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2600 gallon fish tank busted out of solid limestone 5 1/2 feet deep 10 foot across!  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 311
Location: northeastern New Mexico
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Good morning

This what our aquaponics system looked like in 2016. I had just built this DWC from a cement trough. DWC means deep water culture, the plants float on Styrofoam rafts, roots in the fish water. One of the best attributes for us is the sound of a waterfall right off of our living-room, plus it aerates the water and mimics the water coming down a stream, which is where trout naturally feed, I think. My videos are pretty campy and the view rates are pathetic. It would make me happy if folks could view this on the YouTube and rate it please.
Here is a video done that same year through a viewing window I built into the masonry.

Here is a video of the upgrades I did to our MBBR (moving bed biofilter.)
On the left is our RFF (radial flow filter) this is a sediment trap which uses gravity overcomes upward flow ratios to drop sediment to the bottom of the barrel.
The filters are fed from the bottom of the tank using a SLO (solids uplift outfow) where flow is accelerated via an air-lift pump.
Since I need to drive five hours away and over 9 and 10 thousand feet tall mountains transporting fingerlings I built a nitrogen cycled portable 30 gallon fish tank system complete with air pumps and water pumps in an attempt to reduce stress on the fingerlings.

the black bulkhead fitting is where the power connections as well as the air line for aeration enters. It also provides an air vent for the injected air to escape. The porthole is for a kayak drain, I use it to move fingerlings in and out by pouring. We put bags of ice on the back side to keep the fish near their optimal temperature of 50 degrees F.
Zero losses on that first trip with the fancy transporter, I'm here to tell you fish are not used to going over high mountains with all the ups and downs and they suffered on our first trip, so I made every effort to rectify that issue with this setup.
My youtube page is here https://www.youtube.com/user/bossltr/videos
Brian
 
   
 
pollinator
Posts: 31
Location: Topeka, KS, Zone 6a
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Brian, the videos are nominally interesting but personally I would like to see them longer with you narrating what it is we are looking at, how it is put together, etc. That type of information is helpful to people who are looking for ideas or want to know how something works. Without descriptions it's just a video of fish swimming.

I do applaud you creating your own systems, so keep up the good work!
 
Posts: 71
Location: Columbia Missouri
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I watched some of your YouTube videos, and to brutally honest they weren't that interesting.  With that said, those individual videos don't tell a story.  If you were to string all that video together and add a narrative that told the story of how you built all of this, or alternately how the parts work together as a permaculture system then you would have something worth watching.

I recent came across a Curtis Stone video about how he wants to do something different.  In the video he talks about how the YouTube algorithms work and what he has to do to attract viewers.  That might be useful to you.  

I can see this sounds harsh.  But, it is intended to be constructive criticism. You've done most of the work don't give up now.
 
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Location: USA, WA, orchard country
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Cool beans! Very interested in a narration.
 
Brian Rodgers
pollinator
Posts: 311
Location: northeastern New Mexico
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Alex Riddles wrote:I watched some of your YouTube videos, and to brutally honest they weren't that interesting.  With that said, those individual videos don't tell a story.  If you were to string all that video together and add a narrative that told the story of how you built all of this, or alternately how the parts work together as a permaculture system then you would have something worth watching.

I recent came across a Curtis Stone video about how he wants to do something different.  In the video he talks about how the YouTube algorithms work and what he has to do to attract viewers.  That might be useful to you.  

I can see this sounds harsh.  But, it is intended to be constructive criticism. You've done most of the work don't give up now.


It's not harsh, it is the truth and I totally agree, without narrative those videos are terribly boring even to me and I know what is happening, lol.
I've been using linux in one form or another for at least a decade. One of the pitfalls with Linux is the lack of easy to use video editing software available. Hence these are all raw videos.
Mainly I am into writing about what I do with my projects in the form of daily newsletters. I have many newsletters describing each project from bio-diesel processing,  homemade axial flux wind turbine and tilt-up tower and finally my latest passion the indoor trout pond with aquaponics. Well to be fair to myself Permaculture feels like the apex of all of my interests and projects.
It's a good thing I didn't make the videos in the hopes they would go viral, right? hehe.
One of my favorites is the babbling brook made during a wireless Internet installation in the high country. Just the sounds of trickling water.

I guess I hope with videos people can be entertained by the little things in life.
With a little luck I can get more than 12 views. Hope so. If you watch that video from here it doesn't count as a view. Now that seems harsh, lol Ya gotta go to the youtube link on the video above, I guess
Smiles

Brian
 
Brian Rodgers
pollinator
Posts: 311
Location: northeastern New Mexico
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Here a quick little update on the greenhouse this Halloween afternoon.

Halloween-snow-2018-back-yard-Ponderosa-pines
It was raining when I was in bed reading the Permaculture Designers manual last night at 9:00.It must have been raining hard because I heard the sound through a well insulated roof. Immediately all the dogs were at the door scratching to get in.

