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I will be using the top of my tote as a grow bed, on top of a plywood surface. Is there any shimming with wood needed underneath the bed? The cap in the middle seems to sit lower than the two indented outer areas do. Its also somewhat warped, and bulbous. It seems as thou the center should be supported better. I am not planning on using the center cap as an outlet for the siphon, I want to mount it on the indented end where it sits above the fish tank.

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Zach, you might want to download this PDF...http://ibcofaquaponics.com/files/IBCofAquaponics.pdf

Your not going to need a sump if your doing the 'ol one grow bed and fish tank made from one IBC...

Not sure which "size of hole drilled" you're referring to...for the bulk head...or the weep holes...

Jim Fisk has a group IBC Aquaponics

here and he uses siphons and gives fitting and pipe sizes which might help you out. 

Backyard aquaponics usually does timed flood and drain instead of siphons so their system it probably doesn't matter that much the exact pipe size.

And there is no "single right way" to do an IBC system.  I would probably use a 1 1/4" uniseal and put a 1" coupler in it to make it easy to remove the stand pipe for adjustment.  And those are easy to install, you just have to have the correct size hole saw.



Vlad Jovanovic said:

Zach, you might want to download this PDF...http://ibcofaquaponics.com/files/IBCofAquaponics.pdf

Your not going to need a sump if your doing the 'ol one grow bed and fish tank made from one IBC...

Not sure which "size of hole drilled" you're referring to...for the bulk head...or the weep holes...

    The ibc of aquaponics pdf is what got me interested in starting a system, and one of the first pieces of info i came across. I loved how straight forward it was, and really made me feel i could see this project threw. Since i have been doing a little research i just thought that i might want to take it step further then the flood and drain that is used in the "ibc of aquaponics pdf". I did go ahead and get the 2 inch threaded fitting that goes in the bottom of the gb as instructed in there video. Just trying to decide weather to go ahead set my system like they did in the video, or build a siphon drill a whole in the gb, insert the bulk head. I thought that going with a sump tank and siphon, would give me an all around more effective system. 

    At first i was going to stick to backyard aquaponics timed flood and drain design, I tracked down an ibc online, Bought new drill and angle grinder, and got all the pipes and fittings they instructed. Since i have become a member to this sight i have learned alot, but the more i learn the more questions i have! Just having trouble deciding on first set up, i want it to be perfect, but also just want to get started.  I just dont have a video and pdf like backyard's ibc aquaponics that gives me crystal clear instructions to add a siphon and sump. What do yall think i should do? I could prob understand if described

"What you should do" is wholly best left up to you...But if I were you, and felt the need to have very detailed specific instructions without having to spend hours/days researching...and I wanted to get started right away...That's what I'd do, get started right away with what I had (both material wise and knowledge wise)...

Like TC says...there's no single right way...and if you have to start somewhere BYAP's single IBC timed flood and drain model is surely a good place to start. (Any place that gets started you started is probably a good place, really). There is no reason that later on you can't modify, add on to, design/build differently, taking what you've learned from that from that first 'starter' system and going from there.

Like Vlad says, get a system built.  You won't be able to stock a single IBC with top cut off as grow bed very heavily since you only have a limited amount of grow bed to filter for the fish so not much benefit in adding a sump to such a system.  You don't need a sump if you are only flooding the one bed and you can do it via timed flood and drain or with a siphon.

For more ideas about system design, you can check out some of my diagrams.

useful diagrams

2011 plumbing class slides as pictures

2012 plumbing class as pdf

Most of the diagrams could be viewed as if it were an IBC fish tank and sump tank and the grow beds are ibc's cut in half.

These are not step by step how to build a system but more design and layout idease.



Vlad Jovanovic said:

"What you should do" is wholly best left up to you...But if I were you, and felt the need to have very detailed specific instructions without having to spend hours/days researching...and I wanted to get started right away...That's what I'd do, get started right away with what I had (both material wise and knowledge wise)...

Like TC says...there's no single right way...and if you have to start somewhere BYAP's single IBC timed flood and drain model is surely a good place to start. (Any place that gets started you started is probably a good place, really). There is no reason that later on you can't modify, add on to, design/build differently, taking what you've learned from that from that first 'starter' system and going from there.


