Posts Tagged With: recycled bottles

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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Categories: Aquaponics, Garden | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Categories: Aquaponics, Garden | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SQUEEEE!!! the garden lives

WP_20150623_014During the end of May I decided to finally start my garden. If I was anywhere else that would have been WAY late but I’m in Fairbanks Alaska so it’s quite normal.


It is expensive as hell to start from young plants but I hadn’t gotten any seeds started and I had enough to do it. Won’t say how much it was for a few plants *Cough*250*Cough* To be fair though I bought three bags of soil and two of the plants were very large already bearing blooms and baby veggies.

WP_20150623_012I have attempted gardens in the past and they have proven to be unsuccessful to say the least. With that in mind I didn’t have high hopes but have been thrilled with the results……… minus the one casualty, the cucumber. We had a pretty cold couple of nights and even though the tag thing SAID cold hardy it was a LIE. Everything else LOVED the cold….. Bunch of weirdo plants I tell ya.

WP_20150623_010I was able to use a couple old tires my mother in law had laying around for the zucchini and then the pot the zucchini came in for the tomato plant which has just exploded. There were other various pots laying around that I was able to use for the two pepper plants and the lettuce once it was ready to transplant.

WP_20150623_024I had been saving bottles which I drilled holes along the bottom and one side. I only did about 6 holes going up (two rows of three staggered). I used the bottles as self watering things so all I’d have to do is fill those and not have to worry about the water getting on the plant and causing damage. I love how easy it is to water. I have them in all the pots except the baby basil and the oregano in the rectangle planter box.

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