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GaryD

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GaryD last won the day on September 24

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About GaryD

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  • Biography
    I'm a micro-farmer....and the author of The Urban Aquaponics Manual
  • Interests
    Microponics, woodcraft

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  • Location
    Macleay Island, QLD

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  1. Day 50...Route the water from the washing machine to the back lawn. Outcome: Reduced wastewater. It would be grandiose to describe our grassed area as lawn but we do harvest it for composting material so using the washing machine to water it. I found a purple (greywater) hose in the shed so I'll connect that up to the washing machine and redirect the water. Day 50...the halfway mark...the low-hanging fruit...the easy part...and, as it happens, Part 1 of 2. WIth hindsight, a 100-Day challenge was probably unrealistic (particuarly given my current commitments) and I need to
  2. Day 49...Adjust the thermostat on the electric hot water service. Outcomes: Save energy - Save money. This was an easy one...lying right under my nose, so to speak. By simply cutting back the thermostat on the electric hot water service, I save energy...and money.
  3. Day 48...Switch to a sustainable search engine like Ecosia. Outomes: More trees (for no effort on my part) Ecoasia use some of their profits to plant trees and they run on 100% renewable energy,
  4. We've begun to experience a trickle of new members in recent days. To them, I offer a hearty welcome...and an invitation to plumb the depths of the second oldest aquaponics forum in the world. Things have been quiet in recent years as discussion forums yielded to the lure of Facebook...and the principals of this one responded to other prioirities. We're in the process of upgrading things around here in advance of awakening our sleeping membership and encouraging new ones. The active membership of APN is very small at the moment but we have a collective experience of aquapon
  5. Hi BD, You're making this much harder than it needs to be . You could build your sandgarden out of 20-litre buckets...adding them one at a time/week...until you reach the size you want. Buying them one or two at a time makes the unit cost negligible. Each bucket would cost you around $15.00 (complete with sand and fittings)...so 50 such buckets would cost you around $750....and give you a substantial garden. That option requires little thinking about...and it can be implemented immediately. Your other option would be to buy larger containers than buckets...like 50 litre
  6. I'd enjoy seeing how you approach the measurement and management of AP system paramaters...so you photos will be welcome. My personal approach is to design food production units that have risk mitigation built in...rather than the more reactive process of taking measurements and then responding to the results. You mention that you have experience in IT...but what is your experience of AP? I ask, not to challenge you, but rather to get a sense of what motivates your interest in water chemistry to the extent that you want to measure it.
  7. Hi Tim...and welcome to APN. There are a variety of reasons why some of the large-scale AP startups have failed...overwhelmingly these relate to a lack of business understanding. One of the biggest issues in longevity is that aquaponics has few barriers to entry...anyone who can raise the money can start up an AP business...without needing to have learned much about the three most important organisms in the system...the fish, the plants and the microbial life that powers the system. The other issue is that AP has cost burdens that often competing horticulture does not. You're
  8. Day 47...Reduce vehicle use...talk about my truck being over five years old and still under 40,000km. Outcome: Save fuel - Reduce maintenance - Reduced emissions - Save money My Mazda BT50 was bought new over five years ago...and it has still to reach 40,000km. Living on an island helps keep the mileage down...but it still gets frequent use because we live at the opposite end of the 6 kilometre island. The challenge is to arrange purchases so that fewer trips are necessary.
  9. Welcome to APN, Peter. The notion of modern nomadism has always had appeal for me...and I would still like to give it a try...and the desire to move around has In the optimal climate range, living in a van is far simpler - and cheaper - than living in an a much colder place. There are thousands of people who are stealth camping...and some of them have written accounts of their lifestyle...just like those you and I linked to. Nomadism requires that you travel as light as possible...so whatever you're planning in the way of power and lighting (not to mention the things you're
  10. Day 46....Get my devices repaired instead of buying new ones. Outcome: Reduce consumption - Save money About a year ago, I bought a new mower to replace the old self-propelled banger that had served us for the preceding 12 years. My first mistake was to overlook the type of work that our old mower was doing. The new machine was cheaper, lighter and far less robust than the one it replaced...and my backyard is not manicured like most urban backyards. It's more like a farm. It turned out that I'd have been much better off to overhaul the old mower. It's served as a le
  11. BD...that looks like the sand you need. How much was it a bag? I don't recommend the garden beds from Bunnings. I think you'll find them a bit too lightweight to contain sand...and they'll be a bugger to line. I'd suggest that you build your own beds if you have the necessary skills...or get someone to do it for you if you don't. That way, you can reconcile the aesthetics - which is clearly important to you - with the practicalities. I built sand beds out of treated pine sleepers...I've also used cut-down IBC (they can be clad in various disguises)...and you can also build them fro
  12. Day 45...Open doors and windows – to facilitate passive climate control. Outcomes: Saves energy - saves money I live on a sub-tropical island so that means that I get spared most weather extremes. If I dress to the weather there's little need for active climate control but, lured by convenience, it's easier to throw a switch than dive into the cupboard for a sweater. Time to double down.
  13. Day 44...Cover food when cooking on the stove top – this traps heat and can help cook your food faster reducing the amount of cook time. Outcome: Saves energy - reduced cooking time...and spatter. This one happened by accident. Originally it came to light when I started to make greater use of lids on pots to contain the mess that inevitably accompanies my cooking efforts...with the perceived benefit that I would spend less time cleaning the stove and the splashback. The realisation that it has added relevant benefits just adds to the excitement of it all. 😉
  14. Hi...and welcome to APN. Fish will often take a couple of days or more to settle in. The first thing to do is to stop feeding and clean any uneaten feed out of the system. Adjust your pH levels down...slowly...till you're around 6.5. That will offset any ammonia toxicity. What's your water temerature? Get more air into your system. Add pure sea salt to the system to serve as a tonic for the fish...and to offset any nitrite toxicity....for 100 litres you'll only need about 100g of salt. Leave things completely alone while you learn more about what's actuall
  15. Day 43...Track energy use and develop habits to reduce. Outcome: Saves energy - saves money. On Day 41, I committed to tracking water use and developing habits to reduce...and doing the same for energy is no less imperative. I'll drag out recent energy bills and see what my energy consumption has been...with a view to adopting different practices.
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