Tuesday, 22 January 2013

New System Part 5

We've doing well. Everything installed except the spreader bar to deliver water to the plants. Just need ot cut some holes and install it. Spend this morning installing some building blocks (red clay bricks) as part of my bio filter. So spreader bar, add bio filter material and some filter cloth good to go.  Seedlings are ready.  Fish shop will have our fish ready on Friday... All done and sorted !!!

All Going Well.

Not much to record at this time. System seems ot be going OK. Few small insects and a sort of white fly around but to be expected with no covers. Took a few photos. All growing well.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

New System Part 4

Think we have finally got the main tanks completed. Wanna finished the silicon around the fittings. We did have some dramas getting the lower tank fitting to seal properly. Steve managed to buy some proper washers yesterday that did the trick. Job done. Thanks Steve.

So tomorrow off to Chat Takarn to pick up the grown beds. Also means I will not play around with the the pipes etc and give the silicon a chance to dry out properly. Get those grow beds installed and we are ready to start  placing the seedlings and add fish. Exciting times.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Water Testing and System Review

Took some water samples today.  Looking good. (See side bar for details).

System appears very stable with 7 fish in clean water and plenty of veggies in the grow beds.

I've also checked the circulation volume, can do it from pump data but also checked with just simply collecting the output to each tank for 30 secs each. Throughput added up to exactly 2 litres for 30 seconds. Thats 4 litres a minute so 240 litres an hour. Tank volume is near 180 litres so an exchange rate of every 45 minutes. Very acceptable. If anything a bit on the fast side. But I'll stick go with the pump system I've got. You know the expression, "if it ain't broke don't fix it".

Saturday, 12 January 2013

New System Part 3

Things are progressing at a slow pace, mainly due to so many other things going on. We've basically set up the system components I'd say we're 50% done. Still need the grow beds which are due for delivery on or around the 17th of this month. Then run trials and we're away.

We're using a concrete (ferro cement) water tank as the fish tank. It has about 1500 litres capacity. More than adequate, large plastic bins or the settlement and bio filter system. And another plastic bin for the sump. Need to connect them all up and make sure it all works. Seeds have already been planted in the adjacent grow bed, shown in bottom left corner of the last photo.  Update to follow.

Harvest Time

Well good start to the day. We cut some of our 'Morning Glory' ready for a stir fry.  Our little system is doing really well. Seems to have stabilized and even go the syphons to the grow beds working much better. Makes me feel I am learning bit by bit.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013


My existing system is doing well. Yesterday afternoon we caught some big fish in our pond. Decided we would eat them later. i.e. Bar B Q them tomorrow or  Friday.  To keep them alive and fresh I added them to our system. Little extra nutrients being added to my plans for a couple of days cannot do any harm.

Monday, 7 January 2013

New system Part 2

We cleared the site yesterday. Going to do it all properly.  My earlier idea of using the old water tank is not really the way to go. Especially if we are going to be showing people around.  Behind the tractor on the right is our store. I'll be using it as our 'office' and keeping fish food etc. Off to but the tanks later today.

Friday, 4 January 2013

New System Part 1

Well finally got myself motivated to start the new larger improved system. It is going to start out as a 1000 litre tank with 30 or so fish. Then have a deep raft hydroponics section. but you ask the photos show a larger tank. Quite so Watson... We are going to later increase the tank volume accordingly to 2000 litres and add in some normal NFT to see how it fares.  I am keen to do this for several reasons. Firstly to see if it will work and then also to use up my existing stock of the 2 inch pipe I have had stored for so long. Then I'll be able to get it all working and see what I can and cannot grow. Only after we have this working will I move to a bigger system.... The photos are of the area behind my 'in Laws You can see my collection of spate 2" drain pipe on the right hand side.  I'll be using the store as an office and of course a store... Also the area for fish tank and grow beds is more that adequate and south facing. In fact the heat might be a big problem.  Will see how we get along. Watch this space. Clearing and so on starts tomorrow. Then on Monday or Tuesday off to Chat  Takarn again to buy the grown beds. All exciting stuff.

Swirl Filter

Up to now all going well.  I know "if it's not broke don't fix it".  But I have added a small additional swirl filter and think I have found a very simple way forward.

Got the idea here.   http://www.earthangroup.com.au/diy-backyard-budget-swirl-filter/

I've go the old 200 litre drum cut in two acting as a filter now but adding a 20 litre internal inverted 'bottle' should help me remove solid waste much more easily and more conveniently. At the moment the 'toilet flush system I use sends the fish crap all over our patio. Not a good long term solution expecially from my wife's point of view....

So look at the photos. The reason the pipe work looks somewhat erratic is because I was using bits form an old system. Pre drilled holes, pipe connections etc never ever line up as you would like.

You can see the inverted plastic bottle. It connects at the bottom of the main tank internally and out through the old pipe connector at the side. Not ideal but should work. I know some people do videos but today I just wanted to get it done!!!

Also we had our first harvest. So all good.