Aquaponic Gardening

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 I just stepped off the sidelines to get started. I ordered a bunch of barrels and an IBC tote.

Now, I need to get my plumbing fixtures in line. I have seen comments about smaller diameter piping clogging. I think it was Vlad who caught my attention with a comment how it would clog "faster than an artery on curly fries"

I know I am not the only one here on a budget. So what is the optimal size of pipe to use considering the economics?

I was originally considering 1/2 inch feed lines (the dirty side) and 3/4 or 1 inch drain lines for the drains. The drains were based on Affnan's syphon designs..

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Yea, Google is really screwing up lately. I thought the maps would get better but on the contrary. Can't see anything at my place anymore. Looks like they took it in the moon light. Had to "photoshop" it to see anything. Sent you a copy.

Sent you a return email. If I missed anything let me know. You are very much like me: enough with the theory. Give me some friggin details:-) Hope that helps. That's why I started the IBC Group. Most details should be pretty much the same for most IBC systems. I have been building things and drawing up plans for others for nearly 45 years so it is a little easier for me than most but I still get tired of having to sort all the details out for myself. "The Devil's in the details." Glad to be on the downhill side of my AP build one year in. My system details are pretty much tuned in. One more 20 ft. deck for the last 5 GBs and it will be 95% complete. Nice to now know exactly how I will do it. Still have to finish up the GH skin next Spring. Got to get back on our new house before my wife gives up on me. "Which is more important Honey, eating or the new house" works for just so long

Started my pdf detail by detail booklet with everything from building the GH to the woodstove heater including siphons, drains, supports, pretty much all details related to my particular design, which I will add to my list of plans I sell on the internet, hopefully ready by Spring. People really appreciate a step by step place to start. I would have paid plenty to know back a year ago what I know now and that's what plans are all about. I always encourage them to make mods to fit into their particular situation once they understand the theory. Sold hundreds of plans over the years and it is great fun to hear back how people made out and what changes they made to the design.

Have fun

Pat James said:

Just looked myself up on the member map page. But it has me at my neighbor's house. Mine is the yard to the left with the oval  green pool. It must have been taken last spring because I already built my greenhouse, but did not cut down all the oak trees yet...  pretty cool...



Jim Fisk said:

Pics? Worth a thousand words

Yea, but I only have so many hours in a day and I don't always have time to go searching for the pictures since my computer time is usually just a few minutes during meals or a snack before I have to go back out and finish another project.  Anyway, here is a picture from when I built the 300 gallon system at the old house.  Notice how the plumbing comes out the front of the grow beds rather than the bottom.  The grow beds are stock tanks but the theory is pretty much the same.

Thanks TC and I understand. I'm just a pushy old fart

I can never believe how many places I see you helping others. You're a Saint.

Happy New Year!

TCLynx said:



Jim Fisk said:

Pics? Worth a thousand words

Yea, but I only have so many hours in a day and I don't always have time to go searching for the pictures since my computer time is usually just a few minutes during meals or a snack before I have to go back out and finish another project.  Anyway, here is a picture from when I built the 300 gallon system at the old house.  Notice how the plumbing comes out the front of the grow beds rather than the bottom.  The grow beds are stock tanks but the theory is pretty much the same.

Just had my IBC delivery

Gotta love a good source of IBC's, did you find out or remember what the IBC's used to have in them?

The guy thought they carried hydrogen peroxide. I'm still going to rinse them very well before i put them in use.

Hydrogen peroxide is nice, means your containers won't be coming in with any nasty microbes at least.  Rinse well is a good idea with anything and with peroxide you want to make sure you dilute it enough so it won't kill off the bacteria you will be trying to grow for your bio-filter.

I'm now getting 330gal ibcs for 25.00 each but the factory he gets them from (big name local tool manu) won't let them go with the labels still on them so he balls them up (the labels:-) but keeps them for me so I can be sure:-) Veg based biodegradable tool oil. Veg oil can be a pain to clean out but at least it is veg based non toxic.

