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Grow Bed Frame Layout_v3_WithBackupWaterTanks

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Comment by Averan on June 20, 2013 at 1:08pm

I did my best to simplify construction and to use readily available materials! :D

Comment by Samson J. Loo on June 20, 2013 at 12:59pm

That's awesome. I appreciate it. It doesn't seem like much effort to build it. I might just have to include one during my setup to be proactive!

Comment by Averan on June 20, 2013 at 12:46pm

here's my DIY bio-radial flow filter:

You can skip the adding media part to keep it a simple radial flow filter.

Comment by Averan on June 20, 2013 at 12:43pm

you can totally get by without a solids filter. however, solids will accumulate somewhere, usually in the sump. eventually they will build up to a point where there is anaerobic decomposition going on producing ammonia and gases, to where they take up too much volume in the sump and to where they are starting to clog the grow beds.

The real purpose (imo) of a solids filter is to make it convenient to clean this stuff out and avoid having it clog the beds and impede water flow. Aquaponic systems essentially create soil over time. These solids decompose and look and smell like rich organic soil. A swirl or radial filter just makes it super easy to manage compared to digging up and washing out your media in a few years.

For your first couple of small systems I wouldn't worry, but if you're planning something this size I would certainly seriously consider a radial flow or swirl filter. BTW, there are no 'cons' to this really.

Comment by Samson J. Loo on June 20, 2013 at 12:33pm

I've been reading up on swirl and radial filters and the barrels may prove to be useful for that type of application. It seems like radial is a better route but since I am just starting out I may not need it right away. At the very least I can continue to research the subject to get a better understanding on their pros and cons. Thanks for the great suggestions. I'll keep them in mind once I start to assemble my system, which I am hoping is not to far off. I need to get cracking on skinning my shed to get that converted into a greenhouse.

Comment by Averan on June 20, 2013 at 12:22pm

unless you don't have consistent access to water, the blue reserve barrels are unnecessary. I install common toilet valves into my sumps to automatically top off water levels.

I would keep one barrel on each side to use as a solid settling filter instead.

Add a full-length sump under one row, let the fish tank overflow into the sump, put the pump in the sump and push water up into the barrel filters on each side which then overflow into the grow beds. You'll need to plumb one row of grow beds to drain into the sump on the other side. If you put a sump under each row, you'll need two pumps which increases your costs.

You could double your fish tank and have one for each row, making two separate systems.

Comment by Samson J. Loo on June 20, 2013 at 12:01pm

Hey Averan,

Yeah the blue barrels are just an idea. I was thinking they would house reserve water just in case my systems ends up pumping water all over to the floor. I was considering adding the sump tanks underneath the clusters of grow beds, but that's something I still need to work out. I actually did use sketchup to draw it and here's the link:

Comment by Averan on June 20, 2013 at 11:04am

Nice layout! So the blue barrels standing up are just extra water? Why?

Personally, I wouldn't use barrels for grow beds at this scale....too much work, too many parts for siphons and too expensive. Instead, I'd use a liner and make two or four big media beds.

Where's the sump?

If this is a Sketchup model you should share it. ;)

Comment by Samson J. Loo on June 19, 2013 at 7:11pm
This would be my ultimate goal. 64 cuft/480 gallons of GB space and 200 gallons of backup/reserve water and a 275 gallon FT.

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