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PostPosted: Apr 10th, '21, 18:10 
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wow, everything was supposed to be fine and okay while I was away. Damn David I'm so sorry, but glad everyone is okay.

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Hard Specs: 2600 gallon Masonry fish pond. Everything else in flux.
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PostPosted: Jun 8th, '21, 00:52 
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Wow this forum is a ghost town lately. I miss the good old days of trying to keep up with dozens of posts from the "legends" that had dozens of pages and thousands of comments each. So I'm not sure who might actually see this, but I hope it benefits or is interesting to someone. I know I learned a lot from other people's journeys that I read about here.

Anyhow, I finally made some progress rebuilding after the fire. The biggest obstacle was keeping the fish tank healthy while removing all the growbeds. I finally made a temporary setup that uses one growbed from my other system as a filter for the tilapia tank. But with only 100 gallons of wet media, it is much smaller than needed but I hope it keeps the fish alive for a while.

With that done, I was able to tear out the remnants of the original growbeds, and get my new rack in place.

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The biggest challenge was the blackberry bush. It is now 3x the size shown in the first photo. I was going to remove and discard it as it never really produced many berries. But of course this year it exploded and is covered with hundreds of berries. I was able to move (with great difficulty) the growbed with the plant and get it set up with it's own water recirculation for now.

So the new growbeds will all be IBC growbeds, and I'm starting my journey into sand-ponics / IAV. So I had to up my game with the media guard and drainage. I'm trying to preserve the traditional design, but modify it to handle the sand. I already see I will be drilling more holes in the media guard to improve drainage. But this shows the concept of my improved set up for the drains.

First I had some T's laying around, so I cut off the section I needed

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Then I secured the "coupling" in place to accept the media guard.

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Next I prepared the media guard

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And now I wait for it to dry.

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC sand-ponics system 2021, 3 IBC GBs

9 kW Solar Electric 2011 - Upgraded to 12 kW 2019

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jun 11th, '21, 00:05 
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So, good progress yesterday on the fire recovery and conversion to sand, sometimes called sandponics or iAVs. The main difference from aquaponics is the sand system and timed flood allows for complete breakdown of the fish solids and eliminates nutrient deficiencies common in AP. So goes the claim. It is very different for me to not have a solids filter of some sort prior to the growbeds.

Anyhow, the sand itself must meet some very specific requirements like complete drainage within a reasonable time, low fines like silt and clay, low turbidity, pH neutral (no carbonates), etc. I have researched this for some time and it was always frustrating that NO ONE could just come out and say "buy this sand, it works great!"

However, I did encounter someone that used pool filter sand with good results. So, I started looking. WOW that stuff can be expensive at $5 for a 50# bag! However, I don't give in easily and I found some for $6.95 per bag. But how much to ship 50# bags of sand (I need 22 bags to fill an IBC growbed 12" deep)? Well, it turns out that shipping was free for orders over $50. It wasn't fast, but it was free!

Finally the sand arrived and I finished my stand for the new growbeds. I set up

I built a sand test rig to check drainage, settling, conductivity, etc. The test setup is a 4" drainage pipe 16" long, a cap with many small hoes, and the drain sleeve fabric at the bottom. I filled the pipe with 12" of sand leaving 4" depth at the top without sand.

Pouring in about 4 cups of water, the water starts to drain out the bottom within a couple of seconds and stops draining after about 40 seconds. The first pour water was very dirty, so I was worried about silt and cloudy water. I repeated the test 5 times, and the sand did not settle a measurable amount - there was still a 4" gap at the top.

I filed the bed with sand, and I wanted to flush it out until the water ran clear. I filled the bed once with water from the hose, and drained it into the yard. The water ran perfectly clear, so no worries there. I guess the silt settled to the bottom or stayed in the sand.

Here is the final drain configuration.

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The sand testing

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC sand-ponics system 2021, 3 IBC GBs

9 kW Solar Electric 2011 - Upgraded to 12 kW 2019

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.
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PostPosted: Jun 11th, '21, 00:12 
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Here is the sand bed. Once the sand was wet it was easy to make furrows. The furrows eroded with my initial make-shift set-up, so I added a system of perforated pipes I have lying around until I can get something permanent.

