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About zeroyon

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    Want to know more about our systems? Email us here:
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    fish, aquaponics, gardening, fiberglass,

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  1. ..... (it double posted again)
  2. I think you are really over thinking this thing; take everything you have (plans wise) and set them aside and start over working from the grow beds back. Figure out the bed size, put together a rough drawing, then figure out how to supply it and return water from it. As long as you have a pump and a way to filter it, there is not much to the basic creation of a functional system. I'm from Ga as well (Hull, just outside of Athens) so I understand trying to keep it simple.. I will actually be heading up to Ga in early December, maybe I can stop by and see what you got and give you some ideas... Rick,
  3. Sorry for the delay in responding, it was really early when I made my first post (as evidenced by my pathetic grammar). Ok, it is my understanding from looking at your plans and reading your description that the last bed sits a full 8 inches or more below the first bed, (the bed one and bed four reference I made earlier). Again, I did not really dive deep into it but you kind of have a cascading effect with your grow beds, which in the event of a power issue (pump stoppage) all of the water is going to flow to the lowest point in the system and over flow it. So if the last bed is 8 inches below the first, then the first is going to have to drop eight inches to equalize out the water pressure between the two, which means the latter (the lower one) is going to spill out all over the ground. I read what you said about "working the pump" and as long as you have a good "mag pump", that remains submerged go ahead and run it at 100%. example "". They will basically run forever, as the only moving part is the impeller (magnetic drive) so you can't really stress out the pump, as it is putting out the same amount of energy to turn the impeller regardless of load. Drying it out or overheating it which burns the insulation off the coil is the only real way to murder one. They are also pretty tough and I know from experience a good mag drive will puree a tire track eel :-) My suggestion was to just keep all the beds at one level, equalize the water between them, and use a stand tube in one of them to pump out the water and return it to the fish; starting the cycle over.
  4. Agreed, I will just make another tank and divert to that, so I can steal from it as needed... Based on the suggestions here, I'll put a coupling on the end of the over flow, add 2' of pipe, pop on an elbow and go down about 2 foot... That should accomplish the mission.. correct me if I'm wrong.. as for the air stone, I'll get that later in the week after I slap a GFI outlet on the outside wall so I'm not running white trash fabulous with an extension cord.. Yes and no, I have to work out the end design and find out what works... Glass won't float so that's out, I am thinking something like a tonneau cover or maybe something arched like a green house. (The latter would give me a few more inches of planting area depending upon the degree of arch...).. I'll have to see what works... With you on that, those chambers are designed for Filter pads, and/or bio balls or other media.. Got it on order, just waiting for it to arrive... nope, the bell syphons, just drain water from the media beds, the one on the end drains to the sump, and the one on top of the tank drains to the tank...
  5. I think the topper is a good idea, the trick is the pitch or angle of it so it does not droop in the middle.. Have to figure out the correct amount of Layers while taking into account weight..
  6. I'm in an 8000 sq/ft commercial building with a flat roof and (3 down spouts --go figure).. Yeah it pretty much surprised me how much water actually comes out in such a short amount of time. I found the following formula online about rainwater collection RAINWATER AVAILABILITY: Although rainwater can be collected from virtually any surface, bare rooftops generally yield the best quality rainwater with the least treatment. Not all of the rainwater that strikes a roof can be collected: water is lost from evaporation, blowing wind, overflowing gutters, and leaky collection pipes, first-flush devices, and self-cleaning filters. The net collectable rainwater from a bare roof can be roughly estimated as follows: collectable rainwater (gallons) = 0.5 x rainfall (inches) x area (square feet) *****Quick non precise math relative to my situation******* Based on one inch of rain using formula provide above .5 x 8000 sq/ft of roof area = 4000 gallons / 3 down spouts (not exact I know) = 1333 gallons per spout (less pitch, wind etc.) Monthly and yearly rainfall data for 300 weather regions of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands can be found in the table AVERAGE RAINFALL at the end of our Rainwater Handbook (see Documents). As a general observation, in the continental US yearly rainfall averages 10 to 30 inches in the western states, 20 to 40 inches in the central states, and 30 to 50 inches in the eastern states, with widely varying amounts in some mountain and coastal areas such as the Pacific Northwest. Consequently, in terms of roof area, the available annual rainfall would be *collectable rainwater, eastern states = 15 - 25 gallons per square foot collectable rainwater, central states = 10 - 20 gallons per square foot collectable rainwater, western states = 5 - 15 gallons per square foot This seems a bit high 15 gallons x 8000 sq/ft = 120,000 gallons per year....
