Strider

Dual loop system build.

299 posts in this topic

Hi strider

Thanks for sharing, nice video

I think it's normal for the xternal pumps to build up some heat at least thats my experience, 

I wouldn't worry to much,unless it's werry hot, so that it heats up and soften the pipes, and by that can cause leaks, in the pump body/fitings/pipe connection.

 

cheers

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Hi strider

Thanks for sharing, nice video

I think it's normal for the xternal pumps to build up some heat at least thats my experience,

I wouldn't worry to much,unless it's werry hot, so that it heats up and soften the pipes, and by that can cause leaks, in the pump body/fitings/pipe connection.

cheers

Thanks Gary and Ande. I can touch it but not for long. Also, I was wondering if it would be possible to put another pump like the one I have in series with this line. I noticed when I vacuumed it out it spun rather freely. And it would be nice to just plug in the backup pump if the primary fails.

On another note, I planted a bunch of young plants in two of the beds. So far so good. Now I have to dust off my brain and try to remember my hydroponic days and what I used to use. One thing is for sure, nitrgen is not an issue and sonce I have a mix of plants I will probably need a general purpose fertilizer.

Ande, I noticed you tend to substitute W for V as in Wery....it should be Very. Just thought I would mention that....so be wery wery quiet, I am hunting wabbit.. Lol. That is an old bugs bunny cartoon expression. :)

Edited by Strider (see edit history)

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Hi Jim,

Those external pumps do seem to get quite warm based on anecdotal evidence from others that have used them. It should prove to be more reliable than submersible pond pumps which are usually pretty flimsy bits of kit by comparison with the external ones.

I use submersibles but my answer to the reliability issue is to have plenty of them around. The best part about them is that they can be changed over in seconds.

Gary

Roger that. I have had good luck with submersible pumps....they seem to go on forever as long as they are cleaned once in a while. I guess having a new type pump is giving me anxiety. Edited by Strider (see edit history)

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Ok, I am done with the dual loop system and could not be happier. It is amazing how many benefits there are with two loops seperating the fish from the plants. Of course there is a one way from the fish side RFF and MBBR to the plant side mineralization tank. But no return to the fish side. The single disadvantage is the need for two pumps and maybe a little more attention to the nitrate levels on the fish side. I drain about 10 gallons of water from the fish side to the plant side per day. The only water I add to either system is on the fish side which helps to dilute the nitrate lelvels. Salt also helps to negate the nitrate buildup.

Advatages are my dutch bucket system does not clog up like it did when fish waste was in the system. I can add any nutrients I want without worring about hurting the fish. Basically it is combining the best of aquaponics with hydroponics. And since my fish are not effected by anything I do on the plant side pesticides are not an issue.

Ph is customized for the fish and the plants seperately.

So I cannot say enough about how well I am liking this setup. If anyone wants to learn more I suggest a visit to Mr. Paul Van De Werf's website where he has posted a lot of info on this dual loop design.

www.earthanedge.com

There is also a fair amount of info on this forum. Also looking at a suggestion by Mr. VanDeWerf to add a sprinkler system valve to automate the flow of water from the fish to the plant side. Not hard doing it manually but it gets old after a few days.

Edited by Strider (see edit history)

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there is another theoretical disadvantage and that is the possibility of PH stabilizing (i.e. denitrification on fish side and nitrification on plant side balancing each other as far as PH changes) 

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there is another theoretical disadvantage and that is the possibility of PH stabilizing (i.e. denitrification on fish side and nitrification on plant side balancing each other as far as PH changes) 

Yes, I am still in the first week and already see some changes but still too early to tell.  My fish are at 7.2 and the plants are at 6.2. Not concerned with the plants as it is easy enough to increase or decrease the Ph.  More concerned with PH and its relationship to nitrates and temp on the fish side.  But so far the Ph has been stable. Also, I add 10 gal, and soon will increase to 30 gal of water a day to the fish side, and that tap water is at 7.4 Ph.  That should help keep Ph constant and dilute the nitrates. 

