Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MyOwnFood

My new system - Barrel flood and drain system.

Recommended Posts

[ATTACH]6952[/ATTACH]Hello,

I drew up a little pic in excell on the way I would like to set up my system. Keep in mnd that it will be set up inside. I know there is a problem with the input/output routes of the water. I think it is around the sump.

ANY help would be appreciated!

AP.xls

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi MOF,

The swirl tank should be located between the fish tank and the grow beds. The idea is to catch the sedimentary solids before they get into the beds.

I'd also recommend that you use separate inlet into the your grow beds.....rather than having the water flow from one into the other.

Given that you have the fish tank on the bottom level, what is the purpose of the sump? You could use it as a moving bed bio-filter.

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moving bed BF?

The inlets for the grow beds are separate sorry, not very well depicted in the pic. The outlets are connected into a T junction

the sump for me was a water holder. To ensure that the FT does not empty. I still have not wrapped my mind on how to get so much fertilized water from the FT to the grow beds without it emptying. That is what I thought the sump was for. I was hoping that with this type of vertical set up I could use gravity to get everything to come down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi MOF,

Moving bed BF?

A moving bed bio-filter utilises manufactured plastic media (Kaldns K1 or MB3) to provide a self-cleaning environment, for the beneficial bacteria responsible for nitrification, to reside.

There are other bio-filter options.....including a trickling bio-filter.....that can be used to achieved the same thing.

the sump for me was a water holder. To ensure that the FT does not empty. I still have not wrapped my mind on how to get so much fertilized water from the FT to the grow beds without it emptying. That is what I thought the sump was for.

The sump is a water holder. In fact, if you are planning to have flood and drain media grow beds, your sump will need to be large enough to hold the combined volume of the grow beds (less media - about 50%).

If you go for continuous flow.....and abandon the flood and drain stuff.....you can get away with a smaller sump tank.

I think I might be suffering from information overload, LOLOLOLOLOL. I think I might just build it without reading more. I am getting a headache!

I know how you feel.....but it's worth getting your system design sorted before you build. Take two aspirin and get on with it.:wink:

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi MOF,

OK. I went back to the drawing board and think I have it. Any questions, feedback or comments greatly appreciated.
From what I can make of the drawing, it looks OK.

You can use flexible pipe/hose on AP Systems......the reinforced stuff (resists kinking) that they use for marine applications is probably the best. Outside of that, whatever they use to plumb up hydro systems will suffice. Don't use anything much less than 3/4" if you can avoid it.

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Gary, I am in the build process now. I think I am going to end up doing a sub surface continuous flow with gravel grow bed. I am having a hard time with the siphons so the easiest way is just to take them out of the equation. So same design but different method. I am not sure of the gravel but I already bought it so I will use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

I have read everything I can find including your online manual to find out how you control amount of water in your grow beds with a continuous flow system. There are no siphons. Is it just a stand pipe that is covered? Kind of like a siphon that just continuously drains? I have already cut holes in the bottom of the half barrels for the siphons but decided to go with continuous flow so I do not know how to proceed.

Any help?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOOHOO!!!!

After a lengthly battle with ammonia, I am happy to say I have nitrites. I dosed my system about 3 weeks ago with urine that sat in a bottle for a month. I could not for the life of me find pure ammonia anywhere around here.

So when I dosed it I made a mistake by giving it WAYYYYYY to much. So I had to change the water out twice. You can still smell the stale smell. It is making my wife crazy LOLOLOLOLOL. But after fighting with that and configuration problems and after a lot of patience I have finally seen nitrites. I figure a few more days and maybe I will see nitrates and the remainder of the ammonia will go away. "Crossing fingers"

For the configuration problems. Instead of a bell siphon as mentioned in my previous post i am going with surface continuous flow. I took apart the bell and just left the bottom part so I have approx 2 inches of water at all times in the bottom of my river pebbles GB.

