Aquaponic Gardening

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I'm building a small DWC system, and am trying to decide what kind of filter to use for solids removal.

Is a swirl filter better, or should I use one of those filters with a sheet running through the middle the the water has to go under.

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Jeremiah - I just installed a nice little pump onto my system - 840GPH, 20' head, 65W max, and it's electronically commutated. It does a soft start routine, so no surge. I'm not recommending it yet - it needs to prove itself to me - but so far i'm pretty impressed. 

Thanks Scott.  I'll be interested to hear.  I'm starting to look at DWC systems, which use smaller pumps.  

To operate an indexing valve it needs to be more like 1500 GPH min.  2000 is better.  But for a 1-bed flood/drain, DWC, or siphon system 840 is just perfect!

A couple quickies.

My one 1100gph pump runs the entire system including things like the wood stove heat coil, the filters that should not sit static or stagnant:-), and so forth, many of which must obviously run all the time. There are many reasons why timed flood/drain won't work here and I can get by on a 70.00 pump that because it pumps clear sump water and runs continuously, may last 10 yrs. or more as Little Giant pumps tend to do. The only other pumps I use when the trout are big and need more filtering, are 2 small 25.00 pool pumps and they run continuously on the 2 trout finishing tanks when they are needed.

I am not at all sure that a soft start pump will trip the sequencing valve as even with a standard surge they can hang according to threads I have read elsewhere. I'll leave that test to others as I am all set. My money and time go into finishing our gh this Summer in prep for next Winter.

Now if that liner would just show up. While I wait I'll be making screens for the GH today before the moths hit us any time now.

Jim - how much power does that Little Giant pump use?

In the end, pump electricity usage is small potatoes.  The energy used to heat is the real sucker.  Whether it's wood, electricity, propane, or whatever, insulating and air sealing make the real difference.  

BTW, I started offering the paint without the freezer kit.  Much cheaper.  Kinda makes more sense too since I only get wholesale pricing on the paint, not the other stuff.

"Designed to operate continuously with minimal energy consumption, magnetic-drive pumps offer a corrosion-resistant body specifically for submersible use. Easy to install and maintain, mag-drive pumps are ideal for a variety of applications. All of our magnetic-drive pumps come with a 3 year warranty."

  • 1" FPT (female pipe thread) Discharge
  • Includes: 1" Barbed adapter and 1-1/4" Barbed adapter
  • Ceramic shaft for longer life
  • 168 Watts @ 115 Volts/60hZ
  • Built-in adjustable flow control valve
  • Magnetic drive design
  • 12ft Shut off (maximum pumping height)
  • 15' cord
  • Approximate dimensions: 4.3" W x 4.0" H (not including fitting) x 5.3" L
  • 3 Year Limited Manufacturer's Warranty
  • http://www.123ponds.com/566296.html?gclid=CIW32IG95b4CFSMQ7Aod_yMA0g

I got mine 2 yrs ago at Overstock for 70.00 after instant rebate for accepting their cc. I believe it was about 90.00 with shipping. I haven't even seen it in the 2 yrs since. It's down de hole and performing flawlessly. Nice and quiet as well.


Scott Roberts said:

Jim - how much power does that Little Giant pump use?

jeremiah, that's exactly why I decided to build my greenhouse where im building it.........heat cost. living in this house for over 20yrs has shown me the true value of things like passive solar, thermal mass, ect ect.

in fact the exact spot where this greenhouse will set used to be a back porch for many many years. (like over a hundred). it runs the length of the house on the south side, and has a small 8x10 room on the west side. both the room and the house walls are brick constructed. windows ran the rest of the length of the south wall and all of the north wall. its where they started there seeds too.

when we bought the house all of the water lines were the old galvanized type and inside that enclosed porch. I took them out and replaced it with modern water lines, but even on the coldest winter nights we get.........5-10 below 0, we never ever had a frozen pipe, even though there was no insulation in the roof. the pipes being against the brick wall and the thermal mass/stored heat release is why...and of course the greenhouse effect of all those windows and passive solar heat it stores in those bricks in winter. the only difference is I am expanding it from only 8 feet wide to 16ft,

I generally sell "value added" or "completely made by me" items be it plans on cd, siphons, etc. and make my $ on the labor. Hard reselling. The commercial laundry chemical business we were in for years was an exception at a 200% mark-up. We went from that to 8% mark-up in the general store we purchased in ME with gas, food, liquor, etc. WOW was that a wake up call. Never again will I work at those margins. Not to mention running a 6am - 9pm freak'n store. Drove us right into retirement. We'd had enough.

Jeremiah Robinson said:

In the end, pump electricity usage is small potatoes.  The energy used to heat is the real sucker.  Whether it's wood, electricity, propane, or whatever, insulating and air sealing make the real difference.  

BTW, I started offering the paint without the freezer kit.  Much cheaper.  Kinda makes more sense too since I only get wholesale pricing on the paint, not the other stuff.

Larry, you're a lucky man. I have yet to purchase a house where I can put a GH on the S side. Sounds perfect and you can share the heat back to the house on cold clear Winter days as well.

If you're having to build a stand alone gh as we have I strongly suggest the old Mother Earth News style like we built but now I would probably add the 50 or so black barrels at the N side of the hothouse side and still have the fish room walled off as we have for thermal reasons. If you have a basement you might consider putting the FTs and sump in there and use the gh for plants only. Unfortunately most old houses have pretty rough basements in my experience but that too can be fixed.

Just wondering could we say it is like running 65 watt light bulb all day and night??? As to what it would cost to run??

@ Larry.  Do you still use the porch as a porch with the AP in it?  One thing I've been thinking a lot about is aquaponics as a like a luxury escape in the winter months when everything outside is cold, grey, and dry, while in the greenhouse it's humid, lush, and green.  I've thought about putting in a hot tub, storing the hot water after you're done for use as water changes.

@Jim.  I like that way of thinking.  I'm working on a heater that I make myself and sell with a GFCI and thermostat.  Also a controller that sends you text messages when there's a problem, and a thermal storage device.  That stuff is taking longer to develop, especially with the baby coming (hopefully this week).

no jeremiah.........I accualy tore the entire porch off except that small brick room and the concrete pad to rebuild as the greenhouse. but u can bet once its all done I will be out there in the dead of winter lol.......I remember the old porch that was there was always decent even in the coldest weather. not bad in the summer either with all the windows open. I have even thought of using that brick room for a hot tub myself ........and the small cellar that's under it for worm beds.

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