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  1. thankfully there are many uses for heat, like hot water, heating your home, fish tanks in your case, green houses in cooler climates than ours, keeping a methane digester warm and I am sure there are more than I have thought of. A methane digester would be a good use for the green waste you probably have and animal waste, producing enough methane for cooking shouldn't be hard.
  2. Yes I would very much like to install an off grid setup in a house one day
  3. I have sent you an email with the original document in it Gary and a pdf version which is horrible quality and 5x the size of the original which I find rediculous. I hope that helps.
  4. I found this link and have started reading it. What I have read so far has given me a lot to rethink on a subject I have already put a lot of thought into. It has made me reconsider some things that I had thought I had considered from many different angles, there are a few new angles I had never even considered just into the introduction. Anyway I thought it would be a handy reference and interesting read for the people here, enjoy.
  5. I had forgotten about small turbines, but I feel they are too noisy personally, here is a link to some experimental small turbines if you are interested.
  6. Don't feel too bad, I meant to give you the links to those motors months ago. I have known about them for a long time and have had a lot of ideas rattling around for using them for home power generation and heating with battery banks for the large current spikes caused by washing machines, fridges and freezers. I had never put much thought into how they could be useful for heating fish rearing tanks like you are hoping to, so I am more than glad to share my ideas for their uses. With some luck other people will share even more ideas that will make use of the mechanical and heat energy. I had thought that the waste heat could be used to heat glasshouses in colder climates but that isn't very useful in Queensland so I didn't give it a lot of thought. Compressed air is another way to store energy that could be used to power the buggy you are talking about. There is a little utility vehicle that I think was made originally for the Melbourne fish markets that runs on compressed air. Large out of date gas cylinders like the ones from cars could be used for cheap ready made air reservoirs.
  7. these engines are probably more suited to your needs
  8. lady beetle larvae are used to control aphids and can be bought from some hydroponics suppliers
  9. After giving it a bit more thought with an engine of this size in a backyard setup it might just be a lot easier to run electric heating elements for everything while it is running. That is when you take into consideration how much insulated pipework that would have to be run around the place compared to electric cable. There is one other thing I forgot before, if you had a large greenhouse the exhaust could be run through a particle filter like the ones used in spray painting booths and piped into the greenhouse for a CO2 enriched atmosphere for the plants.
  10. I have been wanting to do something similar myself for a long time. Using heat that would normally be wasted is something I have put some thought into. First thing you should think about is using waste vegetable oil (wvo) as a fuel. There are a few options after the wvo is heated up to 100degrees C to remove water and filter out solids. First wvo can be mixed up to 50:50 with diesel but the ratio would need to be adjusted down in winter because it can turn to a gel or solidify completely in the lines and/or tank. Second is to convert it to biodiesel which can be a tricky process to learn how to get right that involves handling and storing sodium hydroxide, after all that in winter biodiesel can turn to gel or solidify in lines and/or tank. The third option and my favorite is to use some of the wast heat from the engines cooling system heat the wvo until it is the same viscosity as diesel and run the engine on straight wvo, this does mean starting and stopping the engine on diesel though. In my opinion option three is the best for an engine that is going to be run for long periods or 24/7. Truck and car parts available at wreckers can be used to make the heat exchanger in a steel drum used as a fueltank. Even after boiling off water and filtering the wvo before using it for fuel I would invest in a marine diesel filter that has been made to remove water and particles to be safe. A second small heat exchanger just before the injection pump might be needed if there is some distance from the fueltank to the engine. Ok now that I have finished the preaching lets discuss waste heat. In my opinion there is a huge amount of waste heat to be used from a 4cyl engine, you can use an oil heat exchanger from a truck to transfer heat from the engines cooling system (after the thermostat and before the radiator) to separate the water systems, this does mean using an external electric/mechanically driven waterpump though. The engine probably runs at approx. 85degrees C so you would only need a small heat exchanger (heater core from a car) in a modified household hot water system as the first step in the system then I would go to something like an insulated IBC tank in a shed with another heat exchanger (one or more car heater cores) and maybe heat that to 40-50degrees C then routed back to the heat exchanger on the engine. Then I would use yet another heat exchanger to take heat from the ibc out to your fishtanks. If you find yourself needing more heat than the engines cooling system can provide you might want an exhaust manifold with a water jacket like those used in boats. If you are lucky and there was a marinized version of your engine made you could buy one, if not this means getting one made and that could get quite expensive if you can't make it yourself. I know bugger all about generating electricity but I would be willing to bet that a 4cyl engine would easily produce 20hp at idle so a single generating head off a portable genset would not be the most efficient way to go, imo you should be able to run 4 with the correct pulley sizes at idle and probably still have power to spare. I am afraid this motor might be too big for your needs unless you were running a lot more electrical equipment. I am not saying that you shouldn't use it just that you might want to have a lot more stuff running off it than you have mentioned. I know I probably should have expressed my doubts about the size of the engine first but I do think it is a great idea to use a diesel generator and scavenge the waste heat for other needs like heating your hotwater, house in winter and fishtanks.
