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System Configuration

Discussion in 'General Aquaponics discussion - Aquaponics system ' started by livinontop, May 1, 2011.

  1. livinontop

    livinontop Guest

    We've just about completed the greenhouse and my brain is switching gears to our AP design! I'm worried tho, as my husband and I aren't really good at "plumbing". Because our greenhouse is long and narrow, we're not able to configure it exactly like Murray has his toteponics system. So my concern is: will we need to change anything (other than pipe "length") if we don't configure our system just like his. Say for instance, we have our growbeds in a straight line, instead of all centered around the sump?

    If you picture a 10'x24' greenhouse with toteponics fishtanks and growbeds lining both of the long exterior walls with a 4' wide path to work and walk all the way down the middle, can I run the plumbing pipe underground to get to the opposite side? Will it mess up water pressures? If so, how do we figure things out?? Thank you!!!
     
  2. trout

    trout New Member

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    There is a couple of ways you can do this

    1/ run everything in a straight line ( easiest plumbing)

    2/ Run along the sides but will need to go underground with plumbing.
    Completely do-able but use bigger pipes , if they get blocked you need to
    be able to run a hose through them.

    see diagrams.
     

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  3. livinontop

    livinontop Guest

    Oh man you are AWESOME! Your 1st drawing is exactly what I need to do. It's because I've put the Rocket Stove in the greenhouse that I need to do this. Had I not taken up the space, everything would line up nicely as in your second two drawings. But now, its a mishmash. Thank you thank you for your reply!!

    How do I know how much bigger pipe, and do I just use bigger pipe for the underground portion? Or all of it?
     
  4. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    you only need the bigger pipe, say 2"/ 50mm or 90mm for the gravity return. The pressure side from the pump is better in 1"
     
  5. trout

    trout New Member

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    The First drawing is a direct copy of my system.

    I can't give you a mathematical equation to tell you how big the pipes
    need to be. All I can tell you is what I've done.

    I used 90mm pipe (3 1/2 inch) for everything except the return from
    sump to fishtank. You can use the bigger pipe just for the underground portion

    In AP we are moving water around that is full of suspended matter.
    Suspended matter usually likes to settle out in the lowest part of the
    system (simple physics). Unfortunately the lowest part of my system
    is 400 mm underground, hence I used a big pipe with access holes so
    that I can run the hose through it if I need to. (see diagram)

    I am assuming you are using chop 2 but I think you can still used 90mm pipe.
    When I changed my system from chop 1 to chop 2 the 90mm pipe
    worked fine. (you may need to think about height before plumbing)

    I have changed my system back to chop 1 because I can use a
    smaller pump and the plumbing is slightly cheaper.

    In chop 2 you always need a ball valve to regulate the water back
    to the fishtank, an expense not required in chop 1.

    cheers Lou
     

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  6. livinontop

    livinontop Guest

    You guys are the best! Thank you, both of you. We've got a week or three til we start the actual AP system. I'll probably be back......haha......needing more help at that time. Thanks again!!
     
  7. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    There is a theory that smaller pipe is better because the water needs to travel faster to get through thereby not allowing solids to drop out on the way.
    I prefer the bigger pipe and it is not hard to clean.
    Periodically I block off the FT outlet for a few minutes, fill the FT right to the brim, then unblock the pipe. The sudden rush of water through the pipe will dislodge and accumulated solids and deliver them to the sump or grow beds depending on your setup.
    In my big old Homestead kit I have about 8 mtrs of 90mm pipe underground. We have modified the system so many times the pipe work has a lot of bends and so on....this method keeps the larger pipes clean really well.

    That particular system runs on CHOP 1 or CHIFTPIST as some would describe it.
     
  8. adam.francis

    adam.francis New Member

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    Trout you said you used 3.5" pipework for everything? isn't that a little excessive?

    anyways, 'livingontop' I had the same problem as you... I tried to follow Murray's dvd as much as I could but realized my narrow greenhouse couldn't accommodate it.... so i just put them all in a row and buried the sump tank underneath the middle growbed.. i'll have some pics up sooooon! goodluck and have fun! its so exciting once you can turn everything on and see it all work so well!

    oh and thanks for the tips on easier ways to clean the pipes Murray, keep em coming! I was thinking the other day that i would need a bigger pump after all the nutrient buildup..
     
  9. livinontop

    livinontop Guest

    You guys just make me GRIN!! I've been on a forum where they don't answer questions....I get so excited to see everyone chip in here. Thanks again ALL! I really do appreciate it.

    Murray, I love your idea of filling it to the brim, n let er rip!! haha Can't wait to see this one happen!!

    Adam, can't wait for your pictures. Please do get them posted....I'd love to see. (I think I'm a visual learner). And yes, we're getting closer. This has been quite a project. I get so jazzed thinking about a fish tank with actual fish, n veges growing in here, I can't stand it!! I just can't wait!! We have a daughter on a liver transplant list (auto-immune....we DONT drink or do drugs!) and she only eats organic, so we're mostly doing this for her....it will be soooo rewarding!!!
     
  10. trout

    trout New Member

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    In my opinion I wouldn't use anything else, it works a treat.
     

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