But time will tell.  

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Hi Jim,

 

You'll quickly begin to experience dropping pH as a normal feature of operating a recirculating aquaculture system.  While it also happens in an aquaponics system, decreasing pH is largely offset by the denitrifying impact of the plants in the system.

 

Without plants, you'll discover that pH drops much faster......to the point where you'll be adding something like calcium hydroxide (builders lime) at very regular intervals.  In fact, the easiest way to way to manage pH in a RAS is to do it on a daily basis.....by mixing it with your fish food.  

 

The amount of lime is proportionate to the fish food being fed each day.

 

If, however, your source water is alkaline, that might help to maintain your pH....but unless you're drawing water off your RAS (to supply your plant system) at fairly frequent intervals, you'll find that the pH will drop over time.

 

Gary

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Hi Jim,

 

You'll quickly begin to experience dropping pH as a normal feature of operating a recirculating aquaculture system.  While it also happens in an aquaponics system, decreasing pH is largely offset by the denitrifying impact of the plants in the system.

 

Without plants, you'll discover that pH drops much faster......to the point where you'll be adding something like calcium hydroxide (builders lime) at very regular intervals.  In fact, the easiest way to way to manage pH in a RAS is to do it on a daily basis.....by mixing it with your fish food.  

 

The amount of lime is proportionate to the fish food being fed each day.

 

If, however, your source water is alkaline, that might help to maintain your pH....but unless you're drawing water off your RAS (to supply your plant system) at fairly frequent intervals, you'll find that the pH will drop over time.

 

Gary

Thanks Gary....Yes I have already noticed both loops dropping Ph. The FT is now at 7.0.   The Plant Side is at 5.9..   I have builders Lime and will probably start using it starting tomorrow. 

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Hello.

A little update about the dual loop system and what I have seen thus far. 

Ph- the Fish Ph is stable at 7.0. The plant side keeps dropping and I have to add pickling lime to get it up to 6.0 or 6.5.  

Filtering. I made and added a sand / sieve filter for the fish tank to clean up the water. It is pulling a lot of solids out of the water. It runs off a little 70 gph fountain pump, and when I turn on the air pump with the 8" air stone I notice I get a lot more solids in the sock. Same thing happens when I added a 8" air stone to the bio bed filter, the solids moving through the sieve filter doubled. So now I run both air stones 24/7 to get optimal cleaning. 

The plants are doing OK so far. I have not added too much extra and I am considering adding some hydroponic tomato solution. I have sprayed some fertilizer on the plants to give them a little extra.

Still tweaking things but so far so good.  I may add a sand bed as well.  

That's all...

Edited by Strider (see edit history)

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So yesterday my readings showed that I have small amounts of both nitrites (.25 ppm) and ammonia. (.25-.5 ppm) I am starting to think that the system is cycling even though I used the same biofilter with the bacteria already established. Anyway I am keeping an eye on it. The other thing is that I am running water through the system pretty fast so thhat may not be giving the water in the biofolter time to get cleared by the bacteria. So I may slow down the flow today.

The plants are doing well so far. The corn has had a growth spurt as have the tomato and cucumber plants. I have added those 100 micron felt socks to other areas in the fish side to get more solids out. Those socks work great.

I modified the sieve filter a little and will reduce the feeding times from twice a day to once a day untill the nitrites and ammonia lvls come down.

Edited by Strider (see edit history)

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Hi Jim,

 

I'm glad that things are going well.  A new start up will often take a few weeks to settle down and will take months to reach full productivity.

 

I wouldn't be too concerned about the water flow and its impact on nitrification.  While the bacteria colonise your bio-filter, they are right throughout the system……in the water and on all of the surfaces of the system.  Whatever small impact the water flow has on nitrification will be more than offset by the increased dissolved oxygen levels that will result from the higher water flow.

