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Aquaponics + Pallet Garden Build

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  • Maazo
    replied
    Sorry, been a long time since I've been on the forum. Unfortunately, no, the setup isn't operating and hasn't for a few years. As noted earlier , in terms of the aquaponics build, the problems were:

    1. lack of biomass in the water column. Unless you've got 200 doobs swimming around in there, small ornamentals don't cut the mustard IME
    2. rats/possums - never worked out which was causing the damage. Could have been both.
    3. algae clogging the pump causing the water flow to be too low for the grow beds.
    4. Not enough light in winter

    In terms of the pallet gardens, my watering regime was a bit too lax and the very shallow beds dried out way too quickly. Succulents would work far better. In my case the fact the pallet were south-facing meant that light wasn't the best either.

    I still have the tank there with honey blue-eyes, so not all is a total writeoff. Just wasn't the right location for it.

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  • sweefu
    replied
    Originally posted by Rebel View Post
    any updates?
    Long term bump - what a great setup. Is it still going?

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  • Rebel
    replied
    any updates?

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  • Rebel
    replied
    Originally posted by Grubs View Post
    I really MUST get some tomatoes growing aquaponically in my greenhouse. I've discovered plants don't do so well if you shield them from the environment with glass and forget to water them.
    Let me get this straight. You've got all manner of irrigation pipes everywhere but no irrigation system for your green house?

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  • Maazo
    replied
    Originally posted by Grubs View Post
    This is all kinds of awesome Matt. Is it still operating as good as it looked above? Did you find the automated watering was a god-send over summer? Are you sick of salad?

    I really MUST get some tomatoes growing aquaponically in my greenhouse. I've discovered plants don't do so well if you shield them from the environment with glass and forget to water them.
    No where as good Grubs. Two major things wrong ATM: (1) not enough biomass in the tank - the pacific blue-eyes are breeding, but I need to go out and catch some doobs; and (2) bloody possums are eating all my crops -need to build myself a cage to keep them out.

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  • Grubs
    replied
    This is all kinds of awesome Matt. Is it still operating as good as it looked above? Did you find the automated watering was a god-send over summer? Are you sick of salad?

    I really MUST get some tomatoes growing aquaponically in my greenhouse. I've discovered plants don't do so well if you shield them from the environment with glass and forget to water them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Maazo
    replied
    Been doing bits and pices over the past few weekends and have got to a point where I've been able to plant out.

    I had to buy a new pump as on the one I had the cord had frayed and was shorting out.

    Some of these materials I had lying around from previous projects, but for the sake of posterity I've added up everything I used in this project:

    Pump $60
    Timber $40
    Tank $50
    Glass $10
    Silicone $20
    Grow Beds $30
    Clay Balls $105
    PVC and Tubing $25
    Misc Hardware $30
    Seedlings $30

    Total $400

    So not too bad really.





    Plants I've tried are Lettuce, Spinach, Tomato, Capsicum, Brocollini, Leek, Spring Onion, Strawberry, Parsley, Basil. There's a bit of a dearth of direct sunlight, so I'm interested to see how they go.

    I'll be heading out on the weekend to pick up some Dubouyali and Hardyheads for the tank.

    Also need to do up the pallet gardens and plant them out soon as they'll help a little with temperature regulation during the colder months.
    Last edited by Maazo; 20-05-14, 07:22 PM.

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  • Maazo
    replied
    Had a bit more time to work on this project over the past week or so.

    First up was patching the tank. There was a decent gap (~1mm) in some parts along the back pane. Bit hard to see in this pic, but there was little wonder under the pressure of a full tank, the silicone (which admittedly was only the Selleys rubbish) was getting sucked through the gap.



    So, i picked up a 1800mm glass rail 10mm thick from an tank builder to reinforce and seal it properly (I hope) and some better silicone for the job...



    Anyway, I'm giving it at least a week to cure fully. If it leaks again, I'll be junking it and building the pond out of pine sleepers.

    So, in the meantime, I've started adapting the pallets for use as a vertical garden. As you can see from the pic it kind or resembles an oversized spice rack. It'll be interesting to see what I can grow in there. I'd prefer flowering plants. They're not all that deep but we'll see...

    An indication of the framing around the tank.

    One spice rack, one soon-to-be spice rack (aka pallet)



    Hope to able to update a bit more over the coming weeks.
    Last edited by Maazo; 14-04-14, 08:41 PM.

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  • Maazo
    replied
    Quick update on this...

    I built the vase that the tank would sit on a while back, but it's taken me this long to actually move the tank there.



    However, the tank has a decent leak along the back so I need to patch that first. Once thats done things might start to move a bit faster.

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  • Maazo
    replied
    Originally posted by Dantrasy View Post
    I like your design. Where there's a length of wood missing in your sketch, is that where plants will spill out?
    Yeah, I'll be putting some timber underneath and perpendicular to those slats, so they will form troughs. I've seen similar stuff done with PVC gutter (plug "gutter garden into your search engine).

    You may also be able to catch a glimpse of the fish through the glass.

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  • Dantrasy
    replied
    I like your design. Where there's a length of wood missing in your sketch, is that where plants will spill out?

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  • Travesty
    replied
    I'm looking forward to plenty of updates down the track! I'm sure the end product will be well worth it.

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  • Maazo
    replied
    Unfortunately that photo of the deck was taken 2 years ago. It's seen a bit of sun now and is overdue for a stain.

    Another thing I was planning on doing was installing a solar pump. However, the prohibitive cost and the fact I've got a 2500l/h pond pump I picked up off Rufus a while back sitting around unused means I'll have to shelve that idea for a while.

    Rebel, no big natives. Some some local rainbows, blue-eyes and hardyheads (if I can catch some) at the start. It's all about the biomass and the waster and we all know bows like to eat. Down the track I'll consider some yabbies - the thought of catching some and whacking them straight over the charcoals appeals!

    One thing with the pallets to be aware of if you're planning on eating anything grown in them is the treatment. Most pallets in Australia are heat-treated and they're fine (they will have "HT" stamped/written on them somewhere. If they don't, then they're probably treated with methyl bromide. MB has been phased out, but they're still some being (re)used.

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  • Laura
    replied
    Looking great Matt, I'm hope to do something similar in the future. I'll watch your thread eagerly for inspiration! I love the deck!!

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  • Grubs
    replied
    Sounds terrific Maazo with potential for looking very stylish on that spotted gum (?) deck! I love that vertical garden (I might try that this weekend as I have an old pallet kicking around!)

    Herb garden for Mrs Grubs near the back door perhaps!

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