  11. I found this thread This might answer some of your questions. It looks like it is pretty difficult, but they were scientists so they might have made it a lot harder than it actually needed to be. Plus it appears they were not recirculating the water just using it once.
  12. Hi GaryD, Yes I have considered gold fish and for starting off I agree they would probably be a good choice, I just have a personal preference for keeping natives. I have given a more detailed description of what I hope to do in the welcome section if you want to check it out and some reasons for my decisions. I am also considering jade perch but they might get a bit big for my needs if this lasts a few years like I hope. Thanks for the input. I have had the itch to get into aquaponics since I first learned about in 2000 and then in 2002 I worked at a place that recycled steel and plastic drums mostly but my job was recycling IBC style tanks in 500, 1000 and 1500 litre sizes and I had thought they would make good fishtanks and even considered cutting up the bladders to use as growbeds because there were always more bladders than cages to put them in. Finding this forum just makes me want to go through with it even more, I am sort of ashamed of myself that I didn't think smaller in the first place like Fordy has but he has inspired me you could say. I just don't want the expensive custom glass tanks he used. What he spent on the tanks I would rather spend on a solar panel to run the water and air pumps. Tis is not meant as a criticism of his work we just have different needs and priorities.
  13. Hi everyone, I am an absolute beginner at aquaponics so fair warning I will probably be asking a lot of questions in the future but I am trying to read as much on the forum so I hope they will be informed questions for the most part. Still a few very beginner/ignorant questions might slip through so please bear with me. To start off with I only have a few modest goals to start off with as far as system size goes. Because I live in a rental unit and I want something modular that could be easily dismantled and taken with me when I eventually move (everything needs to be able to fit in a 7'x4' trailer). I was very impressed by Fordy2110's slimline system and got to wondering what could be done with the plastic storage containers in the 60-120 litre range instead of the custom made glass tanks he used. My idea is to use 3 containers on shelves one on top of another with enough clearance above each to make maintenance easy maybe 200mm with the growbed on top using a bell siphon to drain into the next tub with 1-2 fish in it. Then to maintain a constant level in the fish tank excess water will drain to a sump under it, which might also have 2-4 crayfish in it and a submersible pump. Then the pump will either move the water directly back to the growbed or through a filter then to the growbed. The filter is looking pretty certain at this point but I may be tempted to rush things if I start buying components and I get impatient to have a system up and running. I hope to make a neat looking system that will not get the landlord or estate agent annoyed at me so a lot of the pipework will hopefully be hidden behind panels and doors similat to Fordy2110's setup. I only hope to use a setup like this to grow 1-2 chilli bushes and some strawberries to fill out the bed. Oh and the system will be located outside in one of two locations yet to be decided, both locations will be exposed to rain but they get different amounts of sun. Location number one will get full sun from dawn to sunset and location 2 only get afternoon sun for less than 5 hours. My current preference for the fish is spangled perch but that could change, another australian native species may be used if I can be persuaded. Blue claw or red claw crayfish are my two choices for the crayfish but I think I am limited to red claw with an outdoor system. I am not sure I am in Ipswich what is the native species for crayfish for this area ? See a newb question already. I am on a limited budget so it will take me a while just to get even this very basic equipment so I will be doing a lot of research and probably asking a lot of questions. OK that should do for now, Talk to you guys soon.
  14. Hi GaryD, I noticed you are just over at Bundamba and have been thinking about talking to you about coming over and checking out your systems and picking your brains a bit. For now though I have been going through the forum getting as much info as possible before I make any decisions at all. I am not considering the spangled perch to grow out for eating, they would be spoiled pets really. I was impressed by Fordy2110's slimline system and I am thinking about how small I could make a system that would work to keep one maybe two chilli bushes and possibly a few strawberries alive. There will probably only be 1-2 fish in one 60-120 litre tub with maybe 2-4 crayfish in another 60-120 litre tub with a 60-120 litre growbed. I know I asked a lot of questions for such a small setup idea but I am thinking of their comfort in what might be what could end up tight quarters if they grow too fast and they really do just interest me a lot. I am not looking to feed myself or the world here just toying with an idea that just won't go away and was made worse by finding this forum with a group of people willing to share ideas and hard earned knowledge. Thanks for the feedback I hope to get more. Bye for now.
  15. ok I found this link about spangled perch and while it does have some good information it just isn't enough for me. this one partly answers question 4 These seem to be the best I can find.