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PostPosted: Dec 19th, '16, 15:58 
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1. I built a pretty solid wood structure over pretty much the only patch of dirt I got.
2. seeing as though I do not have an old swimming pool that that can be converted, instead I got a 1500 liter tank and buried it just 1/2 into the ground.

There is really no way of doing Barramundi year round without having to pay a fair bit for heating costs.... so unless there is a here's what it looks like:

Image

The main problem right now is that the grow bed is not level, it seems to be tilted towards the bottom right, sloping downwards in that picture. That is why I'm not surprised that the tomato plant on the far left, top left is doing so bad. For the time being I have taped up the first four holes, so that the water being pumped out of the main tank is being directed towards back, more so anyways. Not a long term solution but in the short term, until I get a second set of hands to help me level the grow bed - it will do.

Going forward fish wise I've got 3 options:

1. grow Silver Perch year round
2. or do the Trout May to November and Barramundi December to February, thing
3. eat the goldfish

Seeing as option 3 won't happen unless there is a zombie apocalypse lol, we are left with SP year round or the Barra/Trout thing


Where will I plant? What will I plant?

1. grapes shall offer a bit of protection from the sun in summer, die back during winter - letting all that sun thur
2. tomato plants, planted up side down - hanging in 10 liter buckets. Freeing up room in the grow bed
3. cos lettuce, spinach, bok choy, chlli in the grow bed

I understand that this is a aquaponics forum not permaculture site but I'm going to put in another grow bed and if it can support it maybe 1-2 vertical growing towers for say strawberries [for example].

Add chickens maybe? .......

Other side projects:

I'm looking to divert grey water [from my shower drain, sinks, laundry etc..] for use on my vegetables buried in dirt.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So if there is any other ideas, please share them - I'm much in the infancy of my system, so I'm all ears 8)


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PostPosted: Dec 19th, '16, 16:31 
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Hi Kaz,

a car jack is a pretty handy gizmo when it comes to lifting heavy things.
What sort of material is causing the shade from the roof? With a bit more light you'd have a good place on the back wall for a vertical garden. Don't forget to size your pump according to the extra head height you'll need to have for the VG.
Chooks are great although you should check out which ones lay the most all year round, if that's what you want. We chose Isa Browns I think they lay something like 265 per year. Some other breeds lay more but not all year round - they go on holidays malt get a tan and slowly put their energy back into new feathers instead of eggs.

Pete.

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PostPosted: Dec 19th, '16, 18:04 
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Before, so sad lol [that was 3/4 months ago]
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PostPosted: Dec 19th, '16, 18:45 
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really made some good use of that space Kaz.

If water is an issue you can use half blue drums to make some wicking pots that can take some larger shrubs etc.
They can also use excess fish tank water once you stock up.

some examples around this site. Shout out if you want some pointers to them.

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PostPosted: Dec 20th, '16, 17:41 
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3/4 upside down RED buckets = 3/4 upside tomato's
3 half cut BLUE barrels/containers = 3 wicking pots [thanks dlf_perth for in put]
3 vertical herb etc GREEN btw = vertical garden on th bac wall [cheers Pete]
2 PVC pipes - WHITE - positioned vertically and used to grow strawberries/cos lettuce/bok choy etc

ALSO the addition of a 2nd BLACK grow bed, up the back - top right


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PostPosted: Dec 22nd, '16, 02:18 
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The question I have would be:

How much grow bed area/number of plants, can 1500 liters support?


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PostPosted: Dec 22nd, '16, 18:31 
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1500 litres = nothing :D

it is actually the number of fish.... that lead to how much veg you can support
so the question is then how many fish will 1500 Litres support and then the grow bed becomes roughly 25L wet grow bed media per fish.

Starting out 1500L should get you 30-50 fish. Initially it is better to err on the lower side.
people go higher and state all sorts of weird numbers....but 30-50 should be fairly safe.

I would start low and build your numbers up rather than adding a lot all at once.

The converse is that if you only have 300 Litres of media/grow bed then 12-15 is going to be the limit.
so it is a iterative process..... enough fish but matching the grow bed.

there are real ways to calculate the actual load based on fish species and weight, but the above is a rule of thumb used around here and is OK for SP and goldfish.

** wet media is not the total media but the volume of water that is actually underwater in the cycle.
so it is not the volume of your grow bed (which will be more than the wet media volume if that makes sense)

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PostPosted: Dec 23rd, '16, 20:46 
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That makes sense I'm enjoying gently warming this system up rather than over cooking your fish on BBQ - getting shit burnt out of them on high heat and all that.. hahahaha ............ ohhhhhhh you make sense it's all about the fish and not the size of your tank, size doesn't matter it's how you use it that matters hahaha


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PostPosted: Dec 23rd, '16, 22:30 
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trying to figure out which is best.... horizontal plane - pvc pipes zig zagging horizontally vs vertical pane production -strawberry towers, used for cos lettuce too etc .............. in my 2.5 meter x 2.5 meter space [the space to the left of the fish tank] I could either have;

1. two horizontal plane, zig zagging set up's... each set up has 3 x 900 mm 2 meter pvc pipe and with each set up having 2 'turns' --so each one looks like a distorted Z lol .. I'm thinking 1 plant every 30-40 cm apart, so 6 plants on each pvc pipe but with 6 pvc pipes [3 per Z set up and there being two Z set ups..] that means in total 36 plants ...........

