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Everything posted by bigdaddy

  1. Hi everyone, When I first started aquaponics I was happy to find I could grow vegetables and fish using a symbiotic relationship between the two. In my uneducated way I was thinking this was starting to be one of the best ways to grow things. I can say now, I question that thought. Is it???? So here's some questions I'd like to throw out to people and get their thoughts. Is there any one particular best system? Do you need multiple different system to make your food production the best? What knowledge do you need to have to run a system? What's the cost of setting up a system? What's the cost of running a system? Do you need to be around the system all the time to cater for things to keep it running, are you tied to the system or can you go on holidays? How successful will the system be? My answer is aquaponics is not the best single system. If I want to go on holidays then the fish become problematical so in this instance maybe just having a home vege patch is the best system, maybe a hydroponics system is better, maybe a wicking bed setup with a way to make the reservoir fill up on it's own added. So there are a few of my thoughts. What do others think? Cheers.
  2. Hi Jejanov, Maybe you may need to add another grow bed and add some more plants in that grow bed. I wouldn't be doing to many more water changes, you may effect the chemistry of your already matured system. I'd be testing my water daily and logging it, doing maybe 10 percent water changes every week or two now and gradually work on settling and bringing the nitrates down as well as adding another grow bed. I know your system is mature but I wouldn't be to bothered if my nitrates were 100 even 180 at the moment and depending on your fish, as I suggested I'd just work on gradually trying to even them out and gradually reducing them to the levels you want. A couple of questions, How long have you stopped feeding your fish for? How old is your system? What's your pH? What's your fish tank water temp? What plants are you growing and What type of fish do you have? Cheers.
  3. Hi Benson and welcome to APN, Tell us more about how you are thinking about applying this to your situation. Some questions off the top of my head Are you thinking about just investing in a small home scale turbine and only applying it to your aquaponics or applying it to your home as well? How will you get the water flow needed to run the turbine? Do you have a river or are you thinking about some sump arrangement with a pump to create a head and flow? Do you have a suburban house or property in the country? On a whole of house scale, I don't have a country property with flowing water running through it. About 9 or 10 years ago I did think about a property with the view of adding hydro so I could stay off grid. The conclusion I came up with regarding hydro is you really need to be an electrician to be able to maintain the electrical side of a hydro plant, plus by the time you invested in hydro and the extra effort you needed at the time to run it it was easier to run on grid, so I did not continue my research into the hydro side of it. Like solar and solar energy storage things may of changed now. Co incidentally, if you are interested in looking at another alternative energy you may like to look at my thread called bigdaddy's alternative energy. I have recently posted what I have been doing in that regard. I'd be interested in what you do so please keep us posted. Cheers.
  4. HiJecha, What are all of your readings? pH Ammonia Fish tank temp Nitrates Nitrites. Also, if you could describe your system and maybe post it in the aquaponics systems section so we can see what you have in it, that would be helpful. Cheers.
  5. Hi everyone, Some more pics of my new backyard setup. All grass and dirt up and out, road base in, reo mesh and storm water set up ready for concreting. Concrete down, channel drains down, vibrator in ready to compact the base. 600 x 600 x 30 granite pavers going down. A snapshot of how my back and side corner will look with the fake grass down. I can put my fish tank and grow bed here with a nice drain built in to the set up if I wish. Chanel drains up and out and granite going all the way to the back fence, a much better look. Cheers.
  6. Hi Jennifer and welcome to APN, Typically the aquaponics we talk about here is using a RAS system. This means we have a fish tank( which can be filled by your water from your steam), with nutrients added by fish, then the water goes from your fish tank to a or some grow beds(bio filter) to feed your plants, then to your additional filters and returns back to your tanks. First of all the fish tank is cycled, at the same time plants are added to (typically media filled) grow bed and once the system is cycled the water is kept in what can be described as a closed loop. After some time the level of the water drops naturally, either by evaporation, transpiration, cleaning or all, then top up water can be added (from your stream). sometimes in a mature system if the testing is too high a partial drop( approx 10 percent) may be needed and a top up added. I like to drop the water 10 per cent occasionally. Hope this helps, Cheers.
  7. Hi everyone, I have started my iVAs with on a completely blank canvas. I thought I'd post my journey in some sort of chronicle order and maybe give some ideas for those who may be thinking about a system and/or for those who already have systems. I feel good planning is the key to building. I have spent many hours thinking sketching measuring and using whatever else I have at my disposal. My aim is to build and run the most efficient, productive system I can, making the beat use use of the space I have. I have several challenges. Below is a list which is not conclusive. I can break down these items to further explain but will not for now. Cost Looks Very small backyard Suburban living Weather Maintenance Time My backyard measures 4.8 metres by 5.0 metres Here are some pics from the the start. The original side with my beloved citrus trees with the left side 2 sitting on the slab where my air conditioner originally was. My new pergola. The original rainwater tank New slimline rainwater tank and system ready to be re plumbed and reinstalled. Air conditioner and rainwater tank installed around the side out of the way where noise and size will be minimized. My original line of thinking about a small iAVs system. Another view of my original backyard, this time to the back fence with the back garden removed. A more current view of pic 1, backyard opened up with all the screening up and roof addition to pergola. More to come. Cheers.