Halloween-snow-2018-greenhouse-trout-are-hungry
I've got myself into a bit of a jam with the trout.  We bought 100 18 month old fingerlings in September of 2017. As they grew out over 2018 it put a massive strain on my filtration and media beds. As I was planning, I harvested around 30 plate size trout this Summer.
That took a big load off the aquaponics system, but it was still a lot of adult fish for the amount of filtration and media beds I have. This was a rough year for me as well. I'm finally getting a handle on random inflammation of joints which has been wrecking havoc on my body for the last four years. But, damn this was still a hard year on me, as well as my wife and all the creatures I take care of here on the ranch.
We lost our two honeybee hives at the same time, in the Winter of 2017-18. This may have had something to do with a freak storm that broke a ten inch thick branch off the 60 foot tall Ponderosa Pine tree above the hives. One got opened to the freezing rain for maybe five hours before I saw it the next morning. We've been getting most of our yearly rainfall in one storm over the last two years. Last year we had three storms that dropped more than five inches each, with numerous out of season storms dropping a few inches each.
These deluges of rain have tested all of the structures I have built for a normally semi-arid near high-country zone. The one that hurt the most was the greenhouse roof leaked into the pond. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, except the roof that runs off over the greenhouse roof in galvanized tin.  After extensive research I learned that trout are especially sensitive to zinc exposure. I mean they are really sensitive to zinc even in trace amounts.
We raise Brook trout. I had left some three year old trout in the pond to see if I could get them to spawn so I might not need to travel the great distance to buy more fingerlings. Like I said it's has been a year of hell, I made a lot of mistakes. The Brook trout got horrible skin lesions and looked like zombies. I was scrambling to figure out what the heck happened.
I fixed the greenhouse roof which is acrylic channel panel plastic. It seems the wonderfully strong New Mexico winds which inspired me to learn how to build an axial flux wind turbine had loosened and wallowed out the pre-drilled holes the roofing screws are in. Doh!
I filled those screws with a good quality silicone sealant and that seemed to take care of that issue. It seems I missed one, because this year's rain has mad its way into the pond again.
So much for the short version. Sorry about that. Anyhow, I need to harvest all the trout now and I let the fish feed run out twice already trying to get all the things done that my newly restored body can muster.
This is why you'll see images of the maul split and stacked firewood.

I need to take care of  the survival stuff first and hearing about this storm I decided to split wood yesterday.
The trout still look fine, but I don't want to wait to see what can happen to the poor things. Plus I'm about out of fish food again. Today I will net as many as I can. I believe there are still 25 to 30 in there. Today I will clean and soak the trout I catch. I will fire up the smoker tomorrow.  freezer space is limited as we have been freezing and canning vegetables and fruit this Fall. I would like to try the jerky function of the Bradly smoker we bought this Summer to see if I can store some dried. the last 50 pound sack of fish feed wasn't the best, and I think the fish are extra oily because of that and it took several hours just to get them cooked in the smoker last time.            

Halloween-snow-2018-greenhouse-trout-pond-boardwalk-and-one of our dogs-Andy

Halloween-snow-2018-greenhouse-trout-pond-DWC-(deep water culture) with its waterfall.
Last trout season in the aquaponics greenhouse I had a worm bin using kitchen compost as feed for the worms, which I also fed to the trout. This year and much of last we don't have access to those worms as I combined the worm bin with one of the four massive dirt tanks in the greenhouse. Sadly now I can't get the worms out without disturbing the plants growing there. Another whoops!  

Halloween-snow-2018-greenhouse-moved-Finnex-24-7-from-aquarium-now-I-need-three-more-lol
Nell and I are spending most of our retirement income on Naturopathic remedies which is getting me out of the woods but the budget is gone for things like greenhouse lights for Winter growth. Lately our motto is shop at home first. Anther stupid thing I did this year was buy stuff to make it possible for me to learn about growing submersed plants for my 50 gallon aquarium in the living-room. As soon as I put this fancy high intensity LED aquarium light on the aquarium I created an algae bloom from hell.  Dammit. So I was thinking why now use the silly feature of the Finnex 24/7 demo mode to change the light duration in the greenhouse during Winter. I then put the old LED aquarium light back on the 50 gallon aquarium. Hoping to make lemonade from lemons is why this move was made. So far it looks like a winner.   Plus I'm totally sold on permaculture now and have lost interest in the planted portion of the aquarium.

Halloween-snow-2018-greenhouse
I'm seriously sore and tired from splitting firewood yesterday which is why I'm here writing instead of doing my writing in the early morning hours.
I hope this is as educational for you as it is for me.
thanks kindly for reading.
Best regards,
Brian Rodgers
 
gardener
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Location: SoCal USA
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Thanks for sharing all your projects and all the work you're doing! You're finding ways to get things done, and coming up with new ideas from past lessons learned is some of the best kind of learning in my opinion.
 
