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I posted under the wrong area with question..

Hello All

Is there an easy way to get gold fish out of the Tote?  These suckers are really fast to net.

Steve

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I have all 5 of my IBC FTs tied into a 1 1/2" common drain thru the use of 2" rubber couplings (Ferncos) that make a tight seal between the tote ball valve and the outside of a 1 1/2" sweep T. That common drain goes out the back of the GH where you can catch the outflow for you garden if you like. Drains in just a few short minutes.

I place a screen over the drain hole inside the tote (in my case a Wok screen with an extension pvc handle tied on) and open it up and drop the level to a point (6"-12") where I can see what I am netting. I use a "Wally World" fish net with a pvc pipe handle extension. Works for trout very well and they are quite the athletes. I learned the hard way to clean the bottom of the tote first using a simple 3' section of 3/4" pipe attached to a 25' garden hose and run down hill. (a ball valve keeps the water in the hose for the next time around and avoids having to start the siphon every time) The suction is so great that you can easily clean any solids off the bottom in no time and that keeps the water clear during harvest and does not stir up any nasties which the remaining fish really appreciate. Again you can catch the water and use it in your dirt garden.

In your case you could just let the feeder gold fish go out thru the drain and net them as they come out. Just a thought.

Here is a pic of the drain line during construction.All 5 totes are now tied into that line and I set my FT up in a staggered downhill manor using 3 rows of garden ties in a cribwork manor that drop each successive tote 3 1/2" below the upstream one or adjacent one. This has worked out so well I cannot recommend this method too much. It works like a charm for so many reasons. 97 cents a piece for the 8' pt garden ties when Lowes and Home Depot are in a Spring price war. I only needed 18 as I recall to do my 5 FT (fish tank) row. I used cross ties as well to make for a very stable base for the FTs and I have tied all that weight into the GH structure for tornadoes sake. I may loose the GH skin but it will take one hell of a blow to move the structure. That's how we do it here at Smoky Mountain Aquaponics

Hi Steve,

If they are the only thing you have in there, try lowering you water level.  They won't be nearly as hard to catch in less water.

Art

Just read this and got the answer to a question I just posted to you. New question: If you tie all your tanks together are you taking the risk of infecting your entire system if there's a problem? I'm asking because I am re-arranging my setup this summer and was going to tie it all together but didn't know if that was wise.

Jim Fisk said:

I have all 5 of my IBC FTs tied into a 1 1/2" common drain thru the use of 2" rubber couplings (Ferncos) that make a tight seal between the tote ball valve and the outside of a 1 1/2" sweep T. That common drain goes out the back of the GH where you can catch the outflow for you garden if you like. Drains in just a few short minutes.

I place a screen over the drain hole inside the tote (in my case a Wok screen with an extension pvc handle tied on) and open it up and drop the level to a point (6"-12") where I can see what I am netting. I use a "Wally World" fish net with a pvc pipe handle extension. Works for trout very well and they are quite the athletes. I learned the hard way to clean the bottom of the tote first using a simple 3' section of 3/4" pipe attached to a 25' garden hose and run down hill. (a ball valve keeps the water in the hose for the next time around and avoids having to start the siphon every time) The suction is so great that you can easily clean any solids off the bottom in no time and that keeps the water clear during harvest and does not stir up any nasties which the remaining fish really appreciate. Again you can catch the water and use it in your dirt garden.

In your case you could just let the feeder gold fish go out thru the drain and net them as they come out. Just a thought.

Here is a pic of the drain line during construction.All 5 totes are now tied into that line and I set my FT up in a staggered downhill manor using 3 rows of garden ties in a cribwork manor that drop each successive tote 3 1/2" below the upstream one or adjacent one. This has worked out so well I cannot recommend this method too much. It works like a charm for so many reasons. 97 cents a piece for the 8' pt garden ties when Lowes and Home Depot are in a Spring price war. I only needed 18 as I recall to do my 5 FT (fish tank) row. I used cross ties as well to make for a very stable base for the FTs and I have tied all that weight into the GH structure for tornadoes sake. I may loose the GH skin but it will take one hell of a blow to move the structure. That's how we do it here at Smoky Mountain Aquaponics

Jeff, I am so sorry. I never saw your question till just now.

