Aquaponic Gardening

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Well this could be considered a banner day around here as the Trout will be so happy to get their meals on time. I only have around 40 Trout divided between two 330 gal ibcs so I only needed 2 feeders at the moment (the few other fish in the other tanks aren't nearly as demanding) and since they are pretty well divided up I decided to use one impulse timer to run both feeders as the quantity is not rocket science.

So here are some pics and I will do a video one of these days: The time clock is a Brinks 2 times per day from Wally World for less than 15.00 and has battery BU. The augers are just old brace and bit with the drive cut off. These are 3/4" but 1" should be fine if you use S&D pipe as it has a bit larger dia.. I used an old chem pump timer rated 220v but it runs both gear motors on 120v just fine. It actually did better (smoother) when both motors were on line than one. The gear motors can be purchased on Ebay as "Commercial washer drain motors" The impulse timers seem a bit harder to find but if you are running on a PLC or PIC that should work fine as a timer as well. I'll be changing over to my Mitsubishi controller soon myself and that should do away with the timer and clock.

Any questions just ask and I'll now upload the pics again as they just now all went away again because I made a correction in my text above. Anyone else have that happen? Not sure what causes that.

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Replies to This Discussion

Jim I was looking at your photos and noticed the drawings of your setup and the Bio filter. I've seen drawings made like this before and was wondering what program you used to create them.

Jim Fisk said:

Personally we never go away long enough to worry. I built the fish feeders so I don't have to always be there at feeding time or times depending on species and age. (young trout like 4 feedings a day) I have enough items on my schedule without adding one more thing I have to tend to. I still ck on them every day and take temperature readings, ck for any uneaten food (which tells you if you are over feeding or not) and give a hand feeding accordingly or not. That is a part of my daily AP schedule along with checking sump water level (you know right away if there is even a slow leak somewhere as even a small leak can really add up over 24-48hrs even in a 2000+ gal system), a look at all the plants and conditions on the hot house side of the system as well. In the hot house I look for insect damage and over all color and growth progress. Takes from 5 to 10 mins a day. Of course when it's 25F outside and 80F in the GH I just might strip off the heavy cloths and enjoy it a tad bit longer

So having a little automatic control can also make a big difference in time spent. Even my temperature monitor 250 feet from the GH with the read out in our kitchen/2nd living room can save a great deal of angst (not to mention walks) just knowing that all is well in the GH on those 20 below zero nights. Anything to make our AP experience less work and more enjoyment is all worth the effort. Even my GH woodstove is digitally controlled. As soon as I can find my old iButtons I will be able to monitor the cabin, GH and system water temp right on the computer and over plain old phone lines. Before next Winter for sure.

Hey Jeff, I generally go with simple draw programs that come on the Mac. In this case "Pages" which is the latest version of Apple's old standard "Appleworks". It will do pretty much anything I need it to and there is next to no learning curve. I think the new suite is called "iWorks" and I believe it is available for the PC world as well. At least Appleworks was and I use that on the PC still but I haven't tried it in Win. 7 yet. I keep 2000 on one hard disk in case I still need it. Not nearly as pretty as 7 but the most stable op ever. Updates can be a real bummer when your favorite apps are no longer supported. PCs are so finicky compared to the Mac but I use both for different reasons. I lost internet on 7 for about a week and replaced drivers yesterday to no avail. Today it went right back on line like there was never a problem. Direct ethernet tho. Still no luck with 7 handling wifi on my Asus MB. Now if I could just find my original MB disks. Here with my other most important discs somewhere.

Speaking of automation, here is the remote thermometer I use to watch my GH temps from 250 feet away. They are now claiming 330 feet which is pretty awesome. I simply placed the outdoor remote in the GH and voila I can see the most important of GH data from the living room. Available at Amazon at a pretty good price rollback.

 

This is awesome!  I'm tempted to make one.  Thanks for sharing!

Is this automatic feeding still all going well? You mentioned an upgrade. Any developments?

Sorry Alan, I never saw your Q till now. The only upgrades are a paint job as seen at my photos page and I have moved the feeders up more so they aren't as close to the IBC opening and that helps prevent the food from getting moist in the Summer and clogging. I have taken to always use the feeder even for the manual once a day feed (by manually tripping the timer) as it is in a great spot for the fish (center of the IBC lid) and they get used to that being their feed spot and I don't startle them by opening the lid and I get to see if all is ok. They are still well and working. Total maintenance time for the GH is about 5 minutes a day and that's the way we like it. Now Sun bathing on a cold Winter day in the buff in the GH, well we might go over the 5 mins by quite a bit on such occasions:-)

Well done. Thanks.

Jim Fisk said:

Sorry Alan, I never saw your Q till now. The only upgrades are a paint job as seen at my photos page and I have moved the feeders up more so they aren't as close to the IBC opening and that helps prevent the food from getting moist in the Summer and clogging. I have taken to always use the feeder even for the manual once a day feed (by manually tripping the timer) as it is in a great spot for the fish (center of the IBC lid) and they get used to that being their feed spot and I don't startle them by opening the lid and I get to see if all is ok. They are still well and working. Total maintenance time for the GH is about 5 minutes a day and that's the way we like it. Now Sun bathing on a cold Winter day in the buff in the GH, well we might go over the 5 mins by quite a bit on such occasions:-)

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