Its been about 3 months I last touch this set, its been on maximum neglect from last I redo its siphon and inlet. There's a reason for this, I simply want it to fail and I want to see what else can go wrong so I could make adjustment or improvement. On the other hand its a politically correct statement for being lazy.. :)
Cherry tomatoes on this set is dying and must be replace very soon. Water is crystal clear no sign of suspended matter or algae.
No foul odour coming from set, this is good. Water pump doing its job but in-flow shows sign of reduction.
Above water inlet still flowing with sign of reduce water flow. There are some Tomatoes germinating from last planting drop.
This 20 mm siphon didn't missed a beat. Water pump I put on timer with night time shut off. Aeration pump 24/7 since its a 4 watt version, power consumption is minute.
Those bait fish getting bigger, and I must say they looks good too. These fish I got it for like USD 0.03 each.
I will not redo much, only thing I'll replant.
BTW.. There is a guy on youtube commented, that "there is no way this single barrel set able to hold all that pebbles in the growbed" ... few months back. well this is for you... "IT HOLD" ... :)
Got an email from Paul Trudeau from Sacramento California.
His system using fish tank , sump tank for water feed and growbed. Water from growbed by siphon and gravity over a long tube back to the fish tank as illustrated below.
With this arrangement he experience problem with equilibrium flow, initially he raised the growbed to eliminate this situation but its not a pretty sight if the growbed is high.
To address this higher growbed issue, he installed vertical breather on the long return tube. With this vertical tube he manage to lower the growbed back to original height with siphon working without problem as in picture below.
This next picture is another variation of same, but at individual growbed.
What happen in his set up with longer return pipes, water trapped within this pipe will cause additional suction and back pressure which will cause sustain flow (equilibrium flow) also water velocity would be slower due to this longer tube.
Raising the growbed higher, helps by providing additional momentum to water due to the longer vertical. This would help overcome back pressure and increase water flow in the tube hence restoring siphon function.
Having a breather in a long tube effectively the best option, what happen is the longer tube is broken into shorter length at that breather point, so effectively the siphon horizontal outlet is shorten. This also introduce air into the tube eliminating water back pressure. The longer tube need to be of a bigger diameter to accommodate water volume gushing from the growbed.
Thanks Paul for sharing this information and if anyone have same situation, this is one way to address it.
Made a set today, first one for sale, base from my home kit.
I will need to make it smaller on the bottom fish tank, utilizing same size plastic tub. The inner tub is for growbed, next unit will be using this size upper and lower making it smaller and cheaper overall.
One Tilapia missing. It was eight, today only seven left. Need to investigate what happen, I don't think cats will take fish in water. Previous batch survive and none was missing.
One possibility it could jump out of water to get away from the dominant male.
Herbs in this setup slowly progressing, not to expect much since it still very new.
Those algae you can see above was due to high water level in growbed. Initial stage of growbed conditioning I purposely set water to be higher than gravel, then after about 1 week I will adjust it back to one inch below by replacing siphon stand pipe extender with a shorter tube. In photo below you could see the very long extender besides the siphon.
Progress is slow initially, I intent to make this into herb growbed.
Last few Cherry Tomatoes, I'll be removing it this week to set for new plants.
Its growing, but I don't know whether its doing well or not since I never done this before.
Its very fragile and flimsy, new shoots growing from initial one and I may need to add gravel to make growbed higher.
Some of the shoots are whitish in colour, could be due to over sun. I'll try to provide shade since now most of Cherry Tomatoes plants are no more in the growbed. Water PH may also need to be check, it maybe high and and lacking Iron, probably time for Guinness again.
Its going to be a very long trial, those wooden beam under this growbed may not last that long. This need to be look at before its too late.
Above, Chilli and Kaffir Lime temporarily occupying this growbed. This chilli plant is showing yellowish leaves too.. so I need to check water PH so that Iron can be absorbed by the plants easier.
One of the support for the growbed broke, its probably rotten by water and sun. Its sagging to one side, no other choice but to replace it.
Its going to be hard work today.
All 200 kilo of gravel need to be removed before I could lift up the growbed. Luckily most of the cherry tomatoes already towards the end of their life cycle.
Few container ready to receive the gravel, I need to do this fast to prevent drying of gravel killing those bacteria resulting in longer time for growbed to cycle.
Once all gravel removed, blue growbed out and need to put fresh lumber as support.
I have a few used lumber standing by, for this situation. Next time I better use steel beams to support its will last longer.
On goes the growbed and water inlet done to make it heavier for me to adjust. Its higher than growbed next to it due bigger lumber used.
Before gravel in, this is a good time for me to redo those hexagonal brick arrangement for the siphon cage, I decide to arrange it side ways to make it smaller as compare to previous in following picture.