  7. Thanks, I'll add an elbow and extension and pick up from the bottoms as I do with the filter. (Thanks for the idea). I thought about running the rainwater into the top, but was worried about drowning out or washing away the plants, as I can get 400 gallons in about 15 minutes from the rainwater catch. What I think I will do is actually divert the rain water catch to a separate tank or containment vessel that I can utilize on an as needed basis...
  8. From my experience in the "Fish and Aquarium Business" (which is considerable).. you have 3/4 the cycle down pat. Going from the beginning, and this will be a quick refresher for those already in the know... Cycling a tank is the process by which natural bacteria grow and utilize harmful pollutants in the water as a food essentially, and release less harmful pollutants as waste. -this is the broken down "Barney style version" Ammonia is the first stage of the process and is created through fish pee, poop, dead or decaying matter, etc.. (note: the cycle can be jump started by adding pure white store bought ammonia to the system)--Not the stuff that has fragrances added, just pure 100% Ammonia, go ahead and dump 1/4 gallon or more in the system depending upon the size to spike the Ammonia levels through the roof and get the bacteria going... We do it all the time, jump starting Koi ponds, or large aquariums... Of the 3 compounds produced during the nitrification cycle (Ammonia, Nitrite, & Nitrate), Ammonia is by far the most toxic to fish. As these items break down they convert to ammonia, as the ammonia rises aerobic bacteria (aerobic bacteria utilize oxygen and a "food source" for energy" like we do) begin to colonize in the porous surfaces of the filter media, the gravel beds etc. where the water flowing through brings them more food (ammonia) and oxygen. Because of the plentiful food source (the spike in the ammonia levels) the bacteria population has a tendency to explode to the point of making the water cloudy. (This is verified by a test kit and the presence of ammonia usually shows up as green on the test kits with the little glass vials- you may also see the test color go basically black with super high ammonia) As the bacteria "eat" the ammonia the ammonia levels drop and the bacteria expel "less toxic" nitrites. Now with your test kit you will see a spike in the nitrites (usually shows up as deep purple on the test kits with the little glass vials) as the bacteria break the ammonia down into nitrites. It's now that second type of aerobic bacteria take hold in the filter along side the first. These bacteria utilize the oxygen and nitrites in the water and produce nitrates. So now both your ammonia and nitrite levels will drop and should maintain at a nice low level. However, you will have a steady increase in the levels of nitrates. Nitrates are by far the least toxic to fish, and best for plants... This in most systems is the end of the "nitrification cycle" (which is in reality on 75% complete) and in aquariums "nitrate levels" are maintained through water changes, whereas in Aquaponics they are maintained by adding more plants to utilize the nitrates. Nitrates are also the primary food for algae, so if you notice your system going "green" you can almost always bet nitrate levels are pretty high. FYI-Plants utilizing nitrates and out competing algae for the resource are the way certain folks create "natural pools" that stay clean and clear. Back on track, as I said (my aquarium experience is pretty extensive) I have owned pet stores, aquarium stores, and spent years caring for fresh, salt and planted aquariums; As well one of my primary businesses right now is Koi ponds (basically ground level outside aquariums or bird buffets here in Florida) As I stated earlier, Ammonia and Nitrite are broken down into Nitrate by "Aerobic Bacteria" that utilize oxygen. But what about the Nitrates, you are left with, what breaks them down in nature? The answer Anaerobic Bacteria that function in an oxygen deprived environment. These bacteria will use the Nitrates from the water as food and give off nitrogen and oxygen gas which will either diffuse in the system or just escape into the air. In the aquarium biz we utilize "deep sand beds" or "denitrifyers" which create an area in the tank devoid of oxygen. (Ever stood next to a natural pond and watched the little bubbles rising to the surface?) that is nitrogen and oxygen that has been converted from Nitrate. So I imagine that it would also be possible to accomplish the same thing by taking a floating raft grow bed and filling it with 3-4 inches of sand (creating an oxygen deprived area), leaving 8 or so inches of water on top, and the raft on top of that. This would allow anaerobic bacteria to thrive and convert the nitrates into oxygen (plant roots like this) and Nitrogen gas... Sorry for the rant, not enough coffee, this morning and I'm a bit scatter brained at the moment...