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC sand-ponics system 2021, 3 IBC GBs

9 kW Solar Electric 2011 - Upgraded to 12 kW 2019

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jun 11th, '21, 06:41 
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Looks good!

I've been wanting to do a sand system for a while but I don't have any room.

With larger plants,how will they stand up/support themselves in sand?

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PostPosted: Jun 11th, '21, 10:15 
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7341 wrote:
Looks good!

I've been wanting to do a sand system for a while but I don't have any room.

With larger plants,how will they stand up/support themselves in sand?


Thanks, its a new direction. I think the sand is much more stable than the Hydroton I'm used too. My corn stalks are very unstable in Hydroton until the root system matures, and even then in a strong wind it's a little scary. Damp sand seems pretty solid.

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC sand-ponics system 2021, 3 IBC GBs

9 kW Solar Electric 2011 - Upgraded to 12 kW 2019

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jun 12th, '21, 06:14 
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Thanks for sharing, I’ve been thinking of doing the same, there’s a member here, Aufin I think, who has been plugging IAV’s for ages which perked my interest. I thought the sand needed to be much courser than pool filter sand and haven’t seen anything around these parts in a cost effective volume required so it will be interesting to see how your system fares.
And yeah, dead forum alright, I’d have thought it’d crank up again when everyone started mini prepping during the lockdowns.
Thanks again and keep us updated.

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PostPosted: Jun 16th, '21, 03:44 
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So 4 days after planting I have my first sprouts in the sand. I've never had green show up so quickly. I like the moisture conductivity of the sand, I think that is key.

Image

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC sand-ponics system 2021, 3 IBC GBs

9 kW Solar Electric 2011 - Upgraded to 12 kW 2019

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jun 19th, '21, 01:19 
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It's never good to come home and find an empty fish pond. I have a float switch that's supposed to turn off the pump, but I guess that didn't work. Thankfully my Catfish are still small, and they all survived.

It looks like my RFF sprung a leak. I guess it was time for a 90% water exchange. Image

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC sand-ponics system 2021, 3 IBC GBs

9 kW Solar Electric 2011 - Upgraded to 12 kW 2019

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '21, 22:06 
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Looks like my RFF sprung a leak. Image

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC sand-ponics system 2021, 3 IBC GBs

9 kW Solar Electric 2011 - Upgraded to 12 kW 2019

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jul 3rd, '21, 17:51 
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I feel your pain since 2 mornings ago I woke up to an empty bucket. All 10 golds missing. Just when for the first time I found a little extra nitrates.
Raccoons around here seem to enjoy the easy meal.

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PostPosted: Jul 7th, '21, 00:19 
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24 days with sand; larger stuff planted 6/10, smaller stuff 6/20.

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800 gal sys 2016
IBC sand-ponics system 2021, 3 IBC GBs

9 kW Solar Electric 2011 - Upgraded to 12 kW 2019

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jul 8th, '21, 04:24 
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Time to add some pics.

Here is my breeding colony
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And their current fry

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_________________
800 gal sys 2016
IBC sand-ponics system 2021, 3 IBC GBs

9 kW Solar Electric 2011 - Upgraded to 12 kW 2019

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jul 8th, '21, 04:32 
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A few more pics from yesterday

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_________________
800 gal sys 2016
IBC sand-ponics system 2021, 3 IBC GBs

9 kW Solar Electric 2011 - Upgraded to 12 kW 2019

"Aquaponics...solar-powered nanotechnology that produces fresh vegetables and meat, while purifying water..." - Rick Op, Houston Texas.


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PostPosted: Jul 9th, '21, 01:21 
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Wow! I can only imagine what it must be like to have that happen to your system! (Fire/ melt down) I feel for you!
I always thought that type of set up would be a perfect way to heat a system!
:?
Good to see you back at it in full force! :headbang:

Things are looking great! I love the aerial photo!

Nice blackberries. And the fingerlings! looking good!

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