Ok, so its spring time and I've started building my system! I've been building this thing for a month now, and it's still not ready. What the hell was I thinking!!! Back breaking labor and $1k in parts and supplies! This must be an addiction. I'm just glad my wife doesn't realize how much I've spent on this little project. If she ever figures it out, I'll be sleeping in my grow bed!
Ok, ok. Enough whining. So here's the update, I've laid the gravel bed where I'll set up the system. The FT and GB are built and set up on cinder blocks. I used .6mil plastic for the liner in both. I put a double layer in the fish tank. I was going to double layer the GB too, but I ran out of plastic. I've gotten all the plumbing in. I went with 1/2 inch pvc for the FT and GB. I found this neat little round lawn sprinkler that I set up to provide aeriation (did I spell that right) in the FT. I put in a 2 tier waterfall that I picked up and I'll be setting stones around it later. So I'll have 2 points of oxygen input in the FT. I used 1 1/4 inch bulk heads and pvc for the SLO into the sump tank. I used 2 55gal storage totes as my sump. I plumbed them together with 1 1/4 inch bulk heads and pvc. I had to go with that size because that was the largest fittings I could find in the area. I have a bell siphon which drains into 3/4 inch stand pipe. I wanted to go bigger, but again that's all I could find.
The siphon kicks on, but I don't know if it shuts off. I had to stop filling the GB when I realized I hadn't washed my media well enough. The water started turning red! So I now have to drain it out. Yay. I've washed 19 40lbs bags of red lava rock. I hate washing gravel. Only 43 more to go! Did I mention that I hate washing gravel.
So that's where I'm at so far. I'm totally stoked to finally have it built. As soon as I get more rock, I can start cycling!! So everything is on hold until payday. I put the system stats below and as soon as I'm finished loading rock in the grow bed I'll post some pics. If I wasn't so tired I'd jump for joy. So I'll just give a thumbs up instead,
OWW! OW! ow! My thumbs are too sore. Did I say how much I hate washing gravel yet?
Fish tank: 7’x3’x32” with a 2’ water level = 314 gals.
Grow bed: 8’x4’x1’ with grow media and bell siphon
Sump: 2 55 gallon totes plumbed together
Pump: ActiveAqua Pump 550 GPH
Grow Media: red lava rock
Constant flow flood and drain CHIFT/PIST
Sun shade and cover for the fish tank