Tag Archives: radishes

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.

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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.

Got my New Camera

I got my new camera last week . Have been waiting to get this for a while now. So hopefully my photos in the blog will be higher quality. I got the Cannon Eos Rebel T3I

Ok enough about that lets get to the Aquaponics . Things are looking good for the most part. The fish are very active, and seem happy ,they are going pretty fast. The water is testing in the good for all tests. It is a little cloudy, added some barley extract hope the will help. We have had quite a bit of rain and I wonder if that has anything to do with the cloudiness. My flood tank is also giving me some concern. It tends to bulge at times . this causes the toilet vale not to open sometimes. I think I need to put some more straps going over the top on it.  Ok here are some pictures:

Romaine Lettuce and a small tomato (sucker from dirt garden tomato)

Here are peppers and a Leaf lettuce mix

The radishes under the pepper are going strong.

The tad poles are still going strong

Anybody Need 200 Tadpoles?

We have a few extra creatures in the pond yesterday. This is the second time that I have added water from our local lake.  When I first put the water in this time I noticed two tadpoles. then the next morning we had hundreds of tadpoles. I am thinking that we scooped up some eggs and they all hatched out the night before. So as you can see we have tadpoles now.

Thinking about getting a couple of small Blue Gills to take care of them. Don’t really feel like waking up to a plague of frogs in my back yard. You can also see how far the water is drawn down when the grow beds fill. Had to make some adjustments to the water flow.  Also added more water but this time I used a dechlorinator and used tap water.  The water was very cloudy when I first started running it through the gravel in the grow beds. I pulled and cleaned the filter box and cleaned the pump filter. That  immediately increased the flow rate out of the spray bar and the flood tank flow.  By the next morning the water was back to clear .

Today I decided to change the spray bar for the grow beds. Instead of the bar running down the middle I replaced it with a T bar at the top of the bed. Hopefully this will even out  the water flow through the beds.  Seems to be do pretty good at that now. 

Here are a couple of shots of the radishes , lettuces and spinach coming up.

So we have sprouts in the system now. Things are looking good. I have noticed a very small leak on the flood tank but I am going to watch it for a bit. To repair it will take 24 hrs, for the epoxy to cure. Do not want to do that right now. So for now will just add water as needed.

I Have A Aquaponics System!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well I finally have a working Aquaponics System not just a Gold Fish Pond . I got the gravel in and planted vegetables today.  Spent the morning helping with the Fayetteville Beautiful ‘s Electronics recycle , and Rain barrels, Compost Bin sale. We stayed till 1030 after getting there at 0730 to unload the Semi of the Rain Barrels and the Earth Machine Compost Bins.  I was pretty impressed with the bins I bought two of them for the back yard. That is my neighbors dog Jonah Photo-Bombing me…. LOL

We stopped by Lowe’s on the way to the little local lake. We picked up some peppers and radish , spinach , and lettuce seeds. Then on to the lake to get some water to help fill the void when I turned on the water to the flood tank. It really sucked a lot of water out of the pond. I let It cycle through several times and then at its fullest point in the cycle I added lake water to fill it up.

I did run tap water through the system (draining out into the yard not the pond)to clean the gravel . I ran it until the water ran clear. But it did still turn the water cloudy when we started the system and ran it back into the pond. I will let it run for a few days and see if it clears up, if not will try vacuuming the silt out.  one problem is when the bell siphons discharge the water back into the pond it churns up the silt so may have to take action to remedy that also.

These are the peppers I planted making it officially a Aquaponics System….Woo Woo. I have the radishes and the leaf lettuce blend in with the peppers. The Spinach and the Romaine Lettuce are in the end bin by they selves. As you will see my peppers in the garden to a hit and don’t look so good, so I decided to Start my Aquaponics( yes I just like typing that word LOL)  adventure with them.  The lettuce and radishes that are in with the peppers , I am hoping they will be up and wanting some relief from the sun when the peppers start really filling out. As for the spinach and the Romaine I have heard these do well in the systems. So for now we will see what happens. I have heard of some systems having a iron deficiency and to try to avoid this I have placed a nail under each of the spray bars. In household plants, I have used water with nails rusting in it as a spray when the plants were low on iron. Will see if this works.

See what I mean about the peppers.

Here are some of the garden as a up date.