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Bigdaddy's iAVs


bigdaddy
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Hi everyone,

I have started my iVAs with on a completely blank canvas. I thought I'd post my journey in some sort of chronicle order and maybe give some ideas for those who may be thinking about a system and/or for those who already have systems.

I feel good planning is the key to building. I have spent many hours thinking sketching measuring and using whatever else I have at my disposal.

My aim is to build and run the most efficient, productive system I can, making the beat use use of the space I have.

I have several challenges. Below is a list which is not conclusive. I can break down these items to further explain but will not for now.

  • Cost
  • Looks
  • Very small backyard
  • Suburban living
  • Weather
  • Maintenance
  • Time

My backyard measures 4.8 metres by 5.0 metres

Here are some pics from the the start.

  1. The original side with my beloved citrus trees with the left side 2 sitting on the slab where my air conditioner originally was.
  2. My new pergola.
  3.  The original rainwater tank
  4. New slimline rainwater tank and system ready to be re plumbed and reinstalled.
  5. Air conditioner and rainwater tank installed around the side out of the way where noise and size will be minimized.
  6. My original line of thinking about a small iAVs system.
  7. Another view of my original backyard, this time to the back fence with the back garden removed.
  8. A more current view of pic 1, backyard opened up with all the screening up and roof addition to pergola.

More to come.

Cheers.

 

My original backyard 05017.jpg

Pergola 12018.jpg

Original rainwater tank 1218.jpg

New rainwater tank 1218.jpg

Rainwatertank and aircond around the side. 0319.jpg

Initial thoughts 1218.jpg

My original backyard.jpg

Backyard opened up fullyscreened and roofed addition on pergolla 0320.jpg

Edited by bigdaddy (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

Some more pics of my new backyard setup.

  1. All grass and dirt up and out, road base in, reo mesh and storm water set up ready for concreting. 
  2. Concrete down, channel drains down, vibrator in ready to compact the base.
  3. 600 x 600 x 30 granite pavers going down.
  4. A snapshot of how my back and side corner will look with the fake grass down. I can put my fish tank and grow bed here with a nice drain built in to the set up if I wish.
  5. Chanel drains up and out and granite going all the way to the back fence, a much better look.

Cheers.

 

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Edited by bigdaddy (see edit history)
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  • 7 months later...
  • 7 months later...

Hi folks,

I have done some ground work and revisited buying pool filter sand and it is more expensive than ever.

I can not buy it directly from AIS as they only sell to wholesalers. I understand that and appreciate thier help and advise.

So I revisited a building supply company who I originally dealt with 4 or 5 years ago. the two blended grades they supply which were as close to the ideal size were 8/16 and being the coarser size and 18/40 being the finer size.

So I asked a price for two ways of packaging by the bag and in a bulka bag. Surprisingly, the bulka bag was only $70.00 cheaper. The price for 1.5 tonnes delivered in bags on a pallet was a mind boggling $581.00 plus $40.00 delivery for the bulka bag was $510.00  plus delivery. $40.00 if just delivered in a tip truck in which the bag just gets tipped straight out of the truck finishing anyway up, or a min $180.00 by a crane truck.

I would of begrudgingly paid 270 odd dollars for a tonne bulka bag like it cost 5 years ago but a tonne bulka bag now works out at around $380.00. Interestingly the bagged sand costs the same. The price of sand for me is out of control and I need to do some serious thinking of what I want to do now. Do I make the decision buy the raised garden beds I want(when they are available) then get serious, measure them all up and buy the exact amount of bagged sand I need or do I wait and try to come up with another source of sand?

Oh how I envy those who can source clean sharp silica sand freely.

Cheers.

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Hi BD,

Remind me of what size your sandbeds were supposed to be.

The price of sand is aggravated by three things...purity, particle size grading and transport.  Washed and graded filter sand is your most expensive option but it depends on how much you plan to use.  The convenience factor can't be overlooked.

The other matter is what you're comparing it with.  It doesn't matter what price it is, it will still be cheaper than clay pebbles.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to what works best...and that's sand.

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Hi Gary,

Raised Garden Beds – Organic Garden Co

Still flexible, depending on timing and what's available at the time.

I would like to use two L shaped garden beds from Organic garden beds available at Bunnings they measure on the outside 1500mm x 550mm wide x 410mm high.

So effectively each L shaped bed would consist of two beds one 1500mm x 550mm x 410mm and one 950mm x 550mm x 410mm.

I like these because they look good and there are no screws or bolts to worry about.

Cheers

 

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 Hi everyone,

I have put this up for people to refer to when calculating sand requirements. I'm open for critique

Gary,

If you could proof read this for me and correct if needed.

ok so I convert this to centimetres then L X B X H.

1.5 x .55 x .41 =0.33825 = 338.25 litres

plus

.95 x .55 x .41 = 0.214225 = 214.225 litres

Total max volume of bed =  338.25+214.225 = 552.475 litres.

552.475 litres converted to sand weight = litre = 1.53 kgs beach sand = 844.845kgs beach sand

so 845 x 2 = 1690kgs for 2 L shaped grow beds.

so for me 1.5 tonnes of  wet sand will be just right taking into consideration free form bed height.