 

Gary

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So I made another update video.  I added more filtration on the fish side, I now leave the air pumps on 24/7, and I added more plants.  I also put that solenoid valve in to automate the water exchange from the fish side to the plant side. My FT Ph is at about 7.1 depending on the time of day, but fairly stable. The plant side fluctuates more and is now at about 6.5.  I added a half solution of hydroponic tomato fertilizer just to see what happens.  

I did discover that the coral sand I buy is fairly course. But I have to filter the finer grains out with a window screen. It would be a lot of work to fill a sand bed by manually sifting all the sand but is doable. I think they also sell it by the truck load and they have a 20 grit grade. So the sand bed addition is looking more likely in the near future.

 

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Hi Jim,

 

Your system is progressing nicely.

 

The 20 grit sand sounds like the thing you need.

 

Have you had a chance to drop by the iAVs site yet?

 

I hope to build a small "proof of concept" iAVs system in the coming days.

Gary

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Hi Jim,

 

Your system is progressing nicely.

 

The 20 grit sand sounds like the thing you need.

 

Have you had a chance to drop by the iAVs site yet?

 

I hope to build a small "proof of concept" iAVs system in the coming days.

Gary

Thanks gary. I was wondering if the sand is keeping my FT Ph at a constant due to the coral bits in it? I am just trying to figure out how big I want to make the bed for the iAVs. I may just settle on a smaller trough type, maybe 12" wide by 8 ft long. Space is at a premium here in my yard....:)

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Hi Jim,

 

One of the important things about sand beds is that they need to be furrowed.  The plants grow on the "islands" and the water flows through the low sections of the furrow.  For as long as it takes for the plants to shade it out, algae grows in the low sections.  Once the plant foliage shade the area, the algae dies and becomes an important part of the microbiology of the system.

 

For this reason, I'd suggest you go a little wider……if only just wide enough to form one furrow mound.

 

Gary

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Hi Jim,

 

One of the important things about sand beds is that they need to be furrowed.  The plants grow on the "islands" and the water flows through the low sections of the furrow.  For as long as it takes for the plants to shade it out, algae grows in the low sections.  Once the plant foliage shade the area, the algae dies and becomes an important part of the microbiology of the system.

 

For this reason, I'd suggest you go a little wider……if only just wide enough to form one furrow mound.

 

Gary

Thanks Gary, sounds good. I can move it to 18" which would leave me 6-6-6 with the two furrows on the outside and the 6" mound on the inside.

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I'd consider one large mound in the centre in that situation.  You'll find it easier to maintain and it will support large plants very well. 

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So yesterday at about 1730 I noticed my FT was about a third lower and the pump was not pushing water. I checked the system and found one of the nylon filter socks was too long and plugging rhe hole drain in the small side mounted bucket of the seive filter. It was overflowing the small bucket. Lucky I caught it in time. I have made adjustments to the sock lengths. It did give me a chance to refresh the water. :)

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Hi Jim,

I am interested in what you think is happening with your FT sand filter in the two inch pipe.

 

you have said that it is clearing the water in the tank. Do you think that is a physical catching of the super fine dusts or is it a chemical precipitation that is happening?

Would it block and stop flowing if the pipe was not mounted exactly level? I am guessing there is a gap at the top of the pipe that provides a path for the larger solids to flow.

 

 

So yesterday at about 1730 I noticed my FT was about a third lower and the pump was not pushing water. I checked the system and found one of the nylon filter socks was too long and plugging rhe hole drain in the small side mounted bucket of the seive filter. It was overflowing the small bucket. Lucky I caught it in time. I have made adjustments to the sock lengths. It did give me a chance to refresh the water. :)

perhaps it could be tweaked with a bucket with taller sides, then an overflow pipe could be fitted to the ?sump?, that would bypass the sieve filter if the socks fill up.

