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Do you think the plastic lumber will work for a pond liner frame? How many gallons do you think it will support?

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Thanks for all the suggestions and insights pro and con.  I think I'll plan to emulate TCLynx and stick with the Rubbermaid tanks (300 gallon fish tank and 2 100 gallon grow bed tanks) and use this bamboo fence (or something similar) to "hide" things.  The link is to a roll of it, but the local store also has 4 x 4 sections that are rigid that might work even bigger. That'll be $345 + tax for the fish tank and 2 grow beds (this price is after a 10% discount coupon).

I realize I really need a 3rd grow bed, but I'll be out of room.  I think I'll use 3 or 4 the Zip Grow hanging towers for some additional growing room.

Can I pump the water in the top of the towers and have it flow into the media beds, or do I need to handle that separately?

Thanks for your patience in answer my questions, even though I've flip flopped back and forth and sideways a couple of time during my decision making and discovery process.

The zipgrow towers don't require pre filtration but I would pump to them continuously so depending on how you are planning the flood and drain of the grow beds will affect how you should pump to the towers.

 

If you are running flow to the beds constant and you will either run constant flood or use siphons, then you could hang the towers over the grow beds and just pump constant.  However if you are going to do timed flood and drain for the grow beds, I would use a separate pump to feed the grow beds and a small constant pump to feed the towers.

 

And ya know it could be handy to make a frame and hang the towers over the fish tank and a small constant flow pump feeding them and trickling back into the fish tank will also provide some extra aeration.  Perhaps even a reasonable way to have filtration and aeration for the fish tank on a battery backup.

 

Now I'm currently researching ways that I might create a stand over my 300 gallon fish tank that could support some smaller grow beds so this might be a way to add another 50 gallons of filtration if I can sort out a good stand for that kind of span.  Might require a lighter media though.

 

ah I feel a trip to lowes comming on.

Home Depot has a heavy duty shelf that supports a 1,200 lb shelf capacity.  It might even be the one 3x5 Aquaponics is using for her 50 gallon grow bed. It goes for $99.95 or so. Is that something that would work for your purpose?

Thanks for the suggestions for the Zip towers. In a perfect world I'd like to use a timer for flood and drain, but I might run into a problem because I'd rather not dig a massive hold in my backyard to sink the fish tank completely to ground level. I don't know much about plumbing, but without using gravity I'm not quite certain how to use 1 pump for everything. My yard is pretty small (45 wide and 25 deep) and I already have two 4 x 8 above ground beds back there. Anything vertical is good for me.

Thanks for the battery backup aeration idea using the Zip towers.

 

Brian

 

TCLynx said:

The zipgrow towers don't require pre filtration but I would pump to them continuously so depending on how you are planning the flood and drain of the grow beds will affect how you should pump to the towers.

 

If you are running flow to the beds constant and you will either run constant flood or use siphons, then you could hang the towers over the grow beds and just pump constant.  However if you are going to do timed flood and drain for the grow beds, I would use a separate pump to feed the grow beds and a small constant pump to feed the towers.

 

And ya know it could be handy to make a frame and hang the towers over the fish tank and a small constant flow pump feeding them and trickling back into the fish tank will also provide some extra aeration.  Perhaps even a reasonable way to have filtration and aeration for the fish tank on a battery backup.

 

Now I'm currently researching ways that I might create a stand over my 300 gallon fish tank that could support some smaller grow beds so this might be a way to add another 50 gallons of filtration if I can sort out a good stand for that kind of span.  Might require a lighter media though.

 

ah I feel a trip to lowes comming on.

yea I've seen some similar shelves at Lowes that are up to 2000 lb per shelf.

 

Now one Idea I've had for the system to avoid having to dig too much is to only drain the grow beds half way so that the 100 gallon grow beds up on standard concrete blocks and the fish tank would only need to be sunk down into the ground about 10 inches instead of the 18 inches I dug down for my fish tank.

Thanks.  You are so much better at plumbing than I. My dad is coming to visit in 3 weeks though :) :) He's a whiz with just about everything. Some things they taught in high school in the 50s-60's were not taught in the 80's.

Well, I joke that as an audio engineer or when doing lighting, I'm plumbing electrons so I guess I just carried some of those skills to my backyard PLART (that would be plumbing ellided with ART)  if you can call my plumbing sculptures art that is.

 

I know that Outbackozzie over on BYAP is using IBC containers as grow beds and he only drains them half way so I know it's an option.

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