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About bcotton

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    Moderator Team

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  • Location
    dallas, tx

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  • Interests
    aquaponics, brewing beer, woodworking

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  1. If you have watched my threads you have seen that i have lost fish in the past due to power failers and when gfi/breakers trip... i have no doubt i have lost several hundred dollars worth of fish over the last 3 or so years.... as i ramp up, it was really important to me to mitigate this risk. just think 9 months form now i could have about 100 2+ lb channel cats and 500 bg/res/crappie at .5-.75 lbs... if i was to buy fish of that size it would be over a thousand dollars.. not to mention the emotional loss of spending a year raising fish and them all being used as compost. So i have invested in a two part strategy for monitoring.... 1) there is an audible alarm that sounds if the circuit goes down 2) I found this little doodad online that will text me when there is a power outage...It was actually made to detect flooding in basements, but it also alerts when it loses power... So i have it on the same circuit as my aquaponics and i put the sensor next to my hot water heater.. So as a bonus i have it keeping an eye on that for extra value... its a couple hundred dollars and the cell phone subscription is about 50$ a year but i think its easy to tell how worthwhile it is given the value of what i am protecting.. When it loses power it text my two cell phones, one of which also sends me emails.... if i am at home and asleep i probably wont hear/wake up to a text and an email but i the audible alarm is definitely loud enough... If i am at work or not at home when my power goes out (it always seems to happen during the day/morning when the cable company is digging, amirite?) i should be able to get home and handle the situation. I have higher density than most but it's not really that high.. i should have 2-3 hours to get home and get the generator running before things go really bad.. Maybe only an hour in the hottest days of summer, but i work only 35 mins away....
  2. When i was in college, i built a 3 stage homebrew station. I made lots of beer with that rig. But alas, i have not used it in over 5 years. The copper was turning green and the plastic on the motors was cracking. Its time to either clean it up and repair it or throw it away and since i dont use it there was really no decision to be made. I was staring at it trying to figure out if i need to call bulk trash pickup or if i can cut it down into small enough pieces to fit in a can... when i was like... why not reuse it. The structure will last forever.. so, i unmounted the motors, cut off all the copper and turned it into a seedling starter table. Which can also be used as the first stage to harden off plants i started indoors. On the side of the house there it only gets 3-4 hours of direct sunlight every day (at most). The roof is really intended to keep the runoff/drip from house from pelting the plants not so much for shade.
  3. Cecil, I certainly want to hear about your feed training crappie. I have my own feed training crappie 2/.0 going on in my garage, I just havent had time to compile pictures or videos to show it off. I will be moving some of the crappie to an outside tank this week so i will get a count of how many i was able to feed train out of 200.
  4. Its feeding time.. I feed twice a day. One tank is only channel catfish the other tank has a mix of bluegill and red eared sunfish. I try to coexist with the predators so i try to feed around the spider blocking the opening to the bg-res tank
  5. the fermentables side of the project is definately getting neglected right now. There are wine grape vines growing feral along the fence right now and need to be trimmed back and trained proper ' Vertical-shoot-positioned" trellis style i continue to plant 4 or 5 fruit trees every year. of the ones i planted 4 years ago when i moved in, two of them have produced some apples for the first time. I may try to make a pie but i wont have time to rent a press and try to make cider this year.
  6. Nikita was so impressed she brought me a present
  7. baby steps ... a little progress every day... thats meno (Me No) patrolling at the end of the bed
  8. And now i am working to get seedlings started and fill up the rafts. I put some peppers and cucumbers and tomatoes in the rafts a little over a week ago. They seem to kind of just sit there droopy for 4 or 5 days (presumably transplant shock) then they have really started to come on. The peppers specifically were root bound and yellow. But you can see the new growth popping on in dark green. They keep trying o push out blooms but i have been pinching them off i want the plants to put their energy into getting bigger right now.
