jobney

Jobney's system log

165 posts in this topic

Update Edit 3/15/2013: Some Pictures of the early design do not reflect the actual design built. A good example is that the sump is now in its own tote. Water also enters the brushes from the top. An actual air stone is used in the MBBR... ...the plumbing shown in the 3D models are just a guide to show how things are hooked up and not a blueprint on the actual pipe placement.

The NFT was also split into 6 foot segments for shipping. That combined with the placement of of sump means that all post pump water lines are different than the 3D model.

Since I'm moving into the final design and build phase I figured it was time to start recording my progress. I have already acquired two 55 gallon barrels with removable lids and nice metal ring latches. One for a swirl filter and one as a rain barrel. $35 each. Used for fruit punch so they are very clean. I've been using SketchUp a little to help with layout. I'll attach a picture of the Sump/biofilter and brush filter totes. Two 20 gallon RM Brute totes. Note I did not bother to create accurate totes in SketchUp only dimensional stand-ins. Don't worry. I plan on devising a method for keeping bubbles out of the pump.

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Edited by jobney (see edit history)

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Looking good. Just an idea but maybe you can put the exit from the brush filter at the top of the water line and put the entrance to the bio filter at the bottom. Forcing the water to pass through all the media prior to exiting to the pump area.. But just an idea that may be over kill on my part.

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I should have labeled it better. That is a moving bed biofilter not a poorly designed trickle filter. I figured any water coming in would hit the vertical flow from the bubbles and be sufficiently mixed. I hope to build my own aerator from drilled pvc. I have thought of moving the tote connector lower to get better flow through the brush filter. I may also need two large micron socks on the entrance of the water into the biofilter if the brush filters don't cut it. My planed hydroponic component is NFT so I need total solids removal.

Other notes. I'm using the rubbermaid totes as they are thick and durable but they have air vents in their handles. So of the 15 inches of total height I estimate only 11 or 12 inches of water depth. The brushes are also 13 inches not including the ring arms for the hangers. The brushes will be angled in the tote to fit unless I shorten them. Tote image.

Looking good. Just an idea but maybe you can put the exit from the brush filter at the top of the water line and put the entrance to the bio filter at the bottom. Forcing the water to pass through all the media prior to exiting to the pump area.. But just an idea that may be over kill on my part.

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I believe the the brushes will do the job I really don't think you will need filter socks, the reason I mentioned the water going through the lower end was to insure that the water had to go through all the media to get to the outlet. I know it should be well processed the way you have it but, it is just the way I would do it. The long the water is in the media the better off you will be. I know all my filtration will run that way.

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Swirl Filter with pond style solids drain.

I'll provide the 55 gallon barrel SketchUp file if anyone needs it. I can put a lid on it too if need be.

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Jobney,

You are getting good at this sketchUp stuff.. Good job!

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Update Edit: This is only the rough draft of the design. Very large changes have been made from this early concept.

Full layout next to my house. Pipes color coded to make it easier to see where they go. Note: I did not make pipe joints for external connections due to time constraints. I just placed them next to each other.

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Edited by jobney (see edit history)

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Update Edit: This is only the rough draft of the design. Very large changes have been made from this early concept.

External links if the APHQ server is too slow.

aplayout2a.jpg

aplayout2b.jpg

Edited by jobney (see edit history)

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Absolutely a gorgeous design. Jobney.. kudos :)

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I went pricing some parts today. 2" PVC ball valves are about $15 each.

For that much I'm thinking threaded type for guaranteed reconfiguration. I can use slip but would go glueless at that price. With threaded I would have to buy the slip/threaded end adapters though. I've not worked with threaded pvc and can already predict an issue of when you rotate a threaded pipe or fitting the other end also rotates. Maybe I should just stick with slip.

Any thoughts from those that have worked with PVC?

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i'd stick with slip fittings.. get a couple of "expansion" fittings for a quick disconnects..

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If you're using threaded plastic fittings use 6 wraps of teflon tape and tighten 1/4 turn past hand tight. That's the only time I'd recomend the use of teflon tape.

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A small update is better then no update. Photos: I have some 2 inch pvc parts for my swirl filter intake and exit and the 3 inch hole saw for the uni-seals. It will go into one of these barrels (the other for rain water collection. $35 each.) The location of the system next to my house. Don't mind the mess.

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Looking good Jobney, glad to see you are on your way. Nice big barrels you have there..

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Don't mind the mess.

Wheres the mess?

Great to see your underway Jobney:)

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I occasionally consider getting 3 more barrels for fish instead of a single 150 gallon RM Stock Tank then snap out of it. That's $105 for 3 barrels vs $130 for 1 stock tank. That $25 of savings gets killed by the extra plumbing cost. $2.50 - $3 for each additional 2 inch pvc fitting for water input and output. Even without the 2 additional 1 inch pvc ball valves for water input the cost is already way over a single stock tank with less plumbing.