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Hi Jim,

I am interested in what you think is happening with your FT sand filter in the two inch pipe.

you have said that it is clearing the water in the tank. Do you think that is a physical catching of the super fine dusts or is it a chemical precipitation that is happening?

Would it block and stop flowing if the pipe was not mounted exactly level? I am guessing there is a gap at the top of the pipe that provides a path for the larger solids to flow.

Not sure but I think it is both filtering and some sort of mineralization going on. But all I really expected was for it to catch the particles. Not sure how the socks are catching the run off. It must be getting through some how, the sand is fairly course.

perhaps it could be tweaked with a bucket with taller sides, then an overflow pipe could be fitted to the ?sump?, that would bypass the sieve filter if the socks fill up.

I shortened the socks so they could not reach the hole. Hope that solves it.

Edited by Strider (see edit history)

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OK, so my first fish death yesterday.  Found one floating. He looked healthy except for the fact he was dead.  :)  So now I am second guessing everything. My nitrites and ammonia levels are between .25 and .5 ppm.  My nitrate is somewhere around 100 + ppm.  

Today I am thinking about dosing with 1/2 lb of salt.  But how do I determine the salt concentration?  Is there a test kit to measure such things?  I also would appreciate any other remedies for possible Nitrate poisoning issues.  If I lose more fish I will have to remove all Nitrates and Nitrites...the zero option.  Not really wanting to do that.  I am thinking maybe I need to drain more water to the plant side as well.  

It may all be just a result of an inferior fish and nothing more.  

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OK, so my first fish death yesterday.  Found one floating. He looked healthy except for the fact he was dead.   :)  So now I am second guessing everything. My nitrites and ammonia levels are between .25 and .5 ppm.  My nitrate is somewhere around 100 + ppm.  

Today I am thinking about dosing with 1/2 lb of salt.  But how do I determine the salt concentration?  Is there a test kit to measure such things?  I also would appreciate any other remedies for possible Nitrate poisoning issues.  If I lose more fish I will have to remove all Nitrates and Nitrites...the zero option.  Not really wanting to do that.  I am thinking maybe I need to drain more water to the plant side as well.  

It may all be just a result of an inferior fish and nothing more.  

 

Hi Jim,

 

It may have been a dud fish but you need to get some salt into the system to mitigate against nitrite toxicity.  Put the i/2lb straight in and then work out how much more you need to achieve 1g per litre of water…..or your equivalent in ounces and US gallons.  While that's in excess of what you'll need for the nitrite issue, it will serve as a tonic for the fish…..particularly if they've been stressed by something.

 

Gary

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Hi Jim,

 

It may have been a dud fish but you need to get some salt into the system to mitigate against nitrite toxicity.  Put the i/2lb straight in and then work out how much more you need to achieve 1g per litre of water…..or your equivalent in ounces and US gallons.  While that's in excess of what you'll need for the nitrite issue, it will serve as a tonic for the fish…..particularly if they've been stressed by something.

 

Gary

Yeah, it must have been a dud. All the other fish are lively and always hungry. I did put spme salt and will add some more today. But I am concerned about the salt buildup in the plant side over time.

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Update:  Everything is working great!  I have too many tomatoes from planting all at the same time. Lesson learned. These tomatoes are big and much better than the tomatoes in my last system.  I had a Zucchini that made Godzilla look like a small garden lizard.  My bitter melons are flourishing and growing many and big. So I notice that my plants are growing better as time goes on,, not sure if that is because the mineraliztion tank is finally kicking in or what. I am now able to grow multiple cucumbers on a single plant whereas in my old system I was limited to one big one and many small ones. 

Here is a pic of me holding that monster zucchini and a couple bitter melons.  And no, I did not wet my pants! That was from cleaning my filter socks. lol

 

post-3631-0-86022800-1434046823_thumb.jp

Edited by Strider (see edit history)
ande and crsublette like this

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