Well I have finally been able to make the frame I was wanting to build for my system. I forgot to add a top over hang for the lights though so I will have to do that once I get the time and my reflective material comes in the mail.
The system definitely cost more than I was thinking it would. I was able to cut some costs though. For instance, I used rain gutter instead of the typical 4 in PVC pipe so the cost was $4 as opposed to $16/ 10 feet but then with that gutter I needed to buy the brackets (I was originally thinking that I would use rope to tie them to the diagonal beams) I also needed to make sure I had the end caps and a sealant. I was going to get the end caps that had the seal in them but while I was at the store I couldn’t figure out the trick to get the damn things onto the end of the gutters. The dang brackets and end caps were almost $4 EACH!!!!! so that added up fast. I was able to use decent priced 2x4s for the frame.
If all of this works right I will update this post with a shopping list of what to buy. (tools not included)
I decided to use a clear tub for my fish and water mainly because I want my kids to be able to see and interact with them. I do plan on hooking up a tall 33 Gal trash can I acquired to the side of the clear tub so as water empties out of it the water from the 33 gallon fills it up to a certain spot and stops. I will have to see how much my pump pulls though.
It took me a couple tries to get the angles right for the stupid diagonal and in the end i had to do some finagaling to get the right angle cut. Getting the screws in at an angle was a Beach until I remembered that awhile back I had bout a Kerg jig but for whatever unknown reason I didn’t buy the clamp so when I went to the store I got it and O MY GOD I LOVE THAT THING!!!!! It is sooo easy to get the perfect depth and angle needed.
In a couple days I will be putting the whole thing together to see how it runs. then if all goes well I will be starting the month long cycle to build up the needed bacteria in the system. It probably wont need that long since I am using some pond water from a pond near my house but I want to make sure that the grow medium is nice and ready.