OR

2. nine vertical type strawberry/cos lettuce towers.. you could fit 9 towers in the same space, hanging from hooks so are move able if need be .. and with each tower supporting 6 plants, that means 54 possible plants in total......

In comparison to dirt gardening, you could fit 4 rows of 5 plants into that space - so 20 in total. That would mean 3.2 plants per square meter. So using 2 horizontal zig zagging set ups you are looking at 5.76 plants per square meter. Then finally vertical plane strawberry/cos lettuce type towers, having of them towers-6 plants on each .. well that comes out as 8.64 ppsm [plants per square meter lol]


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PostPosted: Dec 24th, '16, 12:06 
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head......

if you go horizontal, or nearly so, the pump doesn't have to work as hard.
if you go high (say 2m - head high) then you have to lift the water to that height first.
most pumps fade pretty quickly with small head increases.

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PostPosted: Dec 24th, '16, 22:07 
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that makes good sense... but I'm in a wheelchair so being able to move a tower of 7 plants out the way is appealing, considering if I go horizontal everything would be more 'fixed' and areas of space would have to be larger..... not to mention siting looking up and down is way easier than moving side to side to check plants .... then you look at the space needed to move around in a wheelchair = way too much lol ....... so vertical towers are better, well apart from needing a more powerful pump that is....

If I want to have 2 [1.4 meter] towers plus my original GB [1 meter x 1.7 meters x 40 cm], what sorta pump do I need? ... they will both be 1.4 meters each and the water will have to be pumped up to 2 meters, both then trickling back into the fish tank - basically over the main tank but can be moved if needed.


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PostPosted: Dec 26th, '16, 16:57 
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Darren forget what I typed, too convoluted but rather just answer this;

1. how many 1.8m but we'll just call them 2m towers :) - how many can a 5k lph pump support?

f.y.i. pvc pipes 900mm used, for example -

Image

I got a 5k lph pump recently [over kill I know but ...] I got it at a great price stainless steel cover, can adjust the flow rate, is energy efficient blah blah blah lol


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PostPosted: Dec 26th, '16, 17:18 
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problem is the answer is always "it depends".

the first issue is the pump - if you know the brand you can look up if it has a flow-head chart / table.
This will tell you the flow rate of the pump for different heights.
For some non-fountain type pumps heads of more than 1m can be an issue and cause them undue wear & tear.

You can work out by running the pump from your fish tank and holding the end of a pipe at 2m and measuring the time it takes to fill a bucket. That will get you an actual flow rate. (flow = volume per time).

A couple of the guys around here have experience with vertical planters.
Dangerous Dave comes to mind, and there are others that use either pre-built or home made ones.
Dangerous Dave thread => viewtopic.php?f=18&t=22374

few others to get some ideas...
Vertical Tower setup > viewtopic.php?f=1&t=16765
Strawberry Towers > viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8800
media options > viewtopic.php?f=1&t=26246
small thread > viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11760

I haven't actually tried them so have no experience to draw upon.

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PostPosted: Dec 26th, '16, 18:00 
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Will check those links out. Ta mate.


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PostPosted: Dec 29th, '16, 13:57 
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Okay it seems the system is cycled and 10+ SP will be added before NYE ... . the goldfish have grown noticeably since when I purchased them, so yeah everything is looking good .... 1.5 kg of salt will need to be added before I get the SP tho' and the [dirt] garden to the left of the tank is looking a bit average but I don't mind as I plan to make a few wicking blue barrel -self watering barrels/pots or just one big 2m x 80 cm wicking garden bed...... If I'm going to do it properly I think the raise -wicking- garden bed will be more work yes but in the end be the more productive use of the space.

As for the aquaponic's I'm still looking at 2 strawberry towers but used for bok choy, cos lettuce, some varieties of chilli etc ... not just strawberries .... apart from that I planning on using my main AP grow bed 1.2mx1.2mx40cm and a second smaller grow bed 80cmx50cmx30cm ..... I'm not sure if a 1500 liter can support that tho but I'm told it's more how you use your tank not the size of it... as for the future, I'm going to get my hands on the new 5k lph pump soon and am looking forward to testing it out ..........

But 1st thing 1st, gotta buy some salt from Bunning's today or tomorrow .. 1.5 kg for a 1500 liter tank is correct right?


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