Author Topic: New Small Scale Trial System  (Read 426 times)


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New Small Scale Trial System
« on: April 26, 2018, 09:14:59 09:14 »
Hi all

Being new to all this and having a few garden tidy up and fence fixing jobs to complete before I can build a greenhouse and setup a system, I as resigned to missing all but the last knockings of the summer growing season. Still it will be a nice job building in the summer and give me a chance to tweak flows and iron out any issues ready for an early start next year.

In the meantime I am in the process of setting up a small trial.
Have a 'raised patio fish habitat' which consists of an ornamental timber built fish 'tank' on the patio 650lts+. Its about four years old and the four goldfish are growing nicely in crystal clear water. Plenty of plants (and snails) the eco system seems quite settled with the current filtering and UV used to keep water quality and plants growing well each summer. Its insulated but has no heater.

I have made a small grow bed from a rectangular plastic planter, had to search around to get 300mm deep but its just about deep enough. Flood and drain system installed using a 'T' shape siphon which seems to work ok. The new pump is a bit beefy but I will reduce the flow with a valve. May set up a second bed in due course with a standard bell siphon to compare the fill/empty times and reliability. There is no sump so the fish will have to live with a rising and falling water level but I estimate that its 700mm deep and will fall by less that 100mm even with two beds in operation so cant see it affecting them.
Clay balls have been washed and soaking for a week ready to fill the bed and a few small herb plants are sitting in their pots ready to be washed of soil and planted in the bed.

Plan to plant up and the weekend and see how it all goes.
What I learn on the trial will go forward to the main system in the summer.

Tested last night and the GB takes about 8mins to fill and 6mins to empty without clay balls in the bed so it will be quicker when they are in as there will be less water. I may slow the fill rate a little more as it seems pretty fast to me.
What does anyone think?

Any advice to a newbie very welcome.
Will post pictures if anyone is interested.