Save any H2O2 for use later if there is still some left. Very handy stuff. "the guy thought" makes me a bit nervous. Tell him to try and sneak you the actual label and then Google it. A good smell test, especially after sitting in the hot sun, can tell you quite a bit as well. They sound perfect and that's not a bad price at all delivered.

Pat James said:

The guy thought they carried hydrogen peroxide. I'm still going to rinse them very well before i put them in use.

I stuck my nose into each of the barrels and IBC's as we pulled them off the truck. I could not smell a thing. I can only hope to get a sunny day soon...

All the containers are bone dry at present, so I will squirt a little water into them and that should tell me what might be in it. I've read through the IBC group threads and have a bunch of questions concerning how I want to proceed.

I will be doing enough tweaking my own system as I go along with out trying to reinvent the wheel in those areas where so many people have done the experimentation.

Good sign. Very few chems are odorless in my experience. Great price for clean and delivered.

Yea, I'd like to see some sun myself. At the risk of starting more trouble, have you been following the chem trail debate? Every time we get a clear day here they start in and cloud us over in spades. I've taken a hundred pics of them by now. Most recent scuttlebutt I read is that the ionosphere has the lowest charge in history due to unprecedented low sun spot activity (which is what keeps it charged) and the boron and aluminum spray are an effort to make that up. God knows, were that true, the last thing they would do is tell people we all might fry.  Forget the bills!! Party time!!!

Throw those questions at us.

Pat James said:

I stuck my nose into each of the barrels and IBC's as we pulled them off the truck. I could not smell a thing. I can only hope to get a sunny day soon...

All the containers are bone dry at present, so I will squirt a little water into them and that should tell me what might be in it. I've read through the IBC group threads and have a bunch of questions concerning how I want to proceed.

I will be doing enough tweaking my own system as I go along with out trying to reinvent the wheel in those areas where so many people have done the experimentation.

Jim, I have a couple off the top of my head, I noticed in your pics your bell siphons are not located near where  either the existing ball valve in an IBC or the center plug in the top of one are located. I assume you build your siphons to  their own specifications.  What are the parts/ sizes you use?  the vee shape cuts at the bottom of you siphons looks nice.

What do you do with the existing drain if anything?

From what I have seen at the big box stores, electrical conduit fittings are actually better than PVC plumbing fittings, at least as far as both price and the fact that the conduit is flat so it would make a better seal with the plumbing male/female fittings have a taper on one side.Might be different at Lowes but Home depot is that way.

Hi Pat,

Me thinks you are over thinking the siphon. I sent you the dimensions of mine at some point. Ck your "junk" folder perhaps. I put it where it is in a good flat spot in the ibc with enough flat area for the 4" gravel guard AND is easy to reach. Front R or L corner. As far as gbs are concerned the drain valve plays no part other than plugging the hole. Using the 6" cap I decided was way more complicared so I clean it up, put some marine silicone to it and close it tight.

I only use the elect cond for the female TA as it has fire retardants and less is better as we know nothing about them. All pipe threads are tapered (both M & F) but the comb of 1 elect and one NPT alows you to tighten them down to the "o"ring where both NPT will not. Here it is sitting in the corner during gravel washing:

And the parts: (put the "O" ring seen here on the Male TA under the ibc floor, on top of the female TA) I use a 12" chop saw and a saber saw to make the cuts. All very simple. I run this into another 1" 90 and into the drain manifold. All VERY simple. I am a great advocate of KISS:-) The pink and baby blue knobs are only .97 at Lowes so that is what I use on the ones I sell on Ebay. (and unlike this pic I use S&D parts to keep the weight down for shipping) Your choice when making your own but S&D work just as well and are all around cheaper and lighter. Photo is all Schedule 40 as that is what I had laying around due to new house building. Got to run.

Pipe sizes here are 4" GG, 3" Bell, 1" stand pipe and adapters to 2" for the funnel. Lengths 15", 12" ,7" stand pipe.

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