  9. Quick Video to Complement the still photo's
  10. Thanks, and I could tell you but I would have to kill you.. just wait and I'll post a pic when it's complete (topper)...
  11. I agree with you in "that size matters"... the ICB tote things that I see advertised everywhere, were for the most part, IMHO, garbage and to small. Unless of course I wanted to have a few Tomato Plants, and a couple head of lettuce. I wanted something, maybe not "much larger", but big enough to satisfy. The grow bed are roughly 20 sq/ft a piece, which is big enough to grow some stuff, but small enough that I could conceivably put a tank, filter and two beds (3 if I stacked one on the tank) on my back porch. As all set up the system would take up 60-70 sq/ft. Also I wanted to create the system in such a way that it is infinitely extensible, (want more- buy another tank, or grow bed and add on etc...).. We are also working on 4' x 8' grow beds as well... Lastly, it has to be profitable, in that I'm going to have to sell a few to keep progressing, but that is simply a matter of creating "yet another website" and marketing which I will get on with this week...
  12. Nice looking system, seems like you got a a lot of drop.. The water will always flow to the lowest point (ie, the bed going to the sump)... just put some connecting pipes between all the beds to equalize out the water height and it will flow fine without the drop.. and it won't be like Niagra falls... Also in the even of power failure the water in bed 1 (44 inches) won't drain down to the 32 inches the height of bed 3.. The only way to prevent it would be one way valves which would be self defeating in and of themselves..
  13. Took me a day to set this one up...forgot to add "gray block" is $1.53 at Lowes here in Florida.. not conducive to ship bricks..
  14. I can make it a box one stop solution for cost, pumps and such are not that much as I have a state resale license and buy wholesale from distributors, which is generally 30-40% less than the price you would see on a shelf... The mag pump I am running in this one retails at around $179.00 which means I would get it around $120.00.. As for PVC pipe, it's not really cost effective for either party to ship PVC pipe when you can pick it up at the local home improvement store for 1/2 the cost when you figure what it cost to ship. I will include detailed instructions, such as how much pipe, what lengths, and what fittings were used.. (all in all the PVC component of the system is around $100.00). I drop into a sump under the beds, so I get good aeration that way... Generally the system would be on the ground but my back is shot from the Marine Corps, so I raised it so I would not have to bend down as much.. Lastly, air pumps are cheap, whispers run from $10-$50, depending on how many bubbles you want... I want to keep it as complete as possible, so that it is easy to set up and get going.
  15. This is an extension of my original post in which I began manufacturing complete systems out of fiberglass. Currently I think am about 99% complete, got to run down and pic up the Styrofoam for the beds today so I can get it functioning. I am also working on a fiberglass topper for the beds that will last indefinitely, is easier to keep clean and all around aesthetically more pleasing. Will have pictures of the topper coming soon, as well as the beds growing stuff, and the fish doing fish stuff.. We have a Florida Fresh Water Fish Dealers license but the next delivery to our area is Thursday of next week.. So fish will have to wait till then. Doing the math we figure we can manufacture and sell a complete system (385 Gal Tank, Filter, & 3 Grow Beds) for under $2,000 plus shipping... Thoughts?