  9. I have setup two "offline mineralization tanks". I clean the rff and the mesh filter with a sump pump and pump the solids into the left IBC. I am still researching mineralization tanks retention and chemistry but right now i am planning to discharge between 50-100 gallons of water from the filters when i clean them (once a week) and the average retention time flowing from one ibc to the other should be about a month. The water overflows from the second ibc and drains back into the sump. (which is why the ibcs needs to be on cinder blocks to have appropriate height to use gravity. And like the mbbr's i covered the mineralization tanks with double layer shade cloth.
  10. The water gravity feeds from each MBBR into each fish tank. This fish tank has about 100 channel catfish. Some are wandering around the top but most prefer to stick to the bottom unless theres food. The other fish tank has about 200 bluegill and red eared sunfish.
  11. When water is pumped to each of the two 1250 gallon white fish tanks. The flow is MBBR -> fish tank -> RFF -> mesh filter -> sump. The water is pulled through these stages by gravity All of these pictures are of the same MBBR. Its an IBC With two .75 cfm air diffusers. The MBBR media is about 10 cubic feet of the allied aqua mmbr media. The bacteria prefer the dark so i added a double layer of shade cloth to make them feel more at home.
  12. The design has changed a little from my initial plan Its my intention to do a walkaround video that shows how the system is put together but between getting the footage i want, editing it , narrating and all that, its just lower priority from finishing getting everything setup and planted. So i will loop around in a month or so and do that but for now.. here's a slideshow tourEverything starts at the 1250 gallon black sump tank. There is 1 submersible waterfall pump iirc its 3600 gph max. The one pump pumps water to 4 places... each of the two 1250 gallon (white) fish tanks, the old 700 gallon ferrocement system and the dwc beds. All the water drains its way back to the sump.There is two ecoplus 7 air pumps. One is responsible for pumpng air to the two 1250 gallon fish tanks and the other pumps air into the two MBBR filters and two mineralization tanksecoplus7 #1-4x .75 cfm air diffuser fish tank 1250 #14x .75 cfm air diffuser fish tank 1250 #1ecoplus7 #2-2x .75 cfm air diffusers MBBR #12x .75 cfm air diffusers MBBR #22x .75 cfm air diffusers Mineralization tank #12x .75 cfm air diffusers Mineralization tank #2
  13. I will work to get some new pictures up. I have been working hard to get everything running. I put a bunch of pepper starts in the rafts and i bought a handful of other plants and put them in the rafts but i started a bunch of seedlings (tomatoes, eggplants, kales, lettuces, cucumbers) that should have true leaves and be ready to put in the rafts by the end of the week. Also i have been pinning up shade cloth on all of the fish tanks and filters to try to keep the watre temps as low as possible as it starts to heat up this summer. I am really close to being "done" with the aquaponic system. if all goes well it will be in full swing by the end of next weekend. Then i can focus more on the soil grow beds. And ande, i have talked myself back into doing an IAVS system. I tarped the part of the lawn where it will be so its reserved... i hopefully wont have to do any maintenance on the area like mow grass or mulch. Its going to be a fall 2017/spring 2018 project because i just have to much other stuff to do right now and its going to get too hot to work outside for long periods of time very soon. I project it will be 1000-1200 gallon fish tank and 3 - 3'x12'x1' sand beds. but i will finallize the design later on once temps start cooling down
  14. Thanks ande, Sand beds was not initially a part of this build plan. There is a place in my yard i could place an iavs sand bed but its not an immediate priority and right now . i struggle with how would i want to implement it. would i want it to be a standalone system all by itself or integrate it into the large system. academically i dont think it would be a huge benefit if it was NOT a standalone system, otherwise what could i compare and contrast.. Anyway. I am interested in it but if you made me answer today if i will or wont add an iavs system i would say probably not. I did get a sand sample from the local golf course sand supplier tthat i mentioned previously.. i have not yet done the iavs testing on the sand yet
  15. after taking a week off to get to where i could post the last pictures, i really thought i could get this online between doing odds and ends after work and spending this weekend. But alas, i ended up working friday and satruday nights and sleeping most of the day sat and sunday recovering so i am still not online. However, i did get the aeration installed on the grow beds and added the rafts... i *would* be ready to start planting now but i havent started any seedlings yet and i still need to redo the plumbing around the fish tanks and filteration. its not working as well as i would like right now and i think i can improve it a lot. But i will stop pretending like people read the text and just let you look at the new pictures, see attached word, brian