  8. Hi CrazyBasenjiLady and welcome to Aquaponics Nation. I look forward to watching your new project. Cheers.
  9. bigdaddy


    Hi Daniel and welcome to APN I think this is a good solid site with plenty of shared ideas. I've found it very useful over the years. Why don't you head over to the build section and post a bit about your build when you are ready. And yeah, Pics..... We just love pics. I look forward to seeing what you have done and following your journey. Cheers.
  10. Hi everyone, Just got my first bill since installing the battery and signing up to a VPP plan...Very pleasantly surprised... I got a credit of 370 dollars plus for a 38 day billing cycle which includes a 150 dollar welcome credit because I'm in the RAA and 25 days of a $5.00 per day payback because of the VPP. This credit will definitely help with the expected increased power bills over winter. The litnus test in the winter months is still to come. So far so good. Cheers.
  11. Hi bkardon and welcome to APN, Looks interesting. Why don't you head over to the Aquaponics Systems section and start your own build thread. Then tell us your issues and we'll see what we can do to help. Cheers.
  12. Hi Everyone, Over the last couple of weeks the east coast of Australia has had a lot of rain and flooding which has helped the bushfire situation in New South Wales and Victoria. They are hoping that it will extinguish all the bushfires in New South Wales by the end of the week. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/10/rain-deluge-in-eastern-australia-set-to-extinguish-nsw-bushfires-this-week https://www.ecowatch.com/fire-in-australia-rain-2645065503.html Here in South Australia the fires are all contained. Weather has been superb in my opinon 27 -34 degrees C mostly dry, with the odd (rare) humid day, which is normal weather behaviour at this time of the year. Cheers.
  13. Hi Phri and all, Sorry about the delay in responding, had troubles downloading pics and got busy. Here are a couple of pics as the system sits now. I totally agree about the weather, that's why I asked for the solar inverter to be put around the side as it is more protected there and one day when finances and priorities allow, I will eventually have a roof there. For now that is more than adequate. I also insisted on the battery being put under the solar inverter and payed more for the extra work, that way it did not need bollards around it to protect it from the car, I had more room in the drive way and the battery was also reasonably protected from the elements. Certainly more so than on the side of the driveway under or around the meter box. Now I have a roof over the top of the meter box providing protection for the gateway and more importantly providing protection for people enering my home. Although it is somewhat expensive, hopefully all this extra thought and expense will pay off in the long run. Cheers.
  14. Hi Ragat, Thanks for your kind thoughts, they are very much appreciated. I live in Adelaide which is the capital of South Australia with approximately 1 million residents. We are lucky enough to have a lot of trees in our streets. My area is what we describe as an inner subrurb of the metropoetan area. What you can see is the overhead power lines in front of a nice green tree in our street. Living close to town has many benefits but naturally, it does lack to country feel. To put things in perspective, I live approximately 1 hour drive away from the hills, Barossa, Cape Jervis (mainland opposite Kangaroo Island) and other areas in the country. I have friends and work colleagues who live in the hills and the area where these devasting fires hit and they are ok. Luckily for me the fires haven't come that close. I do remember the scary Ash Wednesday fires in the 1980's, they were closer and one the comments I heard from a person who volenteers say, we are due for another event like that. Later on, I'll move over to the bushfires thread and talk a bit more of the current state as not to clog this thread up. Luckily the fires are no where near where all our natinal grid interconectors are so at the moment we are ok with that. Having said that, the clean up after these fires will cost billions of dollars nationally and eventually that cost will be passed down to us the customer in different ways. The money does have to come from somewhere I spose. I don't know how your system is set up but mine is set up, where my house uses the energy made from the solar panels first then, the battery, then the grid. Interstingly, I'm looking forward to my next electricity bill (who would of thought?) which is due in six weeks or so. A couple of things to take into consideration is, it is summer time here so we have the best chance of solar input so whilst cooling is expensive, heating is slightly more expensive. The other thing to think about is, whilst we had some very hot days, we have had a lot of cooler days with the temps on some being well below the January average. That means no cooling nor heating has been required. Today in my area we are heading for a top of 26 C, which is warmer than it has been for the last few days. My monitoring estimates daily net savings have been mostly in the minuses so I'm happy with that. Cheers.
