aug 16th, '10, 15:23 
TCLynx wrote:
However, I have noticed that the 6 outlet valve body seems to have more leakage out the inactive zones than the 4 outlet valve body does and I'm thinking that perhaps the two observations are related. :?: :think:

I think it's probably because the flow rate was at a minimum... and the extra head (due to the restrictive forces of the plumbing, and the valve itself)... tipped the balance to where the flow wasn't sufficient to seal the valve correctly...

This would be consistant with the problem dissapearing with an up-rated pump...


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PostPosted: Aug 16th, '10, 19:26 
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Hi TC

I've been watching this develop, very impressed, I am going with the 300 gal FT but also a sump to drain into and then pump to the FT, the 15:45 cycle. Then overflow to the growbeds, using the 100gal GBs.

What plants does this system have now? I am starting with chard and herbs and will add tomatoes as it matures.

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PostPosted: Aug 16th, '10, 20:45 
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That system right now has one or two banana plants in each grow bed as well as some hot peppers and yard long beans. I've also added some malibar spinach vines. There is one rosemary that was transplanted from the last old wooden bed when we changed it out.

And then in the towers there is nasturtium which don't seem to happy there, basil doing well in the towers, india mustard, basil, lets see, some more basil, and a couple other random plants in the towers including a malabar spinach vine where I planted a seed in the top of the tower.

Oh, and there is one tomato seedling that has come up in a somewhat shady spot in the back of one of the beds so it may take off here as the seasons change. Currently we are in the too hot for much of anything season.

I need to run some water tests on this system today but I ran out of the ammonia test re-agent so I might have to take a run up to the pet store later but there are other more pressing matters like getting the AC fixed as it quit working again on Friday late afternoon and it's been a rather warm weekend again. About time to run around and close windows again as the out door temp is about to reach the same as the indoor temp.

Anyway, running this without a sump and the fish tank in ground. Currently with a 1:1 grow bed to fish tank ratio I could be flooding all the beds at the same time with no issues but with the indexing valve the fluctuation is minimal. To run an indexing valve on a CHIFT PIST system becomes a bit more complex depending on how you rout things but it can be done, I know, I'm doing it.

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PostPosted: Aug 16th, '10, 21:28 
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Rupe,
I've not used any really really powerful pumps with the indexing valves. Most powerful is a 1/3 rd HP sump pump that is operating on a float switch to feed the 6 way 1" valve.

I think that the disk simply seals better in the 4 way body than it does in the 6 way body (there is more relatively flat space under the disk for it to seal to while the 6 way body only has the lips around the outlets to seal do, it requires more pressure to get a really positive seal.) I can only really say that for the 1 1/4" valve though since I haven't done a side by side compare between the 4 way and 6 way of the 1" and the compare between the 4 and 6 of the 1 1/2" is much less direct since I'm unwilling to pull the 6 way valve of my big system to test along side the 4 way.

As to why the smaller pump was able to reliably engage the valve in the 4 way body, well that one is harder to answer unless it just has to do with turbulence under the disk keeping it from going all the way down as easy? I will re-visit the 6 way 1 1/4" valve again sometime and I'll try using the same stems that worked so well in the 4 way body just in case it was variations in the stems.

Yesterday I set up with a 1 1/2" 4 way valve to see if it would work with a small pump (I know they can be made to work with low pressure but they need a huge amount of flow.) Anyway, the disk kept kinda sticking on the way down into port 3 when I tried the smaller two pumps but it really seemed like it should work. Before modifying anything I went ahead and hooked up a Quiet One 6000 pump. That was able to operate the valve fine but it was also strong enough to suck up some bits of shell grit that had escaped into the fish tank and I've had to open the valve several times to remove small chunks of lime stone. Now I've added a filter pad around the pump intake so hopefully I won't have to open the valve again to remove debris. The smaller pumps don't seem to suck in rocks! This quiet one 6000 pump through the 1 1/2" valve (even with 1 1/4" pipe from the valve to the grow bed) fills one of these 100 gallon grow beds to overflowing in under 3 minutes. I've had to increase the pump off time in order to allow the beds to drain before their turn comes again since I'm unwilling to change the holes in the stand pipes just for this test since I'll probably be putting a smaller valve/pump back on the system for permanent operation. I've been testing using 10 minute cycles, as in the pump turns on every ten minutes. With the smaller valves and pumps I would have the pump on or about 9 minutes and off for 50 seconds. With this big pump and valve it's more like 4 min on and 6 min off. Each bed gets a flood each half hour. 10 minutes is a fairly easy timer to set so I can go check it each cycle and make sure the valve is indexing properly and not getting stuck. Very tedious though.

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PostPosted: Oct 3rd, '10, 08:09 
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So sorry for the sort of "repeat" posting but this actually belongs more connected to this system thread since it will be for a expansion of this system.