NO there is no connection between fish tanks. That is a drain that is only opened to drain one or two tanks at a time out on the ground. The ball valves that come with your IBCs are closed otherwise or all the system water would drain out. I hope I have made that clear this time. You can see in the pic that the ball valves are closed.

I strongly suggest you DO NOT tie your tanks together for just the reasons you suggest. This drain has nothing to do with the system flow which flows into each of our 5 FTs individually and the SLO outlets are each independent and flow to a common drain that then flows to a swirl filter that removes solids of both kinds, sinkers and floaters (unlike most filters that I see that only address sinkers) on the way to the 5 media beds. Our DWC bed is fed directly from our below grade sump with the same nitrate laden clear water that flows to the FTs all done with one pump in the sump.

So what you're saying is all the water combines in a single sump and then returns to the fish tanks? Also I was looking at your new GH construction an was wondering if you plan to insulate the in ground piping. I'm in Mich. and will be rebuilding my GH this fall and plan to insulate the PVC.

Certainly not a bad idea but here inside the heated GH I don't think it will make a big diff but every little bit helps.

Yes to the sump. My design is among my pics HERE

Jim, I've looked at your pics several times and use them for ideas. This is my plan as long as I stay off YouTube and don't change it again. If you don't mind take a look and tell me where the flaws are. http://community.theaquaponicsource.com/photo/albums/green-house-plans    Don't know how to label the links yet.

Hi Jeff,

Hope you don't mind me giving feedback.  Your design is very similar to what I am planning to build.  My one suggestion is to drain the filters into the sumps and then pump it from there to GBs and FTs.  Relying on gravity feed from the filter to GBs seems like it might cause headaches down the road and may create issues with stagnation.

Art

First off no one minds good feedback

The only problem could be the lack of elevation in Jeff's design as far as gravity flow is concerned. That is why my FTs are high up and my sump is below grade leaving the GBs at a perfect working height. That gives gravity a chance. I keep all my gravity piping at a good slope downward pretty much like drains in a house. As I recall (I just wing it having done so many drain lines over the past 45 yrs) it is 1/4" per foot minimum. That is also why my 5 IBC FTs are staggered on a garden tie cribwork, each one 3 1/2" below the one before it. Good flow is so important to keep bacteria from growing and blocking pipes. They will set up home anywhere the flow slows down so I also don't believe in pipes that are over sized. Settling will happen there as well. My 5 FTs drain thru a 1 1/4" THINWALL pipe into a 1 1/2" common with sweep 90's and sweep Tees for max flow. Thinwall is nearly as big as the next size schd 40 and cheaper.

As a result gravity is plenty strong to plow thru filters so far. If they slow down it is time to clean them but that is only every 6 mos. to a year in our system so far. I am referring to cleaning the bird netting in the bio-filters. Of course I drain the solids off the bottom about once a week or two and use that on the fruit trees, etc. My swirl filter is before the media beds to help keep them cleaner looking.

Arthur King, Jr. said:

Hi Jeff,

Hope you don't mind me giving feedback.  Your design is very similar to what I am planning to build.  My one suggestion is to drain the filters into the sumps and then pump it from there to GBs and FTs.  Relying on gravity feed from the filter to GBs seems like it might cause headaches down the road and may create issues with stagnation.

Art

Jim is right. Any feedback is appreciated. Jim, would bird netting in the top of a radial filter be useful to better filter solids? As for the working height my GBs  will be about 18"-20" below the high water line in the FTs. In your opinion will that be enough for good gravity feed?

Elevation is a relative term. I am spreading my gravity power among about 10 IBC GBs in two rows of 5 so I knew I needed plenty of GP. (gravity power; did I just coin a new AP abbreviation?) In Jeff's case you are not spreading it out as much as that so I feel your flow will be somewhat equal. If you can drop the sumps to below ground level you will have even more GP and TB (thermal buffering: did it again!) of course and as far a I can figure the more the merrier.

Without getting out the slide rule I think you should be alright given the size of your system but should you want to expand then I would start digging if you are in a situation where you can dig. The more beds and the greater the spread the more GP you will need in order to keep the common drains and feeds at as steep a slope as possible to keep things moving. The faster flow moves the better all around. The trick is doing that with as small a pump as possible for $ sake. Elevation and downhill flow after the pump are free.

I put a 8" catfish in the IBC to get the ones that I cannot catch.  It eats them at the rate of about 15 a day.

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