jobney

Jobney's system log

165 posts in this topic

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.

sounds very interesting... but .. the weakness of nft is temperature inconsitencies... the temperature of the water going OUT, is seldom the same as the one going IN, provided your system is not inside a house and under temperature control.. for outside systems, especially in varmer areas of our gorgeous planet... a lot of outdoor commercial growers experience a difference in the quality of - especially lettuce and leaf produce- their harvests....

how do you plan to circumvent this issue ?

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

Disapproved. We need to see the new system... :biggrin:

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I know that there are some NFT hydroponics grown in FL but they do stop growing for the two hottest months in the summer. They use a shade house as well as some chillers for the water. The ones that do grow in the summer use greenhouses with cooling pads.

The good news for me is that my system location is going to be on the north, northeast side of the house. It allows for direct sun in the cooler mornings and shade for most of the day. If you look at the photo of my side yard area along with my sketchup model you can see the corner where my 150 gallon Stock Tank (fish tank) will be located. The depth of the corner with the eaves on two sides provides shade in this corner for a majority of the day. The location of the swirl filter is also well shaded. The totes under the NFT system are shaded by the NFT component and a white box could be build around them. The NFT gullies are only 12 feet (3.65 meters) long so I'm hoping they don't get too warm on the far end. With shade cloth as well as the other features mentioned I'm crossing my fingers that the water going in is cool enough to mitigate the heating in the gullies. I'm willing to build a sand filled box around the swirl filter and totes if needed. A chiller would be a last resort. My area of Florida has very mild winters... almost a perpetual spring during that time. It's only silly hot for a few months. With a low feed rate and a crop to just clean the water I should be able to coast through the summer if it is too hot.

sounds very interesting... but .. the weakness of nft is temperature inconsitencies... the temperature of the water going OUT, is seldom the same as the one going IN, provided your system is not inside a house and under temperature control.. for outside systems, especially in varmer areas of our gorgeous planet... a lot of outdoor commercial growers experience a difference in the quality of - especially lettuce and leaf produce- their harvests....

how do you plan to circumvent this issue ?

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I've just got my second order comming through from these guys, as i'm buying from the UK the process is slower than it will be for you lot, but the guy i have dealt with, bill, is very helpful. My order is at the UK customs check at the moment, just waiting to see if i get stung for import duty on them at the moment.

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As far as I can tell they are the top tier of distribution. I think all other online stores get uniseals from them.

I've just got my second order comming through from these guys, as i'm buying from the UK the process is slower than it will be for you lot, but the guy i have dealt with, bill, is very helpful. My order is at the UK customs check at the moment, just waiting to see if i get stung for import duty on them at the moment.

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Cal Pump arrived. Looks good and sturdy.

Uniseals ordered. 8 2" and 2 1". I went ahead and ordered 2 more for that separate sump tote recommended by others. That's 3 totes total. The first 2 connected with a flow through and the sump connected from an overflow.

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jobney

As I could only get bulk head fittings, I really am interested in how well those uniseals work out. Although my next system will be in the Philippines and made mostly of concrete so I seriously don't think I will ever get the chance to use them. For some reason I really want to know about them in the off chance I do have a need for them.. Glad to hear you parts are arriving which means soon there will be picture of your system to see..:)

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I contacted The Speedy Brush Company makers of the Black Knight filter brushes. I asked for the US distributors. They said that http://www.aquaticeco.com/ are one of two US distributors. I emailed Aquatic Eco to confirm that their "pond brushes" are the Black Knight brushes. I got a confirmation that they are indeed the B.K. brushes. They don't have the shorter length for the 20 gallon tote depth. 18" are as short as they stock. I think I can trim them. I'm sure it would be cheaper to cut them or lay them sideways then to order the short ones from the UK.

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Hi Jobney,

The world is now become small enough.....and logistics management has become sophisticated enough......that often purchased items can travel around the world in half the time it takes to come across town.

I'm really encouraged that people are going to such lengths to remove solids from their system.....and these brushes seem like an excellent medium for capturing suspended solids.

Gary

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Uniseals are in. Made in the USA. With a name like Aussieglobe.com you can imagine where most are sold.

DSC01278.JPG

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They are pretty.. I sure they must make thing much easier the Bulkhead fittings..

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They are certainly more versatile than bulkhead fittings.....they are also much cheaper.....but they require real effort to insert (particularly when it comes to the larger sizes).

Jobney, make sure that you get some silicone grease.....that will make inserting the pipework into the uniseals much easier.

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Uniseals are in. Made in the USA. With a name like Aussieglobe.com you can imagine where most are sold.

DSC01278.JPG

Dude the Uniseals are awesome! I'll never use another Pain in the *** bulkhead -- the uniseals are much, much, cheaper too! One tip for anyone that doesn't know it though... Not only do you want to put some Vaseline® on a PVC pipe you want to slide through, it's also much much easier if you cut the end at a very sharp angle. Less initial surface area to get through and you can cut the pipe straight again once you get it through.

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Uniseals are in. Made in the USA. With a name like Aussieglobe.com you can imagine where most are sold.

DSC01278.JPG

I think they are made here in Indiana, USA.

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They are certainly more versatile than bulkhead fittings.....they are also much cheaper.....but they require real effort to insert (particularly when it comes to the larger sizes).

Jobney, make sure that you get some silicone grease.....that will make inserting the pipework into the uniseals much easier.

Gary not sure if you noticed in one of my posts but if you cut the end of the pipe at a sharp angle there is less surface area that has to pushed through and it's much easier. Then cut the pipe as you wish once you get it through.

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My issue is that I am using a circular saw to cut my pvc pipe as I did not want to spend $30 on those PVC pipe loppers that only cut 2" pipe. I have no ability to cut PVC by hand anything close to square. If I wanted to use Cecil's method I would need a PVC inside coupling and attach the sharp angled piece temporarily. I could use the same coupling and angled piece for every seal.

The real question is silicone grease or KY personal lube? The KY has a great track record of getting this specific job done.

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My issue is that I am using a circular saw to cut my pvc pipe as I did not want to spend $30 on those PVC pipe loppers that only cut 2" pipe. I have no ability to cut PVC by hand anything close to square. If I wanted to use Cecil's method I would need a PVC inside coupling and attach the sharp angled piece temporarily. I could use the same coupling and angled piece for every seal.

The real question is silicone grease or KY personal lube? The KY has a great track record of getting this specific job done.

Jobney,

I can relate to the frustation of attempting to cut PVC straight by hand but there has to be a trick to doing so. I've tried marking it with a sharpie after measuring it all around from a straight manufactured end and that works somewhat. Perhaps a Google search can come up with something? I'm thinking plumbers may have a trick up their sleeves?

Not sure it matters what you use for grease as long as it's something that doesn't contaminate the water. Personally I'm a little leery of anything that has the word silicone in it if it's in liquid form and does not set up. But then again maybe you can just wipe it off. I was at our state fair recently and high school teacher had done an emergency silicone of a component of his trickle filter. Apparently he didn't wait long enough for it to set up or it was a cheap Wal-mart brand, and although the tilapia seemed O.K., it really clouded up the water. I prefer the personal Vaseline® that I steal out of the wife's bathroom drawer.

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Yeah Pugo, that's the tool I was talking about. There is a cheaper version but it's still $30. Since I'm not cutting PVC for a living I'll just use a circular saw or a miter box.

You can always do this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0GvqLFC32o Cutting Plastic Pipe with String.

I would never have thought nylon string could cut through a pipe.

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Now that was something I have never seen.. thanks Cecil great link:)

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