Brian Rodgers
pollinator
Posts: 311
Location: northeastern New Mexico
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Thanks Mark. My next phase of project development will be to create a bio-journal. Or somehow sort and index the thousands of morning newsletters I have stored on Gmail.
Here's an example:
Good Morning

BMN-Sept-2014-ironman-pose
I guess it is Monday, no way around it. Damn. Ah, where to begin? A very productive weekend here. Nell wasn’t all that well on Saturday. We still have no idea what is wrong. Not knowing is a terrible burden on her, and that I think impacts her negatively on top of the pain. On Sunday, she set her mind to ignoring the pain in her side and made incredible efforts to accomplish chores around the house.  Is she better, well she looks better, and I thank her for the effort.

I don’t remember which day I brought home a new computer. Sometime last week. I think at this point I’ve made a mistake thinking I have the time to figure out how to get Linux on one of these modern integrated graphics and processor mother boards. I tried while Austin was here, and we had it pretty close. The problem is configuring Linux at this level of complexity requires a series of long command lines to be typed in the exact order and precisely spelled. I’m a lot of things, precise on a keyboard isn’t one of them.

The level of understanding needed to figure this out isn’t that far above my head. It is as my friend Eric says, “A matter of time versus money.” I don’t know how much time I’ve spent, but I know I do not have any extra to spare right now. Maybe this Winter when it is cold and snowy I can sit in front of a computer beside the warm fire and work this out. Anyway, we figured out what was wrong with my old faithful computer: The surge protector reset button was flaky. I figured that one out when this new PC did the same thing nearly giving me a heart attack in the process. Dammit man. Stupid two dollar button went bad, talk about time is money.

So on with the show eh?

BMN-pit-is-ready-for-the-next-phase-Sept-2014
Before Jason arrived on Saturday morning I worked with our beehives. I added the new supers to each hive giving them added space in case they can still find nectar bearing flowers. If not I think it will be alright that they have the extra space. I will open the hives again in a few months and see if they moved into the next section of boxes. If not I can move the divider board down from the top so they don’t have to work as hard to keep the empty space warm during the Winter.

BMN-Jason-looks-down-in-pit-we-created-September-2014
Yes I’m happy. I got my work cut  out designing several aquaponic systems from scratch, but it doesn’t look to difficult. I was telling Nell as we sat enjoying the morning Sunday around the pit, “Sure I have a little anxiety as I figure out how to tie all these ideas together in the time frame we have left before the first freeze.” The other thing to note is everything leading up to this point has been brute force work. Now it is time to get creative and see if I’ve still got it as a rock mason and artist. One of the things neither Nell nor i like about the aquaponic systems we’ve seen is the pipes everywhere, or for that matter the plastic tanks and plant beds. My task will be to replace the plastic with natural rock and masonry.

BMN-Jason-pit-is-ready-for-next-phase-September-2014
I’ve got my mind set on creating two slightly raised pools against the house which will be the filters and hydroponic plant beds. Each will be fed from a submersed pond pump sett in the lowest point (where I’m standing.) My hope is to hide the plumbing to the pools inside the rock work. I hadn’t worked that out yet, because there needs to be a valve to each pool so control the water level in the pool. Each pool will have a waterfall. Controlling the flow will make it easier to figure out the overflow and how high the sides need to be.

Two other details I haven’t worked out to my satisfaction are what the replacement process will be for when the pump needs service and if the plumbing under the pools needs replacing  I’ve got to work that out now, otherwise I’ll need to buy scuba gear to work on the pump as it is six feet underwater, hey!

BMN-September-2014-Pit-is-ready-for-next-phase-natural-slope-and-shape
Above is a natural slope where the majority of the flow from the pump will direct water. My hope is the sediment will naturally fall to where in the pump sits and then get sent to the filters in the raised pools. I’ll try and get all of the lower edges of the pond to gently curve  toward the pump. That will be the next phase.

BMN-September-2014-Pit-is-ready-for-next-phase-Jason-six-feet-of-solid-rock

September-2014-Pit-is-ready-for-next-phase-Jason-road-to-Central-Meadow-before

BMN-September-2014-Pit-is-ready-for-next-phase-Jason-road-to-Central-Meadow-just-rock
it’s nine AM and I’ve got to run
See yas on the flipper
Brian
P.S. That natural slope really didn't do me any favors in a fish pond. In hindsight, I  should have made the bottom round for good water circulation. The slope collects fish waste. It was supposed to flow down to the bottom drain called a SLO (solids lift outflow) It is set in stone now.  
 
master pollinator
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Couldn't watch the videos (poor internet) but have noticed your amazing fish set up before. Just now realized that is probably a very smart usage of water for raising food in New Mexico. 2600 gallons carved out of rock is serious!!!
 
You can thank my dental hygienist for my untimely aliveness. So tiny:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
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