I am truly grateful that you and TC have taken the time to help me out. I am going to just go get started and will load some picks up. Also if either of you have any recommended reading, or videos I would love it. I'm a big reader don't watch tv, and want to learn as much on the subject as possible. Really wish I could find a workshop even semi close that would not cost a fortune
Thanks again

I suppose it depends on what you think of as close and what you think of as a fortune.

You can always read through my web site and blog http://www.aquaponiclynx.com/

I am hoping to put out a quick reference book but that could be some time in the making since it is still just a kickstarter campaign Aquaponics in a Nutshell

there is a link from the kickstarter project page to my U-tube channel but sorry, I really don't have any step by step stuff specifically for IBCs since I hardly use them myself.

Go ahead and get started on the IBC and if you need specific detail to help you actually plumb through the IBC, I do recommend Jim Fisk's IBC Aquaponics group I linked to earlier.  He even sells siphon kits for IBCs and might have pictures or diagrams of how he has been plumbing his IBCs

Hi:

I am Amy and trying to set up my first Aqua system using IBC tote. Would you please let me know how you seal the red cap and use the top part as the fish tank? I have tried to seal everything (the areation hole, around the inner white cap and  the big red cap) using PVC glue. When I test it with a little water, it looks fine. But it starts leak when more water was added. I am so frustrated now and looking forward to some suggestions. Thank you so much for your help! 
 
TCLynx said:

Did you already cut the tote?

See if you cut the bottom to be the bed, the pallet will support it well and then you can flip the top over to sit on the ground to be the fish tank. 

The caps are often PVC but the tote is not. The tote itself is HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) and PVC glue wont work at all with HDPE plastic...in fact I'm not aware of a single adhesive on the market that will confidently and permanently glue HDPE or LDPE plastics...there's a bunch of boring chemistry behind why that is. Suffice to say that at this point in time, thermal welding is how you would permanently bond two pieces together.

BUT, you don't need to bond (glue) those two pieces together. What you need is to keep the thread from leaking water...which is a much easier task...

What you can use for your purposes is something like 3M E5200 Polyurethane Marine Sealant/Adhesive (it acts as both). Apply it liberally around the thread, then screw the cap on tight.

3M recently came up with a formulation for their marine sealant/adhesive that cures in 24 hours, instead of 7 days (which is the stuff I used).

Out of curiosity...why would you use the top as the fish tank and not the grow bed?

Thank you so much Vlad! I have bought the 3M E5200 Polyurethane Marine Sealant (fast action) and applied to the cap area. Hope the leak problem can be solved. One more question, is 3M E5200 Polyurethane Marine Sealant safe for fish and plants?

In the previous reply of this disscussion, TCLynx mentioned "if you cut the bottom to be the bed, the pallet will support it well and then you can flip the top over to sit on the ground to be the fish tank". That's where I got the idea and didn't realize it will give me so much trouble. Thanks again for your explaination and nice suggestion!

 

Vlad Jovanovic said:

The caps are often PVC but the tote is not. The tote itself is HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) and PVC glue wont work at all with HDPE plastic...in fact I'm not aware of a single adhesive on the market that will confidently and permanently glue HDPE or LDPE plastics...there's a bunch of boring chemistry behind why that is. Suffice to say that at this point in time, thermal welding is how you would permanently bond two pieces together.

BUT, you don't need to bond (glue) those two pieces together. What you need is to keep the thread from leaking water...which is a much easier task...

What you can use for your purposes is something like 3M E5200 Polyurethane Marine Sealant/Adhesive (it acts as both). Apply it liberally around the thread, then screw the cap on tight.

3M recently came up with a formulation for their marine sealant/adhesive that cures in 24 hours, instead of 7 days (which is the stuff I used).

Out of curiosity...why would you use the top as the fish tank and not the grow bed?

Most people will use silicone sealant to keep the threads and caps from leaking.  As Vlad notes, you can't glue the HDPE but if you manage to seal the threads and things don't flex silicone works.  Just make sure it is pure silicone sealant or aquarium sealant with no anti mold or anti fungal additives and if you let it cure properly it will be fish safe.

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