So, I have one grow bed that is a small bell siphon that works all thought the amount of water needed makes it go over the pebbles. I think I am going to have to move some rocks over to this GB from the other since it seems continuous flow takes less media.

Next, hang the grow lights, get some fish, plant some seed and watch....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi MOF,

So when I dosed it I made a mistake by giving it WAYYYYYY to much.
This is the most common mistake made by people who are fishless cycling. Unlike cycling with fish (where a serious mistake kills the fish), the most obvious issue with overdosing when fishless cycling is that you just extend the amount of time that cycling takes.
I think I am going to end up doing a sub surface continuous flow with gravel grow bed. I am having a hard time with the siphons so the easiest way is just to take them out of the equation. So same design but different method.
You'll also no longer have to take account of fluctuating water levels in your fish tank.
I have read everything I can find including your online manual to find out how you control amount of water in your grow beds with a continuous flow system. There are no siphons. Is it just a stand pipe that is covered? Kind of like a siphon that just continuously drains? I have already cut holes in the bottom of the half barrels for the siphons but decided to go with continuous flow so I do not know how to proceed.
I'd recommend that you set your outlets up in the same way you do with a flood and drain arrangement (complete with media barrier). Assuming that you are using bulkhead fittings, use the same male iron PVC fitting (as for your bell syphon) and use short lengths (of varying lengths) of PVC pipe to adjust the depth of the water in the bed.

The growing media has a bearing on the depth of water in a subsurface continuous flow system.

The goal is to provide the roots of your plants with a moist (as distinct from dripping wet) environment.....so the idea is to maintain the water level in the bed at a sufficient depth to "wick' up moisture to the plant roots. In clay pebble media (which hydrates and wicks well) that could be 4" (100mm). Gravel, however, does not wick quite so well, so the water level will need to be within 40mm to 50mm (1.5" to 2") of the plant roots.

Obviously, you adjust the depth by choosing the appropriate PVC offcut. We usually have one offcut that will raise the level up to just below the media surface.....so that we water seedlings as required.

Let me know if you need further detail.......or if some photos would help.

Regards......Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well everything looked like it was going to work. My ammonia went down a bit and the nitrites are there in full force. But there has been no movement with the levels at all for at least 4 days. Ammonia stays the same and nitrites are still sky high. Do I still wait?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep.....leave everything alone.

The ammonia and nitrites will eventually settle to zero and you'll notice a gradual increase in nitrates.....and that's the indication that your system has cycled......and it's time for fish.

The nitrate readings that you saw a week ago were probably a false reading. You'll quickly notice the difference when they are the real deal.

If there's a delay in getting the fish, continue to add very small quantities of aged urine so that you get ammonia readings of not more than 1 - 2ppm.....add a little and test - then leave it for 24 hours and test and add a little more if you need. This will provide the feedstock for the nitrifying bacteria in your system to continue to increase in numbers.

This is where most people go wrong......so please add the ammonia source (once your system has cycled) very sparingly until a couple of days before you put your fingerling into the system.

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use 1" ribbed flexible tubing (usually found in the pond section of the big stores) in my system, but I've been warned that it isn't terribly UV stable. We'll see. It certainly isn't cheaper, though. I think 20 feet is $24 here, whereas 20 feet of rigid PVC would be less than $10.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

YES!!!!

tested again this morning......ammonia is VERY LOW and nitrites are non existent. I think patience is the key lolol. I will wait until tomorrow morning and test for nitrates if I see some I will add a very small amount of ammonia to keep feeding them.

Now here is the problem. It took so long to cycle that now I am leaving on vacation for 2 weeks. Is there a way to keep this going fish less for a bit? Can I just give it some ammonia? Or should I get fish and find someone to feed them?

Not sure what to do

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi MOF,

Dose the system with a little ammonia........no more than 2ppm on your tests.......that will keep things happening during your absence. I definitely would not add fish at this stage.

And you're right.......patience is the key.

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...