gregBaker

Introduction: Just getting started and can use advice.

2 posts in this topic

My wife and I are both new to backyard farming but in the process of building a system based on IBC totes - hydroponics so far this winter without the fish.  Before I commit to adding the fish, I am considering vermiponics either eliminating the fish, or at least minimizing their use - although, not eliminating the fish totally brings along all fish maintenance issues with lesser return on the efforts, I think.  

Both retired now, we live in a home that my father build here in South Carolina U.S.A. The property was a decommissioned school property that had partial burned down with part rebuilt as a home.  With a place to live we also have the time, the space, the tools and the determination to supplement our own health with good, home grown food and rewarding an on-going activity of interest to both of us.  (As an ex-programmer, I am also interested in system automation where possible, connecting the grow-system’s monitor/control functionality IoT like via WiFi - already started and of little interest to my wife.)  

We started by converting an old shed attached to the cinderblock add-on of the original 1-room schoolhouse (circa 1940’s.)  It is a make-do greenhouse for our grow beds with poor sun light exposure.  The fish tank, sump tank and most of the plumbing reside inside the cinderblock section where I have the heating and cooling up and running for the limited space we using.  There is plenty of room for expansion inside and we are planning some outside grow beds next season too.  We’ve also added a small worm farm moved inside as well.

The startup system consists of an IBC fish tank (~275 gal.), a cut down IBC sump tank (about 170 gal.) and a single split IBC grow bed (~14 sq. ft.) setup in an ebb and flow configuration. The sump tank has one pump and feeds the fish tank only. The fish tank uses gravity to feed the grow bed(s). There is also a gravity overflow back to the sump tank from the fish tank. And of course, the grow bed(s) drain back to the sump tank as well.  For a few pictures, here is our Instagram link: Instagram pictorial of our startup system.

Not a “wow you system” for sure, but our startup system is up and running after many design iterations and without fish yet. 

Vermiponics help and suggestions as well as general comments are welcomed.  I need all the help I can get and all will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Gregory

 

 

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