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Everything posted by cyberdelic

  1. Since a lot of people seem to have their own thread that's dedicate to their system, I guess I'll start my own My main goal is to grow some blue tilapia here in Florida, with the plants mostly just for filtration and occasional snacking. I've found a few fairly cheap food-grade 275-gallon IBC totes and I'll probably grab a couple food-grade 55-gallon blue barrels in the near future, too. When I first started looking at various AP setups, I figured I'd do something along the lines of CHOP2. After reading about the limitations of it, I decided to take the advice of Gary and the rest and at least add a settlement tank to it to help filter out some of the solid waste. As I understand it, I'd want the sump tank pump feeding the FT, the FT draining into the settlement tank, the settlement tank draining into the GBs, and then the GBs finally draining into the sump tank. If I want to grow duckweed (as extra fish food, in addition to some extra O2 in the water during the day), could I just do that within the settlement tank? Or would I be better off having a separate tank for that, maybe between the settlement tank and the GBs? If I go with separate tanks, am I correct that the settlement tank would work best as a vertical barrel while the duckweed one is better in a horizontal (half) barrel for extra surface area? I'd probably want sump tank at least halfway in the ground just to make things easier (and look nicer), but that's about as far as I've gotten as to where things should go... Advice on how to arrange this all in the most efficient way is appreciated. First and foremost, where/how should I be pulling water out of the FT for settlement tank? I assume I'd want it to be as close to the bottom as I can get, but then how does that water get up and out from there, an additional pump within the FT? Or does gravity make this work "automagically" in a way that I am not quite grasping just yet? Lastly, would you recommend starting out with a dedicated fingerling tank? Or should I just use my sump tank for that?
  2. The more I read about these larger Intex pools, the more I'm liking... The only warnings I can find about the liner getting spiked by fish seem to be from people who haven't actually used one of these pools. But even if I just get my feet wet, so to speak, with one of these pools and it ends up failing in a few years, I'm out a few hundred bucks, but should have a bit more experience under my belt, as well. Have you seen any pro's/con's on the standard metal frame Intex vs the "ultra frame" Intex? Both seem to be steel, but I'm wondering if one's galvanized and the other is powder-coated or something. I'm currently leaning towards the ultra. I think as long as I can get the pool level, I'll be in good shape. It just sounds like I'll need a fairly powerful pump if I'm going to be fully cycling the tank at least once per hour.
  3. Do you have any pics of your setup, Ravnis? I assume you just pump from within the tank or do you somehow use the existing inlet/outlet connectors to gravity-feed your growbeds? With the 5000-gallons you've got, how much/often are you cycling that?
  4. For the fish tank, I've been going through threads on this forum and others, trying to figure out whether it's worth it to experiment with an above ground pool. For a few hundred bucks, it offers quite a lot of volume... Just a little concerned about its durability...
  5. Frydaze1, I did a tour of TCLynx's place about two weeks ago. She has some neat setups! And, thankfully, she was quite helpful and patient with my questions After talking with her and seeing some of her systems, I've decided to chop my IBC's in half and use them as grow-beds. I'm then going to look into ordering a large stock tank (1000gal or around there) to use for the fish. It will cost me a bit more to purchase it and get it delivered, but it will hopefully be worth it in the long-run. Also interesting was seeing design choices that seemed to run counter to advice on the forum. I guess a lot of things just come down to preference.
  6. Thanks (again), Frydaze1. You rock I just got all of the major pieces in today. As you said, I really need to take some time and plan out how this is going to work. Will follow up with TC, as well. She's a few hours away, but seems like it might be worth the trip.
  7. Tonight, my lack of abilities in SketchUp were offset by my ability to find pre-made components created by others... No sense reinventing the wheel, right? So here's a very rough layout of what I'm looking to do, minus the pvc piping, cement blocks, etc. The components I have to work with are three 275-gallon fish tanks and two 55-gallon barrels. It'll probably be arranged a bit differently, when all is said and done, but lining it up like this will -- hopefully -- make it easier to see what I'm aiming for. For the filtration barrels, I honestly wasn't sure what's the easiest type to start out with. If I went with just a really basic settlement tank, does that mean it's just a barrel full of water with solids generally finding their way to the bottom? And would that use the same basic Venturi/SLO drain like in the fish tank? Are there any special height considerations I need to take into consideration? In case you haven't noticed the trend yet, I have a very poor grasp on physics and gravity... lol Also, is there any benefit to having two of the grow beds being deeper, since they'll be made from a tote cut in half? Or should I just stick to a more uniform 14" or so depth to allow for a standard 12" for grow media? --Kevin
  8. Awesome. That's exactly what I was missing, Frydaze1. Is that related to "positive displacement"? I think I read a post mentioning it at some point. But, yeah, I had a feeling that was how it was supposed to work, just wasn't sure why. lol Also cleared up why diagrams/pictures I've seen of the stank pipe had a T-fitting up top. Makes sense now. You're right about it being cool stuff. Any other concepts/techniques you can think of that are considered 'standard' on most systems yet might not be blatantly obvious to someone coming into this with no aquaponic/hydroponic/aquaculture background?
  9. I'm curious what methods APHQ members use for controlling their fish population. Here in Florida -- as far as I've been able to determine -- it seems that I'm limited to Blue Tilapia. Hybrids and other variants are prohibited. That seems to rule out breeding hybrids to favor primarily-male fingerlings. I've read about treating with hormones and whatnot, but I'm curious what other methods are out there and what results others have had with them. One technique I read about involved using netting of some sort about an inch from the bottom of the tank, which was supposed to keep the females from being able to get to the eggs once they are released. Since it was listed on the page of someone trying to sell fingerlings, though, I was a bit skeptical. Does such a method actually work or would I be better off searching for some fish-sized condoms and forcing the juvenile fish to watch re-runs of MTV's "Teen Mom"? Would keeping some predatory fish stocked in the tank be more hassle than they are worth? Just evaluating my options... I don't currently have a system set up yet, but overpopulation is one concern that I wanted to work out the logistics of ahead of time. Thanks. --Kevin
  10. Return On Investment
  11. Great suggestion, kellenw! I know adding a couple Plecos will up the O2 usage and waste production a little bit and not give me the yummy ROI that tilapia would, but it seems like they'd be worth it -- to keep the tilapia in check.
  12. Actually, Ravnis, I think reading the greenwater thread was what popped that into my mind for some reason. Thanks for the Suckaruppa link. I had heard it mentioned in other posts, but wasn't quite sure what it was.
  13. Nice! Yeah, that certainly seems to be the consensus. What's the typical size of the openings of a cage and wouldn't it have similar drawbacks as the netting? Interesting. Will keep that in mind. --Kevin
  14. I've been into permaculture, backyard poultry, bee-keeping, etc. for a little while now, but aquaponics is definitely a new one for me... I picked up a book called "Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together" by Sylvia Bernstein and got most of my quick "AP 101" information from that. Mostly just hear to read about the systems everyone else is using and hopefully decide on something that is likely to work well for me. The primary goal is to raise tilapia for food, with keeping a fairly low-maintenance system being a close second... I like the idea of using plant filtration, especially since my better-half tends to either over- or under-water her plants and this might be a good way to help minimize her naturally destructive force Anyhow, no need to post the obligatory "Welcome to the site" responses. You'll see me around the boards over the coming months, I'm sure. Just wanted to introduce myself. --Kevin
  15. Thanks, Gary. I welcome any tips, suggestions, etc. From what I've seen on the forum so far, you've got quite a bit of experience with this stuff. --Kevin