What I'm babbling about.
A workshop at my place to expand this system.
Quote:
So over on the Aquaponic Gardening site I have started making noise among the Florida members to see if anyone wants to come to my place for a "workshop"
I know we have a few people here who might also be interested. I'm getting some tips from JT since he did those workshops when re-doing his system and greenhouse so I thought I might follow suite. This workshop will actually be expanding my 300 gallon system so it will add 3 more grow beds to make it into a 2:1 system.

Anyway, here is a link to the post over there if anyone is interested
http://aquaponicscommunity.com/group/tclynx/forum/topics/dates-for-the-workshp

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PostPosted: Nov 24th, '10, 10:12 
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Just a reminder that the workshop is coming up.

Dates set for December 11/12 time roughly 10 am till 4 pm
Free Workshop
Pot luck lunch
"class" time and Q&A as we digest
More info
http://www.aquaponiclynx.com/workshop-dec-1112-2010

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PostPosted: Nov 25th, '10, 10:32 
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Getting ready for expanding the 300 gallon system. I've removed the towers and they are all now hooked up on the Big system.
I need to do a better cover over the 300 gallon tank and the towers were definitely in the way of that and it wasn't very easy to reach the inlets to the top of the towers to clean them out regularly.

Bananas have been removed to allow more sun down into the beds so I can grow more veggies. We were worried about these bananas clogging up the beds as the bananas really love AP and become beasts.

Now I've planted lots of broccoli, turnips, beets, onions, etc. There are still some tomatoes, peppers, malibar spinach, rosemarry and a few other things that survived the banana extraction.

Almost set for the workshop.

Just an FYI, the system has been running fine with my home made repeat cycle timer and the Quiet One 4000 pump running the 1 1/4" Aquaponics indexing valve with a gravity stem in it.

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '10, 09:13 
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Well today was the first day (and now really the only day as only one person is gonna stop back tomorrow but not a big deal as we did get it all pretty much done today) of the workshop.

Went great. 6 people came and we also had the cook and my brother to direct and help me out with food and showing off worm bins.

300 gallons of gravel can be washed fast with a hand full of people. As soon as I had enough of the plumbing done for the gravel to be put in beds, these helpers were all over it.

I tell ya, get everything ready, all plumbed together with gravel guards set as well as a good layout for washing and bins/baskets, then throw a party. Plan a date send out invites and provide food, gravel can get washed quick. (Biggest challenge is making sure you can get a hand full of people on the date you pick.)

Anyway, I'll upload some of the pics I took before and after. Unfortunately I didn't get any pics during as I was too busy.


Attachments:
Gravel Guard (Medium).JPG
Gravel Guard (Medium).JPG [ 94.5 KiB | Viewed 5686 times ]
Guard installed (Medium).JPG
Guard installed (Medium).JPG [ 63.24 KiB | Viewed 5685 times ]
Installed guard (Medium).JPG
Installed guard (Medium).JPG [ 66.41 KiB | Viewed 5900 times ]

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PostPosted: Dec 12th, '10, 09:15 
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And the wonderful work they did to the gravel pile


Attachments:
pile after party (Medium).JPG
pile after party (Medium).JPG [ 120.22 KiB | Viewed 5679 times ]
Gravel guard close up (Medium).JPG
Gravel guard close up (Medium).JPG [ 97.38 KiB | Viewed 5677 times ]
filled beds (Medium).JPG
filled beds (Medium).JPG [ 128.03 KiB | Viewed 5678 times ]

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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '11, 09:08 
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Things had been going along fairly swimmingly for this system and the expansion made me happy. I've had to watch the pH of this system a bit more closely and I've had the pH get down around 6 a couple of times before I caught it and buffered it back up. Even so, was going good.

30 fish in 300 gallons with 600 gallons of flood and drain grow beds on timed flood and drain with a sequencing valve. Some of the fish getting fairly big too.

Then went out of town for a week. I had checked the weather and didn't really expect anything too extreme before leaving so took no special precautions. Didn't think I was feeding too much.

But...

I got home at midnight last night and did the normal run around with the flash to see if all was well enough. It wasn't.

I saw an almost floating fish and the tank had lots of excess feed. Apparently it got down well below freezing while I was gone and the fish must have quit eating. When I grabbed the net and a bucket, I discovered that it was not just one dead fish but all of them.

All 29 fish dead and lots of wasted feed. Don't know what happened to #30 but perhaps it was small and got eaten by the others some time in the past. Some of these fish were quite big already.
Attachment:
Fish Kill (Medium).JPG
Fish Kill (Medium).JPG [ 117.85 KiB | Viewed 5499 times ]


Well, I can no longer claim not having a big fish kill anymore and this one I'm sure must be from poor water quality and the excess feed.

I need to figure out some means to cut off the feed if the temperature drops too low. So anyone who knows of thermostat controlled outlet for 110-120v power that I could set so it would turn off when the temp dropped below a certain level, I'm interested in links. Or if any of you electronically minded folks could point me to the electronics directions to figure out how to make such myself, I'd be obliged.

Sigh.

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