Posts Tagged With: experiment

2 Week update

635733657046868618As promised here is a 2 week update. So I have 0 patience and as a result was fiddling with the plants and killed a couple, oops. There was originally a bean in the bottom gutter but while trying to move it to where it would get better light I snapped the main root. But regardless I had done an experiment with a few squash seeds I had saved from a Spaghetti squash and an acorn squash. One of them did GREAT the other not so much. I can’t tell you which is which because I’m kinda a space case and forgot to mark them. I am super excited about the fact that one of them had 100% rate. There were roughly 8 seeds all germinated. I also decided to add some Basil seeds to the top gutter and they have all begun to germinate and make yummy yummy basil!!! WHOOP WHOOP!!! I LOVE me some basil. 635733655548994498

Eventually I will be transplanting the squash into a larger system using either gallon containers or 2 litters The 2 litters might be easier to find the needed hardware. I’m going to make a cool light fixture s well which I’m excited about. I’m pretty sure that my boyfriend thinks I have gone garden crazy. The kids love the fish. 635733658769465028


Categories: Aquaponics, Garden | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The vertical system is alive!!!!

WP_20150710_062First off, this damn thing is going to be the cause of an aneurysm and second, if you go into this thinking it will be easy to do chances are you will be wrong…….. It looks dummy proof. If you are like me you probably wont have all the supplies on hand nor a few of the essential tools like a hole drill…. or you will have to change your design about twelve times because you have had to do it in segments of spare time.

WP_20150710_006Regardless though it is finally done. I had to jump the gun and put in the little seedlings I had started because when it was all said and done I was no longer able to put the pots on the top of the tub lid like they had been. I think they might do a little better in the grow beds anyways.

WP_20150710_010I had the idea to use bell siphons in the grow beds but because they sit at an angle the “bell” acts as more of a crap catcher which is needed!!!!!! I kept having trouble with one of the beds and the stupid clay pebbles floating into the drain and clogging it. I then began to mix in gravel with the clay to help off set the weight of the gravel and the tendency for the clay to float.

One big problem I had was my pump is a pretty weak one (120 gph) but if it was any stronger I would have a flood plain on my hands. I had to get the pump spout up high enough that it created a trickle and sadly that height was JUST below where my original top bed had been so I removed that and put the seedling light there instead.WP_20150710_050

I had a ton of set backs while I was making this. I had originally wanted to use big PVC pipes but I couldn’t find any in my stores so i though of rain gutters. Which are great except that there is a ton of room fot a leak to spring. mainly out the top if it over flows. THAT is  night mare trying to fix. the clay pebbles loved going into the drain tube. WP_20150708_003

Then when it was all looking good I realized that the top bed was leaking from the drain so I had to pause everything and re caulk that. Then I went to add the 4th bed on I realized that my fishies were too high for me to get the drain flowing right. I had a slightly lower table to put them on that fit under my system perfect so yay for that.

Then the pump wouldn’t pump up to the additional couple of inches I was needing. So I eliminated that bed.

OOOO the beds sit at a pretty steep angle angling backwards so I had to figure out a way to get them to sit in the brackets a little more level. I wound up using wash cloths jammed up under the gutters. the best thing would be to create a wedge to attach to the vertical board then the bracket to the wedge.WP_20150710_037

A few positives……. My pump doesn’t draw near as much as I feared it would so I don’t need a secondary tank off to the side. With the fish up off the floor my 9 month old cant get into them like he was, and so far only about 5 fish have had to be flushed. I’m projecting that as they get bigger I will need to build another system which now that I know what to do different I can.

All in all it looks like a redneck hillbilly built it but that may be because the Alaskan version of a hillbilly did build it. We love duck tape and it happened to be the only tape on hand.

I will have to see how it does over the next couple of weeks.

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Frame built finally

WP_20150704_010Well 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.

WP_20150703_001I found myself needing to buy a lot of the needed tools as well so adding that into the cost sucked but I LOVE the miter saw I got.

If all of this works right I will update this post with a shopping list of what to buy. (tools not included)

fish refillI 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.

WP_20150704_005It 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. WP_20150704_007

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.

Categories: Aquaponics, Garden | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Auto watering pop bottle planter

WP_20150628_006So, as many of my ideas begin, I saw a GREAT idea on Pintrest, a 2 Liter self watering soda bottle planter with a fishie in the bottom part. Off to the pond up the road that my sister in-law has put goldfish into……… Truth be told I’ve only ever seen one in the whole thing so it was a doomed mission from the beginning. Regardless though I though of a new idea.

WP_20150628_001I decided to filter out some of the pond water to remove all the bug larvae (I don’t particularly want bugs in my house and since there aren’t any fishies in it they wouldn’t get eaten. I used the pond water as a test run to see if it will kill my plants. I saw on a site that I can use local pond water to help speed up the cycling in my aquaponics system that I’m going to get starting sometimes this next week.

WP_20150628_003Once the water was filtered I then cut a large circle out of a flour sack towel that I had laying around. i pulled the middle through the top to create the self watering aspect.

WP_20150628_004I then got my plant and put it in the top half being careful not to get the soil on the outside of the towel.

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Aquaponics set up plan

After a ton of research and looking at peoples designs I have finally settled on a vertical set up with the top half of it being PVC pipe roof gutters filled with a gravel/ leca clay and then below those a grow box or two. When I went scouting for materials I couldn’t find the needed PVC so I looked at the rain gutters and they are so much more practical and cheaper.vertical I’m planning on having the whole system be about 6 feet tall with the length 3 feet. On the back of the diagonal I’m planning on lining it with reflective surface and on top of that chicken wire to allow vine plants to grow up or down it.Ill also have the reflective stuff on the inside of the top portion. The grow box is going to be filled with the plants that need to spread out more then the others. Once I start assembling it I will post the updates. Take care and chime in if you have any comments! All advice is welcome.

Categories: Aquaponics, Garden | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beta Fish Start

InstagramCapture_b828490c-cdb2-44af-b95b-22b6b4f32e84Well I bought a beta fish and put a Basil plant over the top f it. Will know in a couple days if I killed the Basil or the fish. If this works, watch out house you’re getting bombed by fish and basil, which by the way one can NEVER have too much basil growing.

Day later update:

The fish died…… BUUUUT the Basil seems to be doing good. I’m going to give it a couple days then go get a new fishie.

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