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 Post subject: Tims Mini System MKIII
PostPosted: Feb 17th, '07, 21:46 
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I finished moving an setting up my system a few days ago. System consists of 9, 55L containers. 3 Growbeds, 5 Fish tanks and 1 sump. The fish tanks are set up inside a very simple shade house, 1. To reduce heat and 2. To minimise dust and debris from Easterly winds. (Perth people know what I mean).

Water is gravity feed from the fish tanks to the growbeds. The Growbeds are still in continuous flow arrangement, with water entering from the bottom. I have used broken up terracotta in the bottom of each growbed to decrease potential clogging. Water drains from growbeds and returns to the tanks via a sump.

Currently the three fish tanks contain 5 Convict Ciclids (6 cm), and 9 goldfish. The convicts are separated into mating pairs. The end pair have already spawned (been in there a week).

Growbeds have 3 tommies, 2 capsicums and 2 zucchinis.

I am hoping the system stays put for a while.


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File comment: Tanks
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File comment: Sump
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File comment: Plumbing and Growbeds
IMG_0619.jpg [224.62 KiB]
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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '07, 21:48 
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Heres a comparison of plant growth in just over two weeks...


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File comment: Beginning of February
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File comment: Today
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PostPosted: Feb 17th, '07, 22:04 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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quick growers-- hey TC.

Good stuff

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PostPosted: Feb 18th, '07, 02:37 
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Hi Tim,

That's a nice tidy little system.....and you're obviously getting good plant growth.

I'm interested in your use of the plastic tubs as gravel beds. While I acknowledge the benefits of gravel beds, the idea of setting up large ones is just more bother than I'm interested in. Your beds are a reasonable compromise for operators of small (and relocatable) systems.

I'd appreciate more detail on how you've set up your water flow. Do you use timers or autosyphons?

Gary

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PostPosted: Feb 18th, '07, 10:12 
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Here you go Gary, see if you can get your head around this. Basically it is a true continuous flow. No timers, no auto siphons. Just one pump and a heater.

The containers are staggered to obtain gravity feed to and from the growbeds. The pump in the sump tank, pumps the water back up to the fish tanks. The only point of failure is if the water decreases too much in the sump, due to evaporation in the system and the pump will run dry. I have installed a float switch, which I want to link to a 12 v pump to auto top up the sump/fishtanks to compensate for evaporation. I have found it does generally take 4 or 5 days to go from sump full to getting too low for the pump.

I could easily add another two grow beds and 2 possibly three more fish tanks at a later stage, so it is almost modular.


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File comment: Diagram outlining water paths and plumbing.
Tank Configuration.jpg
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PostPosted: Feb 18th, '07, 11:55 
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Thanks Tim,

I like the modular nature of your system......and its simplicity.

Your set up would be great where a block slopes steeply....like ours.

Gary

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PostPosted: Feb 28th, '07, 13:41 
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Bit of a system update. Did an upgrade on the weekend, added two more 55L tubs for fish, you will understand why in a moment.

First pair of convict Ciclids spawned and hatched a week ago. Next pair laid eggs on friday and hatched yesturday. So I have around 200-300 babies so far. Thats one tub. I am going to separate the fry from each batch so I can pair them up from separarate parents later on.

I picked up some Tilapia on Saturday from johnnie7au. Hence the second extra tub. There are quite a few of them, should have counted them before putting them in. They range in size from 3 cm to 8 cm. Have been feeding them duckweed and tropical flake.

I will get some pictures soon.


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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '07, 13:10 
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Heres an update. Since my last post I have had no modifications or adjusting what-so-ever. Food and topping up water is all I have done.

I think the system is reaching its peak performance as the tomato plants have fruit on them and the capsicums have really grown in the past week. The zuchini's were getting close to fruiting but we had some strong winds and they snapped off.... had my first death today since the fish first went in there, but it was caused by the male convict beating up and killing the female.

Both the convicts and the tilapia have bred. I have the babies in a glass aquarium, which is currently so green I couln't get a picture of them. They are still so tiny. I had about 100 babies survive.

Anyway, here are my latest pictures.


Attachments:
File comment: Overall plant growth. It has slowed down a lot lately. Probably due to the weather getting colder.
IMG_0021.jpg
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File comment: First tomato growing. A bit late in the season, but the ones in the dirt garden are late too. 'B' brand tommies....
IMG_0022.jpg
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File comment: Smallest of the Tilapia... they are about 2 inches long.
IMG_0023.jpg
IMG_0023.jpg [ 145.29 KiB | Viewed 10777 times ]
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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '07, 13:13 
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More pictures...


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File comment: Tilapia... I thought this was a female but noticed the red in the picture.... so male.
IMG_0024.jpg
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File comment: Very pretty Tilapia male... very red fins...
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File comment: Convict Female, getting ready to lay eggs.
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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '07, 15:19 
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nice yellow markings on the convict, mine don't have them!

congrats on the imminent convict family, you'll never be rid of them now!

Unless you get some murray cod ;)

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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '07, 20:19 
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They are a nice looking fish. How many total fishies are you running now?

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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '07, 23:33 
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A quick run down GF:

12 Goldfish (2 inch)
4 Convict Cichlids (2 pair)
~20 Tilapia (2-3 inches)

There really isn't enough fish IMHO but the plants are doing well considering.


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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '07, 23:39 
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Are the convicts mouth brooders? I'm pretty fish illerate.

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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '07, 23:53 
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nope, but they protect their nest with a voracity i've not seen. They will go ANY fish of ANY size that comes near ;)

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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '07, 23:53 
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The convicts are not mouth brooders but will move the young one by one around in its mouth. Like when they stray from the group. They are very good parents. They will attack anything that goes near the babies including my fingers.

They clean an area of the tank and lay the eggs in a big clump. The babies develop much the same way as the tilapia I believe, they don't hatch rather they develop from the egg. They take about 3 days to "hatch" for lack of a better word..... maybe morph? You know what I mean....


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