Tom Connolly

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since Apr 20, 2013
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Recent posts by Tom Connolly

I have been intrigued with the idea of building with earthbags...for at least a decade.  I now have some property and will spend the next two years working on infrastructure..then want to build a couple of buildings.  I friend told me that he is pretty sure he could put eb accurately in place with his backhoe and an attachment called a thumb.  Got me to thinkin....I am a lot closer to 30 now than I am 20 ;)  I am concerned about wear and tear on my body...also concerned about being able to get bags up quickly and covered so that they can be finished and protected from the sun.  Can I divide the labor - set up a station that would do nothing but sift and fill bags using some simple machines until I had a few thousand, and then pull that station down and reconfigure the tools (that would be needed) to put them in place?  There are numerous details that would have to be worked out with each station.  I am concerned right now about the main idea.  If I did this, then earth bags would be sitting on top of each other for 2-3 weeks. They would start to confirm to the bags that they are stacked into and then set, then would be taken apart and repositioned in the wall of the house.  I am assuming that I can use the backhoe as a tamper to get each bag to conform in its new position.  If this would work, the bags would easily be sheltered from the sun while being stored.  I think there is a lot of time wasted building with ED when bags are filled one by one.  Put another way, I am trying to find a much more time efficient way to do it.
1 month ago
I am more interested in hydroponics (for now) but every time I come to Permies, I keep expecting to see a forum in the Growies section called hydroponics, but I never see it. (hint hint).  AP is the closest there is.  I am looking for information about plants, specificially veggies and non-tree and non-bush fruits, fruiting plants that can be grown from seed and harvest in a year or two.  I am looking for tabuler information that includes: ideal growing temperature, preferred ph, maximum height, minerals needed, seeding practices, etc  I hope this will be tabular - listed in a table - and not buried in paragraphs that I have to read through.  Published in paper or online, both are OK.  Any ideas?
6 months ago
I have a large aquarium in my rented apartment.  It is a first floor apartment so I have a covered patio in the back.  In my attempts to learn about solar energy, I would like to make a hot water heater to keep the water in the aquarium at about 28 degree - the aquarium is about 300 liters.  I was thinking about using some fresnel lenses to heat an intermediate liquid (anti-freeze?) and storing that in a heavily insulated tank, then pumping the aquarium water through a heat exchanger in the tank to heat the water.  Temps here range from a low of 6 degrees in the winter to a high of 40 in the summer.  Obviously, I will have a different problem in the summer! Any ideas?
6 months ago
If you divide a fish's lifecyle into three phasees, fry, juvenille, and mature, will you get more optimum growth (i.e. less disease, faster weight gain) if you use a different temperature of the water for each phase of life?  Should the temp of the water for fry be a little warmer, when they are doing basic growing, and maybe a little lower, when they are mature, perhaps making them a little less active?
7 months ago