  15. Hi Hamiltonaquaponics. What veges have you grown so far? Cheers.
  16. Hi Ande/All, I woke up early this morning (2.30am) and thought I'd go outside for a walk before going back to sleep, only to find a strong smell of smoke in the air. Last night the media weather outlets were predicting Adelaide could have smoke haze from the fires in New South Wales, Victoria and Kangaroo Island. Here is an article written yesterday on the disasters unfolding here in Australia. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/01/australia/australia-fires-explainer-intl-hnk-scli/index.html Whilst I will stay out of the never ending political climate change debate and will refuse to be drawn into it, I found this interactive map to be interesting. Regardless of whatever you may see these fires are huge. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/datablog/ng-interactive/2019/dec/07/how-big-are-the-fires-burning-on-the-east-coast-of-australia-interactive-map Fears of another megafire to break out soon. https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/enormous-megafire-huge-blaze-threatens-to-merge-across-two-states/news-story/2891799b77674eddf576c0b62550218e Here's an interesting picture of the aircraft used in our national firefighting fleet. https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/nafc-arena-help/2018+National+Fleet+Poster+A3.pdf Cheers.
  17. Hi everyone, For those who do not know, in Australia we have very dangerous bush fires with the latest disaster being the worst on record. Nearly 6,000,000 hectares, over 14,000,000 acres of land has been burned since September. At least 17 people have been killed to date. There is no end to this devastation in sight . Before Christmas, they were planning to fight the fires at least until the end of January. There are fires in every state and resources are stretched. I would like to make a special mention of appreciation to our volunteer fire fighting heroes who selflessly give of themselves and thier loved ones to fight these fires. Below is a map of where the fires are, plus, there is another brief article below the map which may be of interest. https://myfirewatch.landgate.wa.gov.au/ https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/01/australia/australia-fires-explainer-intl-hnk-scli/index.html Cheers.
  18. Hi Mohamed, I just quickly searched our Australian websites such as Ebay or Amazon and found below link as an example. I feel you should be able to find similar websites in your region. I have used this API fresh water master test kit for years and it works ok for me. https://www.ebay.com.au/p/23032171709?iid=173147570742&chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=705-139619-5960-0&mkcid=2&itemid=173147570742&targetid=480387083982&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=9070851&poi=&campaignid=7408110601&mkgroupid=79663541654&rlsatarget=pla-480387083982&abcId=1139406&merchantid=118973035&gclid=CjwKCAiA3abwBRBqEiwAKwICA5O35lS1Cfyv9IeVhu9o95g7FkdKtMtl9qpivCpWeJpJ_pn7C-5eOBoCAvsQAvD_BwE Cheers.
  19. bigdaddy

    Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Ande Merry Christmas everyone Cheers
  20. There's a leak somewhere mate...The next day we dropped to a top of 24 C...Just like that...
  21. Windy weather now around 41C windy now around 25 to 30 km/hr with gusts up to 49 km/hr as I speak...Open that pipe Ande! We're pumping heaps into it!...😀 Cheers.
  22. Hey Ande, Want some heat?...Weve got plenty at the moment... 41.8 C On Tuesday, 45 C yesterday and 45.3 C here today, going for a minimum tempurature over night of 36C and to round off the week we are forcasted to reach 46C tomorrow but a nasty day with lots of wind... Fire up the tube mate...We're ready to rock and roll 😀... Cheers.
  23. Hi folks, In South Australia we have some of the most expensive electricity in the world with most people earning on or just above minimum income and our many pensioners living below the poverty line so paying for electricity is fast or has become a major concern for many. Our state no longer has enough of it's own power generation capabilities to remain continually functional on it's own, this means we have to rely on other states providing electricity for us when we can not produce enough. This is done via what is known as the national power grid, a somewhat complex power sharing infrastructure, in which power is introduced by people who produce more than they require and distributed to those who need it at a cost. The costs vary depending on numerous factors, but in the end, because of our needs, we (us the consumer in S.A.) are left paying a lot of money for electricity. Our climate ranges from mild nasty winters at times to very hot summers at times. We also have a lot of beautiful weather in between. With electricity prices expected to soar yet again, I've decided to invest in some sustainable energy for my home. Over the last 12 - 18 months I've installed solar panels and now, over the last couple of weeks, battery storage for my home. Our States geographical location is ideally suited to solar electricity generation and storage. My house faces South/North which is ideal natural heating and cooling. I also have no shade concerns. All and more are considerations when deciding to go with solar power generation. My previous winter, electricity bill topped around $790.00 per 1/4 or 3 months, compared to (by memory) $340.00 with my solar panels on. My first bill with solar panels on dropped from around $720.00 around $90.00. Now with my battery storage system I am hoping to knock out my power bill and electricity connection cost all together. I am hoping the payback of the whole system will be under 5 years, time will tell I guess. Pic 1: Battery around the back, out of the way, under my solar panel inverter Pic 2: My services out the front. Gas supply underneath, electricity in the middle and battery gateway on top with the NBN connection on the side. Cheers.
  24. Good question Hunterpehrson, I can't answer that straight out but First of all you should cycle your system and let it settle into a routine, I practcably, daily test for pH, nitrites, ammonia, temp and nitrates and log it down. during cycling. Cheers
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