Also note. I went to the local hydroponics shop and found I can get rock wool cube sheets there and they are right around the corner. (also a pump in an emergency.) A lot of great gravel growbeds there too but the prices are about 80% too "high" on them. NO ONE is growing edible plants with anything in that store. What you are paying for there is the ability to pay in cash, not order online, and quick setup. Full house DIY tends to draw attention.

Looking good Jobney, glad to see you are on your way. Nice big barrels you have there..

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I need to wall mount those coax cables. That wall the ladder is resting on is part of an add on to the house. It has a flat roof and no attic. The cables go into the attic of the main house through a soffit vent. I need to dispose of those old gas cans.

This build may quickly go bad as there may be too much shade. Those walls face NNE so a lot of shade. It might work well for FL though as it will keep it out of the sun for most of the afternoon when it is hotest. It only gets the cooler morning sun. The backup plan is to move the NFT to that flat roof :).

Wheres the mess?

Great to see your underway Jobney:)

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Jobney, don't forget about the arctic express, that pays us a visit in the winter or should I say pays you a visit as I don't live there any more, The protection the side of the house offers is pretty good, keeping the filtration and the fish shaded is great. I bet it is interesting using NFT in Florida everyone is going to think you are raising ganja or at least think you are experimenting to raise it.. :)

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Yeah I live on a bend so everyone sees that side of my house. That and the hidden cop that took photos of me (my wife and one year old daughter) going into a hydroponics store in a half abandoned strip mall.

Fort Myers is in SW FL, we don't get too cold.

Jobney, don't forget about the arctic express, that pays us a visit in the winter or should I say pays you a visit as I don't live there any more, The protection the side of the house offers is pretty good, keeping the filtration and the fish shaded is great. I bet it is interesting using NFT in Florida everyone is going to think you are raising ganja or at least think you are experimenting to raise it.. :)

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I lived up on the pan handle, so sometimes it did get cold. Glad I am gone from the states, they always seem way to interested in peoples personal business, can never relax, always something to worry about, the bad guys or the good guys because most of the time it is hard to tell the difference. :)

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Where do you get Uniseals?

This system looks great. Though I think you can have a lot more growing area. I like to use a 2:1 or 1:1 grow bed to fish tank ratio.

If I were you I would change the brush filter bed to be a gravel or media bed that could double as another growing area or duckweed tank. I like to make each part of the system double purpose.

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I'll get a link for you of where I plan to buy Uniseals tomorrow when I'm at my home computer. (with the bookmarks)

My grow area is based on my planned fish density to my fish tank volume. According to Dr Wilson's calculator, at my planed feed rate, at my planned density, at my planned fish tank size... the leafy green plant area to make my system nutrient neutral is about 21 square feet of grow area. My grow area is 24 square feet. If I want to grow a fruiting crop my planted grow area would be 1/3 to 1/2 my planned available area. Plant area is based on how much food your fish eat and that is calculated by how many lbs of fish are in the system. I could change the total fish tank size larger, have a lower fish density, but still the same total lbs of fish and the same plant growing area. Even if it were scientifically possible to use a simple ratio to determine fish tank volume vs grow bed volume I'm not using a grow bed, I'm using NFT gullies that have only a very thin film of water in them. A ratio is great for getting you into the ball park for a gravel bed system where everyone using the ratio agrees on X gravel bed depth. That set depth over an area can give you a volume number for your ratio calculation but try to change your bed depth and the ratio goes out the window. The ratio was only used in the first place so people would not have to learn the math involved with the complex formula summarized above. Dr Wilson has created a spreadsheet that does the math for you. Here is a link. The good news is that any system design can be brought into proper balance just by lowering or raising the fish density.

Brush filter vs gravel bed:

My planed system is a super micro model of a commercial style system so no gravel bed. I would have used a 70 - 100 micron screen for suspended solids removal but it is too complex to DIY. If the primary use of my system was to only grow food I would have used a gravel or DWC style grow bed. The goal of my system is to test the feasibility of operating an industry stock hydroponic NFT system in aquaponics. Dr Wilson has done it but his data has not been shared with the public. Others have done NFT on the home level but I've only seen it as a secondary grow area or badly as a primary grow area. By badly I mean in PVC pipes that don't have flat bottoms where the water was too deep or in systems with no filtering of solids (and black dead roots).

It would have been easy for me to just build a sure thing but I figured if I was going to do it anyway I might as well attempt to push backyard DIY aquaponics forward. It also helps that NFT gullies are easier and cheaper then building DWC tanks or gravel beds. ...and I can put them on my roof if I wanted.

Where do you get Uniseals?

This system looks great. Though I think you can have a lot more growing area. I like to use a 2:1 or 1:1 grow bed to fish tank ratio.

If I were you I would change the brush filter bed to be a gravel or media bed that could double as another growing area or duckweed tank. I like to make each part of the system double purpose.

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I am getting all excited can't wait to see what the built version looks like. :) Go go go !!

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really envious of you guys and your larger scale system... why oh why didnt i get a house with a garden here.. ohright... i live in Makati, manila, and a house here costs per month what i have in annual income... knew there was a reason :P

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It's going to be a little while Pugo. I'm going on vacation next Monday for two weeks.

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