 

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Hi folks,

My next move, considering I haven't made a decision on buying sand yet was to go to Rayners building supplies at Thebarton  in Adelaide and make a desision on what grade sand I would buy. I enjoyed the experience...They hade several different sample jars of different blended grades of sand which was right down my ally because I could feel with my fingers and hands which grade would be appropriate. They also had a laminated spec sheet to refer to which suited me to a tee. I decided to buy 2 x 20 kilogram bags of 16/30 grade which equates to a range of 0.6mm to 1.18mm. I now have theses bags of sand at home where I can do some testing on the sand. At the very least, if I decide the sand is no good I can put it into my citrus pots which are going gangbusters by the way.

Looking ahead and this is another thing I have to cost is finding those L shaped gaarden beds. This is now a process of wait until they become available at Bunnings. They cost around $149.00 ea which I can live with.

The other thing I'm going to have issues with and need to take costs into consideration is food safe liner. I'm yet to go down that line of investigation but am expecting it to be another difficult to source and expensive issue. When I go down this line I have to also take into consideration my fish tank/s size/s. All of this also needs to be taken into consideration and settled in my mind before starting the project.

Cheers.

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Edited by bigdaddy (see edit history)
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BD...that looks like the sand you need.  How much was it a bag?

I don't recommend the garden beds from Bunnings.  I think you'll find them a bit too lightweight to contain sand...and they'll be a bugger to line.   I'd suggest that you build your own beds if you have the necessary skills...or get someone to do it for you if you don't.  That way, you can reconcile the aesthetics - which is clearly important to you - with the practicalities.   I built sand beds out of treated pine sleepers...I've also used cut-down IBC (they can be clad in various disguises)...and you can also build them from a combination of timber and plywood.

Liner is available from Murray Hallam at Practical Aquaponics.  Check his website for the exact details...including the price.

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Hi Gary,

Thanks for the heads up re garden beds. I'm flexible there and do have the skills to build new ones if I have to. I was just looking for an easy way out.

The bags cost $7.05 each plus GST so that's 7.05 x 1.1 = $7.75 ea plus delivery. I reckon you should be able to get some reasonably close to you when you get onto the mainland. but in a large quantity it's frigg'n expensive in my book.

Cheers.

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OK here's the cost of liners sourced from Practical aquaponics website.

Going on the rough size of the L shaped beds. My workings are as follows:

Width required is Height + Width + Height + 80mm = 40 + 410 + 550 + 410 + 40 = 1450 mm 

Grow bed 1 is 1500 long therefore Required length is  40 + height + Length + height + 40 = 40 +410 + 1500 + 410 + 40 = 2400 mm

Grow bed 2 is 950 long therefore Required length is 40 + 410 + 950 + 410 + 40 = 1850mm

Therefore I need two liners 1 of 2400mm x 1450mm and 1 of 1850mm x 1450mm

PAP price per metre is $14.65 Liner is available at 2.05 metres wide. so 1 metre long is 14.65 x 2.05 = $30.03 per linear metre.

Bed 1 = 1500 x 30.03 = 45.04 

Bed 2 = 950 x 30.03 = 28.54

I do not want to be joining the liner so buying the 2.05 width is the best option for me.

Total cost of liner is $45.04 + $28.54 = $73.58 = $74.00 plus delivery.

Not to bad in my book.

So far for sand and liner The cost is 621.00 + 148.00 plus matirials to build = $769.00 plus cost of matirials to build for 2 L shaped garden beds.

Looking ahead I'm probably looking at a cost of around $1,000.00 plus a little to build a nice iAVs sand garden. If I want to add a fish tank then it'll probably add another $200.00 or so for liner and mateials to build it.

This is a reasonably accurate costing and I'll make it more precise when I decide weather to keep fish and weather to invest this much money into it or not. It paints a very good picture of the costs I can expect to build a very good food production system in my urban backyard in South Australia. Hopefully this helps others.

I know it's a far cry from Mark Mcurtry's idea for building for the impoverished but this is what I have to do to adopt it to my life in a Western society with a high cost of living and limited resourses e.g. sand at my disposal.

Cheers.

Edited by bigdaddy (see edit history)
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Hi BD,

You're making this much harder than it needs to be .

You could build your sandgarden out of 20-litre buckets...adding them one at a time/week...until you reach the size you want.  Buying them one or two at a time makes the unit cost negligible.   Each bucket would cost you around $15.00 (complete with sand and fittings)...so 50 such buckets would cost you around $750....and give you a substantial garden.

That option requires little thinking about...and it can be implemented immediately.

Your other option would be to buy larger containers than buckets...like 50 litre black tubs.  Small containers like buckets and tubs will allow you to fit into your available space more effectively.

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Hi everyone,

I think the basis of a good iAVs is the fishfood you feed your fish. I'm a simple type of person and put simply for a good iAVs to produce good produce is dependant on the input. The input of an iAVs is the fishfood in my opinion. I need convenient good quality, easily available fishfood to power my future system.

What fishfood is best for trout and Barramundi in a iAVs system?

Cheers.

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