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Samford Balcony Maximus

Discussion in 'New Aquaponics systems - off-the-shelf ready to go' started by jaybee, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. jaybee

    jaybee Member

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    Samford Aquaponics is on its way back!

    I took the system off-line a year ago whilst we re-thought our whole produce garden. Like all good projects it's still dragging its heals, but we are now sufficiently through it to start re commissioning the Balcony Maximus. And the down time has let us have some great ideas too, so the new configuration is going to be a bit different too :)

    So here it is laid out as I hope it will end up:

    Its still with two gravel beds and one floating raft, but we are making use of space made available by some new terracing to place all the beds up higher than the tank which will sit behind to the South, but only a single block high from the North which is the main gardening area. The Floating raft is at traditional height and will drain into the bed in the middle.

    I used to use a canister filter to feed the floating raft, but not this time - it will take its feed unfiltered from the fish tank. That will save some power, and maintenance (which I never did, so the water might as well have been unfiltered!), and from my experience last year, the roots were always clean enough to have a more than acceptable rate of growth for a home system.

    I am going to use the small bed for a fingerling/purge tank this time round. I found that purging the Jades for a couple of weeks before eating made a big difference and have a 4 foot fish tank in the Shed taking up space. Hopefully that can be moved on! I'll probably put some trellis between the fish tank and beds too, so there won't be much sunlight for the bed if I used it for planting.

    The next stage is to lay down some weed matting, refill the beds and plumb the whole thing in. I'm looking forward to next weekend when I will get a chance. I'm going to run the whole thing on urea until the concreting is finished where the fish tank is sitting. That may be for some time!!!
     

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  2. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Great to see you setting up again....Thanks for the photos.
     
  3. jaybee

    jaybee Member

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    What a back busting weekend!

    Emptying the beds last year didn't seem that bad, but now I think of it, It was gravity assisted - Moving from high to low. This time gravity was certainly in the wrong direction, and I had to haul all that rock up from behind the shed where it's been resting for nearly a year. So, job done and the whole system is cycling nicely. I did give the gravel a wash to get some of the roots and mud out, but not too much - plenty of lovely minerals left for the plants to enjoy :)

    The Mrs is off tomorrow to get the polystyrene for the floating raft (the last lot was waterlogged and chucked out) and next weekend I'll make a lid for the fingerling tank, although I may try growing some duckweed for the fun of it in the mean time (or make another floating raft). She is very excited to have the system back up and running - I hadn't appreciated just how much she loves aquaponic gardening!

    Eventually I plan to box the system in, hence the weed matting around the base (that job too may take some time...)

    IMG_6367 (Medium).JPG
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  4. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    You will need a bigger pump that's for sure. It is coming along nicely.
     
  5. jaybee

    jaybee Member

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    I recon the pump on my system could handle a homestead system :) Not sure what brand those earlier ones were, but its a mighty water mover.

    So one week on from the re-start and it's cycling like it had never stopped - lovely colours! But a quick note for any newbies who may be reading - there are no fish in the tank - If there were, I'd be swapping water out to get those ammonia levels down PDQ.

    Of course, the Mrs has planted up every inch of the system already with all our favourites, so I'll be keeping an eye in the plants to see how well they grow compared to last year. I suspect that they will be as healthy as ever with plenty of mineralisation still locked in the beds.

    IMG_6368 (Medium).JPG
     
  6. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Looking good JB.
     
  7. jaybee

    jaybee Member

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    The magic that is Aquaponics in action again. Less than three weeks since planting, the Boc Choy are doing well. I noticed some left over seedlings at the side and placed them on the bed to demonstrate the different growth rate!

    IMG_6463 (Medium).JPG
     

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