Tag Archives: nature

Ready for Fish

IMG_0018I have worked out most of the bugs I believe , and I am about ready to get the fish. I am planning on building a water heater using compost as the heat source, so that I can raise Talapia . But for now I am going to start with blue gill. I had a to do some work  getting the timing down on the two pumps. Ended up getting a different timer to run the pump for the grow beds. Now the system is running well. I did water checks the other day and all thee readings were in the proper ranges. I will go out and catch the blue gill so if there is a problem it wont be with a tank of fish that cost me very  much.

IMG_0023As you can see my celery has not bounced back from the transplant yet. This is the celery I planted the end of from store bought . It has done well since early in the summer we I put it in the other system. We have eaten off it for quite awhile.  Hopefully , now that the timing  is worked out it will come back.

IMG_0019IMG_0020IMG_0021IMG_0022  I added some tomato that I got from the volunteer plant I have coming up in one of the cinder blocks at the base of the Green House. This is also the strawberry that was in the first system.

IMG_0024IMG_0025IMG_0026IMG_0027 These are cayenne peppers that came out of the garden and a Coffer Lime tree. I am over wintering in the GH. The frog is just cool…..lol

IMG_0028Here is the volunteer tomato I have it tied up with some red tape going to see how big it gets. It already has blooms so we should have some hot house tomatoes soon.

IMG_0029My succulent balls are in here also I have to do some work with them once I get the benches built. That is my Avocado  tree it is also over wintering.

IMG_0030One of the changes I made was to run the return line from the grow beds to the drum that has the pump in it. The two are tied together (see front bottom ) but it pumps out faster than they equalize. So this way the one with the pump fills faster.

IMG_0031This is how I first tried but it didn’t work, so got another timer like the one with the multiple sockets. So this is how it looks now.IMG_0051IMG_0052

IMG_0041I have also move all the tomatoes into the one bed.IMG_0050Here you can see that the peppers are still bearing new fruit,  this is the middle of December here in NC and we have had several frosts . I still don’t have any heat in the GH but it stays above 50 F.

So now I need to find some time to go fishing and catch some gills. hopefully soon.

From my family to all of yours Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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The Gravel Is In The Grow Beds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well that is the good news. I got the plumbing done, and the pump in to lift the water up hill to the grow beds. I also got the gravel in the beds. Most of it came from the first system , I took one half of it apart and reused that gravel, I hope it will still have the Biological filter and speed up the cycling process so I can get the fish in the tank. Like I said that was the good news.

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As you can see the Bell Syphons have been pulled out of the grow beds. They were not working and I decided to go another way . So the bad news was I had the gravel in the beds, now I had to take it all out again.

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I decided to try laying a water hose connected to the out let and protected that with a corrugated pipe.

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Well when I tested this it did not syphons as fast as I wanted it to. The problem seems to be the height of the outlet on the barrel, I use the bung hole.  Also the drain going to the holding tank was bigger than the hose so the that didn’t help.  So I went with just a simple elbow that syphons from the bottom of the bed.

Syphon drawing

This is a drawing to show what I ended up with. I didn’t get any pictures of this before I covered it up with the gravel. Basically you see the pick up tube coming in the barrel, the small gravel guard goes around this and the large gravel guard goes over all of it. I can watch the water rise in the large tube, to adjust the in flow.

It is Really Coming Together Now

I have been working on the system just not documenting it. Had a little snag the other day. Burned up my old Miter saw, So had to go to Lowes and get a new one, ah shucks…lol. Well got all the lumber cut and partially assembled. I did all that I could in the drive way. It is a better work surface than the backyard, not such a grade.

My New Toy

The rails for the carriage

The rest of the carriage.

Yesterday I got the rails on the IBC to hold the Duck Weed tank.

I have gotten started on the plumbing. I have the fitting in the fish tank where the water will flow to the two pickle barrels.

Also in the pickle barrel coming in from the fish tank, and the connection of the the two pickle barrels.

SO that is where the project is right now . Tomorrow I plan on putting the carriage that will hold the grow beds . I think it will be easier to put it together inside the greenhouse.  we will see how that turn out.

Cleaning the Barrels

I got out and cut the barrels in half yesterday. Then today I washed the insides of them. At first I thought it would be harder than it was. The rusty looking stains that were on the inside and tops of the barrels actually came off very easily. Just used the dish soap and scrub brush that I used on the pickle barrels. That got most of it and then detailed with Mr. Clean errasers, and it turned out pretty good. 

Got More Barrels :oD

Went yesterday to Pink Hill NC to get the rest of the barrels I needed to complete the system. I pick up 2 of the blue barrels 55 gal,with the bung holes that will be cut in half to make the Grow beds.  

I also picked up 4 black pickle barrels, 60 gal ea.  Two of these will be in the system and 2 for rain barrels.

I got the pickle barrels all cleaned out and ready to go . The blue ones I did a little bit on them I will get them thoroughly after I have cut them in half.

These are the 2 that will be the rain barrels.

Here are the two pickle barrels in place .

My original system had a catastrophic failure Sunday. THe left bank of grow beds had been slipping slowly toward the pond.  So I needed to do something anyway , well one of the totes broke at the bottom and I was lucky I didn’t loose all the water. So I took the left bank out and the flood tank out. I piped the water directly to the right bank of grow beds. So they are now running continuously.

The rest of these are some plants I have brought into the green house because the nights are getting cooler.

The milk jugs are filled with water , part of the thermal mass.

OK thats it for today ,will start the plumbing tomorrow. Hopefully I will be able to get it up and running soon. Might be running on a extenion cord for a little bit , I will eventually get it wired …I know Eric I will call before I start tat  LOL..

Did you notice the volunteer tomato I have coming up out of the cinder block hole. I will keep it and see what it does. The rest are weeds and I will get rid of them.

FIsh Dieing??????????

I have several of my Gold Fish die in the tank. not all at once but one here and there . But today I had another one floating, this is two days in a row. I took a quick count and I am down to about a dozen , down from close to three dozen at the beginning. I tested the water and all the test were perfect.

The Ph was 7.4

Ammonia 0 ppm

nitrite 0  ppm

Nitrate 0 ppm

So not sure what the problem is , the fish all seem healthy. They are eating fine, and growing well they have tripled in size since the spring. We are not have really cool nights, and the pond is about 2 1/2 ft deep at the deepest point,  I am stumped for now , I do have several resources to check. Will keep posted.

Ready to Assembly the Green House

Today I got to work plumbing the two blue 55 gal barrels that I will be using for the sump.These are tied together to fill together. I have decide to us a sump so that the water in the fish tank stays the same level.  I will put a pump in the  sump, it will pump into the fish tank . The water will flow through a overflow into  2 black 55 gal barrels that are tied together so they fill together. A overflow on the black drums will flow to the grow beds , which will drain through bell siphons back to the sump. I will also have a raft system set up to have water pumped through a “T” to the raft tank which will overflow back to the sump.

Right now I have the IBC for the fish tank and Raft tank, and the two blue barrels for the sump. I will be using two black pickle barrels for the two barrels before the grow beds. The grow beds will be two more blue barrels cut in half and filled with gravel.
Still have to get the barrels for the grow beds and the pickle barrels. I will also be adding pickle barrels to collect rain off the green house.